Get Your Retirement House in Order

Start by addressing the money issue, especially if you’re a pre-retiree with angst about your financial future.

If you need some motivation to start saving – and to know that you’re not alone in possibly getting a late start – see a study, “Retirement Readiness: Canadians 50+” (, released earlier this year.

Admittedly, the stats are a bit discouraging.

For example, compared to their standard of living today, 40% of pre-retirees over the age of 50 believe they will be worse off in retirement.

It’s not surprising, given that 22% of pre-retirees in that age group haven’t started to save for retirement and (38%) have no idea of how much money they’ll need to save to help fund their retirement. Some – 18% — are relying on rising real estate values to save the day and will have to postpone retirement if real estate takes a dive.

Running out of money in retirement is a common fear (42% worry about it) and it’s felt more acutely by women (47%) than by men (37%).

If you’re looking for advice and education, Get Smarter About Money ( is a good place to start. The site, founded by the Ontario Securities Commission, provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help you better understand finances and make smart decisions.

 Hacks for Seniors

When you’re scanning the house with an eye to aging in place, you look at the big things like lighting, mobility, bathroom safety, and fall hazards.

But many small things – not being able to function day-to-day – also can send people to assisted living or nursing care.

That’s where hacks come in – those simple, low-tech solutions using common household items — to deal with seemingly minor daily inconveniences and troubles that seniors face.

Here are 6 creative hacks to try:

  1. Sugru ( Slippery doorknobs can be difficult to operate if you have hand and wrist problems. Wrap Sugru (the product feels like Play-Doh and sticks to glass, wood, metal, and plastic and becomes a durable silicone rubber after 24 hours) around a door knob to create more grip.
  2. Rope lights: Place rope lights under cabinets in bathrooms and kitchens to light the way and make it safer to get around at night.
  3. Sponge hair rollers: If you have arthritis, slide sponge hair rollers or cylindrical foam around hard-to-grip items like utensils and toothbrushes.
  4. Frozen sponge: Put a soaked kitchen sponge into a Ziploc bag and then into the freezer. It turns into an icepack that won’t leak as it thaws. It’s also reusable.
  5. Pizza cutter: Use a pizza roller to cut up lettuce for a salad.
  6. String: Use pieces of string or a key ring to create zipper pulls that are easier to reach and operate. ( Sugru works well too.


 Kittens Helping Seniors

And here’s a sweet story ( that involves seniors getting a sense of purpose by caring for needy kittens.

What’s not to love?