Check Out My Interview On “Yes and Yes Blog”

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersI  thought I would share my recent interview that appeared last week on the Yes and Yes Blog. The Yes and Yes Blog is produced by Sarah Von Bargen. I met Sarah when she was a speaker at the PHLbloggers Blog Connect Conference in Philadelphia in May 2018.

Sarah has been blogging since 2008. She says, “Yes and Yes grew out of my desire to read a very specific type of blog that – at the time – didn’t exist. I liked lifestyle blogs (who doesn’t?) but I wanted something with a tiny bit more depth. Interesting interviews in addition to the recipes posts; thought-provoking personal essays and ‘what to wear for a weekend away’ posts.”

Today, 12,000+ daily readers view her blog and she has been featured in places like Lifehacker, Problogger, Glamour, and Forbes.com among others. She also created an ecourse about money + happiness and another one about changing our habits. Plus she created an app, three calendars, and signed with a literary agent!

Sharing My Life Story
Sarah interviewed me about my reinvention after losing my spouse, selling my house and emptying out my nest. My interview is entitled, “True Story: I Reinvented Myself at 50” and includes answers to Qs about my life pre-50 and post-50 and the different changes I”ve made during the last 10 years.

Defining Your Success
Sarah was the keynote speaker at the PHLBloggers Blog Connect Conference. Her talk about “Defining Your Success” was inspiring. She said that “if you can’t define success, you won’t know when you get there.” She encouraged attendees to “create your own definition of success” rather than comparing your life to others. She said that success is not necessarily about how many social media followers you have or how much money you have in the bank. Continue reading

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

The Best Is Yet To Come: Celebrating My 60th Birthday!

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThere’s no more countdown. It’s here, it’s now. This week I’m celebrating my 60th birthday!

Looking Back On My 50s
As I get ready to tackle my next decade, I can’t help but think of all I’ve accomplished during the past 10 years. When I started blogging my year to 50, I was a newbie. I never dreamed that my 49th year would be one of the most extraordinary years of my life.  Losing my spouse at the end of 2007 turned my world upside down. The grief and loneliness I felt during that period was overwhelming. But thanks to the support and love from family and friends, I came through that period and I’m here to say it’s now lovely on the other side.

Many of you, my dear readers, have shared my life after 50 transformation journey with me. From losing my spouse, to selling my house, to emptying out my nest, it’s been a wild ride. From buying my condo on the corner at the Jersey shore, to mastering online dating and meeting my boyfriend L, to leaving my full-time job and saying good-bye to my mom, I’ve weathered ups and downs along the way.

Oh yes, yes, yes, how could I forget creating an award-winning blog and becoming a yoga instructor too. It’s been nice to be able to pursue my passions instead of a paycheck since retiring from my full-time corporate career.

60th birthday; turning 60; life after 60

It’s time to celebrate my 60th birthday!

Looking Ahead To My 60s
Pondering my 60s, I wonder what life has in store for me during the next 10 years. Sometimes I wish I could look into a crystal ball and ask. Other times I want to be surprised.

60th birthday; the best is yet to come; turning 60

My new journal says it all!

When Oprah turned 60 a few years ago, she said, “We go through life discovering the truth about who we are and determining who has earned the right to share the personal space within our heart.”

These words ring especially true for me. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to celebrate my 60th birthday with several of my close girlfriends. Many of them were at my 50th celebration. I feel blessed to have such incredible long-term friendships with such talented, caring women. These women “share a personal space within my heart.” So do my long-distance girlfriends who could not be there, my daughter A and son D, my boyfriend L, my sister N, and other family members. My late husband M is always tucked inside my heart as well.

60th birthday; turning 60; life after 60; 60th birthday celebrations

My close girlfriends helped me celebrate my 60th birthday.

From Grief To Gratitude
“One thing I know for sure,” stealing another phrase from Queen Oprah, is that I am so grateful for all that I have and all that I am able do at this point in my life. Continue reading

Exploring The Great Outdoors In The Tualatin Valley

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Do you know where the Tualatin Valley is located? I bet you don’t, but you should. It’s right outside of Portland’s backyard. That’s Portland, Oregon. And it’s one of the most beautiful places to vacation in the USA if you like the great outdoors. I had a chance to visit this month, courtesy of The Washington County Visitors Association, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.*

As I get older, I like to be outdoors during my life after 50. Maybe it’s because I spent so much time indoors during my 30+ years working in a corporate environment. Now that I have more flexibility it’s great to have time to travel and explore new places. Much of my recent travel has been international, so it was nice to explore the USA, especially the Northwest.

The Tualatin Valley, Willamette Valley, Oregon, boomer travel, post 50 travel

My plan included three days in the Tualatin Valley, about 30 – 40 minutes outside the city, and two days in Portland. It was a perfect mix of country and city living. Plus, despite all I had heard about rainy Oregon (and sadly the forest fires), we had sunny and warm weather the entire week.

The Tualatin Valley, Willamette Valley, Oregon, boomer travel, post 50 travel

DID I SAY I LOVED BOTH THE TUALATIN VALLEY AND PORTLAND ? DID I SAY I WANT TO GO BACK?

Yes, Yes, Yes! And you will too.

Welcome To The Tualatin Valley
“It is our pleasure to welcome you to our version of paradise, the Tualatin Valley. Ours is a destination filled with vineyards and wineries, u-pick farms, golf course, shops, main streets, festivals, restaurants and a variety of lodging options, and much of what makes Oregon a must-visit location,” says the tourism brochure.

Between my arrival on Tuesday and departure for Portland on Thursday, Washington County Tourism team members Sylke, Jackie and Ariel made sure I sampled a bit of almost everything (except golf since I’m not a golfer). Continue reading

My First Visit To Greece: Enjoying A Wine and Food Tour In Santorini

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Are you ready to hear about my culinary explorations and libations in Santorini? While a few months have passed since returning from my first-ever trip to Greece with my daughter A and sister N, I so love reminiscing about our travels.

A Fabulous Wine and Food Tour in Santorini
It was mid-week in Santorini and A and I were looking forward to learning more about the food and wine culture of the region with Santorini Wine Trails. We had registered in advance for the “Foodie Tour,” which includes visiting a family-owned farm, walking in an 80-year-old vineyard, and sampling local wines and beer. (Note: N didn’t join us for the tour. She wanted to rest after our previous day’s strenuous hike from Fira to Oia.)

Prickly Pears; Santorini; Greece; Santorini Wine Trails Foodie Tour; travel; boomer travel

Prickly Pears grow on the family-owned farm in Santorini.

Iliana, our guide, picked us up at the Oia Post Office around mid-morning. Three other women who were vacationing from Chicago joined our group at the next pickup.

Iliana was filled with history about the island. We told her we were enjoying the beauty of Oia and our lodging at Nicoletta’s Loukia Cave House. She shared details about how Santorini and Oia have changed over the years.

“Everything that has happened here – roads, businesses – has happened in the last 20-25 years,” said Iliana. “After the 1956 earthquake, people were scared and left the island. In the 1980s, more investment happened and people started to return.”

Santorini; Greece; travel; boomer travel

The Santorini countryside has changed a lot since roads have been built.

We shared our story about our hike through the mountains from Fira, the capital of Santorini, to Oia. “Oia was always isolated from the rest of the island. The hike was the only way originally to get there. Not until the mid-90s when they started to build the roads could you get there by car,” said Iliana. Continue reading

It’s Summer! Time To Power Up The Sunscreen

This post is produced in collaboration with CVS Phamacy.

boomer beauty, life after 50, makeup for 50+ women, over 50Give me a cheer! Give me a yeah! Give me a high-five!

It’s finally warm and sunny. I’m back from my holiday in Greece (will be sharing all the highlights soon) and getting ready for summer weekends at my condo-on-the-corner at the Jersey shore.

Power Up Your Sunscreen
As a CVS ambassador*, it’s my job to remind you to power up your sunscreen so you don’t get a bad summer sunburn. I did exactly that while in Athens and Santorini. The sun was shining bright when my sister N and daughter A and I climbed to the top of the Acropolis and walked and hiked around Santorini. Only A got a bad sunburn on her legs, N and I re-applied and were more cautious with hats and caps. We all came back with good tans.

Greece; Santorini; Oia

My friends at CVS were so nice to supply my sunscreen including CVS Health SPF30 Breakout Free Face Lotion to protect my face (and put on my ears) and CVS Health SPF50 Clear Zinc Sun Lotion for my body. It went right in my suitcase for my trip and now sits on my bathroom counter. Every morning I slather my body with sunscreen before I go out in the sun. The lotions go on clear and are non-greasy.

CVSHealth 50 Clear Zinc Sun Lotion; CVS Pharmacy

The CVS team also sent other products that I packed for my trip, such as packets of cortisone and bacitracin. These creams are handy to have in case you get a summer itch or need a first aid ointment. Plus they don’t take up much room in your toiletry bag. Continue reading

Mindfulness, Happiness, and More Trends From the 2017 Book Expo

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenWhen I was growing up in the Bronx, NY, I loved going to the public library. My mom and I would walk across Mosholu Parkway from our home. Mom would go food shopping – which took a long time since she had to go to the butcher, the bakery and the supermarket. I went to the library, where I headed straight for the new book section, opening the crisp covers, reading the flaps, flipping the printed pages. I’d stack the books – six was the limit – check them out one at a time – and carry the pile in my arms to meet up with mom.

To this day, new books still excite me. That’s why I so enjoyed attending the 2017 Book Expo at the New York Javits Center earlier this month. The Expo is an annual event where publishers showcase new books. From Simon & Schuster to Hachette, Workman, Penguin and more, I walked every aisle to see each publisher’s offerings.

What’s Hot In The World of Books?
Now that I’ve finally finished combing through my notes and all the catalogs I collected, it’s time to share the themes and trends that caught my attention. Are you ready for what’s hot in the world of books? Note that some of these books may not be available until later in the year.

Here’s the scoop:

Mindfulness and Yoga With A Dosage of Happiness 
If you’re not being mindful or you’re not happy, not to worry because there are hundreds of books (or maybe more) to bring you into the present and make you joyful. As a yogi, I was pleased to see that these topics are trending, yet not sure how I would find time to practice if I spent all my time reading. Here are some titles to choose from:

Mindfulness On the Go – “a set of 52 cards and a 64-page illustrated book, all in a flip-top box with an easel to display your mindfulness cards.”

The Yoga Healer by Christine Burke – with “remedies for the body, mind, and spirit, from easing back pain and headaches to managing anxiety and finding joy and peace within.”
Beyond Mindfulness by Stephen Bodian – says it’s “the direct approach to lasting peace, happiness, and love.
Relax into Yoga for Seniors by Kimberly Carson, MPH, E-RYT and Carol Krucoff, E-RYT –  including a six-week program for strength, balance, flexibility and pain relief. Continue reading

My Yoga Journey: Celebrating One Year As A Teacher

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness

Last month, marked one year since I completed my Yoga Teacher Training 200 Hour Program at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies.

Since graduation, I’ve taught 70+ hours of yoga to mature adults and seniors as old (or should I say as young) as 100. I’ve taught newbies and experienced yogis. I’ve taught Chair Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Aqua Yoga in the water and even Power Yoga (if there is such a thing). I’ve led Meditation and Mindfulness sessions too. Wow-o-wow! 

yoga, reinvention after 50

I remember my first few classes. I was very nervous. Would my voice project? Could I memorize a sequence of poses? What would happen if my sequence ran past the hour? What about the music, the mantras, the mudras, the Sanskrit names and directions for each pose? It was all so overwhelming. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to teach.

yoga training, yoga mat

Learning From My Students
Transitioning from a teacher in training to an instructor in the studio has been an incredible learning experience. Now my students are my best educators.

When I speak softly, my students tell me to talk louder or turn down the music.

When I mention “inhale your left arm up” instead of “inhale your right arm up,” my students remind me and I quickly correct.

“We don’t say pain,” said my Chair Yoga student. “We say discomfort.”  “Discomfort it is,” I replied. The word “pain” has left my vocabulary.

“Can we look in the mirror?” asked my Yoga 101 student. “Yoga is a practice, there’s no perfect pose, no judgement,” I said. “The mirror won’t tell you anything and may even bring you off balance.” The student found his focal point (or drishti as we say in Sanskrit) away from the mirror and attempted to balance in Tree Pose, first on his left foot and then his right. Continue reading

Are There Advantages To Being A Woman Over 50?

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers “Are there advantages to being a single woman over 50?” I was asked this question by journalist Jackie Pilossoph, who writes the weekly “Love Essentially” column in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, a suburban paper in Chicago. Jackie, who is divorced and in her fifties, is also the author of a blog called Divorce Girl Smiling, where she offers advice and support to women going through a divorce and dating after divorce.

She was prompted to write about women over 50 after receiving an email from a 53 year old divorced male reader. He said that he would rather date a woman in her fifties than a younger woman “because we exude radiance” and “we have a sense of who we are and what we want in a relationship.”

Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press; women over 50Jackie was full of questions: ” What are the benefits of being a single woman in your fifties? What do we have that we never did in our younger days? Is it more gratitude? Is it an appreciation for life and small things? Is it that we are smarter? Do things mean more? I guess what I want to know is, what are women over 50 bringing to the table more than younger women?” Continue reading

You May Be Getting Older, But You Can Still Have Fun!

This post is sponsored by Warner Bros. Pictures. All opinions are my own.

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women

Since turning 50 my philosophy has been that while I may be getting older, I can still have fun. That’s why when the PR team at Warner Brothers contacted me about writing about this topic, I said “absolutely.” It’s one of the key themes of their new movie, Going In Style, which will premiere in theaters on April 7th.

Going In Style
The new comedy stars some of my favorite Oscar-winning actors, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin. They play lifelong buddies Willie, Joe and Al, who decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty.

Going in Style; #GoingInStyle;

Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.

Ann Margaret, who BTW is 75 years old, plays Al’s love interest. She looks amazing and her voice is just as lovely as when she was a teenager in Bye, Bye Birdie. The director of Going in Style is actor, director, and screenwriter Zach Braff (who starred in the television series Scrubs and was born and bred in New Jersey).

Continue reading