Disrupt Aging: Expert Tips To Stay Wealthy, Wise and Connected

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

If you knew you were going to live to 100, what would you do differently today?

In my last blog post, I introduced this question and provided some reflections from the 2018 AARP Disrupt Aging: The Implications of Living 100 Forum. As promised, this week I’m going to share tips from some of the experts who spoke about changing the way we earn and learn.

Changing the Way We Earn
“The only time I hear people talk about God and money is when they say ‘God, I wish I had more money’,” said Suze Orman, The World’s Personal Finance Expert.

Suze Orman; disrupt aging; #live100

Wealth expert Suze Orman focused on managing finances to live to 100.

According to Employee Benefit Research Institute 2016 stats, 41% of American households headed by people 55-64 have no retirement assets.

Maybe that’s why Suze hit hard on the importance of saving for old age: “At 25, if you put away $100 a month until 65, you can have $1 million at 65. If you start at 35 versus 25, you will net only $300,000 at 65.” At the same time she was adamant about paying down debt, especially credit card debt which has high interest rates.

“Money alone will never make you happy. But lack of money will make you miserable,” said Suze. Seeing her parents struggle financially made her want to become monetarily successful and help others become fiscally fit too. After working really hard and making lots of money, she retired two years ago at 65 and moved to a private island in the Bahamas. Sounds pretty successful to me? Continue reading

Living 100: How To Make The Most of Living A Longer Life

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers“Current 10 year olds may age to be 104,” said Jo Anne Jenkins, CEO of AARP, as she kicked off a conversation about longevity at the 2018 AARP Disrupt Aging: The Implications of Living 100 Forum, powered by Forbes and held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. last week. The event featured presentations with leading experts in health, tech, work and personal finance, education and policy to discuss one simple question:

If you knew you were going to live to 100,
what would you do differently today?

#disruptaging; AARP; Live 100; living to 100

Disrupt Aging: Implications of Living 100 Forum was held at the Newseum in D.C.

(Note: Be sure to read to the end of the post and enter the giveaway for a copy Jo Anne’s bestseller, Disrupt Aging.)

Implications of Living 100
With this overriding question, each speaker challenged us to shift how we think about our own aging and rethink how we earn, learn, connect, and live in the present. The facts and figures were staggering. Here goes:

In 1960, 9 percent of the U.S. population was over age 65. In 2060, that number will grow to 24 percent. “You’re either going to be a caregiver or need caregiving,” said Jo Anne. Ooh, ooh, ooh, I’ll be in the ‘need caregiving’ if I live that long and will be over 100! How about you?

By 2030, the first Boomers will turn 85, the first Gen Xers will turn 65, and the first Millennials will turn 50. Ooh, ooh, ooh, I’ll be in my early 70s and my kids will be in their 40s. How old will you be? 

#disruptaging; AARP; Live 100; living to 100; aging

How old will you be in 2030?

The 50 and over category is worth $15 trillion and $7.6 trillion of annual activity is done by post 50 people in the U.S. Wow-o-wow, we’re worth a lot and we’re sure active individuals!

75 percent of Boomers in the U.S. plan to work past 65, and many will have two, three and four different careers in their lifetime. Hmm, I started out as a magazine editor, then I went into public relations, then corporate communications. Now I’m a blogger and yoga instructor. Where are you on your career spectrum? Continue reading

How To Prevent A Fall During Your Life After 50

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenOne of the reasons I study and practice yoga is to maintain my balance during my life after 50. We do poses to improve our balance on two feet with poses such as Warrior and on one foot with poses such as Tree. Being better balanced can help prevent a fall as we age.

As the snow piled up on my doorstep this weekend, I was reminded of how easy it is to slip on icy and wet surfaces during the cold weather months. Several family and friends fell on black ice last winter. One friend fractured her elbow.

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In yoga we practice balancing on one foot. Note the shoes in this picture are not shoes I wear to yoga!

According to the National Safety Floor Institute (NSFI), falls account for the leading cause of hospital emergency room visits. AARP Bulletin in December 2015 reported that “Injuries caused by falls are affecting adults ages 45 to 64, just as they are for those 65 and older, according to data collected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s national injury-surveillance system.” Not a positive story.

So now that you know falling is a serious health issue, what can you do to prevent a fall?

“Shoes Designed With Your Sole In Mind”
Besides practicing yoga for balance, I was interested to learn about a line of shoes that was engineered to be slip-resistant. “We are a footwear company that make casual flats and sandals for women. However, we use a fully patented outsole that provides the strongest grip on all slippery surfaces. We focus on primarily shoes designed to prevent slips-and-falls,” said Rhea Footwear’s cofounder John Lee in his email. He offered to send a pair for me to try.

Rhea Footwear, prevent a fall, aging, life after 50

Rhea Footwear makes slip-resistant shoes and flip-flops.

Per the Rhea website, John and his cofounder Paul Ahn brought together the technology that provides superior grip on all terrains and a stylish design while at Cornell University (my alma mater). During their time in Ithaca, New York, a place where it rains and snows more often than it shines, they were unable to find shoes that were practical in the rain and snow while being stylish. Rhea was founded under the mission to deliver high quality shoes that integrate style with technology. (Wish I had these shoes when I had to climb Libe Slope to make it to class during winters in the ’70s. Half the time I felt like when I put one foot forward the other foot went backward.) Continue reading

It’s Time To Be Kind To Family Caregivers

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

November is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to be especially kind to those who care for aging family members. Many of those who are family caregivers are boomer women, sandwiched between the needs of their parents and their own kids. They give, give, give to loved ones, while often sacrificing their own needs.

The Life Of A Family Caregiver
I’m familiar with the life of a family caregiver. I was a caregiver to my late husband during his illness. For many months, I visited him in the hospital each evening, driving a long distance after a full day of work, then home to make dinner for my son, leaving little time to rest, and start the routine all over again.

Shortly after my husband died, my sister N and I became more active caregivers to my mom. We were grateful that mom lived on her own for most of her senior years. Yet when she became ill at 89 and we had to give care from afar (since mom lived in Florida and N and I lived in the northeast), it became quite difficult.  We decided it was best for mom to move into an assisted living environment where she would have the ongoing care she needed. As devoted daughters, moving my mom was a tough decision. We were glad mom thrived in her new home. She passed in her early 90s.

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My sister N and I were caregivers to my mom until she passed away a few years ago.

Being a family caregiver is a major commitment. Many of my friends who have aging parents tell me of their challenges. When their dad falls and  breaks an ankle or hip, when their mom forgets to take her medicine due to dementia or Alzheimers, when they have to play the parent to their parents and take away driving privileges — so much debating and deciding ‘what should I do?’ issues pile on the family caregiver that their shoulders begin to weigh down. Continue reading

I Need To “Sleep Better”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessWhen I was in my 20s, I was a great sleeper. I’d hit the pillow after a long day at work and I was out for the count. I remember my roommate W was envious of how quickly I would nod off. Not anymore. These days as a “post menopausal woman,” I rarely fall asleep even after 30 minutes of relaxing music. Some nights I feel like I barely get any shut-eye at all.

I’ve tried many remedies — from warm milk to warm bathes, from Valerian (ooh, ooh, ooh, cannot stomach that herb in any form) to Melatonin — without much success. Most evenings, I usually enjoy a cup of Chamomile tea and douse myself with lavender oil. Yet some nights nothing seems to work.

AARP Life Reimagined, Sleep Better, AARP, sleep, insomnia,

While I do see a sleep doctor about twice a year, I’m always open to any and all sleep experts. That’s why when the team at AARP invited me to interview Life Reimagined Thought Leader and psychiatrist, Dr. Janet Taylor, and try out her new “Sleep Better” activity created for LifeReimagined.org, I said “yes.”

The “Sleep Better” Program
The program was quick to complete at only four steps: Continue reading

How To Plan Romantic Vacations During Your Life After 50

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50According to Dr. Pepper Schwartz,  co-author of Frommer’s Places for Passion, and AARP’s ambassador for Love & Relationships: “Long-term relationships are strongest when romantic trips are part of their history, present, and future.” (Hear that L, that’s my boyfriend L I’m referring to. We need to plan more romantic vacations. When are you retiring?)

I spoke to Dr. Schwartz to learn more about her new book.

Frommer's Places For Passion, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, life after 50, over 50, boomer travel, romantic vacations

Dr. Pepper Schwartz is co-author of “Frommer’s Places For Passion.”

“I’ve been a relationship expert for a long time and travel is a passion. I wanted to pair the two together with my writing so couples could have a book to depend on to plan accessible and reliable escapes — it can get sparks flying and create lasting memories,” said Dr. Schwartz.

Romantic Destinations
While 75-destinations are featured in Frommer’s Places For Passion, I asked Dr. Schwartz to name a few of her favorites. She categorized the destinations into four groupings: Continue reading

Giving Thanks To Family Caregivers

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersIn honor of November National Family Caregivers Month, I’ve written about the role that caregiving plays in our society. In “A Month To Honor Family Caregivers,” I reinforced what it was like to care for my mom as she aged and why I am so grateful for all the little things I can do each day, things that I used to often take for granted.

Last week, in recognition of November National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, I shared some staggering statistics about this debilitating disease and it’s impact on family caregivers. Sadly, every 67 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

A Celebration of Caregiving Event
On Friday, I attended “A Celebration of Caregiving Event” at Rutgers University in Camden, N.J., which was sponsored by AARP New Jersey. The event was attended by many local caregivers who told their stories of caring for their moms, dads, aunts, uncles and elderly neighbors.

AARP NJ, National Family Caregivers Month, family caregivers, life after 50, aging

Jim Dieterle, AARP NJ State Director

Jim Dieterle, AARP New Jersey State Director, quoted former first lady Rosalyn Carter when he spoke about the lifecycle of caregiving.”Mrs. Carter said there are four kinds of people in the world: Those who have been caregivers. Those who are caregivers. Those who will be caregivers. Those who will need caregivers.” It’s a reminder that the role of the caregiver is bigger and broader than we may realize.

National Family Caregivers Month
Since this week is Thanksgiving and a time for family gatherings, I’m pleased to partner with fellow midlife bloggers at Midlife Boulevard to bring you additional public service information about National Family Caregivers Month.

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A Month To Honor Family Caregivers

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersNovember is National Family Caregivers Month, a time to honor the millions of caregivers who help loved ones stay in their homes as they age. As a member of the AARP Kitchen Cabinet on Caregiving, I’m pleased to celebrate family caregivers and share news about the huge role family caregiving continues to play in our society.

caregiving, life after 50, over 50, retirement, AARP, boomer women, baby boomer women

My sister N and I were caregivers to my mom until she passed away in 2013.

Caregiving used to be a major part of my life until almost two years ago after losing my mom. She was 91 when she passed away. While I am no longer a caregiver, it’s still an important issue to me as I see many post 50 friends juggle caregiving for their aging parents. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, “more than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year.”

Continue reading

Jane Pauley Shares Insights For Reimagining Your Life

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersEarlier this month, I attended the Pennsylvania Conference For Women along with almost 8000 other women. It was an impressive showing and an important audience. I learned from the media kit that not only do women make up 50.8% of the U.S. population per the census, but the largest demographic of women are between the ages of 50-54 (7.1%). Go boomer girls go!

I was excited to have a press pass to cover the event. There were many keynote speakers and one of my favorites was Jane Pauley.

Pennsylvania Conference For Women

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Refocusing on My Memoir Writing Goal

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersAs I continue to evolve my life after 50, I’ve enjoyed reading Life Reimagined, Discovering Your New Possibilities. Authors Richard J. Leider and Alan M.Webber use  a concrete approach to help people “rethink life’s meaning and discover (or rediscover) their purpose” when faced with the challenge to change.

I’ve been using the Life Reimagined online tools to help me set my goals. Last month, after returning from the BlogHer conference in San Jose, CA, and listening to the panel on publishing a book, I thought it was a good time to revisit my goal to write my memoir.

AARP Life Reimagined, memoir writing, change, widowhood, life after 50

My Life Checkup
I logged into the Life Reimagined website and reviewed the results from my “Life Checkup” activities that I completed last April. My checkup told me that I was “optimistic and passionate about my goal to write a memoir. My gut was telling me to go for it. However, my actions were not in-sync. Instead of focusing forward, I was moving in a hundred different directions. Instead of acting, I was waiting for the right moment.

“If your idea hits a roadblock, get creative about pushing past it,” my Life Checkup results declared. (Okay, I hear you! I’m ready. I’m willing. I want to start putting prose on the page.)

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