We give you valuable Information, Inspiration & Celebration in recap and tip formats for Easier, Smarter & Better Living
Gal Plan Power
Women live longer (statistically 5 years more than men in USA). Women are more likely to age alone and live in poverty (2X more than men). Whooa – what to do? Make a Plan:
1)Where to Live-retirement community, with family, Golden Girl style, on your own or other 2)Know your numbers-get help if you need it, yet know how much you have to live on. The earlier you do this, the better – you may need to work longer, part time or start a business 3)Keep up with technology (ride sharing is not just for over-served college kids)-medical devices, communication tools, self-driving cars, etc. can be helpful aging tools 4)Focus on your Health – exercise your body and your brain & eat healthy 5)Stay positive-have fun along the way; remember thinking positive actually helps your brain think positive.
And use resources like Fantastic55.com (and others out there) to keep learning so your journey will be smarter, easier and better.
Nuts About Nuts
Nuts about Nuts. Did you know that eating nuts may help you age healthier? Nuts are associated with living longer and lowering rates of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer (US FDA and the American Heart Association). Plus nuts repair skin, help keep your mind sharp, may help with weight management and ease aching joints (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). Keep your portion size to about a handful each day and learn more 8 Health Benefits of Nuts by Franiska Spritzler, healthline.com and Go Nuts to Age Well: 6 Benefits of Nuts for Older Adults by K. Aleisha Fetters, health.usnews.com
SAVINGS SEASON Amazon Prime Day is July 16 so we are in a saving state of mind. Plus check out the tips, apps and specials from our friends at AARP at 99 Ways to Save Money on Everything. And when shopping online, do your research but don’t buy right away. Chances are you’ll get an ad or a coupon in your newsfeed to further entice you with your purchase. Save cha-ching. Live Fantastic. We can do this.
Boomers Dig Digital Devices
Americans ages 60+ are using devices (computers, tablets, TVs and smart phones) about 1/2 hour more than a decade ago (PewReport.org, 2005-2015) over 4 hours everyday. And 73% of adults 65+ are internet users. Plus more than 50% of those 65+ own smartphones. Numbers are growing, let’s keep learning: ask your friends or family for help; take a class at the library or community center, go online and watch how-to videos or whatever works for you. More information and resources: Americans 60 and Older are Spending More Time in Front of Their Screens than a Decade Ago by Gretchen Livingston, pewresearch.org, 2-18-2019, Youtube videos (search using the magnifying glass icon for the model of your device) and your local library.
Affordability: Retirement or Kids?
About 80% of parents help their adult children financially (Merrill Lynch, Age Wave, 2018). Ask yourself: 1) can we/I afford it? 2) is it helping them get a leg-up or perpetuating an unstainable lifestyle? Try setting a budget, or “gifting” one time per year; know what you do for one may become an expectation for your other kids; and consider task help and not cash if babysitting the grands one night a week allows your son/daughter time for a second job. For more information click Don’t Let the Kisds Wreck Retirement by Eleanor Laise, kiplinger.com, 7-2-2019
See the USA
Will you be seeing the USA this summer? The National Parks and other iconic destinations make for great skip-gen (grandparents & grandkids) trips. There are plenty of choices at this link https://www.nps.gov/index.htm. And remember new experiences fill our days with learning & love, keeps us physically active and stimulates our brain.
More Music Please
More music please! Music helps your MIND-raises positive emotions, reduces stress and BODY-helps you workout longer and more. So crank up some summer tunes like I Wish They all Could be California Girls, Hot Fun in the Summertime, Under the Boardwalk, Summer Breeze, Better Boat and all of your favorites! Check out The 100 Biggest Summer Songs of All Time, billboard.com. And for more research info: How Does Music Benefit the Health of Seniors Citizens? thevault.musicarts.com and Healing Harmonies: Music as Medicine for Seniors and Caregivers by Anne-Marie Botek, agingcare.com
To Do List: Advance HealthCare Directive
Might you answer “Huh?” when an admitting nurse asks for your Advance HealthCare Directive? If yes, it’s time to take action. An Advance HealthCare Directive, Advance Care Directive or Advance Directive (one document, called multiple things) communicates to healthcare providers your medical preferences if you are unable to speak for yourself. It includes your values and desires related to end-of-life care. Click here for actionable information and forms Advance Care Planning: Healthcare Directives by National Institute of Aging from the National Institute of Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization CaringInfo.org proides FREE forms by state Download Your State’s Advance Directives and their InfoLine is 800-658-8898. As with any document, include others in the discussion using your own discretion.
Want to Work?
Want to work longer? Workers between 55 and 64 and the 65+ labor force participation are both on the rise. Good news, because company changes and re-organizations plus health or caregiving issues resulted in many 50 somethings being out of work, yet still wanting/needing to work. Start by updating your online profiles (especially on LinkedIn). Let your in-person and online networks know you are looking. Be open to all opportunities – jobs are changing and stats show you may make less money than before. Here are some resources: There’s Good News for Seniors Who Want to Work Longer, by Rita Williams, fool.com and How to Age-Proof Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile by Nancy Collamer, forbes.com
2 Hours of Eco-Therapy
Even 2 hours of nature every week makes us feel better emotionally and aids physical health by reducing blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension (Scientific Reports). “Eco-therapy” can be a walk in the park, a garden or green space. Plan a picnic, simply sit under a tree or get to the lake or a beach. For more info Exactly how much Nature Time do we need to boost Well-being by Tim Newman, Medical News Today, 6-17-2019
Gray Divorce Rises
Gray divorce (those ages 50+) is on the rise accounting for 1 in 4 divorces (2010); in 1990 it was 1 in 10. Longer lives, individual financial strength and feelings of disconnectedness are factors in the splits. Healing from divorce includes acceptance, transitions and allowing yourself time to grow. More info at 7 Surprising Facts About Gray Divorce by Kathy McCoy, psychologytoday.com, 9-25-2018 and Stage One: After a Gray Divorce: Survive by Barry Gold, huffpost.com, 3-7-2016
Click to Social Security Resources
Want more info on Social Security benefits? Mistakes can cost you, their website can be confusing and government workers may not know your situation. Here are some compiled resources from trusted sources to help you develop a plan to maximize your benefits, coordinate with your spouse (or ex-spouse), not get $$ deducted if you earn too much and other twists. 8 Ways You Could Miss Out on Social Security Benefits, by Selena Maranjian, fool.com; Navigating the Confusing Rules of When to Claim Social Security, by Chris Farrell, forbes.com; Social Security Mistakes Can Cost you Tens of Thousands of Dollars. Here’s How to Get Good Advice, by Elizabeth O’Brien, timeinc.net; pamphlet by the Center for Retirement Research at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and Social Security Resource Center at aarp.org. Books: A Social Security Owner’s Manual by Jim Blankenship, CFP, 4th Edition or at BlankenshipFinancial; and Social Security for Dummies
Technology for the Long Haul
Technology especially in-home products can help the 80% of those 65+years-old who own their home and want to age-in-place. Products like in-home personal assistants (like Amazon Echo), electronic tracking to find your keys or TV remote (like Tile), a Robotic puppy or kitty to to keep you company, voice reminders (like Rosie Reminder) or even a FaceTime with your grandchildren help make daily living easier and better.
More products are being developed as companies embrace today’s active, healthy and long-living adults. And don’t forget we control 67% of disposable income! For more information check out Best Buy Discovers That Age is Just a (Profitable) Number by Michael R. Solomon, forbes.com 10-11-2018 and Tech Gadget and Older Adults: What Helps What Doesn’t by Allen St. John, consumerreports.org, 3-8-2018.
Purpose in your life leads to better health and a longer life. A JAMA Psychiatry report confirms that people with purposeful lives are less stressed and more engaged which leads to better cognitive and physical health. And finding or re-framing your purpose at 55+ may come to you or you may have to work at developing it. Good news-at this stage in life you are probably #1 in charge, you can tap into resources and learn from others. Tell us about your purpose-your journey may help others. For more information check out Seniors with Strong Sense of Purpose Often Live Stronger, by Judith Graham, chicagotribune.com
Train your Brain
Brain training, eating healthy and exercise research points to improving or maintaining cognitive function. After age 65, the risk of dementia doubles approximately every 5 years. Brain-training activities: Memory games, Draw a map, Research a new topic, Read a how-to book, Learn a new language, Take a class, Learn to play a musical instrument and more. Think of your brain health like a 3-rung stool – first the brain needs exercises, second a healthy diet helps and third, exercise and and keep your vascular system healthy (the brain needs oxygen which is carried via blood to the brain). Find more information online including Brain Training for Seniors, In Search of Brain Training That Works by Sarah Toy, wsj.com and This is The Only Type of Brain Training That Works, According to Science by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company.
Where will you Live?
20% of Americans live in multigenerational homes (64 million) up from 12% in 1980. Longevity means figuring out where to live: in a family member’s home, renting a duplex from adult children, granny pod in the back yard or aging-in-place on your own. Banks are inventing new loan products for multigenerational families and the IRS has specific rules on letting folks live rent-free. Use multiple sources to get the info you need to make the right decision for you. We started with All Together Now article, by Katy McLaughlin, wsj.com, 5-31-2019; additional sources include our Money Matters section, your accountant, irs.gov and other trusted-source published writings.
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“Flower Power” is a real thing. Health benefits of flowers (green plants, too) include feelings of greater wellbeing, less anxiousness and exhaustion, lower blood pressure and pulse rates, and more. Muted colors evoke relaxation while bold colors energize you. For more information read The Mental Health Benefits of Flowers by Sally Augustin from huffpost.com
Reminiscing can benefit Seniors 1.Family Stories & history are transferred 2.Theraputic for them – feelings of importance and greater satisfaction 3.Communication keeps their memory and mind active. To read more go to Ruby Cemental’s 2016 article, Keeping Seniors Healthy, Happy Home. caringseniorservice.com.
Using Tech Devices
How old were you when you got your first handheld device? In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Annamarie Donovan got her first iPad at 100 years old. Today she is 108 and on her third upgrade. Yup, we congratulate her and you on learning technology! Now we think ahead to all we will learn as devices evolve! Here’s the link to The Advantages and Limitations of Living to 100, by Turning Points, Clare Ansberry, wsj.com, 5-21-2019
Exercise saves Bucks
Regular exercise is estimated to save you $2,500 per year (Journal of the American Heart Association) on medical expenses (compared to those whose who don’t exercise). Do: 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days/week or vigorous activity 3 days/week. For more info check out this USA Today article, How exercising regularly could save you up to $2,500 a year, by Mary Bowerman, 1-5-2017
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“No” to Falls
Say “Yes” to taking a walk outside, yet be safe. The National Institute on Aging reports that 33% of those ages 65+ fall each year! Help prevent falls: Exercise and stay strong, Get your eyes and ears checked, Get enough sleep, Wear non-skid, rubber sole shoes, Stand up slowly, Use a cane or walker, Wear an Apple watch or fall-assist device and more information in the National Institute on Aging’s/ U.S. Department of Health & Human Services article, Prevent Falls and Fractures
Donate your Body to Science?
Considering donating your body to science when you are done using it? In the US all state and local laws must be followed and you’ll want to start planning early. Look for an entity approved by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) which include some nonprofits and universities. There are online resources for information (and you’ll want to get plenty of it); we suggest starting with National Georgraphic’s How to Donate Your Body to Science, by Lori Cuthbert
Walking barefoot feels so good and some consider it “grounding” or “earthing” which connects the earth’s electrons to our boody and is believed to slow aging, reduce inflammation, imporve sleep and more. Check out The Washington Post’s July, 10, 2018 article by Carrie Dennett, Could walking barefoot on grass improve your health? Some research suggests it can.
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Talkin’ Telomeres today with Caroline Khalil. Telomeres are the protective compound at the end of chromosomes that shorten when cells divide. Shorter telomeres lead to aging and disease. Keep your telomeres longer with a healthy weight, regular exercise, lower stress (meditate) and eat healthy. This TedxNashville Talk is 15 min and Parsley Health’s What are Telomeres And How Do They Keep Us Younger Longer? add details and proactive suggestions.
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Mushrooms & Your Mind
We are crushin’ on mushrooms because new research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggests their nutrients can ward off Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) when consuming them 3 times per week. Study details at Mushrooms May Reduce the Risk of Memory Problems, Nicholas Bakalar, NYTimes, 3-14-2019
In the News
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What is the Senior or Silver Tsunami?
Led by seniors, baby boomers and those 55+, the Silver Tsunami will be 30% of the US population, or about 98 million people by 2020. We are living longer, staying active, eating healthy, working, volunteering, traveling, exercising, using our iPhones and so much more. And there is no how-to manual on this new type of retirement.
Therefore learning from each other and our curated article recaps, lists, hints and tips based in research reports and articles prepares you to conquer challenges. Topics include Physical and Emotional Health, Money Matters, Work & Volunteer, Interest & Leisure and Organizations, Agencies, Apps & Books.
Foodie55 is our newest topic area as our members told us they want to eat healthy and yummy. With super simple offerings, you can buy or make ingredients and toss them together.
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Fantastic55 uses research, reports and data from many sources including the MIT Age Lab, Administration on Aging, Milken Institute for the Future of Aging; news sources like The Wall Street Journal, NBC, CNBC, Forbes, PBS and digital sources like TedX Talks, webmd.com, nextavenue.com; and organizations like AARP, National Age in Place Council and popular podcasts.
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