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

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

In Retirement Schedule Can Save Money

See how timing your meals, trips, trips, and activates to your own schedule does pay off in deals and savings and sometimes gives you a better experiences than when you were in the busy time crunched work years.

Since retiring a few years ago, I have found that having a freer more flexible schedule when I do things results in savings. There has always been a relationship between time and money, it just changes in retirement. Here are some specific examples:

1. My wife and I love to do our eating out at lunch, where you can enjoy pretty much the same dishes that you pay higher prices for at dinner. We save money and actually enjoy the meal better since it is less crowded when we go. Yes there are also the early bird specials.

2. I have been visiting our Active Adult Center aka Senior Activities Centers and participate in many activities that cost me no money at all. I am a member of the walking club and the book club both which are free. The center has fresh fruit, great free coffee, newspapers and wired computers. There are small fees for classes in dance, yoga and many other things. Compared to an expensive health club, this is a deal and I like the people better too.

3. Since retiring we like to take trips in the shoulder season especially right after school starts. The shoulder season has less crowds and better travel deals and rates. Sometimes we take short trips at lower rates during mid week, not during the higher priced and crowded weekends.

4. We have learned to enjoy the national and state parks and these offer senior discounts. Museums and other attractions locally are fun to visit and save you a lot of money on travel and accommodations. See my post: Retirement Activities in Your Own City

So timing your meals, trips, trips, and activates to your own schedule does pay off in savings and sometimes gives you a better experiences than when you were in the busy time crunched work years.

More Discounts and Deals for Boomers and Seniors

Originally posted 2011-12-23 14:04:03.

Don’t Let Life Keep You Down

Even in the most difficult times, there are things that we can do to keep life from keeping us down. This is but a few of those things, in addition to writing, that helps me.

Folks, this has been one of those weeks.  I am sure that you have had them too.  It is after midnight. Sleep will not come.  I need to write.  As I have said before, writing is healthy.  It is time to stand up and continue on.  Life is to be lived.  It is short.  Even in the most difficult times, there are things that we can do to keep life from keeping us down.  This is but a few of those things, in addition to writing, that helps me.

  1. If you receive a message by text or face book that is upsetting, try to accept the fact that texting is the way things are done in this modern day and time. It is a way to communicate.  If it upsets you then let that person know.  If you don’t need email or text then you might want to consider taking it off your telephone and computer. Learn from written messages.   We must remember that there are real people using computers and telephones.  We do not know how their life is going.  They may be  suffering from an illness, or going through a difficult time.    Be appropriate when communicating.
  2. Do not expect others to think like you do.  Do not expect others to deal with death or any grief situation like you do.  Everyone has their own way of working through things in their own time.
  3. Try not to take your anxiety out on someone that is close to you, as you go through your grief process.  They are grieving too, but they are NOT YOU.   Share your feelings but respect the feelings of others too.
  4. When you get to the anger part of grief, do not give up. Feel it!  If it is necessary to drop a tear or two, then do it.  Try to keep your mind focused on the moment.  Stay centered.  Be real!  Share with people that understand and care.  Do what you need to do.  Just don’t allow anger to become YOU.
  5. Use slogans such as, “Easy Does It, First Things First, and Keep It Simple, This Too Shall Pass.  Try to get in touch with the spiritual part of yourself.
  6. Take time to breathe.  Do not go back to unhealthy habits or behaviors.  Remember, this only sabotages getting through the grief.  It hurts you and sometimes those closest to you.
  7. Kick something. Smack a pillow.  Tear up a telephone book.  Get rid of that negative energy.  There is enough hurt right at the moment.   Be gentle with yourself.
  8. Cry if you must.  Those are your tears.  You can let them drop.  If you are a man and feel it will hurt your image, then go some where alone.  Let them flow.  Crying is natural.  Let those tears wash away the pain, then wipe your face off, get up, and face the world.  You can do it!  After all you are a boomer, remember!
  9. Show compassion.  Be real.  Do not deny your feelings.  Console others.  Listen.  Rest. Do what you need to do to deal.  It is your life.  You have that right.  Exercise your rights as a boomer with wisdom in a constructive,understanding and loving way.
  10. Grief is a natural part of life that must be done in order to carry on.  Be who you are.  Put your best foot forward.  You are experiencing life.  You will probably remember happy times, sad times and  laughter.   That is what LOVE  is all about and this is life.  Live it!  Share your feelings and thoughts because much later in your life, you may find yourself at an age, or in a situation where you are unable to communicate.

I just wrote some of my thoughts and feelings down. I have shared them with you.  It helps to write.  I want to thank those that have encouraged me to write again as I put on my big girl pants and continue on in this thing called life.  By sharing, I hope that you always know that there is someone out there that cares.  You are not alone.  Put on your big girl or guy pants and take a boomer walk with me.  Peace, love and light!

Senior Centers offer lots of support – see SeniorCenterDirectory.com

Originally posted 2012-02-10 15:26:36.

Baby Boomers Get Older and Happier

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.

As a retired person and a student of retirement, I could relate to so many of Dag’s ideas. They are simple but effective. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Keep in mind that time is short but life is long

He reminds us that we have had a long life and seen so many changes and events. It is not that life is short, but the time remaining is short.

He reminds us to grab hold of life right now and make something great of what is left. The road doesn’t go on forever and we are on the homestretch.

2. First and foremost: be a happy old man!

The most important is to accept your age and enjoy it’s many opportunities. Greet each morning with smile. Everything depends on your attitude and health. Let your perspective expand. Accept life’s terms and make the best of them. Forget all the bad things that have happen in your life and just move on.

3. Don’t Downsize

This is an interesting one to me since I just bought a retirement home the same size as my current home, so I must agree. He says you will need a bigger space now, because you can finally enjoy it for guests, hobbies, computer room.

4. Don’t become a micromanagement guru

I like this one. He days don’t dwell on the small things like you did for years at work. Try to see the bigger picture. Throw out old papers and things that never gave you pleasure. Don’t hoard.

5. Live in the present

Nothing says old age like living in the past. Don’t fight the times. Everything didn’t used to be better.

6. Let go of former prestige.

Men especially have identified too heavily with our careers. Give it up. The hierarchies are gone, how liberating! Talk with each other on a level field and you will have a more active social life.

Wow, that is only 6 of the 109 ideas in Dag’s book about being happy in retirement. Of course he goes into more details about the above points and others in the book. Any baby boomer leading up to retirement should read his boomer book to pick up on some of his helpful ideas. Those of us who are already in retirement can nod in agreement and be reminded of what we have learned on our own and to BE HAPPY.

 

 

Originally posted 2015-01-07 16:39:02.

Boomers: How to Find a Cheap Vacation

Get a Reduced Rate on Your Vacation Accommodations & Have a Cheap Vacation. What have you found shopping for a Great Rate on Vacation Lodging? This works to save you money on vacations.

Boomers: Need a Cheap Vacation?

Want to go somewhere warm and with a beach? You bet! We all do. Here are a few ideas to save money while taking a nice vacation & no coupons required, offers or daily deals! The first question you have to ask yourself is do I want to vacation in the US or outside of the US. If you vacation in the USA then I recommend vrbo.com That is Vacation Rentals By Owner. I have rented from them about 7 times and I have been very satisfied most of the time. I re-rented with one of the owners about 4 times. I believe we both got a good deal. I paid 100% in advance and did not damage the property. I tried to take care of it as if it were my own. The owner took some risk on me the 1st time but the additional times, there was no risk and they knew what they were getting and they liked what they got. Here is how I selected my housing. I searched VRBO’s website for a housing that met my requirements.

You can select Pet Friendly, Smoking Permitted, etc. I narrow it down to 5 properties and if possible, I try to find listing with an owner in the state I reside. I think as a local, the owner might not worry as much as he see’s that I live locally too. If the owner is nervous, they may hedge on giving you a good price. I read each of the 5 ads and call with a question or two. If an owner does not respond then I am done with them. If I speak to an owner and they sound difficult then I am done with them. If I can not get a net price from an owner, then guess what? I am done with them. I want a price that includes all charges tax, cleaning fee, etc. I compare prices and I have seen differences of up to $300. for the same # bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.

I think some of the owners bought a bad deal or are strapped for money and this is what they “feel” they have to charge. That is why what they are charging is so out of touch. They would be better to price aggressively as it is better to get some rent than no rent. Some indicate by phone that they will negotiate, some indicate their price is firm. I don’t want a low price and a tough owner but then I will not accept a high price and an easy owner. Have you every bought a used car from an individual? Did the individual think that their vehicle was worth more than the market? That is a frequent complaint. Sometimes the owners fit this criteria. My repeat owner has done me special favors liked cleaned up the condo early from the last people so I could leave my stuff and attend a wedding. I always send my $ to the owner earlier than they require and I think they like that. To my repeat owner, I pay in full even when not required because I want to make them feel good about the rental.

I like to vacation where I have been and enjoy. We eat where we like and enjoy. We typically eat where the “locals” eat. To do that I try to meet and talk with some one before I ask about a place to eat. Sometimes people are disappointed when they do this but I think it is because they ask just anyone for a good place to eat instead of talking at length with some one who you think after talking with them would maybe recommend a good place. If you hear about a place more than once, that is a good sign. One of the best sources would be a concierge at a hotel. You have to be candid with them to get a place that meets your requirements. If you are looking for a fast food restaurant, then ask someone who eats or works in a fast food restaurant but you might want not to ask someone who works in a fast food restaurant about a fine dining place.

If I have a good waiter in a restaurant, I will ask them about another restaurant for food that does not compete with them. If I am in a store and either the clerk or the owner seem like people who I feel might have some good suggestions, I will ask them. Sometimes I eat at chains that are good and not near where I live but are easily available when I am on vacation. See a previous post for how I get the best deal on gas & hotels. I have stopped at the state welcome center for their coupon booklets but I have them now in my favorites and I can view some of them on line instead of stopping at the welcome center

Originally posted 2011-12-23 14:13:45.

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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