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How the Latest Tech Can Enhance Lifestyle and Personal Security for Seniors Thumbnail

How the Latest Tech Can Enhance Lifestyle and Personal Security for Seniors

Today's seniors may not have grown up with the internet the way their kids and grandkids have. But you've definitely "grown with" the tech and information revolution. Many boomers were still early in their careers when their employers came online. And as the world has evolved from email to smartphones to social media, they kept pace.

Maintaining that curiosity and willingness to experiment with technology can open some exciting doors in retirement. Take time to learn about the latest breakthrough in these four areas. You might find a new hobby or a quality-of-life upgrade that makes life easier, more interesting, or more fulfilling.

1. Communication and Connectivity

You probably mastered multimedia messaging, video chat, and social media during the pandemic. But if you're usually using Zoom, playing around with a new app, like Apple's Facetime or Microsoft's Skype, might help you connect with an even wider group of your friends and family who are more comfortable on different platforms. Folks who have loved ones abroad might download WhatsApp, the most popular messaging and video chat app in Europe, Asia, and South America.

You could also expand your social media presence beyond Facebook to explore specific interests, like video content (YouTube), recipes and décor (Pinterest), photography (Instagram), or news (X, formerly Twitter). Just don't click on any links that look fishy. And don't take every "fact" the algorithms serve up at face value, especially when it comes to financial advertisements posing as qualified financial advice.

2. Personal Wellness and Safety

Of course, too much screen time can also have negative effects on your mood and physical health. Your phone or smartwatch can remind you when it's time to log off and get moving. Wearables can also monitor some basic data, like your heart rate, but be aware that these measurements can be inconsistent and are no substitute for letting a pro check your vitals. Built-in GPS is usually reliable for tracking your runs as you build towards your next fitness goal. And apps like Medisafe can help you schedule your daily prescription doses so you never miss a pill.

Seniors should also investigate their healthcare provider's online portals. It's become very easy to access your billing and medical records or schedule an appointment without having to sit on hold for half an hour. Some doctors might also offer telemedicine appointments where you can get a diagnosis without having to leave home.

Finally, if you live alone, consider signing up for an emergency alert system, such as Life Alert or Medical Guardian. These systems provide quick emergency medical service in case you become incapacitated. Personal trackers like AngelSense can also help caregivers monitor loved ones with special needs, such as dementia.

3. Home Automation and Security

 If you use Google Assistant and Alexa to make phone calls or search for info, you're already on your way to setting up a smart home. Your TV, lightbulbs, thermostat, and Bluetooth speakers can all be configured to respond to voice commands. You can also downsize remotes by using phone apps to control your smart devices. A Roomba or other robotic vacuum can help clean your floor. A smart fridge will keep your food at the ideal temperature, manage your shopping, and suggest recipes. Program your coffee machine so your favorite brew is waiting for you every morning. And if you need some suggestions to improve your daily routine or spice up your meal rotations, download Google Gemini or ChatGPT to your phone and ask AI.

You can also integrate most security systems into your smart home, including popular providers like ADT and SimpliSafe. Frequent travelers might appreciate the ability to control alarms and check cameras remotely.

4. Staying Ahead of the Curve

No matter how tech savvy you are, new apps, platforms, and devices can sometimes be intimidating. But the barrier to entry continues to drop as well, especially for folks who are willing to play around a little bit and ask for help.

For example, the hype around AI has been so overwhelming that many folks don't realize how easy it is to get started. Downloading ChatGPT or Google Gemini onto your phone is free. Interacting with AI is as simple as typing or asking a question. In the next few months, these programs will even be able to answer questions about things you show it through your phone's camera.

Gaining access to digital tools has also never been easier. Many affordable, name-brand computers, phones, and tablets are just as capable as devices that cost hundreds of dollars more. Your kids or grandkids might even have a perfectly good device sitting in a drawer that they can help you use to make video calls, watch movies, or read the local paper. Once you're online, access YouTube or other educational platforms to learn more about specific tech, like how to improve your AI prompts so ChatGPT gives you more thorough and useful answers.

I hope some of the seniors reading this will add Keen on Retirement to their bookmarks and playlists as well. Our podcasts, YouTube channel content, and blog posts cover a wide array of financial topics. Subscribers will also be notified about our upcoming webinars, like Matt Wilson's presentation on Unexpected Retirement coming on June 20th.

You can also learn more about Keen Wealth's checklist-driven, comprehensive planning process the old-fashioned way: by making an appointment to visit our office. 

About Bill

Bill Keen is a financial advisor with over 30 years of industry experience. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm, he focuses on providing personalized retirement planning designed to help people thrive before and during their retirement years. With a passion for educating others, Bill regularly blogs about retirement planning, hosts the podcast Keen on Retirement, and has contributed to Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Reuters, Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, Yahoo Finance, and other publications. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Bill and his team work with clients throughout the greater Kansas City area and across the nation. To learn more, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.keenwealthadvisors.com.

KWMG, LLC’s dba Keen Wealth Advisors (“company”) is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor located in Overland Park, KS. The company and its representatives may only conduct business in those states where registered or where excluded/exempt or from licensure. For registration information please contact the SEC or the state securities regulators for the states where the company is notice filed. A copy of the company ADV is available upon request. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where the company and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by the company unless a client service agreement is in place. This information is not intended to be investment advice or construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular investment or investment strategy and is for illustrative purposes only. Clients and prospective clients must consider all relevant risk factors involved with each strategy, including costs or fees, and their own personal financial situations before trading.

The views outlined in the book, Keen on Retirement Engineering the Second Half of Your Life, are those of the author and should not be construed as individualized or personalized investment advice. Any economic and/or performance information cited is historical and not indicative of future results. Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

The Amazon Best Seller ranking listed on marketing materials is specifically referring to Best Seller rankings for the Kindle Top 100 Paid Lists under the subcategories of: Budgeting and Financial Risk Management, based on data as of September 5, 2019 and the second edition under Financial Risk Management on October 26, 2022. Amazon rankings although relevant on how a product is selling overall doesn’t necessarily indicate how well an item is selling among other similar items or similar item categories. Amazon may choose the most popular categories or subcategories within which an item has a high ranking to determine its best seller rankings. These rankings are updated hourly and as a result, should be expected to fluctuate as such. Keen Wealth Advisors and Amazon are not affiliated entities. 

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