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Pre-Retirement and Post-Retirement

You’re now listening at another pivotal time, where we’re slightly changing the format. From March 2016 to August 2020. This was an interview-style show where I interviewed people who could help you rock your retirement. But not financially. Those were what I call the encyclopedia years of the show. If you were interested in a particular topic, such as finding Mom a retirement home, dealing with grief, or even how sex changes after retirement, you can probably find your topic in our back catalog.

Then, in August of 2020, we started following the life of a pre-retiree, Barbara Mock. She is retired now, and we are planning on giving you updates on her life and what’s she’s going through as long as she’ll let us.

Sor for now, we are giving you updates on my life and how I’m dealing with continuing to work and getting ready for retirement.

We will do this until I find another pre-retiree who’s willing to make that 1-year commitment to let us live vicariously through their eyes. I’m looking for someone who’s different from Barbara. Perhaps an unmarried person? Or maybe someone who is going to retire but maybe isn’t quite so financially prepared. Maybe someone without a pension. So, if you know someone who is getting ready to retire, within the next 6 months or so, please send that person my way. They can email us at [email protected]

Update on Kathe’s Life

You may or may not know that I started the show because I have been struggling with my own thoughts about retirement. Les and I are financially independent. So I don’t actually have to work. But I continue to work. I’m sure that this is true for a lot of my listeners.

Below are some updates on my life that I discuss in the show

Our move to the 55 plus community

You might know that Les and I purchased a home in a 55 and older community in October of 2018, and moved there shortly after. Prior to moving, we did a huge search of communities. We even created a spreadsheet with a little bit of help from a friend to help us with the search. Here is a copy if you’d like to see what factors we considered. https://www.rockyourretirement.com/55Plus  And I’d love it if you’d help me update the spreadsheet for others. So if you have other items that should be included, please let me know. I also talk about the adjustment to the new culture, food, and even changes to my Medicare Business due to the move. 

My weight loss and health

In January of 2019, I decided it was time for me to lose the 20 pounds I gained over the years. I talk about how I lost the weight, and what I do to keep it off and stay active in my life now.

Traveling

We have had to cancel a lot of travel plans lately due to COVID and health issues Les has had. I did still take a two-week “staycation” and decided to spend some time making new friends and fostering current friendships. 

Making time for what is most important

Even though I am still working, I am making time for things in my life that are important. My health, my relationship, friendships, and activities.

What is Barbara up to?

She spent the first week of July getting ready to help with Vacation Bible School which was very rewarding. There were 438 kids in all.

There were about 120 volunteers, and about 90 of them were high school and junior high students.

Barbara got in a tug of war and was in some of the games. Needless to say, it was very exhausting for her!

There were about 120 volunteers, and about 90 of them were high school and junior high students.

Barbara got in a tug of war and was in some of the games. Needless to say, it was very exhausting for her!

“The little kids just give you hope for the future. They were just amazing.”

She also just finished up Nana Camp with her 3 grandchildren and it was everything Barbara had hoped for. The precious time with her grandkids was amazing. They just left a few days ago and she is still recovering with the laundry, the house, and just her energy levels, but super rewarding.

No Schedule and Uncomfortable

So now Barbara is in a new month, and everything is blank. There is nothing on her calendar.  She literally went from going 100 miles an hour to just stopping. Life is just unstructured with no schedule, and that’s an uncomfortable place for Barbara to be.

Barbara is a planner and with nothing in her schedule right now I asked her how she is managing.

“I’m driving my husband crazy. I keep putting out possibilities for things they can do.  And while they’re not big decisions, as a retiree, you want to make good decisions, you want to use your time wisely. You want to use your money wisely. you today to look ahead, figure out what you want to do, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there and how you’re going to pay for it.”

Focusing and Meditation

I asked Barbara if she has ever thought about mediation. And like many of us, she struggles to just sit quietly with ourselves and not have our minds wander. I use an app called brain.fm to help me meditate. I feel like giving your brain a rest, even for a few minutes a day is good for your brain and it is a good way to help prevent getting dementia

Club Med

I talked about a recent vacation Les and I took to ClubMed in Florida. This is an all-inclusive resort so the food, drinks and many activities are included. The food is absolutely amazing, some of the best I’ve ever had. There were some pros and cons to our trip and we did end up leaving two days early, but overall we had a really nice time.

What’s Next?

Barbara enjoys connecting with people, so she plans on cultivating some new friendships and gathering with current friends.

There is also a bit of uneasiness for Barbara on what’s next for the fall and winter. Predictions show a very wet fall and winter where Barbara lives and she doesn’t want to be there the whole time. So she is feeling a bit anxious that she hasn’t filled that space with anything yet. We talked about the idea of putting ideas of places to go during the winter months as sort of a retirement idea jar

She is planning on slowing down just a bit since things have been so busy for her. So, her focus right now will be relaxing, reading, walking/hiking, getting exercise, and of course her ladies golf two days a week.

Barbara is hoping that she can keep a good balance. She feels like she needs things to stimulate her intellectually and emotionally.

“I think our brains are better when we’re interacting with other people or other cultures or going to different places. I think for seniors anyway, it’s good to not just sit at home and watch TV, it’s good to get out. And even if it’s in your neighborhood, experience other places, and other things so that you can actually have a memory triggered, so that you can use your brain that way.”

Health Segment

For our health segment, we have Jon Pearlman, co-founder of Mission Lean the leading fitness app for anti-aging. Today John and I talked about stretching.

It is important, for older adults, especially sticking to a consistent flexibility routine is a must. A lot of injuries that an older person might suffer from having to do with a lack of flexibility and a lack of range of motion. This can be avoided if somebody just commits to a consistent routine of flexibility and stretches.

John recommends 3-5 times a week of 10 minutes a day stretching

Also, your stretching routine should be done after your workout when your body is warm, and all the muscles are warm.

Can you stretch when your muscles are cold?

According to John, the answer is yes. It’s not ideal because when you’re warmed up, not only are your muscles activated and warm and ready to absorb those stretches to the fullest.

Don’t forget to download the mission lean app to get more fitness routines and tips. To learn more, download the Mission Lean app on your cell phone or you can visit https://missionlean.com

Do you have any questions? You can email your questions to [email protected] and we will try to answer them on the show.

To get a copy of The Baby Boomer’s 30-Day Journal go to: www.RockYourRetirement.com/Journal

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Nana Camp – Part 1

One of the reasons I retired was to spend more time with my grandkids, while they were still young.  In the early months of the pandemic, during the spring of 2020 when many of us started working from home and our kids transitioned to online learning for safety reasons, we just didn’t see each other.  By the time schools let out in June of 2020, I was placed on a one-week unpaid, unplanned furlough due to concerns about the county budget. What do you do when you have time off, nowhere to go and everything is locked down?

My answer was to invite my grandkids up for a few days and we called it Nana Camp. We simply played, laughed, had a sleepover and it was fun and exhausting all at the same time.  As I was seeing the world through the perspective of elementary school-age kids, I came away with the idea that I’m missing out. This solidified my decision to choose to retire early to spend more time with them.

It has been a crazy year since that major decision was made, so I chose the last week of July for Nana Camp 2021. I have absolutely no regrets about retiring!  For this camp, I was able to put my project management skills to work. With all that we missed out on last year, I think I went into “planner overdrive” and was striving to create an unforgettable camp experience for my grandkids with the bonus of giving their hard-working parents a break.

My daughter and her husband took the opportunity to enjoy an entire week away to celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary in Mexico.  My son and his wife traveled with a huge group of friends to beautiful Lake Chelan and joined in celebrating one of the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary.

I spent months planning, ordering things online, and creating lists and lists of activities.  Then I began organizing and programming each day of activities.  More than once my husband said, “You just need to stop!”  The weekends, like two bookends, were left open to play with cousins, soak in the hot tub, watch Disney movies, and just chill.  But starting on Monday, I had five full days planned for Nana Camp week.

My goal was to:

Share what we believe: “We Love God” and “We Love Each Other.” 

Teach them about our family heritage and genealogy. 

Experience lessons on geography and history.

Learn how to do something new.

Be challenged to develop problem-solving skills.

Work together as teams.

The theme to tie all of this together was The Amazing Race.  The kids love watching the show with their parents and understood the rules of the game.  I was able to purchase the bright yellow envelopes and a template to make the clues on Etsy.  Challenges included finding the Route Info, Road Blocks, Speed Bumps, Detours, and every day just like on the show there was a Pit Stop (a mandatory rest break from racing).

Starting with each team of two, they had to put up tents with minimal assistance.  They could ask Papa questions but it was fun to see them struggle and work through figuring it out.  These became our home base and their “Reading Dens” for discussions and looking at books.

We are of Norwegian descent so for most of the first two days we spent learning about the Vikings.  The clues directed them to put together a map, hear some family stories, read some books, and then they watched several child-appropriate Viking videos on YouTube.  They learned about their Norwegian ancestors and started making a family tree on index cards for each branch of the family.  

My creative and patient husband spent hours creating some replica Viking Shield bases from plywood and then we purchased the remaining parts to make a functioning shield.  Each morning they received clues that took them deep into the “Viking Forest” (the woods behind our neighbor’s house) searching for parts of a Viking costume. They traveled to the Rock Fairy Garden, the Valley of the Green Frogs, the Viking Village, and the Secret Viking Tree Fort looking for yellow clue boxes and their next clue.

After they found their wooden shields they came running back and were given replica templates they could use as design inspiration for Viking colors. They did an amazing job making decisions and painting their shields.  Then they went to Papa’s workshop to put them together.  

I haven’t sewn in 25 years but for Nana Camp, I braved the fabric store, watched some more videos borrowed a sewing machine, and created Viking capes, complete with faux leather and fur and chains.  Then I purchased some wooden swords and plastic Viking helmets.  My husband said, “This is a really bad idea to give 5, 8, and 9-year-old kids weapons.”  But my daughter and daughter-in-law both gave their full approval thinking it would be fun and maybe take care of future Halloween costumes.

Included in those first days we highlighted our Russian heritage, my great grandmother was born in Odessa Russia, and was a pioneer at the turn of the century, by traveling to a Russian bakery.  The Amazing Race clue cards included their own money to spend on a treat and a Pirosky for their lunch. When learning about the Romans and Italy I ordered pizza and served some Italian cookies for dessert.

After their swords and shields were completed the next day the race had them back in the forest.  They learned some more about our family tree, checked the maps, and heard about even more history.  Then they had to search for the rest of their costumes hanging in the trees. The final clue for that day was to come back to the reading den screaming their best Viking battle cry in their full regalia.

As my husband and I watched them running up the hill out of the forest he was laughing. I, however, had tears in my eyes.  Working together we had created an “eternal moment” neither of us will ever forget.  I hope in the future my four grandkids won’t forget either!  Days 1 and 2 are complete.  Time to get ready for Day 3 – Cousins Day!  I need some sleep.

E-Bikes

Over the years I have really enjoyed bike riding.  But as I’ve aged it seems like I spend more time going uphill than down.  It is easy to coast down a hill creating a gentle breeze with the wind in your face.  But traveling back home, I call climbing up a hill on a bicycle a “grunt.” Out of breath, tired muscles, and sweating profusely is getting less and less enjoyable as each year passes.

While we were attending a wedding and reception in Laguna Beach and Dana Point in California in mid-June, we decided to rent bikes to ride on the trails near the beaches and the bike lanes near our vacation rental.  Initially, we rented regular bikes but after my husband did some research on the trails in the area he noticed LOTS of hills and elevation changes.  A quick call to Synaptic Cycles and a few more dollars per day and we were set with E-bikes. They even had a concierge service that included batteries and chargers, a helmet, and free delivery and pick-up at our condo!

If you haven’t had a chance to try one of these, especially as a retiree, I would highly recommend giving this experience a chance.  Even if you haven’t ridden in years it all comes back.  The phrase, “It’s just like riding a bike” comes to mind.  I found that my mind and body didn’t forget and once I adjusted to the way an E-Bike performs I was hooked.

Each of three mornings before our evening wedding-related activities we set off on an adventure. We road the trail to the San Clemente Pier twice, enjoyed the Lantern District, explored Laguna Niguel, and even braved the Pacific Coast Highway (or as the locals say the “PCH”.)

On an E-bike you are still riding and pedaling – it is not a motorcycle or a moped.  You’ll definitely feel it the next day. But when you are going up a hill, you can turn a magic lever and get a little “assist.” On our rentals there was a “governor” that limited our speeds, however, these heavy, bulletproof, fat-tired bikes flew up some pretty steep hills.  For us, it was a game-changer.

We had such a fun experience we are thinking about buying a pair of E-Bikes to take on road trips and camping.  We’ll just wait a bit until the supply chain stabilizes.  What was a little surprising was how long we spent riding each day.  Instead of being exhausted after a few hills, we spent five to six hours outdoors each day and traveled on average between 20 and 25 miles.  We went everywhere!!  Secured with a lock on a bike rack, we could take a break to explore and get a beverage or lunch.

We saw so many places we would have never seen riding in a car and navigating traffic.  The bike lanes in this area were separated by either wide spaces, medians, or sidewalks. We felt safe, enjoyed the beautiful weather, explored numerous beaches and parks.  We even spent time watching the surfers in the Pacific Ocean.

E-Bikes in Retirement with Barbara Mock

Retirement is providing numerous opportunities to take adventures and try new things.  While biking is something we did when we were younger it was exciting to realize that with E-Bikes, even as our bodies age we can still get outside, enjoy nature and fly up those hills!

Focusing on Health in Retirement: Episode 250

Focusing on Health in RetirementAs you may know, if you have listened to our previous episodes, Barbara has spent the first part of her retirement doing a lot of traveling. She and her husband went on a golf trip and another trip to Utah with many stops along the way.

There have, however, been some sad things happening and it’s related to Barbara’s friends and family and their health.

Her brother-in-law was just diagnosed with cancer. So they are all rallying around him. She has a very close family, and everyone lives on the same street. He is only 57 years old and the diagnosis is making him sort of rethinking his life and what he is doing. He is actually going to retire.

Barbara also has a very close long-time friend how has just found out has some heart issues. He too is planning on retiring.

Another friend had a quadruple bypass and another fiend is losing his eyesight. She has also had some friends and people close to her with health issues and pass away.

So on one hand Barbara has had some great things going on in her life and then also some very sad things.

I asked Barbara how she is feeling about the people in her life with health issues. She said she has been praying a lot but she is also just sad. She feels like you need to utilize the time you have and now and not just live for someday.

I think when there is grief and loss it can cause you to focus on the right things. Family, friendships, quality time with people

Renting E-bikes

On Barbara’s last trip to a wedding, they had decided they didn’t want to rent a car. She found this amazing concierge service that delivers bikes. She rented them for 3 days and they rode around Dana Point. They decided to rent e-bikes because the area was so full of hills. Best decision ever!  She said with an e-bike you are still peddling but the bike just gives you a little bit of an assist. There are pros and cons, of course, but for people that are of a certain age, or if your knees don’t work as well or if your hips don’t work, e-bikes are a game-changer. You’re outside, you’re able to go a much further distance. And as a result, you stay on them longer. Barbara was riding four to five hours a day, without any problem.

Les and I just started doing water aerobics. I’ve noticed since I’ve lost the 20 pounds that I lost over the last year and a half. I’m sleeping better my brain is less foggy. There is a brain-heart connection. And so for the listener, if you’re not exercising, try to find something that works for you. Whether it’s walking or a combination of things. Studies have shown that getting your heart rate up can help with your brain health.

Focusing on Health in Retirement

What’s next for Barbara?

For her birthday, her daughter bought her something called story worth. It’s an application and her daughter was able to go through and choose about 50 questions. The program sends Barbara an email once a week with a question that her daughter picked out and she emails back the answer. After a year, once all the questions have been answered it publishes a book. I think the idea of you writing your memoir over the course of a year just by answering some questions, is fantastic!

Barbara’s church had a plea for help at the Vacation Bible School. So she will be teaching a group of 4th graders.

We also talked about “Nana Camp”  She will have all 4 of her grandkids for a week. She and her husband decided they would do a play on The Amazing Race. So she is deep into planning for this major and exciting event coming up!
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Health Break Segment

For our health segment, we have Jon Pearlman, co-founder of Mission Lean the leading fitness app for anti-aging. John and I talked about the importance of warming up before your workout and why sticking to a great warm-up routine is going to enhance not only your workout but your longevity and fitness for years to come.

Countless, scientific and sports studies out there have shown that people who warm up diligently before sports have improved performance, both across aerobic and anaerobic sports, such as cycling, running, and swimming. Even when John was training and competing as an athlete, warming up is was such an instrumental part of his routine. The Mission Lean app has anti-aging programs that include warm-ups. Depending on which workout you choose, there are at least two or three dynamic mobility, mobility, and flexibility, routines.

Don’t forget to download the mission lean app to get more fitness routines and tips. To learn more, download the Mission Lean app on your cell phone or you can visit https://missionlean.com

Do you have any questions? You can email your questions to [email protected] and we will try to answer them on the show.

To get a copy of The Baby Boomer’s 30-Day Journal go to: www.RockYourRetirement.com/Journal

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Retirement Lifestyle- Endless Summer Vacation

Retirement Lifestyle- Endless Summer VacationWe last spoke with Barbara about a month ago and she is still in the honeymoon stage of retirement. She said it is like she is on an endless summer vacation.

Barbara and her husband were planning a trip to St. George Utah, but they decided since she is retired, and they have more time, and life is more flexible, that they would drive instead of fly.

Her husband planned a wonderful trip to get to their destination. They went from Washington to Oregon and from Oregon to Boise, Idaho, and then to Utah from there.

Letting the planning reigns go for an endless summer vacation

I asked Barbara what it was like for her to let her husband do all this planning because she is normally the “planner” in the family. She said for this trip she yielded happily. Her husband spent hours trying to figure out where to stay and what activities they would do because he wanted to mix it up between golf and walking or hiking.

“He just did a great job. So, I guess in retirement, what I’m learning is roles can reverse a little bit. And that’s okay. I think when I’ve initiated the trips, I needed the power and control. But with that comes a heavy responsibility of wanting to make sure people are having a good time and they’re having fun.  Sometimes I just wasn’t able to be in the moment where this was super relaxing.”

Travel Budget

One of the things that hold me back personally from retiring is not being able to replenish that bucket of money. Even though financially able to retire now, there is something holding me back. So Barbara I and talked about how she is managing her travel budget. Sometimes they make choices to spend less on other things such as maybe clothing for example to put extra funds in a travel budget. The one thing that is important to Barbara is that they never travel on credit. They always have the money when you think about your life, and all the different things that you choose to spend your money on, I just choose to not spend it in other areas of my life in order to travel, because that’s my priority. That doesn’t mean it needs to be yours. Maybe you travel to baseball games all the time, or you buy lots of things. Those are policy choices that each person can make.

“You can afford anything, not everything”-Paula Pant

The Kolob Arch Hike

This is a 14-mile hike where Barbara’s husband tried to kill her (not literally but it was very intense) The Kolob Arch is one of the largest natural arches in the world but it is seven miles in and seven miles out to see it. She used up all of her water and had to share it with her husband for the last mile.  Barbara was dehydrated, her heart was racing and she felt nauseous.  Her husband told her to put on her big girl pants. After it was over Barbara was very glad she did it. Her takeaway for the listener is this. If there are places that you want to see before you die, that require mobility and being in shape, you should do them. It gets harder the older you get.

Barbara and I also talked about a miraculous experience she had while hiking. She and her husband ran into a street performer and healer and that has performed as “Angel Bird” all over the world, including Florence, Berlin, and Paris. She described her dance as a celebration of life and freedom. You can read more about this experience on Barbara’s blog post: Snow Canyon and Angel Bird

From being able to travel without time restraints to having the time to walk her grandchildren to school Barbara has learned that these moments she is making during her “endless summer vacation” are precious andRetirement is an endless summer vacation she is so grateful she is able to make them.

If you have any questions for Barbara, please feel free to email us at [email protected] and we will try to answer your question on the show.

Health Break Segment

One of the six pillars of retirement is Health and if you don’t have your health, nothing else matters. For our health segment, we have Jon Pearlman, co-founder of Mission Lean the leading fitness app for anti-aging.

John and I talk about flexibility for peak performance. So basically, how you can start to incorporate stretching into your workout. Stretching has shown to have a very positive impact on performance in workouts and just staying loose generally, in life. I think that tightness and stiffness is a large result of a lot of injuries that people suffer from out there and obviously the main goal of any fitness program whether it’s mission lean or another one should be to keep the exerciser healthy and ready to go so that they don’t have any interruptions and in with an injury. Especially for older people because it’s well known that if you’re older you might you have might have increased stiffness and decreased range of motion which will, in turn, make you more susceptible to injury. To learn more, download the Mission Lean app on your cell phone or you can visit https://missionlean.com

To get a copy of The Baby Boomer’s 30-Day Journal go to: www.RockYourRetirement.com/Journal

 Read all of Barbara’s blog posts by visiting https://www.rockyourretirement.com/blog/

 

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

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