Your plain English guide to investment jargon

Definitions of 5 stock market terms you’ll want to know

By Jack Fehr for Next Avenue

Investment-Terms-web

Credit: Thinkstock

As the stock market continues its gyrations, now is a good time to buy an investment with a favorable NAV and alpha that keeps on giving while reducing beta.

Got that?

If not, don’t be embarrassed. Investment companies and financial advisers love to load up their materials with this kind of jargon. Too bad they don’t just say something like this (a plain-English translation of the first sentence in this article): “You might want to buy an investment that is likely to grow faster and experience less risk than alternatives.”

Well, some actually do, but many still don’t. If companies aren’t willing to talk to you in a language you understand, it’s up to you to decipher their financial-speak.


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Do you really need that knee surgery?

Experts disagree on whether it’s worth going under the knife

By Linda Melone, CSCS for Next Avenue

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You felt it on your last walk when you stepped off a curb the wrong way: a sudden pain and feeling as if your knee were about to give out. Swelling and more pain followed, along with worries that you may need knee surgery.

But would it even help?

A recent Danish review of studies published in the British Medical Journal revealed that people in their 50s and older who get arthroscopic surgery for knee pain show no lasting benefits.


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Achieving your dreams after 60

The authors of ‘Senior Wonders’ on the 3 P’s for Triumphant Aging

By Karen L. Pepkin and Wendell C. Taylor for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Thinkstock

The media abounds with negative views about the impact of aging on physical, cognitive, and financial well-being. In fact, there are entire industries that have emerged to counteract the effects of aging — nutritional supplements, hormone treatments, surgical improvements, lotions, potions, and the like. They all seem to underscore Bette Davis’ famous quote, “Old age is no place for sissies.”

What if there were another point of view? What if aging brought about, not decline but our greatest accomplishments? What if we looked at aging as Dr. Christiane Northrup does? She tells us that “getting older is inevitable, but aging isn’t.”


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Sorry, nobody wants your parents’ stuff

Advice for boomers desperate to unload family heirlooms

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

After my father died at 94 in September, leaving my sister and me to empty his one-bedroom, independent living New Jersey apartment, we learned the hard truth that others in their 50s and 60s need to know: Nobody wants the prized possessions of your parents — not even you or your kids.

Admittedly, that’s an exaggeration. But it’s not far off, due to changing tastes and homes. I’ll explain why, and what you can do as a result, shortly.


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Don’t let fear stop you from end-of-life planning

It’s natural to procrastinate, but make this a priority for your loved ones

By Debbie Reslock for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

When I was in my early 20s, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. It felt like a one-two punch, since my dad had died unexpectedly a few years earlier. Although Mom tried chemotherapy, the results seemed to suggest that this was going to end badly, which it did — less than six months later.

During that time, her life became a mere shadow of what it once was. And yet no one, including her doctors, myself or my mom, ever talked about what was happening.

Only in the last few days did her doctor suggest to me, not her, that we were reaching the end of this painful road. And then he asked if I thought she’d be more comfortable at home or in the hospital. I remember how angry I was, unprepared to make this decision and wanting to scream, “Why are you asking me?” But of course when I got older, I realized the real question was why hadn’t any of us asked her?


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8 ways to give your investments a spring cleaning

Tax time is an ideal time to declutter your portfolio

By Kerry Hannon for Next Avenue

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Credit: Getty Images

Where I live in Washington, D.C., the pink magnolia trees are blooming, and the daffodils are intensely yellow and screaming springtime — just in time for the first day of spring, Sunday March 20.

It’s time to get out in the backyard to tackle garden cleanup… right after I finish my taxes this weekend. Which brings me to a more prosaic chore: Spring-cleaning is also time to clear out the clutter in my financial life, particularly my investments. And I think you should, too. (I’ll tell you how shortly.)

When I’m doing spring-cleaning for my portfolio, I check to see if I need to consolidate and sell extraneous and underperforming funds and stocks. I also do a goals checkup and tune-up to rebalance my investments, so I have the right asset allocation of stocks to bonds to provide the oomph needed to last a potentially long life.


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5 ways tech products will help us age better

A visit to CES 2017 turned up caregiving robots and vital sign ‘tattoos’

By Jim Pagliarini for Next Avenue

Tech-To-Age-Well-web

Caption: One of the many helpful robot prototypes at CES using voice recognition to assist humans with daily tasks.

It is the year 2025 and I have just celebrated my 85th birthday. I still live at home. This afternoon, I got into my self-driving car and went to my great granddaughter’s house for a visit. She introduced me to a group of her friends over lunch and I heard every word they said. I was a part of the conversation.  

Two weeks ago, I fell in the bathroom and within minutes, my son’s voice came over my watch to ask me if everything was ok. Last night, I sat in my massage chair, and asked “Alexa” to play the top musical hits from when I met my wife in college. I closed my eyes and it brought back wonderful memories.  

And although I technically live alone, I have one of the greatest companions I have ever had in my life — Tina, my personal assistant robot. Life ain’t bad.

Back to 2017 now: I recently returned from the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas — the largest, electronics show in the world where the most innovative cutting-edge technology products are introduced each year. Nearly 200,000 people attended and wandered through some 2.47 million square feet of exhibit space.


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Are you getting enough protein? Too much?

How obsessing over protein could be harmful to your health

By Rashelle Brown for Next Avenue

Getting-Enough-Protein-web

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If you’re like me, you often find yourself confused by how many health headlines contradict one another. Lately, I’ve found this to be true where protein is concerned, particularly the protein needs of adults aged 50 and over.

In one study, published Jan. 1, 2015, in the American Journal of Physiology’s Endocrinology and Metabolism, scientists split 20 adults aged 52 to 75 into one group that consumed the U.S. RDA recommended level of protein, and another group that consumed double that amount, measuring levels of whole body protein at the beginning and end of the trial. While both groups maintained a positive protein balance (their bodies synthesized more protein than they broke down), the higher protein group ended up with a higher overall protein balance than the lower protein group. The news media jumped all over this, proclaiming that older adults should double their protein intake if they want to live long, healthy lives.


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Celebrating social workers

20170213_103819March is National Social Work Month, an “opportunity for social workers across the country to turn the spotlight on the profession and highlight the important contributions they make to society. Our nation’s more than 600,000 social workers have amazing tenacity and talent.” (from naswmc.org)

Tenacity and talent are indeed fantastic words to describe our very own social worker at Topeka Presbyterian Manor, Bonnie Snowden. She’s been providing social work expertise here for 11 years. Previously she held various positions in the medical field at other senior living communities before obtaining her social work degree from Washburn University.

“I love helping people. And I worked in a behavioral unit once with a great social worker, who showed me just how beneficial this person can be in a community. I like connecting people with resources and helping everyone to be as successful as possible,” said Bonnie.

While Bonnie wears many hats and no two days are alike, her typical duties include:
Interview new residents for social history
Fill out MDS paperwork
Participate in the PEAK project for facility improvement
Serve on the resident council for healthcare, independent and assisted living
Visit with residents daily to connect and learn how they’re doing
Coordinate care plan meetings
Do evaluations for Assisted Living to determine if it’s meeting resident abilities and needs
In addition to the degree she had to earn to become a social worker, Bonnie is also required to take 40 hours of continuing education classes every two years. She has recently received additional training on dementia treatment and grief support.

“When I tell people I’m a social worker, they’re usually surprised that I don’t work with children. They have no idea that the elderly population benefits from social workers, too,” said Bonnie.

When she’s not busy helping residents at Topeka Presbyterian Manor, Bonnie enjoys spending time with her 11 grandchildren. We appreciate everything Bonnie does to help our residents enjoy their best life possible, and we celebrate social workers everywhere!

Senior artists invited to enter Art is Ageless®

Basic RGBSince the beginning of time, creative expression has brought joy to both its creators and those who experience their art. The Art is Ageless program offers senior artists the opportunity to share and display their artwork and reaffirms the agelessness of human creativity.

Topeka Presbyterian Manor is accepting entries for the 2017 Art is Ageless competition and exhibit now through March 20. Artwork will be on display from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. March 24, with winners announced at 2 p.m.

The Art is Ageless program has been encouraging creativity in seniors for more than 35 years, and is sponsored by Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America. It is open exclusively to artists who are 65 and older. Artists may enter as amateurs or professionals in many categories.

For more information, contact Heather Pilkinton at 785-272-6510 or hpilkinton@pmma.org.