I was especially pleased to be asked to participate as a member of AARP’s Decide.Create.Share. Kitchen Cabinet on long-term planning.* As a widow with adult children, I feel it is very important for me to take the lead on:
– Deciding where I see myself for the future.
– Creating a comprehensive plan that includes my home, health, finances and wishes.
– And sharing my decisions with my daughter A and son D so they know my preferences.
I started working on my second act about five years ago after losing my husband M and becoming an empty-nester. I went to see a financial advisor. I met with a lawyer to revise my Will. I sold my house and downsized to a townhouse. I bought a “condo on the corner” at the Jersey shore. And recently, as I’ve shared in previous blog posts, I retired from my full-time corporate job. Thankfully, for the past 30 years I saved for retirement – putting away $ in my 401K and continuing to pay down my mortgages.
Now, I’m reinventing my second career, which hopefully will involve part-time work so I can enjoy a more flexible lifestyle. (Ah yes, I am very lucky to have met a fabulous boyfriend L too. I love L and hope he will be in my future for a long, long time.)
Taking “The 40 Day Pledge“
While I did all these good things – after reviewing “The 40 Day Pledge” – I now realize that I really, really, really need to do more now to set up my happiness for the rest of my life – into my 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s – ooh, ooh, ooh and maybe even into my 100s. (If you haven’t read the story about Claudina Melis, the 100-year old woman from Italy and her 105-year old sister and other siblings who are all older than 85 you must read it. Maybe I should move to Italy during the second half of the second half of my life. What do you think? Want to move with me? Or to the Greek isle of Ikria – also known for longevity?)
The “40 Day Pledge” guides women through seven steps that will help them assess their current situation including:
1. Valuable Documents At My Finger Tips. There’s a handy worksheet to complete with information from the names and telephone numbers of your doctors and other pertinent stats. (I remember hunting around for this type of information when my late mom got sick and it was very stressful. I don’t want my children to have to go through such stress when my time comes.)
2. Home Safety Checklist. I took this part of the challenge this week. Definitely have things to do to improve in my home environment. Yes I do. Yes I do.
3. Community Checklist. I completed this section for the township where I currently live in New Jersey. I know what amenities are available for seniors.
4. Health Screening Checklist. I’ve completed all my screenings – mammogram, pap, colonoscopy, cholesterol. However, I think I may have bloggeritis (according to my neurologist, symptoms include stiff neck, tension headaches and eye strain) from spending too much time on the computer and my other tech gadgets.
5. Long Term Care Calculator. Ooh, ooh, ooh, I am going to wait to fill out this section. I have until the end of August to complete my pledge. As women we face significant challenges as we age and I hope to live independently as long as I can. Face it Judi! Face it Judi! You can do it…don’t be scared!
6. Retirement Worksheet. I need a good calculator to help me compare my estimated monthly expenses, monthly income, and accumulated savings during retirement. Face it Judi! Face it Judi! You can do it…don’t be scared!
7. Advance Directives By State. This step is about insuring that my family, friends and doctor know the types of care I want in the event I am unable to make medical decisions for myself. Face it Judi! Face it Judi! You can do it…don’t be scared!
As William Johnsen’s famous quote goes “If it is to be it is up to me.”
Now that you know what I’ll be doing over the next 40 days, how about you? Will you join me? Come on boomer girls, check it out and join me and let me know what you think about AARP’s new online tool by leaving a comment.
In addition to doing the “40 Day Pledge“ over the next 40 days, I’m going to meet with all my fellow boomer girl bloggers at the 2013 BlogHer Conference this coming week. Will be @judiboomergirl tweeting live from the event and promise to share more about the conference when I return from Chicago. BlogHer is one of my favorite conferences and Chicago is one of my favorite cities. I think I’ll close by singing some verses of a Chicago song.
That toddlin’ town
I’ll show you around, I love it
Bet your bottom dollar
You’ll lose the blues
In Chicago, Chicago!”