More Older and Happier Ideas

I have been reading a good book titled “Older And Happier!” by Dag Sebastian Ahlander.  He has 109 handy ideas for living life to the fullest. It’s about living the good retirement life from his perspective as a happy old man.

In my previous post, Baby Boomers Get Older and Happier, I covered some of these from the book that I really related to, so I will now share a few more.

More Older and Happier Ideas

1. Resolve Your Feelings of Guilt and Bitterness

Mend your relationships or forget and move on is the idea. Many times there is nothing that can be done. Let it go.

2. Now is the Time to Do All The Things You Have Always Wanted To Do.

As this sign I saw in a window last week says: this is not your practice life. Focus on the possibilities not the challenges. Travel, write a book, start a business, learn something new, the possibilities are endless. Only you can stop you.  Stay engaged and have some fun!

3. Tell Your Life Stories

Write a book, tell your friends, start a blog are all ways to get your Boomer Stories out there. It will be rewarding and fun for you and others also enjoy hearing them. I will always remember Ann and I telling our boomer stories right here on Boomer Places. My walking buddies and I share stories from our lives.

4. Grow Your Gardengrow your garden

There is something very therapeutic and rewarding about growing a garden. When I retired I started two simple 4X4 feet square gardens and grew tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and lettuce. Gives you something to look forward everyday and gets you outside plus rewards you with the bounty!

5. Stops Acting Too Rationally

Not everything needs to be planned out. Be spontaneous once in a while. Do stuff you can do now, before it’s too late. No regrets.

If you are retired like me you probably can relate to each of these. It’s nice to see a few more ideas for positive changes as we age.

Originally posted 2015-02-15 16:47:00.

Haircut Deals for Baby Boomers

mens-haircut-deal

About every 6 weeks or so I get a hair cut. I have not been happy with where I have gotten my hair cut for some time and I have been paying $25. for my hair cut. I decided to shop around for a new place while doing some price shopping.

Here is how I did it and what I found. I googled the zip code I live in and the zip code beside me for locations (stylists, barber shops, hair cuts, salons). I used “hair and the zip code” Within my zip code and the one beside me I found men’s hair cut prices from $12 to $37. I called every convenient location to find out if they cut men’s hair and get a feel for the environment and their attitude. I told them I was shopping for a new provider and asked the prices for a man’s hair cut. Most reduced the price if I did not want a shampoo and most were very hungry for business. Some shops had a set price, no deviation and it applied to all stylists.

Interestingly I found other shops said the stylists set their own prices and the newer stylists tended to be the lower priced. I believe but was not told that these shops rent the stylist the chairs daily and the stylist can charge what they want. I noticed when I phoned and told the business that I was shopping for a new place to go regularly they were persuasive about trying to convince me regarding their quality and more aggressive on the prices than the places where I did not mention that I was changing. They thought this was a 1 shot deal.

The $12. hair cut location was indeed convenient and I thought the lady really wanted my business. She was a little too pushy, is the only stylist at her location and I did not want to get hooked up with a place I have to rely on a single person.

I want a good quality hair cut at a fair price but it has to be a good quality hair cut or I am not interested. I opted for the $20 hair cut based on the phone conversation. If I determine I am going back, I will share my expectations and find out from the stylist what she expects so we can have a good meeting of the minds. She is a Baby Boomer, I know that much. The 29 years she has cutting hair was very influential in my decision to choose her. I have gotten several opinions of those closest to me about my hair cut and every one agrees that it is a good one. No complaints.

Retirement Homes for Boomers

Originally posted 2011-12-23 14:09:25.

Planning for a Successful Retirement

Most of us know how important it is to stay flexible with our retirement planning due to life situations. Things can happen that will set us on a different

successful retirementMost of us know how important it is to stay flexible with our retirement planning due to life situations.  Things can happen that will set us on a different course.  Many of these have happened to me.  In order to not get discouraged, it is important to stay as flexible as possible.  Acceptance is the key.  Just know that it is okay to take a different road if necessary or even just because you want to do it.

Tips for a Successful Retirement

Here are some things that may require flexibility as you go into your retirement journey.

  1. Housing – You may own your home but decide that a smaller one would be less work.  Then a senior apartment or villa might interest you.  Recently, I looked into some that offered house cleaning services, meals, health care provisions, recreational activities and trips.  If you enjoy the company of those your age then a 55 community might be what you would like.
  2. Travel- Some people decide to travel after many years of raising children or working.  This may not have been something that you were able to do during your earlier years.  Maybe you have found that your finances in retirement may not include cruises or trips to Europe.  Consider touring your own city or a near by state.  There are bus tours that are offered at adult centers.  These groups have fun!
  3. Television has changed.  Some of your favorite programs are no longer there.  Try reading, going to the library, exercising at the senior center, volunteering, or starting a new retirement hobby.
  4. Maybe in your earlier years you had a mate but you now find yourself alone at retirement age.  Friends can be made at church, senior centers, and social media.  You might even want to join a site for dating which is for seniors.
  5. Then there are those of us that have not been so successful with finances due to life circumstances and changes in the economy.  There are part time jobs that you may want to consider to supplement your retirement or social security income.
  6. Maybe you thought that your grown children would always be there for you.  Instead, they may have had to move far away due to job needs.  In that case, look into long term insurance, learn about assisted living, have an immediate emergency plan.  Learn about the resources in your area that are offered through hospitals, churches, senior centers, and many civic centers.
  7. Times are changing.  Post offices are even starting to disappear.  Be receptive to change.  Take a computer class.  Take advantage of learning opportunities at a near by college or library.  Many courses are offered for free.
  8. Transportation- There may have been a time that you drove your vehicle.  Now, for whatever reason, driving is not possible.  Find our about transportation that is in your area.  Some areas have public transportation with discounts for seniors.
  9. Gardening and lawn care-  Plant what you love!  Try some new things that might grow easily.  It might even be time to invest in a riding lawn mower if your yard is large.  Then again, if finances allow, look into hiring some help for those hot summer days.  Also if you live where there is lots of snow, help another by having them shovel your driveway.  They can use the money and you can use the help.  It is okay.  After all we want to stay safe and warm in our golden years.
  10. Diet and exercise-  At one time you may have enjoyed all those high calorie and high cholesterol foods.  I am hear to tell you that weigh is much easier taken off in the early years.  Read all you can about healthy eating, exercising and then do what you can.  You may find you feel better and really enjoy it.  It doesn’t take an expensive gym or exercise equipment.  Walking can reduce stress and is very healthy.
  11. Support system-  Some of us lack a healthy support system of friends or relatives.  Socialization is important as we age during our retirement years.  This is something that I need to work on myself since I am a night shift worker.  Remember, you are not alone.  Keep trying to meet people that understand, are caring, and honest with you.  Reaching out can sometimes be hard but we must do it.  Again, there are many clubs that you can join to meet people.  There are book clubs, fitness clubs, bird watching clubs,nature clubs, travel clubs and many others.  Find your niche and go for it!
  12. Pets-  If you are able to care for a pet and like animals, then get one.  Of course you must be able to care for their health too.  They can make a great companion and supply unconditional love.  There are many shelters with loving pets that may just be waiting for your love.

As you can see from reading, I did not focus on finances for a reason.  Many times in life, we plan and our plans can be taken away in a day, week, month or year.  This happened to me as it has happened to many of you that are boomer age.  I hope that this blog has made you think, not worry.  Our brains need exercise to stay healthy.  I hope that you add many positive comments to this list for all of us to consider. What have you encountered in your retirement planning that has helped when staying flexible as things change to stay the course for a successful retirement?

Originally posted 2012-04-12 11:39:57.

Boomers At Retirement Age

Working Boomers asks are you living or staying…at retirement age. Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…. Life is about dancing in the rain!

When I was young, just like some of you, I did not give much thought to retirement.  Being a divorcee and raising two children was my main priority at the time.  I was fortunate to always have a job.  Again, I did what my parents taught me which was: work hard and that is what matters.  Like them though the jobs only allowed for the basic needs of housing, food, clothing, transportation,medical needs and an and occasional vacation.  Saving for retirement did not fit into the plan.  I can remember thinking, just as they did, social security will be enough and that time is a long way off.

That time is now here.  My parents and most of my family have passed on.  The children are raising their families.  Friends have passed.  Social security and Medicare are not stable.  Twenty-five cent candy bars now cost $1.50 or more.  With that said, there is no need to say more because I know that boomers every where know about the economy and etc.  The point that I would like to make is the difference in living and staying.

Many years ago at a conference, I was listening to a speaker who explained the difference in living and staying.  At the time the speech was very humorous but made a lot of sense.   I will never forget what he said.  I still apply it to my life today.  He asked the audience this question.  Have you ever known a person, we will call him George that you see every few years only?  You ask the person when you meet, “where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Well, I had some rough times so I am staying with my Mom over on the East side.”  Then five or ten years pass and you meet George.  Again you ask, “where are you living now?’  George replies, ” I married Martha. I have a good job. I have money in the bank.  We are staying up town in the big house.  Times are good!”  Several years later George pops into your life and once again you ask, “Where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Martha left me. I lost my job. My family is gone. I am staying with a guy I met yesterday over on Fifty Second Street.”  Years go by.  One day you meet George again and ask, “How are you?  Where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Man, I finally learned after all this years about the word living.”  My family is gone, Mom passed away.  My health is good. I live in a small house on Maryland Avenue.  I have some great friends.  We play cards a few times a week and help the homeless.  My daughter, that I left years ago, lives in Virginia.  I am going to become a grandparent.  I have been invited to visit them next month.  I planted vegetables in my small garden.  My tomatoes are huge.  On Fridays, I volunteer at the Senior center.   Life is good!  Today I live, I don’t stay.  I finally learned how to live.  Life is not about what I have, who I am with or how much money is in the bank.  Life is not about staying with a friend or in the the big house.  Life is about living and accepting what is good just for today. I learned that life changes on the outside but it is up to me to change on the inside in order to live.  Thank you for asking and caring for all these years.  You know, I never asked you before but, where are you living?”

So I will ask you as  I have asked myself, “Where are you living at retirement age?”  We boomers are in the last stage of our lives.  Let’s live.  Are you living or staying?  No matter where we are, single, married, rich or poor, we still have the choice to live today.  George learned in time.  Have you?

A facebook friend just posted a quote/photo that I feel would sum this story up.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…. Life is about dancing in the rain!/John Kelly

More posts about Boomers Retirement Affordable Retirement Communities

Originally posted 2012-04-08 20:49:14.

Boomers are Seniors. Really?

Boomers Becoming Seniors

Back when I started retiring at age 58 I bristled at being called a senior.  I didn’t mind taking a senior discount but please don’t call me a senior, especially a senior citizen. I even called the major’s office and suggest they named the new center “Active Adult Center” rather than just a “Senior Center” and they agreed and did that.  I protested on facebook that boomers would never be seniors, we are just different, and need a new name or simply call us Boomers.

Fast forward 6 years to today and I have changed my mind about that.  Getting ready to turn 65 in a few months, I now accept that being called a senior is not too bad.  I still don’t think the “senior citizen” applies too well to the baby boomer generation.   I love to ask for the “senior discount” every chance I get.  If senior means being over the age of 55 or 60, then so be it.  So a baby boomer forever but now a new title, that of “Senior”.  They even renamed the center to “Senior Adult Center” and that’s OK with me.

I had written an article Senior Communities Here Come the Boomers about how it’s starting to change to accommodate incoming baby boomers and someone commented: Boomers are Seniors. I agree, even though Boomer Seniors are not the same as the Senior Citizens of the older generations.  So I think the article was correct, that there will be some changes in retirement communities to accommodate our baby boomer needs and wants as we become Seniors. On another post I made the same type point that Boomers are Replacing Seniors on Cruises and cruises are becoming less formal and more to the boomers taste.

Senior Citizen Age

According to Wikipedia, the age for the status of “Senior Citizen” is the age which one qualifies for government social security benefits, that traditionally being age 65.  They also say “Senior Citizen” is a polite term for an “elderly person”.   Also if you are retired, you might be a “senior citizen”.  In my book, let’s just take it one step at a time and stay with “senior” for a while before getting into “senior citizen” or “elderly person”.  Not ready for those quite yet.

Boomers Are Seniors

In marketing you see a real mixture of the terms boomers and seniors.  Interestingly AARP’s web site title includes the term “Baby Boomers” but nothing at all about “Seniors”.  AARP membership is open to age 50.  Some other marketing materials including web sites use terms like “older persons”, “the retired”, and “mature”  but commonly use both “boomers and seniors” just to have the bases covered and not to target just one age demographic.  In truth, there is not one solid senior generation anymore, but several groups including us older so-called leading edge boomers, seniors from the silent generation who grew up in the 40’s and 50’s and the boomers’ parents, the so-called Greatest Generation.

Conclusion

At the end of the day this labeling seems to be the domain of the marketing types as they try to reach us boomers becoming seniors and supply what we are looking for.  The way a product is labelled does matter and can help us determine if it’s what we are looking for.   But there is no longer a big enough difference between the terms boomers and seniors to make a difference but that is not the point.  The point is that this whole process will be changing and will be disruptive and who knows what the final outcome will be. There will be changes made to accommodate the boomers becoming seniors. When will boomers retire, where will they retire to and in what type of retirement housing will we live in?  No one knows for certain yet, but it will not the same for the boomers now becoming seniors as it has been for other older groups.  Nor should it be.  The boomer generation has changed everything else along the way, now it our time to define senior living.

Update: Now at age 67 it makes even less difference. The name boomers has held up pretty good but some of the establishment still calls us seniors. Whatever. 🙂

Originally posted 2014-10-08 13:03:46.

Debt Killing Ideas for Baby Boomer’s Retirement Planning

How baby boomers can relieve their outstanding debt burden.

Baby boomers retirement planThese days, retirement of baby boomers is the hottest topic around the country. This year, the reports issued by American Bankruptcy Institute and wikipedia revealed some astonishing facts. Between 1946 and 1964, more than 76 million American children were born and this historic Boomer generation are reaching their retirement age of 65 this year in 2011. In fact by 2030, it was expected that all boomers will reach 65 and will make an estimated 20 percent of the population. However, the recent economic depression raises questions regarding the level of comfort baby boomers can expect in their retirement years. Its being noticed they are constantly struggling to relieve their outstanding debt burden and it seems they severely lack capital to fund their retirement.

Nowadays, statistics displays a raise in bankruptcy case filings for individuals between the ages of 45 and 64 and shows an increasing number of workers tapping their 401(k) accounts for emergency withdrawal. Withdrawing money from retirement plan can be dangerous because of the risks and costs associated with it, whereas increasing cases of bankruptcy is equally dangerous as it indicates the current financial impediments that Baby Boomers are encountering now. Everyday they are struggling with thousands of financial issues like the dwindling value of their homes, the stalled returns on their stock market investments, the absence of interest rate returns and the employment scarcity after 50. All these problems are leading them into a huge debt crisis, which  remains unresolved even after their retirement. However, strategic thinking, the right knowledge, and few affirmative can make life a whole lot easier for them and can secure his post retirement days. Read ahead, to know a few significant ideas, which can help a baby boomers retiring to deal with their outstanding debt.

Live within your means

Let’s face it, spending is fun and the use of plastic and delay in paying bills, have made it much easier to overspend. If you tend to overspend, put a stop to impulse purchasing and start tracking your expenses. Think before you buy and understand the difference between the things you ”want” and things you ”need”,before buying. If required, embrace frugal living, cook at home, shop in bulk and avoid luxuries like expensive dining out.

Increase your income

After calculating your incomes and expenses, if you find out your monthly income falls short to cover your expenses, supplement your incomes through different ways. Go for a over time or part time job or start up a new business.  If you have any skills or “stuffs” that others are willing to pay for, start utilizing them. You can work as a freelance online writer or photographer or bookseller on eBay and Half.com. Find baby boomers jobs. You can arrange for a yard sale and can sell off your excess and unused items. For God’s sake, don’t use this extra income to buy a new dress or an expensive dinner, apply it to pay off your debts. Be creative and explore different innovative ways to earn more money.

Set priority

Baby-boomers often face financial difficulty, while putting their kids through school. In fact some go to the extent of sacrificing their own retirement plans to help their adult children. You must realize the fact there’s no point in putting your financial future at stake and securing your retirement days should always be your first priority. No matter what your financial obligations are, make sure you save at least 10 percent of your monthly income for emergency or retirement fund.

Financial planning

Last but not the least, remember, the sooner the better. If you are feeling financially tight, because of outstanding debts, you should address the problems immediately. Don’t work in haste; take baby steps towards paying down your outstanding debts. Set small realistic goals for yourself and put forth sincere efforts to achieve them. You can seek the help and guidance of a credit counselor in this regard as well as part of your retirement planning. It’s worth bearing in mind that paying down your debts will be the best investments you will ever make to ensure your future financial freedom after retirement.

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