This episode is from the vault and was first released January 15, 2018.
This might be a hard question for some people, but let's face it, what does your retirement life look like?
Steve Cousins is one of our listeners. (Hi Steve!) After graduating from college Steve joined an oil company at a refinery in Arkansas where he worked as an engineer, manager and eventually as the VP and General Manager. He stayed with the same company for his entire career and remained at the same location.
Last year Steve retired upon turning 60 and immediately stepped into a retirement career designed to be part-time, low stress and lots of fun. After a year, the plan is working great! I wanted to discuss with him his choice in a “semi-retirement”.
“You Shouldn't run away from something, you have to run towards something.”
Steve always thought he would be working until he was 70 or later because he really enjoyed his job. The last few years, things changed he did not enjoy it very much, but he hung on because frankly, he was afraid of retirement. There were several reasons he was afraid of retirement and I think a lot of people can relate.
Steve thought if he was leaving work because he didn't enjoy it anymore that didn't necessarily mean he would enjoy retirement either.
He also looked at the compensation he was getting from work and it was painful for him to walk away from that after working so hard to get to that point in his career.
His job was his identity, and he didn't want to lose that
Working to feel useful and productive in your retirement life
Even before retiring from his job, Steve decided what he wanted his retirement life to look like. He wanted to feel useful and productive. He started his side gigs which are pretty cool!
Expert Witness Work
Trade Association representation
Side gigs or semi-retirement not for you? Steve says, focus on volunteer work. He has a ton of volunteer positions! (As we tend to hear a lot, he is just as busy if not even busier than when he was working) His volunteer work includes:
Chair the Board of Trustees for the local community college
Local Hospital Clinic that helps people who are uninsured or underinsured
State and local Chamber of Commerce
State University mentoring students
On the board of a local group called 50 for the future, where they solve problems in the city
It's not all work for Steve. He also spends time with his wife. They enjoy doing a lot of things together like running, hiking, off-road riding, discovering hidden waterfalls, and many more activities. Now that they are retired, they can spend a lot more time together but still spend time doing their own things.
Steve's advice from one listener of the show to another:
You should marry someone better than yourself and invest a lot of time in your relationship because if everything else went away and you still have each other, you will still be fine.
Widen your horizon's. Don't just do your job, volunteer to do other things. Reach outside of your comfort zone and practice public speaking because it helps boost your confidence. What great advice Steve!
Did you plan your retirement life? How did you do it? Leave a comment below and let us know!
Aging consciously is aging with intention, aging with a sense of purpose and aging with a with a real commitment to grow into becoming one of the very best in this third stage or third chapter of life that Ron often calls “elderhood”. Ron thinks you could contrast aging consciously with this kind of drifting into getting old. Believing that with retirement or with retirement age, the best years are behind you. Your years of contribution and making a difference are behind you. Believing that it's kind of a matter of hanging on as best one can and hope for the best.
It's incredibly enlivening. Aging consciously is supportive of the health of body, mind and spirit. If you have a real sense of purpose in aging and is intentional about moving toward that.
Ron believes that baby boomers are going to be the driving force in creating an empowering vision for aging. He thinks baby boomers are playing the lead role in helping our society see that our third chapter can be an incredible time for us as individuals.
Many of us speak about conscious aging or conscious elders but in a lot of different ways and from a lot of different quarters empowered, vision is emerging. Most of us think that people become irrelevant or marginalized after they passed retirement age. We need the wisdom and the gift of wise elders. Ron is doing his best to promote that kind of understanding. In Ron's perfect world, there would be a societal understanding that older adults have a lifetime a wealth of experience and wisdom that they can contribute. There would be an understanding that there's a responsibility that comes with getting older. And that responsibility is to continue to grow and to develop themselves so that they can serve as a model for younger people. This is for the younger people to see that growing old can be something wonderful and not something to dread.
What would a perfect world look like to Ron in regards to aging consciously and supporting our elders?
There would be a societal understanding that older adults have a lifetime a wealth of experience and wisdom that they can contribute. There would be an understanding that there's a responsibility that comes with getting older and that responsibility is to continue to grow. It would be great if younger can see that growing old can be something wonderful. It's not something to dread. It's a stage of life that can be full of fulfillment and meaning. In Ron's ideal world the role of elder is going to be reestablished.
Traditional elders around the world have made a commitment to grow and to serve. He said they make a difference until their dying day. Today, more and more people are claiming that role. In Ron's ideal world, the elder is going to be an honored role and all of us as a society is going to honor that role. When people retire, they will not see it as an opportunity to play around but they're going to see it as a chance to grow and make a difference. It might also be about developing parts of ourselves that maybe we haven't had a chance to develop prior to retirement age.
Isolation is absolutely deadly. Emotionally, physically and spiritually
Just about a year ago AARP and several other aging organizations released the results of a major study. They interviewed thousands of Americans over age 50. They found that the majority of Americans view aging as primarily defined by loss, decline, diminishment, marginalization, and isolation.
If that is the image that we're surrounded with and that we live in, then it's inevitable that many of us to some extent or other are going to have internalized a lot of those kind of beliefs.
I asked Ron what are some actionable items we can take to change this view?
Take a look at the beliefs we carry about our aging
We must have a sense of purpose and look for a reason to get up every day that is bigger than ourselves
The vital importance of Community. It is really important for us to find meaning in our community.
Aging consciously oftentimes that requires stretching beyond our comfort zones.
A little background about Ron Pevny:
Ron Pevny, M.A.,has for forty years been dedicated to assisting people in negotiating life transitions as they create lives of purpose and passion. He is Founding Director of the Center for Conscious Eldering, based in Durango, Colorado. It is dedicated to supporting the development of conscious elders by offering Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats and introductory workshops at retreat centers across North America. It is for those in and approaching that period of life, sometimes called “The Third Age,” who hear the call to age consciously.
Ron is the author of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging: embrace and savor your next chapter, published in 2014 by Beyond Words/Atria Books. He is also a Certified Sage-ing® Leader and was the creator and administrator of the former twelve-organization Conscious Aging Alliance. He has served as the host/interviewer for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Transforming Aging Summits presented by The Shift Network.
Judy Gaman is our guest for today’s episode. Judy is a graduate of the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the School of Professional Studies. She is an age to perfection expert, longevity educator, author and nationally syndicated radio show host of the Staying Young Show. Judy strives to educate and inspire people. She has four books and is currently working on two more.
What is the Staying Young Show?
Judy show is called “Staying Young” and it started when a radio station called her and said that they're closing. They asked her if she would like to take over the show. She happily accepted the offer. They grew in Dallas and got another offer in North Carolina and now broadcasting in 57 stations. The Staying Young show talks about anything that relates to health or longevity.
There are so many things that we do that impact our longevity.
Even in dark times, you can find a way to turn that around for the good
The healing effect of turning a negative into a positive
Importance of sleep
The Thing Judy Learned That Surprised Her About Getting Older:
The new science we have behind longevity that we didn’t have even when we started this show.
Judy underwent DNA testing at Executive Medicine of Texas. They do executive physical tests. Many people visit them to do tests and stay there for half day. The patients will be given a map of the findings and information about the tests done.
Judy had a best friend who's 104 years old!
Judy also talks about a best friend she had who passed away when she was 104 years old. She learned a lot from her. Her friend was filled with incredible information and advice. They met when Judy was working on her book called, “Age to Perfection: How to Thrive to 100, Happy, Healthy, and Wise“. She needed resources and then realized why not just ask people who are over 100? Judy looked for people who were over 100 years old and she found her best friend. They spent a lot of time together and would have lunch every Friday. They had a blast!
Did you know?
Did you know that there are jobs that decreases your longevity? Doctors don't get enough sleep and you need at least 8 hours of sleep per day. Construction workers have a very physical job and are out in the sun all day. This can increase the chances of skin cancer. And, sports players have really low longevity because of sports-related injuries.
Jenna Ryan knows signs of urinary tract infection. She used to get them all the time.
Did you know that signs of urinary tract infection include dementia? This was a shock to me when I first found out. I mean, what does one have to do with the other?
Jenna Ryan is with us today to educate us about signs of urinary tract infections (UTI) and why she created a drink that can prevent/cure UTI.
Jenna is the CEO and co-founder of Uqora, a company dedicated to UTI prevention. Uqora has developed a “pink lemonade with a purpose” that helps women flush out UTI-causing bacteria. She created this drink mix because she herself suffered from UTI. Jenna says she doesn't want to take antibiotics because it can develop resistance.
What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.
Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than are men. Infections limited to your bladder can be painful and annoying. However, serious consequences can occur if a UTI spreads to your kidneys.
Doctors typically treat urinary tract infections with antibiotics. But you can take steps to reduce your chances of getting a UTI in the first place.
Here are some signs of urinary tract infection to watch out for:
A burning feeling when you urinate
A frequent or intense urge to urinate, even though little comes out when you do
Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen
Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine
Feeling tired or shaky
Fever or chills (a sign the infection may have reached your kidneys)
The issue with older adults is that many times they don't get the same feelings of pain or burning sensations when they urinate so their UTIs often go undiagnosed. But… then other issues can occur.
Did you know that signs of urinary tract infection can lead to misdiagnosis of Dementia?
Here are some signs of urinary tract infection that are the same as Dementia:
How to Prevent a UTI
Hydration is the key to prevent a UTI. If you're at risk of having a UTI, drink Uqora. If you're in the older generation, you have to drink it every day. Good hygiene can also prevent a UTI.
If you have signs of urinary tract infection, the Uqora might be able to help. But most importantly, be sure the speak with your doctor about the possibility of your parents having a UTI if they suddenly show signs of dementia.
We are bringing our editor (and my husband) Les, to the forefront of the Rock Your Retirement show to talk about his cancer diagnosis.
Some of you may already know, but In November of 2016 (on election day), we were hit with some devastating news. We were told that Les has stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer. This means he has prostate cancer in about 8 places in his bones. It has a been a journey of sadness, anger, fear, and yes, happiness. We thought we would share a bit of the journey with you.
So the fight begins
We decided Les would go through chemotherapy and hormone blocking. I have to be honest, I was against chemotherapy at first. We also changed our diet and it was very hard! Les LOVES his cookies and he had to give them up. It has been worth it though because we both feel like the diet change has really helped. Les also did a ton of research and discovered supplements that helped fight cancer. He started taking practically all of them. He's taking a lot of supplements!
Right now, Les is starving his cancer it and keeping it from getting testosterone which stops it from growing. Over time, the cancer will become resistant to this and that is when the risk is higher. The longer the androgen therapy works, the longer Les lives. If you looked at Les right now, you would not think he was sick. For this type of cancer, the life expectancy is about 3 1/2 years. The way things are going, we both think Les will surpass this.
Everytime Les a new ache, I am not sure if it is because of his cancer or the fact that he is 73! With the therapy, there are side effects which include:
Numbness and swelling in the feet
Losing muscle mass
Gaining weigh in the stomach
hot flashes…ladies is this sounding a little familiar?
Lack of intimacy. We thought about using tips we learned from Sue Goldstein but we haven't started that yet
Leading a less stressful life when you are fighting a disease
Support of friends and family has been instrumental in relieving stress
Mental attitude is important.
Doing the things that need to get done. Throw yourself into work or activities to take your mind of things that would cause you stress.
Declutter your house because it can be stressful having all that “stuff” around the house. Lisa Woodruff has given us lots of tips on this!
Keep your mind busy so you are not focused on how you feel
We are going to move forward with our lives and not dwell on his condition.
Still no cookies for Les. We are going to stay away from sugar because we both believe sugar feeds cancer
2018 will be spent making memories together. We are going to spend some quality time together and we are going to be traveling. Our first trip is in March and we are going to Hong Kong, Korea, then China. In August, we are going to Barcelona.
Do you want to come with on either of our trips? We can check into a group rate! If so, leave a comment below or send me an email through the website.
If you would like to read the blog Les has created about his progress you can go to www.leshascancer.com
Yes! You read that right. Religion helps you stay healthy!
What else should we discuss on Christmas Day, but religion?
Dr. Jim Brown discusses the benefits of going to church with me on this Christmas special, and they aren't all just spiritual. He is a university professor teaching Technology and Psychology (that's a weird mix…right?) and is currently the pastor of The Lake Church. Dr. Jim Brown has been a principal, superintendent, department chair at three different universities. He also served several churches and various roles from music pastor to senior pastor.
Did you know that there are benefits in the faith community to our mind, body, and spirit?
Although we still report ourselves to be a “Christian Nation”, 17% of Americans are regularly attending services (including all religions) weekly. That's about 1 in every 5 Americans go to (church/synagogue/mosque/etc.) on a regular basis. It doesn't mean that the 83% doesn't go to church at all, they just don't go on a regular basis.
Here are some of the benefits of going to church and how religion helps you stay healthy :
Churchgoers live longer and enjoy better overall health in the general population. Why is this? Does this surprise you?
According to Dr. Lynda Powell, Preventive Medicine Specialist at Rush University Medical Center, the answer may lie at least in part in the positive lifestyle choices that churches promote. Most religious organizations discourage negative habits like smoking, drugs, etc.
Frequent churchgoers are happier than those who do not attend services. Of course, there is always the exception, and right now churchgoers might have a particular reputation of being…well…judgmental or “churchie” for lack of a better word… But according to research on religion, it's true. Why is this?
We learn (over time) to accept life as it comes.
We learn (also over time) to love and accept one another. No matter what the flaws are. This can be one of the most difficult things to learn.
A support system is built in for those hard times that we all must face.
Regular attendance may increase lifespan.
Many Americans go to church because it helps them stay grounded and gives them spiritual guidance.
Tyler VanderWeele of Harvard said, “Church attendance promotes self-discipline and sense of meaning and purpose.”
Dr. Blazer, a professor of Psychiatry at Duke University said, “The one aspect that is significant of good health is religious service attendance.”
Couples who attend church services are less likely to divorce and have happier marriages than those who don't attend.