Panel forms to address seniors’ concerns

Meetings with experts on variety of issues will answer questions, give information

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter



If you go

What: Professional Senior Resource Panel.

When: 4 p.m. Jan. 17, April 17, July 17 and Oct. 16.

Where: The Quarry Senior Living, 415 S.E. 177th Ave., Vancouver.

Information: 360-944-6000 or

A group of senior-services professionals has scheduled a series of free panel sessions to provide information and answer questions about senior issues.

“One reason seniors get frustrated is that it takes so much work to get answers, and they don’t know who to trust,” said Maria Jokela, community outreach director at The Quarry Senior Living in Vancouver.

The panel will offer a trustworthy and objective source of information where seniors can obtain answers to questions and be able to make informed decisions about long-term care, personal finance and estate planning, Jokela said.

The first panel session is at 4 p.m. Jan. 17 at The Quarry Senior Living, 415 S.E. 177th Ave. in Vancouver. The topic is “Tax Issues of the Greatest Generation.”

Experts will discuss tax issues seniors may face in retirement, how congressional decisions could affect their financial picture and tax advantages and drawbacks of living in Oregon vs. Washington. The guest panelist will be Scott Louchney, a financial planner with Ameriprise Financial.

Self-promotion prohibited

Subsequent events are scheduled for 4 p.m. April 17, July 17 and Oct. 16. The one-hour events include a 15-minute presentation followed by a 45-minute question and answer period.

The panel includes Jokela, Dan Marsh, an attorney and former state lawmaker; John Nord, an independent fiduciary; and Ryan Kramer, a certified public accountant. A new guest panelist will join them each quarter. Self-promotion is prohibited during the sessions, Jokela said.

“We are not trying to sell any practice, product or service,” Marsh said. “We are there to provide information and answer questions.”

The group joined forces after discussing the need for a resource where seniors can seek expert advice, Jokela said.

“Anything that costs money, seniors are very skeptical about,” Jokela said. “People may not seek out an expert because they’re worried about being taken advantage of.”

Panelists can answer questions about wills, health care directives, power of attorney, long-term care insurance, universal design for senior lifestyles, reverse mortgages, protecting personal finances when incapacitated, handling a parent’s estate and other topics.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551;;;