RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

5 Senior Safety Tips at Home and On the Go

May 6, 2015 12:27 am

With nearly 50 million citizens age 65 and older living in the United States and Canada, seniors represent one of the fastest growing population segments – but also a demographic commonly targeted for crime, according to the experts at Master Lock. To stay safe through every life stage and season, the security product provider recommends:

1. Staying Alert When Out and About

Property crimes represent the highest share of crimes against those 65 and older – nearly nine out of 10, according to the National Elder Law Network. Stay alert and aware of surroundings when out of the house and keep valuables protected. Always lock cars, even if they’ll only be unattended for a few minutes. Keep packages or shopping bags out of sight, and always check the area around your car before entering or exiting. When out in public, women should wear their purses close to their body and men should carry their wallet in an inside coat or front pant pocket.

2. Lock Up Home Safety

Seniors should never have to worry about safety in their own home. For added protection beyond traditional door and window locks, safeguard sliding glass and patio doors with the added strength of a security bar and consider a home alarm system to alert against intruders. Keep doors locked both when you’re home and away, but allow access to a friend or family member in case of emergency by storing a spare key in a key safe.

3. Secure Personal Items in a Group Home Environment

Misplaced or stolen belongings are a frequent complaint of nursing home residents. Keep valuables safe by storing them in an easy-to-use, locked safe that only you and a trusted companion know the combination to. Small items, such as credit cards, jewelry or cash, can be stored in a portable safe, while larger items, like documents or memorabilia, can be stored in a fire-resistant safe.

4. Protect Against Identity Theft

Mature consumers (ages 50 and over) represent the largest demographic of identity theft victims, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Why? Consumers in this age group typically have more assets than younger consumers, making them ideal targets. Reduce your risk by never carrying your social security card; shredding documents that contain any identifying information; keeping personal information such as bank statements, Medicare statements and social security numbers in a locked safe; and storing credit card numbers in a safe location for easy retrieval if they’re lost or stolen.

5. Think Twice Before Divulging Personal Information

Seniors are also major targets of fraud, such as telemarketing scams, according to the American Association of Retired Persons. Follow the general rule of thumb that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Never rush into signing anything, and never give your credit card, Social Security, Medicare or bank account details to anyone over the phone. When in doubt, check with the Better Business Bureau or police.

Source: Master Lock

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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What Homeowners Should Know about Property Tax Appeals

May 6, 2015 12:27 am

As many homeowners being receiving their local property tax bills, those considering property tax appeals should be prepared with all the relevant information and be mindful of local rules, according to the Appraisal Institute.

The amount of property taxes due to local municipalities is typically based on the location and assessed value of the home. Homeowners also should understand that the assessed value of a property can change over time if, for example, improvements are made.

“There can be a big difference in property taxes from county to county and state to state,” says M. Lance Coyle, president of the Appraisal Institute. “Regardless of where one lives, it’s important to know how property taxes are calculated locally and to follow all related legal requirements.”

While homeowners may think they have a good idea of whether their property has been properly assessed, it’s much easier to make the case that their taxes are too high if there’s a professional appraisal to back up the argument. Homeowners should consider having an independent appraisal prepared and present the appraisal report to the assessor because appraisers are third-party experts who provide credible opinions of value. Homeowners also should be mindful of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules.

“Many homeowners recently filed tax returns with the IRS. Looking ahead to future tax filings, it’s important to understand that the agency has specific rules about the deductibility of property taxes, and consumers should with check with their tax professionals accordingly,” Coyle says.

Source: Appraisal Institute

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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