Take Care of that IRA Rollover – Quick!
February 28, 2012
Financial institutions mess up the details all the time (no, I’m not talking about when they invest in derivatives, destroy the company, ask the rest of us to bail them out, and then pay their CEOs record salaries). I’m talking about the simple stuff. When you decide to move your retirement funds to a new institution, you have sixty days to “roll over” the money to a new IRA.
Start the rollover process right away! The IRS gives you sixty days, regardless of any blunders by the financial institution. By starting the process immediately, you give yourself some wiggle room to fix any problems and complete the rollover before the sixty days are up.
Have an Advanced Directive? Put it into Language that Doctors Understand
February 21, 2012
If you have an advance directive (in my office, that’s the Your Way workbook), and if you have a terminal or very serious illness, take your advance directive one step further and have your doctor convert it into “doctor’s orders.” If you have been in a hospital, then you know that all care is administered pursuant to doctor’s orders. Frequencies and dosages of medications? Check the doctor’s orders. Which therapies and when? Check the doctor’s orders. Type of diet? Check the doctor’s orders.
Ask your doctor to take your advance directive and convert it into doctor’s orders. That way, in an emergency, hospital staff will look in the chart and immediately see your directives, written in a format that they are used to.
Get the Right Diagnosis from a Neuropsychiatrist
February 14, 2012
We always hear the terms “dementia” or “Alzheimer’s”, but the fact is that there are many different types of dementias, each taking their own course over the lifetime, and each benefitting from different treatments.
If your loved one is confused or forgetful, etc., it is critical that you work with a neuropsychiatrist to nail down as best as you can the exact diagnosis. There are three major benefits to investing the time in finding a diagnosis:
1. You as a caregiver can learn how to modify your behavior to have the most positive interactions with your loved one;
2. You will know what to expect down the line; and
3. The doctor can prescribe the correct medications.
Typically the neuropsych will order an MRI. It takes time to come up with the right diagnosis, but the investment is well worth it.
Get Input from Your Doctor to Develop Your Advance Directive
February 10, 2012
I give the “Your Way” workbook to every client who signs a Health Care Proxy. This workbook allows you to spell out to your family what your end-of-life wishes are.
If you have a serious or terminal illness, complete the Your Way workbook in pencil, and then go over it with your doctor or nurse practitioner. They should be able to help you outline wishes based on what they know may lie in your future as your illness progresses.
Have a hard time getting an appointment with your doctor? Or don’t think he gives you the time you need? There’s an alternative. I work with a wonderful geriatric nurse who can sit down with you, discuss what to expect down the road from your illness and what the medical choices will be at various turns in the road. If you would like to meet with her for a private session, so that she can help you articulate educated, thoughtful end-of-life wishes, please call me.