Single, retired and thriving?

single retirees
Getty Images

How to Thrive as a Single Person in Retirement

You can enjoy an active and fulfilling retirement with the right attitude and thoughtful preparation.

By Dave Hughes | Contributor to U.S. News & World Report Feb. 9, 2017

“If you are single, you probably have some concerns about your retirement that people with partners are less likely to experience. Married retirees may someday encounter these same issues if one spouse passes before the other. With awareness and proper planning, you can be better situated to enjoy a happy and secure retirement. Here are four ways you can thrive as a single person in retirement:

  • Cultivate a support network
  • Build your social network
  • Consider alternative living arrangements
  • Be willing to travel solo

…While being retired as a single person does present some challenges, you can still enjoy an active, happy and fulfilling retirement with the right attitude and thoughtful preparation.”

For more specifics on thriving as single retirees

Dave Hughes is the founder of Retire Fabulously.

Build humor into your day

humor
kaiser health news

Laughing Until You Die

Humor May Be Antidote For Pain Of Death For Patients, Survivors

“Just weeks before Christmas some years ago, Shirley Rapp and her family faced the devastating news that she had what appeared to be a terminal illness.

But that didn’t stop Rapp from wanting to do one last round of Christmas shopping for her kids. Her daughter, Karyn Buxman, a self-described neurohumorist and RN, went along. When the mother-daughter duo stepped into a St. Louis-area stationery store, Rapp picked up a day planner that she admired, turned to her daughter and quipped: ‘If I make it past Jan. 1, will you buy this one for me?’

That’s when Mom and daughter burst into laughter that attracted every eye in the store.

For some folks, the process of dying comes with less stress when it’s something of a laughing matter. Not a yuk-yuk laughing matter. But, at its simplest, a willingness to occasionally make light of the peculiarities — if not absurdities — that often go hand-in-hand with end-of-life situations.

An aging generation of boomers, the oldest of whom are now 70, grew up to the background sounds of TV laugh tracks and are accustomed to laughing at things that might not always seem so funny. There’s even a non-profit organization funded by donors, conference revenue and membership dues, whose mission is simply reminding people that laughter is a core ingredient of all facets of life — even end of life (emphasis added).

‘Laughter is the best medicine,’ says Mary Kay Morrison, president of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, ‘unless you have diarrhea.'”

On its website, the National Cancer Institute urges patients to build humor into their day-to-day lives, in ways as small as buying a funny desk calendar and watching comic films and TV shows.

Read more about building humor into your day

Retirement trends

retirement trends
getty images

5 Baby Boomer Retirement Trends

Baby boomers are expected to retire later and live longer than previous generations.

By Emily Brandon | Staff Writer  for U.S. News & World Report, Feb. 12, 2016

“Senior editor Emily Brandon tells you how to get ready financially for retirement and to make your golden years the best they can be.

Baby boomers, the unusually large generation born between 1946 and 1964, are entering their retirement years and reinventing what it means to be retired. A recent Urban Institute data project examined how retirement is changing in America. Here’s how retirement for the baby boomers will be different from the generation that came before them.

  • Living longer
  • Better health
  • Do-it-yourself retirement planning
  • Working longer
  • More debt”

Read more specifics

When was the last time you had some outdoor therapy?

I love the outdoors, especially the Colorado outdoors.  I am blessed to live within an hour of the Rocky Mountain National Park since hiking is one of my favorite hobbies. I feel closer to God when I hike and, besides the exercise and sense of accomplishment, I feel at peace.  The following article may give you a reason to enjoy some outdoor therapy:

…a walk in the country reduced depression in 71 percent of participants…

outdoor therapy
Photo by Dennis Smith / Reporter-Herald

The peace of wild places makes us happier, healthier

By Dennis Smith, Loveland Reporter-Herald
January 4, 2017
“I don’t know how many other outdoor lovers feel it, but I’m sure most do — even if they don’t recognize it for what it is. ‘It’ is the peace of wild places. And, in my opinion, the grandest form of emotional and physical therapy.

The subject came up on a deer hunting trip to the Platte River bottoms in eastern Colorado last month, but invariably, it comes up almost every time the boys and I hit the open road to go hunting, fishing or camping.

And it always comes up just about the time we cross into that zone where the signs of civilization begin to thin and where mountains and trees, deer and elk, or farms and ranches, cattle and coyotes begin to appear and the nerve-grating cacophony of cars, trucks, train horns, shopping malls, traffic signals and city lights vanish in the rear-view mirror.”

Read more about “peace of wild places”

Dennis Smith is a Loveland outdoors writer and photographer, and his freelance work is published nationally. Smith’s Home Waters column appears on the first and third Thursdays of the month.  He can be reached at Dsmith7136@msn.com.  Reprinted by permission.

Women’s heart attack symptoms

women's heart attack symptoms
sknfoundation.org

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women

from American Heart Association

January 10, 2017

“Heart Attack Signs in Women

  1. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  2. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  3. Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  4. Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  5. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

We’ve all seen the movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic.

‘Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure,’ said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. ‘Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.’

Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesn’t get help right away.”

Read more about women’s heart attack symptoms

Valentine’s Day from the city of love…

Since I have taken a break from dating and don’t have a special romantic valentine this year, I focused my celebration of Valentine’s Day instead on my family…specifically, my three grandchildren (ages 5, 3, and 1).

First, I purchased age appropriate Valentine’s Day cards and stickers for my grandchildren.  They love getting mail.  I mailed the cards through the Loveland, CO Chamber of Commerce Valentine Re-Mailing Program.  The program volunteers stamp this cachet on the envelope before mailing it out: Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day
travelinginheels.com

Next, I purchased 10″ chipboard hearts, 2″ chipboard letters and two cans of spray paint from Hobby Lobby.  I wanted to mimic the hearts which hang from the light poles lining the streets of Loveland each year. I painted the hearts and attached them to a tree in my front yard.  I had fun picking out the cards, stickers, and making the Valentine hearts.  No regrets about not having a special valentine this year.  I have three!

Valentine's Day
slc

My grandkids made me construction paper Valentine’s Day cards. They are precious!

Valentine's Day
slc

You don’t have to have a romantic valentine to celebrate this great day of love. I think this year’s Valentine’s Day has been one of my all time favorites because I can feel the love.

Please share your special time with your significant others this Valentine’s Day in the comment section below.  I’d love to hear from you.

Valentine gifts–practical or romantic?

We’ve all heard of giving a loved one roses, a box of chocolates, perfume or cologne, jewelry, or even a stuffed animal for Valentine’s Day. But have you ever heard of giving a loved one a purely practical gift for Valentine’s Day?

I had been divorced for over four years when I started dating again in my 40’s.  It was not something I looked forward to but my daughter and friends were persuasive.  I signed up for eHarmony and answered all of their probing questions while enjoying a glass of wine to make the process less of a chore.  I was hopeful.

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