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Are you getting more unwanted text messages on your phone than you used to get? That is partly the result of a good thing – robocalls have declined. Robotexts, however, have increased.
According to a 2021 Jackson Physician Search survey, 21% of U.S. doctors are considering retirement and another 15% are thinking about getting out of health care and taking their skills or education to a different industry
Bring basics on board, not the whole closet
Traveling for a week, or less? There’s no need to lug along a closet full of clothes and shoes.
Since 2002, Americans aged 50 and older have been permitted to make annual "catch-up" contributions to popular retirement accounts – but according to Vanguard’s 2021 How America Saves report, just 15% of retirement savers do.
For generations, teens in Europe have opted for a year off to adventure and see the world before starting their university educations – an interim commonly referred to as a "gap year". It turns out some American seniors are also taking a "gap year" between full-time work and retirement, but instead of avoiding campus, they are using the transition to take advantage of expanded adult education at our own colleges.
Think twice about playing from the toughest tees
Many golf courses now give you the option to play from four, five, or even six sets of tees, and the difference between the front tees and the back tees on a regulation course can be as much as 2,000 yards. Some golfers insist on playing from the back tees, which are usually intended for tournaments
We can reasonably say that the more money you retire with, the more potential you have to enjoy retirement. Now, what about friendship? If you maintain some strong friendships and an active social circle after age 60, can that make a big difference in the quality of your "second act"?
Many retirees think about volunteering and some follow through on that thought, although according to an AgeWave survey published in June, the retirees who do volunteer spend fewer hours helping their communities or favorite causes than they would like. What if they devoted just two or three hours more per week to it? Would the effect be sizable, even profound? Maybe.
Need to show your ID? You may have a new option: a digital driver's license
Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming now offer digital driver's licenses valid for all transactions or situations requiring ID.
Data from a newly released Harris Poll of more than 1,000 U.S. workers suggests that a majority of pre-retirees might answer "yes" to that question. Sixty-six percent of respondents to the poll identified their financial health as a component of their overall well-being. In fact, financial health ranked up near physical health (74%) and mental health (70%). Fifty-seven percent of those polled saw a relationship between all three factors, holding the opinion that their money, their lifestyle, and their health were integrated holistically, with each factor impacting another.
For jobseekers older than 50, the hunt for satisfying work can be tough - but with such strong demand for skilled workers this year, your own search might lead you to a job you love. In a new book titled The Job Closer (recently the subject of a Next Avenue article), Duke University business professor and career coach Steve Dalton helps older (and younger) jobseekers out with some tips for 2021.
Fixing a bad hook
Why do golfers hit bad hooks? It may have nothing to do with their shoulders or arms. Rather, the right hand could be the culprit: it rolls over the left hand through the impact area. (The inverse applies for lefties.) Some golfers have a goal of staying "behind the ball" until the moment of impact and then crushing that tee shot (or fairway shot) with a powerful delayed release.
When the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act became law in 2019, it altered retirement plan contribution and distribution rules. There may be an encore. The Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021, nicknamed SECURE Act 2.0, has bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, and public policy analysts widely believe it will become law either this year or next.
Digital health certificates – also called COVID vaccine passports – might be available for travelers this year, especially those travelers leaving the country. While U.S. retailers and resorts have been resistant to them, the situation may change this summer as Americans travel internationally and head to foreign airports to come home.
Try herbal teas to help clean the body of harmful microorganisms
Herbal teas (such as rooibos, chamomile, and mint) contain catechins, plant-derived chemicals that have been noted for their strong antimicrobial properties.
A new study from Hearts and Wallets, a research firm founded in 2010 to study American retirement saving and investing trends, hints that the dream of retiring in late middle age is alive and well, although perhaps in need of a reality check.
Many adults in their 40s, 50s, and 60s have migrated from their initial career to a second or even a third, learning new skill sets or even going back to college for another degree. You learn all your life, the thinking goes.
TRAVEL TIP - Airports and resort hotels have become good places to get COVID-19 tests
In March, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it was pushing the deadline for 2020 federal tax returns ahead to Monday, May 17. This extended due date does not apply to all individual taxpayers, though. For example, if you live in Texas, Oklahoma, or Louisiana, you could have the opportunity to file as late as June.
Today, it can be hard to focus. How can you stay focused with all the distractions, anxiety, and uncertainty brought by the pandemic? Interestingly, the way to maintain your focus might be to unfocus your mind now and then.
25-Minute Strip Steak with Mushroom Sauce
Imagine if your 35-year-old self magically appeared in front of you one day and asked for a percentage of your retirement savings or a bit of your retirement income. While this would never happen, something financially analogous happens in the lives of too many people.
The hospitality sector certainly hopes travel comes back with a vengeance, but travelers look like they will avenge the boredom of 2020 with more than a little caution and care. This winter, global marketing firm Simon-Kucher & Partners (SKP) surveyed more than 3,900 Americans and Europeans to gauge their travel readiness
Golf Tip -
You ultimately play against the course, not the rest of your foursome
This is good to remember whether you find yourself in a tournament, or just paired up with friends on the weekend. Your real opponent is the course, and focusing on what you need to do on each hole helps you avoid getting too excited or too demoralized by what your playing partners are doing.
Source: PrecisionProGolf.com, February 16, 20212
The pandemic has hastened the retirement of some baby boomers, and the linked furloughs and layoffs in many industries have led others to wonder if a retirement transition might come sooner than they think. Buyouts became common last year as businesses cut costs. What if you receive one this year?
Time is a gift, and when you retire, you'll no doubt think about making the most of it. Would it be weird to make a weekly schedule for yourself in retirement, similar to the way you scheduled workweeks during your career? Scheduling your time has its merits, at any age. It could help you stay productive on a day-to-day basis during your "second act," whether you elect to work or not.
TRAVEL TIP - During the pandemic, some families have booked short-term getaways at vacation homes or rural properties only to have to cancel them due to travel restrictions or changing public health protocols. Whether you must cancel such a reservation due to the pandemic or other reasons, you may have a better chance of getting a partial refund from the host than from the rental agency or website, whose cancellation policies may be far less forgiving.
For some of us, the coronavirus pandemic has complicated the question. As Yahoo! Finance reports, a Harris Poll study conducted this past summer found that 25% of Gen Xers and 14% of baby boomers think they will retire later than they planned, because of the pandemic's financial impact on their lives.
According to the University of Michigan's Health and Retirement Study, 18% of Americans aged 50-59 have never been parents. A notable percentage of affluent baby boomers are retiring childless and happy, and sometimes in a better financial position than their peers with families.
Pan-Roasted Lemon-Butter Veggies & Sausage
When the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act became law in March, it broadened charitable tax deduction opportunities.
A recent New York Times article cites an interesting housing development. In a number of cities, malls or shopping centers are making way for new senior communities.
Before you take the club back, it helps to ground each full swing in three golf basics. Remember this acronym: GAP. G stands for grip: grip the club in your fingers, not in your palms
A life of leisure? That may not be what retirement looks like for baby boomers and Gen Xers—and in fact, it may not be what they want their retirements to look like.
GoodRx, which tracks prices of nearly 1,000 different drugs across more than 75,000 U.S. pharmacies, says that on average, prices of brand-name and generic drugs rose 6.8% during the first half of 2020.
Wash your face before you get a good night's sleep
The older we become, the drier our outermost layer of skin potentially becomes. One of the best ways to remove dry skin from your face is to wash your face before bedtime—but avoid doing this with soap, as you don't want to strip the skin of natural oils in the process. Our sebaceous glands produce less oil as we age.
Source: SixtyandMe.com, September 7, 2020
On a purely logical level, investing tens of thousands of dollars toward retirement may make more sense than adding an equivalent consumer debt here and now.
According to the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies, more than 40% of Americans age 65 or older live by themselves
Flying this fall? You don't need a Real ID
When this year began, Americans 18 and older had to have a security-enhanced or REAL ID-compliant driver's license to board a commercial flight starting October 1.
Suppose you suddenly had to, or the opportunity presented itself. This prospect would not call for disregarding your carefully considered retirement strategy, but it would create some challenges.
Look at practically any list of favorite places to retire, and you will notice some Sun Belt communities, coastal towns in particular. Some of these popular destinations can experience extreme weather, and that is giving some seniors pause.
In golf, your driver or driving iron ideally has a clubface that can help you get more carry off the tee. High handicappers may benefit from having a driver featuring at least 10.5 degrees of loft.
Many Gen Xers and baby boomers look forward to retiring on their terms. In such a circumstance, the key question becomes when to walk away from work.
Millions of Americans are working from home these days, and you may be one of them. You also may be pleasantly surprised to learn just how much you might be able to earn working from home part time in retirement.
An apple a day is nice, but a handful of nuts could be nicer.
Each year, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies surveys baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials to gauge their perceptions about retiring.
Your investments are an important aspect of your retirement strategy. Stepping back from the purely financial, so is your psychological portfolio – your mental readiness for the next phase of your life.
No-Stress Cherry Barbecue Chicken
Serves 4 to 5
A 2019 whitepaper by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) indicates that Americans tend to spend less as they age.
A Harris Poll, conducted in May, of 2,030 U.S. adults found some interesting choices regarding where Americans would like to live at the moment, particularly seniors. The research firm discovered that the appeal of rural areas, or at least, exurban or suburban areas, may be growing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Travel Tip: Consider COVID-19 risk on a summer road trip The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is no longer advising Americans to refrain from “nonessential” domestic travel, as it did earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some people approach their retirement years owning illiquid assets worth more than their liquid ones. While long-held illiquid assets, such as a business or home, may become highly valued or appreciated over time, it can be wise to be frank and conservative when estimating their worth, especially if an owner wants to sell them to help fund their “second act.”
As most of the nation contended with stay-at-home orders this spring, polling firm YouGov decided to survey 1,175 American adults to see what activities they might want to do once businesses fully reopen and social-distancing mandates end.
Golf Tip Why not leave the flagstick in? As courses have opened back up across the country, many are urging golfers to leave the flagstick in the hole when they reach the green.
Staying productive in the time of COVID-19 can be a challenge. Rather than pulling out the board games, you might want to use the opportunity to stress-test your plans for early retirement.
Bills going through Congress and signed into law at the White House might alter your retirement in some significant ways, particularly as many of the changes relate to taking money from various retirement accounts.
Don’t have the time for a single 30-minute workout?
What is your most powerful tool for building retirement savings? Perhaps, your income. For that matter, the path of your career could influence when and how well your retirement begins.
Data from the Cruise Lines International Association shows that one-third of the people who board cruise ships are aged 60 or older. Given enough retirement income and savings, could a couple of weeks at sea turn into a couple of months, years, or decades?
Turkey Burger Deluxe (Serves 4)
Retirement saving is not just about accumulating assets. It is also about laying the groundwork for retirement spending.
A quick look at some federal government statistics provides a quick answer: no. Perhaps it seems like big cities are filled with baby boomers because of the simple fact that this demographic group is larger than others.
Airlines use dynamic pricing to adjust airfares relative to demand, and they can actually do this per consumer.
A new federal law, the Setting Up Every Community for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, directly affects retirees and retirement savers. It changes the rules regarding “stretching” an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) as well as longstanding retirement account rules keyed to age 70½.
Under the SECURE ACT, in most circumstances, once you reach age 72, you must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans. (This new RMD rule applies only to those who will turn 70½ in 2020 or later.)
Sometimes, a cold snap keeps us indoors and leads us to dream of spring and summer travels. Alternately, winter wonders may inspire us to drive. How do you arrange a road trip (a long weekend or a week) that recharges you instead of rushing you?
You may need more club in the cold
If you’re playing a round in temperatures below 60˚ F, keep in mind that the ball will not travel as far. Research from Trackman, the maker of indoor golf simulators, concludes that you lose a yard of carry for each 10˚ F change in temperature. So, an iron shot that would travel 170 yards on an 85˚ F day will travel four yards less on a 45˚ F day.
Source: Golf Digest3
A career-focused couple may spend as little as 5 to 6 hours interacting with each other on most days, given hours spent working, commuting, shopping, and running errands apart. Once retired, that same couple may spend as many as 15 to 16 hours together each day, with work and commuting out of the way. When you hear stories of retired spouses or partners getting on each other’s nerves, this difference may have something to do with it.
Ideally, we would all like to retire without a cent of debt. In reality, few of us probably will. Large loan balances may remain with many of us into our “second acts.”
The TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies says that 40% of retirees rank cutting debt as a financial priority – but not necessarily as their top priority.
Why good sleep matters in the winter
Getting 7 to 8 hours of solid sleep each night helps to refresh the immune system through the production of cytokines, proteins that the body needs to counter stress and infection threats. So, good sleep becomes especially important during the cold and flu season.
Source: Mayo Clinic2
Each day, more than 10,000 Americans celebrate their 65th birthday. It’s a milestone, and for some, it signifies the beginning of retirement. Your friends, family, and coworkers may know you’re planning to retire. Some might even ask “When’s the big day?” If you have concerns about maintaining retirement income, you may not know whether you’re ready.1
What are the things you expect out of retirement? When you think of the many aspirations that you hold for your post-work life, which are the most important to you? Does home ownership figure prominently in your strategy, or is it relatively unimportant to you?
Avoiding crying babies on flights
Japan Airlines recently announced a booking tool that allows passengers to know where infants aged from 8 days to 2 years old are seated. The website will feature an icon that indicates where these young children are seated, for travelers who wish to avoid potential disruption.
In recent years, a steady stream of articles has appeared, questioning baby boomers’ hopes to keep working part time in their retirement years. These articles have tended to take a skeptical view of such ambitions. Well, maybe it is time to sweep some of the skepticism away.
Depending on where you retire, you might spend more on certain expenses than your peers in other regions of the country. So finds a 2019 study conducted by American Advisors Group, which identifies the leading U.S. regional retirement costs.
Curing a slice
When you slice a drive or fairway shot, it means the club is swinging over your body rather than around it. To try and reduce the chance of a slice, align your feet and shoulders parallel with the target line. Bend forward from the waist at address, with your back straight, and try to swing the club underneath your shoulders on the backswing and downswing.
Source: Lozano Golf Center
August 21, 2019
The so-called “FIRE” movement (FIRE stands for financial independence, retire early) has garnered so much attention lately, even those who anticipate retiring in their sixties are wondering if they should make a sacrifice or two to exit their careers or businesses a bit earlier. A poll, commissioned by personal finance website FinanceBuzz, highlights what some pre-retirees would be willing to give up, so they could do just that – at least, in theory.
Ideally, the ranks of primary care physicians and specialists would expand to meet the demands posed by retiring baby boomers on the health care system. In reality, things are quite the opposite: America is staring at an oncoming doctor shortage.
Spirits and summer heat do not mix well
Drinking alcoholic beverages on a hot day can encourage dehydration, as alcohol is a diuretic. Alcohol consumption can also interfere with the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. As a rough guideline, drink at least two cups of water for every such beverage, to counter their diuretic effects.
Source: USA TODAY
July 24, 2019
Sometimes an article will present a generic retirement forecast, stating that the average person may need “X” dollars in savings to retire confidently. Stories like these appear every so often on financial websites, and they must be taken with a grain of salt. These articles imply that a pre-retiree household must amass a certain amount of savings or face a financially pressured future – but the forecasts they present may not apply to you.
Retirement is a life event that can be accompanied by others. As you conclude your career or your business, you may also see changes in your goals, finances, social circle, and address. Preparing for the transition, both financially and intellectually, is wise, lest the moment sneak up on you.
Grilled Caprese Salad
Ingredients ½ baguette, sliced on the thick bias 1 clove garlic, halved Olive oil, for drizzling Salt and pepper, to taste 2 small zucchinis, sliced on the thick bias
June 25, 2019
Generally, Medicare is available for people age 65 or older; this is well-known. What is less well-known is the fact that some companies can legally cancel group health insurance for a worker reaching this milestone. Baby boomers who aspire to keep working into their mid-sixties may want to take note of this.
Roughly half of baby boomers are cutting down on their sugar consumption, according to the findings of a new white paper from Innova Market Insights (IMI), a food and beverage industry research firm. Innova reports that about 40% of Americans born during 1946-64 say they are reducing the amount of sweet snacks they eat. This dietary shift is not exclusive to baby boomers. In 2017, per-capita consumption of sugar and caloric sweeteners fell for the third straight year in the U.S.
Plan for smooth passage for your pets
Different air carriers have different policies regarding traveling with pets. The same goes for cruise lines, bed and breakfast inns, and hotels; guidelines can vary widely. Research the policy of the specific airline, cruise line, inn, or resort before you leave home, to avoid surprises.
April 24, 2019
Your retirement income strategy will almost certainly evolve. How much you spend will vary from year to year, and in some years, you will spend more on some things than others. At the start of your retirement, you may spend more than you think. A recent J.P. Morgan Asset Management analysis of more than 5 million Chase accounts confirms this tendency.
Each fall, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the University of Michigan sponsor a National Poll on Healthy Aging. In the 2018 poll, a majority of adults aged 50-80 said that they owned a pet, and many reported distinct benefits from that friendship. Eighty-six percent said that their pet(s) made them feel loved, and 79% credited their pets for reducing stress in their daily lives.
Try the talk test when you walk, bike, or run
To make sure your aerobic workouts are really working, try talking with your walking, running, or cycling partner (or yourself) for about ten minutes after you begin. During a brisk, challenging workout, the conversation should take some effort. If you can talk smoothly, you may need to increase the pace of your workout to see real aerobic benefits.
March 20, 2019
For years, you have imagined the way your “second act” will unfold: when it will start, what you will do, and where you will be. Then life hands you a wild card. You are forced to retire years earlier than you planned and with little notice. How do you adjust?
Some baby boomers and Gen Xers hope that they can work into their seventies. Is that hope unfounded? It may not be. Consider the nation’s shifting generational demographics, and how they may reshape the workforce.
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
[serves 9] Ingredients
2 cups Southern all-purpose flour (White Lily or other brands, plus more for kneading
February 20, 2019
Certain financial decisions may help a woman grow and sustain her retirement assets across the decades to make up for time out of the workforce and the prevalent earnings gender gap. Obviously, one fundamental move would be to start saving and investing for retirement as early as possible – but other, sometimes underrecognized choices may also allow a woman to make more financial progress.
Nearly 5 million American seniors cannot regularly go out and get the nutritious food they need to eat in order to stay active and healthy. This may have to do with a lack of money, a lack of access, or even, a lack of awareness. This problem is called “food insecurity,” and it is no small social issue. Nor is it one only poor seniors face.
February 20, 2019
Enjoy a pricy restaurant at lunch
One way to save money while sampling fine cuisine: eat lunch at a highly regarded eatery rather than dinner.
December 18, 2018You have probably spent decades saving for retirement, and you might have a decade or more of saving to go before you actually retire. At times, your resolve may be tested. The stock market may falter; household money pressures may mount; new near-term priorities may arise. What can you do to stay on point and…
December 18, 2018If some of your fondest travel memories center on the cuisine you have savored abroad, you may be intrigued to know how culinary vacations are taking on a whole new flavor. The new trend is toward a deep food experience: exploring the origin and culture giving birth to the food, not merely the food alone.…
December 18, 2018
Scrub your hands when you wash them! Some people wash their hands more thoroughly than others, and thorough is good. Start by wetting your hands, then apply enough soap to get a good lather going. Then, vigorously scrub your hands, your fingernails, and between your fingers for 15-20 seconds. This scrubbing is what removes the…
November 27, 2018Going abroad? Bring medications and supplements in original packaging. In other countries, you may end up getting generics rather than brand names, and supplements and vitamins may come in different forms than you expect. Ask your physician for the exact generic names of the drugs you take.
November 27, 2018When one spouse or partner is considerably older than the other, retirement may unfold differently for that couple than it does for others. Most importantly, the younger spouse or partner must realize how self-reliant he or she may need to be decades from now. If you are a Gen Xer married to or partnered with…
November 27, 2018It can be easy to think of retirement planning as a means to an end: a series of purposeful meetings leading up to a life transition. This transition is not the end of retirement planning. Think of this transition (and the steps preceding it) as the first phase. The second phase focuses on managing your…
October 24, 2018In 2019, seniors collecting Social Security will get their biggest “raise” since 2012. Benefits are of course keeping up with the rise of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) that the federal government uses as a guide for cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). This 2019 adjustment follows a 2.0% boost in…
October 24, 2018Avoiding the crowds may not require rising at the crack of dawn Some longstanding travel wisdom says that to really experience a great natural landmark or iconic tourist attraction, you should get up with the dawn and arrive there early in the morning. That way, you will have the place all to yourself. In some…
October 24, 2018 If retirement feels less like a possibility and more like an oncoming certainty, then it is time to respond. This is the time to firmly decide whether you want to “age in place” in your current home or relocate. This is when you work on sustaining the friendships you have made in your career, while…