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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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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Seize the Day: Live Without Regrets

I like to have goals and plans in place for each day and the years ahead. At the same time, I recognize how important it is to be flexible and adjust to ever-changing circumstances. To seize each day to the fullest, I have to stay both motivated and focused—especially during the uncertainty of a global pandemic. I have plenty of friends who are still working in organizations and businesses that have provided them with opportunities to complete work from home. After ending my formal teaching career, I no longer have others’ expectations governing how I use much of my day.…

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Inhaling Each Moment, Appreciating Life

  Life has changed. In part, my life has changed because of the pandemic that has affected all of our lives. The larger changes I have made began about 15 months ago when I left a stressful work environment that demanded most of my day-to-day energy; when I wasn’t working, I was living on automatic pilot. Now I’m inhaling each moment with a new appreciation for living. I do have a schedule—one that I create for myself. I have also given myself deadlines for the work projects that I control. I write a monthly article for an online magazine, I…

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Small Adaptations, Unimaginable Sacrifices & Hope

Small Adaptations Because of the potential to spread Covid-19, most all of us in my area have been encouraged to maintain social distance recommendations and to stay at home. I leave the house to pick up prescriptions for my husband, to get outdoor exercise, to walk the dog and greet neighbors who are out and about, and to do grocery shopping. I miss getting together with friends and going out to Saturday breakfast with my husband. However, I’ve stayed in contact with people using social media and video. I’ve attended meetings and have even enjoyed happy hour with a couple…

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Discovering Our Better Selves

Other than taking appropriate precautions and trying to plan ahead to the best of our abilities, there is little most of us can do about a global pandemic and an economic crash. However, we can do small things to maintain our own well-being and the well-being of others around us. We don’t have to let current news overwhelm us. We can stay current without drowning in it. It helps to know how we can protect ourselves and what we can expect. However, it doesn’t do much good to tune into the same news throughout the day; instead, it can instill…

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Voices of Mature Women Matter

Voices of Mature Women Matter: Women's History MonthIt is Women’s History Month. Last Sunday, March 8th was International Women’s Day. Along with several other women from our area, I attended “Women and Words: Celebrating Creativity.” The celebration began with a chorus singing about the power of women’s voices. Then women from the Southern Oregon Women Writer’s Group read their poems and stories honoring women’s lives and their often-unspoken truths.  These readers were mature women who communicated the kind of wisdom and insight that typically takes years to earn—if ever.After the final reading, all of us rose to our feet and…

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Creating Community Conversations

In November, I applied for an Oregon Humanities Conversation Project. I wanted to bring groups together around a common topic as a way to address stereotypes based on age. I did get an interview and drove Portland (about three hours north from where I live) to participate. The three younger women who conducted the interview were great. A couple of weeks later, I learned my project proposal wasn’t selected. Nonetheless, the experience was very positive. I also realized I could develop my own conversation projects. Age Stereotyping Conversation Last night I spoke to a community group of older women (mostly…

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Hidden Treasure: What We Carry with Us

I recently read a 2017 qualitative study that involved 1849 women over the age of fifty who shared their views on aging. One of the findings that stood out for me was that all of the participants claimed they “still felt young on the inside and often experienced shock when they looked in the mirror and saw the reflection of an older woman.” At the same time, many of these women expressed frustration because their “intelligence, experience, and wisdom gained from [their] vast experience was no longer a valued commodity by corporate America or by the young.” Others expressed the…

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