Boomers, Do You Remember Your First Kiss?

Do You Remember Your First Kiss?

Some folks received flowers and candy today.  Others enjoyed a romantic dinner or a movie. For Valentine’s Day, I had a flash back to the past.  Yes, a flash back!  Now we are talking a long way back.

There was a hand made Valentine”s holder pinned to the wall.  It was stuffed with Valentines.  As a matter of fact, it had more in it than all the other holders on the wall.  Slowly, I removed the holder from the wall.  I laid it gently on the table.  Then I reached for the largest valentine in the folder.  The envelope was bright red.  The words, I love you were printed in bold on the front next to my name.  With my small hands shaking, I slowly took the card out of the envelope, as others watched in anticipation.

I opened the card.  It was signed, “Love, Johnnie.”  My heart beat fast as I read the words.  I looked up and it happened right there.  Yes it did!  Johnnie puckered up and laid the big one on my lips.  It was wet and messy.  The others started to giggle.  Yep, that was my first kiss.  The memory is as strong as if it just happened yesterday.  It was kinder garden class.  The giggles echoed from my friends.  Johnnie’s two front teeth were missing and there he was with a dumb GRIN  on his face.  What a visual!  I didn’t know whether to crawl under the class room table or cry.

Now I can look back and laugh about the silliness of being a child.  There has been a few years since that episode happened.  Many kisses have passed these baby boomer lips.  That kiss was special, even though it did not feel like it at the time,because it was the FIRST.  Now I am waiting for my last kiss.   If his teeth are missing so be it.  I say, “No matter what age you are pucker up and enjoy the moment!”  These baby boomer lips are not ready to retire.  🙂

In all sincerity, I hope each of you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  Do you remember your first kiss?

Originally posted 2012-02-14 22:14:59.

Make Retirement an Adventure in Western Australia

A popular retirement destination, especially for seniors with plenty of savings and a healthy income, is Australia. For seniors seeking comfortable, active, and interesting retirement villages Perth WA is a great place to begin your search.

Australia retirement villagesAs more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, we are seeing an increased interest in “adventurous” retirement destinations. This generation of retirees is more intent on taking advantage of their free time and enhancing their lifestyles than they are on slowing down. As a general rule, baby boomers in their 50s and 60s are active, adventurous, and keen on getting every drop of living out of their golden years.

No longer does retirement mean moving straight to Florida to play canasta by the poolside in your fuzzy slippers, eat discount senior buffets for supper every day at 4 p.m., and go to bed by 8. There has been a shift in the concept of retirement in the past decade or so, and many seniors are looking to foreign countries and exotic locales for an exciting “lifestyle change” upon their retirement. A popular destination, especially for seniors with plenty of savings and a healthy income, is Australia. For seniors seeking comfortable, active, and interesting retirement villages Perth WA is a great place to begin your search.

A move to Australia (many call it “the Sea Change”) can be an invigorating lifestyle change for older adults. The country’s 3 million square miles only hosts a population of 21 million, ensuring that the beauty of the natural world dominates the landscape once outside of large metropolitan areas. The variety of Australian wildlife is astounding, with many species found wild only in Australia (though you may have seen them in zoos in the States!). In addition, international studies have found that average life expectancy is high in Australia, and stress levels are far lower than most areas in the US and Europe.

If you are one of the adventurous new baby boomer retirees looking to move overseas, consider Australia’s many high-end retirement villages, found in scores of locations across the continent. Australia is blessed with a wide range of desirable retirement locations. You may enjoy the warm, Eden-like atmosphere of Toowoomba or the friendly, small-town feel of Noosa in Queensland. If you enjoy a more historical environment, Echuca on the Murray River boasts a history as a paddle steamer town, and Queenscliff is an historical port at the entrance of Port Phillip Bay. And if you’re looking for a wide variety of different Western Australian retirement villages Perth WA may have just what you are looking for.

The retirement communities in Western Australia range from densely populated neighborhoods with small, apartment-like homes to sprawling suburban communities with lots of wide open spaces and expansive family homes. Among its retirement villages Perth WA even offers eco-friendly communities for those baby boomers who want to live green. St Ives Mandurah, for example, is an idyllic eco-friendly retirement village – surrounded on three sides by water – that blends in beautifully with its surrounding environment. The homes in St. Ives Mandurah boast such elements as natural stone, iron and local timbers, harmonizing beautifully with their natural surroundings. The community has a nature trail and boardwalk around a peaceful lagoon and along the riverside as well

The city of Perth – Western Australia’s state capital – is located on the splendid Swan River, and is surrounded by spectacular outback landscapes, beautiful vineyards, and warm, uncrowded Indian Ocean beaches. The region surrounding Perth boasts beautiful coastal beaches, a Mediterranean climate (with over 3,000 hours of sun per year), and a laid back lifestyle. Western Australia itself offers seniors adventure and outdoor recreation galore, such as water sports on its many beaches, hiking in the lush green forest of Kings Park, visits to wineries, tours exploring the caves near Margaret river, and snorkeling along Ningaloo Reef

One note: Retirement to Australia may be an exciting idea, but before you get too invested in the notion, be sure to check out the Australian Retirement Visa requirements. Unless they have family members who are Australian citizens, Americans hoping to move to Australia in their retirement must have large sums of cash or assets that they will be transferring to Australian accounts, and be ready to purchase properties or make investments of $500,000 and up. Check out the retirement visa requirements here.

So, if you are a recent retiree, and want to forgo the staid, predictable lifestyle of retirement to the American Sunbelt, consider making the Sea Change. You can find an adventurous lifestyle in a beautiful and exciting retirement village in the “Land Down Under.”

Originally posted 2013-07-27 12:50:48.

Priorities For My Baby Boomer Retirement

Now forty years later, my retirement dream, at age sixty-three is still about not doing but the not doing has changed. My priorities in life are different as they are with many of us in the boomer generation. Here is my not doing list as it is for today.

retirement list

In my earlier years, I dreamed about the day that I would retire.  I would sit on my front porch with that special person and munch on grapes, while reminiscing about the good things in life.  We would travel to places such as Las Vegas, Florida, Hawaii and enjoy all the sights.  Our children would bring our grandchildren to visit during the holiday season.  Retirement life as a baby boomer would be filled with rest, relaxation, laughter, peace and serenity.  The days of having to do would be gone.  There would be no more sixteen hour shifts to work, no alarm clocks to set, and no rushing on week ends to get the lawn mowed before a work week would begin.  Our children would enjoy visiting us.  The grandchildren would play in the backyard.  Jake, the dog, would lay lazily underneath the Elm tree.  Jake would always be ready to play catch with us with his favorite ball.  At night we would retire to our bed, pat each other on the bottom, give a hug, and fall off into a peaceful contented sleep.  Our boomer life would be about not doing after all the years of hard work that we both had done to finally get to this place.

Now forty years later, my retirement dream, at age sixty-three is still about not doing but the not doing has changed.  My priorities in life are different as they are with many of us in the boomer generation.  Here is my not doing list as it is for today.

  • I will not worry about tomorrow.  Worry keeps me from enjoying the things in life that can be enjoyed for free such as a sunrise, a sunset, music, art, a cloud formation, the sound of rain, the beauty of a snowfall, the taste of a freshly baked cinnamon roll, the softness of a babies hand, or the sent of a lilac that has just bloomed.
  • The television will not be my top priority each night for entertainment.  I will not waste countless hours watching soap opera’s and sitcoms about other peoples lives.  Instead, I will be utilizing my time to make my life one of purpose that is encouraging to others that may follow me.
  • Since there is no special someone in my life today, I will not spend hours trying to change that person or any other person to my way of thinking.  Trying to control another is not in my plan today because it is a time sapper and a selfish way to live.  Each person has earned his own right to think and be just as I have earned mine.
  • Even though it is important to look our best, I will not spend hours in front of the mirror trying to make sure every hair is in place to please another human being.  Instead, I will enjoy the feel of a fresh shower, place a smile on my face, and be grateful for the person that I have become.  My days of people pleasing are over.  Yes, I am over it!
  • Shopping will not be an obsession in order to compete with the Jones next door.  I will not shop until I drop, spending money on a credit card for things that will only bring a moment of pleasure and sore feet.  Instead, I will appreciate what I have and reassess my needs.
  • I will not compare my life to that of others and feel regret.  Instead, I will live in the moment and keep a positive attitude toward the future.
  • I will not plan my meals around greasy french fries, hamburgers, salty hot dogs, and mounts of unhealthy foods that will leave me feeling guilty right after my feast.  Instead, I will love myself enough to eat a more balanced nutritional meal.  I might break those rules on occasions though just because, I can. 🙂

There you have it, a not do boomer retirement list!  It might seem a little silly to many but as I review it, I can see where it will bring about a lot more valuable ways to spend my time and enjoy the time that I do have.  Who knows, maybe someone will enjoy doing the not doing with me. Then we can still take those trips without arguments and time busters.  🙂

As usual, I will end this by saying, “Enjoy the journey!”  It is in your hands what you will not do so I hope that you share your not do with us.

Originally posted 2012-01-21 23:00:44.

When Due Diligence Turns Into “Let’s Buy!”

The cost of retirement is a big hurdle for many Boomers. See how this boomer is overcoming this problem to retire early and better.

I will be retired in in 1000 + days… not that I’m counting…

(1071 days +/-)

My wife and I are on our Sixty Month Plan to do due diligence to retire overseas. Through a circumstance called “life” we are under-saved. Suffice to say we have less than the recommended kajillion dollars all the retirement calculators recommend.

I was resigned to the fact that I would be working until I die.

Thrill.

Until my wife started poking around various websites and stumbled across a whole slew of ’em featuring the luxurious and cheap life of retirement in Central America.

As with most of her ideas I poo-pooed it.

  • Nicaragua?
  • Costa Rica?
  • Panama?

All off a sudden, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. We could sell our current house and stuff and move to a country where the cost-of-living is much, much lower. Those social security checks might be able to afford us a lifestyle that wouldn’t drain our under-savings in just a few years of underemployment.

Kewl.

After a week of surfing various websites, we decided that Costa Rica at least deserved a look-see. In January.

Booked flights. Got a place to stay. Even hired a semi-local to give us an “insiders” tour.

All the forums and blogs and websites have the same advice: Don’t move abroad without doing due diligence. Which of course is great advice.

Advice we plan to follow:

  • Make many trips before retirement
  • Rent, rent, rent before you buy
  • Learn the language

Yup, yup and yup. That’s the plan. Sixty Months. Five friggin’ years to do due diligence.

Until – until – we started looking at property for sale. Even though we would rent, rent, rent, on our first trip to Costa Rica we would want to see some houses for sale. If you’ve moved, you know that there is nothing like standing in the front yard of a prospective home purchase.

This is where due diligence gives way to “woo-hoo! did you see this place?”

55,000,000 colones – Three bedroom, two bath, 1.5 acres, fruit trees, vegetable garden, stream in back, 1,500 square feet, telephone, high speed internet, SKY satellite television, cable television, just off main road, 45 minutes to airport, 30 minutes to beach. Beautiful view of…

I’ll save you the conversion: that’s just over $110,000.

It’s not uncommon to find such property in a country where $3 a day is a good wage, the health care system is socialized and ranked high in the world, where 95% of the citizens are high school graduates, and the climate is perfect according to the National Geographic.

I have access to $110,000 that is fairly liquid (sell off some of her f-dollars and cotton.)

Let’s. Buy. Now.

Whoa down, Nellybelle. Costa Rica has pretty good property-protection laws, except for squatters. If someone moves onto a property and starts to care for it as if it was their own, it can become theirs. Or cost the true owner a bunch of time and money to it back.

We’ll still be “just-lookers” in January, and the next January and the next. But our due diligence research has provided some extra stress as we find these wonderful properties at bargain basement prices. Having to deal with the urge to BUY NOW, was not in our plans. It added a new dynamic.

Will these bargain properties be there in Sixty Months?

Time will tell and we will do our best to resist the urge to go all Billy Mays and Buy Now.

We will do our best to stick to the plan of rent, rent, rent before we buy because as they say on the innerwebs: it’s easier to buy than it is to sell.

Stay tuned. I’ll let you know if the due diligence turned into a down-payment due.

Originally posted 2010-12-18 21:07:30.

Boomers Are Going Into Their Retirement Years

Baby Boomer Generation

When I was a child, I was around many older people.  Even my own parents were considered elderly. I was only ten years of age.  They were in their 50’s.   I came from a small town where people knew the value of  a dollar.  Hard work was just what people did. The really older folks, such as my grandfather, shared stories of working in saw mills.  Work days were from dusk until dawn.  Evenings were for resting and preparing for another work day. If school was in session, parents made sure that children did their homework.  Much of the evening was spent reading and writing by the entire family.  Bedtime came early after all home work and chores were completed.  The nights were short because the work days started very early.  A work week could easily consist of six days.  Sunday was a rest day spent relaxing, going to church and enjoying the family.

I really do not remember much talk about retirement in those days.  As a matter of fact, what I do remember is folks working until they were very old.  There were still cows in the pasture to milk, chickens to be fed, and wood to be chopped for the fireplace or heating stove.  There was a lot of preparation to get the crops in before the bitter cold winter arrived.  Also families worked together to assure that they were prepared to survive the winter months as mother nature came roaring in with snow,ice and chill factors below zero.  Time did not stand still.  It took much longer to do things such as laundry, cooking, lawn maintenance and such.  Yes, the old wringer wash and tubs took a lot of time, not to mention hanging the clothes on clothes lines. Then there was ironing not permanent pressed.    Meals were fixed on a hot cook stove.  Potatoes were peeled and mashed.  Green beans were picked from the vines, washed and snapped.  Corn was shucked, cleaned and boiled.  There was no such thing as a microwave.  I can remember my Father mowing the lawn with the push mower as mother prepared  meals.  There was no weed whacker just hand clippers.  Then there was the regular watering of the flowers with a garden hand held hose as soon as the sun went down.  After the evening meal,dishes were washed in the sink by hand and then towel dried. Of course they were put back in the cupboards to be used again the next morning.  Pots and pans were cleaned with Brillo pads.  There were no automatic dish washers or no stick pots and pans.

In our home we did not even have running hot water.  We heated bath water on the stove.  This too took awhile.  Water to wash clothes in was heated in a big black kettle outside with a fire built from wood under it.  Everything that we did appeared to be a long process of work.

So you might be thinking to yourself as you are reading, “What is the point of this story?”  Therefore, I am going to tell you.  Most of us boomers have been working since we were knee high to a grass hopper as the old saying goes.  This boomer is TIRED.   My retirement DREAM was NOT to keep on WORKING at age 63 but it appears that is what life has in store for me and some of you.  We are  boomers though that have seen many rough times.  We made it then and we WILL make it now.  Maybe the good ole days were good preparation for what ever life challenge that we have today.  Now some of you boomers that are in the over 55 communities enjoying life, you will still be able to meet adversary because you have been conditioned in your early years.  So live it up!  Enjoy every moment.  For those of you that are ready for that lazy boy recliner, enjoy the heck out of it.  Then for those of you that like to learn and stay busy, remember to visit your local senior centers.  You can volunteer there too if you are still into working.  Oh let us not forget, live healthy, eat green vegetables, exercise to keep that body strong and in shape.  Do that for yourself too.  Who knows where health care is going.  It  still beats the the town Dr. that we had in my childhood. He only showed up one day a week.

My question to you is this; Do you boomers really think that we had the easy life as I read so much about in the news?  Did we really set out to destroy the world for those that follow us?  Were we not just trying to live and survive as those before us did and those after us will do?  I say one thing that was true before my time, during my time and hopefully after my time that will remain the same is just this:  It will always take Love for One Another to Make the World Go Around.  As soon as we can all get over the blame game,the sooner each of us can get on with that most important thing of all; Peace, Contentment, Love and Living!  As I have said before and I will say once again, WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE!  May peace be with you as boomers go into their retirement years.

Senior Community Guide for: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Lake Oconee, Las
Vegas
, Los Angeles, Miami,
Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York City, Norfolk, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Reston, Richardson, Rochester, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, St Louis, Tampa, Tucson

Originally posted 2011-12-08 11:59:02.

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.