New Year, New Resolutions: For Your Health, Finances, and Planning

Many of us are still thinking about our New Year’s resolutions, which can be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be! A good way to narrow down your resolutions is to pick one goal for each important area in your life. For most, this includes our health, finances, and planning for the future.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Lyfe, stretching, cardiovascular exercise, and weightlifting are the three most effective ways to achieve good physical health. However, they may be intimidating if you are just embarking on your fitness goals. The key is not to jump in with both feet. Start a little at a time, perhaps just with stretching. Once you become comfortable, you can add cardiovascular exercise. Start with short increments of time, and gradually increase. As for weight lifting, this is often the least important for most people. But if you decide to give it try, just remember to take baby steps (and have someone with you when you do). No matter how you choose to stay active, the key for retired seniors is to keep your body and your mind active. Try to learn something new each year. This could mean embracing a new passion, like playing an instrument, creating art, or gardening. Choosing an activity that keeps you moving and engaged will have a positive impact on your overall health and happiness.

As for your financial goals, saving money is the big one! A few areas you may be able to reduce your costs are on prescriptions and subscriptions. If you have a monthly prescription, GoodRx offers coupons for local pharmacies. These coupons may reduce your monthly prescription cost to lower than what you would pay at your regular pharmacy with insurance. Another option would be to look into lowering your monthly cable bill. Cable providers give you a great rate to begin with, but once the first year is up so is your rate. The key is to fight back! Give your cable provider a call and negotiate with them. Many providers have a “loyalty program.” If you insist on paying the lower rate, many will allow you to under the loyalty program. Do this every year to reduce your monthly spending.

Finally, as you head into a new year, it is always good to be thinking about the future. One legal document you should be thinking about is the General Durable Power of Attorney. If you already have one, it may be time to update to an Advanced General Durable Power of Attorney. These are broader in scope and give your agent more authority. Most regular powers of attorney don’t allow for asset protection. For instance, if you are transferring real estate from both spouses to one of the two spouses, it is rare to find a General Durable Power of Attorney that allows you to do that. With an Advanced General Durable Power of Attorney, your agent would be able to do this. It allows your agent broad authority, which you may want later in life. The New Year is a great time to consider updating your legal documents.

If you or your loved one needs assistance with your legal documents, or if you have questions about government assistance programs such as Medicaid or Veteran’s Benefits or other Special Needs programs, consider W.G. Alexander & Associates – we offer a unique blend of asset protection, Elder Law and estate planning. You can also attend our free seminars, learn more through our website at www.wgalaw.com, or call us at (919) 256-7000.