Quarterly news & updates
December, 2019
First Night Northampton
2019 is coming to a close, and with that comes the biggest party of the year...

On Tuesday, December 31st, the Northampton Arts Council welcomes you to the 35th edition of our city-wide New Year's Eve party. Since 1985, First Night Northampton has filled the Paradise City with a 12-hour, family-friendly festival of the arts, culminating in a traditional ball-raising from the roof of the Hotel Northampton. Gather with friends, neighbors and visitors at 20 terrific downtown venues for an astounding array of entertainment presented by hundreds of talented performers.
Three Questions to Lead You
Into A Quality Retirement
#1 Who Will Change My Lightbulbs?
This sounds mundane and simple enough - but is it? If your father is 85 - even if he is in good shape - do you want him on a ladder changing light bulbs? How about your mom living alone and maintaining her home well into her eighth and ninth decade. Given that the baby boomers had fewer children and have the highest divorce rates in history, help at home may be in short supply. Now think about your own retirement years. Changing light bulbs is more than a issue of long-term home maintenance. It is a question that asks "Do I have a plan of how to maintain my home?" When younger, most of us take for granted our ability to do daily house cleaning, maintenance and basic repairs. However, identifying the costs as well as the trusted service providers necessary to maintain hour home may be as critical to aging independently as the health of our retirement savings.
#2 How Will I Get An Ice Cream cone?
Imagine it is a hot summer night - a perfect night for getting an ice cream cone...preferably chocolate. Quality of life is about being able to easily and routinely access those littler experiences that bring a smile. While getting an ice cream cone when you want it is not a financial strain for most, the capacity to have that cone on demand does raise questions such as "Do I have adequate transportation to go where I want when I want?". If driving is no longer possible, "are the seamless alternatives that enable me to make the trips that I want - not just those I need?" Moreover, "will I age in a community where there are ample activities and people to keep me engages, active, and having fun?"
#3 Who Will I Go Out To Lunch With?
Lunch is more than a meal - it's an occasion. Who you have lunch with may be a good indicator of your social network. This is not the social network of "friends" you have online, but friends you see on a regular basis- people who help reinforce a healthy and active lifestyle, and who you and your significant other can depend upon. Even with adequate finances, living alone without a robust circle of social support can threaten healthy aging. Today, more than 40% of woman over 65 years live alone in the US. Consequently, planning where, and with whom to retire may be as important as how much it will cost. For example, a home in the mountains may be alluring as you approach retirement, but it may lead to a inadequate network of friends, or complete isolation during old age.
Are you Noticing Red Flags?
Top signs your elderly parents may be having trouble managing their finances
  • Unpaid bills and shutoff notices, or bills paid more than once.
  • Piles of unopened mail.
  • Unusual purchases on bank or credit card statements.
  • Large contributions to charities that your parents haven’t supported in the past.
  • Mail and phone solicitations that suggest your parents may have already been defrauded.
  • A new willingness to take more investment risk or invest in rich-quick schemes.
  • A new “friend” who appears to have financial influence over your parents.
  • They continually ask the same question, even though it has been answered multiple times
The Apps, Sites & Devices
Changing The Way We Age
We're living longer - and healthier - than our predecessors thanks to dramatic advancements in health care over the last century. And now, thanks to technological innovations, the way we age is transforming from living longer to living better.

The worksheets in the link (provided by Hartford Funds & MIT Age Lab) reveals an array of apps, sites, and devices that can make it easier for you to work (if you want to), stay healthy, live in the home of your choice, and remain socially connected as you age. These ideas aren't all inclusive, but can start you down the path of using technology to live better.