Your plain English guide to investment jargon

Definitions of 5 stock market terms you’ll want to know

By Jack Fehr for Next Avenue

Investment-Terms-web

Credit: Thinkstock

As the stock market continues its gyrations, now is a good time to buy an investment with a favorable NAV and alpha that keeps on giving while reducing beta.

Got that?

If not, don’t be embarrassed. Investment companies and financial advisers love to load up their materials with this kind of jargon. Too bad they don’t just say something like this (a plain-English translation of the first sentence in this article): “You might want to buy an investment that is likely to grow faster and experience less risk than alternatives.”

Well, some actually do, but many still don’t. If companies aren’t willing to talk to you in a language you understand, it’s up to you to decipher their financial-speak.


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Do you really need that knee surgery?

Experts disagree on whether it’s worth going under the knife

By Linda Melone, CSCS for Next Avenue

Knee-Surgery-web

Credit: Thinkstock

You felt it on your last walk when you stepped off a curb the wrong way: a sudden pain and feeling as if your knee were about to give out. Swelling and more pain followed, along with worries that you may need knee surgery.

But would it even help?

A recent Danish review of studies published in the British Medical Journal revealed that people in their 50s and older who get arthroscopic surgery for knee pain show no lasting benefits.


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Achieving your dreams after 60

The authors of ‘Senior Wonders’ on the 3 P’s for Triumphant Aging

By Karen L. Pepkin and Wendell C. Taylor for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Thinkstock

The media abounds with negative views about the impact of aging on physical, cognitive, and financial well-being. In fact, there are entire industries that have emerged to counteract the effects of aging — nutritional supplements, hormone treatments, surgical improvements, lotions, potions, and the like. They all seem to underscore Bette Davis’ famous quote, “Old age is no place for sissies.”

What if there were another point of view? What if aging brought about, not decline but our greatest accomplishments? What if we looked at aging as Dr. Christiane Northrup does? She tells us that “getting older is inevitable, but aging isn’t.”


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Sorry, nobody wants your parents’ stuff

Advice for boomers desperate to unload family heirlooms

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

After my father died at 94 in September, leaving my sister and me to empty his one-bedroom, independent living New Jersey apartment, we learned the hard truth that others in their 50s and 60s need to know: Nobody wants the prized possessions of your parents — not even you or your kids.

Admittedly, that’s an exaggeration. But it’s not far off, due to changing tastes and homes. I’ll explain why, and what you can do as a result, shortly.


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Don’t let fear stop you from end-of-life planning

It’s natural to procrastinate, but make this a priority for your loved ones

By Debbie Reslock for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

When I was in my early 20s, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. It felt like a one-two punch, since my dad had died unexpectedly a few years earlier. Although Mom tried chemotherapy, the results seemed to suggest that this was going to end badly, which it did — less than six months later.

During that time, her life became a mere shadow of what it once was. And yet no one, including her doctors, myself or my mom, ever talked about what was happening.

Only in the last few days did her doctor suggest to me, not her, that we were reaching the end of this painful road. And then he asked if I thought she’d be more comfortable at home or in the hospital. I remember how angry I was, unprepared to make this decision and wanting to scream, “Why are you asking me?” But of course when I got older, I realized the real question was why hadn’t any of us asked her?


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March reflections: Family heritage and memorable names

Joan Deffenbaugh Staton is of German heritage.

Joan Deffenbaugh Staton is of German heritage.

By Donna Grizzle, activity director

“Education is the best provision for old age.” – Aristotle, Greek philosopher

The month of March is filled with many fascinating theme days to celebrate! The most commonly known special days and times are St. Patrick’s Day, Lent, Daylight Savings Time, the first day of spring, and March Madness, of course. This year, Sterling Presbyterian Manor is also celebrating heritage, dominoes, names, mysteries and fairy tales.

March is Greek and Irish heritage month. Unfortunately, no one at Sterling Presbyterian Manor seems to have Greek heritage. Jessie Marguerite Mahoney said her family is of Irish heritage, although she does not remember any special traditions that were passed down.

Five residents can identify a German heritage. Joan Deffenbaugh Staton says that she grew up in a very strict German family household. “I remember that the ladies and us kids would always eat last. The men got to eat first and we would sit and watch them. Then they would leave and whatever was left, which sometimes wasn’t very much, would be for us,” Joan said. She also said that her dad was known for giving licks. “He would sit there with his long, leather razor blade strap hanging from the end of the table. We kids had to behave or when he got done eating he would take us out back and we did not want that to happen.” Joan was one of six kids and was given no middle name. “By the time my mom got to me, she said she ran out of names. The last three of us, we didn’t have middle names,” she said. Although she had no middle name, Joan means “God is Gracious,” so she was very blessed with just the one name.

Jesse Marguerite Mahoney is of Irish heritage, just as her name sounds.

Jesse Marguerite Mahoney is of Irish heritage, just as her name sounds.

March happens to be the month to celebrate your name. Eleanor Sarita Nearhood Mark, who remembers that her family was Dutch, loves her name. She loves anything with the letter “E,” and she recalls the stories of how she became Eleanor Sarita. Her father, a gasoline truck driver, was supposed to be on his route to make deliveries, the next of which was in Nickerson. But her mother said, “Oh, you can’t go anywhere because we’re having a baby,” so he got ready and stayed at home. He was so excited and happy to see that he had a baby girl that he wanted to name Eleanor. When thinking of her middle name, they remembered that their friend from a southern state was married to a sweet woman named Sarita. They thought this name was so neat that they gave that special middle name to their Eleanor. Well, in the meantime of them naming and her father holding his new baby girl Eleanor Sarita in his arms real tight, a man came upon their property with a gun looking for him. He was a business owner in Nickerson looking for his gasoline delivery. He said, “Where’s my gasoline?” and her dad replied “Oh, I’m sorry! We just had a baby! I have a daughter, and her name is Eleanor Sarita.” The man from Nickerson was so happy for the couple that he backed off and forgave the delay in his delivery. He wished them and Miss Eleanor Sarita blessings and left. And boy, was she indeed blessed! Eleanor Sarita celebrated her 102nd birthday last October.

Some folks were left without middle names, some were named after their parents or family friends, and others’ names were misspelled on their birth certificates. The nuns at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Hutchinson misunderstood Jessie Mahoney’s parents when they said that her middle name was to be Margaret. They instead wrote “Marguerite,” and the rest is history. Jessie also said that her dad was hoping for another boy that he could name ‘Jessie’ so there was no changing that when their baby girl was born. Her name, which means “gift,” was to be Jessie or else, so it is a very good thing those nuns did not mess that up!

“Time is a great storyteller.” – Irish Proverb

8 ways to give your investments a spring cleaning

Tax time is an ideal time to declutter your portfolio

By Kerry Hannon for Next Avenue

Investment-Spring-Cleaningweb

Credit: Getty Images

Where I live in Washington, D.C., the pink magnolia trees are blooming, and the daffodils are intensely yellow and screaming springtime — just in time for the first day of spring, Sunday March 20.

It’s time to get out in the backyard to tackle garden cleanup… right after I finish my taxes this weekend. Which brings me to a more prosaic chore: Spring-cleaning is also time to clear out the clutter in my financial life, particularly my investments. And I think you should, too. (I’ll tell you how shortly.)

When I’m doing spring-cleaning for my portfolio, I check to see if I need to consolidate and sell extraneous and underperforming funds and stocks. I also do a goals checkup and tune-up to rebalance my investments, so I have the right asset allocation of stocks to bonds to provide the oomph needed to last a potentially long life.


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5 ways tech products will help us age better

A visit to CES 2017 turned up caregiving robots and vital sign ‘tattoos’

By Jim Pagliarini for Next Avenue

Tech-To-Age-Well-web

Caption: One of the many helpful robot prototypes at CES using voice recognition to assist humans with daily tasks.

It is the year 2025 and I have just celebrated my 85th birthday. I still live at home. This afternoon, I got into my self-driving car and went to my great granddaughter’s house for a visit. She introduced me to a group of her friends over lunch and I heard every word they said. I was a part of the conversation.  

Two weeks ago, I fell in the bathroom and within minutes, my son’s voice came over my watch to ask me if everything was ok. Last night, I sat in my massage chair, and asked “Alexa” to play the top musical hits from when I met my wife in college. I closed my eyes and it brought back wonderful memories.  

And although I technically live alone, I have one of the greatest companions I have ever had in my life — Tina, my personal assistant robot. Life ain’t bad.

Back to 2017 now: I recently returned from the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas — the largest, electronics show in the world where the most innovative cutting-edge technology products are introduced each year. Nearly 200,000 people attended and wandered through some 2.47 million square feet of exhibit space.


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Are you getting enough protein? Too much?

How obsessing over protein could be harmful to your health

By Rashelle Brown for Next Avenue

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Credit: Thinkstock

If you’re like me, you often find yourself confused by how many health headlines contradict one another. Lately, I’ve found this to be true where protein is concerned, particularly the protein needs of adults aged 50 and over.

In one study, published Jan. 1, 2015, in the American Journal of Physiology’s Endocrinology and Metabolism, scientists split 20 adults aged 52 to 75 into one group that consumed the U.S. RDA recommended level of protein, and another group that consumed double that amount, measuring levels of whole body protein at the beginning and end of the trial. While both groups maintained a positive protein balance (their bodies synthesized more protein than they broke down), the higher protein group ended up with a higher overall protein balance than the lower protein group. The news media jumped all over this, proclaiming that older adults should double their protein intake if they want to live long, healthy lives.


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Public invited to Art Is Ageless® reception

Basic RGBSterling Presbyterian Manor will host its annual Art is Ageless juried exhibit to be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 20-24, with a reception from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on March 24.

Entries of artistic works will be accepted until March 17 from any area artist who is 65 years of age or older to exhibit and/or compete for an opportunity to be featured in the 2018 Art is Ageless calendar.

Artists may choose to enter the exhibit only. For the competition, works are to have been completed in the past five years (since January 2012). There are nine categories, as well as designations of amateur or professional.

The Art is Ageless Program encourages Presbyterian Manor residents and other area seniors to express their creativity through its annual competition, as well as art classes, musical and dramatic events, educational opportunities and current events discussions throughout the year.

Local competition winners will join winners 16 other Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America communities to be judged at the systemwide level.

Entry forms and information can be picked up at Sterling Presbyterian Manor, 204 W. Washington Ave., or by contacting Cindy Moore, 620-278-3651 or cmoore@pmma.org. Or go online to ArtIsAgeless.org to view rules, download an entry form or enter online.