What age should you claim Social Security?

When I turned 62 I started getting all kinds of mail from the Social Security Administration letting me know I could begin my benefits.  First of all, getting that mail make me feel as old as dirt, but it did serve the purpose of my starting to do some research on the best path to take for my situation.  That’s the term here that has to be remembered, “my situation”.  Not everyone is in the same boat when it comes to turning 62, or 66, or 72 and beginning to take the Social Security benefits to which they are entitled.  I believe if you are financially stable enough to wait until you are at least 66 to begin receiving those benefits, that’s the best road to take.  Since my husband was working at a full time job when we both turned 62, we felt my receiving my benefits then was the thing to do.  He will begin getting his benefits this year when he turns 66.  Waiting to 72 would give us more each month, but in our situation, we want to get everything paid off before we retire, and getting that monthly Social Security check for him will help us do that.  He will retire at 68. 

 

 

So, read the article, and then decide what’s best for you and your family.  There are so many extenuating circumstances now that will come to play in your situation.  If there is something that you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to call The Social Security Administration and ask the questions.  I have found them helpful (once I finally got through to them, that can be a problem).  If you have a computer, go to their web site and read everything.  It’s better to be prepared for retirement and what that means. 

 

“Most people take Social Security at age 62, when they are eligible. Most financial advisers suggest you wait until 66 or 70. Decisions should be part of your financial plan. Every case is different.”

“It’s a big decision, one we’ll all have to make: Should I take Social Security as soon as I’m eligible, at age 62, or wait till I’m 66 … or even 70, when I would receive the maximum benefit?”

Check out this article at usatoday.com. Maybe it will help with some of your questions.


 

 

 

 

Possible Link Between Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Prostate Cancer

RH2EX97PGCVG I saw a news segment on the Today Show about a possible link between men taking Omega-3 fatty acid supplements and prostate cancer. This concerned me because I know lots of men who are taking the Omega-3 fatty acid supplements. I decided to look up the article and read about it and decide for myself what I thought. After reading the article, I came to the conclusion that the best thing for everyone is to eat a well balanced diet and not take supplements. I will share the article and would love to hear what you think on this matter. http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/study-finds-link-between-fish-oil-and-higher-prostate-cancer-risk-1.1363245


 

 

Baby Boomers Can’t be Sissies and Survive

We’ve all heard the saying, “growing old is not for sissies”, right?  Well, now that I’m 65 I’m starting to live that saying and experiencing it up close and personal.  At first, it started out as only minor inconveniences:  I couldn’t see the newspaper or computer without my glasses or readers, when I finished a meal,  I had enough food in my teeth for a snack later, the name of that actor I’ve loved for decades is on the tip of my tongue, but it just won’t come to mind,  and my face began slowly sliding toward my navel and got the strangest brown spots that cropped up on a daily basis.  The list goes on, until eventually more serious problems began. Continue reading

Baby Boomers are Changing the Way Others Retire

I read the following article and came to the realization; this is not my Mom and Dad’s world anymore.  In one generation, retirement has completely changed.  Almost everyone I know who is “retiring” really isn’t “retiring”.  The Federal Government is telling them, “You’re 65 now, it’s time to hang up your spurs”, but that’s not what they’re doing.  Sure enough, we baby boomers are starting to collect our Social Security, but we also can see that Social Security alone is not going to be our saving grace.  Not only are we living longer than most of our parents, but our expenses are much greater. 

So many seniors are faced with having their children move back into their homes, helping them pay off their student debt, or paying it off for them, and not having enough money in a pension fund that will last as long as they are expected to live.  Therefore, many seniors are being creative in their retirement.  They are supplementing their income by continuing to work in some capacity, and they can do this because they are in better health and physical condition than their parents were in retirement.

The Boomers are having to forge the way and learn new ways to survive once they have taken that step to actually retire, but from what I am seeing and reading, we Boomers are resilient and inventive, and we’ll get it done.  If nothing else, hopefully, our children and grandchildren will learn that saving for retirement their whole work life, and taking care of themselves physically and mentally is utmost in living a long, healthy life.

How Baby Boomers Will Change The Way Others Retire

How Baby Boomers Will Change The Way Others Retire“The rapid evolution of retirement in America shows no signs of slowing. The World War II generation (or The Greatest Generation) often lived in the same house until they either died or were moved to a nursing home, but this is now far less common. Baby boomers have continued to forge new ground and explore new lifestyles in this period of their lives, as technological and medical advancements have provided them with many more alternatives in how and where they can spend their time.”

Read more at Investopedia.com


 

 

Retirees Can Be at a Vulnerable Age

When I read this article, I knew it was something that all seniors should read and heed.  Today there are many companies out there that are very willing to take seniors retirement funds, in the guise of helping them, to only cause them financial ruin in the end.  Reading the fine print is so important for everyone to read, but none more than seniors.  There are many seniors who are facing eviction from their homes, not getting proper nutrition, taking half of their daily medications in hopes of stretching them out because of the astronomical cost of drugs, and freezing in winter and dying of heat exhaustion in summer simply because they are trying to stretch the few dollars they are receiving in benefits.  That’s when they are most vulnerable to these companies who tell them we can let you have an advance on your retirement funds to help you through this tough time, but fail to loudly and emphatically let them know when it comes to repaying those funds, the interest rate is going to be out of the roof!  They are going to be in worse shape than ever.

There has to be a better way to help these seniors who are suffering and barely getting by every single day.  I’m not sure what the answer is, but I do know borrowing on your retirement, and reverse mortgages are scary.

“To retirees, the offers can sound like the answer to every money worry: convert tomorrow’s pension checks into today’s hard cash.”

“But these offers, known as pension advances, are having devastating financial consequences for a growing number of older Americans, threatening their retirement savings and plunging them further into debt. The advances, federal and state authorities say, are not advances at all, but carefully disguised loans that require borrowers to sign over all or part of their monthly pension checks. They carry interest rates that are often many times higher than those on credit cards.”

Continue reading this article at NewYorkTimes.com. This article is part of a series that examines financial challenges and pitfalls faced by older Americans in lean economic times.


 

 

Style Tips From Senior Citizens

Something I seem to be experiencing lately is a feeling of more freedom to do exactly what I please.  This goes for what I wear, what I eat, what I say, and how I feel about what people think about me.  I know this comes along with getting older, and I’ve seen this happen, firsthand, with my mom and other relatives.  I would think,  what is wrong with my mother when she would say “Don’t count on me to bring anything to the picnic, I’ve sworn off cooking”.  Now I know nothing was wrong with my mother other than the fact she had grown into her senior status.

 There comes a time when you could care less what other people think about what you’re wearing, or what you’re saying, or what you decide you don’t want to do anymore.  At first, when I started having these feelings, I felt some guilt, but now I’m starting to embrace the notion.  Don’t get me wrong, some seniors can take this new found freedom to the extreme and cause all kinds of angst among their friends and family.  I’m not talking about the stereotypical old, crotchety granny or seldom bathed bewhiskered gramps, but the new age senior who is very aware of the fact they can now wear just about anything they can put together, and people will merely smile and nod their heads while saying, “Now that’s what I want to look like when I’m her age.  Who would think that plaid skirt would ever go with the black and white stripe shirt, and look at those sunglasses!  She’s terrific!”

When I saw this series of pictures of seniors, in all their glory, displaying their idea of fashion, I couldn’t help but smile, and say “Yes!  That’s what I’m talking about!” 

Click on BuzzFeed.com to see more of these fantastic ladies.
18 Fabulous Style Tips For Senior Citizens from BuzzFeed.com.

Statement jewelry, statement glasses, statement hair. Statement everything!

Pile on those bracelets!

Pile on those bracelets!


 

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

I’ve always known laughter can change the atmosphere of a room.  It can bring groups together who don’t know each other.  It can relieve stress, gloomy feelings, and tenseness.  One of the most endearing things you can hear is an infant laughing with abandon.  There’s no way you can keep yourself from laughing along with the baby.  It’s infectious.  But it seems as we get a little older, we are told by our parents and teachers that laughter needs to be toned down, it’s disruptive, and to not draw attention to ourselves.  Why?  I can understand that laughter can be out of place at times, and can offend if directed as some kind of effort to make a situation seem less serious than it should be.  However, I have been to several funerals of very close friends and family, and laughter among those grieving when talking about the deceased and recalling a favorite memory, is a healing release of sorrow…..maybe not during the service, but certainly when everyone is gathered together around a potluck.  I’ve also always heard that laughing in church is a no-no.  Sure, you don’t want to hee-haw or disrupt the service for everyone present, but there are times that some laughter can bring the congregation together.Laugh often, and try to find the brighter side to everything in your life.  As we get older this is even more important.  You will find if you have a smile on your face, and a quick easy laugh, your day will go by so much better. We hope you get a little laugh out of our book, “Rainbow’s End”.

The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter

Humor & Laughter: Health Benefits & Online Sources

“Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.”

Laughter is strong medicine for mind and body

“Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.”

~ Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.

“Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.”

Read more at Healthguide.org


 

Being Green

We may tout that in the old days we had to work so much harder, and reuse everything until it fell apart, nothing was easy. But, I think because we have gradually opted for the easy way out of everything we do, we’re paying the price now.  It’s a “throw away” society, and we don’t think twice about pitching something that we don’t feel we need any longer.  A good example of this is college campuses in the early spring at move out time.  Instead of packing up their belongings, the students simply carry everything to the curb and pitch it.  You could easily furnish a whole house from their throw aways.  Another example is we toss our  televisions, cell phones, and computers because buying a new one is cheaper than fixing the old model.  We toss tons and tons of plastic bags, plastic containers, and plastic furniture…..the list could go on and on.  I feel like my children and grandchildren could possibly be buried by all this plastic that’s accumulating in our landfills.

Honestly, the younger generation would grow a better appreciation for their possessions, and take care of their surroundings once they realize that using something twice is not a “downer”.  However, in order to do this, industry has to come up with better packaging that can be reused and repurposed.  I applaud some of the grocery stores that are trying to go to paper bags only.  That’s commendable.  If we could all make the effort to try to “go green”, our world would be a better place, and I would think we seniors should find this very easy to do.  We didn’t  grow up with everything we used being made of some kind of plastic so changing over to reusable containers would be no problem.  In fact, the thought is pleasing and gives this old senior hope for the future.

Amen to this article in an email I received!!   

Being Green

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the ‘green thing’ in its day. Continue reading

Retirement

Retirement !!! 
Question:  How many days in a week?
Answer:      6 Saturdays, 1 Sunday

 Question:  When is a retiree’s bedtime?
Answer:      Three hours after he falls asleep on the couch.

Question:  How many retirees to change a light bulb?
Answer:      Only one, but it might take all day. Continue reading