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What is an Ethical Will and Do You Need One?

Monday , October 5 , 2020

What is an Ethical Will and Do You Need One?

Have you ever heard someone mention their “ethical will” and wondered what in the world they were talking about? We’re here to tell you what you need to know.

First, an “ethical will” or “legacy letter” is not legally binding. They don’t bequeath assets or spell out your last wishes.

Ethical wills are documents that communicate values and life experiences to your family or loved ones. They express your thoughts and feelings about what’s most important to you to those you care about. They can be created by a person of any faith – or of no faith at all.

And many people find that writing down their personal history eases the existential pain about the end of life.

Keep reading to learn more:

How do I Write an Ethical Will? 

Unlike a Last Will and Testament, ethical wills can take many forms. Because they are not a legal document, you are free to be as creative as you want.

Many people choose to simply write up a document, often just a single page. Others create slideshows, photo albums, recipe collections, or a gathering of favorite quotes.

The document (or collection) can be a one-time creation, something you add to at each of life’s milestones (retirement, the birth of a grandchild, etc.), or something you work on throughout your life. It can be intended for your children, grandchildren, spouse or partner, best friend, and more.

There really are no rules!

How do I Create My Ethical Will? 

According to AARP, you should begin your ethical will by “jotting down notes about your beliefs, life lessons and hopes for the future. You might include details about your family history. You also may want to express gratitude toward family and friends or request forgiveness for past actions.”

If you plan on creating a multi-media project, you might also start gathering photos, collecting favorite quotes, filming video, and more.

Ask yourself, “What have I learned during my lifetime that I’d like to share?”

Here are some topics that others have chosen to include in their ethical wills. Feel free to use these questions as you wish, skip some, or add your own:


  • What values are important to me?
  • What are my spiritual beliefs?
  • Are there any special sayings, traditions, or rituals that have been passed down through the family?


  • What would I like to pass down to my grandchildren or other loved ones?
  • What books and movies influenced me and in what way?

Words of Wisdom

  • What advice can I offer to others about living their lives? Do I have any wisdom to pass on to the next generation?
  • What has life taught me?
  • What have I learned from my parents or grandparents that I want to pass on?
  • If I could change one thing in the world, what would I change and why?

Life Experiences

  • What do I want my family to know about me that they might not already be aware of?
  • Have I ever had a life-altering experience? How did this affect me?
  • What was the most significant/meaningful moment in my life?
  • What made my life worth living? A special relationship? Work? Children? Hobbies?
  • Did I fulfill all the dreams of my youth?
  • Who is or was the most important person in my life? What did I learn from them?
  • Were there any others who greatly impacted my life? Who?
  • What am I most proud of?


  • What was the most difficult decision I ever made?
  • Is there anything in life I wish I had done differently? Do I need to request forgiveness or make amends with anyone?
  • If I knew I only had one year left to live, what would I do?
  • How did I choose the recipients for my charitable gifts and financial inheritance?

Creating an ethical will is simple, fun, and FREE. Why not start on your own project today and give your loved ones something to cherish for years to come?

Posted in: Aging

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How to Tackle Online Dating in Your Golden Years

Tuesday , February 18 , 2020

How to Tackle Online Dating in Your Golden Years

Are you over 60, newly single, and looking to mingle? You may have noticed that the dating world has changed quite a bit over the last few decades.

Gone are the days of meeting through friends or marrying your high school sweetheart. Making connections at work happy hour or the church social are things of the past.

These days, people meet online. And in a world where we bank, shop, and set appointments from our computers, doesn’t that just make sense?

While online dating may sound daunting, it’s a total game-changer. Finding love online puts all the power in your hands, allowing you to “browse” the options before making any decisions.

And if thousands of other adults aged 60+ are doing it, why can’t you? All you need is an open mind, the ability to navigate some very basic technology, and a positive attitude!

Ready to jump in? Here’s what you need to know:

Choose the Right Dating Site
With so many dating sites out there, you may not know which one to choose. Our tip? Vet a few (specifically targeted at seniors) before you choose one or two to join.

Most sites will offer a free trial before they make you officially sign up. During that time, you can browse members to see if they seem like your type, note if they seem to be active, and (depending on the site) even message a few people.

Not sure where to start? According to Mashable, the top eight senior dating sites are:

• eHarmony
• Match
• EliteSingles
• SilverSingles
• Zoosk
• OurTime
• Senior FriendFinder
• SeniorMatch

Be Honest
When it comes to the internet, people tend to only post the very best things about themselves: The most attractive photos, the wittiest quotes, the happiest announcements.

But that’s not real life.
If you’re hoping to start a quality relationship with someone new, it’s best to start off on the right (honest) foot.

Post current photographs that show what you look like now (not when you were 20 pounds lighter or 10 years younger). Share your actual interests (not made-up hobbies that you think will make you look interesting). And, most of all, be honest about what you want (whether that’s a long-term committed relationship, or a casual fling).

Be Realistic
The over-60 dating pool keeps growing larger and larger as people live longer, healthier lives – but it’s still fairly limited.

If you go onto a dating site with very specific requirements (i.e. has a good pension, owns a home, and still has all his own hair), you may end up sorely disappointed.

Of course, you want to be attracted to the person you end up dating. But keep in mind, if you are dating someone in your own age range, there is likely to be evidence of that age. Don’t let a few (or a lot) of gray hairs turn you off!

Start a Conversation
Some people have a hard time starting a conversation in real life. The internet can be even worse – especially for a generation that didn’t grow up around technology.

Take the time to read other people’s profiles and pick up on their interests and desires. Likewise, make sure your bio has enough information about you to prompt others to ask questions or start a conversation.

Once you get the ball rolling, keep the message exchange moving until you can have a real, honest-to-goodness conversation.

Set a Date
Of course, the ultimate end goal of online dating is usually to meet someone in real life.

Once you’ve exchanged several emails or phone call and have determined that you find someone interesting, it’s time to grab a coffee.

Experts recommend having your first face-to-face in a neutral, public place. Tell a relative or friend where you are going to be and who you are meeting and choose a casual activity like breakfast or lunch.

After the date, make sure to follow up (email or text is fine) and don’t be worried if you didn’t feel any chemistry – there are other fish in the sea!

Keep browsing, make more connections, and enjoy the ride!

Posted in: Aging

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Dating In Your Sixties (And Beyond)

Monday , February 10 , 2020

Dating In Your Sixties (And Beyond)

St. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and love is in the air.

If you’re a single senior who’d like to jump back into the dating pool, you’ve come to the right place! This week’s blog is all about romance and relationships . . . after the age of 65.

Dating in Your Sixties (and Beyond)

Some seniors are looking for love after losing a spouse. Some are divorced. And some – lifelong singles – have decided that they’re ready to settle down.

No matter the circumstances, dating as an older adult can provide some unique hurdles.

For one, there really is no precedent for dating later in life. Past generations simply didn’t live as long, “gray divorce” wasn’t really a thing, and widowers didn’t typically jump back into the dating scene.

Today, people are living much longer. If a spouse passes away at 70, their partner may feasibly live for another 10 to 20 years (or more). Many individuals don’t want to be without romantic love for that long.

The result? Many older adults are trying to navigate a world of romance that is VASTLY different than it was 50 or 60 years ago (we’re looking at you, online dating sites).

In addition, they may have to work around health problems, mobility issues, lack of transportation, a limited budget, and more.

What’s a single senior to do? Try out these easy ideas.

How do Older Singles Find Love?

Just like singles of any age, seniors can meet in a variety of ways.

One of the easiest is to be “set up” through friends or family who may know a suitable match. It’s likely that your senior friends know plenty of other people in the same age range – many of them widowed or divorced and looking for love.

If you’re not into the idea of blind dates, though, there are plenty of other ways. Here are some of our favorites:

• Hire a matchmaker: While this may seem old-fashioned and “out of date,” hiring a professional can take a lot of the headaches out of meeting someone new. They know you, they know what you’re looking for (and what you’re not), and they may know EXACTLY who to introduce you to.
• Check out the community center: Signing up for activities at the local community or senior center provide a low-key way to get to know other people. Worst case scenario? You make some new friends. Best case? You bond over your love of parcheesi and meet your next great love!
• Don’t be afraid to say “hi”: Next time you’re at the coffee shop or library, strike up a conversation with someone of interest! Even if they’re not single, it’s a fun way to meet new people and create connection.
• Try your senior living community: Do you live in an independent living or assisted living community? Chances are, many of your neighbors are single – and living nearby makes it much easier to get together without relying on others for rides.
• Enlist your children: Do you have adult children? Chances are they want to see mom or dad happy and would gladly act as wingman. Find out if they have any friends with single parents or if they know anyone through work or other activities!
• Go online!: All the kids are doing it. Why can’t you? Today, there are dozens of websites (like OurTime or Silver Singles) aimed solely at helping older adults meet. Not sure how to navigate the online world? Ask a younger adult for help!

Be Patient

Dating in your golden years isn’t quite as easy as it is in your twenties. For one, the dating pool just isn’t as large. For another, you’re likely to be FAR pickier at 65 than you were at 25 (and good for you – you should be!).

Finding the right match might take a while. And that’s ok!

Looking for “the one” can be fun. Get out, try new things, have fun, and meet lots of people.

And remember – even if you’re lonely, it doesn’t mean that you’re alone. Friends, family, and acquaintances can provide companionship and keep your days busy and full!

Posted in: Aging

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