Retirement Travel: Road Trip

Looking for travel ideas when you retire? Here are some enjoyable road trips for you to consider.

Many Glacier Lodge, Montana
Many Glacier Lodge, Montana

When dreaming about retirement one of the fun things to do is to think about the traveling you will do, once you don’t have to go to work every day.

When you are in retirement, one of the fun things to do is to think of all the neat things you have done over your lifetime.

For today’s post,  I am combining those two ideas and posting about some of the enjoyable road trips that I have done.  This has been fun to remember and maybe will give you an idea for a road trip of your own.  Some here are some memorable scenic road trips I have experienced.

Road Trips

1. Blue Ridge Parkway is absolutely gorgeous!   Described as  America’s favorite drive. I started near Cherokee NC took the parkway all the way up to Blowing Rock.  Also have been on the Blue Ridge Parkway in a drive through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.  The Summer or early Fall is a great time for this trip.

2. Montana Practically the whole state is scenic but we took I-15 to Butte, then I-90 to Missoula then to the scenic drive on Hwy 83 to Kalispell and Whitefish.  Along the way we passed through the Valley of 1,00o haystacks.   From there a ride through Glacier National Park on the Going to the Sun road staying in the wonderful park lodges ending up at the famous Many Glacier Lodge.

3. Nova Scotia Flew to Boston and got a comfortable rental car for the drive up to Portland Maine and took the ferry over to Yarmouth Nova Scotia.  With the help of the Canadian Embassy we have planned out 5 overnight stays on the drive along the northern coast, stopping on our trip at the Bay of Fundy to eat scallops and to visit the scenic Peggy’s Cove, ending up at Halifax.

4. Charlottesville VA area.  Make Charlottesville your base and take in the area with day trips to homes of three presidents, Jefferson, Monroe and Madison.  Not to be missed is a day trip through the Shenandoah National Park.  Allow 3 or 4  nights in Charlottesville but you could continue the trip down to Williamsburg and Jamestown for a longer trip.

Retirement Travel

So these are four of my best road trips.  For your retirement travel planning, maybe this will give you an idea for a trip of your own.  Enjoy!

For more good travel ideas, visit our Boomer Travel page.
For more Retirement Travel ideas.

Originally posted 2012-05-13 12:31:41.

Boomers – Real Life Tips for Online Dating

Recently I read an article about tips for Senior online dating. Some of it I agreed with and some I had my own opinions. It took me to a place and time where I met a few people online. Then the day came for the face to face interaction which is an all different ball game no matter how much you learn from the Internet affair. Some of my experiences were rather humorous so I have a few tips to offer for the real deal.

Boomers online datingRecently I read an article about tips for Senior online dating.  Some of it I agreed with and some I had my own opinions.  It took me to a place and time where I met a few people online.  Then the day came for the face to face interaction which is an all different ball game no matter how much you learn from the Internet affair.  Some of my experiences  were rather humorous so I have a few tips to offer for the real deal.

  1. Be prepared for the eye shock.  Pictures from the Internet can be very deceiving.
  2. Don’t get offended if he says, “Wow, you are a lot fatter than I expected.”
  3. Keep your composure should he change his mind at the last minute, not show up, and disappear completely from the Internet site.  He probably did not die of a heart attack and has gotten cold feet before.  Better yet, he likes playing games with peoples feelings.
  4. Run like hec if he comes dressed in a large over coat and it appears like he is carrying a weapon in his coat pocket.  Don’t be so noisy that you have to ask him about it.
  5. Don’t let your mouth drop open in shock when he takes his hat off to reveal his bald head.  I know you thought he had a full head of hair in that cowboy hat pic that you saw on the computer.  Now this is the real HIM.
  6. Try not to make too big of a scene at your local restaurant if he should say at the end of the meal, “Do you mind paying, I forgot my billfold.”  After all you might want to go back to that same place someday WITHOUT HIM.
  7. If he should start talking about all his Ex’s put a time limit on listening.  Oh, and by the way, all ex’s don’t just come from Texas.  I have met up with guys that have them scattered around the world.
  8. If you met for dinner and he is a health food nut then accept that.  Never but never though resort to eating carrot sticks for your meal instead of a nice juicy steak if you are hungry.  If he tries to change you at the first meal then imagine the rest of your life eating with him.
  9. If you see something protruding from his hair that looks like a Bobbie pin, it probably is.  Leave it alone and don’t ask.  Maybe later if there is a second date you can discuss the hair piece that you did not know that he wore.
  10. Just take it in stride if after the meal he excuses himself to the men’s room to clean his teeth.  Be glad that he did not take them out at the dining table.  Again remember in person is much different than on line dating.
  11. Then of course there is the nose blower.  The one that has excessive sinus issues and has to do a lot of blowing while you two are eating your dinner.  Have a heart and appear understanding.  Who knows next time you may have to blow.
  12. If you hear a rattle in his pants when he walks, NEVER BUT NEVER ask him if he wears Depends.  There will be another time and place for that discussion if there is a next time.
  13. Get concerned if he takes out a pill bottle and takes a pill right after a discussion of sex and the first date.  It might be Viagra and he might start rushing you to finished your meal quickly.  You do not want to take the chance of choking.  Chew slowly, take your time.  Don’t be worried about him paying ten dollars a pop for those pills because that is his problem, not yours.
  14. If you are a man give her a chance.  Maybe she forgot her glasses when she ordered the most expensive meal on the menu after your on line dating discussion of being frugal.
  15. If her hair looks purple, it probably is.  I know she said it was white but some of those white white hair rinses turn a ladies hair purple.  Just keep quiet about it.  It will wash out or discuss it at another time.
  16. If one of her eye lashes falls off keep cool.  Older ladies have to do what they have to do to look beautiful for you and sometimes those darn things just get loose.
  17. Oh yes and men just remember that women too wear hair pieces, wigs, lift up bras, girdles, and all their ex’s did not come from Texas either.

Be nice if she invited her girlfriend along because she was a bit scared of meeting you in person and had her sit at the next table. When she keeps giving the high sign to her just ignore it.  She probably will not want you to know so just do not mention it.  If she starts texting though, instead of listening to you, there might be a problem.  After all you are in control if there is a NEXT  time date.

Now after reading this do not let this influence you as for getting ready for that first meet up after the on line dating experience.  I am all for being a free spirit and putting spice in your life.  You might just luck out and none of the above will happen.  Then of course do not forget that there are senior centers, adult groups, cruises for singles, churches, and many other events where you can meet people your age for the first time.  It is OK.  Try getting out there.  That special one might just be right where you did not expect him or her to be.  Feel free!  Venture out into the unknown.  It is your life.  Live it.

Live, Love, Learn and Laugh!

Originally posted 2011-09-07 12:43:58.

Boomers: What To Do While Visiting The Villages in Florida

Thousands of people visit The Villages in Florida each year, some staying with relatives, some visiting on the Lifestyle Preview Plan like we just did and many others renting a home in The Villages.

There is something to do everyday that every baby boomer will find fun.

Here are some 16 tips and places to visit during your stay at The Villages Florida.

1. Pick up a copy of The Villages Daily Sun newspaper, especially the Thursday edition with the Recreation News and schedule for the week.

Sumter Square The Villages
Sumter Square

2. Visit and walk around all three town squares,  Lake Sumter Landing which borders Lake Sumter and has a Florida seaport theme and is located centrally.  There is the original town square of Spanish Springs on the South side. The newest town square of Brownwood with a wild west theme is on the North side.  All three town squares are very walkable and have restaurants, shops and a movie theater. Also there is live entertainment in each square every night of the year!

town square
town square

Continue reading “Boomers: What To Do While Visiting The Villages in Florida”

Originally posted 2018-09-29 20:54:03.

Boomers Turn Age 70

We baby boomers are turning age 70!! Can you believe it?

Boomers have never been this old. How do you act when you are 70?  I submit, just like we did in our 60’s.  No, not the 1960’s, even though I think that would be fun. Nothing has really changed by turning 70, right?

Well yes, a few things are changing. Not over night, but there are signs.

If you have delayed taking your social security, now finally you get to take your full social security check that has been growing.  We thought this day would never come.  Wow, that is going to be nice and well needed for many of us.

Also at age 70 1/2 we must take our RMD, required minimum distributions from our IRA’s.

So we start drawing our social security benefit and we must start taking annual distributions from our IRAs almost at the same time.  Well I think most of us at age 70 are ready for both and have no disagreements with those requirements.

Many boomers vowed never to retire or they couldn’t retire. Guess what, many were forced into retirement because of health reasons or maybe a job layoff.

If you retired in your 60s, then most likely you are now comfortable with your retirement. You have a comfortable routine and do the things you would like to do with your time. Many boomers that are retired, love spending time with their grand children. Some even move across the country to be closer to them.

Around this time (age 70) we or our spouses are dealing with some critical illnesses of some sort, be it diabetes, a stroke, heart attack, mobility problems etc. and we are most likely making room on our schedules for doctor visits.

Most likely a few of our friends have dementia problems starting or maybe advanced. We have two close friends in that boat.

A friend or two most likely has already lost their long time spouse to death.

More than a few of our high school or college school mates have died.

We spend some time on our medicare insurance don’t we.  Donut holes and open enrollments we know well.

Having been involved in recent years with a senior center and now living in a Del Webb Active Adult Community, I have a lot of friends that are in their 70s, thus are older than us older boomers.  Encouragingly lots of them are active, like to travel, have sharp minds and love to socialize.

We will be travelling through out our 70’s and dare I say 80’s. If we have the means, we don’t mind spending it on travel.

Racewalking
Racewalking

Some take up senior games and become senior athletes.

I have noticed now we don’t even mind being called a senior, even though we still don’t refer to ourselves with that title. We don’t mind the senior discounts, do we.

So another chapter in our lives is unfolding and for the most part we seem to be adjusting quite well.

So we have a lot to look forward to. Some of us are moving to active adult communities, or small towns or even to the city for retirement.

The future is not bleak as long as you have a positive attitude, your health and get out and participate in some activities with folks you like.

Even when you have some health problems, a can do positive attitude sure can go a long ways overcoming those obstacles.

They say at age 70 we only have 15 more years to live, on average. Let’s make the most of it.

Originally posted 2016-12-13 21:34:18.

10 Opportunities for Socialization

Socialization is important to your quality of you life, especially as we age. Here are 10 tips for socialization and new friendships for baby boomers.

10 Opportunities for Socialization

Socialization is important to your quality of life, especially as we age. Some studies say it’s important in our length of life as well as quality of life. Socialization is important  to your physical and mental well being.

We are not only talking about singles meeting people but couples also need socialization and outside friendships.  It is healthy for the marriage. You don’t have to be retired either to benefit from these socialization tips.

So you see the need for socialization, but how do you do it, especially if  you are not in the workplace anymore, the usual source of many friendships.

So I researched some ideas and then asked my Facebook friends to add to the list. Below is our group sourced list of socialization opportunities.

10 Socialization Opportunities

1. Churches – Phil, Betty Jane and a number of people mentioned church. Churches are a main source of socialization opportunities throughout life. Many churches have senior and single group  activities like pot luck dinners and  field trips. Betty Jane says: Bible Study Fellowship is a worldwide organization with classes that encourage discussions and participation.

2. Volunteering – my wife volunteers at the hospital and she has become friends with both the employees and other volunteers. She joined the auxiliary committee  and they started having lunch meetings to discuss activities and then continued with social lunches. Now she frequently has lunch with another lady volunteer she has become friends with.  Randy says: A lot of nonprofits and charities need all kinds of help. You can help out and make friends too. Kathy suggests volunteering too.  Resources: AARP Volunteer  and VolunteerMatch  are good places to start. Or your local hospital or senior center needs volunteers.

3. Senior Centers – They are absolutely great for socialization with all the programs and activities with friendly people.  There are a huge selection of activities for seniors that you can enjoy with others.  For the more active, try to find an “active adult” center.  Resources: See activities at senior centers.

4. Hobbies – Whatever hobby you  have or want to start, there is usually a local group of people who have a passion for the same hobby.  Attend local meetings,  shows and conventions.  The group  will need members to help with activities and this a great way to meet people.

5. Clubs – Donna says: Check to see if there is a club for your favorite activity in the area. You’ll automatically have something in common with the other members. Book clubs are popular.  Dance Clubs – Every larger metro area has people who like to dance. Take dance lessons and you will meet others who like dancing. Attend the dances and enjoy meeting the friendly people and you may turn into a regular dance club member. We are members of a dance club that meets every Saturday at 7pm. Resources: Meetup.com, just Goggle for your city + activity + club.

6. Sports

  • A.  Sports events – A group of us have attended the Petit LeMans Race at Road Atlanta every year for the last 5 years. We look forward to this very much and start talking about it a few months before, buying tickets, checking out web sites, discussing etc. This could be a football, basketball, soccer or other games.
  • B. Gym / Health Club – Phil says he has a group of regulars that he sees and visits with at the health club. A health club can be a social event as much as an exercise opportunity.
  • C. Sports team participation – Join a bowling team, bocce ball team, golf team, walking club, even Wii-games.
golden games
Golden Games

The senior games or senior Olympics are great because they have something for everyone and will assign you to a team if needed. I participated last year and went to the awards banquet. We had so much fun getting our gold medal for bocce ball in the beginners level.

7. Move to a Retirement Community – New friendships can easily be made at retirement communities which have programs and activities to  encourage socializing, especially at active adult communities.

8. Life long learning – classes of any type stimulate your mind as well as having interaction with fellow students and teachers. Betty Jane says continuing ed classes at your local college. Also I have taken classes at the senior center.

9. Breakfast meetings – senior groups meet at McDonalds or other local restaurants, even some grocery store cafes and other places.  Larry attends the morning meetings of regulars at McDonalds.

10. YMCA – Kaye suggest this. I think your local YMCA is worth a visit and tour what’s available. These days the YMCA is very modern and resourceful.

Bonus tip: Part time jobs – work has always been the number one provider of friendships and part time work can too.

If you have any additional socialization tips, please note in the comment section below.

Thanks to Facebook friends for their suggestions for this list: Donna Hull, Kathy Woods, Randy Mitchell, Betty Jane West Reese, Kaye Swain, Phil Miller, Ann Hearn, Robin Murray, Duane Lane Smith, Larry Wehunt

Originally posted 2014-01-05 16:48:12.

Baby Boomer Music – Happy Together Tour at #Lifeat50

We just saw The Happy Together Tour at the #Lifeat50 AARP convention in Atlanta

Happy Together Tour Liveat50

We just saw The Happy Together Tour at the #Lifeat50 AARP Event in Atlanta.  The Happy Together Tour includes Flo and Eddie from The Turtles, Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night, Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, Gary U.S. Bonds and Gary Lewis and The Playboys.  Each singer of the 60’s performed some of his greatest hits and the next singer quickly took over without a break.  So the same band played for all signers, but they were good and that was not a problem.

First out was Gary Lewis, who sounds just like he did in the day.  He talked about how he started writing “Everybody loves a clown” for his dad Jerry Lewis’ birthday, but saw it could be a hit and worked it a little more to become a hit. (see my video)

Next up was Gary U.S. Bonds whom my wife thought was the best.  He really had it going on.  He did one of this twist songs and his come back song This Little Girl among others.

Lifeat50 ConcertFlo and Eddie of The Turtle were a riot. They jumped around the stage with all kinds of craziness. They sang several of their hits, including Happy Together which the concert was named after.  It looks like Flo and Eddie are the concert promoters.

The poster on the left has Mark Lindsay but he was not part of this performance, replaced by Gary U.S. Bonds.

Gary Puckett & the Union Cap was actually the one I most wanted to see. Gary performed “Young Girl” and “Lady Willpower” among others. Gary is turning 71 this month but he seemed to be in really good shape. I remember my parents even liking his songs in the late 60’s.

Next up was Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, also 71.  Man, “Joy to the World”, “One” and “Mama Told Me Not to Come” sounded as good as ever.  He still has a booming voice.

For the curtain call each performer was brought out to sign one of his biggest hit songs with full audience participation. There is no better crowd for this tour to play than the Lifeat50+ crowd and we loved it!

So that was Friday’s entertainment but there is entertainment all three nights at Lifeat50. Thursday was several groups of Gospel Singers which was very popular and Saturday night Gloria Estefan wowed the Lifeat50 crowd at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Life@50+ is much more than just the entertainment.  Frankly I think it would be impossible to see it all, so here are some things I did in addition to attending that wonderful Happy Together Tour.

AARP travelThe exhibition floor is huge showcasing an seemingly endless selection of services to us baby boomers.  In the AARPDiscounts.com section I found AARP membership discounts available on services I already use like UPS Store and I-800Flowers.com.  Most impressive to me since we Boomer love to travel, was the travel benefits. They cover all aspects of travel, a must to check out before your next trip or vacation. I did a test drive on their new next generation travel site coming out soon (maybe Jan) that’s even better.

Being an old school techie, the travel people on the floor told me I should check out the TEK Pavilion and I attended the seminar about cutting edge technologies to help us stay healthy,  where entrepreneurs from 4 companies showcased their new inventions.  (see my AARP TEKYouTube AARO playlist of these presentations).  There were presentations about Buzzy – an invention to remedy unnecessary pain, Lift Labs who has an invention to help people with hand tremors, Neurotrack has an early diagnosis test for Alzheimer disease and finally Breezie has a Internet product to help people to easily get on line.  I met with Jeh Kazimi of Breezie immediately after his presentation and he gave me a test drive of his creative, easy to use product.  Frankly, I loved all these products and thank it is wonderful to have such a preview of what is coming.

In the morning general session I attended, I heard Bryan Popin play (amazing) then heard Whoopi Goldberg interview Tyler Perry, in the way only Whoppi can do it.

Well I could go on for awhile, but I know I did so much but there was so much more to take in.  The Life@50+ events are now twice a year and the next ones will be May 8-10, 2014  in Boston and Sept 4-6, 2014 in San Diego.  If you would like to visit those cities, I think Life@50+  would be a great way to do it.

Robert Fowler

Originally posted 2013-10-06 22:36:53.