Surprising Age 55 Benefits

Surprising Age 55 Benefits

The benefits accompanying that 55th birthday are many, and some of these benefits may surprise you. Advantages of becoming a “senior” can include perks in just about every area of life: finances, health, transportation and travel, everyday purchases, fun, and even education. Here are a few of those perks that you may not know about:

· Reduced insurance premiums: Although many insurance companies view “getting on in years” as an insurance risk, at the age of 55 you qualify to take the AARP Driver Safety course, which can earn you a discount on your annual premiums. This discount is even mandated by law in some states. Contact the AARP or AAA (if you are a member) regarding this program.

· AARP Discounts: As a member of AARP (you can join at age 50), you can take advantage of many of the AARP Discounts that may surprise  you including travel, games, eye wear, free movies, insurance, restaurants, entertainment and much more.

· Lower property taxes: Okay, this benefit does not apply to 55-year-olds; you are still far too young to enjoy it! The Senior Citizens’ Exemption actually applies to some lower-income individuals age 65 and over. If you are 65+ and your annual income is $29,000 or less, you may be able to shave up to 50% off of the property taxes you pay on your primary residence – whether levied by county, school district, or city.

· Free continuing education: Thanks to the Senior Citizens’ Higher Education Act, after age 55 you may be able to take credit-earning college courses without paying any tuition. This benefit is also income-based: your taxable income in the previous year cannot have exceeded $15,000 to get the free courses. Even those seniors with more income get some benefit, though: they can audit a credit-earning course – or take a non-credit course – free of tuition.

· Active Adult Community:  At age 55 you legally qualify to live in a 55 plus community or active adult community.

· Senior Center: Many senior centers or as some of them are called “active adult centers” have age 55 requirements. Before you laugh, you should check out today’s senior centers in your neighborhood.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are also Silver Sneakers gym programs, prescription medication discounts, senior travel deals, and benefits at grocery stores, national parks, movie theaters, hotels, restaurants, and many other locations. These offers for 55+ customers may not be publicized, so you should check with the local Chamber of Commerce, or simply flash your ID at your favorite businesses and ask, and you may be amazed at how much you can save.

AARP Discounts
Senior Discounts
Age 55 Perks and Discounts

Originally posted 2020-09-20 09:44:23.

Snowtirement

Audrey and Jay were having a wonderful time visiting their long time friends Bob and Mary at the home they moved to six months ago in Village at Deaton Creek, an Active Adult Community North of Atlanta.

“I love the way you have decorated your home, it looks like a model home! I am sure you had some help, didn’t you?” asks Audrey.

“Yes, we sure did. There is a designer woman we met at the Vendor Fair here that we really liked. She helped us, especially with the paint colors, rugs and even some furniture. I cannot believe we are buying furniture at age 67!” replied Mary.

Audrey exclaimed, “Love the floor plan especially the sun room and it’s all on one level. No Stairs!”

After the tour of their home, Bob and Mary gave their friends the community tour and included the large clubhouse, called the Activities Center. It was impressive with the gym, indoor pool, craft rooms, library and huge ballroom where Bob explained they love to go to concerts.

“We really like it here and have made the adjustment but still feel like we are on vacation.”, Bob beamed. “It really is like living on a cruise ship!”

“We’ll get a quick lunch before you go; I know you need to get on the road with questionable weather on the way.”

“There is a place next door at the Reunion Golf Course Clubhouse that has a wonderful patty melt with potato fries.”, Bob suggested. Off they went to a late lunch and more discussions of how living in an active adult community is. After lunch on the way out to the car, everyone was surprised to see it was snowing. Well it is January but this was unexpected. Back at Bob and Mary’s house, there were quick goodbyes and a promise to get together again soon. Bob gave directions of a short cut back to Alpharetta via Friendship Road to Peachtree Industrial Blvd. “You will not have to get on the expressway and it’s not a bad trip.” Bob offered.

Audrey and Jay hit the road to snow flurries coating their Honda and began to discuss their visit.

“They sound like they are having the time of their lives don’t they. I have not seen them this excited in a while. I wonder if the excitement will wear off?” wonders Jay.

It sounds so exciting. Bob has taken up race walking and bocce and thinking about learning pickle ball even. He says he and Mary take a cardio class a couple of times a week. Mary says she has made a new friend and just had a day outing for shopping and lunch. She also plays Hand and Foot, a card game with the women on her street. “They sure are active; I guess that is why they call it an active adult community.” offered Audrey.

“Jay have you ever thought of moving to a place like that, an active adult community?” inquires Audrey.

About that time it was really snowing hard, mixed with sleet. Visibility was becoming bleak and on Peachtree Industrial they hit a bump, which was an ice patch and the car swerved around and came to a stop on the shoulder.

“Wow, this is a hazard to drive in and not safe!” says Audrey who was driving. A quick check of the radio weather confirmed roads were closing around Alpharetta and all points north.

“There is a motel up on the right. Let’s head over there and see if they have a room, Audrey, before it is too late and we get stuck out here.”
They make it the short distance on the slippery road to the motel and are able to check in a room, as others are doing the same.

“Looks like we will be staying tonight to let things blow over until it clears tomorrow by noon.”

A call to Bob and Mary and to their daughter lets everyone know they are safe.

“At least the motel has a restaurant next to the office and the manager tells me they will stay open for the guests.” reassures Jay.

After four hours in the room watching the storm coverage on TV and then getting some rest, they were ready for dinner. The diner was open and they take the short breezeway walk over to enjoy a leisurely meal. They order a bottle of red wine.

“Jay, I think I would like to look into living in an active adult community like that, when I retire. What do you think?” Audrey asks.

“I don’t know. I have some reservations about communities like that.”

“Please tell me what they are?”

“Well is that where you want to end up?” ponders Jay.

“I don’t think of it as ending up anywhere, just a move for a more meaningful life.”

“I just don’t think I’m ready for that. Did you see all the white hair in that group of card players in the clubhouse? That is scary.”

“Jay you are now 65. Our good friend Bob and Mary are 67. Those people in the clubhouse were nice when we spoke with them. You have gray around your temples and I know you get highlights when you get your haircut. Gray hair makes no difference to me, at all. You should see mine if I didn’t have my C&C.” Audrey declares.

“What is a C&C?”

“Cut and color!”

“Do you have any other concerns?”

Jay continues, “Well I know Bob and Mary say their neighbors are real friendly, but I like my privacy, at least in my own home. I do not want people just dropping by without calling.”

“Jay, Mary told me that never happens. Neighbors always call and respect your privacy. There are lots of get together at homes of neighbors and friends in the community, but you usually get an invitation with an email RSVP. Mary says friends are easy to make, everyone is in the same boat. They meet you half way. The houses are close together. However, did you see how Mary’s backyard is very private backing up to the woods and different elevations from the neighbors on each side? I couldn’t even see any neighbor’s home.”

“Anything else?”

“Yes, I have heard there are cliques in neighborhoods like that. Difference price homes in different sections. Audrey, I do not like feeling looked down on if we don’t buy into the section with the largest homes.”

“Mary says that most of the time you don’t know what section people live it. Some of her friends live in the villas, the smallest homes. People are retired for the most part and are not trying to impress anyone. Besides just because you want to downsize to a smaller home doesn’t mean you couldn’t afford a larger home. Large homes are not necessarily nicer. Now Mary says people do get to be friends with the people sharing the same interests and activities. That is where many friendships start, so you are not just friends with your neighbors. Bob and Mary have made several friends from playing bocce with them for instance. Mary has made friends with several at the card games.”

Jay took another sip of wine and pondered her answers. “Actually I did observe some positives that I thought were negatives. The houses are much larger inside than I thought. Bob said his house is 2,777 square feet. That is bigger than our house now. I do like that they built the houses to be energy efficient with the Hardie Plank siding, extra insulation, and efficient appliances. I know this is the kind of stuff we guys look at, but it’s important to me. I could not believe how reasonable the HOA fee is and it includes lawn maintenance, so I can free up my weekends. I used to look forward to cutting grass but no more. Money wise, Bob and Mary will save a bundle on their taxes when they turn 70 and get an exclusion from Hall Country School taxes. ”

“You are right Jay and another thing is safety. Safety is no longer a worry when you live in a gated community, where the comings and goings are noted. We will have peace of mind when we up our cruise schedule.”

Jay counters “But I don’t want to become old before my time by surrounding myself with a bunch of old people. I still think of myself as young! There are no kids or younger people around.”

“Darling, you are too funny! The whole concept of an active adult community is to keep active and younger the longer you can. That is why there are so many activities. Just think of the gym, the pools, the sidewalks for walking and Mary says there are nine miles of walking trails. You sure cannot go walking very far on the sidewalks down in suburbia. So physically, you have many opportunities to get and stay fit and younger looking. Mentally, Mary says the people are very interesting and engaged. They have forums, lectures, lifelong learning courses, day trips as well as interesting clubs and groups. Bob says he is taking creative writing course, something he is enjoying learning. Maybe he will write a novel one day. There are plenty of children nearby; did you see all of those Pediatric and Orthodontic offices? Besides child and grand kids can come visit and even stay awhile.”

“Look the snow is stopping.” Jay looked up at the weather channel on TV and sees “Snow Clearing By Tomorrow AM in Atlanta.

Audrey continues “Well is it good to have this discussion. I know I am retiring this year and we need to do some strategic thinking about our future. I just want us to be happy. I saw a web site listing Active Adult Communities, so why don’t I do some research and we can visit some during our weekends this Spring. I heard most have a “stay and play” program where you can stay in a model home for 2 or 3 nights with full access to the clubhouse and activities, just to get a feel for how living there will be. They even give you use of a golf cart! What do you think Jay?”

“Yes, I will go but I am not making any promises about moving anywhere. My mom wanted to live in her home as long as she could and I thought I would follow her example, but maybe there is a better way.”

“Oh honey, thanks for having an open mind about this. It will be a fun adventure for us this Spring. This will give us something to look forward to and be like a mini vacation.”

OK, can we have dessert now?

More information on Village at Deaton Creek

Originally posted 2016-02-05 08:44:50.

Retirement Activities: Enjoying Your Deck

Great Retirement Activity: Fix up your deck or patio to spend some time enjoying the outdoors.

I know, there are many cliques’ about enjoying the outdoors in your retirement.  The oldest one is about sitting in your rocking chair on your front porch and watching the world go by.  Then there’s the one about stopping to smell the roses.  Well as it turns out, I think there is something to that.

First of all, you finally have the time to spend enjoying the outdoors without being rushed.  Then there’s something refreshing and relaxing about enjoying nature.

There are many wonderful national parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite,  Zion, Smoky Mountain and many others that you will find a good percentage of the visitors are retirees enjoying themselves.  There is even a National Parks Golden Age Passport for those of us age 62 or older. The Golden Age Passport is a lifetime entrance pass to national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges that charge an entrance fee.  State parks and local parks are nice to visit too.

But today I would to talk about another place to enjoy nature: your deck or patio.  Almost everyone has one and they can be a great place to enjoy fresh air, experience early morning and sunsets, birds and small animals, smells, flowers and trees and all kinds of sounds.

We visited some friends who are renovating a home in Big Canoe, a resort community in the North Georgia mountain and loved their deck and screened porch. See top photo. Talk about wildlife!  We saw turkeys, birds, squirrels and the day before our visit there was a bear seen from the deck.

So lately I decided to fix up our deck a little and spend more time enjoying the outdoors.  First up I ordered some privacy screens off Ebay and put them up on both sides of the deck.  That’s one way to enjoy the deck is to do little projects yourself to fix it up and customize it like you want it.  It takes time but you are outside the whole time.

Next I picked up four patio chairs to replace those ones we have had a long time.

I researched the internet for deck plants and picked up a couple.  Got a plant caddy for the larger one so I can move it to the sun and back to the sitting area when I want to.

Got a bird feeder and installed it on a deck pole with a nice blue bird on top.  I got one with an extended arm that hangs out away from the deck so seeds will not mess things up.

In addition to my large natural gas grill, I have one of  the kettle charcoal types too.  It takes longer but nothing like the real thing.

I am refinishing my old patio chairs and putting them in a seating group at the other end of the deck.  Now one area is always in sun and the other in shade depending on time of day.

Projects still to come are:

I filled the woodpecker holes, hammered down the nails, then used the rest of the wood filler to cover nail holes and some bad knot holes.   This means I will need to stain the deck, but hey I am going to take my time.

A gate at the top of the stairs will be nice so I have been researching that on the Internet.  A gate will serve a few purposes like child safety when the great nephews and nieces visit.  Plus Coke our cat enjoys the deck too where she can sniff the air and watch the birds, but once in a while she decides to make a run for the stairs.  She doesn’t get too far because she only has 3 legs and I can catch her quickly, but I am hoping a gate may keep her on the deck.

I am sure other things will come to mind to keep me busy on the deck but I am learning to stop and take it all in with a fruit juice or cup of coffee in my hand while I learn to “stop and smell the roses”.  Maybe it’s time to venture out to your own deck or patio then do some Internet browsing to see how to improve and enjoy your deck or patio.

Originally posted 2012-07-29 11:17:43.

Boomers Are Strong And Persevere

This is a list of some of the positives that we boomers took part in during our life time.

There has been a lot of writing about different opinions about baby boomers.  Some say that we brought about drugs and a different value system to this world.  As each generation comes along they are recognized for different things that happened during their era.  Boomers are no different.

I choose to dwell on the good regardless of what era it is.  No one generation is all bad or all good.  We all contribute to change and deal with what is put before us.  Each person is unique in their own way.  Instead of wallowing in the blame game, why not pull together and create a more loving, caring, environment for all people.  Stick with the basics.  Use gratitude instead of woe is me.  Use forgiveness instead of resentments.  Do the right thing.  Cultivate an attitude that you will be proud of and those around you will be drawn to follow.  Be a winner by setting an example that even the smallest child can see the good in you.  Show respect.  Do not be afraid to look another in the eye with pride in what you do.  You are important and each thing, big or small, can impact a life.  That life may just be the one that will finish what you started.  This is a list of some of the positives that we boomers took part in during our life time.

  1. We brought on some great rock music which will never be forgotten.
  2. We were there to start the tearing down of prejudice walls.
  3. We watched as the first man walked on the moon.
  4. We took small country roads and made them into highways.
  5. We connected communities so that better health care could be offered to rural areas.
  6. We pounded at the doors of our educational system until it improved.
  7. We protected our country with the dedication of women and men that were strong and persevered.
  8. We came to the relief of our neighbors during disasters such as floods, tornado, and earth quakes.
  9. We restored national monuments so that our history would never be forgotten.
  10. We built bigger, better, and safer parks so that families and children could enjoy what our country had to offer.
  11. We improved transportation so that we all would have the opportunity to enjoy the best.
  12. We introduced the computer, found cures for some diseases, instilled hope for the younger generation.
  13. We changed the way mental institutions were run and put forth guidelines in hospitals for the best of patient care.
  14. We improved sporting events and challenged our youth.
  15. We marched in the biggest of parades and held children on our backs to cheer the folks on.

These are but just a few things that boomers have been involved in as we stood strong.  We were not known as quitters.  Our lives have touched many.   It is up to each one of us what type of impact we want to make on each other.  Boomers are no more important or less important than any other generation of people.  We love our children, grandchildren, the elderly and all that are persevering as we go through the trying times of today.  Love is a powerful emotion so let the love light shine.   We need each other.  So when you walk down the street, help that elderly person, smile at that little child, encourage that hurting soul and remember that life and love will only go hand in hand if we do our part.

Originally posted 2011-06-08 15:27:24.

Boomer Living Tips: How To Be Good To Yourself

As boomers go about our busy day, meeting the demands of life and living, we forget how important it is to not only be good to others but to be good to ourselves.

Back in the 80’s there were many books written encouraging people to be good to their self.  I saw one of those familiar books today at the library written by Meloney Betty.  Then it occurred to me that in today’s busy world how some of us may have slipped in that area.

We boomers rush around taking care of others, our jobs, children, grandchildren and even our parents.  We struggle to pay off credit card debt and keep up with the rising costs.  As we go about our busy day, meeting the demands of life, we forget how important it is to not only be good to others but to be good to ourselves.  It is important to take care of our own well being.  Here are a few easy and simple things that we can do that will help each of us to be good to ourselves in our daily living.

  1. When bathing, take the time to relax.    Feel the warmth of the water on your body.  Allow your muscles to relax.  This is your own personal time so use it to your best advantage.
  2. If you are a working person, take a few extra minutes the night before to lay out your work clothes and things that you will need for the next day before going to bed.  This way you have an extra few minutes in the morning and will be more relaxed as you head out to work.
  3. Each day, give yourself some time that is yours and yours alone to read, stretch, meditate or reflect on a positive experience or thought.
  4. Take time to enjoy your meals.  Allow yourself to actually feel the taste and flavor before swallowing.
  5. Be nice but sometimes we can be too nice.  If you have a choice and you are with someone that consistently chooses to be in a negative mood, try to detach from that persons emotional turmoil.  It is good to listen and be of moral support to another but then if that person chooses to continue to be negative that is their choice not yours.  Be good to yourself.
  6. Take time to look at nature.  Look at the sky, the shape of a tree, or the way a frog jumps.
  7. Smile, even try it when you do not want to do it.  Not only will it be pleasing to another, you might just find out how that smile will come back to you.
  8. Our feet can give us pain but also a good foot rub can relax other parts of our body.  Take a little time to rub lotion on your feet.  Move your hands slowly and massage the feet.  Just before bedtime is a good time to do this.  It feels so good!
  9. Treat yourself now and then with something special.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  It might be something as simple as listening to a favorite music CD that you haven’t played for awhile.  Just know that it is special to you.
  10. Last but not least, always remember that you are important, you are alive, you are loved and you are special.  Above all, treat yourself that way.  THAT IS HOW TO BE GOOD TO YOURSELF!

Originally posted 2011-03-24 10:27:57.

As Boomers Let Go We Live

There are many meanings to the term, letting go. In one sense it means to let go of a thought, resentment, or feeling that is creating a negative feeling within us which is detrimental to our emotional well being. Sometimes, we as boomers, have had to let go of people, places and things in order to become mentally, emotionally and spiritually more healthy.

There are many meanings to the term, letting go.  In one sense it means to let go of a thought, resentment, or feeling that is creating a negative feeling within us which is detrimental to our emotional well being.  Sometimes, we as boomers, have had to let go of people, places and things in order to become mentally, emotionally and spiritually more healthy.

As time goes by we learn to let go of our children as they leave the nest.  Some of us have let go of jobs, family ties, friends, houses, and many other things.  Ours lives are on a continual path of letting go change.  With every letting go there is a new journey to explore and a new path to take.  It is a process that each individual learns and works out in his or her own time.  Sometimes it comes easy and at other times it is not.  It is a part of life.

Letting go can be exciting and other times painful.  It can be an ending which can lead to a new beginning.  It can be an adventure to settle with the past. Letting go can free us into the present.  It is a step toward the future.  It can be the beginning of growth and strength.  Letting go allows us to be free to experience new ways of thinking. We then can challenge what is here in the now.  Letting go can make room in our minds for new ideas, creativity and new possibilities.  It opens our hearts to others.

I remember earlier on in my life saying, “I am tired of letting go.”  Letting go to me at that time meant loss therefore I had to change my thinking as I  learned that letting go can also mean a new beginning.  It can lead to peace, joy, harmony, maturity, and a sense of ease that can only be explained by the individual that is experiencing it.  It can have positive results not only for us but for those around us as we grow in acceptance of what is.  We then have the opportunity to open our hearts to another chapter of life.  As boomers we may be learning to become grandparents after the roll of being parents.  We let go of old ways that we use to do things and allow our grown children to now be in charge.  Then there other boomers that still may be in the process of allowing those grown children to become the adults that they are while the children face their own responsibilities.

We may have had to relocate to new areas.  Some of us have let go of houses and down sized to apartment living.  Other boomers may have moved into their children’s homes and  let go of ownership.  Then others have had to learn to let go of old ways of thinking about retirement, health, travel and many other things.

Life if full of letting go but the important thing is to remember that it can be seen as a new beginning.  It is part of boomer living. As one chapter ends another begins.  Nothing is forever.   Everything is for a reason.  We as boomers continue to learn about letting go. We can free ourselves to be in the present moment.  We let go of fear and replace it with faith.  We learn and continue to learn so that we can enjoy peace within.

Try it today.  Just let go and be free!  Challenge your mind to a new and positive way of thinking.  Let go of a negative feeling.  Be alive and Live!  Sing a song! Take a walk! Dance in the rain!   Play music!  Paint a picture! Go inside your heart to that quiet place and truly, “LET GO!”

Originally posted 2011-11-10 17:45:51.