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July 2015

Exercise Over 55 is Good for Body and Brain

MusingsMost boomers know about the body-related benefits of exercise. Even 20 minutes a week of vigorous exercise has been shown to have measurable benefits. Recent reports, however, demonstrate that exercise can also benefit the brain.

At the Alzheimer's Association International Conference held last week, three separate studies presented suggest that regular physical activity can actually reduce the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

“Based on the results we heard reported today at AAIC 2015, exercise or regular physical activity might play a role in both protecting your brain from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and also living better with the disease if you have it,” said Maria Carrillo, PhD, Alzheimer’s Association Chief Science Officer. According to the Alzheimer's Association, "The evidence presented today at AAIC 2015 supports the guidance from the Alzheimer’s Association that highlights regular physical activity as one of several proactive steps people can take to reduce their risk of cognitive decline."

So get on out there and exercise!

Hey Media and Marketers... We're Still Here

MusingsI spent most of my professional career in marketing, so I was pretty familiar with how to target certain demographics. As a now semi-retired marketing guy, I see just how many marketers are simply missing the boat, or should I say, the Boomer.

Ever notice how the news media, and the advertising we see and hear, very obviously concentrates on younger generations -- for the most part, Millennials? You can postulate all sorts of reasons for this misguided strategy, the most insidious of which is the fact that our society doesn't like to be reminded that people actually grow old and (heaven forbid) die.

Of course, there are some marketers who recognize the buying power of the Boomer -- and well they should.  According to Marketing Charts, Boomers are on track to soon represent 70 percent of the disposable income of all Americans. Take THAT, you young whippersnappers. The respected Forrester Research even suggests that "the most promising demographic" is the older shopper.

I applaud those media sources and marketers who recognize that the almost 77 million Boomers in this country are alive and well, contributing to society, making an impact, living product lives... and spending money. 

"The Art of Retirement" Helps Paint a Pleasing Picture of Your Later Years

BooksThere are numerous books on financial planning for retirement, but none sets the artistic tone of "The Art of Retirement" by Gary Williams. In his book, Williams, a Certified Financial Planner, addresses the importance of leaving a legacy, not just financially but spiritually.

In reviewing this fine book for ForeWord Reviews magazine, I wrote:

"The key difference between Gary Williams’ engaging book about retirement and so many others written on the subject is the author’s perspective: He believes that to enjoy retirement, everyone must create a life that is a 'masterpiece.' ...Williams has done a masterful job of presenting an elegantly constructed, comprehensive, unbiased view of what readers need to think about, personally and financially, as they head toward retirement."

Gary Williams' book is well worth reading for anyone on the cusp of retirement. You can buy it directly from Amazon below.


Is "Grace and Frankie" an Accurate Picture of Growing Older?

Media Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 7.43.02 AMGrace and Frankie, the situation comedy series starring Jane Fonda and Lili Tomlin, has become an online sensation. Airing only on Netflix, the first season was such a hit that the series has been renewed for another season. The premise is somewhat unusual: two long-married mature women learn that their husbands (played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston), who work together in a law firm, are more (much more) than business partners.

In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling concerning gay marriage, the show will likely take on even more meaning in Season Two. But Season One has already served up aspects of senior life that will surely resonate with boomers. Derek Dunham, writing for MediaPost, points out to marketers that Grace and Frankie accurately reflects on boomers' contemporary attitudes and lifestyles. These "older" characters are shown going online, getting divorced, coming out, falling in love, having sex, smoking marijuana, and continuing to work. Frankie's family is also a multi-racial blend of adopted kids. Even age discrimination is on full display in an episode in which Grace and Frankie are ignored by a store clerk who focuses his attention on a younger customer.

Grace and Frankie turns out to be a pretty interesting mirror for all of us.

Need Help for Yourself or Aging Parents? Try The Eldercare Locator

MusingsThe Eldercare Locator is a free service provided by the federal government's Administration on Aging, supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This service, the only national information and referral resource related to the broad spectrum of support services for older Americans, is a valuable one-stop resource for information about local services, benefits, long term care planning, and more.

In 2014, according to a report issued by Eldercare Locator, nearly half a million people visited the Eldercare Locator website, and over 72 percent of them were new visitors. Originally intended as a resource for caregivers, over 70 percent of Eldercare Locator inquiries come from older Americans seeking information on services for themselves.

The primary reason people connected with the Eldercare Locator was to find out about transportation services. The other key reasons for contact were inquiries about home and community-based services, housing, medical services and supplies, and health insurance. The service is well-received: 98 percent of callers report they are highly satisfied with their experience.

Visit or call 1-800-677-1116 to use the service.

Economic Facts About Retirement

MusingsAt the same time that Americans are living longer, their financial future is filled with uncertainty. In recent years, middle class Americans have faced an on-going struggle to maintain a decent way of life. Stagnant wages, falling home values, increasing expenses, and paltry savings have all contributed to a looming crisis facing retirees.

In a recent report entitled "Ten Economic Facts about Financial Well-Being in Retirement," The Hamilton Project details some of the statistics that drive home the importance of planning as early as possible for a secure future. These facts include the following:

  • More than three out of five 65 year olds today will reach age 80.
  • Only half of non-retired American adults expect to have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.
  • Middle class households near retirement age have about as much wealth in their homes as they do in their retirement accounts.

This report is designed to expose facts about retirement to those who set government policies, but its content is worthy of consideration by the public, especially those who recognize the need for better retirement planning. You can download the entire report below.

Download Financial Well Being in Retirement

Starting a Business? Here are Some Ideas...

OnYourOwnStarting a business continues to be an attractive option for those who have left careers but aren't quite ready for a life of golf and snoozing on the couch. Unlike younger entrepreneurs, boomers and seniors have a wealth of business and life experience that can be applied to a new business venture; often that experience greatly reduces the risk of failure.

Still, before you start a business, you need practical guidance as to what kind of business you should start. The fact is, not every business idea is viable. Even if you have the experience, wisdom, and passion, you must choose a line of business that has the potential to attract customers.

Small business expert Susan Ward has created a handy list of "The 10 Best Business Opportunities 2015." While there is a certain amount of subjectivity to such lists, this one includes areas that are forward-thinking and could have real potential. See if any of them spark your interest. Read Susan's article here.

"The Hottest Jobs and How to Get One in Retirement" by Nancy Collamer is another helpful article. Collamer evaluates several areas projected to achieve high growth in the next five years, suggesting that they could present untapped opportunities for work or self-employment in retirement. Read Nancy's article here.

"Encore Career Handbook" Focuses on Doing Good in Life's Second Half

Books"What's next?" is perhaps the most compelling question asked by those approaching life's second half. Thankfully, you don't have to answer that question alone, because there are numerous resources available to assist you. One of the more intriguing sources is an organization called, which believes in "second acts for the greater good," a concept that holds great appeal for seniors who want to live with purpose. offers a useful guide, The Encore Career Handbook, which the organization says is "a road map to every step of the encore career journey. Here’s how to plan the transition. How much you need to make. The pros and cons of going back to school. When to volunteer, and when to intern. How to network effectively and harness the power of social media. Who’s hiring and for what jobs? (Check out the Encore Hot List of 35 viable careers)."

This is a book that could really help point you in the right direction. You can order it directly from Amazon below.