As I discussed in a recent post, retirement may bring with it an opportunity to move. While figuring out where to move to can be exhilarating and fun, at the same time, we may be strongly attached to the place we already live in and to the things we keep there. Especially if we are living in the home in which we raised our family, the prospect of moving, and the downsizing that usually accompanies it, can turn from being an exciting adventure into an endeavor both a little sad and more-than-a-little daunting.
I know, I know, it’s a very touchy subject. For those of us that went through this with our parents, we know how extremely hard it can be to even talk about it. Driving is the main component of personal independence, both symbolically and in reality. The ability to go where and when we like, without relying on anyone else’s schedule or availability – none of us wants to give that up.
The good news is that being retired usually means having the opportunity to travel without having to think about vacation schedules, the limits on your time off from work, and whether you’ll be exhausted when you get back from your trip because you tried to pack too much in. The bad news is that travel can be expensive, especially if you want to do it often, and most especially if you’re living on a fixed income and want to be as budget-conscious as possible.
This post will be a regular feature of my blog. It’s a round-up of all the recent health news affecting people in our age group and older.
New shingles vaccine
In January, the FDA approved a new shingles vaccine and it is now becoming widely available. It’s called Shingrix and it is much more effective than the older vaccine, Zostavax. Whether or not you have had a shingles shot before, you should definitely get this one. It’s done in two doses, up to six months apart. Having shingles is horrible and the protection this new vaccine offers is so much better than before; you should get it as soon as possible. If your doctor doesn’t have it (ours doesn’t), try the local CVS or Walmart.
Retirement often brings with it an exciting opportunity to think about where we want to live during this portion of our lives. We may want to move to a different climate or be closer to relatives. We may want to reduce our cost of living. We may just want to see what it’s like to live in a different neighborhood or in a smaller house. But how to choose where to go?
How many articles have you read in the last five years about where you should live when you retire? Usually, the more information about a specific subject you’re researching, the better. But in this case, much of the information available is inconsistent, incomplete, and many times, in conflict.
It’s my birthday today and I have to admit that I woke up this morning thinking, “I’m 71 today and I wonder how much longer I have left.” That’s probably a little weird, but it got me to thinking about how to predict life expectancy.
Predicting how long you might live is not necessarily a morbid exercise. A relatively accurate prediction can be useful in a number of ways, including the very important retirement-planning task of estimating how much money you will need to live comfortably for the rest of your life.
I’ll be honest. I used to hate the AARP. They started sending me mail when I was around 50 and I so hated to be reminded that I was going to be of an age much sooner than I expected or wanted where their offerings might be relevant to me. I was also leery that they had been investigated by the government a number of times in the 1980s and ‘90s for various reasons having to do with their origins and their non-profit status. After reading the first two or three mail pieces asking me to join, I just routinely tossed it all away for about the next 20 years.
Yes, we’ve all heard the advice about keeping your medical records handy and up-to-date. I know this becomes an increasingly important thing to do as my husband and I age and are often afflicted with new ailments and have to see new doctors. I try to do this as well as I can, but it’s tedious and time-consuming and I’m sure there are errors in my records, as well as more than a few gaps.
I have a way to solve this problem.
I'm Linda Fleit. My husband and I were lucky enough to retire when we were 61, about nine years ago. We love being retired and want to share all that we've learned over the years about this wonderful stage of life.