Weekly Update 4/8/13 Working and the Bitter End (Powell)

For this week’s Update, I would like to submit some advice on two unrelated topics from an integral member of the HealthView team, Bob Powell. Bob has more than 20 years of financial services and media experience and his work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, MarketWatch, and Your Money. He will be contributing periodically to the Weekly Update.

Working in retirement

If you are looking for some sound advice on how to stay employed or get re-employed in your later years, consider reading Andrea Coombes’ Working Retirement column, which appears weekly on MarketWatch.com.

In a recent commentary, Coombes explained how older Americans can utilize LinkedIn when searching for a job. Her top-line recommendations: post a photo; make your headline sing (it’s the first line under your name); fix your summary; complete your profile; make it personal; check out the competition; join groups; and follow companies. Read “Boomers: Make the most of LinkedIn job search.

In another column, Coombes outlined how older Americans can perfect their résumé. Her top-line recommendations: keep it timely; keep it focused; tell a story; make sure your contact information is up to date; tailor the format to the situation; stick to a simple format, and adjust your attitude.

Read “7 tips for the perfect boomer résumé.”

Speaking of working in retirement, 63% of baby boomers who responded to a recent survey from Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) say the most important aspect of job satisfaction is the opportunity to use skills and abilities. The other desired elements are job security (61%), compensation/pay (60%), communication between employees and senior management (59%), and the organization’s financial stability (56%).

Read SHRM’s 2012 employee job satisfaction and engagement: How employees are dealing with uncertainty survey.

By the way, if you’re looking for fun and useful facts about aging and work, check out the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, which promotes quality of employment as an imperative for the 21st Century multi-generational workforce.

The Bitter (and Costly) End?

Some 10% of all healthcare dollars ($270 billion) are spent in the last year of life. According to a recent report on MarketPlace, much of that can be attributed to what some refer to as “the high cost of saying goodbye,” when those final days require costly decisions, and emotion can easily overrun practicality.

In the years to come, it’s likely that more and more of us will face the question: which is more important — our quantity of life or our quality of life—and at what price?

Given that, many experts recommend creating an advance directive, a legal document that allows you to convey your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. The advance directive provides a way for you to clearly communicate your last wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals.

In a recent issue of Retirement Weekly, David Doukas, M.D., a professor at the University of Louisville, suggested that every adult person of sound mind should consider having an advance directive—either a living will or a durable power of attorney for healthcare (or preferably both)—in order to lay out their values and preferences for future care when individuals are no longer capable of making decisions for themselves.[1]

According Doukas, living will and durable power-of-attorney forms are freely available through the state Attorney General’s office, your doctor’s office, your local hospital, or online. (Doukas created a free web page with Links to Advance Directive Forms. If links are broken on this page, it’s is due to changes in state web sites since 2007.) Another great resource is a book Doukas co-wrote with William Reichel, titled Planning for Uncertainty: A Guide to Living Wills and Other Advance Directives for Health Care (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007). In the days of retirement uncertainty, it is certainly a worthwhile read.

Ron Mastrogiovanni
HealthView Services, Inc.
150A Andover Street
Danvers, MA 01923
mobile: 617-875-9313
fax: 978-561-1857


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