F INANCIAL F O R U M
How Creating a Plan Can Make ‘Parenting Your Parents’ Much Easier CARING FOR MOM AND DAD
One of the greatest joys of my career is seeing clients hit life’s various milestones. There’s the excitement of purchasing their first house or saving for their kids’college educations. Sometimes, we manage the dread of unexpected obstacles, or we celebrate when they first become grandparents. We grow together each year, and the latest trend I’m helping clients with is guiding them through the process of parenting their parents. I’m currently earningmy certification for long-term care (CLTC), which will allowme to better serve clients and those searching for better living alternatives for their parents. During these courses, I’ve been engrossed in the various options and costs that come withmaking these decisions, and I already feel better prepared to help clients create tangible plans to service their needs and their parents’needs. With the population of elder communities growing, many adults are finding themselves in the unique role-reversal of having to care for their parents. (Check out“ParentingYour Parents”by Bart J. Mindszenthy and Michael Gordon if you are in search of a good book on this topic.) And what I’m learning throughout this certification training is that many parents and children have unclear expectations of what this new relationship will look like. Some children think their parents are invincible, so they shy away from the responsibility of caring for their parents. Others step in too far and take toomuch control. Meanwhile, their parents believe that the children would have no problem picking up their lives and stepping into the caregiver role, even when they are caring for families of their own. Believe it or not, you can find a middle ground by creating a plan together, and a perfect example of this is our experience withmy mother-in-law, Joanne. Years ago, she andmy father-in-lawmoved fromWestfield, New Jersey, to a cottage home in a continuing care community near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They created their own life with this tiny community in their golden years, but, in 2015, my father-in-law passed away. Suddenly, the support system Joanne had always leaned on was gone. Joanne is a strong woman, and she tried tomanage it, but, as she was aging, the need for care became toomuch. My wife, Becky, and I urged her tomove closer to family or into a facility that might be better suited for her. But this condo was Joanne’s home, and she felt strongly about staying where she and her husband sharedmany
memories. Shortly after, Joanne underwent numerous surgeries and fell a few times. We joke that she even got on a first-name basis with the ambulance driver, but, humor aside, this helped sway her decision to look for a home withmore care options.
Ultimately, we found an assisted living facility close to Becky andme, but there were challenges onmoving day. Still, the entire process took us three days, as Joanne struggled with downsizing. However, we have a great, patient teamof nurses and aids helping Joanne. Despite some hesitancy, today Joanne is doing well and will turn 91 this month. A major blessing and contributing factor to her success is that a portion of her bills are paid for by long-term care insurance, whichmeans she can focus more on her own well-being, rather than paying bills. We also truly believe that her friend in this facility, Ursula, has been her guardian angel. Throughout the process, we did receive some kickback from Joanne about moving, but I’mproud of the way we worked together. She knew it was time, but transitions like these are oftenmet withmany emotions. Caring for your parents is awkward and unfamiliar, but it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Inmy personal and professional experience, a plan won’t ease all your fears and worries, but it will make this transitionmuch easier. For Joanne, having our support and the backing of long-term care insurance made the transition easier. We can research plans and discuss long-term care protection tomake this process easier for you and your loved ones, too. Parenting your parents doesn’t have to be an awkward struggle, and, in the end, it’s worth it. —Brian Irving
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STORING YOUR SUMMER GEAR
Preparing for Next Year
For the past 10 years, Marvel movies have delighted families and comic book nerds alike with their memorable characters, incredible action scenes, and sprawling, interconnected storylines. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the story of the Avengers so far, told through 23 movies. Even though this year marked the end of a massive arc that Marvel Studios dubbed “The Infinity Saga,” there are still more movies coming out that will feature everyone’s favorite heroes. Here are a few films coming up next in the MCU. International assassin Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, was the first female member of the Avengers and made her debut appearance in “Iron Man 2.” She never got her own movie, but Marvel announced recently that a Black Widow movie is officially in the works for the next phase of Marvel movies. Besides the fact that they’ve started filming, there’s not much information about it yet. But for many excited fans, this movie has been a long time coming. WHAT’S NEXT FOR MARVEL MOVIES? 3 Marvel Movies to Watch Out For A BLACKWIDOW SOLO MOVIE
Although winter seems like a distant prospect, it will be here before you know it. While many people are sad to see their summer clothes and gadgets get stored away until next season, it’s a good idea to start planning now. Taking the time to properly pack away summer gear is beneficial and can save you from unneeded worry next year.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO STORE SUMMER GEAR
Properly organizing and storing your summer clothes will help them last longer and prevent you from aimlessly rummaging when searching for that perfect fall sweater or blouse. Likewise, when you cover your patio furniture and tuck your bicycle and tools away, they are less likely to be damaged by animals or any harsh winter weather.
STORING SUMMER ATTIRE
Consider purchasing plastic storage tubs or boxes to put your clothes in. If you’re storing dresses, skirts, or any fancy clothing, plastic or nylon garment bags will help prevent them from getting dirty and wrinkly.
Before you start piling your clothes in, be sure to wash and completely dry them. This helps prevent mold or mildew and keeps your clothes looking new when it’s time to take them out again.
Also, it can be a good idea to place cedar sachets in with your clothes and around the neck of your hangers; the wood will keep away pesky insects without leaving bad smells behind.
‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3’
Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, and the gang are all back in the third installment of this smash-hit franchise. Without getting into too much detail, “Avengers: Endgame” and the post-credits scene of the second “Guardians”movie provided some clues about the plot and possible main villain. Though details are slim, “Vol. 3” is sure to be another rollicking ride through the cosmos.
STORING YOUR SUMMER GADGETS
‘BLACK PANTHER 2’
Outdoor items are more likely to get damaged as they endure the elements. When you’re storing rakes, shovels, or any other garden tools, make sure they’re
“Black Panther”was immensely popular (it earned nearly $700 million domestically), and its success removed all doubt that there would be a sequel. Audiences will journey back to Wakanda and see the newest adventures of King T’Challa and crew, although not much is known about the plot or the release date as of now. But you can rest assured that the creative minds behind the sequel are taking their time to make it as good as the first. The future storyline of the MCU is up in the air, but, if the previous movies are any indicator, families, fans, and audiences everywhere have a lot to look forward to.
washed, dried, and sharpened before putting them into your shed or garage. Patios should be cleaned off and given a fresh coat of wax, and outdoor furniture should be dusted, cleaned, and covered to keep the frost,
snow, and rain off.
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AMERICA’S WEIRDEST AIRBNBS This Ain’t Motel 6!
DOG BARK PARK INN B&B Cottonwood, Idaho
When Airbnb was founded a little over a decade ago, the developers hoped to provide an alternative to traditional travel accommodations. Today, with annual revenue in the billions, the service is an industry unto itself. While most people use Airbnb to “live like a local”while traveling, you can find some truly wacky lodging options if you spend some time searching the platform. Here are just a few of the many contenders for the title of “Weirdest Airbnb in the U.S.” For ease of searching, the listings here have the same titles as they do on Airbnb.
As you approach the Dog Bark Park Inn, you won’t have to guess if you’re in the right place. After all, how many buildings are shaped like beagles? When describing the space on Airbnb, the hosts make no bones about who this rental is aimed for.
BRAND NEW STUDIO EARTHSHIP Taos, New Mexico
Earthships, houses run by clean energy and featuring reused materials, are a fixture of the Taos area. This one, which looks almost like a crashing wave with a living space in its undertow, combines the rustic charm of truly getting away from it all with modern amenities like Wi-Fi and in-home laundry. It’s a truly unique living space surrounded by pristine nature and not far from the historic Taos Pueblo.
MANCAVE APARTMENT/AIRPLANE HANGAR Geneva, Florida
“Stay in a giant dog!” they say. In addition to being inside a massive wooden dog, you’ll find canine-themed games, books, and more. Talk about ruffing it.
Airbnb super hosts Dan and Deborah have no shortage of quirky properties for rent — including yurts and treehouses — but their apartment fashioned out of an airplane hangar surely takes the cake. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a theme restaurant featuring eclectic aviation. Memorabilia lines the walls with a bar front and center, and the bed is in a loft high above the ground.
ROASTED CORN SALSA
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by Bon Appétit
2 medium ears of corn, shucked
1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, sliced
1/2 red onion, diced
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt, to taste
1. Heat a cast-iron skillet to high. Char corn, turning occasionally, for 10–14 minutes until kernels begin to blacken in spots. 2. Using a sharp knife, remove corn kernels from cobs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. 3. With a wooden spoon or potato masher, gently crush corn to release starch and juices. 4. Add jalapeño, onion, tomato, and cilantro. Mix to combine. 5. Top with lime juice and season with salt. 6. Serve alongside your favorite tortilla chips.
Solution on Page 4
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Planning for Long-Term Care
The Next Phase of Marvel Movies Preparing Your Gear for Winter
Not Your Average Vacation Lodgings Roasted Corn Salsa
The Art of Stargazing
THE ART OF STARGAZING
Helping Humans Slow Down and Look Up
1. The Higher, the Better If you’re a city dweller, meander a little way out of town or try to find a tall building to keep the light pollution to a minimum.
Modern humans are stuck in a routine of expected and constant industriousness. But with all this rushing, people often drag
2. Extra Set of EyesWhile novice stargazers often want to immediately throw their money at a new telescope, astronomy experts recommend starting with binoculars instead. You’ll need to identify several anchor planets or constellations to help you navigate the sky before using a telescope. 3. Utilize Assets Put your phone to good use by downloading apps like Stellarium, Starwalk, and Google Sky Map. Each of these apps offers a unique benefit for aspiring stargazers. For example, Starwalk lets you point your phone at the sky to see stars, constellations, and planets in real time based on your location. 4. Mark Your Calendar In 1972, beloved singer-songwriter John Denver wrote about a meteor shower he witnessed during a camping trip in Colorado. He describes the scene by singing, “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”The “fire” he recounted was actually the Perseids meteor shower, the most recognized shower on Earth. This astrological wonder takes place every year from July 17 to Aug. 24. During this time, viewers should be able to see shooting stars associated with the Perseids, but the shower reaches its maximum rate of activity on Aug. 12–13 this year. Grab some friends and family, and head outdoors to put your newfound stargazing knowledge to work.
themselves home at night with no energy left to enjoy the most splendid show nature has to offer: the wondrous night sky. Most people go through life looking straight ahead, but if they would stop and peer skyward, they’d bear witness to a massive, unexplored frontier made up of the moon in all
its phases, burning stars sailing through the sky, constellations with epic origin stories, and meteor showers bright enough to warrant
sunglasses. If you’re looking for a hobby to help you slow down and appreciate the world around you, stargazing is a great option. Here are some tips to get you started.
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