Aug 31, 2013

What if you could avoid Alzheimers by cutting out dessert? The Daily Beast

by Barbara Torris
I had planned on writing about my beautiful grandchildren today...a trip to the park, playing on  the structures and walking through the woods. Then I saw an article in The Daily Beast about the connection between our diet and the way our mind deteriorates. Writer David Permutter, MD titled his article Why We Can and Must Focus on Preventing Alzheimer's.

Holy Moly Miss Molly! When it comes to taking care of our minds, we need to sit up a pay attention and sit up and pay attention I did. This man is talking a preventing Alzheimer's for goodnes sakes! I could only think if Alzheimer's could be prevented the whole face of aging would change. Here are some of the study outcomes they used a reference points
  • It turns out that even if you do NOT have diabetes, eating a diet laced with sugar is not a good idea. An increase in blood sugar may damage our minds and  lead to dementia.
  • A study done in England between 1979-2010 put increases in deaths related to brain brain issues in the United States at 66% for men and 92% for women.
  • Gluten intolerance may be more of a neurological  disease than it is a digestive problem.
  • "Mayo Clinic researchers...that risk for mild cognitive impairment, the harbinger for Alzheimer’s disease, or full -blown dementia is an astounding 42% lower in elderly folks who consume a diet higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates, as reported in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease." The Daily Beast
Did you get that? The people that write about Alzheimer's Disease is telling us that more fat and less carbohydrates could be a good thing. WOW!

I am going to be 72 years old soon and believe me the conversation turns to lost keys and forgotten appointments every time I am with my peers. I wonder sometimes if I am going to be an Alzheimer's patient is the conclusion my age group comes to when they forget or get a little lost. If this horrible disease could be prevented wouldn't we all jump on the band wagon? I would hope so.

Read this article written by David Perlmutter, author of the new book Grain Brain, not only for  information on what we can do to prevent dementia but also for the conclusion the author came to for why we are not being educated to prevent the disease and the only thing we ever hear about is a new medications. It is very interesting.


Tom's Sighting pointed out this article: Sugar Makes You Stoopid (Sightings Over Sixty)

Aug 27, 2013

Shabby Apple Giveaway Winner

Oh my gosh...this is the dress our winner from West Hollywood chose. Isn't Boogie Woogie  the most glamorous dress you have ever seen. This is what Shabby Apple had to say about it:
Some things are just better together: peanut butter and chocolate, Ella and Louis, love and dancing.  We decided to pair two things we love—the soft, cotton jersey of our favorite t-shirt, and the gorgeous sateen of our Jazz Age collection—to create the Boogie Woogie, an indispensably comfortable-yet-elegant little black dress.  A luxe jersey cap sleeve top is gathered at the waist with a wide satin sash, and a veritable bouquet of appliqu├ęd, ruched flowers and leaves adorns the full sateen skirt that swirls just below your knee.  A truly inspired combination,the Boogie Woogie has star potential.
Our winner is an XS so it will be stunning on her. If wishes were fishes I would be an XS and own a dress just like it!

Have a wonderful day.


Aug 25, 2013

The Fire Alarm and the TV are friends?

A  Possessed TV?
Honestly, sometimes I think my houses are haunted. I have no idea if this stuff ever happens to anyone else. It could be that I need a support group. It could be called "People that own appliances that can talk!" or something like that.

Once I had a stove that flung the enamel off the stove top all over the house. We would sit watching TV and a piece of gold enamel would go flying across the room. The people that sold us the appliance did not believe me and would not replace it. We had to pay for a new stove top out of our own pocket. Later that same stove decided to unplug itself in middle of a party. I had 40 people in my house and the stove pulled out into the middle of the kitchen to plug it back in.

But this last experience has me shaking my head. We just bought a new TV for our bedroom. When I change the channel or the volume, the fire alarm goes off...three times! The alarm is right over my head in the bedroom and it is deafening. We also have a sleep number bed with a remote control and now I am beginning to wonder if it is going to join in the conversation!

If you ever want to keep your children from watching too much TV, this is the perfect setup. I find myself thinking twice before I turn it on at all. Do you think it is it would be okay to disconnect the fire extinguisher...probably not. Doggone it I guess we will have to get a new one soon. This alarm business is driving me nuts!


Aug 24, 2013

Techniques that can cut your debts before you retire!

Debt has become the most common problem for almost all in the US. It is an evil which ruins your present and also your future. Therefore, it is extremely important to avoid debt as much as possible and work on eliminating the ones you already have. This is because, if you retire with debt, you will simply face problems and get harassed over unpaid debt. You will not have the money to attend to the everyday needs of life. So, it would be better for you to try to reduce payoff credit and eliminate debts at the same time. It is not only about household or credit card debt, but it also is about mortgages and the student loan debt.
Reducing your debts
It is risky to retire with debt and that is the reason most of the baby boomers are planning to work more. So, some of the tips which can help you reduce your debts are as follows:
  1. Be zealous about debt payoffs - You will have to take the initiative, so that you can actually go on to bring down the debt level. You will have to try and go on with the regular debt payments. You will also be required to manage your money such that you can make more than minimum payments on your debts. In fact, making more than minimum payment can help you in becoming debt free soon enough. This also helps you save money on the interest payments.
  1. Avoid incurring additional debts - While trying to pay down your debts, you will have to avoid incurring any further debts. If you go on incurring debts, it may never be possible for you to become debt free. Again, if you cannot become debt free, it may not be possible to save up money for retirement.
  1. Try to improve your income - You will also be required to try and improve your income. This can help you manage all of the expenses, without you having to borrow any money. This may help you to avoid debt as much as possible and you would also be able to save more money, than usual. However, while making the extra money, you will have to keep in mind that you should not simply use up all of the money, but rather save it for the rainy day.
  1. Reduce all forms of extra expenses - You know that it is important to follow a budget. However, if you fail to stick to budgeting or lower your expenses, simply budgeting may not be of much help. Therefore, you will have to analyze your budget from time to time and try and lower the expenses, as much as possible.
  1. Avoid using credit cards - Credit cards easily push you into debt. Therefore, it would be wise of you to avoid using the credit cards, as much as possible. These have been designed mainly for the purpose of emergency usage. So, it would be better if you could keep the credit cards only for emergency use. Use cash for everyday purposes.
Along with the above, you can put together some frugal living tactics, to make things easier for yourself. Exercising is good. So, if you exercise of your own or rather walk, you will be able to do away with the cost of gymming and buying gasoline. 

Bio: Anjelica Cullin is a resident of Kansas city, Missouri, a contributory writer associated with some financial websites and blogs. She has written for several articles for various financial sites and blogs. She is expertised in debt related issues like debt management,credit card consolidation, how to get better debt relief.

Giveaway Winner Selected...but I'm not telling who quite yet!

I have contacted the Shabby Apple vintage dress winner. But I am not telling you just yet. I want to let you know who our winner is with a little information about them. That is not available yet.  Stay tuned for more information!


Aug 19, 2013

Shabby Apple Vintage Dress Giveaway...Enter and Sign-in Please!

Shabby Apple contacted me with an offer I could not refuse. They want YOU to have a vintage dress for free!  Interested?  Just email me at with "Shabby Apple" in the subject line and leave a comment here on the blog telling me which one you like and why. I will announce the winner on Friday, August 23. One of these could be yours.

In the mean time go ahead and visit the Shabby Apple Vintage Clothing Collection. I loved the elegant look of the styles. I think you will too!
Marigold Skirt

Sea Breeze

Heart of Me

Aug 18, 2013

Retirement: Did your dreams come true?

The photo I took...

The photo I wish I had taken...
How long have you been retired? Three months or 15 years? I am very interested in what you dreamed you would do and how it actually turned out. Are the two the same or are you still dreaming about what you thought you would do? Or do you even want to do what you dreamed of anymore?

See, I think retirement is a lot like the two games of golf that my male friends talk about after a round with friends. There is the game they almost played and the real game reflected on their score card. One card has pictures of putts that almost dropped and long drives that were amazing. The other one, the real one does not have pictures and the only thing that it shows are the numbers. After all, in the end, the game is about the numbers. Really, there are no pictures on a score card.

So, let me know.  How has your retirement turned out? Did your dreams come true?

Be sure to read Bob Lowry's article over at Next Avenue: What Retirees Say Retirement Is Really Like

Note: I spent the morning editing my flickr account and adding pictures from all the wonderful summer fun we have had. These are the pictures of what we REALLY did, not what we dreamed about. Take a look here.

Aug 17, 2013

Just a FEW 1000 friends and the Oregon coast!

Cannon Beach, Oregon
Haystack Rock
When friends come to town and ask to spend some time with my husband and I, they get to spend time with us but they are asked to do what I want. After all, it is all about me! Like my blog posts when I write what I want because I figure you will want to hear what I have to say, friends need to know if I am interested in something they will be going to my favorite place and looking at what I like to see.

Today was one of those day. Our friends and a few thousand other people decided to go to Cannon Beach, Oregon. Wow, it was just as beautiful as we I thought it would be.

The cast of character were:
A Bride...
Husband and Satisfied Retiree Bob Lowry+

A Dancing Man (90 years old)...
Tide pool lookers...
Thousands of friends...
My friend Betty (taking picture and my husband in the red shirt)...
And me (the guy is my husband)

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.


Aug 12, 2013

Buy a House with Your IRA? Secrets No One Told You About

One of the most important aspects of enjoying your retirement is being able to pay for it. A majority of American's retirement savings are in the forms of 401(k)s and IRAs. Unfortunately many of these retirement accounts lost money in the past 5 years. One of the reasons for that is because typically IRAs are comprised of a small blend of stocks, bonds and mutual funds that are chosen by brokers.

What most people don't know, is that you can use the funds in your IRA to buy almost anything you want, and the income you earn from these investments is tax-free or tax differed. The big secret here,is that these types of IRAs outperform typical IRAs and 401(k)s and have lower yearly fees.

To get started with this type of investment strategy you simply need to convert your IRA or 401(k) into a Self Directed IRA. Then you can take the funds from your Self Directed IRA and literally write a check to buy investments.

Here are some of the things people are investing in using their IRA funds:
  1. Gold and Precious Medals – This is one of the easiest ways to see at 30% annual return in your IRA. Sometimes you can even hold the gold or silver in your own home and have it still be part of your IRA assets.
  2. Local Businesses – We recently met a restaurant owner who said that one of his investors was his sister who used money in her IRA to start the restaurant. Every month the profits form the business go straight into her IRA
  3. Rental Property or Vacation Homes – Property prices are set to rebound and you can easily buy inexpensive properties where the rent gives you income to your IRA. With a combination of rental income and the rise in home prices, you could easily see a 10-25% return on your investment
  4. Foreign Currency and Property – Its very easy to buy a small vineyard in Italy and a bank account full of Euros using your Self Directed IRA. You can have your dream home and have it pay you income!
There's a good chance you didn't know this was possible. That's because most bankers and financial advisers don't want you to know about it. They make money every time to buy or sell a stock that they recommend, and if the stock goes up they often take a fee as part of the profits! Bankers don't make money when you make a loan to a small business or a college student, or buy a house on the beach.

If you're at all interested in learning about how to do more with your IRA and turbo charge your retirement, or are just curious about what sorts of things you can use your IRA money for, read the FREE guide on Self Directed IRAs found at

I strongly suggest spending the next 10 minutes seeing what your options are.

I am an affiliate for, not because I am an expert on finances because I know a lot of you are trying to make smart decision about IRAs and Roth IRAs. I think the more we know the better we are at making those smart choices.

Aug 11, 2013

Stay At Home Motherhood in the Rearview Mirror

The Number One Danger of Being a Stay at Home Mom was the name of the blog post. All I could think was "Is there only one?" Really, being a stay at home mom is a choice that has so many ramifications I cannot even wrap my mind around it. I was a stay at home mom in the 1960's. But nothing has really changed accept the hairdos and the clothes.

No matter the time or the place, a parent really needs to think about the choices they will have. Face the facts before the train leaves the station and the baby is conceived or at the very latest born. Once you become a parent your choices are there but you may not like them. On the other hand, making the choice and then doing a wonderful job is a reward all and of itself. There is no right or wrong way.

He said, She said
I am looking at this from the vantage point of my 71+ years. Having lived the life of a stay at home mom I know how it feels.  I know the isolation that comes from not having a career to discuss with friends. I understand the need for the the positive strokes that come from accomplishing work related goals. Given the era I raised my children in and the place we lived, I would not change one thing. No, not at all. I think we did what parents do today. We chose what was best for our family given our situation. 

The Little Prince 70th Anniversary Gift Set
(Book/CD/Downloadable Audio)
However, from my husbands point of view it could be seen differently.  He did carry the full load of earning our income and providing a retirement income as we grew older. He gets a glimpse of my life with small children when our grandchildren stay for the day each week. I pointed out to him that the mess, noise, running children are all what I experienced as a young stay at home mother. I was feeling very smug. His response hit at the core of the matter. Well, I guess I could have not worked he said then I would know all about that.

He did more than his fair share and actually my choice to stay at home was a selfish one in a lot of ways. I was a certified teacher that could have retired at 52 if I had stayed at the job. Our financial situation would have been better all of our married lives. If I were raising children in this day and age I might do it all differently because there is so much support for working families today. But maybe not.

There is a quote from The Little Prince that I have always loved. It goes like this:
“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox.  “But you must not forget it.  You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” -the fox, ch.21.

And so it goes. There is danger all around. Be brave and don't worry about the dangers you will face when you decide how to tame your child. Worry about doing what you have chosen in a way that will make you proud all of your life.


Aug 10, 2013

Catching the Boomerang: Downsizing?

By Barbara Torris (b+). She is a retirement blogger talking about a beautiful life style.
I was visiting with a blogging friend the other day and the conversation turned to boomerang-kids. This seems to be a conversation I am having frequently. I suppose it is on my mind. The question is How does the extra adult in the house come into play when it comes to  retirement saving?

Can people catch the boomerang before it lands in their front yard? Some people are not happy living with adult children and some are. If they are not, they need to be looking at a way to prevent their children from boomeranging.

The blogging friend's wife and I started the conversation with boomerangs and ended it with downsizing in retirement. We looked at each other in amazement as it occurred to both of us at the same time that many mid-life and retired people are downsizing so that, when the children need help, coming home to live will not be a choice. They know it would not be a happy situation for them. Interesting huh?

Could it be people are saving enough money by downsizing so they are able to help children in trouble but not make them dependent on them totally? The family remains on good terms and the children continue to mature and be self reliant. Helping pay part of the grown child's rent is a lot different than them coming home to live rent-free. The child could still be responsible for most of the cost and be forced to live within their means.

So, give it some thought. If a person is in a position where saving during those last few years of work is very important to their retirement, supporting an adult child can break the bank. There really should be a way to do both. It could be that downsizing is one strategy that should be considered.

What do your think?

Aug 9, 2013

How Early Should You Start Planning for Retirement?

Planning for retirement is often but on hold because Boomerang-kids are returning home during the period of time when parents need to speed up their retirement savings. I thought this article was particularly appropriate after writing the segment about the subject. Later Life is an organization providing educational workshops for future retirees. They had this to say about retirement planning. b+

Many people wonder when the best time to start planning for their retirement is. Some people think that the fact that we pay into a pension from a young age is enough, but few people realize that we should really up their efforts in planning for retirement around ten years before we’re due to stop working. This gives us sufficient time to prepare our finances and assess our options. Retirement is an exciting prospect; after all your hard work over the years, you finally get the chance to relax and spend more time with your family and friends, take up new hobbies, and enjoy yourself!

When should you begin...
As mentioned, some of us may pay money regularly into pensions and savings account, but then make no forward planning, and others may not have saved at all. When you reach the ten year mark, it’s time to assess your finances and begin to keep an eye on those all important funds. Think about the money you’re spending, and create a budget for yourself. Perhaps set a monthly or weekly budget, and check your bank balance on a regular basis.

Everybody sometimes underestimates how much they spend per day, especially on a food or clothes shopping trip with a debit or credit card! If you have Internet access, why not set up an Internet banking account? You can then check your account at your own leisure instead of waiting for your bank statement or going into your local bank, and transfer money across to your pension fund or savings account.
If you’re able to make more cut backs now, you’ll benefit yourself in the future. Pensions are usually a minimal budget, so saving now means that during your retirement you’ll have the money to still go on holidays and enjoy days out. You’ll certainly have lots of free time on your hands, so why not use it?
As retirement draws closer…
If possible, a few years before your retirement clear any debts to take away that added pressure during your retirement. Perhaps consider downsizing your home, or changing your vehicle to one that is more financially practical. Not only will both of these be cheaper for you, they may be more realistic as you enter into retirement.
How about also cutting down on your workload or work hours? Retirement is such a different way of life, that many retirees consider it a difficult adjustment - some feeling bored, or at times worthless. No longer do you need to be up early, work from nine until five and make your way home through rush hour traffic. You now have no obligations and are free to live a life of leisure! It’s best to ease yourself into retirement so that it’s not such a shock to the system. 
Use your final year wisely
It’s important to seek advice from a financial advisor in the last year of your working life. Not only can you gain valuable information and guidance, it allows you to make a plan for you and your finances in your retired life. Make sure that you have also informed the appropriate organizations of your retirement date. These may vary from the HMRC, who will help you to gain any benefits you may be eligible for, to applying for pension credit if you have been on a lower income.
A lot of people also find help in the form of retirement courses extremely useful. These courses, which can sometimes be organised through your place of work, can help you prepare for your upcoming change both financially and emotionally.
The trick to settling into retirement quickly and happily really is in the planning. Giving yourself plenty of time to prepare will  take away any extra pressure that you can definitely do without once you stop working.

Aug 5, 2013

When Parents Throw a Boomerang!

When the subject turns to boomerang-kids, people come crawling out of the woodwork with opinions. It seems many have quite a bit to say about something they have never experienced. I am here to have my say because I have...had a boomerang-kid that is. 

Out on the web...
I have been reading the posts and articles about the subject recently and I have found that the thinking of many is that the children are malingerer and just need to get out there and do something. A blog called Gypsy Nester calls these young people Boomerang Brats. After I read the post and all it's research, I had to agree. A lot of these children are taking advantage of their parents. 

Parents threw the boomerang...
But I have to take a less harsh approach. I think in a great many cases neither the parent or the child see the move as being a bad thing. And it is not just the children that promote moving back in with mom and dad. Parents could be held partly responsible for the trend. If it does turn out to be bad, there is plenty of blame to go around.

I think we need to talk about our performance as parents. We all know that each child is different and some are more mature or even capable than others. As a result our jobs as parents is a very complicated one and no parent does it in exactly the same way. It is very easy to judge parents and children based on what we see from the outside. But, as we all know, there is probably a different story  would be told if we could be a fly on the wall. For example, we do not know how the recent recession and it's fall out came into play in other people's lives.

The thing is I think most of us that have boomerang-kids are probably reaping what we sow. Those that "sponge" off mom and dad while they save money for trips or fancy houses need to take a good hard look at how that is going to affect their parents down the line. So the children need to take responsibility for their actions in that situation. 

But the parents also need to admit  they have planted seeds that grow readily when the child wants more or is in a little trouble. The child has been told  they will always be welcome to move back in if they want. In fact, when parents say this will always be your home too, they need to be very aware of how that might play out in their child's future. If the child is the type that will take advantage and not give back in anyway, that parent is in for a very hard time.

Out in the world... 
In an article written for Forbes called Get Off My Lawn: Living With Kids Makes Seniors Less Happy, they talked about how the experience of having a boomerang-kid in the house takes its toll on the parents.

They noted that parents between the age of 34 to 46 like to have their children at home even though they do find it more stressful. Senior people in United States are not seeing any positives in children living with them at all. Happiness falls while stress and resentment increases. 

But in my world....
Our son moved back home after being gone for almost 10 years. College, jobs kept him busy for all those years. I was glad to have him with us again. His father loved it. They watched ballgames together, went fishing and just visited for hours. The relationship they established during that time was invaluable to both of them. But we all knew it should not go on forever. I will admit I wondered how it would end and was grateful it worked out in a positive way. We all realized the time had come and passed for him to move on so that is what he did.

My husband and I had been retired for several years when we began the journey. We had a good income so when our son decided to make a career change, we were happy we could help him. He was going to school to get the training he needed for a well paying job. We actually invited him to move in at that time. He did not ask for our help.

I learned a lot from the experience and do not regret that time in our lives. The truth is my husband and I could not live happily in comfort  when we could help our son by sharing. We all worked together to make things better for him.

Bill Cosby even has some advice...
I remember a quote from Bill Cosby. It went something like this: "I keep reminding my children that I am the one that is rich. They aren't. It is my money. I give them an allowance. They have to live on that."

One of my adult children helped their daughters move out when they left for college and immediately used the bedroom space for a new purpose. If the child comes back for a visit, the space they use is not their childhood room. In their case there is never a feeling that the visit is an invitation to move back home.  

In fact, I think those children have always been told that would be the case when they were adults. It is probably the way we should all do it if we don't want to have our children boomerang on us.

It seems to me when there is a real problem and we are called to help, the children should know they are living at home again to solve that issue not because it is their right to do so. AND they cannot stay forever and ever.

That is what I think.  How about you? 


Aug 2, 2013

Hollywood: How do we "picture" aging? by Karen Austin

Guest Blogger Bio: Karen D. Austin is a gerontologist who spend her time as an adjunct, blogger, and volunteer with older adults in a variety of venues. She lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband and two children. Her approach to aging is part science, part performance art. She blogs at The Generation above Me. Follow her on Twitter @TheGenAboveMe

About five years ago, I started to maintain a list of films that feature people from late midlife on.  I was still teaching college English at the time and well versed in the concerns of those 18 to 25. I spent three decades supporting the intellectual development of young adults. Sometimes I offered them a little emotional support, too. 

I am interested in human growth and development, but because I spent so much time in a university setting with undergraduates, I was woefully inattentive about life challenges and opportunities for those 50 plus.

Watching these films peaked my curiosity.  I won’t claim that watching movies was the only catalyst for my career change. However, five years and 100 films later, I have quit teaching college English. I recently finished a master’s in Aging Studies. And I’m preparing to teach a class about films that depict aging issues.  My students will be both traditional and nontraditional, providing for multiple perspectives.

Now it seems that Hollywood is making films that star seasoned actors faster than I can view them.  Or is this just because I’m hyperaware? 

I remember when I bought a VW, it seemed everyone had a VW. When I was pregnant, the number of pregnant women crossing my path seemed to grow exponentially. And now that I’m interested in active aging, it seems there is more information about managing the aging process than I can consume.

The more I observe the aging process, the more I discover its complexities.  People in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond are a diverse group. I can see this complexity in the films I’m watching, even though they at times exaggerate the human experience.  But such exaggerations make it easier to see things that real life might obscure through subtlety.

These themes have emerged: films about sex and love, films about managing male power, films about artists, films about athletes, films about family drama, films about generational conflict, films about road trips, films about communal living, films about meeting the challenges of illness, films about how to cope with loss. In other words, films featuring an infinite number of life experiences.  

By taking a closer look at aging through films, I found that people in midlife and late life do pretty much the same things that young adults do. Love, laugh, live.  Earn, yearn, spurn.  Each age group just strives for the same things—self-expression, intimacy, creativity, self-determination, community, etc.--with their own spin.  

Here is a short list of films that I found that taught me that the concerns of people 50 plus defy the stereotype that people in the second half of life are boring, inflexible, and stagnant. Not true. Like all people, midlife adults and older adults are interesting, dynamic and developing.  

  • Age of Champions (2001). This documentary profiles a handful of athletes as they prepare for and compete at The National Senior Games.
  • Boynton Beach Club (2005). This film mixes comedy and drama as it shows six older singles adjusting to single life and the dating scene after decades of marriage. 
  • Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011).  A master sushi chef is still perfecting his craft and mentoring others at age 85.
  • On a Clear Day (2005). When the lead character is laid off at midlife, he must find a new purpose. His friends, wife and son all respond differently to his decision to take up long-distance swimming.
  • Quartet (2012). Having a long-history sharing work lives and social lives makes living in the same retirement community more complex than living in a college dorm, but it also makes life more rich.
  • Trouble with the Curve (2012). Despite having to manage age-related challenges, an experienced baseball scout shows that he still maintains a lot of skill and strength when co-workers challenge him.

Interested in more titles? See a bigger list that I maintain and update regularly. Recommend a film in the comments below.

Other guest post written for various blog by Karen Austin can be found here.

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