Finding Strength in Solitude

Do you like to be alone? Is there enough variety and thrill within your collection of personal passions, hobbies and interests to be reasonably content on your own? As human beings we all have times when we feel lonely. Some deal with this just fine while others not so much. Could there be anything worse than finding yourself forced into a solitary existence beyond your control with no definitive end in sight? How scary is that? Welcome to these days we live.

Being sequestered against your will – aka sheltered in place – is no easy thing. We are instructed to remain within the confines of our domicile unless absolutely necessary. Should you need to procure food or get some approved exercise, approach no closer than six feet to anyone you encounter. And to make things tougher, throw in an ever changing target end date to this situation. First we must shelter in place until March 8. Then as that target inches closer the date pushes to March 30. But wait, make that May 3. Don’t get me wrong – I fully support whatever effort is required to beat this virus but that doesn’t make the uncertainty any less stressful.

I think it is safe to say we all like to socialize but perhaps on different levels. My daughter thrives on interacting with others whether conducting a barre class or meeting friends at a local farmers market. These days of forced homebound are distressing. She really misses spending time with others, sharing thoughts and feelings and moments with fellow humans.

On the other hand my lifestyle is such that I am not so adversely impacted when left to my own devices. I will say my wife and I are blessed living where we do – in the country but still close to “civilization” with parks and beaches easily accessible. Were I not able to head outdoors for a neighborhood hike or stroll along the ocean whenever so inclined things might be different. But that luxury, that freedom allows us to break up an otherwise boring day with a beautiful wander in nature. 

No matter how much you love your spouse, 24/7 togetherness might be a tad disquieting. It is amazing how quickly you begin to miss that alone time you took for granted not long ago. If you are a neat freak you may discover your significant other is not quite so obsessed. I tell my wife that I tend to graze throughout the day, eating a little here, a little there, never too much but pretty much constant feeding. Now she gets to experience this first hand, “Are you eating again!” What if you like it quiet and he/she prefers continuous background music/noise? Every couple is composed of unique individuals, each proud possessor of innumerable habits and foibles. Our individuality makes us who we are. 

On the positive side learning to compromise and respect each other’s need for space can strengthen a relationship. Living elbow to elbow you become aware in minute detail how your other half fills the day, what they enjoy, what they don’t like, that cadence and rhythm that is uniquely their own. Perhaps you come to better understand their motivations. This is valuable information now and in the future.  If you can get through more than a month cut off from the rest of humanity future challenges might not feel so monumental. 

Another positive is we hear from the kids more frequently! Text messages and shared videos keep us up to date on each other’s lives. Facetime calls help us feel a little less isolated. And you gotta love technology with video conferencing options galore. Last night we did a virtual cocktail hour celebrating our son’s birthday. Not quite like being there but we make the best of our forced separation.

We will get through this – together. It is a wonderful thing to see people step up during times of crisis. Whether delivering food to at risk seniors or temporarily waiving rent for small businesses or paying your cleaning person despite the fact they cannot come to your home. All those little things we do add up. All those little things help make desperate times less desperate. We are in this together. And we can get through this together.

Be kind and be well.

How to Select the Best Credit Card as a Senior Citizen

Written by Alison Lurie

As one approaches their golden years, all one can dream of is maintaining healthy financial wellbeing. In due time, credit history begins to fade as one might not be making any payment or clearing a debt. It’s easy to conclude that age might be a factor in the denial of credit card approval. However, that isn’t the case; you can still get a credit card approval irrespective of your age. Here’s how to select the best credit card as a senior citizen.

· Annual charges

Here’s an essential fee that you ought to look at while choosing a credit card. Various credit cards charge different prices to suit their business plan. Thus, you ought to be extra vigilant before committing to a particular credit card. Some credit cards charge zero annual fees, while others not so much.

However, if you are scouting for extra perks such as travel insurance covers, among others, you need to check if paying the annual fee is worth it.

· Have a look at your mortgage plan

Did you know that one who pays off their mortgage is one of the ultimate financial achievements? However, such a prudent move can affect your credit in the long haul. If you intend to approach any credit card issuer, you ought to know they like seeing a credit mix in your report.

Thus, if you have some auto loans or mortgage loans to pay, you might have a chance to continue building your credit score. You can even get access to credit cards to build credit ultimately.

· Apply for a credit card online

Save yourself the hassle of moving from one credit card issuer to the next on foot. You can easily search online on the best credit cards for senior citizens. It’s a seamless procedure that will enable you to have a look at multiple credit cards in one sitting.

You can have someone assist you in finding a secure credit card that you can apply. Thus, you can get a reply instantly and know where you stand in getting the credit card.

· Income requirement

As one is enjoying their retirement, the chances are that your income might have gone low. Thus, if you need a credit card, you need to check on the minimum annual income requirement for you to get approved. It will enable you to filter the numerous credit card offers to one that suits your current state of life.

· Rewards choices

During your senior-most years, it’s best to reward yourself now and then. Thus, you need to choose a credit card that offers you the ideal benefits that you fancy. It could enable you to redeem some shopping discounts or travel bonuses.

However, don’t get carried away by the fascinating offers and fail to check if they are affordable.

As a senior citizen, the last thing you’d want is to have your debts pile up. It’s a tiny factor that might lead to rejection of your credit card application. As you apply for various Credit cards to build credit, you ought to know that your needs might keep on shifting. Thus, you ought to take time to select credit cards that will suit your current lifestyle.

Common Causes Of Forced Early Retirement

Written by Joel Dodds

For some of us, retiring early is the dream. For others, there’s no choice in the matter – they have to retire, and the situation is beyond their control.

Statistics found that the average person in the US will retire aged 66, but it’s worth remembering that your retirement age isn’t always something you can predict. Some of the most common causes of forced early retirement include:

1.       Layoffs

You might think that as an older worker who has shown loyalty to the business you work for, you’ll be exempt from company layoffs. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Older employees tend to actually be the first to be hit when redundancy strikes – and it’s much more difficult for you to land another full-time job after that. Retiring early might be your only option.

2.       Poor health

Illnesses can arise at any time, but they’re far more likely to come about as you get older. Health problems like cancer, heart disease, and musculoskeletal disorders can all force you into early retirement. You may also experience COPD as a result of working in certain environments, or from your own personal habits. You can learn more about the lung condition in the Sensoronics guide on COPD.

3.       Family commitments

For most of us, family comes before everything. That may mean that you’re forced to take early retirement in order to look after a sick family member, or someone who needs round-the-clock care. In this case, you may receive benefits from the government to see you through – but for many people, early retirement is the simpler solution.

4.       Job dissatisfaction

If you were really hoping you’d be able to stick out your job until retirement, this might not be possible if you hate what you do. A Gallup poll found that 50% of workers in the US are non-engaged, while 20% are actively disengaged in their jobs. Job dissatisfaction can arise for a number of personal reasons, and working in the same job for too long is one of them. You may feel forced to take early retirement for the sake of your mental health.

What to Do if You’re Forced into Retirement

As the above factors are largely out of your control, it’s important to make sure you have a solid retirement plan in place from as young an age as possible. You simply never know when an incident may arise that will force you into early retirement.

If you’ve recently retired for reasons beyond your control, there’s usually no need to panic. You’ll just need to immediately adjust your spending habits to account for your lack of income. Consider your mortgage, your car payments, the luxuries you treat yourself to. It may be that you need to minimize these costs where you can to continue to live comfortably.

If you can help it, you should also avoid taking your money out of your retirement plan too soon. It’s likely that you’ll be able to get through a short-term financial crisis without needing to withdraw everything you’ve saved so far.