Posts by BREE

Post-Pandemic Senior Strategies

Posted by on Jul 10, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post-Pandemic Senior Strategies

Post-Pandemic Senior Strategies It is estimated that at least 10,000 people turn 65 every day in America. During the COVID-19 shutdown (March, 2020 through April, 2021) that means over 4 million people became “seniors”. What should they expect of their senior years in a post-pandemic world? What strategies will work for them in planning for life after COVID-19?Get vaccinatedFirst and foremost, doctors and the CDC recommend that seniors be vaccinated. Once you are vaccinated, you can return to the activities you enjoyed before the pandemic. Not only are you safe, but your grandchildren are safer because you are vaccinated. The CDC provides the following list of indoor and outdoor activities that can be resumed when fully vaccinated.Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people, particularly in areas of substantial to high transmissionDine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple householdsAttend a crowded, outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports eventVisit a barber or hair salonGo to an uncrowded, indoor shopping center or museumAttend a small, indoor gathering of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people from multiple householdsGo to an indoor movie theaterAttend a full-capacity worship serviceSing in an indoor chorusParticipate in an indoor, high intensity exercise class Unvaccinated people attending these events will be expected to wear a mask and remain socially distanced.Check on your retirement fundsAccording to information published by Generations: American Society on Aging, a January 2021 poll found that as of last November, nearly 60 percent of Americans withdrew or borrowed money from an IRA or 401(k) during the pandemic, and 63 percent used those retirement savings to cover basic living expenses. If this includes you, now is the time to review your retirement financial plans.While it might be tempting to start collecting on Social Security now, benefits can be reduced by as much as 30 percent when collecting even five years earlier than planned. Calling the local office of Social Security is your best move to get the information you need when considering this option. Just make sure you’re prepared to wait on hold for a while. There are many others who are exploring their options. But be patient, it is worth the wait to get assistance from an expert.And if waiting another year or two is the best option, then consider a part-time or seasonal job. Returning to the workforce might not have been in your plan, but there are some exciting options to consider.Starting a new businessAccording to AARP, success at starting a new business increases with age, even into one’s 60s and 70s. Your experience and skills can help you succeed as an entrepreneur. After all, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals at the age of 76.Considering that the Boomer generation now includes about 73 million people in the US, there’s a very large audience for products that help them (you) improve their everyday lives.Starting a business, or introducing a new product to this demographic takes fortitude but the rewards are well worth it.An article in Inventor’s Digest from 2018 states that Charles Greeley Abbot became secretary of the Smithsonian Institution at age 56. At 99, he invented a solar cooker that used the energy of direct sunlight to cook food and heat beverages. At that time, he became the oldest person to receive a patent and may still hold the record as the oldest inventor.Invest in improving your digital skillsMany older adults have increased comfort with and willingness to use new technology to survive in an increasingly digital world. Whether working from home, staying in touch with family and friends, ordering groceries, conducting telemedicine visits or attending church services...

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Mother’s Day Bouquet

Posted by on May 12, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mother’s Day Bouquet

Mother's Day Bouquet “There’s a lot of pressure on us all when it comes to Mother’s Day gift ideas. You want to find something she’ll use all the time, but it can’t be strictly utilitarian. It should also have a sentimental spin.” That is a direct quote from the pages of Real Simple magazine.CLICK HERE for the full articleTheir list contains everything from flowers/book of the month to electronics and sheets. Of course there are some traditional items. Specialty chocolates, teas, and coffees. Tried and true, these items are always well received but don’t last very long. How long will your Mother’s Day gifts last this year?Roses, and most flower bouquets last about one week. Of course, many of us start rearranging the ones that are still good after that and downsizing to a smaller and smaller vase until we finally give in and let them go so we can clean up the baby breath droppings and dust the table.Chocolates can last for 6-9 months. Or, that is to say that anything that is left will still be tasty and fresh after that time. Some expert advice is pointed out in this article from a chocolatier. Don’t refrigerateStore in cool, dry placeDo place in airtight sealed container Hide somewhere that only you know about*For more on how to store chocolate CLICK HERE*Ok I threw that in so that the kids who probably gave them to you don’t devour them all on Mother’s Day.Gift certificates are nice. Sure. That way she can get something she wants at a store you chose that she has maybe never visited, or is in another town. Maybe your intentions were good, “Mom, we’ll go on a special shopping trip together. Won’t that be fun?”  Except then there’s a pandemic and it’s another year before you get to do that shopping trip, and your family is very busy, and work is crazy… It’s estimated that 19% of albeit well meaning gift certificates are never used.How about clothing? She hasn’t shopped for herself in more than a year, right? She’s maybe put on weight during the pandemic, about which she will be happy you reminded her (after she’s taken down all but that small mirror above the sink)  Yes, get her some clothes that will last until next pandemic.Of course, the best and most meaningful gift is time. Your time with her. Listening to stories she remembers about when you were a child. Or even better when she was a child. Time to spend helping her with chores she finds a little more difficult to get done by herself, like turning the mattress or changing out her seasonal clothes and decorations. Changing the furnace filters and washing out the mud in the garage.And if you don’t live close enough to your Mother to do those things in person, Golden Bridges can help. We offer an Advantage Card that works on an hourly punch card rate. Call 888-922-6368 to learn more about how we can help her live life better. Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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Food Insecurity and Hunger in America

Posted by on Apr 14, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Food Insecurity and Hunger in America

Food Insecurity and Hunger in America When the pandemic began last year, more American families than ever were thrown into the situation of not knowing where the next meal was coming from. Lines at food pantries snaked around pylons in parking lots as long as the Covid-19 testing lines. And while our country has been dealing with hunger for far longer than the pandemic, most food pantries and shelters still struggle to keep up with the demand.This updated report from Feeding America states that: “The COVID-19 crisis has dealt a swift blow to the economic health of individuals and communities across the country, and the effects have the potential to be long-term. It took ten years for food insecurity rates to return to pre-Great Recession levels. For now, with no immediate end to the crisis in sight, demand for charitable food assistance is expected to remain at elevated levels for the foreseeable future.”CLICK HERE for full report.  As an industry, the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers (NASMM), to which we belong, has focused on helping to stock food banks. Our charitable partner, Move for Hunger helps by teaming up with movers and move managers to collect food items that homeowners will not be taking with them and donating them to local food pantries.CLICK HERE to visit Move Hunger’s website.  May is the designated month for bringing awareness to food instability and Golden Bridges has participated in Move for Hunger food drives that have collected over 22 million pounds of food in the US and Canada. This year we are starting early on April 17th at the Pittsfield Health and Wellness Fair. We will have our vans at Pittsfield Lake between 10am and 2pm that day. And with the return of the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Dogwood Parade we will again be walking with our shopping carts to collect food donations on May 1st.We hope you will be able to participate in one of these events! “But what should I donate?” you ask.When it comes to meeting the greatest need, cash is king. By donating cash, you enable those operating the pantries to purchase what is just right for their most pressing needs. It’s also a good idea to check with the charity to see what they can accept, and what they can’t.See what some experts have to say on the subject:https://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/food-banks-need/https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-blog/what-donate-food-bank-and-what-avoidhttps://www.theeverydaymomlife.com/mom-life/donating-to-food-banks/https://www.delish.com/food/g4557/things-you-should-never-donate-food-bank/So what are some items that you can bring to these Golden Bridges food drives?Peanut butterPudding cupsCooking oilBoxed mixes (especially if they only need water to prepare)Canned meat or pouches of chicken, tuna, salmon, etc.Dried fruitFlour and sugarSpicesDried pastasBoxed or bagged cerealGrainsInstant coffee and teaHowever, if you think that donating gives you an opportunity to clean out your own kitchen cupboards, think again. Food pantries DON’T accept anything that has been opened and half used, any foods that are out of date, cans that are dented or rusted, and anything that was cooked at home.Helping people live life better. It’s what we do at Golden Bridges… for our clients, and our communities. Please give us a hand this year as we pack our vans full so we can pack the pantries serving those in need.Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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Here’s to Year 8

Posted by on Mar 17, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Here’s to Year 8

Here's to Year 8 I was born on August eighth, nineteen fifty eight. 8-8-58. When I give that birthdate, which we are asked to do almost everywhere these days, people always remark, “That’s a lot of 8s”. So, it’s easy to see why 8 is my lucky number.  Well, this year – in a few short days – on April 1st, Golden Bridges turns eight years old! Who starts a business on April Fool’s Day? And on April Fool’s Day of twenty thirteen?  To answer that question, I take you back a few years earlier when the co-owners of Golden Bridges knew we wanted to work together; we wanted to own a business; we wanted to fill a niche in the community. Senior Move Management was the answer. So at the age of eight, what are we up to?  Well, it’s probably easy for you to understand that last year was not Lucky 7. The 2020 pandemic was declared one year ago. Early on, we learned that we were considered essential workers and thus could continue to serve clients who wanted or needed to move. However, the dangers surrounding the CoVid-19 virus made moving less than desirable.  How did we weather the storm of the pandemic? We had strong business advice about how to structure our finances when we started the business. Our friend, Cyndi Thomason (Owner of bookskeep, Author, and Certified Master Profit First Professional) who now gives advice to a multitude of new entrepreneurs, was generous enough to teach us how to save for a rainy day and make it through tough times. We are thankful for her wisdom and guidance.CLICK HERE to read Cyndi’s book.  How did we use our time during the pandemic? We spent it together, becoming stronger owners and leaders. After winning the inaugural Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce’s business plan competition and placing in the top four of the inaugural Farm Bureau Rural Entrepreneur Challenge we received not only cash investment but also a business coach, Kim Strohmeier of Still Waters Entrepreneurial Services. This year, we have returned to learn even more about surviving in an economic storm.CLICK HERE to learn more about our business coach. How are we moving forward? We are returning to the roots of our mission and values. Our mission is to provide solutions to those in transition. Our values: Compassion, Innovation, and Determination. During the slowdown of clients, we have refined those values by defining our goals around them.  Customer Forward – CompassionRather than customer first, or customer centered, we will always proceed in a manner that moves our customer forward, using compassion to help them reach their goal.Providing Solutions – InnovationAs new barriers arise, our teams will work together to find innovative solutions that move the customer forward.Empower the Employee – DeterminationThe team in the field are the front line problem solvers, empowered and determined to make decisions that move the customer forward. How are we celebrating our eighth anniversary? We’re having a party! Two, in fact. On Thursday, April 1, at 1pm, we are presenting a free webinar introducing our referral partners to a software tool we are using called FairSplit. It allows us to make a pictorial inventory of our clients’ heirlooms and split them among the heirs… without all the drama.  Founder, and Golden Bridges friend, David MacMahan, created the company to “Divide Things, not Families”. This software allows us to show everyone Grandma’s pie plate or Grandpa’s tools and let’s them select the items that mean the most to them.CLICK HERE to learn more about Fair Split. And, oh yeah – the second anniversary party? We are following our eight year tradition...

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Peter Pan House

Posted by on Feb 17, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Peter Pan House

Peter Pan House Do you live in a Peter Pan house? For the past two centuries, we Americans have been building houses for people who will never grow old. Narrow hallways, narrow doorways, and stairs – lots of stairs!On the website aginginplace.com, Dr. Laura Carstensen, of the Stanford Center for Longevity lays out fifteen elements of the Peter Pan house. Some of these include:Multi-level houseWasher/dryer in the basementSloping yards24 inch doorwaysBathroom upstairsHigh outdoor maintenanceShe points out that these homes were designed by and for younger families and fail to consider the needs of the aging populations.https://aginginplace.com/peter-pan-house-15-elements/This month our partner Susan, who authors these blogs, completed her certification to become a NASMM@Home specialist. This education provided by our national association qualifies her to provide in-home consultations for those who want to stay at home in their senior years.For the past several years while attending national conference, Susan sought out the courses that addressed issues faced by seniors trying to age in place. So, this year with the extra time provided by the pandemic, she completed the education and is ready to go.So, what if you do want to grow old in your home? An AARP survey in 2018 found that, “while 76% of Americans age 50 and older say they prefer to remain in their current residence… [only 46%] anticipate they will be able to.” The reasons for this are because of the inherent hazards within their home.CLICK HERE to read full articleIn that article, seniors say they are willing to consider alternatives such as home sharing or building an accessory dwelling unit. You may have seen on social media some of the “granny pods” people have built in their backyards to accommodate an aging parent.Still, it is clear that the majority of us want to remain in our homes as long as possible. A  NASMM@Home specialist can help make that a reality.It all starts with a free consultation. By using a checklist of some of the obvious hazards, like unanchored throw rugs, the specialist can create a plan that allows the homeowner to choose the most practical and cost effective changes to make.Some are simple changes, and some go much further into providing healthcare solutions and technology touch points that allow for virtual caregiving.ROCK Health highlights eight reasons that aging in place technology will flourish in the near future. Not the least of these is “digital adoption accelerating due to COVID-19”. With more tech savvy seniors, the options for including these digital assistants in our homes have greatly expanded.CLICK HERE to read full articleAnd, some of the tried and true solutions that have been around for 30+ years as handicapped accommodations are also the easiest to help seniors stay at home. Outside stairs can be avoided by installing a safe ramp. Bedrooms on the second floor can be moved to the main level, or a chair lift installed. Innovations for bathroom walk-in tubs and zero threshold showers can also make the home safer.proper lighting and placement of everyday items where they are in convenient reach go a long way to make staying at home easier. Beyond that, remodeling to widen doorways and install suitable bathroom fixtures may be a reasonable cost as an option when compared to moving.To read more about how Golden Bridges can now help you or your loved one age in place, check out the NASMM@Home page HERE:And when you are ready for that free consultation, call 888-922-6368. It’s your move (or not), Golden Bridges can help! Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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