Holland Column

Retirement & Financial Planning

Holland Financial

National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

I’d wager that many of my readers’ lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease – after all, there are over 5 million people who suffer from this affliction, nationwide. Though there is no cure at this time, it is important to know the signs. Early detection can provide the opportunity to begin treatment at the mildest stage of the disease, or, possibly, participate in the latest clinical drug trials. Early detection can also provide the time for an individual to make personalized decisions about future care. If you are experiencing any of the 10 symptoms listed below, please consider a visit to your family physician (source: alz.org):

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
  3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  4. Confusion with time or place
  5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
  7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  8. Decreased or poor judgment
  9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
  10. Changes in mood and personality
Of course, don’t panic if you occasionally misplace your keys or eyeglasses, or if you have trouble coming up with a word in conversation. A bout of “fuzzy memory” now and then is expected as we age. Alz.org provides much more information and a 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.


So, what does Alzheimer’s have to do with your finances? Everything. Please, don’t wait to get your legal house in order. Do you have a Will, Living Will, Health Care Surrogate, and Power of Attorney in place? According to Genworth’s 2017 Cost of Care Survey, Florida’s median cost for assisted living is approximately $3,100 a month, versus $7,908 for nursing home care (semi-private room). If you can afford long-term care insurance, discuss this option with your financial adviser (the earlier the better). Couples might also consider obtaining and holding a reverse mortgage line of credit to help pay for future nursing home expenses, should one of the spouses develop Alzheimer's or dementia. It’s just one of the possible “tools in the toolbox” when planning for your health and your wealth in retirement.


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