Boomerater™ Report: Favorite Brain Games

Add your ideas about barter deals to our weekly advisory of useful tips for boomers.

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The Boomerater™ Report is our weekly collaboration with Boomerater.com, the online Q&A website for Baby Boomers. In each report, we will feature a selection of helpful tips and advice from Boomerater’s collection of financial, consumer, and lifestyle content.

We also post a question of the week in which we're looking to hear your thoughts and first-hand perspectives. Last week we asked readers to tell us about their favorite brain games. We had many great responses and here are some of them:

A. I'm addicted to Facebook's PathWords...though I'm not sure if it keeps those neurons firing.

A. Doing Sudoku puzzles is a wonderful way to exercise the brain. I do them online or I print them and work on them at lunchtime, while waiting in a doctor's office, etc. You can start with the easy puzzles and work up to the advanced ones. Try it!

A. Reading book reviews on "Good Reads", B&N, Harriet Klausner. Gives me great ideas/reviews on what to read, and generally leads me to having 10 books lined up on my nightstand. Only trouble is I fall asleep after 15 minutes of reading at bedtime!

A. Luckily, my work keeps my brain going as if on a high-wire; constantly learning new skills on the computer. But, when I want to challenge my brain to "create new pathways," something which conventional wisdom once said couldn't be done, I try brushing my teeth with my left hand. It's not pretty, but the belief is that it takes approximately 21 daily repetitions for the brain to think it's learning something new and that it's time to create a new pathway. Things like that (feeding yourself lefty-working out with weights while standing on one foot) are all considered brain exercise. There is a lot of research to back this up, so those of you who can't handle the Sunday crossword puzzle might want to try this method.

And here are some tips for those of you dealing with the issue of executor responsibilities:

Q. My parents have asked me to be the executor of their estate. I'm honored that they trust me with this but don't know what's involved. I don't think their estate is very complicated, but I have no idea how much time/effort it could take. Any advice? (BTW, I visit them often but don't live near them.)

A. As the executor of my parents' estate here are some tips I can offer from my experience. (1) Get duplicate copies of death certificates - you'll need them to close accounts. (2) Know where everything is kept, not just where they bank, but where the keys for the safe deposit box are, etc. My parents had a weird "secret hiding place" where they kept my grandmother's jewelry - fortunately I knew about that, but never could find the keys to the car. (3) All costs have to be paid before you can settle the estate. This includes rent or mortgage, credit cards, property taxes, medical bills, etc. Hope this helps.

The Best Life question of the week is below. Go to Boomerater.com to share your thoughts, and in the next report we’ll share some of the best responses.

Can anyone recommend barter deals that have really worked for them? I'm looking for ways to conserve cash but am having trouble coming up with barter ideas that work for me.