Age 55 Perks and Benefits

A Passion For An Active Life

We only moved into the Del Webb Community north of Atlanta not long ago but I already have noticed something interesting. People are really passionate about their activities.

For example, I attended a meeting of each of these clubs where the passion was on display with the members. They really get into it, going into details beyond what I thought. The degree of passion and zest they have for these activities was surprising. The club members could be professionals in these activities but in most cases they are doing it not for money but because they love doing it. They give their attention, time and resources to these activities to be the best they can be.

Here are the clubs I attended during the first two weeks.

1. Photographers – Ralph the instructor is a professional photographer and resident. Before the meeting,  the members were gathering around Ralph who was showing them the coffee table book he had just published of his photos of this trip to Iceland. The professional quality book was great and had wonderful photos. Wow!

Boomer PhotographerThere were 12 members present and they had an assignment the week before to photograph a subject (old log cabin nearby) and then to edit the image using the editing software they had been learning. Ralph used a slide projector to show the images and it was explained how they were edited. Suggestions were made for other edits and improvements. The members were really into it!

2. Coin Collecting – Next up I attended the Coin Collectors meeting. A resident who was a former stock broker showed us a list of coins he just had Hertiage Coins auction off. The list totaled $90,000 in value. These were his duplicates. Several interesting tips were discussed included how to get an appraisal to donate your collection to a charity rather than selling and then donating the money, an update on the coin market including demographic changes affecting it, avoid cleaning coins and more. One member had some inherited gold coins and suggestions were given as to how to value them.

medal collectingAt the end of the meeting I was chatting with some members about other things we collect.  I told them about my collection of Nineteenth Century Exposition Medals.

A fellow told us about his collection of antique movie posters which was on display in a show in Wisconsin.  These members really get into it!

3. Dancing – Mary Ann and I started the beginner line dancing class which follows the intermediate class and the advanced class. Getting to class early we watched the intermediate class finish up and they were good! The members then took off their dancing shoes and put of their street shoes. They were laughing and excited even after an hour of dancing. Later I spoke with a neighbor who is a member of this ballroom dancing club. When I told him we were learning the Waltz line dance he wanted to know the song we danced to and when I was not forthcoming with the answer he suggested three waltz songs, actually singing two of them to help me remember. These members really get into it!

Book Free To Fly4. Writers Group – This may be the most interesting group I attended. Three days ago I attended the writers group and at the coffee pot before the meeting, I met fellow resident William Cassill who recently released his first book, which tells the true story of a remarkable friendship between a mallard duck and a snow goose. “Free To Fly” is about his experiences while running a Vermont country inn with his wife. I had just read about this book. Wow.

The meeting included about 9 residents and all were writers, authors of books or writing a book. One resident owns a books store and showed us several books she had published or help publish including information on the publishing companies and cost. A member passed out three of her short stories to be reviewed. The group is looking to start a web site to display their writings and books and I shared some ideas with them. I have been spending some time thinking about web site ideas to share in our next meeting.

Boomer AuthorsA member suggested the group take the on-line course “Start Writing  Fiction” and the members including me agreed to start this course and share our first short story with the class next meeting. The Writers Group meets every Thursday from 9:30am until 11am. I was surprised they meet every week, but I see that this is a very active group. These members really get into it!

These are only 4 clubs out of nearly 100 clubs at The Village at Deaton Creek. I can see right now that you cannot possibility do it all. But it is exciting to know choosing the clubs that really interest me will give the opportunity to get involved like these folks do with something I am passionate about.

This is going to be fun! That is why we moved here.
Robert and Mary Ann Fowler



Learning

In my last blog I mentioned the three L’s for living which are Live, Love and Laugh but I would like to add one more L.  that L would be Learning.  No matter how old we are life is a process of learning experiences.  Let us never forget what we have learned and the wisdom that we gain from our experiences!  For this we can be Grateful.

According to Wikipedia, Lifelong learning is the continuous building of skills and knowledge throughout the life of an individual. It occurs through experiences encountered in the course of a lifetime. These experiences could be formal (training, counseling, tutoring, mentorship, apprenticeship, higher education, etc.) or informal (experiences, situations, etc.

Learning in the 60+ age group

Learning in old age (over 60 years old) elderly people can learn a great deal from activities suitable to their age e.g. art, music, sports for the elderly, handicrafts and social work. They are highly respected in Thai society; capable of searching for knowledge and provide intellectual support to local communities. They can also carry out voluntary work in community organizations, clubs and associations. Such work makes their lives meaningful as well as bringing benefits to society.

Lifelong learning opens your mind and creates a curiosity that is natural when you are young, but can fade as you age. It increases your wisdom and helps you adapt to changing situations, which comes in handy as you age.  Lifelong learning can help you make new friends, enrich your life, and help make the world a better place.



Easy Money Management for Baby Boomers

The number of baby boomers hitting retirement is well, booming, to say the least! While the idea of retirement is usually a welcome prospect, many baby boomers are encountering a bit of a struggle juggling retirement with their current lifestyle. The struggle is largely in part to being ill-prepared financially, leaving many boomers flailing just to stay afloat.

The simple fact of the matter is that there are a number of factors working against the aging baby boomer population, making financial stability difficult to obtain. The recent recession in the American economy played a large role, creating instability in the stock markets, financial institutions, and housing markets. This left a wake of financial ruin to many boomers, even those who thought they were secure. Along with the recession is the rise in unemployment. Jobs that were once considered secure became bankrupt, and steady incomes slowed to a trickle.

Another big contributor affecting boomers is financial planning, or lack thereof. While it may seem like a primitive and simple concept, proper financial planning has proven quite elusive for many boomers. Unfortunately, it is key to a financially-sound retirement. While financial planning is most effective when started as early as possible, just remember that it is never too late to start.

The Basics:

Personal Finance – This may seem like an archaic concept, but getting your personal finances in order is one of the first steps in successfully managing your money. Many programs exist (both free and paid) that can simplify this process. Sites such as www.mint.com offer a wealth of free tools that make budgeting, spending, and saving, a quick and easy process. Other programs exist that cater to taxes, HSAs, investments and practically any other financial category.

Financial Advisors – While you may think that you can manage your money effectively, many boomers find themselves stuck in a hole without a shovel. This is where a professional can help. Financial advisors make a living helping folks effectively manage their assets in as lucrative a way as conceivably possible. They are up-to-date on current investment strategies and many have reputations of making clients good money.

Banking – Most people see a bank as a convenient way to handle their money. While that is absolutely true, most banks are offer fantastic financial resources to their members. For instance, a bank might offer financial advice completely free simply for using their services to handle your assets. Aside from that, many banks have investment advisors, mortgage refinance specialists, and other financial professionals on site.

If your retirement fund leaves a lot to desire, then it is important to get in control of it as soon as possible. Whether you utilize a personal finance program, a financial advisor, a banking professional, or all of the above, there are a lot of ways to grasp the reins. Your retirement should be a time of rest and relaxation, not a time of turmoil.



Health Care Tips for Baby Boomers

This article list some tips that any Baby Boomer might want to think about which could save you time, money and stress in health care.

Many of us Boomers go along in our day to day routines in a nonchalant way.  Then when something out of the ordinary happens we wonder why there is so much stress.  Some things could have been prevented or taken care of more easily if only we had been more knowledgeable or prepared before being confronted with a situation.  I will list some things that any Boomer might want to think about which could save you time, money and stress in health care.

  1. If you usually just see one physician, that physician knows the medications that you are taking.  There are times though that we are referred to a specialist or end up in the emergency room unexpectedly.  Therefore, have a list of all your medications written down with the dosages and times that you take the medication.  The note area in your cell phone is a good place to put this if you normally carry your cell phone with you.
  2. Some medications are dosages of 25 mg. and some may be . 025mg. The small period is very important in order to ensure the proper dosage is given.  Always check this on your prescriptions for accuracy.  There are medications that this could mean a life or death situations.  Rule of thumb;  Check for periods and always even double check after your pharmacist or health care provider.
  3. Know the names of the medications that you take and why you take them.
  4. After having a prescription filled always check the bottle label.  Make sure it is the correct medication and the correct dosage before taking it.  Just the other day I found that one of my medications said 1/2 per day when in fact it was suppose to say 1/2 taken 2 x per day.
  5. When it is near a holiday, week end, or vacation, make sure that you have enough medications to last until your physician is back in the office.  Also pick your prescription up early in the day when possible in case your doctor needs to be called.  Some pharmacies close early also.
  6. Know how your insurance covers.  Know the difference from in network and out of network. Checkout online sites like Consumers Advocate.org for the best reviews of carriers.  This can save you money.
  7. When going to the emergency room most providers will collect your insurance copay at the time of service.  A lot of insurance companies will wave that co pay if you are admitted from the emergency room into the hospital.  For me, I found it easier to get my copay back if this has been collected in error right at that time if at all possible.  Later down the line it takes more time when you may need that money to pay for something else.
  8. When going to a health care facility to be registered for out patient or in patient services, know what an advanced directive is prior to that process.  If you have an advanced directive then take it with you.  If you do not and feel you need one, then it will save time to get that prior to the day you are registered.  This normally requires a notary and can save a lot of time depending on how the facility takes care of such manners.
  9. If your service requires a co pay or out of pocket payment then have your credit card, check book or cash with you.
  10. If you are a single person it is always good to have a friend or relative that knows where your important papers are kept before an emergency happens.
  11. If you have allergies to ANYTHING know what they are.  This might save your life.
  12. If being admitted into a hospital, it is good to know simple medical terminology such as, what is a clear liquid diet or a full liquid diet.  You can then check your own meal tray for accuracy.
  13. When one is ill, it is difficult to remember names of important people, their titles, or departments that they may work with on your case.  Things go very fast.  Do not hesitate if you need to write them down or ask more than once a name or question.  It is your right.  You are the patient.
  14. Yes, I know most of us have our telephone numbers in our cell phones.  Do you have a written list?  What if there is an emergency and your phone looses its charge.
  15. Last but Not Least!  Remember, when a person is ill, we are not always our best self.  It is easy to be cranky, forgetful and lack patience.  That is expected.  When possible though remember to show your appreciation and say thank you.  Then on the other hand if your treatment is not as it should be then speak up, question things, ask for clarification and above all remember you deserve respect and your dignity at ALL TIMES!

Good luck on your next health care visit.  It is important for all of us Boomers to help each other.



An Age to Be Grateful Not Just On Thanksgiving

I have noticed some of my friends in the ages around the late 50s to early 60s talking more about being grateful. In my own life I am doing the same. There must be something about being more grateful as we age.

An Age To Be Grateful Not Just on Thanksgiving

be grateful not just on Thanksgiving

I have noticed some of my friends in the ages around the late 50s to early 70s talking more about being grateful.  In my own life I am doing the same.  There must be something about being more grateful as we age.

It could be we are reflecting more on all the people we have known, the places we have been and the accomplishments and events in our lives.  What a life each of us has had up to this point in time!

There are many people we can be thankful for in our lives.  Think of the people who were your friends at work who you shared lunch time with.  Your colleagues who shared with you, instructed you, who volunteered their time for association meetings as maybe you did too.

Think of your parents who fed and took care of you and sacrificed so your life would be better than theirs.  Think back about other family members like brothers and sisters we shared so much of our lives with, aunts and uncles who gave us presents and cared about us.  Some of these family members are no longer with us. We probably didn’t tell them at the time but we are now grateful for them.

Think of all the places you have been in your life and all the things you have been fortunate enough to experience.   Some of us have traveled to other countries, other states, the nation’s capital, the great Western US, or our National Parks.  Maybe you had the experience of attending a World Series, the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, the Olympics, Indy 500, a Broadway Play, or the Petit LeMans.  I am sure you will remember any of those great events and be grateful you made that part of your life.  Maybe it was attending a play at your local high school, your church meetings, or volunteering.  Then maybe you now recognize that life is a journey and simple things like sitting under a shade tree, sitting by a stream,  people watching, or visiting the senior center are all things to be grateful for.

Think of all the things you have accomplished in your life and how grateful you are for them.  These may include raising a family, a happy marriage, your education,  sports or music, a career, a trade or skill you learned really well.  This list could go on but I am betting if you really think about it you are grateful for the opportunity you had to participate in each of these accomplishments.

Now in our everyday life we are becoming more grateful for people we run into like the cashier who smiles and chats with us, the friend who calls and invites us to lunch, a spouse who stays by our side, service workers who wait on our table, clean the hospital and keep this world going.  We can show our appreciation by saying thank you, tipping, holding the door open for people and generally recognizing and showing respect to everyone.

My Thanksgiving challenge to you is As we go through life from this point forward we shall live in the present and recognize every experience, person and place we come across in our lives is something to be grateful for.  All things big and small is to be appreciated.  Showing  gratitude helps too.  This in turn will make us happier and our lives more fulfilled.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving take some time to think back on all the things you are grateful for.  Maybe this post will jog your memory.



Surprising Greenville SC to Awesome Asheville NC

Surprising Greenville SC to Awesome Asheville NC

We took a great trip to Greenville in the Upcountry of South Carolina and then took a mini road trip up to Asheville NC with a couple of stops along the way. Next time you are looking for a 5 or 6 day getaway, this could be a great trip for you.

Driving up I-85 from our home in Atlanta, a brief stop at Chateau Elan, a winery – resort would be a good stop. It is right off Exit 126 in Braselton.

Hampton Inn Downtown Greenville
Hampton Inn Greenville

The drive up to Greenville is a pleasant drive of only a little over 2 hours. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Downtown at River Place  which has a great location on the Reedy River and next to Main Street and Falls Park on the Reedy. We parked our car and didn’t touch it until our departure. Continue reading “Surprising Greenville SC to Awesome Asheville NC”