Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Workshops in Beverly Help Seniors Plan for the Future

Kendra Seavey at the Beverly Council
on Aging.
By Alyssa M. Baxter
Gordon College News Service
March 29, 2011
(This story appeared March 31 in The Boston Globe, Beverly, and April 4 in The Salem News.)

Most people aren’t preparing well for their future. At least that’s what Kendra Seavey, of the Beverly Council on Aging, has found.

That’s why Seavey scheduled a six-week series of workshops that cover a range of topics from leisure to finances beginning in May. Seavey, the activities director at Beverly Council on Aging (BCOA), took Embrace Your Future, a government sponsored initiative, and brought it to life.

Embrace Your Future was first designed by The Executive Office of Elder Affairs, the Office of the Governor, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, and the Office of Long-Term Support Studies (OLTSS) at the Massachusetts Medical School to provide information to middle aged to older adults to assist them in planning for their future.

In January, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced the initiative, following up with a letter sent to about 400,000 Commonwealth homes whose head of the household was between the ages of 45 and 59. Whoever responded to the governor’s letter received a 44-page packet of information, which included a guide on topics such as lifestyle planning, legal matters, financial planning and ways to attain the best quality of life.

Seavey found the packet helpful but wanted to do more. So she helped organize a six week class at the BCOA called, “Charting Your Course: Planning Options for Your Future.” Topics such as lifestyle and leisure, planning for your care, legal matters, housing, public benefits and managing finances will be covered, Seavey said.

The Monday night classes will begin on May 2 through June 13 from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at the Beverly Council on Aging at 90 Colon Street. Registration is $30.00 and includes a handbook of information provided by the speakers as well as refreshments.




“Some people think they don’t need to think about all of these things, but I would encourage them to be a part of the whole six week class,” said Seavey. “There is definitely plenty they can learn from it. You never know what is going to happen. We are finding that, in general, people are not preparing for their future as they ought to be.”

Anne Springer from SeniorCare will discuss planning for care and how to choose someone for help. Dr. Margaret Hothem from Gordon College will be discussing lifestyle and leisure issues. Attorney Jessica Wistran of Glovsky & Glovsky, LLC will address legal matters.

“As people get older, if they have health issues, it is important to have people in place who can make health decisions for them,” said Wistran, who will be at BCOA during week four. “I will be giving an overview of health care proxy, estate planning, living wills and last will and testament.”
Fatima Calisto, a SHINE Counselor will discuss public benefits such as what Medicare covers. Jim Beville and Dave Caruso of the Coastal Capital Group, LLC, a wealth management firm in Danvers, MA, will provide information on how to manage finances.

Beville, 34, of Hamilton, will be answering questions such as how to determine if you have enough money to retire and when you retire, what to do with your money to maximize earnings and make sure it lasts.

“I believe a lot of themes around retirement are becoming more complicated, especially with the financial storm that we’ve weathered in the past few years,” said Beville. “There’s a lot more to consider and I believe that this is a great opportunity to get current information on this topic as well as have questions answered by experts in the field.”

Spaces are limited to ten in order to create a comfortable, personable, and educational opportunity where people can feel free to ask questions, Seavey said.

“Our goal with this class is to educate people, to provide tools and give them better resources so they can prepare for the future the best that they can,” said Seavey.

Registration begin on Friday, April 1 until spots are filled. To reserve a spot, call Kendra Seavey at the Senior Center at 978-921-6017.




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