By Betty Berry, Wednesday, March 31, 2010  Q: Since driving is so important in our part of the world, my friends and I are concerned about driving safely and keeping our licenses as we age. Do you know of any seminars that address this subject?

A: You and most seniors are very concerned about keeping the privilege to drive. The secret to keeping that privilege is understanding how the aging process affects our ability to drive, knowing the rules of the road and taking the responsibility of knowing when to give up our keys.

The next presentation in Senior Concerns’ Solving the Aging Puzzle Series is the answer to your request.

“Age Well — Drive Well” is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 13 at Senior Concerns Day Care Center, 401 Hodencamp Road, Thousand Oaks.

Ann Love, senior driving ombudsman with the Department of Motor Vehicles, will address issues that seniors, as responsible drivers, should take into consideration not only at renewal time but in their everyday driving.

For example, seniors must recognize the physical and mental changes that occur as they age and learn how to make adjustments.

Seniors should be honest about assessing their driving ability, and last but not least, acknowledge when it is time to stop driving.

As with all Senior Concerns educational presentations, there will be time at the end of the evening for questions and answers.

Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling 497-0189. However, if you forget to make a reservation, walk-ins are always welcome.

If you need respite care for a special-needs senior so you can attend the seminar, you can make arrangements for that care at the center when making your reservation.

Reservations for respite care are required.

Q: I noticed at the end of your column that you provide information on how to contact you. Following your e-mail address you ask that the sender’s telephone number be included. Why is that?

A: Most questions are complex and can’t be answered with a general response. With a telephone number I can call to ask additional questions to help the reader with his or her individual situation. This eliminates the need to e-mail back and forth and allows a timely response.

Q: I just discovered an IRA that I opened years ago in another state. I would like to change the beneficiary and wonder if it is difficult to do?

A: No, it is not difficult. You will need to obtain a Designation of Beneficiary Form from the trustee holding the IRA, then complete and return it.

Make sure to name both a primary and contingent beneficiary. If you have multiple beneficiaries, make sure that each beneficiary’s share is clearly defined with a fraction or percentage amount, or with the word “equally” if that is appropriate.

Keep a copy of your IRA beneficiary designations with other important papers and let your family know how to locate them if needed.


The Solving the Aging Puzzle Series for 2009-10 will conclude May 11 with a seminar titled “Rewired, Not Retired.

The committee responsible for developing this educational program is already planning the 2010-11 series. If you would like them to address a particular subject, let Senior Concerns know.

— Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are at the Goebel Senior Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362; call 495-6250 or e-mail (please include your telephone number). You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.


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