About LoveBeingRetired

Dave Bernard is a California born and raised author and blogger with an extensive 30 year career in Silicon Valley. He has written more than 300 blogs for US News & World On Retirement and his personal blog Retirement – Only the Beginning. He has authored three books: "Are you just existing and calling it a life?"; "I want to retire! Essential Considerations for the Retiree to Be"; and " Navigating the Retirement Jungle". Dave was also a contributing writer for the books 65 Things to do when you Retire (“Positive Aging – Old is the New Young”) as well as 65 Things to do when you Retire – TRAVEL (“Travel to Discover your Family Heritage”). He lives in sunny California with his wife, his Boston Terrier "Frank" and a passion for the San Jose Sharks.

Frugal Retirement Living Tips for Seniors

Written by Holly Clark

Time has passed, and your working days are behind you. As you come to terms with the new reality, you start grappling with the fact that the savings in your bank may not last you as long as you thought they would. Even if your pension payments amount to as much as a million dollars, your spending habits can drain your account fast. Before that happens and you are left at the mercy of handouts from your family, learn a few frugal retirement living tips for seniors. They will make your sunset years as comfortable as if you are still receiving a salary.

  • Downsize

At 30 years, that five-bedroom house was a good idea as you planned to have lots of children. Now that they are all grown up and have left the nest, it is time to move into a smaller house. That way if you are renting, the rent will be much less. Still, even if you own the home, the cost of maintaining it will reduce. Additionally, you can sell the excess stuff that you have accumulated over the years for extra cash.

Moreover, you might have bought two cars; one for your partner to make reporting to work in different parts of town easier. However, as retirees, you will probably be spending most of the time together, so one vehicle makes sense. You can, therefore, sell the extra car to reduce the cost of insurance payments.

  • Look out for discounts

Just because you have retired, it does not mean you have to live cheaply. Instead, you can get high-quality services and products at pocket-friendly prices. If you are adventurous and have been saving for a trip in your old age, then take advantage of off-peak discounts and travel to that much-anticipated destination. That way, you will get to travel without draining your savings.

Further, you can still celebrate your love with your loved one without breaking the bank. Hotels are always giving offers to customers for tasty meals so you can have that dinner date you have been postponing for weeks. Besides, most stores offer senior discounts, and unless you ask, you will not know. Therefore as you go out shopping for everyday items, ask about any senior discounts available.

  • Eat meals at home often

Dining out may seem like a lovely idea when that lobster looks delicious from the window as you pass by your favorite restaurant. Unfortunately, it will cost you heavily, especially if you make it a habit of eating out. Enjoy home-cooked meals and when you go to the grocery store, shop for products that are on sale. Also, buy items that you need in moderate quantities, and when you cook, serve what you can comfortably eat to avoid waste.

  • Take advantage of free leisure activities

You might wonder how to fill the free time because as much as you enjoy watching television, cable TV can be expensive unless you get the basic package. Besides, staying indoors is not an option since you need to stretch your legs and socialize. As such, you can visit your local art galleries and museums. Not only will you learn and probably make new friends, but best of all is that they are free leisure activities.

  • Reduce health-related expenses

Your health in retirement is going to be quite an issue since your risk of falling ill increases. Whether you are on Medicare or Medicaid, if you are planning on having elective surgery, then it may not cover the cost. Therefore plan on having such operations after meeting your annual deductible. Moreover, with free medical checkups being offered once in a while, take advantage of such screenings for preventative measures.

Jane Byrne from FirstCare Kildare points out that as a patient ages, medical check ups are essentially being done regularly. This is not only to secure that the patient’s health is in tip top shape but also help inform the caregiver on how to properly attend to them.

  • Cut down on taxes

Taxes will reduce the amount of money for your expenditure. Therefore if you can avoid them, your savings will last longer. The property you have accumulated can result in high taxes; so if the state you live in allows for seniors to freeze their property, do so. All you need is to apply for this option, and it will cushion you from any tax increments.

  • Schedule your withdrawals

You might be tempted to withdraw all your pension as a lump sum, but that will only increase the chances of spending it all. Therefore, do not keep lots of cash in hand. Instead, arrange with your bank to be sending you to check once a month to enable you also track your taxes.

Retiring does not have to be a painful process in which you deny yourself all the things you were used to in your working days. With these frugal living tips, you can have the best of everything without spending too much money or becoming a burden to your children.

Tips for Improving Your Memory

Written by Stephanie James

You might start forgetting things as you grow older. It can be very frustrating because it reduces your level of productivity during the day. Fortunately, it is possible to change your situation.

With the brain’s neural plasticity and synaptic pruning, you may strengthen the necessary neural connections. This means that you can improve your cognitive skills and memory even as you age.

Below are natural and simple ways that you can use to do it.

Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation comes with extensive benefits that include enhancing one’s memory. Whenever you meditate, your brain’s cerebral cortex thickens because blood flow to the region increases. Consequently, it improves your learning and concentration abilities; enabling you to remember important things more often.

For starters, here are some meditation tips that can help you get better at it:

  • Create time to meditate
  • Find a calm meditation space
  • Close your eyes and detach from your thoughts
  • Make it a routine

Make Time for Exercise

Physical activities are essential not only for maintaining a healthy body weight but also for your mental health. Exercising increases the amount of oxygen in your brain and strengthens the effects of useful brain chemicals like acetylcholine. It also facilitates neuroplasticity. Therefore, heading to the gym more often or jogging in the morning can help to improve your memory.

The following are some efficient ways to make sure that you don’t skip your physical exercise:

  • Always drink water to stay hydrated
  • Exercise whenever you feel ready
  • Look for an exercising partner or trainer
  • Set your fitness goals

Cut Back on Alcohol

Minimizing the amount of alcohol that you drink can improve your memory. Research shows that drinking a lot of it comes with neurotoxic effects on your brain. It might even destroy the hippocampus; the brain’s part that is involved in learning and creating new memories. Therefore, refrain from excessive alcohol consumption to maintain a healthy brain and prevent forgetfulness.

Are you looking for ways to avoid going to your favorite bar every day? Here are some basics:

  • Keep yourself busy whenever the urge to drink kicks in
  • Stop keeping alcohol in your room/house
  • Avoid friends who encourage you to drink
  • Set a limit on the amount of alcohol you consume weekly

Get on a Regular Sleep Schedule

Getting adequate sleep is also a practical tip for improving your memory. It allows for memory consolidation. Hence, your short-term memories become stronger, and you can remember them for long. People who don’t sleep well have poor memories. To avoid being one of them, you can:

  • Try to have consistent sleeping and waking times
  • Avoid consuming a lot of caffeine especially later in the day
  • Stop having long daytime naps
  • Refrain from eating late at night
  • Shower before you sleep

Eat More Fruit; Berries are Highly Recommended

According to a study done by Harvard researchers, eating blueberries and strawberries prevents memory loss that comes with aging. A blueberry is rich in flavonoids which strengthen your brain pathways. They have even been recommended for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and those who want to lower their risk of dementia.

Be Mindful of the Level of Sugar Intake

Poor memory has been associated with taking a lot of sugary foods. Eating a lot of sugar is known to worsen conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because it reduces your brain volume; lowering your capability to store short-term memories. To boost your memory, avoid taking foods and drinks with a great deal of sugar.

Regardless of your age, it’s always a good idea to get ahead of memory loss and work on ways to improve it! Don’t remember what you had for breakfast yesterday? The tips that we have provided above can help your memory improve and ultimately improve multiple areas of your life. 

What’s Your Mindset About Retirement?

By Marianne Oehser

Your mindset affects every part of your life. That is especially true about retirement. Your attitudes and beliefs about this time of your life will determine whether you see endless possibilities or whether you buy into some of the negative myths. It will affect your health and your happiness.

Most people choose one of two mindsets about retirement: The Euphoric Mindset or the Gloom-and-Doom Mindset

The Euphoric Mindset

As we approach retirement, most of us are ready to say goodbye to the hectic pace and all the stress that goes with most careers. We are ready to downshift a bit and are excited about enjoying our much earned ‘vacation.’

The retirement picture we create in our minds is often the Hollywood version with lots of excitement but not much clarity. It’s filled with images of things we want to do — travel, golf, tennis, boating, or anything else we have dreamed of doing. And, probably the new toys you want, like a boat. For many of us, that is just how retirement starts and it feels pretty euphoric. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Just like any outstanding vacation, it is not a permanent state. It is simply not realistic to expect the euphoria and the newness to last forever – but somehow, we do it anyway. We think that being on vacation for 20 years will continue to have the same excitement that it had in the beginning. But, it doesn’t – it fades.

The problem with a Euphoric Mindset is that it leads to disappointment. The day will come when all the play is not as much fun as it was in the beginning.

This can create a new kind of stress. Retirement no longer fits your Hollywood image and you don’t know what to do about it. You are no longer sure what you want your days and weeks to be like. You probably feel like you are a bit adrift.

That is when it’s time to get serious about building your Happiness Portfolio®. That means designing your new life so that it is balanced and diversified just like your financial portfolio. Research shows that the people who are the happiest in retirement are those who invest time and energy in all aspects of their life — having fulfilling relationships, enjoying social connections, making a contribution in some way, maintaining your health, enjoying leisure activities, growing as a human being in some way, and incorporating spirituality – whatever that means to you.

If you are looking at retirement with a Euphoric Mindset, by all means keep the mindset that this will be the best time of your life but be realistic about the fact that the honeymoon will end and figure out what you want your life to be like when it does.

The Gloom-and-Doom Mindset

The opposite of the euphoric mindset is the gloom-and-doom mindset. The gloom-and-doom mindset looks at retirement as the end of the line. The story it tells you is that all the good things in your life are over and there is nothing more to look forward to. It tells you that you are being put out to pasture because you are useless. It says that everything is downhill from here and focuses on your own mortality.

One of the big problems with such a negative outlook on this act of your life is that it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you are focused on all of the things that are potentially bad about this new phase, you are not likely to see the endless possibilities for how great your life can be now. This kind of thinking can negatively impact your health and lots of research studies have shown that it probably will. It will definitely turn you into a grumpy person and can lead to serious depression.

Of course, there are some legitimate things that are not so wonderful about this phase of your life. You probably don’t have the boundless energy of your youth. You might fear that you will become ‘irrelevant’ and may not keep up with all of the information and technology changes that will certainly evolve. A whole segment of your social life will disappear including the people you interacted with as part of your career. These things are real but you don’t have to let them take you down a rabbit hole you can’t get out of.

Shifting your mindset to a more positive perspective will allow you to look at things differently. Choosing a story that includes the possibility that there are more positive things ahead will shift your mindset and allow you to see ways to deal with the downsides of life after your career.

Staying stuck in either the euphoric or the gloom-and-doom way of looking at retirement will not serve you very well in the long run.

A Third Option

Carl Jung, Ph.D. was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of Analytical Psychology who had a profound impact on how we see a wide range of areas today. Dr. Jung offers us another way of looking at this stage of life. He talks about the “afternoon of life.” The morning of our life is focused on achieving things – getting an education, building a career, raising a family, acquiring things, becoming someone. Dr. Jung says the “afternoon of life” is not just a “pitiful appendage to life’s morning” and rather than seeing our afternoon as a process of reduction, he says it is a process of expansion.“The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different.”                              

This way of looking at the new chapter of your life suggests that there is much to be savored about it. The afternoon just has a different rhythm than the morning. It may be a time for slowing down a bit but it can still be filled with enthusiasm and activity. It is an opportunity to focus on different things than you did in the morning of your life. It is an opportunity to see new and different possibilities for how you invest your time and energy. It is a time to discover the meaning and purpose of your own afternoon.

It’s time to bask in your afternoon sun.