Thursday, May 24, 2012

Senior sites bring needed advice

internetIf there is a silver lining to this complex senior world, the Internet would be it.

By offering information, advice, community connections and so much more at all hours of the day, it can be a lifeline for baby boomers as they navigate the second half of life.

Sometimes it’s hard to find what you need on the Internet. Search engines are great, but if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for they may not be much help.

Here are two new sites offering valuable tools for boomers as they plan their future.

Home equity advice

For most of us, our home is the biggest purchase we will make in our lifetime. It is undeniably one of our largest investments.

Of late, many boomers and seniors are making decisions about what to do with their homes during times of high stress or financial hardship. These situations can be complicated and scary, and it can be difficult to obtain impartial advice that is customized to our life situation.

Sponsored by the nonprofit National Council on Aging, www.homeequityadvisor.org offers homeowners information, tools and advice on uses for their home’s equity, customized to their circumstances.

Do you want your house to be a retirement resource? Is it the best place for you as you get older? How can you protect your home equity and when should you tap into it?

The site provides visitors with an opportunity to review their personal situation and explore solutions.

I love a key feature of the site—the Quick Check. Visitors answer 14 questions to identify financial and life factors that can influence the decisions they make about their homes.

Click on the green question marks and the quiz gives you a peek into factors that may affect your decision on how to access your home equity and whether to tap into the equity in your later years.

Learning how to make your largest investment work best is a key strategy of life and financial planning.

This site brings us closer to making good decisions that fit our pocketbook and lifestyle.

Smart strategies for life after 50

Are you a boomer and a PBS viewer? Boomers are a big part of the PBS primetime audience but not one that PBS necessarily paid much attention to, until now.

Looking to connect with boomers via the Web, PBS recently launched www.NextAvenue.org.

The online magazine provides how-to advice on, for example, remaining healthy, preparing for financial security and figuring out what kind of lives we want.

The site features videos from public television. A recent video post features veteran stage actor Ben Vereen, who talks about dealing with his diabetes while staying active.

Other videos cover launching a consulting business and when to take your government pension.

The video library enables PBS to distribute important information to a new and larger audience.

Next Avenue is also an online community.

Boomers can join discussion groups and share their thoughts on topics such as the biggest fear they have overcome. Some of the recent postings include starting a new venture (posted by the CEO of NextAvenue), getting fired and being alone. Seeing how others have overcome fears can be inspiring for those in the same situation.

Aging today may be more complex than in earlier generations, but we boomers are fortunate to have an online collection of resources available at our fingertips to help guide us in our journey.


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Tags: National Council on Aging,Home Equity Advisor,NextAveneu.org,PBS,internet resources for boomers
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Andrea GallagherAndrea Gallagher

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