Saturday, January 31, 2009

Top 10 Websites for 2009, Part 1

The volume of information on the Internet can be overwhelming.  I've reviewed thousands of web sites to find user-friendly and relevant resources for inclusion in my boomer search engine.

To compile my Top 10 list of trustworthy, informative and enjoyable sites for 2009, I've selected that sites that I've revisited many times.  I'm sure you, too, will find them invaluable this year.

Where it's "great to be grand"! is "the place for today's new generation of active, involved grandparents."

Find assorted age-appropriate and weather-appropriate "things to do" (even in dozens of cities), including suggestions that won't cost thrifty grandparents a dime.  Mix in travel, gift ideas (find the perfect toy), video, and food suggestions (you might be inspired to cook with your little darlings).  Take advantage of expert advice on family, education law, finance and health and get a peek into the psyche of celebrity grandparents.  You'll get a treasure trove of information.

Where else can you find photographed independent living aids displayed boldly and accurately? Protected by the Better Business Bureau of Connecticut, Dynamic Living consumers shop with confidence--either by use (moving around, sitting/standing, vision, communication, caregiving, memory) or by location (car, kitchen, bathroom).
I like this site for its clarity, simplicity, readability, references and responsiveness.

Two warnings:  See what other customers recommend but select well to avoid restocking charges.  Also, customer service operates Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. only.  

Get your age-driven legal questions answered here.
Elderlaw covers Medicaid, Medicare, nursing home rights, and estate planning.  Elderlaw 101 dumbs down additional topics, including veterans benefits, so you don't need to have a law degree to understand.  Find state-specific information and an attorney or listen to Elderlaw radio such as "Finding the Money to Age Well."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Buying on Amazon

Dear Loyal Readers,

Occasionally I will be recommending products on my website or on my blog.  Many of these items can be purchased through Amazon.  I think you should be aware of why I selected this company and not another.

It's because:
Amazon is an amazing online store with a huge variety of items.
You can rely on their products, pricing and customer service.
Your information is secure.
You can be directly linked to the product so you can easily get more facts.

Thanks to my 20-something wild web women, I am now an Amazon affiliate member, which enables me to receive a tiny kickback (no extra charge to you) if you purchase anything by clicking on the Amazon links I display.  Any profits help me continue to provide you with critical updated information on both my blog and on my website.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Health and Fitness Tools

The RealAge panel of doctors and scientific experts helps you look, feel and be many years younger by providing personalized health information and management tools.  My favorites are the interactive health assessments.  

Get information about food and nutrition, exercise, skin, stopping smoking, losing weight, gastrointestinal relief and men's and women's health. Find the best pain reliever. Prevent disease.  Improve your moods and stay sharp.   

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Retirement Tips From The IRS

The IRS provides retirement tips for individuals:

1. Set a goal:  Take a "painless" payroll deduction (Ah, come on. You can) to save money in your 401(k), IRA or savings account.  Start small and make it grow.

2. Open a traditional or Roth IRA and save on your taxes.

3. Learn about your employer's retirement plan (if available) by studying the "summary plan description."

4. Review your individual benefit statement from your employer's retirement plan to see if the amount is vested or is fully owned by you.

5.  Sign up for 2009 401(k) contributions (up to $22,000 for 50+).

6. If you are 70 1/2 years old, take your required minimum distributions from your qualified retirement plan or IRA by year-end.  

7. Review your Social Security statement for:
A. Your personal record of earnings on which you have paid Social Security taxes
B. Your summary of estimated benefits you and your family may receive for retirement and in case you become disabled or die before retirement age

8. Learn about your spouse's retirement plan (if available)

Friday, January 23, 2009

50+ And Loving Photography

I love photography.  It happens to be a hobby I've picked up and dropped off over the years.

Capturing that certain expression on my grandkids' faces that exquisitely translates their inner beauty or making a spectacular landscape stand still is exhilarating.  

I imagine that Ansel Adams and Annie Leibovitz felt the same way when all their stars lined up in one magical moment.  

Note:  This photo was taken by my dear friend Mary Marsh in Sequim, Washington.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Incontinence Plagues Boomers and Seniors

We were with our cousins at an Idaho resort. Some boys were eying our teenage girls.  They asked to join our volleyball game.  And so the mating dance began.

The young men displayed their athletic prowess by leaping at the ball as it inched past the net. They flew to different sides of the court to return the lobs.

Then one cousin recklessly slapped the ball.  But instead of neatly falling to our side of the court, the ball took a detour towards the lake footsteps away.

The suitor bolted for the ball and unceremoniously plopped (arms and legs flying) into the frigid water.

Our cousins were so hysterical that one bashfully made her way back to our room, leaving a trail of pee along the way.

If you're having trouble "holding it," maybe it's time for you to see a urologist.  

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Young @ Heart Keeps Us Singing

I am blown away by Young@Heart, a musical theater group of 71 - 93 year olds from Northampton, Massachusetts, collaborating with other arts groups and wowing sold out audiences in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Canada.     Among the acts they've performed under the direction of Bob Climan:  Vaudeville skits, pop songs, female impersonations, mime, and break-dancing in productions such as "Oh No! A Condo!,"  "Louis Lou I - A Revolting Musical," "Flaming Saddles" and "I Wanna Be Sedated."    

One singer, Fred Knittle, claims that he's traveled with the Chorus from continent to continent until he became incontinent, and then had to retire. Breathing problems may have slowed him down but his marriage of 55 years has thrived on faith and trust, he claims.   "She has no faith in him and he doesn't trust her."

Check out Mostly Live.  And watch for the upcoming show in July, 2009.  I bet it'll be a doozie.    

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wake-Up Call To The Bathroom

I blame the Good Earth sweet and spicy tea.  It's just too darn good and is the perfect match for my Trader Joe's carrot cupcake.

Before now I didn't have to wake up in the middle of the night and feel my way to the bathroom trying my best not to crash into things and awaken Car-man.

I tried to stay in a partially comatose state so that I could return to bed sleep uninterrupted. Then I stepped onto the cold floor.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Starting Your Own Business After 50

The Mom Entrepreneur offers tips, advice, and resources for balancing motherhood and running a company.

Okay, keep it down. You're saying that you're practically over with soccer games, band, gymnastics and scouts and the stresses that accompany them?

Well, folks, as part of the Sandwich Generation, we are experiencing INCREASING emotional, financial, legal and physical stresses because:

1. Many of us waited to have children--1 out of every 8 middle-aged Americans are faced not only with raising them but also with caring for a parent (PEW Research Center). Another 7 - 10 million assist parents from afar.

In spite of juggling all of these responsibilities, quite a few people 50+ have contacted me about their desire to create and own a business.

Check out The Mom Entrepreneur to find out how I did it.

And take advantage of free advice.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How To Help Aging Communities

Cecily O'Connor recently completed a National Press Foundation fellowship on retirement issues in the 21st century and now reports for Spot.Us, a very cool and unique community-funded investigative reporting agency where the public (meaning you and I) could commission this service to investigate overlooked stories.

In her 3-part series, O'Connor covers "When The Longevity Revolution Hits Your Town" and compares challenges and solutions facing five diverse Northern California cities, San Francisco, San Rafael, Santa Rosa, Sacramento and Vallejo, which, she asserts, represent the spectrum of communities across the United States.  

"Age-friendly" programs, transportation, housing, healthcare, employment and crime are just a few of the topics discussed in this thoroughly-engaging examination of increasing senior ranks.

Professors, sociologists, city manager and officers of aging organizations discuss the dilemma communities face in order to build sustainable solutions into city planning.  And the problem is further fueled not only by diminishing, sometimes bankrupt, public funds but also declining home values.

Find out how other communities are handling these issues and think about how you can help your town deal with these foreseeable concerns.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Staying Connected With Grandchildren

Stay connected with your grandchildren. But how, you ask? Marty Norman suggests you email, plant gardens, send tape-recorded stories, create a story with their name, provide them with a laminated list of your phone numbers and much more. You can even find her suggested gift ideas including a Vtech Kidizoom Multimedia Digital Camera (Camouflage)

This is one lady who aims to impact the lives of her grandchildren. Luckily (for us) she shares her advice in Generation G: Advice for Savvy Grandmothers Who Will Never Go Gray

You don't have to burden your brain to create ideas for developing wholesome relationships with the kiddies. Marty does it for you!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

50Something gets help from her 20Something friends

I love blogging and I couldn't do with out a little help from my friends (20-Something year olds.) When my wild web women team gives advice - I listen! Recently, they recommended that I read Arianna Huffington's The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging I would have never thought after all of my years as a librarian, that I would be so in love with the blogosphere world! Stay tuned because once I am done RWDC (reading while devouring chocolate) - I am going to give you a rocking book review.

And if you want to RWDC with me - you can buy the book and we will read it together!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

50+ Women Connect With Other Discerning Women

Smart women know that many heads are better than one.  Just ask the women who frequent Vibrant Nation.  They know that they can ask questions and get answers.  They can get recommendations and save their time for more pressing things like love & sex, travel, technology & internet, work & money. And they know that connecting with other women like themselves is only a click away.  

This is really a "must have" site.   It's here where I:
1. Learned how to design for a "not so big" home
2. Found a primer for women entrepreneurs
3. Read a review about Slumdog Millionaire
4. Pondered how I can have better conversations with my adult son
5. Located 3 sites where I can satisfy my yearn for pretty things without hurting the environment
6. Scored a great recipe for chocolate turtles
7. Could join in a conversation about sex for post-menopausal women
8. Added favorite cooking gadgets to my wish-list
9. Tweaked my wardrobe with new fashion ideas
10. Got recommendations for books to enhance my spiritual life

Vibrant Nation is a rare find.  Like my own website, it is packed with useful information.  

Saturday, January 3, 2009

One Source That Helps With Housing Options

Seniors For Living does a fine job of providing useful definitions, tips, tools, and articles about different housing options for the aging.  

Here you can learn and differentiate: 
Assisted Living
Independent Living
Alzheimer's Care
Continuing Care
Retirement Living
Home Care

Should you conclude, however, that there are few housing options in your area, do not despair. Seniorsforliving appears to mention only a fraction of the actual numbers. Whether this is because the website owners have not yet accumulated the information or whether they promote only licensed facilities that advertise with them, I don't know. 

Be aware that certain websites appear to promote certain products and services at the expense of better ones.  Before making decisions as life-altering as housing, do your homework.    


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Boomers And Seniors Looking For Work

The author of the upcoming book told me that Car-man took a bigger leap than I.  He catapulted backwards by choice from founder and president of a professional corporation to a car salesman. I merely hopped from being a librarian to creating a website.  I see her point.  I've just switched locales but Car-man not only moved into a completely different field, he also had to adjust from:
1. Generous compensation and time-off to commission only and one week "paid" vacation 
2. Giving orders to taking orders
3. Status and prestige to, well, you know...
4. Large, corner office to desk by the window

More and more of our friends and acquaintances are finding themselves thrown back into the job pool.   The blows to ego and personal finance are depressing and frightening especially if you're over 50.   

Check out Workforce50 where employers who are committed to hiring baby boomers and older workers advertise their jobs.  RetiredBrains welcomes those looking for jobs, volunteer opportunities, educational resources and retirement information.  Search for a part-time job, a temporary job or project assignment or a full-time job.  Since I don't have personal experience with either site, let me know what you think.

Car-man, thanks for making the trade-off so that we can live in a nicer place and be closer to our grandkids.  You're my hero.