The Takeaway: Americans Are Misusing Reverse Mortgages, Says Consumer Agency

Reverse mortgages are not being used as Congress intended, according to a new report from the government watchdog agency Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Reverse mortgages were created to provide an income options for retirees. But these mortgages are increasingly being taken out by younger borrowers, which could decrease long-term retirement security. Borrowers also tend to take lump-sum payments that can be used up quickly.

Financial Makeovers … We All Could Use One

Are you a caregiver, like me, who thinks about everyone besides yourself? Could you use a day to feel pampered? I know how it is, running around with to-do lists. At 41, I’m already beginning to think about my future, but with my crazy schedule I hardly have time to think about where I’ll be in one year, let alone 10 years…. Thankfully, I know some great folks inside AARP that are helping to make my decisions easier. And now …

The Takeaway: Keeping Your Estate Up to Date

If you have children, you’ve probably thought about who would care for them should something happen to you. But have you thought of who might care for aging parents? Today’s society demands “new considerations” when it comes to estate planning, says the BMO Retirement Institute. The group’s new report, “Estate planning in the 21st century: New considerations in a changing society,” instructs Americans to review estate plans to factor in parents, pets and technology.

The Takeaway: Saving for Retirement? Why Not to Think Big Picture

When it comes to saving enough for retirement, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind, right? Wrong, say researchers from Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research; the href=”,0,1799363.story”>best strategy is to think in small, concrete steps.

Planning, Planning … Poof!

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of guest blogs by Lee Woodruff. As I said goodbye to my father in his assisted-living facility the other day, I left shaking my head in wonderment. How had we gotten to this place? My two sisters and I had been trading shifts, running back and forth between my parents for weeks now, toggling between the hard choices about my Dad’s sliding dementia and my mother’s tenuous health, which we hoped …

The Bag Lady in Me

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of guest blogs by Lee Woodruff. A recurring nightmare visits me in the middle of the hormonal sweat lodge that my bed becomes at 3:30 a.m. I’m toward the end of my life, crone-like and alone (always alone) with all of my possessions in a paper bag. My house and family are gone and I am living on the street. I once read somewhere that this phenomenon among middle-aged women is …