Generation Bold Radio Blog
Why Older (or Retired) Employees are Well Positioned to Reinvent Themselves as Entrepreneurs
“How much runway does this guy have left, at 62?” That was the unspoken question in the interview room as Don Rollins sought new employment after losing his job at an arms manufacturer as a result of sequestering.
“They saw my grey hair and read my resume with my 30 years’ experience,” Don recalls, knowing then he’d hear nothing more. But the extroverted Florida engineer wasn’t ready to stop making stuff, and he sure didn’t want to stay home and miss out being with people every day
The lack of job offers, not uncommon in an era of ‘ageism’ in the workforce, gave Don the push he needed to start his own business. (His wife Kathy’s job was also cut as the result of sequestering. Just after they bought a franchise, she was reinstated as a teacher.) The Rollins settled on a Signworld franchise after Don visited other franchisees. "They told me how much money they're making and how cool it is with the high-tech digital artwork” for sign making. Don felt it matched his personal interest and skill set; “I was excited about being able to stay in the realm of manufacturing.”
The Rollins bought the franchise in Sarasota, Florida for $145,000 using a financing technique known as the Self-Directed 401(k) – rolling over some of Don’s retirement plan into his newly created C-corporation, working with a financial advisor experienced in the rollover process.
Making White House Aging Conference’s Ideas Reality
The conference's focal points will set direction for future policy
The 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) on July 13 was both alike and different from the five previous once-a-decade conferences. It was like them, because it broke new ground. And it was distinct in how it was pulled together and formatted, and in its array of results.
That it was held in July proved significant: It’s the same month we celebrate the 80th anniversary of Social Security and the 50th of Medicare, Medicaid and the Older Americans Act.
The conference’s four priority issues — elder justice, retirement security, healthy aging and long-term services and supports — were appropriate focal points for setting policy for the next 10 years.
Yet, perhaps the most distinct thing was how it truly was a “White House” Conference on Aging, directed to an unprecedented degree by the White House.
The prospect of real change emanating from this conference is contingent on implementation of the proposals announced and other actions.
The White House Conference on Aging – Themes, Surprises and Realities
By Adriane Berg
Every 10 years leaders in the field of aging gather in Washington D.C. to attend the White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA). The WHCOA sets the tone for governmental, nonprofit and commercial efforts that will affect us all.
This year, there were significant themes which express the state of aging today:
- Focus on family and professional caregivers
- The woeful state of retirement savings of boomers
- The disgrace of elder abuse
- Age friendly and dementia friendly universally designed communities
- Continued food insecurity
- The ubiquitous presence of technology in our lives
It cannot be ignored that both Medicare and Medicaid turn fifty this year and Social Security turns 80. Will these programs enjoy further longevity?
Wellness Cruising in the Aegean
Visit the Dodecanese Islands of Greece
On an Iconic Turkish Gulet
By Adriane Berg
Those of us with a hefty bucket list know the joys of a trip that can do double and even triple duty. If you have ever longed to sail on a private yacht in the Mediterranean, follow in the footsteps of ancient philosophers and mystical Greek gods all while improving your flexibility, circulation and digestion I have the perfect Ageless Traveler vacation for you.
Mediterranean Delights Fitness Voyage (MDFV) has managed to combine the demands of sightseeing with a wellness program that can be as simple or serious as you want to make it.
The star of the show is the boat, a Gulet which has been plying the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea for almost 20 years. It could very well be the yacht of your dreams. It sports 8 cabins which can sleep 16 individuals. Each cabin has its own private bath with shower and porthole window. The sleeping quarters are made of polished wood, as is the entire boat. You'll find plenty of room to prop up a single suitcase or unpack a bevy of nautical evening dresses, depending on how you like to travel.
The Upside Risk of Aging in Place
I guess every form of refuge has its price…
I was listening to Dr. Bill Thomas describe the danger of creating “too safe” of an environment where individuals are not allowed the opportunity to take risks that would permit them to grow and thrive. He notes that the term “risk” simply means an outcome that’s different than expected.
In defining risk this way there are actually two sides; the familiar downside to risk which is the probability that things are going to turn out worse than expected—and the lesser known upside to risk where things actually turn out better than anticipated.
Upside of Risk
It is this upside to risk that seems to be lacking in Long Term Care settings; which according to Dr. Thomas are obsessed with the downside—and I agree. This is really a symptom of the “biomedicalization” of aging where the elderly are treated as a disease category to be cared for (paternalistically) by “experts.”
Perils of the Illusion of Stability
May you stay forever young.
One of the major successes of the 20th Century was the luxury of aging. In fact, longevity is such a recent phenomenon that it’s estimated that of all the human beings who have ever lived to be 65 years of age or older, half are currently alive today (Gray Dawn)! Decreased infant mortality, declining morbidity from infectious diseases (due to antibiotics) and improved sanitation/nutrition, have led to each generation growing older than the one before; but not all see this as a positive development.
The Problem of Age
The late author, Betty Friedan in her seminal work, Fountain of Age, reported on “the problem of age.” Friedan noted that much of our views concerning aging centered around images of mentally incompetent, child-like, lonely, dependent, powerless, sexless, unattractive, older persons…Is it any wonder the fear of aging (gerontophobia) is rampant in our culture.
Aged by Culture
What does it mean to be “aged by culture?” Author and culture critic, Margaret Morganroth Gullette claims that age is a socially constructed concept wrapped in a decline ideology. What she means by that is our society and culture views aging in negative terms–the focus is on delines at the expense of anything remotely positive. And what keeps this cultural-assumption alive in the collective unconscious are images of decline and loss associated with getting older. Our families and members of society embrace ageism unquestionably and perpetuate the negative sterotypes. The result is we have expectations of older adults that match negative perceptions; and so do they…
Every joke poking fun at aging, negative media image, or personal experience of a relative or neighbor, reinforces decline images of elderly. This serves to solidify the cultural trance we can’t seem to shake in our western cult of youth; and eventually we are all aged by culture.
Gullette asserts that what’s needed is a push-back on the “insidious decline ideology,” and the way to do it is by changing our age culture. She would like to see ageism on the cultural level of sexism or racsim, and have all generations behind the effort to end it–by raising awareness of it.
Would you Pay $11.00 and Eat Beans to Live to 100?
Of course you would. Years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Dan Buettner founder of Blue Zones, the movement that studies long lived societies to see why they have such a long age span. Check out his books and TED talk at www.BlueZones.com.
You know by now that our Generation Bold philosophy is to do what’s practical to live as long and healthy as possible-we like that line in ‘Lion King’-“There is more to be done that can ever be done, more to be seen than can ever be seen.” But at least we can live long enough to try.
Here are three things you can do today to be healthier-and if it’s all a bunch of you-know-what, don’t worry, be happy. It’s fun stuff:
#1. Walk every day. Use Meet Up to get in a group. Or in NJ join my group Freewalkers-www.freewalkers.com.
Are You Living in a NORC? Naturally Occurring Retirement Community
Are the people living in your community predominantly over the age of 60? If so, you are probably living in a NORC, a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community.
NORCs arise when a preponderance of the population are aging-in-place. When the population becomes conspicuously older, younger people feel outnumbered and move out. So too, older people may feel more comfortable and move in. The percentage of older residents grows exponentially.
AARP suggests that there are thousands of U.S. communities that can be classified as NORCs. There are at least 300 officially designated NORCs, with organized services for people over the age of 60, often subsidized by state, federal and non profit programs.
Types of NORCs
NORCs are categorized by types of residential development. Single family home neighborhoods are called “open” or “horizontal” NORCs. High rise ownership of condos and coops in cities like New York and St. Louis are called “vertical,” “closed” or “classic” NORCs. Rural area NORCs are called NORRs, Naturally Occurring Retirement Regions, because they cover so much territory.
Eat A Healthy Diet To Maintain An Active Brain
A healthy brain can lead to a longer, happier and healthier life. Many of us don’t really understand how or why it is so important to make sure that we take care of our brains just as we care for other parts of our body. The brain is a big part of overall health and well-being and the health of the brain should be maintained. The first thing that you need to do to maintain this great health of your brain is to focus on your diet. Eating a well balanced diet complete with plenty of fruits and vegetables is necessary so your brain gets all of the proper minerals and nutrition it needs to stay active, alert and healthy.
Try to avoid foods with a bunch of additives or preservatives. Foods that are unnaturally produced or use special chemicals to get them grow to super sizes aren’t going to be very good for the overall health of your brain.
Also, an unbalanced diet full of fatty foods or foods lacking in sufficient vitamins and minerals will do more harm to your body than you know. You don’t have to absolutely cut out all of the foods that you love in your life just to maintain proper brain health, but make sure that you eat these unhealthy foods only in moderation. As you begin to add healthier, organic and wholesome foods into your diet, you will slowly begin to crave more of these foods and less of the unhealthy foods. It is just that first stage of becoming accustomed to eating healthy foods that takes some getting used to.
Sugar and Spice and Everything Ice-
A Warm Visit To The Arctic’s Icehotel
There are many ways to have the adventure of a lifetime. Surely, one of them is to spend a few days across the Artic Circle at the Icehotel. My journey begins in Stockholm’s squeaky-clean Arlanda airport, enroute by Skyway Plane to Kiruna, Lappland. Already I am too bundled up in anticipation of the extreme cold, rumored at forty-three below zero Celsius. After the hour and forty minutes flight, I am over heated. But the taxidermy bear and antlers that adorn the terminal assure me that I was correct to consider the climate. Scott, whose Saami (indigenous people) name is Urbi, meets us. I imagine him in the days of Norsk legend, his waste length hair flowing, his long stringy beard oiled. Today, he looks very handsome in a micro fiber jumpsuit and a fur hat.
The adventure starts here. My eleven-year-old daughter, Rose and I walk the few steps to the airport’s clothing room. No need to spend a fortune on insulated clothing. It’s all free, for those staying at the Icehotel. You get warmly lined boots, a fur lined hat, a fully insulted jump suit and special gloves. So what if they are a little too big, you wear your own clothes, including jacket, underneath. All I suggest you bring is thermal underwear and a face protector.
Leisure Pursuits: Discover the Joys of Birding, Fishing and Gardening
What does leisure time mean to you? I bet it’s not sitting in your rocking chair. We all want quiet renewal time, but today’s active adult tends to seek out leisure with a kicker--fitness, learning, camaraderie, mental stimulation and sensory appeal. Birding, Fishing and Gardening seem to fit the bill.
Did you know that the fastest growing outdoor activity in America is birding? Birding requires walking and standing, sometimes for long periods of time. But, the primary trait of a great birder is patience; often the bailiwick of the more mature. With new advances in binoculars, eyesite is less important than instinct.
And don't think that birding is for eggheads or that birders are slightly weird. On the contrary, while Birders are some of the most intelligent people you will ever meet; they are competitive in logging their sightings and not above bragging. The slogan of the American Birding Association is “Explore, Share, Contribute.”