The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

New manual for Valdez retirement planning

Know what services are here and how to get them before need arises


It's still early in January and it's not too late to follow-up on those New Year's resolutions. It's also not too late to make a new one, and planning for your golden years in 2014 can benefit you and your family for many decades to come. It just got easier in Valdez with the publication of "Transitions – A manual for Our Senior Years."

Solid planning for your later years takes more effort than paying into your retirement plan and checking those yearly Social Security statements. Knowing how, where and what your options are if you are faced with debilitating illness, run short on funds or simply need a helping hand are easier to access if you know about them before you actually need them.

The Transitions manual is tailor-made for Valdez, and includes resources either unique to the area or information on how to access services that don't have a regular office in town.

According to Nancy Lethcoe, one of the subcommittee members of the Valdez Health Advisory Board who helped write the manual, now is a very good time to begin.

"I'm doing a discussion on it here at the Senior Center for anyone who wants to come," she said.

The first will be held Saturday, January 11 at 3:30 p.m. and then a second discussion on January 15 at 6:30 p.m.

You don't have to be older to use the services or attend the discussion Lethcoe said.

"It's for seniors or anyone who has senior in their family," she said. "We've all had the experience of people needing information they didn't have."

Another series of discussions will be held this April when an attorney specializing in eldercare issues is slated to visit.

According to experts, proper preplanning for the senior years can ensure your wishes are carried out in the event of an incapacitating illness or other medical emergencies; it can also save your family time and effort in the event you can't speak for yourself and need loved ones to act on your behalf, even if it's on a temporary basis.

While some of the information in the manual is commonly available – there is a section for listing assets such as bank account and insurance policy numbers and locations for instance – the information is all in one format, and Valdez specific.

The manual's authors say it is not only handy for preplanning for your own needs for the later years, but also for those taking care of or beginning to tend to elderly family members.

It is 129 pages long and covers other basics such as checklists for nursing homes, explains the ins and outs of certain types of trusts, the various types of Power of Attorney available and even preplanning for harder topics such as guidelines for information to be included in obituaries.

Hard copies can be purchased at the hospital for $15 or downloaded from the Providence Valdez Medical Center Website free of charge.

"The nice thing about online is people can download just what they want," Lethcoe said. But buying a hard copy gives you all the information at hand without having to print out the forms.

The online edition is a very large file, and requires a long time to download. To access the manual online, go to Google or your preferred search engine and type in: Providence Valdez Medical Center. Click on the site and the manual is on the right hand side of the webpage in a box called Quick Links. It is the last of three choices.

Valdez Star photo

Transition – A Manual for Our Senior Years is a Valdez specific guide for managing your Golden Years.

To buy a hard copy in a hard binder, simply go the Providence Valdez Medical Center.

"You got Lou at admissions," Lethcoe said. "They can help you get a copy."

The manual, which took the committee over a year to write and another year to publish, will be revised every couple of years Lethcoe said, noting the information in the edition available now is current and more editions are on the way.

"We hope to reprint maybe another 100 copies," she said.

Get yours now to make life easier for you – and your family – later.


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