HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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Where do you keep your important papers – your will, your power of attorney, advance medical directives? In a shoebox under your bed? Perhaps you should consider renting a safety deposit box.


Banks offer safety deposit boxes for customers who want to safeguard personal documents such as birth certificates, stock and bond certificates, insurance policies, marriage certificates, heirlooms and other irreplaceable items. The boxes are kept in vaults at the bank. They come in various sizes and can be rented for an annual fee, usually $1 per square inch. Each box has a double lock that requires two keys to open. Most customers have access to their safety deposit boxes at any time during banking hours.


A safety deposit box is a better option than keeping valuables at home. Even if you have a safe in your house, it can still be broken into. A safety deposit box is always under surveillance and difficult to break into. However, the items in your box are not insured by the bank. If you want insurance on them, you have to buy it yourself. You can add a rider to your home insurance policy.


What should you place in your safety deposit box? Anything that would be difficult or impossible to replace is worth putting in it. The items should be things you wouldn’t need immediately, such as your passport in the event you have to travel out of the country for an emergency.

DO YOU NEED A SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX?

Some things that would be better off in a safety deposit box include jewelry, personal papers or rare collectibles. Your lease agreement will stipulate what items are not allowed in the safety deposit box. There may also be a limit to the amount of items you can keep in it.


Who should have access to your safety deposit box? Think carefully about who you want to give the rights to your contents. It should be someone you trust. If you have a designated power of attorney who is handing your financial affairs, it is a good idea to let him or her have access to your safety deposit box in case you suddenly fall ill or become incapacitated.


What happens when you die? The safety deposit box will be sealed (if you rented it alone), and usually after your estate is settled your designated executor would get access to it. To open a sealed safe deposit box, estate representatives must provide court papers to the bank.



TANYA J. TYLER

Tanya J. Tyler is the Editor of Living Well 60+ Magazine

more articles by tanya J. tyler