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The Honeymoon Stage of Retirement

The Honeymoon Stage of retirementStarting in August of 2020, we started following the life of a pre-retiree. The goal was to follow her from pre-retirement through the retirement process so you and I can live vicariously through her experience. We want to know what's happening as she goes through the process so we can better prepare ourselves.

As you listen in, think of any questions you might have for our subject, Barbara Mock, who is teaching us what she is learning by doing. You can email those questions to us at [email protected] and we'll try to answer them in the show.

The Honeymoon Stage of Retirement

Barbara has been retired for a month now, so I asked her what stage of retirement she is in. Barbara says it has been such a fun adventure and it feels a lot like a honeymoon stage. We talk about why it feels like a honeymoon stage and things that have helped Barbara transition so quickly.

Graduation Trip

Barbara’s husband also planned a retirement graduation trip. They flew to Phoenix, rented a car, and drove to Tubac Golf Resort. Barbara talks about her trip and her struggles with being a beginner golfer. She also wrote a blog post about it which you can read at Barbara's Graduation Trip.

The one thing Barbara wasn’t expecting was the connections she made with total strangers during her trip. There were a lot of people who were the same age, newly retired, and had similar life experiences.

Barbara also talks about the time she has got to spend with her 86-year-old father. They rented bikes and rode through the trail system in Tempe. You can go for miles, and he took them everywhere. He kept having to slow down and give Barbara and her husband water breaks! She also went to the pool with her father and got to spend some time just talking with him.

I cannot remember a time in my life, where I got to sit with my daddy, and just talk for like two and a half hours. How come we never do this?

Time is precious to me now, post-pandemic, I'm realizing that you never know how long you're going to have a parent in your life. It's easy to just assume they'll always be there. And now that I'm retired, I really want to be more intentional about spending time with my dad. I heard stories I'd never heard before I got to ask questions. And it was just the two of us. That was probably a highlight of the whole trip to spendingretirement lifestyle time with him.

Adding structure to life in retirement

One of the things that are adding structure to Barbara’s life is she joined two women's golf leagues. She does this twice a week and had no idea golfing with other women would be one of the most edifying, positive experiences she has had.

She and her husband also I decided that they needed to do a day together each week. So they do Adventure Wednesdays. I absolutely love this idea! The adventure Wednesday has been really fun for them. Barbara's husband picks an activity like a hike or a place to go that neither of them has ever been before. At some point, they will take turns and Barbara will also plan Adventure Wednesday's but she says her husband nailed planning their first one and it was awesome!

We also touched on compromising and talking with your spouse or significant other. A lot of times for someone who is newly retired, there becomes a lot of conflict in relationships because you are not used to spending so much time together. Communication and making adjustments are key.

The honeymoon stage idea is not just the honeymoon of it's new, and it's different. But for us, it's been just a renewal of our marriage.

So for now, Barbara is really enjoying this honeymoon stage of retirement. She said every day feels like Saturday and she really didn't expect retirement to be so amazing, and such a blessing. She thinks at this point her biggest challenge will be to not get over-scheduled.

I highly encourage any retirees during that space between being retired and transitioning, do something different to kind of shake you out of that habit or that schedule, so that you're not just sitting at home going. Now what?

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.

Jon talks about telomeres which are the protective caps at the ends of DNA molecules that make up our chromosomes. The length of these telomeres determines how long the DNA inside will be protected, and ultimately how long that cell will live. Or, as I like to refer to it the anti-aging part of the cell.

According to Jon, there's been a lot of scientific literature that has come out recently linking exercise to the health and length of telomeres. Particularly aerobic exercise. Whenever you head into a workout if you want to target it from an anti-aging perspective, you need to make sure that you not only do strength training but include exercise to raise your heart rate. 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

Part-Time Jobs That Can Be a Fountain of Youth for Seniors

Part time work in retirementHave you considered breaking out of retirement and returning to work? If so, a part-time job can be a great way to boost your income, but there are other reasons seniors should consider a new gig. It’s a chance to stay connected with others, enjoy mental stimulation, and even ward off chronic disease. Rock Your Retirement invites you to read on as we explore terrific opportunities for seniors, and think about the specific roles that could be your fountain of youth.

Easy-Breezy Ideas

Are you nervous about going back to work? You aren’t alone. As Medicare.org explains, many seniors are intimidated about the transition, but some part-time jobs are well-suited to retirees.

Do you love animals? You can walk dogs or pet sit, setting your own schedule, picking the animals you tend, and so forth. If chatting with people is more your thing, consider a role in customer service. Also, a local hospital or museum could be just the ticket! Are you a sports lover? Consider working at area events. Think of it as getting paid to be part of the action, and you can support your favorite teams while you’re at it!

Start Your Own Biz

Do you love the idea of being your own boss? Becoming a senior entrepreneur might be a great fit for you. Think about how comfortable you are being in charge if you enjoy a challenge, and how upset you get when there’s a hiccup in your plans.

One way to segue easily into running your own business is through dropshipping. There is a huge range of products, and if you’re tech-savvy enough to surf, email, check shipment statuses, and the like, it’s a smart and fun way to jump in. The initial investment is minimal thanks to virtually no overhead, and you don’t need a warehouse or retail location to operate, just your own computer. Most people find it exciting to sell things they are interested in, so think about what you would enjoy. If you love fashion, boutique clothing, jewelry, and handbags might be ideal. Are you a snowbird? Share your love of the beach selling swimsuits and sunglasses.

Keep in mind that running your own business will require you to handle a lot of paperwork, including setting things up with the state to make sure your payroll is handled correctly. What is payroll, you ask? Payroll involves paying any employees you have for the work they’ve done. This goes beyond simply issuing paychecks; you’ll need to do things like calculating net pay and addressing issues such as overtime pay or garnishments. Running a business takes work, but the end result could be well worth it in the long run.

Skills and Talents

Have you considered turning a hobby you enjoy into a business? Nearly anything can be converted into a fun part-time position. For instance, if you’re the neighborhood go-to for building and fixing things, maybe it’s time to put those skills to work as a handyman. You might need to get a permit, and some states have limitations, but there is always work for someone who knows how to make home repairs.

Or, perhaps you’re a crafter and are ready to sell your wares to others. Whether you’re making homemade greeting cards, fancy chocolates, stained glass, or crocheted blankets, there are websites ready to act as your venue.

Maybe your special talent is bargain hunting. If the idea of combing through yard sales and thrift shops for amazing finds excites you, consider gathering goodies and selling them at a profit. You can turn to online auction sites to sell them, just read reviews to decide which sites seem most user-friendly and will fit your budget.

Exercise Your Experience

Many seniors have viable experience from a former profession. If you have a specialty you’d like to revisit, consider freelancing. Companies hire freelancers for anything and everything these days, and it’s a chance to enjoy the flexibility and freedom that comes with your retirement, yet still put to use your unique expertise.

Taking on a part-time job is a great way to boost your retirement income, but it can also be much more than that. Look for something you enjoy doing, that puts your skills to work, and makes you excited to think about doing. Your part-time position can be a true fountain of youth, making you happier and healthier in your retirement.

As a senior herself, Sharon Wagner understands that an older body and mind impacts the daily lives of many seniors. She created SeniorFriendly.info to offer advice geared specifically toward seniors to help them make healthier choices and enjoy their golden years.

How Gardens Help you Rock Your Retirement

Retirement age is a period in which one has more time to enjoy life. People seek the joy of old age in various ways. And many have spent all their old-age caring for their gardens.

According to therapeutics, nature has a significant impact on our health, both physically and mentally. 

People's cortisol levels drop when they are in a green and quiet environment. Let's see how gardening helps you rock your retirement.

Gardening helps you burn more calories

Gardening is considered a form of exercise of moderate intensity, helping you burn quite a few calories.

Specifically, you can burn about 330 calories in 1 hour of gardening (be it weed pulling, picking fruit, or watering the plants) – more calories burned than when walking at a moderate rate over the same period. 

This would be better for those who have entered retirement age.

Gardening extends life.

Gardening not only adorns your home more radiantly but also has miracles to make you healthier. A lot of scientific research has proven the benefits of gardening for health.

Many outdoor physical activities have been proven to be associated with long life expectancy. Gardening is an activity that meets both of these conditions.

When gardening, sunlight, and fresh air help the elderly become more temperate, garden crops’ diverse colors and shapes help improve visual and touch abilities.

When caring for trees, we carry out physical activities that positively affect weight and blood pressure. Also, the process of interacting with the plant contributes to improving mood.

How Gardens Help you Rock Your Retirement

Gardening helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Going to your garden at the end of a busy day will reduce your stress levels and mental fatigue. 

A study has shown that spending 30 minutes gardening after participating in a stressful activity has a stress-reducing effect rather than spending 30 minutes reading indoors.

According to a 2017 general analysis, gardening positively correlates with minimizing symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

Some hospitals even use planting and flower arranging as a rehabilitation therapy for people who have just experienced trauma, stroke, surgery to help patients regenerate physical and mental health.

Gardening helps reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Gardening helps you be proactive and reduces your stress levels, and that means it can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other diseases. Also, eating nutritious food that you grow is very good for cardiovascular health.

Spending 30 minutes a day on gardening is an excellent way to help cardiovascular diseases maintain a normal state and stabilize the state before the undesirable effects of daily life.

Gardening makes you feel happy

Many studies have shown that some health and behavior problems, including anxiety and depression, are directly related to the amount of time you spend outside. 

This can form a symptom of “deficient substance disorders” in children. Gardening will help you solve that.

Gardening helps you sleep better

Spending more time caring for the garden can improve the quality of your sleep. That reduces stress and anxiety levels, which means you will fall asleep quickly and experience sweeter dreams.

Being outside is good for your bones.

Calcium is a mineral essential for bone formation. When being outdoors, your skin is exposed to the sun and promotes the body to synthesize vitamin D to let your body absorb calcium.

In general, spending time outdoors is great for your bones. However, you should not stay long in the sun to avoid the risk of skin cancer.

Gardening helps you connect with the community.

You can work in batched gardens, which will be much better than when you garden alone. Gardening is also considered a treatment for Alzheimer's patients to join relatives and friends.

A high level of social connection from gardening will help them live healthier and longer lives. 

Gardeners have the opportunity to meet in the market. Bringing their products to share with other gardeners is a significant social activity. 

This helps gardeners have fun and connect well with people and surroundings.

Let nature nourish us

Self-made food can help you eat healthier. If gardening activities have a positive effect, such as exercise, the fruits of that activity will be a high-yield garden parcel, promoting a more nutritious diet. You will reap fresh, healthy agricultural products.

Gardening in Retirement

Image by jf-gabnor from Pixabay

Conclusion

As such, gardening is the best choice for retirees. It will not waste your old age, but instead, it will bring many benefits to you such as: improving life expectancy, community cohesion, providing clean food for yourself, …

About the Author: Jill is a sustainable focus gardener at Constant Delights. She loves decorating her home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques she develops herself.

 

5 Tips to pay off debt in retirement

We don’t normally discuss money here. But today, we are going to talk about it so that our readers can enter into a comfortable retirement by repaying debts when they leave the workforce.

A few days back, I was going through a recent CNBC report which has stated that debt among older adults in our country has skyrocketed 543% in two decades. Isn’t it shocking?

Usually, retirees have a fixed income after hitting their golden years. If they have huge debts to pay off, they will be left with very little funds. And ultimately, it will result in financial worries after retirement. So, it’s always a good idea to repay your debt during retirement. But how will you do so?

Don’t worry. Here are some of the best possible tips to repay your debt during retirement so that you can relax during your golden years.Tips to pay off debt in retirement

Relook at your budget

Hopefully, you are following a budget to maintain a proper spending plan and save money for your financial well-being. Remember, the more you dedicate towards your monthly debt payments, the faster you can become debt-free.

So, you need to save more for increasing your monthly debt payments. For that, you need to review your budget and find the areas where you can cut costs and save those dollars.

For example, you can cut costs on discretionary expenses like eating out, entertainment, cable TV subscriptions, etc. by doing so, you can save a decent amount of money to dedicate towards your monthly debt payments.

Set up a repayment plan

The baby step to pay off your debt in retirement is to set up a repayment plan. For that, you need to list all your debts (except mortgages) along with their interest rates, minimum payment amounts, and outstanding balance amounts. Now, you can follow either of the two debt repayment plans, i.e, debt snowball and avalanche method.

In the debt snowball method, you need to focus on the debt with the smallest outstanding balance first. At the same time, you will have to make minimum payments on all other debts.

Once you repay that debt, you will have to focus on the debt with the second smallest outstanding balance and so on. You will have to continue this process until you become debt-free.

The biggest advantage of the snowball method is that you can stay motivated during your debt repayment journey. Because repaying debt with small outstanding balance amounts is likely going to take less time and you can feel the valor of becoming debt-free within a short time.

However, you may have to shell out more on interest payments as you are prioritizing debts based on their outstanding balance amounts.

In the debt avalanche method, you need to prioritize the debt with the highest interest rate first. At the same time, you have to make minimum payments on other debts.

Once you pay off that debt, you will have to target the debt with the second-highest interest rate and so on. You will have to repeat this cycle until you become debt-free.

By opting for the debt avalanche method, you can save money on interest payments. Besides, if you have a huge outstanding balance with the highest interest rate, the avalanche method can be the best bet for you to repay debts.

However, it may take a longer time to repay debts by opting for the avalanche method. So, you may lose patience and it may become hard for you to stay motivated during your debt repayment journey.

Postpone your retirement

You can find a part-time job in retirement and extend your earning years. By doing so, you will be able to earn a few more dollars. Eventually, it will help you to boost your monthly payments to get rid of the debt trap faster.

In this context, I would suggest you opt for a part-time job that fulfills your passion. Thereby, you will feel good about yourself and earn money too for eliminating debt.

At the same time, postponing your retirement can help you to increase your Social Security benefits. The reason being, you are likely going to receive delayed retirement credits and that can help your Social Security payments to increase by two-thirds of 1% for every month you delay your retirement till 70.

Take out a balance transfer card

A recent report by Motley Fool has revealed that in our country, people near their retirement age have the most credit card debt. If you are one of them, you may have to shell out a substantial amount from your paycheck as credit cards have high-interest rates.

So, it’s better to get rid of your multiple credit card debts before your retirement. You can transfer all your outstanding balance amounts to a new card with no or very low-interest rate. So, no worry about managing multiple debts anymore.

Usually, credit card companies offer balance transfer cards at a 0% interest rate for an introductory period ranging from about 18 to 24 months. After the introductory period ends, they will levy a variable interest rate.

So, I would suggest you repay your outstanding balance amount in your new card within the introductory period. By doing so, you can save a substantial amount of money on your interest payments. Eventually, you can repay your credit card debts faster too.

However, you need to have an excellent credit score of around 670 or higher for taking out a balance transfer card. Besides, you may have to pay a balance transfer fee of about 3% to 5% of the total amount you are transferring.

Opt for a debt consolidation programTips to pay off debt in retirement

Let’s say, you are trapped with unsecured debt like credit cards, payday loans, etc. You have tried to take out a balance transfer card but you couldn’t qualify for it due to a lack of a sufficient credit score.

In that case, is there any other way to consolidate your unsecured debts? Yes, you can consolidate your debts by consulting a reputable debt relief company. But how so? What happens if you consolidate debt through a debt relief company?

The debt consultants of the debt relief company will assess your debts along with your financial situation. Based on that information, they will chalk out an affordable monthly payment plan.

At the same time, they will try to negotiate with your creditors on your behalf to reduce the high-interest rates and waive off any late fees or penalties. Once the creditors agree, you can start making single monthly payments to the debt relief company. And they, in turn, will distribute the money among your creditors.

So, by opting for a debt consolidation program, you can bundle your multiple debt payments. Besides, your monthly payments are likely going to reduce as the interest rates will be reduced. And the best part is, you don’t need an excellent credit score to qualify for a debt consolidation program.

So, the bottom line is, repaying your debts is one of the things you need to do before you retire to relax during your golden years. So hopefully, the 5 tips that we discussed above will help you to pay off your debts in your retirement. Eventually, it will help you to keep your retirement stress at bay and you will be able to enjoy your golden years without any financial worries.

Author’s Bio: Good Nelly is a financial writer who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has started her financial journey long back. Good Nelly has been associated with Debt Consolidation Care for a long time. Through her writings, she has helped people overcome their debt problems and has solved personal finance-related queries. She has also written for some other websites and blogs. You can follow her Twitter profile.

3 Great Senior-Friendly Tech Devices To Help You Stay in Touch

3 Great Senior-Friendly Tech Devices To Help You Stay in Touch

By Mary Shannon, seniorsmeet.org

Over the past year, families used technology to stay connected, even while staying physically apart. For many, this experience highlighted the growing technology gap that exists between seniors and their younger family members. The technology that helps younger generations stay connected often doesn’t work for seniors, for several reasons. Many tech devices simply aren’t viable options for people with limited hearing, vision, manual dexterity, technological prowess, or budgets.

That’s not to say that senior-friendly technology doesn’t exist—and Rock Your Retirement can help. These three tech devices are ideal choices to help seniors stay in touch, so read on.

  1. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

As Healthy Hearing explains, hearing loss is extremely common among older Americans. Cranking up the volume isn’t always a practical solution since most speakers create distortion at the high ends of their volume ranges. Plus, neighbors and roommates aren’t always on board with the loud sound. Being unable to hear well is extremely detrimental to communication efforts, not to mention frustrating to everyone involved.

Noise-canceling headphones block out unwanted background sounds and lower frequencies, selectively amplifying the desired audio in a distortion-free way that won’t result in a noise complaint. Many of these headphones feature wireless connectivity, Bluetooth, and built-in microphones. There are countless options available at nearly every price point.

These headphones can make video and telephone calls easier to hear and understand, and make movies, music, and TV shows more enjoyable. They can even be a boon to seniors who enjoy video games, which is also a great way for them to maintain their social connections and even can help keep their minds sharp, per the CBC.

  1. New-Model Smartphone

Most seniors have some type of mobile phone, but few own the latest-model smartphones. Some may be clinging to an older model because it still works, and they know how to use it. Some may not want to spend the money on an upgrade. Still, others may not want to bother with the hassle of learning new technology.

While these arguments are common, they don’t hold much water. The latest smartphone models are more intuitive and easier to use than ever before. Most newer phones offer one-touch voice and video calling, and many utilize facial-recognition technology, which is much simpler than remembering and entering usernames and passwords. Today’s phones come with an array of built-in accessibility features, have impressive battery lives, and support wireless charging. Topping it off, seniors can take advantage of special offers that make upgrading all the more palatable, like trade-ins and low or free monthly payments.

Most importantly, smartphones are how most of the world stays connected, and seniors shouldn’t be excluded from the party. A newer smartphone is a convenient way to keep in touch via calls, text messages, email, and social media apps. A smartphone can also be used to quickly and easily access a bevy of information, such as news stories, weather forecasts, games, recipes, music, and even podcasts—such as from Rock Your Retirement—specifically created for older adults.

  1. Basic Laptop or Large-Format Tablet

It’s hard to deny the importance of an updated, functional smartphone to help seniors stay connected, but not every application is well-suited to a mobile-size screen. Vision loss and limited dexterity can also make some apps hard to use on a phone. It’s a good idea to also have a large tablet or basic laptop available to take advantage of everything available.

The choice between laptop or tablet is largely a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the intuitive layout and relative ease of navigating a tablet. Others find touch screens to be daunting and prefer a traditional laptop format.

Technology prices can be prohibitively high for some seniors, especially those on a fixed income. Sale-savvy seniors can keep an eye on ads and be cognizant of the best times to score tech deals. Many retailers offer senior discounts, which can sometimes be used in combination with sale pricing for an even deeper discount. While technology isn’t cheap, staying connected to senior family members is well worth the cost.

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