Away from Home Part 1: 6 Senior-Savvy Travel Tips

Smart Ways for Your Senior Clients to Travel Safely

As a follow-up to our 4-part Safe At Home series, it makes sense to explore smart ways for seniors (or anyone, of any age) to be safe away from home — even if that’s just a trip to the grocery store or mall.

Senior Travel SafetyWhether a senior is traveling locally or to a distant locale, here are six tips for safer excursions:

  • Hug your purse. Too often women will absentmindedly leave their pocketbook in the child seat of a grocery cart and wander down the aisle. A lot of times, the pocketbook isn’t even closed! That’s just too tempting for some people, so why help a thief give in to temptation? Keep your pocketbook zipped or snapped shut, and keep it with you when you walk around the store. If the tote is too heavy to carry around, it’s time to lighten your load, rather than have an unscrupulous person do it for you. One alternative: a fanny pak, which stays snugly around your waist and leaves your arms and hands free for shopping.
  • Watch your wallet. Men aren’t exempt from clever pickpockets. If you carry your wallet in a hip pocket, be sure to keep that pocket buttoned. Better: carry your wallet in a side or front pocket. That way it won’t fall out without you knowing it, or be easily accessible to someone else. There was a recent news story of a puppy, trained to fetch, that retrieved a wallet from the lawn outside a couple’s home — except it didn’t belong to them. It had fallen from the sanitation engineer’s pocket earlier in the day when he got out of his truck to right a trashcan. Fortunately the story had a happy ending, as the couple immediately contacted the grateful worker — who hadn’t yet realized his wallet was missing!
  • Lock your hotel room door. Employees, hotel guests, delivery people, maintenance crews…all manner of people come and go in public venues such as hotels, at all hours. So just as with your purse or wallet, even if you only plan to walk 30 feet from your door, lock it and take your key or door card. It’s just smart — and safe. By the same token: always know where the emergency exits are located.
  • Leave your expensive (or sentimental) jewelry at home. Unless you’re going to lock your jewels in the safe at the hotel or on the cruise ship, it’s smarter to bring inexpensive watches, earrings, necklaces, etc. on a trip. Not only will you keep from drawing unnecessary attention to yourself, you won’t worry about losing something irreplaceable.
  • Leave nothing of value in your car. There are “watchers” in parking lots such as at the gym or mall who wait to see if you open your trunk to put valuables inside, then break in once you’re out of sight. This has happened to me, as well as to a friend — even though in her case, the purse was tucked under her driver’s seat and not visible. It was gone when she came out of the gym. If you have something of value that needs to stay in the car, place it in the trunk before you go to your next destination. And it goes without saying: lock all car doors!
  • Consider senior travel insurance. Even those with pre-existing conditions are often eligible, as long as you inform your insurance carrier. This way no minor mishap or mix-up (such as forgetting to pack a needed medication) need ruin an otherwise fabulous trip.

Now you’re prepared for a smart, safe summer vacation that your reverse mortgage helped make possible. Remember the sunscreen!

Law of “Attractiveness”? Rethinking Aging and Beauty

“My mother always used to say, ‘The older you get, the better you get. Unless you’re a banana.'” ~ actress Betty White, 92

Rethinking Aging and BeautyThe Law of Attraction is old news. But what about the Law of Attractiveness? Though it’s not readily talked about, it definitely exists, and it definitely affects women “of a certain age.”

For reverse mortgage professionals and the seniors they serve, what follows may be a revelation. While the information can apply to men, in our culture aging and appearance is predominantly a female issue.

Self-described “wacky wise woman” and author Ariel Spilsbury, 70, cavorted with ceremonialist Elayne Doughty, 45, in a deliciously playful webinar about redefining reality and aging through the lens of beauty.

Here are some of the powerful points and practices the duo shared to help us reimagine aging — and to own our beauty:

  • (Ariel): As you age, the energy that you are starts turning inward, so you have more energy to focus on what’s really important. You recognize life’s impermanence…so you’d better get on with it! We’re literally “reading between the lines”: wrinkles are a road map of your soul; honor them!
  • (Elayne): Becoming dependent on face creams is trying to eradicate parts of yourself; negation, not love. Practice: Elayne changed her whole ritual around how she takes care of her skin. She now creates her own skin care serum with essential oils and applies it with love and gratitude, taking time to honor herself as a beautiful woman.
  • (Ariel): What is the connection between beauty and shared power? When one feels beautiful, one is more likely to want to share power, because there is nothing to compete with. (Elayne): When you put people — or flowers — together, something magical happens: they enhance each other’s power. Allow yourself to commune (the energy of becoming one with); this nourishes you. Practice: Commune with beautiful flowers for a frequency and coherency boost. Take time each day for a “beauty bomb”.
  • (Ariel): What detracts from shared power? Comparison and competition, and seeing ourselves as “less than”: projecting disowned parts of ourselves onto others. Practice: Embrace anyone you’re in judgment or comparison with. If you can’t let them shine in their beauty and magnificence it’s because you can’t allow yourself to shine. Loving competition into dissolution has a de-wrinkling effect!
  • (Elayne): We are like Nature: Nature simply exists to be beautiful. Beauty is as diverse as everything in Nature. And while the dormant phase is not necessarily beautiful, it’s part of the process: e.g., roses before they bloom. The alchemy of bringing all stages together germinates beauty from within. Practice: Own the entire cycle of beauty. Redefine what it means to age, to be a crone, to be beautiful at any age. That’s the whole point of taking beauty back inside.
  • (Ariel): Use Light Body Magic Sizing Spray to magically “resize” yourself. Practice: Buy some Magic Sizing Spray and start loving yourself just the way and the size you are.
  • (Elayne): To transmute the “Beauty Queen”/Beauty Contest mentality, she created crowns of flowers for herself and Ariel that they placed on one another’s heads. Practice: Crown a woman you’ve had comparison issues with, as the beautiful goddess she is. Crowning another means, I let go of needing to be the best, of the whole paradigm that only one can be the winner. When we let go of this notion we transform our perception. In your mind, crown everyone you know as the beauty they are. Beauty is not fixed: it’s the aliveness, the life force, coming through us.
  • (Ariel): How do we become REAL? From The Velveteen Rabbit:

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up, or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or who have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

(Ariel): “Perhaps we are our own children, and the rabbits we love for a long, long time are ourselves. That very realness is what makes someone love you even more. Start to discern what is real, and what you have been enculturated to believe is real.”

  • (Elayne): The archetypal challenge for us all is to really look at our lives and see how we’re still trying to get the love or approval we seek. The more you let go, the more real you become.
  • (Ariel and Elayne): Practice: Break the projection of outward beauty by playing with it. Play is that place where we meet the creativity and spontaneity of the moment.

Beauty is a feeling, and what’s real is a feeling. So feel into the realness of your radiance, whether you’re wearing your role as a reverse mortgage expert or simply being the beautiful woman or man that you are. Let’s turn habits into rabbits, and exchange superficial behaviors and beliefs for real appreciation of our innate beauty!

If you try any of the Practices described here, or share them with your reverse mortgage prospects and clients, please share your experiences below for the benefit of others.

Just How Far?

Having conducted over one hundred training sessions with fellow reverse mortgage professionals a common question is raised. Just how far should I go in following up with a potential borrower? Unfortunately many stop after one attempted phone call or if the prospect shows any signs of disinterest. This is tragic since the the majority of homeowners we contact are not ready to jump on board, sign the application and schedule counseling during our first encounter.

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The Young & the Restless

During a January 16th meeting of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association’s Executive Committee, Deputy Assistant Secretary Charles Coulter said to expect a mortgagee letter in the coming weeks regarding non-borrowing spouses. Coulter said “The first ML will essentially require that in the case of a non-borrower spouse, the age of the younger member of the couple will be utilized to determine the appropriate PLF [principal limit factor]. HUD will be modifying the PLF tables to cover ages below 62 for this purpose.”

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The X Factor: Denial

Constructively Exposing Retirement Denial

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Reverse Sales Training News

Denial In Reverse Mortgage Borrowers

Denial. It’s one of our biggest challenges when working with prospective reverse mortgage borrowers. While denial tends to manifest itself more prominently in those who have little financial assets, like the needs-based-borrower, it also applies to more affluent borrowers. Denial creates an alternate reality for needs-based homeowners  with statements like “we’ll be just fine” or “we will find a way to increase our income when we retire”. For more affluent potential borrowers it may appear in the statements “our portfolio will keep growing giving us enough money to live on the rest of our lives.” Denial serves a dual purpose: to avoid discomfort and accountability. No one likes to admit that their previous spending and savings habits have led to a retirement crisis. Savers don’t like to accept the fact their investments may never grow enough to sustain the withdrawals they need each year to maintain their standard of living in retirement. Denial has exacts its price: stress, fear and lack. It stems not so much from logical or  willful choices but from unconscious beliefs and habit patterns. What are our choices