Developing Creativity in Retirement: Episode 128

developing creativityI brought Karen Poirer-Brode on the show to not only talk about scrapbooking, but about developing creativity. After retirement, Karen launched a podcast called A Creative Approach Podcast. She shares stories of people who used creativity to their own advantage and worked through challenges with a creative approach. Karen loves storytelling and uses it as an art and way to connect. In addition, Karen also has a blog called Karen’s Corner of The Web. She also spends time volunteering and working as a Scrapbooker.

On Today’s Show we discuss:

  • Karen’s love for scrapbooking, art and photography
  • The spiritual impact of art
  • Scrapbook crops
  • Developing creativity 
  • Family memories around crafting activities
  • How scrapbooking relates to the 6 pillars of retirement

Developing creativity through scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is Karen's way of making stories. She does digital scrapbooking and traditional scrapbooking. Karen's teacher discouraged her from art when she was little and she wouldn't discover that she has a passion for art if it weren't for scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is one of the ways in developing creativity. You can take a photo and tell stories about it in fun ways.

Karen also gives scrapbooks to her family and friends occasionally. There are also groups in scrapbooking and Karen belongs to the creative department. People from different parts of the world get together via webinar and they make scrapbooks together. What a great way to make friends! In addition, you may use scrapbooking to document your travels so you remember the happy memories you experienced.

Scrapbooking is a fun thing to do with your grandkids and a way to connect

Karen shares a story about her childhood and what her mom used to do. Do you remember when you were little and it was raining outside so you had to stay in? Her mom would take out pictures and they would tell stories about them. Karen says it is a great way to have fun with your children and grandchildren even today!

What is a scrapbook crop?

These are events where two or more scrapbookers gather to work in a social circle on their books, cards or other projects. It came from the word “Crop” which means cutting out a part of a picture. They bring all their paper and embellishments. Others bring their digital crops. They bring their laptops and they make scrapbooks together.

Karen Poirer Brode was born in the Canadian Prairie. She lived in Canada until she finished medical school in Montreal. She then became a physician, specializing in OBGYN. After marrying and having a family, she moved to California, where she is today.

One of the websites that offer digital scrapbooking is Get it Scrapped

Connect with Karen



Do you have any ideas for developing creativity? What hobbies mean the most to you? Feel free to share in the comments below

How Seasonal Jobs can help you Rock your Retirement: Ep. 121

seasonal jobsHow can Seasonal Jobs help you Rock your Retirement?

Kelcy Fowler and Matt Moore are the new owners of CoolWorks.com. What is CoolWorks? CoolWorks has been a leader in connecting people seeking meaningful and exciting work with the employers who are looking for their enthusiasm. energy, and knowledge. They believe that you can and should love your job, and they want to help make that happen! They post job opportunities in great places– everything from national parks to ski resorts to retreat centers. and everything in between. Their journal profiles the exciting stories from CoolWorkers to inspire you to take that next step.

Whether you are still discovering your passion, need a seasonal career, or just feel the call to change paths, they have everything you need to help you find your next great adventure.

Let's meet the owners:

Kelcy is considered to be the Magic Wand Wielder, helping others pursue their own “grand” adventure. And Matt calls himself the Employer Wingman and Captain of Contracts. He’s got a true passion for Great Places and inspiring people from all walks to take the first step in finding their different path.

They have a resources section on their website called “Older and Bolder” which I love! The motto? “You’re more than a retiree, you’re Older and Bolder! You’ve got energy and dreams, and there are tons of opportunities out there for you.”

How does CoolWorks (seasonal jobs) work?

CoolWorks is a website where thousands of different employers across the country post their seasonal (meaning temporary jobs) and year-round job opportunities in great places. CoolWorks is completely free for the job seeker to browse and apply for jobs, you don't even need to sign up!  They also provide job seeker accounts to save searches and favorite employers and a great collection of Older and Bolder Resources.

If you are traveling and will be staying there for a while (or ever want a reason to travel somewhere wonderful and stay for a season) you can check their website and look for seasonal jobs available in the state that you're interested in. What a cool way to earn money, right? You get to enjoy the place where you are staying and at the same time, you're earning money. Win-win!

Why would someone want to go work if I am retired and don’t really need the money?

  • A lot of retired people are passionate about having new experiences and meeting new people. It's an opportunity to fill up your season with incredibly rewarding and exciting experiences and meeting lots of friends and creating lots of great relationships.

What skills do you need?

  • There are a lot of skill sets. It differs from employers but one of the most common that they are looking for in an employee is friendliness. If you are friendly or a people person, you have a higher chance of getting hired. If you aren't a people person, they have jobs for you too!

How do I apply?

  • All you have to do is visit their website, https://coolworks.com/, look for a job that you are interested in, and contact them! It's that easy.

If adventure, travel, and experiencing new places and meeting new people is anything that appeals to you, consider seasonal jobs and visit us at coolworks.com and give it a try. We believe we change lives one seasonal job at a time.

seasonal jobs

What are the advantages of having seasonal jobs:

  1. Flexible scheduling with no long-term commitment
  2. Learn something new
  3. Work in a new and unique setting
  4. Meet people and make new friends from all sorts of different backgrounds and cultures.
  5. Make some extra money
  6. Get some physical activity
  7. You get to travel

Matt and Kelcy co-wrote an eBook with Susan Shain called The Ultimate Guide to Seasonal Jobs. One cool thing about this eBook is you name your price to buy it. You can select anything from $1 up!

You can find the eBook on either of the website's listed below or by going to https://www.coolworks.com/merc/ebook/

CoolWorks website – https://www.coolworks.com/

Susan Shain – https://susanshain.com/

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

Six Pillars of Retirement Lifestyle: Episode 116

Six Pillars

Six Pillars of Retirement Lifestyle

I've been doing the Rock Your Retirement show since April 2016.  I knew when I started the show that I wanted it to be about Retirement Lifestyle. I've been thinking about retirement myself and wanted to bring my listeners along my journey by interviewing people who have something to say that relates to this retirement lifestyle or Baby Boomer Lifestyle topic.

My husband is 20 years older than myself, so of course, we are in different stages of life.  But I wanted to be able to spend more time sharing experiences now, while he's still able to enjoy them.  I was scared.

What would I do with myself?

I'm only 52 as I write this, and I am used to the hustle and bustle of working.  And honestly, I don't have to work.  The thing is, I enjoy it.  I've been self-employed for the majority of my life, and enjoy the structure of working.  I don't enjoy a “boss” telling me what to do.  In fact, a two year period I tried leaving my business and working for someone else.  I failed miserably.

The good news is that I hadn't left my business completely, and when I came back it was there, along with my clients who hadn't left in my absence.  Of course, I was never really 100% gone.

Now I'm busy because although I did semi-retire from that business, giving up my license to sell securities, I still have about 30 beloved clients that I work with.  I don't know if I'll ever give that up.  As long as those clients want to work with me, I'll continue holding their hands through their financial retirement.

But I wasn't satisfied with just helping those 30, although I didn't want to take on any more clients in that industry.  So I started a new project.

That project was supposed to just keep me busy between October and December of every year, but it's really turned into more of a full-time job.  I DO enjoy it.  But I wish I could afford more help so that it didn't feel like a job to me.  It doesn't pay as well as my old business because it's new.

So why do I do it?

That's a good question.  We don't need the money.  I've done plan after plan for my husband and I, and the numbers always work out the same. We are fine.

Even when the stock market drops… we are still fine.

I think the reason why I keep doing it is that it fills a need in me, so as long as it does this, I'll keep going.  Occasionally I think about just saying, “That's it, I'm done!” and just put my business on autopilot and walk away.  But it's usually after a particularly difficult situation that was brought on by the client.  I don't get many of them because I seem to attract really great clients, but every now and then, someone enters my life that I'd rather not deal with.  Often I refer them to work with someone else, but sometimes it takes a while for them to leave, and they cause stress for my staff and me.

So what is it?

I've been thinking of this over time.  I think it's because there are six pillars of retirement lifestyle, baby boomer lifestyle really, and work for me is one of those pillars.  Sometimes we have a “pillar” that might be out of whack, and for me, I think it's work.  My work pillar has been taking up more space, and I'd like to work on the other five pillars.

What are the Six Pillars of Retirement Lifestyle?


  • Spiritual

Whether you consider yourself an atheist, a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or whatever, I believe that you have a spirit.  A soul.  Something that makes you different from the person sitting next to you.

There is an essence that is you.  You are connected to others through this essence.  I happen to believe in God and Jesus and every day I try to live in a way that is congruent to the way I believe. 

When we act differently from what we say we believe, we run into trouble.  My goal is not to convert you here, but to help you understand why you need to consider the spiritual side of you.  For me, that means attending my church and working on my crap.  I know that I'm not perfect, by anyone's standards, but I try to move towards that just a tiny bit each day.  And it's the striving that brings me closer to God.

For you, it might mean meditating instead of praying.  For you, it might mean reading your honored book and trying to understand it.  For you, it might mean communing with nature.  Clearing your mind of the stuff that clutters it.

But everyone has a spiritual side, and if you expand it, you will have a greater likelihood of thriving.

If you act differently from your beliefs, you will find that your stress level has gone up and I believe that stress can cause illness.

So yes, I believe that the spiritual side of you shouldn't be ignored in retirement.

  • Significant Other

    I understand that not everyone is in a relationship. I happen to be married.  Most, but not all, people I know would prefer to be in a 1:1 relationship with someone.  We are designed, programmed, genetically to be in a relationship.

    Being married (Waite 1995), having children (Denney 2010), and ties to religious organizations (Musick, House, and Williams 2004) have all been linked to positive health behaviors.

    Being in a good marriage can also improve our health.

    The quality of our relationships matters. For example, one study found that midlife women who were in highly satisfying marriages and marital-type relationships had a lower risk for cardiovascular disease compared with those in less satisfying marriages.

    Studies have also shown that being in a committed relationship can help you live longer.

    Dan Buettners Blue Zones research calculates that committing to a life partner can add 3 years to life expectancy (Researchers Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler have found that mens life expectancy benefits from marriage more than womens do.)

    So learning how to either keep that relationship strong or find a nurture a relationship if we don't have one is also an integral part of the retirement lifestyle.

    If we are in a relationship, it might change after we retire.  We have to understand that, and work toward being flexible and understanding of that, while also learning how to speak up for our needs that have changed, or aren't being met.

    One Psychologist developed a model that shows whether you will divorce during the “empty nest” syndrome that so many of us enter when our kids leave for college.

    John Gottman, a psychologist emeritus at the University of Washington, developed a model to predict which newlywed couples will remain married and which will divorce, a method that he claims is 90 percent accurate. He found that most divorces happen at critical points after a couple unites. The first period occurs after seven years, when pairs tend to feel the strain of their relationship (does the Seven Year Itch ring a bell?). After 20 years, couples may encounter empty nest syndrome”—a lonely feeling that can take over when children leave home, causing a rift in the marital bond.

    If we don't have a relationship and want one, we have to understand that finding a relationship when we are older isn't the same as finding one when we were in our 20s, 30s, or even 40s.  It's different.  WE are different.


  • Friendship

Along the lines of Significant Other, it's also important to have friendships.  When we are working, many times we form friendships that involve our work relationships.  After all, we are with these people for the majority of our waking day.  When we retire, often our work friends are still working, so they can't just take off time to have coffee or see a movie in the middle of the day.

And just like having a strong marriage can affect your health, so can having friendships.

One study, which examined data from more than 309,000 people, found that lack of strong relationships increased the risk of premature death from all causes by 50% an effect on mortality risk roughly comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, and greater than obesity and physical inactivity.

Another study showed that we can handle stress a lot easier when we have strong relationships.

In a study of over 100 people, researchers found that people who completed a stressful task experienced a faster recovery when they were reminded of people with whom they had strong relationships.

We know that we need friends, but how do we go about getting them?  When we were kids, we naturally formed friendships at school.  We saw these kids for 6 hours a day, and maybe more if we had after-school activities.  We found things in common.

In retirement, we probably aren't spending 6-9 hours with someone.  The question is, how do we form friendships after we retire?

Especially if we move, which is often the case.

This is something that I'd like to address more on the Rock Your Retirement show.  We each have opportunities to meet people, talk with them, and then follow up with a coffee or lunch to cement that relationship.  But often we don't do it.  We say, “Let's do Lunch!” and then never follow up.  We mean to, but we don't do it for one reason or another.

The cool thing is that if you do increase your circle of friends, it can help your feeling of well-being more than increasing your cash!

A survey by the National Bureau of Economic Research of 5,000 people found that doubling your group of friends has the same effect on your wellbeing as a 50% increase in income!

In retirement, it's even more important to form these bonds and nurture them.  We are going to need that support later on.

  • Work/Volunteer

Just because you are thinking about, or already retired, doesn't mean that you can't be productive.  Or maybe you do want to work for pay, but just not full time.  Sometimes you can work, get paid, and have new experiences that help you have a great retirement lifestyle.

One example is working seasonal jobs to have experiences.  For instance, becoming a host at a National Park is one of these options.  You might stay in your RV, and help keep the park clean, or answer guests questions.  You'll get to stay for free and have that experience that you might not have had otherwise.

Or work on a dude ranch.  Get paid.  Stay free. Eat free.  And meet lots of wonderful people for a summer.

Or perhaps you have an expertise that no one else has.  You could, like my husband, be an expert witness.  These jobs pay really well by the hour, but come along occasionally so you don't have to feel like you are in a full-time job.

Many people don't want to work for pay, but would rather volunteer their time.  We've had numerous episodes on volunteer work and how to figure out what yours might be.

The key is that you have options.

Your “work” passion might be a hobby.  You might not want to go to the senior center 3 days a week because you are working on making quilts for all of your 17 grandchildren.  That's OK too.

It might even mean creating a podcast on a topic you are passionate about!

The main thing is to have something to do that gives you a sense of purpose.  We don't lose that wanting to have a purpose just because we retire.


  • Health

If you are a regular listener to the Rock Your Retirement show you probably already know that Health is a big issue in my personal life.  My husband has stage 4 cancer, and when we found out, he had to make a decision about whether or not to go forward with chemotherapy.  (He did)  Not only did he want to use modern medicine to give him a good shot at a longer life, but he also wanted to use non-traditional methods of staying healthy such as supplements and changing his diet.  You can read about what he's done at http://LesHasCancer.com

It's not just disease we need to be concerned with though, it's our general health.  I personally have a problem with not moving enough.  Although my weight isn't critical, I could lose 10 pounds to be at a healthier weight.  So I struggle with these issues too.

In addition to our own health, our parent's health might be on our mind as well.  Although we can't control what our parents do, we can be aware of health issues and be prepared (as well as possible) for them.  We will never really be prepared for our mom or dad getting dementia, but we can be prepared by at least knowing that a urinary tract infection could cause dementia-like symptoms.  This was super surprising to me!

There are changes we can make each day that can slow the spread of disease and the degradation of our bodies.  For example, parking further away from the grocery store is a step in that direction.

I added health as a pillar because frankly if you're sick, nothing else really matters, right?

  • Family

    I added this separately from significant other because a lot of us have issues with family that we don't have with our spouse or other loved ones.

    In family, I include parents, siblings, children, and any other family members that aren't our spouses that you want to include.

    Many of us have past hurts from family members that are difficult to let go.  I'm not perfect here either.  I have some relationships that need fixing. It doesn't matter that I don't think it was my fault!

    It's easy to get involved in our own lives and not reach out to family members.  Personally, I'm going to try to actually put it on my calendar to reach out weekly to my family to strengthen those bonds.

    You might be fantastic in this area. If that's you, then great!  You have one of the 6 pillars already handled.


Each of us will have different pillars of retirement lifestyle that we need to work on.

You might have the Significant Other or the Family pillar handled.  But your weight might be out of control, or you might be struggling to give up smoking.

My goal for 2018 is to break the Rock Your Retirement episodes into these six pillars so that we can go on this journey together.  Together we'll learn what we need to know, or just be inspired by someone else's story.

That's what I'm looking to do this year, and I hope you'll come along for the journey.

If you haven't already subscribed to the show, go ahead and do that now.

And if you don't know how to subscribe, go to RockYourRetirement.com/subscribe

I'll see you next time, on Rock Your Retirement!


Signs of Urinary Tract Infection: Dementia! Episode 111

prevent a uti

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:

  • Delirium
  • Hallucination
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

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.


You may visit Uqora by clicking HERE

Jenna Ryan will give you a 15% discount when you purchase Uqora using the code “Rockit15”

Jenna's contact information:Jenna@uqora.com

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

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

Your hobby can help you in your Retirement: Episode 108

Your hobby can help you in your Retirement

Kim Jamieson-Hirst is a YouTube superstar and a pretty big deal in the quilting world! I brought her on the show to not only talk about her hobby of quilting but how ANY hobby can help you in your retirement. Kim is the owner of Chatterbox Quilts in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She started quilting more than a decade ago and initially thought it was boring. But after her friends encouraged her to try and enroll in a quilting course, she became addicted and started her business in 2008. Her designs and articles have been featured in Quilter’s Connection magazine, Irish Quilting, The Country Register, and Bustle & Sew ezine.

Kim is the creator of Unloved and Unappreciated: Finding the Hidden Value in Vintage Sewing Machines and is currently working on more online courses to help quilters reclaim their joy in the craft.

If you think quilting isn't for you or might “boring”, think again! We talked about the various kinds of equipment used as well as the different kinds of quilts there are. It's quite fascinating! You will also discover during this interview, that I know absolutely nothing about quilting!

We also discussed her YouTube channel called Chatterboxquilts. It teaches her followers how to quilt, how to use machines for quilting, and so much more! She's also a blogger, and Kim also works part-time at a French immersion elementary school. Busy lady! What started her project is her passion to share her knowledge with other quilters so that they could enjoy their craft more. Just like our previous guest, Ellen Williamson, Kim's quilting is more of a “jobby”.

Kim goes into greater detail in her freebie, but her tips for reclaiming joy in your hobby are:

  • Join groups that have the same hobby as you!
    • Exchanging ideas and earning more friends that have the same hobby as you will help you a lot.
  • Don't compare yourself to others.
    • Everyone is unique. You may be good at quilting and not at woodworking.
  • Give yourself permission to stop working on a project.
    • Sometimes, you might feel like you're not enjoying what you are doing anymore. It's okay to stop. Time is too short to work on things that you're no longer enjoying.
  • Don't feel guilty about the time you spent in working on your hobby.
    • You can't buy happiness. If you love what you are doing, just keep on doing it! Also, hobbies are good for your mental and emotional health.
  • Stop, but don't quit!
    • You might feel that you're not having fun on what you're doing. Take a break.

If you would like to download, 5 Steps to Reclaiming the Joy in your Hobby, it can be found at http://RockYourRetirement.com/Hobby

Kim's contact information is: Email: kim@chatterboxquilts.com * Website: www.chatterboxquilts.com

It doesn't matter whether you enjoy quilting, sports, cars, or even steam trains, it is important to find a hobby (or several) as your hobby can help you in your retirement. What is your hobby? Share it with us in the notes below.

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

Caring for someone with Dementia: Episode 102

Rick Topete on caring for someone with dementia

Caring for someone (especially our loved one) with Dementia can be challenging.

Rick Topete is with us today to give us advice on how to take care of someone with Dementia. Rick's passion with seniors began way back when he was in high school.

He studied at St. Bernard High School where they visit local Senior Centers in Los Angeles. During his visit to Senior Centers, they would play cards, listen to old-time music, hear their great stories, put a smile on their face and let them know they mattered. In 2011, he had an opportunity at Silverado Care. Within the first year of taking the job, his Aunt was diagnosed with early onset of Dementia that made it “real” and really centered him on what this disease is.

Rick gives us some tips on how to take care of someone with Dementia.

  • Keep the tone of your voice pleasant and soft.
    • Sometimes, the noise can have an effect on someone with dementia.
  • Gentle eye contact
  • Stay away from negative words
  • Change topic if needed
  • Give simple choices
    • Example, would you like to wear the red sweater or the blue sweater?
  • Know their passion and help them use and maintain the remaining strength they have today.
    • Celebrate their abilities and not focus on their limitation
  • If a loved one has passed, be in the moment with them

Rick tells us it's all about understanding what their passion is, what's their past job, hobbies, etc. Once you get to know them better, you can use it to help them feel important. If you knew someone with Dementia and you know that he or she likes gardening, have him or her do gardening (with supervision, of course). It's all about not making them feel that they have a disease or that they are useless. What's important is that we make them feel that they matter, that they have a purpose.

“Give them the opportunity to live, understand what's in their heart, understand what's important to them.”

Even though the disease may be there it doesn't mean they can't live and still have that social involvement in living

each day.

Below are some links to support activities for Seniors, especially those with a Dementia diagnosis.

If you would like to contact Rick his phone number is 760-215-5517

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

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