How to protect seniors -- older parents, relatives and loved ones -- who live alone. Tips on what to do in case of an emergency. Safety ideas.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


by Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert

Rule 2. Pay down high-interest credit card balances first.

In other words, address what is causing the biggest dent in your wallet first. Then, once that card balance is zero, pay down the card with the next highest interest rate, and so on. To help you remember this rule, here is another way to look at it (which rhymes): Pay off the cards with low interest rates last, since they do not damage your wallet as fast.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


by Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert


During the process of creating “credit card commandments” (see the next few posts to come), I came up with a credit credo: “Once you get it, don’t regret it.”

This motto actually has multiple meanings.

First, obtaining credit cards to help pay bills over time is fine, but you need a plan to manage the resulting debt, especially when the degree of credit card usage rises during tough times. Learn the most important rules for handling credit cards, and you won’t regret getting those cards in the first place.

The second meaning is this: once you buy something using a credit card, don’t regret having bought it by paying much more for that item over time. This can occur if you only pay the minimum payment each month. Doing so adds a great deal to the final cost, thanks to accumulating interest charges on the amount you spent.


Let’s assume you have two or more credit cards, you have bought some items with them, and now you have a good deal of debt to deal with. To help you manage this debt, and avoid regretting getting the cards and the creature comforts you charged, consider the following ten tenets of dealing with credit cards. (Extra credit if you already know them.)

1. Pay down credit card balances with your extra cash, rather than investing that cash.

When you pay down the balance of a card that charges 18 percent interest per year, it is like getting a guaranteed 18 percent annual return on the money you used to pay it down. It’s not easy to find investments that guarantee an 18 percent gain, so rule number one almost always applies. The general rule is this: if a credit card interest rate is more than the rate of return of an investment you are considering, pay down that card; if less, invest.


Seniors, take note! If you don’t already know, the open enrollment period for Medicare Part D is ending this Wednesday. A CVS ad stated this fact. It also says: “CVS/pharmacy and the National Council on Aging urge you to review your Medicare Part D Plan choices for 2009,” adding that “We accept all Medicare Part D Plans.” Selecting the right plan for you is important (CVS claims that “choosing the right plan can save up to $250,” according to one study they cite), so do your homework and act fast. Tomorrow is only a day away!

by Dr. Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert

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Life Alert is the leading emergency response company, dedicated to solving home safety issues. With a touch of a button, Life Alert sends help fast, 24/7, whether it’s for a medical, fall, fire, or home invasion emergency, even when you can’t reach a phone. Life Alert saves a life from a catastrophic every 10 minutes and has received over 25,000 testimonials from grateful customers since 2008, and was the ONLY company former Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, endorsed until his death in 2013. Founded in 1987, Life Alert has become the industry leader in personal protection but also has become a pop culture icon with their classic slogan, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” which was ranked #1 by USA TODAY in its list of the most memorable TV commercials. In 2008, “The Martha Stewart Show” featured Life Alert and recommend them to all of the patients at the Martha Stewart Center for Living while pointing out that Life Alert is "so inexpensive yet so vital for people." Life Alert, their slogan and/or pendant have been featured in many T.V. shows such as 30 Rock, Supernatural, The Goldbergs, and Jay Leno frequently referred to their famous slogan on The Tonight Show.