Kick Off Healthy Aging Month With These Six Important Tips

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Whitsyms In-Home Care - Sarasota

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Feb 07, 2022

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Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties

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Staying healthy at any age is essential, but as we get older, health and wellness take on a whole new importance. People are living longer and the senior population is growing larger each year. As older loved ones age, their minds and bodies go through some changes, and having a healthy lifestyle makes them better prepared for the changes ahead.
September is Healthy Aging Month, and it's the perfect time to focus on lifestyle habits that can benefit the older adults in your life. American, Advocate and Whitsyms In-Home Care offer the following simple tips for older adults that can help them stay healthy and well as they age.

Eat, drink and be healthy! A balanced diet is essential for good health at any age. Making healthy food choices, like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, can have numerous health benefits. It is also important for seniors to drink plenty of water and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
Get moving.Getting regular exercise helps prevent, delay, and manage chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. Exercise can also improve brain health as well as balance and flexibility, which are essential for preventing falls in older adults. Seniors should aim for moderate physical activity, such as walking, 22-30 minutes each day and strength building exercises at least twice a week.
Quit Smoking.If your senior loved one is a smoker, one of the best things they can do for their long-term health is to quit. Giving up tobacco can lower a persons risk of several types of cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and stroke.
Keep up with check-ups. Doctors visits aren't just for when a senior is feeling sick. Visiting the doctor for regular check-ups can help prevent illness or identify it early so it can be treated. Doctor visits are also a great time to review medications and any side effects that a senior might be experiencing.
Know the seniors family health history. Many illnesses can be hereditary, so it is important to know and share family health history with your seniors doctor. This helps them take steps to prevent diseases or catch them early.
Be aware of changes in cognitive health.As a person ages, changes in the brain, such as mild forgetfulness or slower reaction times, are normal. However, bigger changes in brain health, like struggling to do common tasks, confusion in or trouble navigating well-known areas, or rapidly forgetting people or events can be signs of serious cognitive decline related to dementia or Alzheimers disease. If you are concerned about a senior loved ones memory or cognitive health, talk to their health care provider.

Its never too late to start improving your health. Following these tips can help senior loved ones stay healthy as they age. Partnering within-home senior care experts, like those at American, Advocate, and Whitsyms In-Home Care, can also help seniors better manage their health. The professional care providers we refer can assist with things like meal preparation and diet monitoring, medication assistance ,diabetic care, transportation to doctors appointments, monitoring for health changes, and more.

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Time for tax-loss harvesting?

As you know, the gig economy has been booming over the past several years. If youre thinking of using your skills to take on a side gig, what should you do with the money youll make?Theres no one right answer for everyone, and the decisions you make should be based on your individual situation. And of course, you may simply need the extra income to support your lifestyle and pay the bills. But if you already have your cash flow in good shape, and you have some freedom with your gig money, consider these suggestions: Contribute more to your IRA. If you couldnt afford to contribute the maximum amount to your IRA, you may find it easier to do so when you have additional money coming in from a side gig. For the 2023 tax year, you can put in up to $6,500 to a traditional or Roth IRA, or $7,500 if youre 50 or older. (Starting in 2024, this extra $1,000 catch-up contribution amount may be indexed for inflation.) The amount you can contribute to a Roth IRA is reduced, and eventually eliminated, at certain income levels. Look for new investment opportunities. If youre already maxing out your IRA, you might be able to find other investment possibilities for your side gig money. For example, if you have young children, perhaps you could use some of the money to invest in a 529 education savings plan. A 529 plan offers potential tax advantages and can be used for college, qualified trade school programs, and possibly some K-12 expenses. Please keep in mind that potential tax advantages will vary from state to state. Build an emergency fund. Life is full of unexpected events and some can be quite expensive. What if you needed a major car repair or required a medical procedure that wasnt totally covered by your health insurance? Would you have the cash available to pay these bills? If not, would you be forced to dip into your IRA or 401(k)? This might not be a good move, as it could incur taxes and penalties, and deprive you of resources you might eventually need for retirement. Thats why you might want to use your gig earnings to help fund an emergency fund containing several months worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account. To avoid being tempted to dip into your emergency fund, you may want to keep it separate from your daily spending accounts.   Pay down debts. Most of us will always carry some debts, but we can usually find ways to include the bigger ones mortgage, car payments and so on into our monthly budgets. Its often the smaller debt payments, frequently associated with high-interest-rate credit cards, that cause us the most trouble, in terms of affecting our cash flow. If you can use some of your side gig money to pay down these types of debts, you could possibly ease some of the financial stress you might be feeling. And instead of directing money to pay for things you purchased in the past, you could use the funds to invest for your future.As weve seen, your side gig money could open several promising windows of opportunity so take a look through all of them. Chad Choate III, AAMS828 3rd Avenue WestBradenton, FL  34205941-462-2445chad.chaote@edwardjones.com This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Time for tax-loss harvesting?

Its been a bumpy year for the financial markets which means that some of your investments may have underperformed or lost value. Can you use these losses to your advantage?Its possible. If you have some investments that have lost value, you could sell them to offset taxable capital gains from other investments. If your losses exceed gains for the year, you could use the remaining losses to offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income. And any amount over $3,000 can be carried forward to offset gains in future years. This tax-loss harvesting can be advantageous if you plan to sell investments that youve held in taxable accounts for years and that have grown significantly in value. And you might receive some gains even if you take no action yourself. For example, when you own mutual funds, the fund manager can decide to sell stocks or other investments within the funds portfolio and then pay you a portion of the proceeds. These payments, known as capital gains distributions, are taxable to you whether you take them as cash or reinvest them back into the fund. Still, despite the possible tax benefits of selling investments whose price has fallen, you need to consider carefully whether such a move is in your best interest. If an investment has a clear place in your holdings, and it offers good business fundamentals and favorable prospects, you might not want to sell it just because its value has dropped. On the other hand, if the investments youre thinking of selling are quite similar to others you own, it might make sense to sell, take the tax loss and then use the proceeds of the sale to purchase new investments that can help fill any gaps in your portfolio. If you do sell an investment and reinvest the funds, youll want to be sure your new investment is different in nature from the one you sold. Otherwise, you could risk triggering the wash sale rule, which states that if you sell an investment at a loss and buy the same or a substantially identical investment within 30 days before or after the sale, the loss is generally disallowed for income tax purposes.Heres one more point to keep in mind about tax-loss harvesting: Youll need to take into account just how long youve held the investments youre considering selling. Thats because long-term losses are first applied against long-term gains, while short-term losses are first applied against short-term gains. (Long-term is defined as more than a year; short-term is one year or less.) If you have excess losses in one category, you can then apply them to gains of either type. Long-term capital gains are taxed at 0%, 15% or 20%, depending on your income, while short-term gains are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. So, from a tax perspective, taking short-term losses could provide greater benefits if your tax rate is higher than the highest capital gains rate.Youll want to contact your tax advisor to determine whether tax-loss harvesting is appropriate for your situation  and youll need to do it soon because the deadline is Dec. 31. But whether you pursue this technique this year or not, you may want to keep it in mind for the future because youll always have investment tax issues to consider.   Chad Choate III, AAMS828 3rd Avenue WestBradenton, FL  34205941-462-2445chad.chaote@edwardjones.com  This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Do your investments match your goals?

As you go through life, youll have various financial goals and to achieve them, youll need to invest. But just recognizing the need to invest is not as useful as matching specific types of accounts or investments with specific goals. How can you make these connections?Lets look at some common goals and how they could possibly be met with appropriate accounts and investments: Saving for a down payment on a house  When youre saving for a down payment, you want a certain amount of money available at a certain time so, for this goal, you wont want to take too much risk. Consequently, you might consider investing in certificates of deposit (CDs), which will pay you regular interest payments and return your principal when the CDs mature. CDs are issued in a range of maturities, from one month to 10 years. Other vehicles you might consider are money market accounts or other cash equivalents.   Saving for a childs education  If you have children, and youd like to help them pay for some form of higher education, you may want to consider a 529 education savings plan. Any earnings growth in a 529 plan is federally tax free, provided the withdrawals are used for qualified education expenses, and you may also receive state tax benefits. A 529 plan can be used for college, approved trade school programs, student loan repayments and some K-12 costs. And if the child youve named as a beneficiary chooses not to continue their education, and doesnt need the money in a 529 plan, you can generally switch beneficiaries to another immediate family member.  Saving for retirement  This is the one goal that will remain consistent throughout your working years  after all, you could spend two or even three decades in retirement, so youll need to accumulate as many financial resources as you can to pay for those years. Fortunately, you likely have access to several good retirement-savings vehicles. If you work for a business, you might have a 401(k) plan, which offers you the chance to put away money on a tax-deferred basis. (If you have a Roth option in your 401(k), your withdrawals can be tax free, although, unlike a traditional 401(k), your contributions wont lower your taxable income.) If you work for a public school or a nonprofit organization, you may be able to participate in a 403(b) plan, which is quite similar to a 401(k), and the same is true if you work for a state or local government, where you might have a 457(b) plan. And even if you invest in any of these plans, you can probably also contribute to an IRA, which gives you another chance to invest on a tax-deferred basis (or tax-free basis, if youre eligible for a Roth IRA). Try to take full advantage of whatever retirement plans are available to you.Here's one final point to keep in mind: While some investments and accounts are appropriate for certain goals, they may not necessarily be suitable for your individual situation  so keep all your options in mind and take the steps that are right for you.  Chad Choate III, AAMS828 3rd Avenue WestBradenton, FL  34205941-462-2445chad.chaote@edwardjones.com This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC 

Local Services By This Author

Whitsyms In-Home Care - Sarasota

Home Health 677 North Washington Boulevard, Sarasota, Florida, 34236

Since 1992 Whitsyms In-Home Care has helped clients live at home by matching them with the best referred Care Providers for their situation, we guarantee it. Services can include Companion Care, Personal Care, Live-in Care, Alzheimers Care, Respite Care, and Assistance with Daily Activities. Visit our web site for a Free Consultation with a local Care Liaison.

Whitsyms In-Home Care - Sarasota

Non-Medical 677 North Washington Boulevard, Sarasota, Florida, 34236

Since 1992 Whitsyms In-Home Care has helped clients live at home by matching them with the best referred Care Providers for their situation, we guarantee it. Services can include Companion Care, Personal Care, Live-in Care, Alzheimers Care, Respite Care, and Assistance with Daily Activities. Visit our web site for a Free Consultation with a local Care Liaison.