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Are You Eating Enough Vegetables a Day?

Published: August 1, 2017

Are You Eating Enough Vegetables a Day?

 – Only nine percent of Americans are meeting their daily recommended consumption of vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This May, National Salad Month, make an extra effort to get your greens and meet the 2016 USDA Dietary Guidelines, which recommend that you consume between two and three cups of vegetables per day.
While this may sound like an impossible feat, it’s easy enough to accomplish with one simple dish, a salad. Not only can you make a dent in your daily consumption of vegetables, but you can also work your way towards achieving some of the other USDA Dietary Guidelines recommendations.
Here’s how:
* Add meats such as steak or chicken and nuts such as pecans, walnuts and almonds to get a protein boost. It is recommended that an adult get anywhere from five to six-and-a-half ounces of lean and varied proteins per day.
* Add fruits such as oranges or strawberries to try and hit the two cups of recommended fruit serving per day.
* Crackers or quinoa can help you reach your allotment of three to four ounces of grains, half of which should be whole grains per day.
* A little cheese can go a long way in helping you to meet the three recommended cups of dairy per day.
* Salad dressings count towards the five to seven teaspoons of oils that you should be consuming each day and the oils in dressings, such as canola and soybean, help your body to absorb nutrients from vegetables.
Salads provide a healthy and easy avenue to gather several of the recommended nutrients. Here’s a simple recipe for Baby Greens with Roasted Pears, Feta and Walnuts to show you how easy it is to make a healthy and delicious salad.
All you need are pears, olive oil, baby greens, feta cheese, toasted walnuts, salt, pepper and your choice of salad dressings.
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and drizzle four pears, peeled, cored and cut into eighths, with one teaspoon of olive oil. Roast in the oven until the edges turn golden brown.
Once the pears have cooled, toss with eight cups of baby greens and your choice of salad dressings (champagne vinaigrette is one recommendation). Sprinkle half-a-cup of feta and half-a-cup of walnuts over the greens, and season with salt and pepper. Now you’re ready to start enjoying National Salad Month like a pro!
For more recipes and ideas, visit The Association for Dressings and Sauces at www.dressings-sauces.org.

Estate Plans: Your Not Doing Anyone a Favor by Avoiding the Subject

Published: August 1, 2017

Estate Plans: You’re Not Doing Anyone a Favor by Avoiding the Subject

 – Do your kids realize just how much money you’re really worth once all your assets are added up?
If they’re anything like the adult offspring surveyed for Fidelity Investments’ “Family & Finance Study,” the answer is a resounding — and rather scary — “no.” In fact, seven out of 10 of them underestimated their parents’ estate by an average of $278,000.
That’s right, by more than a quarter of a million dollars.
The reason that’s scary — and why it should be a wake-up call for even those with modest estates they hope to pass on to heirs — is simple: It illustrates a breakdown in communications that Kevin Ruth, head of Fidelity’s wealth planning and personal trust, says badly needs addressing through ‘frank conversations” between parents and their adult children.
“Even in the simplest of family situations, conversations that don’t occur frequently and in detail can result in fairly substantial family disagreements and disconnects,” says Ruth. “Establishing an estate plan is your best bet to ensure your loved ones are taken care of in your absence and that your wishes are carried out the way you want.”
In fact, according to the study, the two generations apparently can’t even agree on whether they’ve already had such detailed talks.
Seventy percent of parents surveyed believe they have; more than 50 percent of their children claim they haven’t.
So what are the benefits of an estate plan? Well, among other things, it allows you to:
* Preserve and maintain control over the transfer of your assets.
* Protect your family’s privacy and possibly avoid probate.
* Provide immediate access to liquidity.
* Choose how your beneficiaries will receive assets.
* Designate who’ll execute your wishes even if you’re just incapacitated.
Plus, for those who despise the thought of the government getting any more money than legally required, having a sound estate plan in place could help your heirs avoid needlessly paying certain Federal estate taxes (not to mention state estate and inheritance taxes, depending on local laws).
Ah, but you’re stuck on that $278,000 figure, right?
Actually, given how complicated today’s lives often are — what with stepchildren’s interests to protect, say, and family businesses to pass on — most people, and not just the very wealthy, could do with some solid estate planning. Heck, even distributions from IRAs and Roth IRAs can be tricky if the aim is to “stretch” payments out to beneficiaries, tax-deferred or tax-free, for as long as decades.
Attorneys and tax advisors can help you set up an estate plan, and online resources like Fidelity’s Estate Planning Overview provide a good idea of what’s involved. Fidelity customers also have access to its new Estate Planner to more thoroughly prepare and educate themselves for a meeting, right down to details like organizing documents and choosing lawyers.
As for why parents and their children may be reluctant to discuss the subject, Ruth has an explanation: “It’s human nature to avoid thinking about one’s own mortality.”

Frustrated Seniors Are Often Served meals They Dislike or Can't Tolerate

Published: August 1, 2017

Frustrated Seniors Are Often Served Meals They Dislike Or Can’t Tolerate

 – Anyone who has aging parents knows how frustrating it can be to get them to eat — never mind eat well.Experts say that the reason for this "fickleness," is lack of control over their food choices as they begin to lose their independence. In addition, as we age, our stomachs often become more sensitive to different types of food, such as onions, peppers, tomato sauce, dairy, and hot spices.For these reasons, many seniors end up feeling hungry or deprived because they are stuck eating meals without choosing foods they crave.Most seniors would much prefer to pick their own meals rather than having them dictated to or chosen for them. They want the flexibility to pick their entree of choice with the starch and vegetables they prefer, instead of being forced to eat items they dislike. Also, for good reason, they want the flexibility to eliminate items from their meals that they cannot tolerate or are allergic to.If these choices aren’t available, then it’s a good bet that you or your senior parents are frustrated with the food choices, and parents end up not eating or at the very least not eating well, which can affect both temperament and health.To that point, eating well is vital for everyone at all ages. Daily food choices affect how you look and feel, and give you the nutrients needed to keep your muscles, bones, and organs healthy. Good food choices also help keep up your energy levels. If, like many adult children, you aren’t close enough to cook a few meals for your aging family member or they’re finding it harder to cook the meals they like themselves, you’re relegated to ordering in, which is both unhealthy and expensive.You can solve this problem by turning to a service such as TopChefMeals.com which meets the needs of elderly parents and relatives. Unlike other services, all their meals are chef-prepared to order, and thus can be customized for diabetic, high protein, low carb, Paleo and other therapeutic needs.TopChefMeals.com is also a great option for single adults, empty nesters and people who are too busy to cook, but want healthy, familiar meals, in which they can choose every component, at an affordable price.Top Chef Meals are cooked to order and flash-frozen fresh. They are then delivered to customers in 1-3 days, depending on location, and are kept safe during transportation with dry ice. Any meal, once defrosted, needs to be baked for approximately 20 minutes. You can even use a microwave if you want to cheat. Most customers order bi-weekly because of lack of freezer space, even though meals can last up to four months frozen. The average meal is $7.50, much cheaper than even trying to cook at home. In addition, the company offers a 15 percent discount for everyone over 60, or those who are disabled or homebound.Top Chef Meals is the solution for seniors and for boomers with older parents who can’t regularly cook for themselves or get to a grocery store. Orders can be placed online, via email or over the phone, making it convenient for your parents, or for you, no matter where you’re located.All of the meals are handmade, home-style dishes, prepared one plate at a time with both care and safety.Have questions? Helpful service is available at 800-616-8044 or go to www.topchefmeals.com to see the enormous selection.– by Stephen Zadrick, an associate member of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association. 

Reverse Mortgages Can Be A Valuable Retirement Tool

Published: August 1, 2017

Reverse Mortgages Can Be a Valuable Retirement Tool

– This article is a advertisement. The content was provided by One Reverse Mortgage.
Today’s reverse mortgage has more uses than you may realize. In fact, many financial advisors are now recommending this loan to their older clients. Why?
A reverse mortgage allows you to access a portion of your home equity and use the funds to pay off your current mortgage.* Any remaining money can be used for anything. The program has a variety of products to meet specific goals.
The fixed rate loan allows you to receive a lump sum or monthly distributions. The purchase loan product allows you to purchase a home without a required monthly mortgage payment as long as you live there.* However, according to One Reverse Mortgage, a leading lender in the reverse mortgage industry since 2007, the most popular and beneficial loan option is the line of credit, which has the potential to grow in value over time.
It’s a fact that people today are living longer; and studies show that many are not financially prepared for retirement. According to an article from Time Magazine, one in three Americans does not have any money saved for retirement.**
The reverse mortgage line of credit addresses these concerns. It isn’t just for people who have an immediate need. It is even more beneficial as a retirement tool because the line of credit product can actually extend the life of your retirement savings and give you access to more money later. Another smart way to utilize it is to live off the proceeds to delay using other benefits to give them time to increase in value. The greatest feature of the reverse mortgage line of credit is that the available funds increase in value over time when left untouched. It can be a perfect safety net for future expenses – both planned and unexpected.
The mission of One Reverse Mortgage is to educate people about this program and how it can be best used in retirement. The experts at One Reverse Mortgage are licensed professionals and the company operates nationwide. It also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
For more information, visit www.onereversemortgage.com
* Homeowner is still responsible for taxes, insurance and property maintenance.
**Kirkham, Elyssa. “1 in 3 Americans Has Saved $0 for Retirement.” Time Magazine. 14 March 2016. http://time.com/money/4258451/retirement-savings-survey
Equal Housing Lender. Listed in all 50 states. One Reverse Mortgage NMLS #2052
These materials are not from HUD or FHA and were not approved by HUD or a government agency.

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