An Inspiring Conversation on Aging- Episode 228

Kathe Kline talks with Stephanie Raffelock on AgingAging takes place against a backdrop of grief. It’s the little losses and then the larger losses

Today my guest is Stephanie Raffelock. Stephanie wrote a cute inspirational book called, A Delightful Little Book on Aging. I read the book and I absolutely loved it! 

How Did the Book Come About?

The book sort of came about on accident for Stephanie. She was writing for a website and she got feedback from women all around the world. They had told her that they too were experiencing this kind of shift in their lives as they were entering into their 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Stephanie began to see that there are two ways to navigate the waters of aging. One way is to embrace the years, the strength, courage, and nobility that comes with growing older. The other way was to simply say aging sucks, I don’t like it and I’m going to fight it for as long as possible. 

She collected and compiled many of the essays and articles she had written to put into this book. It’s not a how-to book, it’s not a self-help book. It is a book of personal essays of personal experience of navigating the waters against a backdrop of grief, reclamation, vison, and laughter.   

The Monkey Bar Incident

Stephanie’s husband had clients in town, and they lived near a lake at the time. They decided to walk around the lake and all around the lake they have little exercise or play areas. So, one area might have swings and then you walk a little bit further and there might be a jungle jim. Then there is a spot that has monkey bars. 

Stephanie remembers the monkey bars from when she was little, and it was her favorite thing in school playground swinging from bar to bar. She didn’t know what got into her that evening, but she put her hand on the ladder and climbed up the first bar. She swung to reach the other bar and then she fell! Embarrassed as her husband and his clients ran over to see if she was ok. Stephanie's husband asked what were you doing? She knew what she was doing, she was trying to be young. There was this moment of realization that her muscle tone and connective tissue were not the same as when she was younger, and it was not going to be the same.

That athletic prowess of one in their 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s ceases to be. There are things that fall away from us. There are little losses. Aging takes place against a backdrop of grief. It’s the little losses and then the larger losses. 


It puts us in a unique kind of situation to live in these times. A time of coronavirus where we are all living against a backdrop of grief. As an older person, Stephanie knows what it is to feel vulnerable. Now the whole playing field has been leveled so society is feeling vulnerable. Stephanie knows how to navigate vulnerability. You embrace it. You realize you don’t have control over everything and you also realize that grief is a bridge. It’s not like an end result, it’s not a place to get stuck. It’s a bridge to something new. 

The idea of allowing one’s self to feel deeply and to cry is something that is not on the surface. That’s something you do in private. Or as Stephanie's mother used to say “don’t air your dirty laundry”. I think it’s a real shame that we don’t have a container for grief in our culture where people can cry about what’s going on because in the tears is this great soul bath. It’s this great releasing of those things so that you don’t have to carry the weight of the burden of sorrow with you. The way to unburden your self is to let yourself cry and then you get to move on. 


I asked Stephanie how to start the process of gratitude and she knew exactly when she started. Stephanie had a friend in Arizona who was a woman from India. She had told her about her mother who never got out of bed without saying thank you before her feet even hit the floor. And something about that captured her. So Stephanie began to experiment with that. What was it like to say thank you first thing in the morning? What was it like to say thank you throughout the day? And there is a lot of ways to do that. One thing that she has just recently learned is to just sit for a few minutes, with her eyes closed, and breathe the words thank you. Inhale thank you, and exhale thank you.

Thank you doesn’t always have to be attached to something. If you can open the refrigerator and there is food in there for the day, you have a lot to be grateful for. That’s not true all over the world. If it’s raining outside and you have a roof over your head, you have a lot to be grateful for. It’s just a matter of noticing it and claiming it. Gratitude is a learned practice

We do have a lot to the grateful for. A lot of us are going crazy because of what we call a lockdown. But, what we are calling lockdown, is nothing compared to other places in the world. There are places you need a pass just to leave your house. COVID-19 has also brought some blessings. We discuss how to find ways of being grateful during this time. It really does lift your mood.

How Did you find your purpose?

It seems a lot of us struggle to find purpose as we are aging.

For Stephanie, it was trial and error. There’s usually that thing in your life that keeps circling back around and were’ so good at ignoring it. Sometimes I think that if my purpose was right in front of me, I would probably trip over it. It’s that close to us all the time. It’s not really a big treasure hunt. 

Stephanie Raffelock is a graduate of Naropa University’s program in Writing and Poetics, who has penned articles for numerous publications. A Delightful Little Book on Aging, her first book with She Writes Press, will be released in the spring of 2020. She is the host of Coffee Table Wisdom, a podcast that is a revolution in positive aging. A recent transplant to Austin, Texas she enjoys life with her husband, Dean, and their Labrador retriever, Jeter (yes, named after the great Yankee shortstop).

Her website is https://stephanieraffelock.com/

A Delightful Little Book on Aging can be found on Indie Bound, Amazon, or Barnes and Nobel

Mentioned in this Episode:


Train with Joan


This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on https://www.RockYourRetirement.com

COVID-19 and Creative Things to do at Home


Things to do at home

Are you looking for creative things to do at home? We have compiled a list of some interesting ideas!

Whether you are hunkering down, sheltering in place, staycationing, or whatever you term our time as we are trying to be safe during COVID-19, there is something for everyone in this list.

I covered some of the positives of COVID-19 that people who have subscribed to the Rock Your Retirement Facebook group offered in a previous podcast episode. That list is still growing, which is attributed to the creativity of our listeners Thank you for all your contributions! It is great to think positively during all of this.

Zoos and Aquariums

Live streaming from Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Atlanta Zoo has a PandaCam.

Like Meerkats?  Check out the Chattanooga Zoo's webcams which also include snow-leopards, tamarins, and spotted genets.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium‘s Mission is to Rescue Rehab and Release.  Watch them live.

Like Eagles? Check out National Eagle Center Eagle Watch Cam or Duke Farms Eagle Nest Cam

Another great place to view animals is Explore.org (fair warning, you'll have trouble choosing which cam to follow)

These four UK Zoos (Paignton Zoo) (Edinburgh Zoo) (Dublin Zoo) and (Marwell Zoo) might have active animals when your local zoo cam doesn't.

The Georgia Aquarium even has a Beluga Whale Cam

The Houston Zoo has several cams, including leafeater ants.

The Kansas City Zoo has Orangutans, Penguins, Otters, and Giraffes.

Liberty Science Center has a Tam Cam and a Naked Mole Rat Cam

National Aquarium in Washington

National Aquarium in Baltimore

Reid Park Zoo has Lions, Lemurs, Grizzly Bears, Giraffe, and Elephant Cams

Watch live and archived videos of Baboons, Penguins, Pandas, Polar Bears, Koalas, Giraffes, Owls, Tigers, and Condors from the San Diego Zoo

The Vancouver Aquarium has Otter, Jelly Fish, and Penguin Cams

Choose which live webcam you want to visit at the Wolf Conservation Center

National Parks

A virtual walking tour of five National Parks Including Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah

Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico

Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida

Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska

National Park Service Virtual Tours via NPS search

Yosemite's virtual tour is almost like being there

Theme Parks and Attractions

Virtual roaming of Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Go for a virtual ride on a rollercoaster. YouTube is filled with rollercoaster ride recordings that let users envision themselves on attractions at Disney resorts, from the Incredicoaster at Disney's California Adventure park to the “Frozen” Ever After ride at Walt Disney World.

Go on a virtual reality experience of NASA's Space Center in Houston using NASA's free Space Center Houston app

Tour NASA's Hubble Mission Operations

A virtual tour of Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland

Are you a Royal follower? Don't miss this virtual tour of Buckingham Palace

Take a virtual tour of the geological landmark of the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Take clear views of renowned spots around the world like the Taj Mahal in New Delhi, IndiaEiffel Tower, and the Sydney Opera House, all while not actually traveling

Take a virtual stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens in London using Google's Street View feature

Virtually explore the Salvador Dali Museum

Sign up for a virtual tour of Israel:  Facebook group Thursday night for taking virtual tours of Israel with licensed guides via Zoom video-conferencing software.

​​​​​​​Theaters Music and Opera

Pink Floyd and many others offer weekly live concerts during Covid-19 at Hennemusic

The Kennedy Center has recorded performances on their Digital Stage

A digital tour of some of the most beautiful theaters in the world can be found by visiting 11 Dramatic Virtual Tours of Stages Around The World

Metropolitan Opera House streaming operas at 7:30 PM EST every night they are closed- The recordings will be available on the Met Opera homepage for 20 hours after they're streamed at night.

15 Broadway Plays and Musicals you can watch from Home

Living Room Concerts:https://www.broadwayworld.com/topic/LIVING-ROOM-CONCERTS

Free lectures and concerts from the 92nd Street Y

You can watch both recorded performances and live streams at the Chamber Music Society


Do you enjoy learning from the comfort of your home? Below are some free and low-cost ideas!

 Free online educational seminars/classes from Ivy League schools – Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale.  Educational Seminars

‘The Science of Well Being’: Yale’s most popular class ever will be available online  HERE

Chabad Jewish Knowledge Classes: https://www.chabad.org/multimedia/video_cdo/aid/2530155/jewish/Courses.htm

Free lectures and concerts from the 92nd Street Y

Stand With Us (Jewish) Webinars and Virtual Tours:  https://www.standwithus.com/connect

J Street on-line (Jewish) programming: https://jstreet.org/j-stream/#.Xnphcy2ZP-Z

Yale course: Discover Happiness

Free Code Camp has over 450 Ivy League Courses you can take right now.

Low Cost and Free Courses on Coursera


Start with the Guggenheim Museum's virtual tour of all of its galleries through its Street View feature.

See several 360-degree exhibits from the National Museum of Natural History in D.C.

Enjoy an interactive tour of the British Museum in London

Love Van Gogh as much as I do?  Check out the virtual tour of the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.  It holds the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters.

Speaking of Van Gogh, when Les and I were in Los Angeles we visited the J. Paul Getty Museum.  We couldn't get to everything so we'll probably check out the virtual tour for the “Getty” as it's called in L.A.  They have a couple of his pieces there that I was able to get close to.

MoMA offers a virtual walkthrough of one of the Exhibits and select photos of permanent exhibits.

Metropolitan Museum of Art offers videos of the buildings.

You can take a virtual tour of the courtyards of the Picasso Museum

360-degree tour of The Louvre as well as a few virtual exhibit tours. A separate site, YouVisit, has a realistic 360-degree tour of several parts of the Paris museum.

The Acropolis Museum has digitized many of its ancient artifacts, from statues to marble murals. Virtual visitors can also take in panoramic views of Athens via the Street View feature.

Visit several exhibits from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

A less well-known gallery called Uffizi Gallery in Florence, houses Italy's most famous family, the de'Medicis, art. The building was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 specifically for Cosimo I de'Medici.

Can't make it to Brazil?  That's Ok because you can visit the Museu de Arte de São Paulo virtually.  It's their first modern museum. Artworks placed on clear perspex frames make it seem like the artwork is hovering in midair.

The KunstKammer Museum in Vienna with its display of automatons.

National Museum of the US Airforce Virtual Tour

Love learning about our distant past?  Check out the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. There are 23 exhibit rooms filled with ancient artifacts, including some from the Mayan civilization.

National Aviation Museum virtual tour

National Gallery of Art:  Fashioning a Nation

National Gallery of Art:  Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting

Tour the Musée d’Orsay in Paris

One of Korea’s most popular museums, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, can be accessed as you go through six floors of Contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe

As one of Germany’s largest museums, Pergamon is home to plenty of ancient artifacts including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and, of course, the Pergamon Altar.

Explore the masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

George Washington's Mount Vernon is a US treasure. See it virtually.  Choose which doors to go through and where to “walk”.

Jefferson's Monticello also has virtual tours not to be missed!

The Smithsonian has several virtual tours that you can go on including the Crypt, the Library, and several gardens.

There is always the Air and Space Museum.

YouVisit has hundreds of tours of college campuses, weddings, hotels, and more.


Reading  https://bookriot.com/2016/09/15/11-websites-find-free-audiobooks-online/


Volunteering- things such as taking towels to a shelter, donating blood, etc.


Zoom Book Club



Creating Jewelry


Vegging Out

Netflix: Tiger King, Frankie & Grace


Eating too much (I wouldn't recommend doing this regularly though)

Calling the children

Zoom cocktail hour or Zoom with family https://zoom.us/

Exercise and Sports


Dancing via YouTube instructionCreative things to do at home





DownDog Yoga App has a free trial

YMCA360 offers free video classes

Get Healthy University (low cost – not free)  offers over 150 workouts (not aerobics) for $59 a year.  You can get more classes plus live classes if you upgrade to the Gold level for $159 per year.

Beach Body On Demand offers over 1100 classes for $95 per year. Use coach number 1033746 for Andrea O'Shea who is awesome.  If you want to try the weight loss shakes, get the $160 pack and it includes a month of shakes.

Sports Movies to watch

Classic and Replays of many sports

Chores and Household Items

Cleaning closets and drawers


Looking for toilet paper (we just had to)

Painting (household)

Doing Taxes

Organizing financial information

Also, here is a link to the RV Share site I was talking about: www.RockYourRetirement.com/RVShare

Do you have any tips or ideas about creative things to do at home? Let us know what they are in the comments below! We would love to hear them!

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on https://RockYourRetirement.com

COVID-19: Tips on How to Save Money-Ep. 226

Kathe talks about how to save money on the TalkOneRadio showHow to save money during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Today I am running an interview where I was the guest on the TalkOne Radio Show. The host of the show is Alan Flowers and there is also a co-host named Skip.

This is a live local radio show but my husband and editor, Les, always works his magic to make me sound as good as possible so he did some light editing.

I was invited to talk about how to save money in today's times of trouble. As we all know COVID-19 has disrupted our lives and caused turmoil in many ways including financially. I have mentioned many times that we try to steer clear of discussing money on this show. However, I thought during this time, it might be beneficial and informative for my audience.

Even if we are financially set because of a pension, social security, or investments, these are troubling times. Almost everyone I know has been impacted financially at least to some extent. The stock market has plunged and many people who may not currently be feeling the effects of the weakened economy will very likely see some negative consequences in the future.

At the time of this recording, the state where I live, South Carolina, has over 275,000 people who have lost their jobs. The estimated job loss for the entire United States is between 16 and 20 million right now.

I wanted to inform people on how to save because my intention isn't to scare people but to educate and prepare people.  

Some of the cost-saving tips we talked about on the show are:

  1. Cell Phone Bill – I have managed to save over $100 a month on my phone bill! Learn how to save big bucks on this expense
  2. Cable Bill- Consider giving up cable and using streaming services
  3. Go to the Library- Your local library isn't just books anymore. You can get audiobooks, videos, and many other things! (For FREE)
  4. Three (or more) isn't a crowd- Consider getting a roommate or moving in with family as a way to save money on living expenses

I hope you enjoy this episode on how to save money.

Do you have any ideas on how to save money? Feel free to comment below! Let's share our ideas!

Mentioned in this episode




Republic Wireless


This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on https://www.RockYourRetirement.com

How to Find a Part-Time Job in Retirement: Tips for Seniors


Working part-time is a great way for seniors to stretch their retirement savings and boost their quality of life in retirement, but many seniors feel like they have few options for well-paid, fulfilling work. While getting hired after 65 does pose its challenges, there are more options than ever for older adults who want to stay in the workforce.

The Best Companies for Senior Citizens

These companies have a reputation for being great for older workers:

  • Starbucks: As one of few companies offering benefits including life and health insurance, a 401(k), and dental and vision plans to part-time employees, Starbucks is one of the best companies for seniors who want to work part-time.
  • REI: Outdoorsy seniors will love working at REI, where they can opt into long-term-care coverage in addition to receiving low-cost health and life insurance and retirement contributions while averaging 20 or more hours per week.
  • Trader Joe’s: While Trader Joe’s doesn’t offer health coverage to part-time employees, it does have awesome perks like dental and vision coverage, retirement benefits, the ability to set your own schedule, and 10% off groceries.
  • Staples: Staples only requires part-time employees to work 15 hours a week to be eligible for benefits that include a 401(k) plan and flexible dental and vision coverage.
  • Lowe’s: Lowe’s offers low-cost health insurance with no annual deductible to part-time employees, making this employer a great pick for seniors looking to keep their healthcare costs low. You’ll also get vision and dental coverage when you get a part-time job at Lowe’s.

Freelancing: A Flexible Solution to Part-Time Employment

While freelancing won’t come with benefits, it’s a smart call for seniors who want to continue their professional career in a part-time capacity or try their hand at a new skill. Freelancing offers greater earning potential than most part-time jobs along with the ability to set your own schedule and workload. As a freelancer, seniors are also free to take time off as they wish, making it the ideal job for retirees with a lengthy travel bucket list.

Better yet, many freelance jobs are remote, allowing seniors to work from the comfort and convenience of home. Job sites like Upwork can be a great resource for seniors with skills to share. Whether you’re seeking a job in sales, accounting, customer service, or even as an Upwork virtual assistant, there are plenty of telecommuting-friendly job opportunities. And since many freelance job boards have apps too, you can apply for gigs whether you’re at home or on the go.

Entrepreneurship for Seniors

Some seniors simply don’t want to work for anyone else, even if it’s as a freelancer. If you like the idea of being your own boss, consider starting a home-based business. Home-based businesses are a good pick for seniors because they have lower start-up costs than traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, so there’s no need to tap a 401(k) or IRA for startup funding. However, starting any business — even at home — requires certain legal steps before you can operate.

Good home-based businesses for seniors to start include:

  • Consulting
  • Childcare and pet care
  • Housekeeping
  • Making handmade goods and cottage foods
  • E-commerce
  • Tutoring or teaching ESL
  • Copyediting, freelance writing, or blogging

While retirement typically means living on a fixed income, there’s no rule that says seniors can’t keep working once they hit 65. In fact, more older adults are staying in the workforce today than ever before. Whether you want to boost your income and access employee benefits or simply want a way to stay busy in your retirement years, give one of these great jobs for seniors a try!

Image via Unsplash

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.

Why Elderly Parents Get Scammed – Episode 164

Kathe and Ted Carr talk about why elderly parents get scammedTed Carr will be my co-host for this podcast. The last time he was here, he gave us a great insight on the 6 Stages of Retirement.

In this episode of our show, we will talk about why elderly parents are getting scammed. We have an aging population and it's usually common for them to be targets of scams.

Scammers target the elderly, as they are willing to listen, maybe lonely, and are more trusting than younger individuals.

Scamming is a Problem

Scamming is considered the crime of the 21st century. It's hard for us to know which is legit or not. Scams target people of all backgrounds, ages and income levels across continents.

All of us may be victimized at some point in time. There's no one group of people who are more likely to be scammed.

Why Are Elderly Parents Being Scammed?

Seniors are being scammed because they have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts. They also are difficult to prosecute and often go unreported, especially when there are no relatives around, so they are not considered high-risk crimes. However, they’re disastrous to many older adults and can leave them in a very risky position with little time to recoup their losses.

These Fraudsters Come in Different Forms

Nowadays, getting scammed doesn't just happen on phone calls, they are also presently using Facebook when it comes to scamming people. My mom was victimized by a fraudster. Even my husband Les gets phone calls from scammers every day.

Scammers even use throw away phone numbers or spoof the number. I get calls where it looks like they're calling from in town but actually, they're not. So, if you see something suspicious just hang up or let it roll to voicemail.

Lottery, Passion, and Personality

Lottery scams are one that many are familiar with, and it capitalizes on the notion that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Also, many elderly always fall for scammers of passion. There was this article from the New York Times about an 84-year-old man marrying a 38-year-old woman which ended up with her scamming him of millions.

And if you are a type A personality makes you susceptible to these scammers, coupled with a loss of house, retirement or change in housing makes you more vulnerable.

Scammed? It's a JobWhy Elderly People Get Scammed

Scammers don't care on who they are scamming, they tend to be cold-hearted calculating individuals.

There are documentaries that show that they make scamming somewhat of a job.

They go to work, work for 8 hours, and are given a list on who to scam. It's like a call center for scammers.

Protect Yourself

One of the best ways to protect your loved ones against fraud is to talk to them openly about some of the most popular scams, so they’re aware of what’s out there.

Sometimes you become the villain when rationalizing but try reasoning out to them and explain that what those scammers are saying is not real.

Below are also some measures you can do to prevent someone from scamming you love ones:

  • Set up daily contact with your loved ones when you can check them every day.
  • Streamline social media that they have.
  • Ensure that the fraud detection technologies are enabled.
  • Shred important documents.
  • Contact marketing associates to opt-out.
  • Check their credit reports.

But when you are in the crisis. Try these methods:

  • Try to change their phone number.
  • Contact the police if they know where you live. Get the police involve.
  • Talk to an elder law attorney. Set out a trust.
  • Figure out how to replace what the scammer is providing.
  • Go to AARP Fraud Fighter Call Center

In conclusion, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk about it with someone you trust. You are not alone, and there are people who can help.

Stay driven, help your parents protect their assets and ensure their retirement years truly are golden.

This podcast episode covers most of the scams that target seniors, but it always helps to be aware of anyone and anything trying to get money or personal information out of you. Be safe and aware.

The website mentioned in this episode: AARP Fraud Fighter Call Center

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

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