It’s that time again. Tax preparation commercials promise massive tax refunds. At intersections across the country, dancing characters try to lure motorists into the neighborhood accounting shop. Meanwhile, millions of people across the country scramble to get all of their paperwork together in time. Tax season can be a time of excitement, as a person eagerly awaits the refund they hope will fund a big purchase. Or it can be immensely stressful, producing a large bill and potentially a pile of debt. No matter where you fall on this continuum, a little knowledge can help you keep as much of your own money as possible.
Blaring radio commercials, endless internet ads, and the panicked social media posts of friends are here to remind us that it’s tax season. Retirement doesn’t end the obligation to pay taxes, even if your loved one no longer earns an income from work. If a senior in your life struggles with home management, dementia, or tasks of daily living, they might need help preparing and filing their taxes. Here are answers to the most common questions about tax season.
For decades, most older adults have said they wanted to age in place, remaining in their homes for as long as possible. One AARP survey found that about 90 percent of seniors hope to stay at home as they age. According to a new study published in The Gerontologist, that trend may be changing. Researchers found a roughly equal preference for assisted living and for various aging in place options. This may be due in part to changing perceptions of senior living.
Aging isn’t a linear journey, and it’s different for everyone. Some people remain healthy until they take their last breath. Others follow a path of slow and steady decline, needing progressively more care as they age. For many, the journey is full of fits and starts. A senior may be mostly healthy, but suffer an injury or short-term illness that requires extra help until they get back on their feet. That’s where transitional care comes in.
There’s a dark side to healthy eating. It includes endless Sunday night meal preparation; scouring recipe books for something new; spending an hour at the grocery store only to get home and realize you forgot the key ingredient. And that’s not even taking into account the exhausting toll driving, shopping, and cooking can take. Even if you love cooking, chances are good you don’t love it all the time — especially if you’re the only one in your house whoever does it.
In Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives, author David Eagleman reminds us that there are three deaths, not one: “The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.” Our lives extend as far into the future as others’ memories of us. Leaving behind a legacy is important because it’s a way for seniors to know that some part of who they were will live on after they die. A legacy is a way to touch the future and to improve the lives of loved ones even long after one’s own death.
Aging is different for everyone, as every adult child of an aging parent learns. Some people find themselves suddenly thrown, unprepared, into the role of caregiver following a catastrophic diagnosis. Others slowly ease into a caregiving role over many years as an aging parent slowly, steadily, almost imperceptibly declines. And some never become caregivers at all, but worry about what the future might hold.
When you think about balance, you might envision the seemingly impossible contortions of a ballet dancer or the high-wire act of a tightrope walker. But balance is more than just a novelty. It’s a key skill you use in just about everything you do. Good balance can reduce your risk of falling and make it easier to walk, go up and down stairs, and perform simple daily tasks such as vacuuming and dusting.