Expanding YOU!

Learning something new helps your brain (changes white & gray matter), stimulates an emotional boost (learning pride, conversation-starter and encourages new thoughts, friends & opinions), aids in time management (you probably have the time), and it’s easy to get started. Online opportunities include watching youtube videos, Ted Talks, classes with Skillshare, Duolingo, Coursera or SeniorPlanet. Popular choices are completing a degree, learning a language or an instrument, dancing, knitting, gardening, tai chi or whatever is of interest to YOU! For more info: The Importance of Learning Something New, The Amazing Fertility of the Older Brain and the live learning links in this article.

Go Play

Online board games and brain health are a winning combination. Increase brain focus and activity can help reverse cognitive decline, improve balance and lift emotions. How to: Download the game app (examples: Monopoly, Life, Battleship, Clue, Yahtzee) and set up an account. Have your friends do the same, then use a provided link to invite them to play with you. Use your laptop to play the game and your handheld to live chat while playing. Or use Google Hangouts or Zoom to play Pictionary, Charades, Zoom Bingo, Trivia and more. Plus multiple websites offer free online Puzzles and Mahjong (lessons, too). For more info: What Games Can Seniors Play Online for Free, Words With Friends, I’m Breaking Up With You. Here’s Why (Bercovici, forbes.com).

18 with 70yrs Experience

Helen celebrated her “18th with 70 years of experience” birthday recently at her place of work. Her teammates, customers and friends went above & beyond to celebrate the big day. She is one special lady – a Veteran, momma, grandmom, dedicated friend, working part-time 5 days/week. Helen is the gal that you want around when you need to get something done. And as you might have guessed, a few “Honey, darlin’ and sweetie” were overheard plus lots of hugs were shared. Take time to celebrate the Helens in your life.

Behold the Yold

The “Yold” or Young Old (Japanese orgin), ages 65-75, are continuing to work leading them to be healthier and more socially engaged. Yolds are un-retiring being productive at work, spending disposable income and embracing lifestyle changes-exercise, activity and healthy diets.

OK Boomer

Okay Boomer, OK Boomer or #OKBoomer is a hip phrase (meaning viral) these days usually spoken by Millennials when they feel dismissed by Boomers especially pertaining to issues they care about-climate change, student debt, sexism and personal care choices (pink hair, nose piercings). Remember when we didn’t trust anyone over age 30? It’s kinda like that. Generational attitudes. So before you call your grandchild a “snowflake” or rant about the benefits of eating meat, be prepared for an “OK Boomer” comin’ back at ya. And keep us posted, this could be interesting…

Gramma & Ginga The Movie

Maybe you’re familiar with Gramma & Ginga, the centenarian sisters who turned into youtube stars about 3 years ago. They’ve been on Steve Harvey’s Little Big Shots and Jimmy Kimmel Live (twice). Their sassy talking, sibling rivalry and off-color name calling are ubiquitous in family dynamics. And these gals are funny and wise. Well, a couple of “pretty girls from California” are making a documentary about these two and Fantastic55 is part of the fun. Click Gramma & Ginga The Movie for Kickstarter and more info. We’ll keep you posted on the movie release!

Your Starpower

Tap into your inner 55+ starpower. Learn how to turn passion and knowledge into an internet video sensation like James (18th Century cooking), Clara (Depression cooking) and Jason (Modern History TV). This story is authored by a Fan55 friend (and great writer) who prefers to remain anonymous.  Full story at Unleash Your Fantastic55 Potential on YouTube.

TV or Not So Much

Screen times in 2018 for Seniors (age 65+) are increasing (bls.gov) with some of the increase coming from the 73% of 65+ using the Internet (Pew Research Center). Increased watching may numb us into challenges like cognitive decline, depression or worse. So don’t forgo non-tv activities! Make your plan to DO what you like – read, walk, socialize or whatever and then activate your plan. Yes, we recognize the irony of you reading this on a screen, yet we want you to live fantastically longer and healhier. For more information Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Time Use Survey, Screen Time is rising, reading is falling, and it’s not young people’s fault by Christopher Ingraham, 7-21-19, Work, Sleep, TV. How Americans Spend Their Days, Deloitte, by Arkur Barua, CMO Today, deloitte.wsj.com


A pawsitive addition to your life may be a dog: They add instant Compaionship, Force you to walk 3X per day, Stimulate your heart and mind, Calm stress & anxiety, Add Security to your home, Help you Stay Social and may better help you Recover from a heart attack or stroke. Lots of options: Adopt a Senior pet, Therapy dog, or simply volunteer at your local animal shelter. The annual cost of a healthy dog is about $800. There is a lot of research on this topic and here are articles that may help: 9 Amazing Ways Dogs Can Change the Lives of Elderly Humans by Claire Beaudreault, barkpost, 2015, Qwning a Dog Tied to Lowering Your Risk of Dying Early by 24% Says Science by Sandee LaMotte, CNN, 10-8-2019  Top 6 Reasons Seniors Should Adopt a Pet, aginginplace.org from Seniors and Pets

“Old Age…” by Bette Davis

“Old age ain’t no place for sissies,” said Bette Davis (1908-1989) and we totally agree aging isn’t always a happy dance. Yet, research shows that being grateful can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and help sleep. A University of California study found that grateful people actually have better heart health and less inflammation. So its time to affirm who/what we are grateful for. We grateful for you – your time, attention and support. How about you?

Planning Time

It’s time to plan that multigenerational vacation. Suggestions: Beach, Mountains, Ballparks, Cruise, Dude Ranch, National Parks, Theme Parks, History Alice, Giving Back trips, Healthy-based trips, Big Cities, Family Adventures, Family Sports or whatever floats your family’s boat. Getting everyone involved helps on the buy-in, the budget and adds to the excitement.

Fall Color Wheel

A Road Trip to see Fall Colors helps us celebrate the season, spend time with friends & family and is a low-budget-high enjoyment experience. You can check out a national park, a small town or simply enjoy the drive. Search your area for fall colors near me or check out 11 Epic Fall Road Trips to Drive This Year, Chelesa Staurt, Jetsetter, 9-4-19,  30 Great Midwest Fall Color Getaways, Midwest Living and The Ultimate New England Fall Foliage Road Trip, Lonely Planet

Multi-Gen Relationships

Spending time and building relationships with multiple generations delivers benefits to all. Elders gain confidence, learn about others’ challenges, pick up the “hip” lingo and feel connected. Youth become more comfortable with and better understand the aging process. They may look to the elders as role models, soak up wisdom and more. For more information Ageism Disappears when Young and Old Spend Time Together by Maureen Salamon, usnews.com

Hobby Test

“Shadow” someone to discover a new hobby. It can be as simple as sitting in on a class, joining them on a hike, or watching them play in a Pickleball tournament. Taking up something new helps your physical and psychological self. And it’s fun! What interests you? Knitting, Bowling, Gardening, Cooking, Acting, Fishing,Painting, Playing a new instrument??

Flower Power

“Flower Power” is a real thing. Health benefits of flowers and gardening (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

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.

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.

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

Forest Therapy

Forest therapy, or forest bathing (Japanese tradition Shinrin-Yoku) connects you to the environment and studies show provides restorative wellness including relaxation, less stress and clarity (webmd). Walking lowers bad cholesterol, increases good cholesterol, reduces risk of stroke, helps hearts, and more. There are even trained leaders in the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, Walk with a Doc and other more.  So Go for a Walk – In the Woods!

Seniors Binge on Booze

Seniors Binge on Booze is the conclusion of a just-released New York University, Han study. More than 10% of seniors imbibe in a handful or more of drinks in a setting and binges are most frequent in males who use in tobacco or cannabis. Obviously, this is worrisome with Seniors taking other meds, fall-risks and managing or preventing chronic diseases.

For more info including signs, resources and treatment ideas, check out Alcohol Abuse Among Seniors by Carol Galbicsek, alchoolrehabguide.org, More and More Seniors Are Binge Drinking by Steven Reinberg, webmd.com and Binge Drinking Among Older Americans is on the Rise, New Study Finds by David Morgan, cbs.news and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Time to Bike

Bike riding is my hobby (cuz it’s fun) and exercise (casual rides, no competition stuff) . Jason Gay, Wall Street Journal columnist recently wrote on encouraging kids to ride, as their numbers are decreasing. He talks about how you always remember how to ride, how a ride clears the noise in your head and how it makes you feel free. So, let’s help ourselves, our kids and our grands by goin’ for a ride. America Needs More Kids on Bikes by Jason Gay, wsj.com, 6-14-2019

Plant Your Seeds 

Gardening is a favored hobby especially for those 55+. It’s a form of physical therapy, emotionally fulfilling and vitamin D from the sun is beneficial (wear sunscreen). We aren’t on a bee soapbox, yet we found this chart fun & interesting. Are you planning or planting about now? Do you want more information on gardening benefits for those of a certain age? Click here, Elderly Gardening: Grow Gracefully Into Your Golden Years from epicgardening.com

What’s your NEW today?

What will be your “new” be today? Our brains luv new information as it may slow the aging process says a Univ of Montpellier study. Try a new recipe, book, exhibit, puzzle, restaurant, movie, store or exercise. And let us know – your “new” may inspire us. For more read A New Study Found a Surprising buy Simple Way to Slow Aging and Boost Creativity, Jessica Stillman, inc.com, 2018

Blooms or Bust

Blooms + Festivals are a Springtime necessity (especially after this winter)! Bluebonnets, Azaleas, Tulips, Peonies, Cherry Blossoms, Dogwoods, Rhododendrea and more. Bet ya there is one near you, so chat it up, do an online search, make a plan, get out there and enjoy.

Let’s Go!

Let’s Go! We are on the move – those 65+ are making 3.2 trips per day (2017) versus 1.8 (1983). Be sure to budget for Transporation costs including vehicle, fuel, maintenance, insurance, roadside plan and/or ride services and public transporation. Additional information in this Forbes.com article, The Big Surprising Cost in Retirement No One Plans For, But Should by Joseph Coughlin, MIT AgeLab CEO.


Are CBD shops popping up in your neighborhood? Many states have legalized the non-intoxicating marijuana extract (no THC) although the science is still developing says Webmd who recommends seeking professional Healthcare advice before using. Forbes says CBD sales are expected to be $22 Billion by 2022 with a large portion being sold to seniors and babyboomers treating chronic pain, insomnia, depression, anxiety and others. Note: background articles are live links in this recap.

Open Up &  Slow Aging

Being open to new information, places and experiences may be a simple way to slow the aging process based on new research by Yannick Stephan of the University of Montpellier. Openness to new to experiences, a sense of wonder and excitement actually makes us feel more youthful. Apparently, curosity and playfulness associated with being a kid help you feel like a kid. For more read A New Study Found a Surprising buy Simple Way to Slow Aging and Boost Creativity, Jessica Stillman, inc.com, 2018

Your Self-Driver

Voyage, Tesla, Waymo and more are testing self-driving cars with Seniors in The Villages & Las Vegas who are embracing the experience, convenience and freedom. Projected to be sold to the public in 2020 and have 95% penetration by 2040; there is a pretty good chance you’ll be checking them out when you buy a vehicle! More in Self-Driving Cars Could Change the Way You Get Around in Retirement  from cnbc.com, by Lorie Konish.

Advertisers Look at Us

You probably don’t think of yourself as “old” and advertisers are taking notice. In the Forbes.com article, Getting Advertisers To Think Differenctly About Aginga recent study revealed attitudinal segments for advertising to those 50+. They are Ageless Adventurers, Community Caretakers, Actualizing Adults, Future Fearers and Youth Chasers. Look for brands to  re-frame products and services to better market to us.

Jazz = Pizzazz

Music helps us live better by enhancing mood, raising interest levels and increasing positive emotions. For details on the research, go to  4 Ways Music Benefits Seniors which includes the psycological benefits mentioned, plus health, memory and stress benefits. enlivant.com, 7-8-2016

Longevity Creativity

11 Healthy Hobbies for Seniors   Creativity thru painting, photography, sculpting, sewing or whatever you choose stimulates the brain, stirs memories and keeps your mind alert. Start with something you know or try a new medium. Dana Larsen, aplaceformom.com, 12-28-2017

To Scoot or not to Scoot?

Scooters: Sidewalk Nuisances, or the Future of Local Transportation?  Should you hop on that sidewalk scooter? Download the app, tap a few icons and locate one to use near you. The cost is about $10 per hour billed in minutes. Jasmine Garsd, npr.com, 7-28-2018

Birthday Flyer

Meet Jan Whitehead celebrating her milestone birthday at an indoor sky diving venue. Jan joins 60% of Boomers who are interested in extreme sports. Marianne Spoon, health.howstuffworks.com

Intergenerational Vacays

Four Tips for Planning a Great Intergenerational Trip  Travel with your family’s multiple generations might be challenging, as everyone has their own speed, habits, likes and dislikes. Good communications, planning and flexibility puts you on the path to everyone having a good time. Tips include: Discuss financial expectations early on; Discuss childcare expectations; Don’t spend every moment together; Go where there are activities for all ages. travelandleisure.com, Sarah Z. Wexler, 1-24-2017

Dance with or without the Stars

4 Ways Dancing Can Improve the Aging Process   Put on your boogie shoes because Seniors benefit from DANCING – it connects the brain and physical activity, it’s good for balance (doing spins help the brain and inner ear), the music lights up the brain,  and dancing is a form of exercise. For more details click the live link to the article by Mike Ogburn, kindredhealthcare.com, 12-13-2017

It’s Time to Kick the Bucket List Hmm, should the Bucket List be emptied? Apparently Americans are obsessed, tired and spending lots of money on the pursuit of completing their list. Maybe raising great children, volunteering in your community, taking care of a friend and being a good citizen are a better list. Suggestions include: trim down the list – instead of wanting to go to all of the SEC football venues, pick one; pick one concert and explore local treasures. Click the link for the full article by Joe Queenan, wsj, 7-21&22-2018.

An Over looked Skill in Aging: How to Have Fun  Seniors have more unscheduled time and research shows the average retiree watches 48 hours of television weekly. Experts believe Seniors should watch less tv and relearn fun. Try to involve others, be spontaneous, do something new, go to a concert and more. Clare Ansberry, wsj.com, 6-2-2018

What are you reading this summer? Here are plenty of suggestions from Bill Gates 5 Books Worth Reading This Summer,  Oprah The 53 Best Books from Oprah’s Book Club,  from our friends at TED Talks 88 Books to Enjoy this Summer: the Ted Reading List and from the Washington Post Beach Reads The 59 Books We’re Talking About This Summer. Let us know what’s on your list and we’ll share.

The Surprising way Fortnite is helping its competitorAre grandkids and adult kids in your life obsessed with Fortnite? Let’s catch you up & more…Launched in late 2017 by Epic Games, Fortnite is a free-to-play survival game with single players or teams and livestreamed to play against 100 gamers. The game gets revenue when gamers buy in-game currency used for upgrades. In this CNBC article, Fortnite’s success appears to be helping the entire video game market. Gamers range from females, to elementary school-agers, to adults. Darren Geeter, CNBC, 6-1-2018

What is a MOOC? Participate in a university class, learn new ideas and network with others. For Seniors, mental stimulation keeps your brain young and research suggests it starves off Alzheimer’s and dementia. Dave Cormier, youtube.com, 4:27 minutes

Gray Hair is Set to Be 2018’s Most Popular Hair-Color Trend

For certain on-trend folks, dyeing their gray with a silvery shimmer is hot for 2018. The color has picked up fans on the runway, social media and with celebrities. Our Fantastic55 team knows that Gray is Great and we are delighted to see everyone else joining in the fun. Devon Abelman, allure.com, 1-5-2018

Boomers Embrace Luxury Van Life  A new trend is emerging in retirement and semi-retirement travel that includes downsizing from the 30-foot motor home to the custom high-end conversion van equipped with a bed, kitchen, stove and cabinets. Instagram may be to blame, using the hashtag #vanlife, roaming twenty-somethings were posting beach, mountain and National Park photos. The adventure caught boomer’s attention and now high-end conversion vans (Ram Pro Masters and Mercedes-Benz) are selling like hotcakes. Anne Marie Chaker, wsj.com, 4-21-2018

Milken Institute Report Call on Business Leaders to Capitalize on the Opportunities of an Aging Population, Milken Institute Center for Aging’s Report, Silver to Gold contains a generous amount of  data, information and forward-thinking insight for business leaders. The U.S. aging population represents a compelling opportunity as those 50+maximize their individual potential. A couple of stats: Most entrepreneurs are over 50 – those 50-60 start new businesses at nearly two times (2x) the rate of those in their 20s; Older adults steer 119 of 123 consumer product categories; Those 50+ buy more than half of all alcoholic beverages; More than 50% have a bucket list; and more… milkeninstitute.org, Paul Irving with Rita Beamish and Arielle Burstein, February 2018

Pew Research Internet & Technology  More older Americans are using social media to get news and information. Internet and smartphone usage is growing especially with Seniors that have some college and household incomes over $50,000. Younger Seniors (under the age of 75) are more than twice as likely as those over 75 to use social media. Pew Research Center, Monica Anderson and Andrew Perrin, May 2017

Facebook Sees Its Gen Z Audience Slipping Away to Snapchat  Facebook’s fastest growing audience are people  65+ who want to find news and information, make connections, see pictures of loved ones and be entertained. Adage.com, Garett Sloane, 2-12-2018

Son Helps Mom Finish Bucket List After She Loses Her Job  Seventy-five-year old mom, Rebecca Danigelis, makes a bucket list after getting fired. Thereafter, she & her son make a very special Duty Free Film documentary detailing the journey. usatoday.com, 2017

7 Unforgettable Bucket List Trips for Empty Nesters 1)Bali, 2)African Safari 3)Summer in Provence 4)Cruise down the Nile 5)Explore the Temples of Thailand 6)Monaco 7)Canadian Rockies via train by Susan Lanier-Graham, travelocity.com, 11-9-2017

14 Style Mistakes That Will Age You 1)Too trendy 2)Baggy clothes 3)Over accessorizing 4)All Black – but keep your black pants 5)Tights-especially light colors 6)Athleisure (editor’s note: we call these yoga pants that have never been to yoga) 7)Mini skirts 8)Jersey material 9)Not dressing for your current shape 10)Super long hair 11)Maxi dresses and skirts 12)Poorly-fitting foundations 13)Platform heels 14)Fascinators (a lightweight knitted or crocheted head cap)   Delphine Chui, fashionbeans.com, 11-2-2017

Buying My First Smartphone After feeling, old and out of it, this 61 year-old gives us his wisdom on buying his first device. Editor’s note: Hubby changed devices this summer, so we both have the same type of phone. Now we can help each other with new uses. Kevin Kusinitz, nextavenue, 9-20-2017

It’s Never Too Late to Learn Something New Educational opportunities for those 50 and older have never been more available. They include classes at your local university, community or junior college, hobby painting & decorating centers, libraries and even the Apple store! Lists are on The Penny Hoarder (thepennyhoarder.com) or search opportunities in your state. (Note: The editor took 10 hours of iPhone classes this summer at the local library.) Patricia Corrigan, nextavenue, 8-25-2017

10 Fun Family Vacations for Multigenerational Travelers 1)Crusing 2)Dude Ranches 3)Family Adventure Tours 4)All-Inclusive 5)National Parks 6) History Alive 7)Wintery Escapes 8)Heritage Travel 9)Giving Back Trips 10)The Villa Stay Heather Greenwood Davis, smartertravel.com, 7-27-2017

Want To Get Tech Savvy, Don’t Ask Your Children Seniors do best with current-issue (hand-me-downs frequently deliver unfavorable user interactions), top-brand devices perform best (some aimed at Seniors aren’t proven) and have better outcomes not using family members for training. Take a class at the library, senior center or device store. Hire a student or secure a student volunteer. All agree that life is improved with a smart device. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Wall Street Journal, 5-17-2017

10 Popular Baby Boomer Activities According to research, baby boomers are unlikely to be weekly bingo goers and more likely to redefine retirement and aging. Trends for boomers include 1) Exercise – at the gym, playing sports, walking, etc. Doctors are noticing that more 40-60 year olds are getting knee and hip replacements. 2) Work – surveys suggest they want to work well past 65 years old and 67% plan to make a career change. Popular professions include teaching, consulting, tour guides, trip leaders. Many express an interest in an entrepreneurial path. 3) Music – boomers account for more than 25% of music sales and attend concerts from groups like the Beach Boys, U2 and Chicago. 4) Extreme Sports – since boomers are staying active longer, sports like zip-lining, rafting, skydiving, and paragliding are on their to-do lists. One source reports that 60% of Boomers want to engage in these, despite their age. 5) Volunteering –Boomers report they want to help the community, but the reality has yet to reflect this. 6) Aquatic Activities – The health benefits felt by boomers are found at the shore, the lake, on a cruise or fly fishing in a river. 7) Dating – Married boomers and those that are part of the “gray divorce” phenom, are still dating – movies, dinner, clubs, concerts, walks are favored. 8) Home Improvement & DIY – Even when they downsize, boomers prefer higher end decor. They also have a crafting, gardening, handmade mentality which will help them stay active. 9) Exploring Tech – Tech that fulfills boomers’ needs is of greatest interest – Facebook and other social media and dating sites are popular. A majority of boomers own cell phones and a computer. 10) Spiritual and Social Experiences – Boomers tend to gather in small groups and with family. They prefer being in public, face-to-face outings, sporting events, art galleries and other cultural experiences. Marianne Spoon, health.howstuffworks.com

Gen X and Baby Boomers Present a Huge Opportunity for Online Retail studies indicate that 25% of mobile shoppers in the U.S. are over the age of 55. Cooper Smith, Business Insider Tech Insider, 4-27-2015