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What To Know about Retirement

Senior Services of Alexandria

There was a full house at the Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library for Senior Services of Alexandria’s recent speaker series event about “Planning for and Making the Most of your Retirement.”

There are many issues to consider and it can all be a bit overwhelming, but attendees walked away with valuable resources from a dynamic panel of local experts.

Janet Barnett, SSA’s executive director, welcomed over 60 seniors and reminded them of the importance of advanced planning and that education is key to enjoying a stress-free retirement. Nancy Van Gulick, CEO of Seniors Living Well, kicked off the panel discussion by addressing accessibility and downsizing. She offered simple tips, such as spending 10 minutes a day with a garbage bag throwing out things that you no longer need. She also recommended that when you are thinking about moving, list household items under categories, i.e., things to keep, toss, sell or donate. You want to make it easier on yourself by taking it one step at a time. For more information, visit www.seniorslivingwell.net.

Timing is key in determining when to retire and it is important to understand the benefits you can expect from Social Security. Erin Scheithe with AARP’s National Office on Education and Outreach talked about the resources that AARP has on-line including a retirement calculator at www.aarp.org/retirementcalculator. They also have developed a robust set of questions and answers on social security and its benefits at www.aarp.org/ssqa.

Medicare and Medicaid can be very complex to navigate and Cedar Dvorin from the Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (VICAP) is an expert in explaining in simple terms the various options and what you can expect when eligible to receive benefits. VICAP offers individual counseling sessions to educate seniors about Medicare/Medicaid benefits. Call VICAP at 703-228-1700 for more information.

The session ended with a lively discussion about financial planning by Tom West from Signature Estate and Investment Advisors, LLC. He emphasized that by having a personalized financial plan that fits your budget can help alleviate the fear of running out of money and of becoming less independent.

Speaker’s presentations are now available on SSA’s website at www.seniorservicesalex.org. Please save the date for SSA’s May 8 Speaker Series on the topic of “Long-term Care — What Everyone Needs to Know.” It is being held at Beth El Hebrew Congregation at 3830 Seminary Road in Alexandria. There will be experts from AARP, Adult Companion Care, Capital Caring, Mount Vernon Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and Signature Estate and Investment Advisors, LLC. They will share practical information about options for long-term care insurance, in-home caregiver support, residential facilities, financial realties, palliative care and hospice services.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. You can register online at www.seniorservicesalex.org or call 703-836-4414, ext. 10.