Common Threads: Influential Women 50+

Some of the most influential women in history shared at least three characteristics in common--each had courage, purpose, and a voice that helped articulate a vision. Four of those women include Susan B. Anthony, Ella Baker, Betty Friedan, and Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. While each of these women began their life’s work prior to reaching their fiftieth birthdays, they all continued to grow and become even more effective as they got older. Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) “Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations…can never effect a reform.” Born into a Quaker family, social justice and reform were…

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Social Security & COVID-19: Trust the News?

Is Social Security bankrupt? Are our lawmakers planning to do away with Social Security? Is COVID-19 now under control or is it out-of-control? Is COVID-19 a foreign plot to undermine the U.S.? As responsible citizens, it is important for all of us to stay informed. But with so much contradictory information available and from so many different sources, how do any of us know what to believe? I asked an expert for her advice on how to be a better consumer of news. Here are some of her tips. How to Distinguish Between Credible and Questionable News  By Melinda Benton,…

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Uncluttering and Discovering Hidden Treasures

Funny thing about sheltering in place—I have not been able to escape all the clutter I’ve collected over the years. Why did I save a dozen empty vases and then store them on top of shelves and cabinets? Why did I have a stack of bedding sitting on a chair and a closet so full that I couldn’t squeeze more bedding inside? Why did I have a bookshelf full of old textbooks from graduate school? Why did I have a double bed in a spare bedroom when I only needed a single and a fold-out for an occasional grandchild visit?…

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Aging in Place: Practical Considerations

Sixteen years ago, my husband and I moved to a rural area so I could accept a teaching position at the local community college. I was fifty-two at the time, and my husband was sixty-two. We are now both retired. We don’t have immediate plans to move; we enjoy our home, our friends, and our community. And, like many other retirees, we’ve long assumed we would age in place. Research suggests most retirees want to age in place. But there are considerations we all have to weigh when determining if, when, and to where we might need to relocate. As…

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An Important Rule of Aging to Remember

My father caught my grandmother trying to break up concrete with a pic ax when she was eighty-eight. Grandmother was both strong and strong-willed. I think of myself as taking after my grandmother. I am strong, stubborn, and had generally maintained the belief that nothing can stop me from accomplishing my goals—including physical activity goals. I suppose I had always thought of myself as rather invincible; I somehow thought that certain rules of aging would skip right over me. I think one of the rules of aging is that when injured, we aren’t going to bounce back as quickly as…

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COVID-19: A Retirement Wake-up Call

We’re all eager to get back to some sense of normality once it is safe to do so without risking COVID 19 exposure. Yet it feels like we are living in a perpetual holding pattern. When talking with acquaintances who are working from home, some have expressed a sense of boredom as one day pours into the next. None of us could have prepared for what we are now experiencing! In an April 19, 2020, Forbes article, senior contributor Chris Carosa suggested that having to shelter in place could be a wake-up call or preview for those who are eager…

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Medicare Decisions Don’t Have to Be Overwhelming

A Fidelity study projected the average couple would spend $285,000 in medical expenses after retirement. That's a huge amount of money! Medicare does not begin to cover all our medical expenses in retirement, and contrary to what people might believe, it is not free. Finding the right supplemental or Advantage plan is an important approach to managing medical expenses.About six months before I needed to make a decision, I started reading everything I could find on Medicare and various supplemental or Advantage plans. I also began receiving phone calls and all kinds of mail from various companies that touted their…

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Poetry as a Powerful Art Form to Help Reframe Aging

Research has been clear, embracing a positive view of aging can improve our quality of life and even extend our lifespan. Yet we are constantly being bombarded with anti-aging and other negative messages about getting older. A Kaiser Health News article suggests that one way we can counter negative views related to getting older is by seeking encouraging images of living our best lives as we age. One powerful and inspirational way to fill our lives with positive images of aging is through the arts. Art can move us in ways that no other form of communication can accomplish. Healthy…

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My New and Better Life Outside the Box

We found our ‘forever’ puppy seven years ago. He was the last of a litter. When we first saw him, he was living in a 4 x 6 wooden box with a smaller box inside for sleeping. He was eager to play with us as long as he could stay inside his box. But when we took him outside for a taste of real freedom and an opportunity to explore the world around him, he froze. As confining as it was, his box was all he knew. Once we took him home, it took time for him to recognize that…

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Fairy Godmother of the Neighborhood Dogs

I suspect that every dog and cat in our neighborhood recognizes ‘Sharon’ and even the car she drives. For about fifteen years, Sharon has left little goodies for our four-legged children in our community. Sometimes she leaves a little toy. Other times she leaves small treats. When she sees someone walking their dog, she usually stops her car, talks to the dog, and asks the dog’s human parent if she can give it a little treat. An Opportunity to Connect Sharon is a widow. I think she is probably in her mid-eighties. Because we are all needing to “shelter in…

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