Boomers Can Cope Returning to Work After a Serious Illness

Working Boomer looks at the situation where Baby Boomers deal with returning to work after a major illness or surgery.

Baby Boomer at workAs most of you know, today’s economy and health care insurance needs are not at their best.  Most people need a job and health care benefits.  Life can throw some curves for all of us and staying positive is sometimes difficult when we are faced with life and death situations. Putting food on the table and a roof over our heads has to be done.  You may have spent some time in a hospital or had major unexpected surgery which has caught you off guard.  The bank account may be low or empty.  You may have had to go on family leave with no income.  In addition you are facing pain and a complete life style change.  Then comes that day when you are due back at work.  You might be 62 years of age and concerned if you can still do the job that you know that you have to do.  Prior to a heart surgery or cancer you may have been an over achiever.  Some people are just that way.  You still may be weak and not quite back to your normal self, but the leave has ended.  It is time to do what you have to do.  Fear may set in for a while.  That is normal but you can only do the best that you can do. You are human.

Other words, you suit up and show up.  You put on the best smile possible.  You remain honest.  You ask for help if you need it, even though that is some thing that you are not use to doing.  You tell the truth.  You do the best that you can do without jeopardizing your health further.  If you are to reduce stress then take small breaks.  Let others talk if they must.  It is your life not theirs.  Eat healthy.  Take a walk at lunch time and get away from the chaos.  Talk to a trusted friend.  Use whatever resources that your work place has to offer you to get back on the proper track.  Eliminate worry.  It does no good.  Be easy on yourself and don’t expect others to be easy on you.  It is your life so treat it good.

Each day as you do this you will get stronger again.  Stay out of other people’s problems until you are able to deal with them, but show compassion.  Remember though, right now you are first.  Don’t expect to run a race with the person in the office that is twenty years younger than you.  Don’t expect special favoritism because of your condition.  You might get let down.  You are enough to give yourself love.

When it is time to end your work day, pat yourself on the back.  Say to yourself, I did the best that I could do; that is good enough for today.  Leave the work stress there when you leave.  Go home and enjoy your surroundings.  Pet the dog or cat.  Kiss the wife or husband if you have one.  Don’t feel guilty because you need extra rest.  Let things go that don’t have to be done immediately.  They will get done sooner or later.  Practice deep breathing.  Enjoy nature.  Love your sweet soft pillow and make use of a comfy bed.  Remember if you love yourself enough, this too shall pass.  There will be a day when you can relay this story to another human being that will go through the same thing.  Above all, be gentle with yourself. Learn to say no when it is necessary.

Live is full of unexpected curves.  It is full of unexpected events.  Say to your self each night prior to bedtime this one thing,  Self, I made it today and tomorrow I will try again.  I can and will do it.  I am the most important one to me today until my recovery is complete.  I will accept this one more boomer challenge in life just as many others are doing.  I am not alone.  Above all stay grateful!  You always can find something to be grateful for if you look hard enough.

Remember, it takes time for your body, mind, and spirit to heal after any major trauma or major surgery.  Listen to the body and be gentle.

Originally posted 2011-07-25 19:14:29.

A Little Music and A lot of Dancing

I came from a small town where dancing and what they called wild music was just not allowed. But music and dancing became of important part of Boomers lives.

I came from a small town where dancing and what they called wild music was just not allowed.   I mentioned before though that this Boomer is a free spirit.  Remember those little transistor radios back in the day.  Well you could see me at any time with one in my hip pocket.  Of course the hip had to be turned just the right way to get the music to come in clear from the radio station.  Oh and dancing in the small town was just a big no but I had the beat.

On a hot summer day you could catch me listening to some great hits.  I would sing “I’m Sorry” by Brenda Lee at the top on my lungs and couldn’t sing a lick as the old country saying goes.  Then there was Wild Thing, When A Man Loves a Women, and Papa’s Gotta Brand New Bag.  Yes, and don’t get me started on Heat Wave, Sugar, Sugar and Save The Last Dance for Me.

Little did I know that my all time favorite “Harper Vally P.T.A by Jeanne C. Riley would become my early wild boomer life.  Those hot pants and Go Go boots were my thing.  I worked hard and played hard and oh did I love to dance.  I would dance with my broom while cleaning house or dance the night away when out on the town or by then it was the city.

Then along came the song Ride the White Pony and my disco dancing could clear a dance floor any time.  If possible I would stay on a dance floor and close the place down.  They talk about running for exercise in today’s world but I am here to tell you back in the day, I danced for exercise!

Years were passing so I had to change my style.  I met up with a band leader and turned COUNTRY.   Now can you believe those apples.   I have sat with Chuck Berry at one of the places he owned and listened to him get a crowd roaring.  I was on a roll now and switched again.  This time it was Two stepping, country waltz, the 10 step and Cotton eyed Joe just to mention a few country dances.  Don’t let me get started on dancing to that all time great hit, Ride Sally Ride.  OH my, Oh my those were the days of music and dancing.

Then that thing called middle age started to creep up on me and I found my self sitting on a bar stool listening to “The Queen of the Silver Dollar by Dayle Holly.”  That did it!  I had to grow up.  Now that does not mean that I stopped listening to music nor did I stop dancing.  It just means I changed my way of life.  Maybe you could say maturity hit me or maybe I just needed to try something else like meditation music, easy listening,Christian rock, blues and jazz.    I even listened to a little Opera but that night will not be repeated.  It is great music but just not my THANG!

So here I sit today remembering back to Chicago, Three Dog Night, The Beatles and the list goes on and on.  Those tunes will never leave my head and I can still pat my foot any old time.  Yes sirree, those Boomer days were some great times.  Let’s keep on rocking and rolling because the Band Stand Group is not over yet!

Originally posted 2010-12-13 20:40:07.

Baby Boomers Health: 12 Tips for Old Guys

Health tips for age 50+ guys. Do these things and the rest of your life can be great. You can live like your fifties until your eighties and beyond. Don’t do these things and the relentless tides of aging will sweep over you and make you weak and sick and kill you early.

It all started when I needed a DVD for my Netflix queue. Despite the title, I selected a recommended movie titled “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross which turned out to be an inspiring film that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health while traveling across America, juicer in tow, and inspiring others to do the same. It featured the benefits of eating better and getting a reboot by juicing. I gave it a try.

About the same time my friend David recommend a book by the title “Younger Next Year” with the sub-title Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond. It sounded like a book for women. I was wrong, it is a book for old guys and a very good one. It features the value of exercise as you age and gives you a plan and what to expect.

I had not set out to loose weight. I have been 203 lbs on my last three annual physicals and to be honest I thought the days of loosing weight were over. But the DVD and the book helped me loose 27 lbs in the last 60 days. Plus I have joined the fitness center in my neighborhood and workout 6 times a week. So by following this free advice it is working for me. So what are the health tips for old guys from these two sources that are proven to work. I will just list them the best I can remember from using them.

Health Tips for Old Guys

1. Cut down on the meat eaten. Fish and chicken are good. Consume more fruits and vegetables. Quit eating crap!

2. Try juicing and drink at least one green drink a day. I happen to live next to a Whole Foods with a juice bar and go there for a green drink every day. Or get a blender and prepare yourself.

3. Rather than 3 large meals try small meals with at least two snacks in between. I do snack at 9:45am and 2:45pm but your schedule may vary. I love a hand full on mixed nuts and cranberries and a piece of fruit for a snack.

4. Watch your portion size, especially with meats.

5. Exercise for 45 minutes a day six days a week for the rest of your life. Two days do strength training and 4 days of cardio. Vary your work outs.

6. Get a heart monitor, join a gym and get a personal trainer.

7. Simply your life and spend less than you make.

8. Shave every day and get regular haircuts.

9. Get some up to date clothes to keep your wardrobe up to date.

10. Be positive and don’t get too negative.

11. Care

12. Stay active and involved with people. Socialization is important and many ways to do that like meetups, clubs, hobbies, senior centers, volunteer and others. Get a project.

Read the book and see the movie for a better explanation and motivation. This works. Why not try it.

Do these things and the rest of your life can be great. You can live like your fifties until your eighties and beyond.

Don’t do these things and the relentless tides of aging will sweep over you and make you weak and sick and kill you early.

Originally posted 2012-09-30 18:07:09.

WorkingBoomer Tries To Collect Social Security Benefits

This is probably old hat to some of you but I just need to share my experience that I had this morning.  Since I turned 62 yrs. old a week or so ago, I thought I had better pay a visit to my local social security office to ask a few questions.  Now I had researched most of my questions and had answers but wanted to sit down with a nice, understanding Social security person to make sure that I had my information correct.

Luckily the social security office was just a few blocks from me so I figured this would not take long for my only day off from work.  First I checked my purse to make sure that my s.s. card was there.  You guessed it.  Missing it was.  After a good half hour of searching with my heart pumping and face sweating I found it in another purse.  Down the road I went.

The building was very nice and I entered the door.  Right there sat a security guard ready to assist me.  He wanted to know why I was there and did I have an appointment.  I looked around the room which was full and said, “No, I don’t have an appointment so I am willing to make one and come back when it is less busy.”  His reply, “This is less busy and even if you make an appointment you would still have to take a number and wait.”  Now let me ask you folks, “Does this make good sense?”  So I explained why I was there and decided to wait.

Now the Dude said he needed to check my purse for gun, knives and etc. so I handed him my fanny pack and let him rumble around in my stuff.  He then handed me a number and told me to write my s.s. # on the small piece of paper. After that he let me know that I had some white stuff on my face near my ear and that I might want to go to the ladies room to get it off. Now this was a little embarrassing and it turned out to be just a little bit of dry soap.  I sure was glad that the ladies room was close by.  Then he told me to have a seat. There was one seat left which was on the front row right in front of the large overhead movie screen and the s.s. information pamphlets.  Now I noticed that all the info. on the walls, the screen and pamphlets also came in Spanish.  I thought that was nice but I didn’t see any Spanish speaking folks in there.

I decided that I would read some of the pamphlets while I waited.  Most of the information I knew about from looking it up on the computer.  Then I saw the one question that I was not sure about. The answer still was not clear to me so I book marked that page so I would be ready when my name was called.

Number 21, number 21, I heard.  “That’s me!” I thought.  Up to the window I went to meet a nice friendly looking Spanish fella that I thought was going to let me into the back to an office.  With my rear end hanging out his cube type window, I had to lean in to hear him speak.  Again he asked me the same question as the guard.  I explained again that I just wanted to sit down and review a few questions with them.  Now it did not appear that I was going into the back area nor was I going to be sitting down.

He then wanted my mother’s maiden name, my birthday, my father’s full name, and an ID to verify that I was me.  I was a bit surprised that he didn’t want my s.s. card.  Now for the question asking.  I let him know my salary and asked if I took s.s. early how would the taxes be calculated.  He assured me there would be no taxes.  So I knew right then and there that this trip was going to go no where.  I opened the pamphlet and showed him the paragraph that states how much taxes would have to be paid if a person makes over the $14,500 per yr. amt.  I just wanted an estimated dollar amt.  He took the pamphlet and read it then he said excuse me I will be back and left.

There I stood still at the window like a fool and the room was becoming more and more packed.  The guard was behind me still checking for knives, guns and etc.  Finally my man returned with some GREAT INFORMATION.  He said I was right and I would need to check that all out with my tax man.  Now I was still determined to get in that back room and sit down with someone.  You guessed it.  I failed again.  The guy told me when I was ready to file just come back, make an appointment and fill out the papers.

Needless to say, I went out to my car and started laughing.  I am grateful for my sense of humor.  So to sum this up for you folks I will list a few things here for you to do when visiting the Social Security office to check on or apply for your benefits:

  1. Do not bother going at all if you are computer smart and have a printer.
  2. Forget the question asking, just read while sitting in a comfortable seat at your house.
  3. Ask your tax man the questions that you need to know if you are still employed.  Don’t bother those folks at the social security office.
  4. Only and again I say only, when you are ready to retire and draw, then get down to the paper filling out and visit them if you want.  Maybe you will get a nice seat in the back. Then you might  get passed security and the front desk guy.
  5. If you are a man leave your pocket knife at home.  Now I think we all know not to take any guns.
  6. Ladies make sure that you do not have articles in your purse that you don’t want the guards hands all over.
  7. Take a second look at your face before leaving the house to make sure it is nice and clean.
  8. If you wear glasses take them with you because most of the answers to any questions are in the pamphlets and you will definitely have plenty of TIME to read even if you made an appointment.
  9. The waiting room chairs are very close together so try to get an end seat if at all possible.
  10. Since I heard one guy tell his wife that he had not taken his anxiety medicine that morning, I will remind you to take your blood pressure meds, anxiety meds, and happy pills before leaving your house.
  11. Read up first – Understanding Social Security

All in all just forget the entire thing until you know that you are absolutely ready to retire.  Save all the money that you can before then.  After all who knows where social security will be when you are actually ready.  Then if there is someone else that has already endured this experience, ask for advice before making a trip to the social security office.

Originally posted 2011-01-05 18:27:14.

AARP Discounts: Consumer Cellular

In retirement it is wise to control your expenses and a good way to do that is to review your current expenses to see if there is a way to save some money by decreasing your pay outs for existing services. This is a good exercise actually for everyone regardless if you are retired or not.

I called the cable company and was able to reduce my monthly expenses, at least for a few months. Good start.

So I took a look at our cellular phone bill and was surprised to see how high the cost has gotten.  We had the same large carrier for over 20 years now and I think I have fallen asleep with regards to scrutinizing their bills. I figured I should be able to do better than this. So I contacted them but they were not willing to reduce the costs, just offered to give me a little more services which I didn’t want.

So I did some checking around and found Consumer Cellular through AARP was offering very reasonable fees for all the coverage we needed. We could save some serious money by switching to Consumer Cellular.  With AARP membersip benefits activation is free and you get a 5% discount every month on service and usage charges with no contract. So the cost and terms were much better than my existing plan.

Consumer Cellular is Less Money But Are They As Good?

I checked the community website where we will be moving to shortly and three people in the discussion group said they have Consumer Cellular and have fine service. Others also say the service is fine, in fact they used the same towers that AT&T and T-Mobile use.

So do I have to use one of those big phones? Nope, you probably can use your existing phone if it has a SIM card. So mostly likely you can use your existing phone or purchase one of many types of phones from them at a discounted price.

I called them and the representative was very helpful. Plus they have 100% USA based support.

Another plus in my book was that they have no contracts so I am not locked into one of those two year contracts again. Their 100% risk free guarantee means you can try Consumer Cellular for up to 45 days with 450 minutes and cancel with no charge whatsoever as I understand it. Also the representative told me that there are no hidden fees, no shipping nor credit card fees.

So if you are looking for an easy way to save on monthly costs without giving anything up, a look into AARP Consumer Cellular might be worth your time. Phone: 1-888-429-7449

AARP Consumer Cellular



Thanks to the ladies at the Consumer Cellular booth at Life@50 in South Beach for posing for the photo I took that appears at the top of this post. And thanks for the helpful info.





Originally posted 2015-05-14 22:06:31.

Baby Boomers: Love life, Live It As If There Is No Tomorrow

Each day I try to read something that will inspire me. This morning I was drawn to a quote by Dr. Maya Angelou,’Love Life, engage in it, give it all you’ve got, love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.” As I went about my daily routine those words stuck in my head. I had a sense of peace but not exactly knowing why. My heart felt at peace, warm and comfortable.

It is now evening. I sat down at my computer and decided to read Dr. Angelou’s Biography. Little did I know that this great woman came from my city. She struggled, overcame, and endured and met the test of Life. Her Bio ends with these words,” Dr. Angelou’s words and actions continue to stir our souls, energize our bodies, liberate our minds and heal our hearts.”

Now I sit here at the computer completely wordless and left with a feeling called Love. What more can be said? What more needs to be said? Dr. Angelou said it ALL. These words are the key to peace, happiness and  fulling  LIFE.

In conclusion I will just add, Love life, live it as if there is no tomorrow. No matter how big or small we all have something to offer.   Celebrate each day as if is a priceless gift. If one accomplishes only one thing in a day let it be living a Life of Love with Peace and Harmony.

Originally posted 2010-12-02 22:03:15.