Elder law has become one of the fastest growing segments of the legal industry. This is mainly due to the fact that America's baby boomers are reaching the age of retirement in numbers never seen before. The World War II generation was the first to take full benefit of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These programs have changed over the years to adjust to seniors' needs and will continue to do so as an ever-increasing strain is put on these systems with the retirement of baby boomers.

Reaching your "golden years" means an introduction into programs and benefits that you may not have given much thought to earlier. There will be challenges both financially and medically. Families are more spread out than in previous generations and may not be close by to help out as they were in your parents' and grandparents' day.

Seniors have many legal rights and a number of services to help them enjoy their retirement years. But you must plan ahead. Make yourself aware of the laws and benefits available. Most importantly, do not be afraid to take charge and ask questions when you do not feel comfortable.