December Newsletter 2015 - Health Benefits for Walkable Neighborhoods

Posted By Tara Melech @ Dec 8th 2015 9:21am In: South Carolina Real Estate

Consumer Newsletter – December 2015 Walkable Neighborhoods Bring Health Benefits

You’ve already heard that Millennials, probable future buyers of your home, favor walkable neighborhoods where they can reach transit, restaurants, and shopping without a car. But there’s another reason to pick a walkable community when you’re downsizing or choosing a new neighborhood. Walkable communities can have a positive effect on your health, specifically your blood pressure. That’s according to preliminary findings of a study ( see: walkable study and walkable impact heart ), by Dr. Maria Chiu, a scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The research suggests that people living in walkable neighborhoods had a 54 percent lower risk of high blood pressure when compared to those who moved to less walkable areas. Researchers used Walk Score , a site that allows you to type in an address to see just how walkable it is, and data from the Canadian Community Health Survey to see what happened to participants’ blood pressure as they moved from highly walkable neighborhoods to less walkable areas.

The theory is that those living in pedestrian-friendly areas incorporated physical activity into their routines as they went about taking care of the daily tasks of life.

Financially savvy seniors

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation have joined forces to help seniors get savvier about finances.

NCOA  is working with local organizations to deliver financial seminars and advice for seniors in six cities – Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Galveston/Houston, Los Angeles, and Oklahoma City – and refer them to local resources to help them with financial challenges.

In addition, NCOA has developed an online tool, the EconomicCheckUp, to help seniors assess their own financial situation. You answer 23 questions and the tool generates a personalized report and suggests ways to improve your financial picture. It also provides links for help with saving money, finding jobs, and addressing housing challenges – property taxes, weatherization assistance, and foreclosure.

Another online calculator comes from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In November, it launched “Planning for Retirement,” that helps you determine the best time to start taking Social Security benefits. You can test-drive different scenarios to see the effect of claiming benefits early or at full retirement age.

New Day, New Scam

You’ve got to hand it to scam artists. They’re innovative, committed, and creative. It’s good to stay on top of the latest ploys scammers have devised to victimize people. AARP provides a map of the United States so you can click on your state to see what scammers are up to where you live.
See the Fraud Map at:;jsessionid=19F0B5E0A9D3F0E6961261B76D66726E.app263b

AARP also keeps an eye out on new scams, like one that targets Veterans (See: Veterans Scams) and their families. Sign up for AARP Fraud Watch Network ( to receive free email alerts about the latest scams and scam prevention tips.

Wintering Well

The winter chill has already begun settling in. If you’re not a snowbird, the months ahead can be bleak and daunting.

Norwegians have a way to make winter less oppressive. They call it koselig, and it entails generating warmth, light, coziness, and conviviality.

The concept seems a bit vague, but several people have written about the more concrete aspects of it. See: What we can learn from Norwegians about surviving winter
A visual guide to koselig 
How to make things koselig

Some of the strategies may be worth a try this year. So pull out your blankets, build a fire, light some candles, and throw a dinner party. Celebrate the season. And good luck.
By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau

Real Estate Matters: News & Issues for the Mature Market
The Litchfield Company Real Estate Sales
14240 Ocean Highway 17
Pawleys Island, SC 29585
Tara Melech, SRES, Realtor
(843) 907-8787

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