Savvy Senior

By Jim Miller | May 30, 2023

  1. How to Prepare a Will
  2. Best Dating Apps for Retirees
  3. Toenail Trimming Tips for Seniors
  4. How Medicare Covers Physical Therapy Services

How to Prepare a Will 

Dear Savvy Senior,

I would like to make my last will and testament and would like to know if I can do it myself, or do I need to hire a lawyer?

  • Don’t Have Much

Dear Don’t,

Very good question! Almost everyone needs a will, but only around one-third of American have actually prepared one. Having a last will and testament is important because it ensures your money and property will be distributed to the people you want to receive it after your death.

If you die without a will (a.k.a. dying “intestate”), your estate will be settled in accordance with state law. Details vary by state, but assets typically are distributed using a hierarchy of survivors i.e., first to a spouse, then to children, then your siblings, and so on.

You also need to be aware that certain accounts take precedence over a will. If you jointly own a home or a bank account, for example, the house, and the funds in the account, will go to the joint holder, even if your will directs otherwise. Similarly, retirement accounts and life insurance policies are distributed to the beneficiaries you designate, so it is important to keep them up to date too.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

Not necessarily. Creating a will with a do-it-yourself software program may be acceptable in some cases, particularly if you have a simple, straightforward estate and an uncomplicated family situation. Otherwise, it’s best to seek professional advice. An experienced lawyer can make sure you cover all your bases, which can help avoid family confusion and squabbles after you’re gone.

If you need help finding someone the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (, the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils ( and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel ( websites are good resources that have online directories to help you search.

Costs will vary depending on your location and the complexity of your situation, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $200 and $1,000 or more to get your will made. To help you save, shop around and get price quotes from several different firms. And before you meet with an attorney, make a detailed list of your assets and accounts to help make your visit more efficient.

If money is tight, check with your state’s bar association (see to find low-cost legal help in your area. Or call the Eldercare Locater at 800-677-1116 for a referral.

If you are interested in a do-it-yourself will, some top options to consider are Nolo’s Quicken WillMaker & Trust (, $99) and Trust & Will (, $159). Or, if that’s more than you’re willing to pay, you can make your will for free at or

It’s also recommended that if you do create your own will, have a lawyer review it to make sure it covers all the important bases.

 Where to Store it?

Once your will is written, the best place to keep it is either in a fireproof safe or file cabinet at home, in a safe deposit box in your bank or online at sites like But make sure your executor knows where it is and has access to it. Or, if a professional prepares your will, keep the original document at your lawyer’s office. Also, be sure to update your will if your family or financial circumstances change, or if you move to another state.

Best Dating Apps for Retirees 

Dear Savvy Senior,

Can you recommend some good online dating apps or sites for retirees? I’m a 66-year-old widow and would like to find a new friend to spend time with, but don’t know where to turn.

  • Cautious Carol

Dear Carol,

Whether you’re interested in dating again or just looking for a friend to spend time with, online dating sites and apps have become an easy and convenient way for older adults to meet new single people without ever having to leave home.

And to make things even easier, most sites today use matchmaking algorithms that factor in your interests and preferences so they can steer you to matches that are best suited for you. Here are some other tips to help you get started.

Choose a site: There are dozens of different matchmaking websites and apps available today, so choosing can be a bit confusing. While many sites offer free trials or watered-down free content, finding out the price can be difficult until you register and provide some information. In general, viewing complete profiles and messaging potential dates will require a monthly fee, which can range anywhere between $10 and $40 per month.

Some top mainstream sites/apps that are popular among older adults are, and If, however, you’re interested in more age specific sites, some great options are or

Or if you have a specific kind of person you’d like to meet, there are dozens of niche sites like: for educated professionals; for Christian singles; for black singles; for Jewish singles; and for people who love Facebook.

Create a profile: When you join a matchmaking site, you’ll need to create a personality profile that reflects who you are, including recent photos, hobbies, interests, favorite activities and more. If you need some help, sites like can write one for you for a fee.

Practice caution: When you register with a site you remain anonymous. No one gets access to your personal contact information until you decide to give it out, so be prudent to whom you give it. Before meeting, you should chat on the phone or video chat a few times, and when you do meet in person for the first time, meet in a public place or bring a friend along. And if someone asks for money or your financial information, don’t give it out. Online dating/sweetheart scams are rampant so be very cautious.

Be skeptical: In an effort to get more responses, many people will exaggerate or flat out lie in their profiles, or post pictures that are 10 years old or 20 pounds lighter. So, don’t believe everything you see or read.

Make an effort: A lot of times, people – especially women – sit back and let others come to them. Don’t be afraid to make the first move. When you find someone you like, send a short note that says, “I really enjoyed your profile. I think we have some things in common.” Keep it simple.

Don’t get discouraged: If you don’t get a response from someone, don’t let it bother you. Just move on. There are many others that will be interested in you and it only takes one person to make online dating worthwhile.

Toenail Trimming Tips for Seniors

Dear Savvy Senior,

Can you recommend some good toenail clipping solutions for seniors? My toenails have gotten increasingly thick since I’ve gotten older and have become very difficult for me to reach down and cut.

  • Almost 80


Dear Almost,

Trimming your toenails is a task that most people don’t think much about, but as we get older it can become very challenging. For many older adults, like yourself, toenails can become thicker and harder to cut, and reduced flexibility can make it more difficult to even get into the right position to cut them. Fortunately, there are solutions available that can make this job a little easier.

One of the simplest tricks for cutting thick toenails is to simply take a bath or shower, or soak your feet in warm water, prior to cutting them. The water helps soften them for easier cutting.

There are also toenail softening creams you can buy, like “Miracle of Aloe Toenail Soft” and “Barielle Toenail Softening Cream,” that temporarily softens thick, hard nails. Just rub it into your toenails at bedtime and in the morning, they’ll be easier to cut and file.

Most people’s toenails grow about 1/16 inch per month, so it’s appropriate to cut them every six to eight weeks.

When cutting nails, take care not to cut too far down. Overaggressive trimming and cutting the toenails too short can lead to ingrown toenails. Podiatrists typically recommend leaving a very small bit (about 1/32 inch) of nail past the nail bed when trimming.

You may also want to avoid a rounded cut. It’s best to cut the nails fairly straight across, ensuring that the corners of the nail do not cut into the skin folds of the toe. And use an emery board to smooth the jagged edges and corners that can snag and potentially tear the nail as it grows.

Top Toenail Clippers

There are a number of medical-grade or specialty toenail clippers recommended by professionals for older adults.

For thick nails the “New Huing Podiatrist Toenail Clippers” is a top option. This clipper has a sharp, curved blade that easily cuts through any toenail, no matter how hard or thick it has gotten, and a nonslip, cushion grip that allows for comfortable clipping.

For those with limited mobility, check out the “Clipperpro Omega Select Toenail Clipper,” which has a long plastic grip that’s much larger than that of a standard set of nail clippers and a blade head that swivels 180 degrees. Both of those features make this clipper much easier to use for anyone with arthritis or mobility issues, since they have more control and an added range they can reach.

And for people who have a hard time bending over, there are long handled toenail clippers like the “DriFeez Long Handle Toenail Clippers” which come in four sizes – 20, 24, 28 and 32 inches long. It also has a heavy-duty clipper with a 1/8-inch-wide jaw opening designed to cut thick toenails.

All of these clippers are available online at sites like or at prices ranging between $10 and $40.

Toenail Trimming Services

If you get to the point that you can’t, or would rather not cut your own toenails, a podiatrist can provide both foot and toenail care. But be aware that routine foot care is not covered by Medicare unless you have an underlying condition or injury that requires a professional to tend to your feet.

If you are generally in good health, regular pedicures at a nail salon is good option for getting your toenails cut and is much cheaper than visiting a podiatrist.

How Medicare Covers Physical Therapy Services


Dear Savvy Senior,

Does Medicare cover physical therapy, and if so, how much coverage do they provide? My 66-year-old husband was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and will need ongoing physical therapy to help keep him moving.

  • Worried Wife

Dear Worried,

Yes, Medicare does indeed pay for physical therapy along with occupational and speech therapy too, if he needs it, as long as it’s prescribed by his doctor. You’ll also be happy to know that Medicare has no limits on how much it will pay for therapy services, but there is an annual coverage threshold you should be aware of. Here’s what you should know.

Outpatient Therapy

To get Medicare Part B – which covers outpatient care – to help cover your husband’s physical therapy, it must be considered medically necessary and will need to be ordered by his doctor. The same holds true for occupational and speech therapy.

He can get these services as an outpatient at a number of places like a doctor or therapist office; in a hospital outpatient department; at an outpatient rehabilitation facility; at skilled nursing facilities if he is being treated as an outpatient; and at home through a therapist connected with a home health agency when he is ineligible for Medicare’s home health benefit.

For outpatient therapy, Medicare will pay 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount after you meet your Part B deductible ($226 in 2023). You will be responsible for the remaining 20 percent unless you have supplemental insurance.

But be aware that if his therapy costs reach $2,230 in a calendar year (2023), Medicare will require his provider to confirm that his therapy is still medically necessary. Medicare used to set annual limits on what it would pay for outpatient therapeutic services, but the cap was eliminated a few years back.

You also need to know that treatment recommended by a physical therapy provider but not ordered by a doctor is not covered. In this situation, the therapist is required to give your husband a written notice, called an Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage or ABN, that Medicare may not pay for the service. If he chooses to proceed with the therapy, he is agreeing to pay in full.

Inpatient Therapy

If your husband happens to need physical therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation facility like at a skilled nursing facility or at your home after a hospitalization lasting at least three days, Medicare Part A – which provides hospital coverage – will pick up the tab.

To be eligible, his doctor will need to certify that he has a medical condition that requires rehabilitation, continued medical supervision, and coordinated care that comes from his doctors and therapists working together.

Whether you incur out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and coinsurance, and how much they are, will depend on the setting for the treatment and how long it lasts. For more information on inpatient therapy out-of-pocket costs see

Medicare Advantage Coverage

If your husband is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan (like an HMO or PPO), these plans must cover everything that’s included in original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. However, some Advantage plans may require a person to use services from physical therapy practices within an agreed network. If he has an Advantage plan, you’ll need to contact his specific plan before selecting a physical therapy provider to confirm they’re within the network.

More Questions?

If you have other questions about coverage and costs for therapeutic services, call Medicare at 800-633-4227 or contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), which provides free Medicare counseling. Visit or call 877-839-2675 to connect with a local SHIP counselor.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.