Want To Live To 100? Here’s How…

I’m not talking about wasting away your most senior years in a nursing home but keeping strong , mobile, and energized to keep rolling along during your advanced years.

It can be that way if you adjust your lifestyle in some of the ways others do on this good earth who are living longer and healthier.

So why not? Look at people living well as centenarians. This just means adjusting your lifestyle doing what they do.

Let’s look how the oldest people achieve longevity and avoid the weakness and fragility that so often comes with aging. Researchers have been studying specific elderly groups of people in different parts of the world for decades.

Places like Okinawa, Japan; the Barbagia region of Sardinia, Italy; a Seventh-Day Adventist community in Loma Linda, Calif.; and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. There are other places as well.

All the folks who live in these places live longer than in other locations. Why?

Take Okinawa, for instance, which the Japanese call “The Land of the Immortals.” These Okinawans have one of the longest average life expectancies in the world. Men live an average of 78 years and women 86 years.

The also have the longest spans without disability—on average 72.3 years for men and 77.7 for years for women.

Most important, these Okinawns have one-fifth the rate of heart disease, one-forth the rate of breast and prostate cancer and one-third the rate of dementia. They also suffer fewer strokes.

What’s the secret? These people grow their own gardens of fruits and vegetables—year around because of the mild climate. They eat fresh produce with every meal.

They also eat very little meat and small quantities of fish

They use turmeric (a powerful antioxidant) in their cooking which includes garlic, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.

Living longer is also noted on our own shores with the Seventh-Day Adventist community in California.

These people no only avoid meat, but all sources of caffeine, alcohol and stimulant spices. They also eat many vegetables and nuts of various kinds.

Consequently, studies of this population have revealed a very low incidence of all cancers, less heart disease and lower rates of diabetes.

Longevity is not only about the food these groups consume. These people thrive on strong social ties from family and community groups. Sociability is evident among all long living groups around the world.

So in addition to diet, social contacts, —often a lifetime of hard physical labor contributes of the longevity of these people.

In fact, for the Okinawans, there’s not a word for “retire”. These people continue to work until they are no longer able.

Moderate exercise is essential to prevent hip fractures and crippling leg weakness that is common among the inactive elderly in our society.

Moderate exercise that includes walking, bike riding, swimming and also weight training and resistance exercises can prevent osteoporosis and fractures so common among seniors in our society.

One overlooked factor to live longer is sweating. With AC in our homes and cars in our society, most people literally have to go out of their way to sweat. Yet, sweating removes poisons like mercury from our bodies. People living in the high zones of longevity are accustomed to sweating.

Another way to preserve your life longer is drinking plenty of water. Many people are dehydrated daily and don’t even realize it. A recent study found that if a man drinks 5 to 6 glasses of water a day it reduces his risk of a fatal heart attack by 60 to 70 percent.

Finally, the mental factor in aging has to be recognized as discovered in these global areas of long-livers.

People in our society work themselves to death persuading fame, wealth, social position, and power. One aspect many miss on the way up is happiness. Researchers have found critical factors like a religious faith, strong family bonds, close social relationships, a special time to rest daily and having a purpose in life are most important.

Many people have spent a lifetime doing damage to their bodies and their self-contentment. Some of these blog suggestions here can make a big difference in your health and longevity. It’s never too late to begin your healthiest lifestyle possible.



“Phased Retirement:” A Better Option for Your Golden Years?

Don Wilkinson, co author of ROLLOVER. link to http://www.rolloverretirementwealth.com

Golden nest eggWebster’s Dictionary is always searching America’s lexicon landscape for words or phases that are becoming popular on their way to becoming permanent. “Phased Retirement” is a term we have seen with more and more usage in recent years brought on by many factors such as a up and down economy, longer life spans and the baby boomer generation rewriting the book on retirement.

Phased retirement is a catch all term for retiring by gradually decreasing work time instead of abruptly upon reaching retirement age moving to Florida to be full time on the golf course. Your decision to phase in retirement can be on your own terms or by necessity. That is, more and more retirement age people find themselves in a no choice situation to keep working because simply they can’t afford to retire as soon as they’d hoped.

Others don’t wish to clock from 95 mph to zero in one stop. They want to gradually move into full time retirement by continuing to work part-time, do volunteer work or tackle hobbies left on the shelve during their full-time working years. Either way, if you’re considering a phased retirement you should be ready for some very different financial challenges that usually do not occur with the traditional retirement process.

Sure, the prime financial benefit of a phased retirement is that you will continue to get a paycheck, which may lessen the need to draw on your retirement savings, allowing your money to grow further.

Conversely, when you reduce work hours and salary, it could have a direct impact on your benefits at your company.

Here’s a few considerations:
• Life insurance: May be tied to a multiple of your salary
• Long-term disability insurance: Determine what affect is has if you continue working with this form of insurance
• Company health insurance: Check your company health coverage to see if reducing work hours will affect eligibility.
• Social Security: Phased in retirement could reduce benefits if you begin to collect SS before reaching retirement age and continue to work. (Each year before full retirement age is reached, the SS benefit will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over a set limit, which is $14,160 for this year.
• Pension and other retirement benefits: This is a critical area. You could be vulnerable if your company doesn’t subscribe to letting employees receive pension benefits earlier. NOTE: Federal law allows workers to take pension benefits at age 62.

Typically, pensions are formulated by an employee’s service years and salary during the final days of his/her last days of employment. You can see, by phasing in retirement, the lower salary could reduce earning additional pension benefits. It’s important to check this out with your place of employment.

What about your 401(k)? Will you still be able to participate if working hours are reduced to part-time?

You might have to be creative in long term prospects of you considering both the extra income you would be receiving as a part-time working employee either at the original company or something unrelated and the long term effects on your pension and other savings programs. Using your savings funds to increase your assets value in separate accounts or annuities might be good options as you age.

As more and more companies consider the value of phased retirement, restrictions will undoubtedly loosen up. After all, not only does this reduce the compensation packages of long-term employees but also company sponsored phased retirement programs can be used to retain skilled older employees who would otherwise retire (especially in sectors where there is a shortage of entry-level job applicants). This can reduce labor costs or arrange training of replacement employees by older workers. While currently only 5 percent of midsize and large companies offer a formal phased retirement program, nearly 60 percent expect to develop one in the next five years, according to a recent survey by Hewitt Associates.

A growing consensus exists that the nature of retirement is changing. No longer do most workers wish to experience a sudden end to work, followed by an equally sudden onset of full-time retirement. Instead, many workers wish to ease in to retirement, transitioning out of the workforce with a reduced workload.

My advice is to be alert to this accelerated trend of phased retirement and develop asset strategies to accommodate your needs if you seek this retirement lifestyle.

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Still Popping Pills Because Your Doctor Said To Take Them?

Bottle of spilled pills on black background

If you are among more than half of the nation’s population (seniors mostly), you are probably taking a prescribed medication. Very possibly, you are taking more than one…or a couple different ones daily…or so many daily you lose count. This goes not only for prescription drugs but also over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and supplements.

Nobody beats us for Pill Popping

 What this all means is Americans take more pills today than any other time in our history. No other country can match us for pill popping.

Sure, we have been handed excellent advances by the medical profession that enhances our resistance to disease and illness by taking prescription drugs.

At the same time, we see multiple prescription drugs interacting unfavorably with one another and causing our body to suffer. Not only that, but notable numbers of unnecessary drugs are handed out to patients by medical professionals because it’s the easy way to hopefully cause a respite to cure rather than examining other lifestyle external factors that could replace prescription drugs.

The medical profession hands out drugs because they have been pressured by the drug industry that medical products are a sure cure for what ails us.

Have you every counted the number of drug advertising commercials on a typical TV night compared to cars or fast food. In the ad world it’s called the “push” strategy. Prospective patients see the ads, and then ask their doctor to give the drug to them.

When Drugs Don’t Mix

What happens? Around 1.3 million people were taken to ERs in 2014 for adverse prescription drug effects. Of that large group, around 124,000 didn’t make it and died, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

What if you could eliminate one or two of your cocktail of different medications? Would it make a positive difference in your overall health picture? Make sure you are being helped and not harmed by your drug regimen.  There’s ways to do this as outlined in an excellent special report, “Too Many Meds” in Consumer Reports Magazine (Sept 2017). This major article gives you some health saving tips to empower and protect your well being.

First, get to know your pharmacist–he’s cheaper than your doctor. Utilize these two individuals that oversee your health maintenance to give you good advice on the medications you are taking.

One warning is many older seniors have more than one specialist medical doctor treating different health issues. That’s a red flag that some medications may not be known to your primary medical doctor. Here are but a few of negative drug interactions that can occur:

WARFARIN (treat and prevent blood clotting) Antidepressants (like CUMBALTA, PROZAC) Pain reliever like ASPIRIN, ADVIL AND ALEVE Internal Bleeding
LITHIUM (treat bipolar disorders) Diuretics or ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure) Tremors, slurred speech, seizures, and heart palpitations
THEOPHYLINE (treat asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease, etc) CIMETIDINE (used to treat stomach ulcers and acid reflux Seizures

 Bag Them!

Gather up all you medication containers and supplements, bag them and take them to your local pharmacist. Spread them out on the counter, and ask him/her if he notices any interaction issues with the drugs you take now. Ask him/her, as well as your doctor, if some of your drugs can be eliminated? Could dosage be reduced or another drug substituted with reduced side effects? Ask him about lifestyle changes that eliminate or scale down your medications such as a more healthy diet, an exercise routine or curbing your smoking and/or alcoholic habit.

Don’t Let the Pills Blog You down

What you learn from your personal health provider(s) may lead you to less dependency on prescriptions drugs and a “enjoy life more” you. You may even feel like getting up in the morning and enjoying the whole day with more energy and a better outlook. What’s better than that?

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Saving a Lot Or None at All for Retirement? … Where Do You Stand?

Feed Me

Does your money disappear before the end of the month? If you’re like most Americans, you are more tuned to getting the immediate bills paid vs. thinking about way out in the future.

The story here is your retirement. The vast majority of Boomers (born 1946-1964) and seasoned seniors (born before 1946) have saved very little for their retirement years. In fact, 50 per cent of total Americans have put away nothing, nada for the Golden Years.

1 in 3 Americans Have $0 Saved for Retirement

Here is the research based on a 2016 gobankingrates.com survey: 35 per cent of all U.S. adults have about several hundred dollars set aside as retirement savings. Thirty-four per cent have zero savings and about half have no retirement account savings at all.

The survey cut across three income groups: millennials (18-34), Generation Xers (34-54), and baby boomers/ seniors (55 and over) with the intention of determing how these groups are saving for retirement. The survey revealed that many people are not on track to have enough money to cover their necessary needs during retirement.

Most of our concern is the situation of baby boomers and seasoned seniors who are reaching the “tipping” point of having nonsufficient resources to have a full retirement.

The key to retirement savings success is to begin as early as you can, take advantage of any employer matches, and automatically transfer funds from your paycheck to your retirement fund so that you do not even think of that money as disposable income. Treat savings as an expense and pay yourself first.

As seniors get closer to joining the retirement club, the gap between the savers and the save-nots widens. Although a larger portion of people age 55 and over report high-balance retirement funds ($300K+), there remains a significant subgroup that has little to no retirement savings.

Among those 60 and over, about a 25 percent have sufficient retirement savings, but the other 74 percent are still behind.

What’s the problem? The answer is “Procrastination”. Concerned about the bills due today and the things you want to buy tomorrow. Before you know it, twenty or thirty years have passed in a flash. Retirement age is coming and you know you don’t have enough money to retire with the lifestyle you’re accustomed.

From our book, Rollover, here are a few things you might consider as you move from a life of accumulating wealth to a life of distributing wealth:

#1 Work Your Contributions at Work. While you’re working, maximize the contributions to your retirement plan (i.e. 401(k) etc). Go max on the amount your employer is contributing.

#2 Work Longer…Retire Later. Having income coming in gives you a leg up to continuing to put funds into your retirement account. If your company provides health insurance, so be it and stay as long as you can.

#3 Cut Expenses, BIG and Little. Move somewhere where housing and everyday expenses are lower. How about downsizing to a smaller place like a condo or apartment? No new car, keep the old one. Investing that $400 new car payment for a 5 percent return to put more than $27,000 into your retirement account in a five years.

#4 Apply for Social Security… Now or Later. If you don’t need that SS check at 62, don’t apply until age 66. It means around 8% more per year on your final award. By waiting until age 70, the monthly benefit would be $1690 over $960 at age 62. Be careful, rules are changing. Check it out.

#5 Put Your Money Where the Returns Are. Educate yourself or consider paying an independent professional in choosing the right asset-management process during your retirement years. It can be a minefield without good advice.

About 80% of Americans Over 40 Are Behind on Saving for Retirement

savers_chartSource: https://www.gobankingrates.com/retirement/1-3-americans-0-saved-retirement/
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I Don’t Hear Well…No! You Don’t Listen Well!…

Concept Of Communication

One of the critical communicative skills we never got much of or none at all is how to listen. Do you remember any teacher or parent sitting you down and telling you he/she was going instruct you on how to listen…really listen? I think not.

Now hearing, on the other hand, is a given. Most of us got blessed with that ability shortly out of the womb. Now, like so many of us in our age band makes normal hearing a very distant luxury. In my case, Rock & Roll drums and 200 decimal AF jets on afterburner blasted my hearing during my young and dumb days. Still, we seasoned seniors have the wire and battery gadgets in the ears so don’t feel sorry for us.

We all received reading and arithmetic along the way but never the proper way to handle a clear conversation between one or more parties. And depending on our value system and ego nourished into adulthood, we still stumble through life thinking we are doing right by thinking we can say more of a profound statement than our fellow talkers. If he would only shut up, so I can talk!

Let me interpret and have you grasp the existence of a profound phenomenon we human beings are stuck with:

• We speak verbally around 100 to 120 words a minute

• We compute in our brains around 400 words a minute

Do you get it? While our communicator friend is slowly taking to us at his/she normal conversational pace, we have the ability to be thinking about…

What I am going to do this weekend; Do I have enough dog food for Fido this week; Does my friend really dye her hair??? Etc?

This difference between speaking speed and brain speed means that when we listen to the average speaker, we’re using only 25 percent of our mental capacity. We still have 75 percent to do something else.

That something else is a wandering mind. While you are filling in the blanks of your mind with trivial and every now and then saying “OK” or “Yes, of course,” you are merely hearing, not active listening.

Active listening is the skill you never got. Active listening is the process of listening attentively while someone else speaks, paraphrasing and reflecting back what is said, and withholding judgment and advice. 

 It’s a challenge to be a good listener. But good listeners get big rewards. You gain a lot of friends. But it’s hard work. Try a few if these techniques, the next time you team up with friend or relative who has something of his/her importance to tell you that you’re not sure you want to listen.

Nod your head and make good eye contact and eyebrow “flash”

  • Reinforce the discussion with “tell me more…” or “sounds like…”
  • Make facial express and smile often
  • Ask questions and paraphrase points made by your speaker
  • Sit still, be quiet, cancel out other things you are doing (i.e., cell phone)
  • Listen not merely to the words but the underlying feelings
  • Be aware of your own feelings and strong opinions.

These steps are simple; however, becoming skilled in active listening requires considerable practice and sensitivity towards another human being sitting across from you with the same needs you have.

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The Big Squeeze… Seniors’ Expenses Mushrooming Faster Than Their Social Security Checks

Did you notice the raise you received in your Social Security check this year? It came to 0.3 percent, in real dollars around $4, barely enough to pay for the cost of an extra Lipitor pill.

Five years now, they’re over 60 million Americans who depend on Social Security  have received nada or low increases in their cost of living adjustments (COLA) each calendar period.

ROLLOVER!–Part 3 copy 3.jpegNot only that, older Americans have had to settle with rising costs shattering their household expense budget with most essential items: medical expenses, housing and food costs.

Don’t tell me you haven’t felt it? Our government is not close to the needle of seniors who are on fixed incomes and find their needs changing with more medical services and prescription drugs become a critical part of their retirement life. And the price of just surviving–our intake of food—is hitting our senior Americans creating less in the stomach and less in the pocketbook.

Is the cause of the stringy belt-tighting process of our yearly cost of living adjustment the output of government bureaucrats scheming in the catacombs of Washington D.C. Not exactly, the process of determining the COLA is meant to be fair. But it’s not. It’s set up incorrectly to not benefit the millions of senior citizens.

“The annual COLA is simply not doing the job of protecting the buying power of older Americans, “ said Mary Johnson, a policy analyst for the Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a retirees’ advocacy group.

COLA works this way. Social Security Administration adjusts yearly benefits upward for inflation. In 2015, the consumer price index showed very low inflation so Social Security gave no raise at all.

The problem is the index is not tied to the needs of older Americans. Instead the COLA is set for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Younger workers spend less of their income on medical costs, and spend more on transportation (gasoline), a category that have been reduced dramatically in costs in recent years.

In short, the needs of older Americans are understated in the analysis of the COLA results. A better choice would be to include the elderly (CPI-E) to include greater emphasis on healthcare and housing. These are stronger needs for older fixed income Americans. In that way, for example, a senior would be paid a COLA of 0.6 percent in 2016 instead of zero, and 1.5 percent this year instead of 0.3 percent.

Anything on the horizon to fix this discrepancy accorded to our senior citizens? There is a piece of legistration winding its way through Congress entitled the Social Security 2100 Act (H.R. 1902) that would lengthen the life of and improve Social Security for all Americans.

Honing in on the index for the elderly, according to Johnson, the current average monthly benefit of about $75 would increase the income of retirees. The Senior Citizens League believes the SS reform bill would go a long way in ensuring the retirement security that older Americans have earned and deserve.

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Plan Your Retirement the Easy Way With a Website and a Book

One of the most important areas of retiring that my brother and I stress in our new book,  Rollover, is “Planning”. However, research reveals that most pre and post retirees would rather rake leaves than make a plan on how they’re going to live out their remaining years.

retirement plan label on folder

It’s so crucial that this blog article is steering you to a website that makes it much easier and more enjoyable to take on the planning cycle of your retirement than the myriad of calculators, charting, consensus analyst estimates, and, yes, boring books. Before you grab the rake, this site aptly named “New Retirement” is the answer.

So much so, “NewRetirement” was named by Computerized Investing’s Best of the Web for retirement planning in 2017.

I don’t always give plugs on competing products like a retirement website but this one offers a real match for the struggling boomer (1946-1964) or seasoned senior (born before 1946) who wants to put his or her retirement planning to bed and sleep better at the same time.

Most helpful retirement calculators and tools

      • Easy-to-understand, up-to-date information and articles

      •  Worthwhile suggestions on how to improve your retirement plan outcome

      •  It’s free!

All in all, “NewRetirement” has a lot of information on retirement and offers outstanding calculators and tools. On top of that, its easy-to-understand presentation and helpful guidance make this one of the best retirement planning websites on the worldwide web.

I might add that our book, Rollover, can bring you into a similar comfort zone about your retirement planning but offering you more extensive background information; it’s never boring. In fact, investing your time and money in both: NewRetirement—the retirement planning website and the Rollover book a complete picture of retirement planning with all facets will insure you have all your lifestyle bases covered.

NewRetirement:  https://www.newretirement.com/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fretirement-calculator%2fdashboard.aspx

Rollover: http://www.rolloverretirementwealth.com

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