Monthly Archives: August 2015

Insights into caring for our Aging Population

Who will Care for our Aging loved ones in our new Society

The fact that we are all living much longer is no secret. With our extended longer life come new challenges. In years past, when lifestyles were less complicated, family units were more defined, and marriages and families with children dominated the landscape. Caring for our aging loved ones was easier with more defined roles by spouses and children.

Times have certainly changed. Studies indicate that people over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care help. Genworth, a leading US company that studies our aging population says that 66% of people over 65 will need extra care. In fact, they say that 70% of this age group will need some form of long-term care for at least three years. It the past, most aging loved ones relied on a family member, a spouse or a partner for help. But what happens today with family and demographic changes, when an individual has none of the above? Who can they count on for help in an emergency or when they get sick?

This is part of a continuing series of articles and tips into elder care and how to address topics such as downsizing, estate sale, content removal, home clean-out, property sale, moving and other real estate transition insights by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com). Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Many aging Americans who have children don’t want to be a burden to them, but at least they are lucky enough to have a choice. They may not want to, but older adults rely on family caregivers most of their help. Today, there are over 43 million family members providing some form of elder care for a person 50+ years of age.  The 2010 U.S. Census reported that 11 million people over the age of 65 live alone, and that number will likely increase. Even more alarming is that 11.6% of women (ages 80 to 84) are childless, so who will care for them?

Today, society has a totally different view of people without children verses 25 years ago. Many of today’s adults no longer believe that those without children lead empty lives. Recent surveys found that children are less significant to a thriving marriage. In 2007, a Pew Research survey unveiled 41% of adults said that having children was crucial for a successful marriage. This is a huge decline from 65% who said so in 1990.

Since the supply of family caregivers diminish as families get smaller or without children, it’s important to get organized around ones long-term care preferences.

PPM Insights into Elder Care  

We are Personal Property Managers, often work within the Senior Community and with Adult Care Givers. We specialize in senior transition services, helping our elderly loved ones transition from their home of many years into senior care communities or to move in with caregivers or other family members. We have learned that there are significant facts about aging care that every person should know. First, what we have learned is that it’s more expensive than you think. And most of the costs of long-term care come out of your pocket. To help you plan for senior care later on, you should understand the details about the services that are and are not covered.

  1. Medicare (controlled by each state) does not pay for long-term custodial care services. This is the kind that help you with everyday activities of living needs. Medicare only pays for the medically necessary care like acute medical care, doctor visits, drugs, and a hospital stay.
  2. Medicaid is a combined program offered by the federal and state governments. It helps individuals living with low income and assets, and it pays for some of the health care expenses. Medicaid has stringent regulations on who are eligible for the benefits and the services covered.
  3. Paying for long-term care out-of-pocket is your option if you have enough money and savings.
  4. Health insurance covers the restricted and particular types of long-term care. Disability insurance replaces income and does not include long-term care services and supports.
  5. Long-term care insurance pays for long-term supports and services. But before you buy a policy, know the daily amount it will pay to assist you with the activities of daily living requirements.

While we are certainly not insurance agents or elder care attorneys, we do, a large portion of our business assisting adult caregivers in the transition of their elderly loved ones from their home of many years into a senior care communities via our home downsizing, cleanouts, estate sales, and full service discount real estate services. We would like to share with you some tips that we have learned along the way that may help you in your long term care plan. They are:

  • Draw up legal documents: a will, a living will, a healthcare proxy and a power of attorney.
  • Share a home with like-minded friends and siblings. Create a “share the care” approach that serves each resident equally. Draw up legal papers outlining each person’s responsibilities; one that makes each party accountable.
  • Live nearby mass transportation if you don’t drive.
  • Choose a walk-able neighborhood.
  • Find a trustworthy person or family you can depend on for support and care. Work out a payment strategy and put it in writing. Get legal advice prior to implementing a plan. An elder law attorney can steer you in the right direction.
  • Hire a chronic care advocate if you live with a prolonged medical condition, preferably an attorney specializing in elder law.
  • Make friends with the supportive type.
  • Eat fresh, healthy foods.
  • Stay fit.
  • Keep your brain sharp by getting involved.
  • Volunteer and help those in need.
  • Take up hobbies that fulfill your curiosity.

We hope these insights into elder care were of some help to you. For more information on how we can assist you with home downsizing and discount real estate services, please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com  or call us at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909.  Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We also offer full service real estate services via our association with Every Home Realty and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, to help sell homes with proceeds going towards paying for the long term care of elderly loved ones and moving services.http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com/caring_for_our_aging_population.htm

Top 7 Buyer and Seller Real Estate Myths

7 Real Estate Myths for Buyers and Sellers

Are you considering buying or selling a home?  We are sure that you have lots of experts offering all kinds of advice. The experts offering you advice may come from a variety of sources such as the post office or your car wash attendant or your cousin or brother or trainer in the gym; right? Sound familiar? When it comes to real estate it seems that everyone is an expert. But take a moment to really think about it. You have the largest single asset that you will buy or sell and we often listen to people that are the least qualified to give you advice. I am sure that all have good intentions but what is really being offered is just their opinion, so treat it as such.

We’ve put together a list of the top real estate myths for both buyers and sellers for you to think about.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into real estate and life style transition services by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.comPersonal Property Managers specializes in senior transition services such as downsizing, content clean out and removal, estate sales, full service real estate and property sale and moving and services PA and NJ.

7 Common Real Estate Myths:

Set your initial home selling price higher that you want. Listing your home at a price that’s too high a price may actually net you a lower price. That’s because shoppers and their real estate agents often don’t even look at homes that are priced above market value. It’s true you can always lower the price if the house doesn’t generate any offers in the first few weeks, but that comes with its own set of problems. Buyers are highly suspicious of houses that have sat on the market for more than three weeks.

Don’t use a real estate agent…get a better price for your home. Wow…that’s a great one right? Wrong. If the house is listed with a real estate agent, the total sales commission is built into the price. If the buyers don’t have an agent, the seller’s agent will receive the entire commission.

Sell your house on your own and save money. Some people do successfully sell homes on their own, but they need the skills to get the home listed online, market the home to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and then deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases. It’s not impossible to sell a home on your own, but you’ll find that buyers expect a substantial discount when you do, so what you save on a real estate commission may end up meaning a lower price. It’s not impossible to sell your home on your own for the same price you’d get with an agent, but it’s not easy.

Hold out a little longer…the market will go up. In recent years, homebuyers and sellers have experienced a time of increasing home values, then a sharp decline during the economic downturn and now another period of increasing values. Most seller think that the market only goes up; who can predict when a correction will come? The recent recession should have reminded everyone that real estate prices can indeed fall, and fall a lot.

Definitely renovate your kitchen and bathroom before you sell. If your kitchen and baths work, a major remodel could backfire. Prospective buyers may not share your taste, but they don’t want to redo something that has just been renovated. In many cases you are better off adjusting your price accordingly.  Additionally you may only get back 20 cents on the dollar if anything at all. Most buyers want to put their own spin on things.

Renovate. Don’t worry, You will get your money back.  Wrong. If you fix the heating and air conditioning system or roof, you will sell your house more quickly, but you probably won’t recoup what you spent. According to Remodeling magazine’s the only renovation that is likely to net you as much as you spent is a new front door. You’re likely to recoup only 67.8 % of what you spent on a major kitchen remodel and 70 % of what you spent on a bathroom remodel on a mid-range home. Very few things will bring you great returns. If you’re going to do these projects, it’s better to do them for your own enjoyment.

Open houses sell properties. Homes rarely sell to buyers who visited them during an open house. Agents like open houses because it enables them to find additional customers who are looking to buy or sell homes. If you or your agent choose not to have an open house, it probably doesn’t hurt your sale chances – although holding a broker’s open house for other agents may be worthwhile.

For more information on helping seniors in transition or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com  or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty to help sell homes with proceeds going towards paying for the long term care of elderly loved ones and moving services

Home Downsizing Tips – Room by Room

Home Downsizing Tips – Room by Room

Many people do not realize how to handle all of the various categories of things found in the common household and are overwhelmed with even beginning the process of moving or cleaning out a home after a loss of a loved one.. Here are some examples of how many of the usual items often found in each room. This is part of a continuing series of helpful articles from Joe Santoro and Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers to assist you in downsizing or moving from your home. Personal Property Managers services New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Kitchen
• Keep: Cooking related items you truly need or could use to upgrade what you have in your own kitchen.
• Donate: Functional items in good condition or better – pots and pans, flatware, glassware, etc. – canned goods and other food may be donated to the local food pantry
• Discard: Anything chipped, cracked, broken or worn beyond use including china, glass, dishes, old food in the refrigerator and canned goods and packaged food with expired dates
• Recycle: Dirty, discolored, rusty cooking pots/pans, worn utensils, out-of-date and non-functioning small appliances
• Sell: Vintage cookware, Le Creuset pots and pans, Fiestaware, Stangl plates and bowls, etc.

Bedrooms
• Keep: Put family photos, heirloom jewelry and important personal paperwork in a safe place to take home to review closer and distribute to the appropriate family members
• Donate: Clothing, shoes, accessories, linens, books to local libraries and retirement communities, paperbacks to our soldiers, hotel toiletries to homeless shelters
• Discard: Undergarments, old toiletries, old medicine, used/old makeup, no value items from the “junk drawer”
• Recycle: Eyeglasses, old electronics, wire coat hangers to your local dry cleaner, towels and blankets to your favorite animal shelter
• Sell: Vintage jewelry, zippo cigarette lighters, coin collections, designer clothing to consignment shops

Living Room/Family Room/Den
• Keep: Heirloom quality china, silver sets and artwork if desired
• Donate: Lower value furniture, incomplete china sets, extra glassware, CD’s and DVD’s
• Discard: Used candles, coasters, incomplete board games and puzzles
• Recycle: Non confidential paperwork, magazines, newspapers, old greeting cards, soiled tablecloths and placemats
• Sell: Crystal bowls, Hummel figurines, Lladro figurines and related collectibles

Office
• Keep: Recent tax returns, home improvement records, current files
• Donate: Old phones to our soldiers, outdated but working electronics to schools or charities
• Discard: Office supplies that are no longer functional – Pens that don’t work, dried up erasers, etc.
• Recycle: Obsolete fax machines, printers, power cords, old trade publications, ink cartridges
• Sell: Furniture and higher-end electronics when updating/upgrading
• Shred: Credit card statements, tax returns over 7 yrs old, bank statements, old confidential business/related records

Attic
• Keep: Family memorabilia, personal items and other heirlooms
• Donate: Clothing, picture frames, low-value knick knacks, books in better condition to your local library
• Discard: Worn out suitcases, baby cribs and car seats, anything low value damaged by the heat and cold from sitting for years that can’t be recycled
• Recycle: Rusty bed frame rails, corroded metal fans, non-confidential paperwork
• Sell: Antiques, old dolls, vintage toys and trains, sports, movie and political memorabilia

Basement
• Keep: Better quality hand and power tools and related machines and equipment if truly needed
• Donate: Children’s toys, exercise equipment, games in good condition or better
• Discard: Damp, musty, moldy books and record albums, broken modern toys
• Recycle: Outdated electronics, rusty tools, old wiring, non-functioning dehumidifiers
• Sell: Duplicate or unneeded tools, musical instruments that are no longer used, vintage stereos

Garage/Shed
• Keep: Better quality hand and power tools, shelving and storage bins if needed
• Donate: Vases to your local florist, extra garden tools to your neighbors
• Discard: Sports equipment in poor condition, toys missing parts or broken
• Recycle: Junk metals, hazardous waste, paint, old bicycles
• Sell: Lawn mowers and snow blowers on Craigslist, sort and sell boxes of unwanted things from parents, grandparents and relatives sitting for years

For more information on home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 and 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty to help sell homes with proceeds going towards paying for the long term care of elderly loved ones and moving services.