May 14, 2019 — The government isn’t quite ready to slap warning signs on retirement contracts like it did on cigarette packages, but maybe it should. The Wall St. Journal recently reported on several studies showing that delaying retirement can improve your longevity. While most people look forward to pursuing their hobbies, traveling, and spending more time with the grandchildren, there are some downsides. Many folks watch too much TV, don’t exercise, and lack the mental stimulation to keep them sharp. The studies seem to find that policies that encourage people to keep working result in fewer health problems and longer lives.
According to a WSJ article, “The Case Against Early Retirement”, researchers for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, using an idea from a Dutch study, “concluded that delaying retirement reduced the five-year mortality risk for men in their early 60s by 32%”. Women experienced less of a mortality risk. The study in Holland used a series of increasing incentives to get workers to stay on the job longer.
“The only reason that I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.”
Editor’s note: Thanks to Dan J for making this suggestion about a fitness article: “Fitness…particularly since other apps or websites are geared towards younger folks. How about featuring a few tips here and there from fitness folks who may hold classes at some of these retirement places?” Leigh Pujado has been kind enough to help us carry out this suggestion, sharing the valuable insight she has gained as a long time personal trainer at WeBeFit.com.
By Leigh Pujado
April 29, 2019 — You know you are supposed to exercise. Practically everyone in your life, from your doctor, to your spouse, your kids, to your annoyingly fit at 70, tennis playing neighbor has consistently reminded you of the importance of getting in shape. So why is it that only 35% of you Baby Boomers are working out regularly?*
March 23, 2019 — This is the 5th module in our “Retirement Preparation 101” online course. The social aspects of retirement was one of most frequently requested topics for the series. Here is where you can see all of the Modules and all the Member suggestions for the course.
Here is a sample suggestion which led to this Module:
Katie: Loneliness in retirement. Whether single, divorced or widowed, loneliness is something that many of us will face as we retire from our work lives. Many of us spent our lives with people at work and any free time with spouses, children or other family. Friendships may have been with neighbors, our kids’ friends’ families, spouse’s work friends, etc. With retirement and a loss of the people around us, retirees can find themselves alone. Surely there are other good ideas and stories from people who have gone through this.
Overview – one step at a time
One short article cannot possibly address all the strategies or be a magic bullet to solving the problem of feeling alone. We encourage you to to view these tips as something to experiment with. A lifetime of habits cannot not be overcome in a day or a week or a month, but if you gradually apply some of these ideas in your daily life you just might be able to make a difference. Here we go:
Singles vs. married couples. A later module in this series will specifically address loneliness for singles. But we firmly believe that the strategies presented here are useful no matter what your state – single or married.
March 19, 2019 — If you have been on the campus of an active adult community or near a city park lately, you might have heard a repetitive loud sound – that of a composite racquet hitting a softball sized whiffle ball. What you are hearing, along with many cries of joy and frustration, is the game of pickleball, and it is expanding everywhere. Unless you have mobility or other serious health issues, we recommend you get it a “whack”.
Pickleball got started in 1965 on a modified badminton court. Kids in gym class sometimes play it because it can be played indoors in a fairly limited space with minimum equipment. Since then it has expanded around the globe, but has really taken off as an activity in 55+ and active adult communities.
What is it the game and how is it played Pickleball is played on a court that is roughly half the size of a tennis court. There is a net and there are different lines marked to indicate the playing area. Watch the Youtube video above to see a championship match in action!
The game can be played as singles (2 opponents) or more commonly doubles (4 players). It starts by a player serving a plastic ball with holes in it from the baseline across the net and to the diagonally opposite opponent. It must land in the box on the receiver’s side and bounce once before being hit back across the net. The small honeycombed racquet is several times the size of a ping pong paddle. When the racquet hits the perforated plastic ball there is a distinctive “whack”. To counter complaints about noise, newer, quieter racquets are coming in to play.
February 4, 2018 — Millions of Americans are getting on their bicycles in retirement. Bicycling gets you outside, provides cheap transportation, and is great exercise. Your editor loves it and bikes almost every day. Unfortunately there is a dark side to biking; it can be dangerous. This article will talk about how can you can be safer while riding your bike, and what you can do to encourage your town or city to make biking safer for everyone. Most of these tips also apply to walkers as well.
Where it’s safe, and not so much
Lists published on the towns and cities which have the most bike accidents abound, but they differ. The first and second most dangerous biking cities as reported by Your Local Security, a blog for home security company ADT, wouldn’t shock anyone – New York City and Los Angeles. But the remaining 23 “worst” places would surprise you – almost all of them are in states like Iowa, North Dakota, and Oklahoma, places not known as biking centers. The safest cities were in states like California and Oregon (Davis, CA, was the safest city). BillBoneBikeLaw.com reports a very different most dangerous cities list, and most of those are in Florida. Orlando/Kissimmee, Tampa/St.Pete, and Jacksonville head up that list. One big reason why these lists are so different – they don’t seem to take into account the number of miles biked. Places like New York have tens of thousands of bikes on the road every day, so of course there are going to be a lot of accidents.
January 1, 2018 – What better time of the year to think about this project than the first day of a New Year. Josh Walker over at NextAvenue.org wrote about their 2016 Facebook challenge to create a very short memoir. The challenge was to write down in six words or less a phrase that summarizes your life or philosophy. While a touch narcissistic, is a very good way to reflect on who you are right now, what you have accomplished, what and who you care about. Better than that, it is a chance to mindfully consider how you want to change.
November 20, 2018 — Flu season is upon us. That means lots of people…and their germs – are traveling. So that makes it a good time for us to consider all the vaccinations that are recommended for those of us of a certain age. As we get older, our immune systems tend to weaken, putting us at higher risk for certain diseases. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) believes that you should get all recommended vaccines, not only to keep yourself healthy, but those around you as well. All information in this article is from the CDC.
All adults need a seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine every year. (more…)
October 13, 2018 — Medicare Open Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 – Dec. 7. If you are currently on Medicare, or didn’t sign up when you were first eligible for it, now is the time to compare plans and make sure you have the coverage that’s right for you in 2019.
Sure you are busy and have many things to think about. But spending a little time and effort every year to make sure you are in the right plan Medicare plan is important. For example, maybe you currently have Medicare Part B along with a supplemental plan. Flash forward to the present. Your health needs might have changed since then, maybe enough so that you aren’t in the right plan anymore. Maybe Medicare Advantage (Part C) makes more sense now because it probably covers additional benefits such as vision, dental, (more…)
September 3, 2018 — Scammers are always looking for the latest way to separate you from your money. The newest is centered on the new Medicare cards that are in the process of being sent out. The scam usually comes in the form of a phone call with an offer to get your card on an expedited basis – all they need is some personal information. Their object is to steal your identity, and maybe more. We will also discuss two other common scams to look out for.
Everyone enrolled in Medicare will be getting a new card soon, if not already. You don’t have to do anything, yours will come if you are in Medicare. They are being sent out in waves. Once you get your new card, which will have a new number, not your Social Security number, you can destroy your old card. There is no need to panic (more…)
June 16, 2018 — Putting my psychologist hat for a moment…we are hearing an awful lot about suicide these days, including the tragic deaths of celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. For folks who haven’t felt seriously depressed or desperate, it may be hard to fathom thinking about killing yourself–and not considering the emotional destruction such an act leaves behind. But when folks feel that hopeless, suicide may seem like the only option. So what can we do to help?
Pay attention for signs of depression and suicide, including talk about feeling hopeless, changes in appetite or sleep habits, withdrawal and loss of interest in school, work, hobbies, friends, giving things away, preoccupation with death and dying…Even a sudden surge in energy and mood could mean that a very depressed person has concluded that suicide is the right solution.
If you see those signs, don’t hesitate to reach out. I taught this to my peer counselors at Yale: Don’t be afraid to ask directly: Are you feeling suicidal or thinking about harming yourself? If the answer is yes or maybe, get help! Call a family doctor for a referral or the suicide prevention hotline 800-273-8255
Comment: Retirement can be a stressful time. People who have a big piece of their identity wrapped up in their job may feel a big sense of loss. Men, who tend not to have strong personal relationships, may feel lonely and struggle. If someone you know looks like he or she needs need, reach out and tell him that you are there for him. That alone can help. If that someone in need is you – talk to someone!