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How to Reduce Your Risk for Table of Contents Alzheimer 's Disease How to Reduce Your Risk for Alzheimer's Disease ................................................... 3 Things to Consider as Retirement Approaches ........................................................ 4 Glaucoma , a Common butTreatable Disease ..........................................................5 What to Do With Your Retirement Account Before the Next Economic Downturn ......6 Exercises for People With Arthritis .......................................................................... 8 Preparing for Hospice Care ..................................................................................... 9 These Are Not Your Grandmother 's Retirement Homes .......................................... io Shedding Pounds After 50 .................................................................................... 11 Event Map ........................... . ...............................................................................


........................... ................ ............................. .... ................ ............. ..13 Advice for Aging Athletes ...... ................ .................... ............. ..............................14 Hobbies for the Golden Years ................ .... ................ ......... .... ............................. ..15 Older Drivers Have to Reassess Abilities .... ...........................................................16 What's Next After Retirement ? ...............................................................................17 Travel Ideas for Active Seniors ................. .................. .................... .......................18 Vendor List

Aging Can Impair Driving Ability ... . . .................. ......... . . ......... .................... ......... . . .19

Did You Know? ....................................................................... ............................. .19 Things to Consider Before Inviting an Aging Relative to Move In ... . . . . ....... . . ....... . . . . .20 Keeping Marriage Going Strong Into Your Golden Years .........................................21

Simp le Ways to Avoid Overspending as Retirement Nears .. .. ......... .. .....................22 Get to Know Cataracts Risk Factors .............................. .........................................23

Advertisers Doctors Hospital .................................................................................................................... 2 First Command Financial Services .......................................................................................... 4 Eye Guys Physicians & Surgeons of Augusta, PC ..................................................................... 5 Johnson Motor Company of Georgia ....................................................................................... 6 Chris Heath, Nationwide Insurance ........................................................................................ 6 Serenity Day Spa ................................................................................................................... 7 AmeriLife & Health Services of Augusta,LLC........................................................................... 7 Elmcroft of Martinez ...................................................................................................... ...... ... 8 St. Joseph Hospice ,LLC................................................................................................. ......... 9 Brandon Wilde .............................................................................................................. ....... 10 ........ 11 Dr. Jason McRae , DC ...................................................................................................... Georgia Bank &Trust ..................................................................................................... ........r4 Family Y of Greater Augusta ...................................................................................................14 Busby's Heating,Air Conditioning and Refrigeration .............................................................. 15 Shaw Financial Group ........................................................................................................... i5 Southern Siding & Window Company .................. ................................................................. 16 AAA Augusta ........................................................................................................................ 16 Mary Kay by Anita Conley & Sherry Mozley ............................................................................. 17 Brookstone Cottages at Rae's Creek ......................................................................................17 Vacations to Remember ....................................................................................................... 18

The Partridge Inn .................................................................................................................19 Hickory Knob State Resort Park ............................................................................................20

Primerica Financial Services ................................................................................................. 20 Southeast Pain Management ................................................................................................21

Northwestern Mutual ............................................................................................................21

Center For Modem Aging ...................................................................................................... 22 Herrington Financial Services ............................................................................................... 23 Augusta Pain Center ............................................................................................................. 23 Balfour Beatty Communities Fort Gordon ..............................................................................24

Alzheimer 's disease affects millions of people across the globe. In the United States alone , the Alzheimer's Association estimates one in eight older men and women has the disease, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country . Few families have not been affected by Alzheimer 's disease , and many relatives of those with the disease fully understand the role family history can play. Research into the disease is ongoing, and it's alread y yielded valuable information that may help reduce the prevalence of this devastating disease in the years to come. One byproduct of researchers ' efforts is the discovery that it may be possible to prevent or delay the symptoms of Alzheimer 's disease through the implementation of a combination of health y lifesty le choices . The following are a few health y habits that may help men and women reduce their risk for Alzheimer's. • Exercise regularly A study conducted by Scottish researchers and published in the journal Neurology in 2012 touted exercise as the most effective way for adults to protect their brains from Alzheimer's disease. Researchers examined roughly 700 70 -yearold participants ,all of whom were born in 1936 , who were asked to report their levels of physical activity. Each participant then received an MRI at age 73. Those

tests revealed that the participants who were more physicall y active showed less brain shrinkage and fewer white matter lesions, both of which are indicators of Alzheimer's disease. In addition , the Alzheimer's Research & Prevention Foundation reports that physical exercise reduces a person 's risk of developing Alzheimer's by 50 percent and can even slow further deterioration in those who have already begun to develop the cognitive problems

associated with Alzheimer 's. Researchers continue to study the relationship between physical activity and the development of Alzheimer 's diseases , but the evidence is mounting that regular exercise , regardless of a person 's age, is a great way to reduce risk for Alzheimer's. • Eat healthy What you put into your body may also reduce your risk for Alzheimer's disease. The brain operates at its best when it is fueled with a healthy

• Stimulate yourself mentally Mental stimulation can hel p the brain stay sharp, and men and women who find ways to stay mentally stimulated can reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer's. Embrace activities that require communication and interaction with others , and find time for additional tasks that can stimulate your brain. These may include stud ying a foreign language , reading, trying your hand




staying physically active as you age can preven the onset /i


a7` '1 :?GI?t diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein. A heart-health y diet is also brain-healthy, and researchers have found a potential link between heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. Researcher Larry Sparks of the Sun Health Research Institute in Arizona and formerly of the Kentucky medical examiner's office studied brain tissues with a goal of finding early signs of Alzheimer's disease . He discovered that those who had the telltale plaques of Alzheimer 's disease also had heart disease , suggesting heart disease may be a forerunner of brain diseases like Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer 's Association feels this link between the two will only grow stronger in the years to come ,suggesting that a heart-health y diet that reduces a person's risk of heart disease may also reduce the risk forA[zheimer 's down the road. More information on a heart-healthy diet is available at

puzzles such as crosswords or Sudoku, and other activities that emp hasize organization. Such activities are essentially workouts for your brain that can help it stay sharp as you age. • Remain socially active Staying socially active into older adulthood is important for a variety of reasons , not the least of which is that research has indicated the brain functions better when men and women are not isolated from others. Memory

and cognition are stronger when peop le remain socially active and engaged in their society, so retirees should look for ways to revive their social lives as a means to protecting their brains from the onset of Alzheimer 's or dementia. A lzheimer 's disease remains an enigma in many ways. But ongoing research continues to show that men and women can take measures to actively prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer 's disease and improve their quality of life as a result.


The Augusta Chronicle • Life After Fifty Expo 4

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Things To Consider As Retirement Approaches




and women approaching ement should consider a t of factors to ensure their rs out of the officeare as sting and enjoyable as sible


Though many peop le are delaying retirement , the day will still come when they leave their jobs behind and retire. Retirement can be a difficult adjustment that takes some getting used to, but it can also prove an exciting time,especially for those who planned ahead to ensure their retirement was a time to be cherished and not feared. Whether retirement is right around the corner or still a decade or so away, men

and women should consider several factors to make sure their retirement years are an enjoyable time that allows them to live life to the fullest. • Income j ust because you're no longer working doesn 't mean you won't have income. Government benefits , retirement accounts and perhaps even some light consulting work are just a few ways retirees can earn an income. Though your retirement income will likely pale in


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country ? Do you want to move closer to

your children and grandchildren? Do you want to split yourtime in separate cities? Is a retirement village something you might be amenable to? Each of these options is different , and each requires a different financial commitment, so carefully consider where you want to spend your retirement and then consider how you can make those wishes a reality. • Medical costs Private insurance or government-sponsored programs likely won 't cover all of your medical costs , which typically increase as a person ages. There are various ways to prepare for the medical costs that might arise during retirement, and the earlier you start that preparation the less stressful paying for medical care as you age figures to be. Retirement should be an exciting time for

men and women , especially for those who have spentyears planning their retirement to ensure it's as enjoyable as possible.


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comparison to your income as an adult working full-time , estimate what that income will be so you can get at least an idea of how much will be coming in each month. • Monthly expenses Once you have an idea of what 's coming in, estimate how much will be going out each month. Certain costs associated with working, such as the cost of commuting and maintaining a professional wardrobe , can be removed from the ledger. But other expenses , including utilities, car payments and possibly even a mortgage payment , will still need to be made. Once you have an idea of your projected income and your expenses during retirement , you can get to work on a prospective budget to show

it Emp loyment Many people now look at retirement as the end of one career and the beginning of another. As retirement draws closer, men and women might want to consider turning an interest or passion into a second career. Such a move might make retirement more exciting while removing some of the fear of finding enough things to pass the time that many people have with regard to retirement. • Relocation Where to spend your retirement years is another thing to consider before the big day arrives. Do you, like many retirees , prefer to stay in your own home?Do you want to relocate to a warmer climate or move to another

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ere are various ways to pare for the medical is that might arise during `irement, and the earlier u start that preparation less stressful paying medical care as you age res to be.

Glaucoma,a Common but Treatable Disease Many peop le expect some moderate loss of visual acuity as they age. Though some people can go a lifetime with 20/20 vision, many do need to get prescri ption eyeglasses as they age or get stronger prescri ptions if they already wear glasses. Glaucoma is one of the more common vision issues men and women face as they age. Though anyone , including newborn babies , can get glaucoma , older people are at a greater risk. That' s important for men and women to know , as the Glaucoma Research Foundation notes that glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness, and roughly io percent of people who receive proper treatment will still experience loss of vision. Because it is so prevalent, glaucoma is something men and women should familiarize themselves with so they're more equipped to recognize its symptoms and seek treatment, which is highly effective , as soon as possible. What is glaucoma? Glaucoma is not a single disease but the name used to refer to a group of eye

diseases that damage the optic nerve. Located in the back of the eye , the optic nerve is responsible for carrying information from the eye to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve can eventually lead to loss of vision. How does glaucoma develop? One of the first things to happen when a person gets glaucoma is the loss of peripheral vision. This is enough to motivate many people to visit their eye doctor, who will then develop a course of treatment to restore vision. Those who experience a loss of peri pheral vision but do not seek treatment may notice their overall vision is worsening, and total blindness can result. Are all glaucomas the same? Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases,and not all glaucomas are the same. There are three types of glaucomas , and each has its own set of symptoms. • Open-angle glaucoma The most common form of glaucoma , open-angle glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve is

gradually damaged. Eyesight will be slowly lost , and one eye may be more affected than the other. • Closed-angle glaucoma When a person has closed-angle glaucoma , which is somewhat rare, the iris and the lens block the movement of fluid between the chambers of the eye, causing pressure to build up as the iris presses on the eye 's drainage system . • Congenital glaucoma Congenital glaucoma is rare and most often affects infants at birth. Children and young adults can also get congenital glaucoma , thoug h such instances are also rare. What are the symptoms of glaucoma? The symptoms of glaucoma vary depending on the type. Vision loss is the only noticeable symptom of open-ang le glaucoma,and that vision loss is likely to affect peripheral vision ,which may not be noticeable until it's severe because the healthy eye will make up for the loss. By the time sharpness of vision is affected , significant vision loss has likely occurred.

Closed-angle glaucoma may cause mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. When symptoms do appear,they tend to do so in short periods that occur in the evening and disappear by morning. In some instances , symptoms can be severe and will require immediate medical attention. These symptoms include sudden and severe blurring of vision; severe pain, either in the eye itself or the surrounding areas; redness of the eye; nausea and vomiting; and possibly colored halos around lights. Sym ptoms of congenital glaucoma may be present at birth or develop as a child becomes a toddler. These symptoms may include watery eyes ,sensitivity to light , an eye or eyes that appear cloudy and eyes that appear larger than normal because the eyeballs have enlarged due to pressure. A child may also be experiencing congenital glaucoma if he or she is frequently rubbing his or her eyes or squinting or keeping his or her eyes closed much of the time. More information on glaucoma is available at




It usuall 50. That's when most of us start noticing changes suallyy happens around age 50. in our ur vision which are simply part of the normal aging process. Fortunately, the Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Augusta - The Eye Guys - can can help. help. With advanced advanced procedures LASIK , PRK, Epi-LASIK Epi-LASIK and Laser Cataract Surgery, .educes like LASIK, and LenSx Laser BEST POSSIBLE VISION - an an any age - has never been easier. Call enjoying ying the BEST


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The Augusta Chronicle .Life After Fifty Expo 6

What To Do With Your Retirement Account Before The Next Economic Downturn nvestors age 50 and older should begin

ro reduce the risks associated with their

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etirement accounts, choosing more stable vestments as they age

A struggling economy can have both instant and longterm consequences. When the economy is suffering, coWnsumers tend to spend less in the short term while making financial decisions that affect them over the long haul. One of the biggest quandaries men and women face during a recession or economic downturn is how to approach their retirement accounts, most notably a 401(k). When the economy begins to struggle, men and women may notice



their 401(k) plans are struggling right along with it, losing money that most were counting for their retirements. This can induce a certain degree of panic ,as account holders worry about their financial futures and how they are going to get by should the recession last and their retirement accounts continue to shrink. But such panic might be unwarranted. According to the investment management firm Vanguard , participant saving and

investing behavior had returned to prerecession levels by 2 010, and participant account balances actually rose 13 percent between 2005-2010, despite the considerable market shock that occurred during the recession of 2008-2009. Those figures illustrate that even during a particularly bad economic swoon investors will return to their typical behavior sooner rather than later. Therefore it pays to avoid overreacting at the onset of a downturn and maintain your peace of mind. While some people manage to maintain a cool head during times of economic struggles, others may lose sleep when the next recession or downturn rears its ugly head. To avoid succurnbingto such stress ,considerthe following tips to protect your retirement

accounts should the economy once again take a turn for the worse.

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• Pay attention to your portfolio Young people just beginning their professional careers are often told to enroll in a 401(k) program as soon as possible ,but to avoid making any changes in the near future once the account has been set up. While no investors , young or old, should allow a knee-jerk reaction after a bad financial quarter to dictate how they manage their retirement accounts, that doesn 't mean you should ignore an account entirely. Pay attention to your portfolio , examining it at least once per year so you can make adjustments to your investments if need be. Just don't allow a sudden reaction to a bad quarter dictate these adjustments, which should only be made after a careful examination of your retirement account' s portfolio and its performance. If you're happy with the performance , don't change a thing. • Reduce your risk as you age Financial experts can often predict when the economy will thrive and when it will struggle. But unless you are such an expert , avoid playing with fire. As you age, reduce your risk with regard to your investments. Young people can afford to take on more risk because they have more time to make up for a risk that doesn't work out.

Men and women age 5o and older have no such luxury and should reconfigure their retirement accounts as they age so their investments are less risky and more conservative. This strategy should be put to use even if you lost a substantial amount of money during a previous recession or downturn. It might be tempting to try to make up for lost money, but that strategy carries considerable risk, and you might end up dep leting your retirement savings a second time. • Spread the money around When contributing to a retirement account such as a 40 1(k), the standard is to deposit 6 percent of each paycheck into that account. If you're depositing more than 6 percent into your retirement account, consider decreasing your retirement contribution to the standard amount and depositing the extra money into a high-interest savings account. The savings account won't put your deposits at risk , and if the economy is faring well, you will still be doing well with your 401(k) while ensuring some of your money won't suffer should the economy suddenly take a turn for the worse. • Don't cash out too early When the economy struggles, many investors have discovered they simply don't have the

stomach for investing. That's perfectly understandable with certain investments , but a retirement account should not be one of them. Cashing out a retirement account too early could incur substantial penalties that , if your retirement account t



was affected poorly by a bad year, may only further deplete an account you likely spent years building. Avoid the temptation to cash out early if your retirement account is struggling. It's often not worth the steep price.


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The Augusta Chronicle • Life After Fifty Expo

Exercises for People r With Arthritis




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According According to tothe theArthritis ArthritisFoundation, Foundation,men men and and women women with with arthritis arthritisshould should commit committo toregular regular exercise exercisethat thatincludes includes three threetypes types of activities: ofactivities:

flexibility flexibilityexercises, exercises,strengthening strengtheningexercises exercisesand and r cardiovascular exercises






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Arthritis can make p hysical activity more difficult. In sp ite of that difficulty, Zr?• ? rv? exercise is an important part of staying 161 healthy for men and women with arthritis. Even moderate physical •+l activity can strengthen bones and {'T'IS muscles and increase joint flexibility, V 10 making it easier for arthritis sufferers to perform daily tasks. According to the Art hritis Foundation , men and women with arthritis should commit to regular exercise that includes three types of activities: flexibility exercises , strengthening exercises and cardiovascular exercises. Consult a physician before beginning any exercise regimen, and discuss any limitations your specific condition might place on your physical abilities. Such limitations might diminish as your exercise regimen progresses, but it's important to exercise within those limitations at the onset to avoid injuries. It's also important to consult your physician should you experience a flare-up of arthritis before,during or after exercise. Such flare-ups might require you to alter your routine, and your physician can help with such alterations. Wh' our While ourlater lateryears yearscan present pr%pntmany • Flexibility exercises Perform 1 cha?en es they ch llenges, they also alsoofferrtheir theirsha re ,w` flexibility exercises every day, as they will protect your joints by reducing oof f j joo s Croft we' Imcroft, re ommi !d ? r?mmitb sgi injury risk. Flexibility exercises , which to enriching lives of the elderly in lives of eIdIF ?Iq,Q are often referred to as range-of-motion offering offeringthe thecompassicM, compassion,dignity gnityand and I exercises , help your body warm up for indeperence cethey eydg d ve. e. In more strenuous exercise. Once you're , comfortable doing at least 15 continuous -N minutes of flexibility exercises , you're -Here 6r e f t A I l 's Ifffa ? • likely ready to add strengthening CalPto CaI oschedule scheduleyour yourvisit! visit! and cardiovascular exercises to your routine. Many peop le with arthritis find 706.855.6565 7 5.6565 yoga is an especially effective flexibility f =t' x_` exercise , as it strengthens and relaxes Fes'. stiff muscles and even aids in weight0 loss efforts. Just don't push yourself too hard when starting out with yoga,as the exercises are more difficult than they might seem. I


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muscles reduce stress on the joints, something that' s especially helpful to arthritis sufferers. Strengthening exercises , also known as resistance exercises, build the body's muscles so they're more capable of absorbing shock and more effective at preventing injury to the joints. When performing strengthening exercises , you will use weight or resistance to make the muscles work harderand grow stronger.Isometric strengthening exercises tighten the muscles without moving the joints, while isotonic strengthening exercises strengthen the muscles by moving the joints. The Art hritis Foundation recommends performing strengthening exercises every other day and always in conjunction with flexibility exercises , which can be performed before and after strengthening exercises. • Cardiovascular exercises Walking, dancing, swimming and bicycling are examples of cardiovascular, or aerobic , exercises, which many peop le find the most enjoyable way to exercise. Cardiovascular exercises make the heart, lungs,blood vessels and muscles work more efficiently while improving endurance and strengthening bones. Initially, cardiovascular exercises might be difficult for arthritis sufferers who have not exercised in a while. However, you can gradually build toward 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to four times per week , and you will notice your endurance improves the more you commit and stick to your routine. Include cardiovascular exercises as part of your larger routine, performing some type of aerobic exercise after strengthening exercises. More information on exercising for people with arthritis can be found at

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9 Life After Fifty Expo .The Augusta Chronicle

Preparing for Hospice Care Sometimes patients succumb to a disease , in spite of the best treatments


there are some guidelines that can be

for a family to confront a loved one 's declining health, hosp ice care can be final days as comforting as possible. Hospice is a type of care designed to make the final moments of a person 's life as pain-free and manageable as

care you prefer. This may include care within a nursing home or hosp ital,or in the comfort of your own home. • Sign a medical durable power

a dignified way to make that person 's

possible . It can take place in a medical

facility, but very often hospice care

occurs at home or wherever the ill person feels most comfortable. Hosp ice care is usually the last step

when all other options have been exhausted. Making the decision to move

a loved one to hospice care can be an

emotionally wrenching time. Decisions such as these may be better made at a time in a person 's life when he or she is not sick. That is why living wills that

spell out details for end-of-life care can be quite valuable. Decisions are made

with a level head and not wrought with

emotions. Such living wills also can take

the pressure off of family members who

may not feel comfortable making such

decisions on their own or in concert with relatives. Hospice is a type of care and a philosophy that focuses on the palliative care of terminally ill patients. Rather than providing medication to try to treat the illness, medicine is offered to make

a person more comfortable and remove

any pain. Psychological therapy may

also be offered to help the person come

to terms with the end of life. Although hosp ice is a concept that has gradually

evolved since the


century, the

principles of modern hospice care can trace their roots to the 195os and Dame

Cicely Saunders , a nurse and social

worker who is known as the creator of

the hospice movement.

If hospice care is outlined in a dying person 's living will or expressed wishes ,



followed by the sick individual. • Visit various medical care centers to see if away-from-home options provide the care and environment you desire. If

and support. When the time comes

Be sure to establish what type of hospice

of attorney This signed document gives authority to an adult age



older, who then has the right to make

necessary medical and healthcare decisions for you in the event you

become incapacitated.

• Clearly indicate your wishes regarding resuscitation A signed document may alert emergency healthcare personnel or others of your wishes not to be resuscitated. This document must be signed by you and a doctor and witnessed by others. • Decide on the duration of care Hosp ice care generally lasts six months.

This enables a long stretch of palliative

care. Should you live beyond the time period , hospice care can continue. Studies have shown that patients who receive hospice care for at least 30 to 6o days gain greater benefit than those who are placed in hospice only in their final days. • Investigate financial options for hospice Medicare and Medicaid provide hosp ice coverage in 44 states. Many private insurance plans have a hospice benefit as well. Understand how payment is made to figure out if private funding will be necessary.

Not all hospice programs are the same.

Certain core models of care are followed by many hospice facilities , but options vary. Hosp ice can provide comfort in a person's final days and help sufferers

better enjoy life and time spent with loved ones in these last days.

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The Augusta Chronicle • Life After Fifty Expo

?6 J


These Are Not Your Grandmother 's Retirement Homes



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t a time in life when

-iendships from work may ,aver due to retirement, d older children may e busy with their own es, these communities an help foster new f iendships


As the Baby Boomer generation en-

ters retirement age, there has been an increased demand for services that meet the needs of this segment of the population. Amenities such as active-living communities that boast top-of-the-line features typ ically are the first things individuals seek. Age-restricted , 55-p lus communi-

ties cater to what the name imp lies -- peop le who are age 55 and older. However, these home developments are a far cry from what they used to be. Now they rival some of the best resorts in their features and are designed entirely around the needs of a group of active , amenity driven peop le. Plus , considering there now

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are more Americans age 65 and older than in any other point in history, according to the U.S. Census Bureau , d evelopers understand the benefits of catering to this group of people . Therefore , there are more high-end active-living communities now than ever before. There are many choices with regard to active adult retirement communities. Many of these developments boast everything from detached, single-family homes to villas to condominiums. These residences are built with the active adult in mind. Here are some of the benefits that these communities boast.

Activity-based fun Many communities build activities into the living plan. Therefore , there may be a workout room , the game center, exercise classes ,movie nights, and many other attractions to keep residents busy. Active-adult communities may be similar to allinclusive vacations and cruises in that they have their own activities coordinator on staff. Should residents prefer solo activities ,the property on which these homes are built are often created with recreation in mind. There can be walking paths or areas for cycling. Pools and spas are often part of the living package as well.

Community companionshi p Due to the age-restricted nature of active-adult-home-developments, the residents are all in a simila r age range , and may have similar interests. At a time in life when friendships from work may waver due to retirement, and older children may be busy with their own lives ,these communities can help foster new friendshi ps. Whether through communitysponsored activities or just through home proximity, residents can enjoy one another's company and never worry about feeling lonely into their retirement years.

Security Individuals who are no longer bogged down with work requirements may be more likely to take vacations or go visiting. In a traditional home , there may be worries about leaving the home unattended for a period of time. However, in 55-p lus residences, homes may be in gated communities or have security patrols. Also, the sheer number of homes in a townhouse-style building can camouflage homes that are currently vacant, easing the minds of those who are planning on going away.

Low- or no-maintenance living One of the biggest attractions to active-adult living is that these homes are built to provide worry-free living. Included in the home ownership fees are provisions to ta ke care of much of the interior and exterior maintenance. That means should a pipe leak or the lawn needs mowing, maintenance staff rather than the homeowner will handle the problem. This peace of mind enables residents to pursue interests rather than worry about the upkeep on their homes. Many times the community is expertly manicured , helping to create an aestheticall y p leasing envi ronment.

Concierge services Some of the more exclusive communities may have staff who can help with everything from booking vacations to helping with moving details. There also are developments that offer transitional homes , and someone may be available to help with the transition from an active-sty le home to one that has nursing staff or assisted living offerings at that time in life when it is needed. Active-living communities offer many of the features that recently retired peop le seek in homes that do not compromise on amenities. Individuals who are looking for comfortable , maintenance-free homes often seek out these developments for the convenience and services they offer.

11 Life After Fifty Expo • The Augusta Chronicle

Shedding Pounds After 50 Losing some weight is a goal for

many peop le regardless of age. While youngsters and young adults might be able to get away with a few extra pounds without suffering any significant consequences, older adults carrying

some extra weight might be putting

their overall health at considerable risk. Shedding weight after the age of 50 is not always easy. As a person ages, muscle mass tends to dwindle while body fat has a tendency to increase. Since fat burns fewer calories than muscle , wei g ht gain as a person ages

is bound to happen. But that doesn 't mean such weight gain is inevitable. In

fact , men and women willing to make certain changes with regard to diet and exercise can shed pounds after 50 while preventing future weight gain. • Diet Men and women need fewer calories as they age. For example , men and women in their 405 may need as

many as 200 calories more per day than they will when they reach their 5os. Counting calories might seem difficult, so men and women in their 5os and older who don 't think they can count calories can try to eat more low-calorie foods like fruits,vegetables and whole grains. Consuming fewer calories often requires changing dietary habits, not only with regard to what you're eating but also how you're eating and even how you shop for food. Men and women used to dining out for lunch every day can start bringing their own lunches so they can gain greater control of their daily caloric intake. For those who find they're frequently too exhausted to cook each night, they can prepare meals in advance to have healthy, homemade meals waiting instead of always ordering takeout or delivery. When shopping for food , people should avoid doing so on an empty stomach so they're less inclined to buy unhealthy snacks. • Exercise Exercise is another essential component to shedding pounds after 50 , though men and women over 50 should always consult a physician before they begin a new exercise regimen.





Control and Prevention points out that regular exercise can help older men and women prevent the onset of a host of

ailments , including heart disease and diabetes. In addition, the CDC notes that regular physical activity as one ages helps


muscles grow stronger,

which increases the chances that an individual will be able to perform necessary daily activities without the assistance of others. Maintaining that independence into older adulthood is a goal for many men and women , and it's

a goal that' s far more realistic for men

The Centersfor Dis Control and Preven points out that regu exercise can help o men and women pr the onset of a host ailments, including disease and diabet


and women who exercise than it is for those who don 't. When coupled with a healthy, lowcalorie diet , routine exercise can help men and women over 5o shed extra weight and keep the weight off once it's gone.According to the CDC ,older adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week and muscle-strengthening



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2 more days a week. These musclestrengthening activities should work all the major muscle groups, including the legs , hips, back , abdomen , chest, shoulders , and arms. Musclestrengthening activities include lifting weights , working out with resistance

bands , exercise

such as


and sit-ups that use bod y wei ght for resistance, and yoga . Even gardening

that involves di gging and shoveling can be considered a muscle-strengthening activity.

Wei ght gain is often an expected side effect of aging. But men and women

don 't have to gain wei ght as they get older. Some simple dietary changes and a commitment to routine exercise is all it takes to shed weight after 5o and keep that weight off once it's gone.

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The Augusta Chronicle • Life After Fifty Expo


13 Life After Fifty Expo • The Augusta Chronicle




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The Augusta Chronicle .Life After Fifty Expo 14

- `4?

Advice For Aging Athletes


Retired professional athletes often speak about the difficult moment when they knew it was time to retire from professional competition. The transition can be easy for some but far more difficult for others. But aging amateur athletes know you need not be a professional to realize there comes a time when your body is telling you it's time to ease up. Athletes are used to pushing themselves and stretching their limits , but some limits

are best not pushed. Such is the case with the limits posed by aging. While athletes don't have to completely fold up shop and Hang up tneir c leats ,tennis snoes or otner athletic equi pment as they approach senior citizen status, there are steps aging athletes can take to ensure they aren't pushing their bodies too far as they grow older. • Recognize your new recovery time Veteran athletes tend to have a sixth sense about their bodies, knowing how long they need to recover from common ailments like ankle sprains , knee pain , back pain and shin sp lints. Desp ite the body's remarkable ability for recovery, it' s not immune to aging, and that recovery time will increase as the

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body ages. Whereas a sprained ankle might once have been as good as new after a few days or rest, ag ing athletes must recognize that the same ankle sprain now might require more recovery time. Returning too quickly from an injury can only make things worse for aging athletes, so don't push yourself. • Take more time to warm up As the body ages, its response time to exercise increases. This means the body needs more time to prepare itself for cardiovascular and strength training exercises . Increase your warmup time as you age, gradually increasing the intensity of your warmup exercises until your body feels ready for more strenuous exercise. • Focus on flexibility The more flexible you are, the more capable the body is of absorbing shock , including the shock that results from repetitive activities. But as the body ages, it becomes less flexible, which makes it less capable of successfully handling the repetitive movements common to exercise. Aging athletes should focus on their flexibility, stretching their muscles before and after a workout. In addition ,

activities such as yoga can work wonders on improving flexibility for young and aging athletes alike. • Don't stop strength training Some aging athletes mistakenly feel they should stop strength training as they get older. No longer concerned about building muscle, aging athletes mi ght feel as if they have nothing to gain by lifting weights and continuing to perform other muscle strengthening exercises. But the body gradually loses muscle mass as it ages, and that loss puts the joints under greater stress when aging athletes perform other exercises. That stress can put peop le at greater risk for arthritis, tendinitis and ligament sprains. While you no longer need to max out on the bench press or challenge yourself on the biceps curl, it is important to continue to make strength training a part of your fitness regimen as you age. Aging athletes need not associate aging with ceasing their athletic pursuits. But recognizingyour limitations and the changes your body is going through is an important element of staying healthy as your approach

older adulthood.

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15 Life After Fifty Expo • The Augusta Chronicle

Hobbies For The Golden Years Whether retirement is on the horizon or has already begun, more free time equates to an increased opportunity to fill your days with enjoyable activities. Individuals facing busy schedules are often forced to push hobbies to the sidelines,as more pressing things,such

as a job , household responsibilities, and parenting tasks, are accomplished. Once retirement arrives, a newfound freedom in your schedule may occur , and there can be plenty of hours to devote to the hobbies and pastimes you find enjoyable. According to research , hobbies can have many benefits. They may serve as an emotional outlet or a way to relax. Hobbies can keep the mind and hands active. They also allow for quiet time and mind wandering-- which can free up creative thinking. Hobbies can also serve as a means to connecting with people and opening up new groups of friends. There are many hobbies you can consider , depending on physical health and abilities. These may be hobbies you once enjoyed in the past or new activities to expand your horizons. And hobbies need not be crafty in the traditional sense, just about any activity -- even being a mentor -- can be a form of a hobby.

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The Augusta Chronicle • Life After Fifty Expo 1 6

Older Drivers Have To Reassess Abilities For many older drivers, driving is more than getting from point A to point B. Getting behind the wheel allows older drivers to remain independent as well as mobile. But as a person ages, his or

her risk of injury on the road increases , according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Older adults and their famil y members need to make plans for handing dwindling skills behind the wheel and the point in time when it is no longer safe for a loved one to continue driving.

In rural and suburban communities, driving is a necessity for independent living. With limited resources available for older individuals to get around , seniors may hold onto the notion of driving longer than is safe and practical. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2009 alone, 5, 288 people age 65 and older were killed and 187,000 were injured in traffic accidents. Older peop le are involved in around 15 percent of all traffic accidents in a typical year. Getting older doesn 't mean it's time for you or a loved one to turn in your license just yet. There are ways people can come together to make the driving experience go smoothly, and it often begins with an honest conversation. • Let a loved one know you are on his or her side Make sure the first topic of conversation is that it is not your intention to take away the keys of the car. Indicate that you want to work together to hel p keep this person behind the wheel as long as possible. Being open and honest about intentions may eliminate arguments or animosity.

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• Figure out safe ways to keep your loved one driving This may include identifying a new car with upgraded safety features , such as brighter headlights, a back-up camera and a better safety record. Enroll together in a driving safety course to brush up on driving skills. • Go for a "test drive" Family members can ride along with an older driver to get a better sense of his or her ability behind the wheel. If drivers have too many close calls, frequently get lost in familiar places ,exhibit slower response times or are easily distracted, this should be a wake-up call and the loved one should intervene. • Schedule a vision and hearing exam Driving abilities can be affected by poor

vision and hearing, both common side

effects of getting older. Getting a senior

a new eyeglass prescri ption or a better hearing aid may make all the difference in his or her driving ability. • Review prescri ptions and over-thecounter medications Many seniors take a bevy of different medications , and the side effects to these drugs could impact

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1 7 Life After Fifty Expo • The Augusta Chronicle

What's Next After Retirement? Scores of people spend their working days dreaming of the moment they are eligible for retirement. They may have retirement counted down to the minutes and seconds , particularly if they've been in a job that hasn't been the most enjoyable. But many peop le find that once they retire they do not know what to do to fill their time. Boredom actually may be a side effect of retirement ,and some peop le actually want to go back to work. Much of the focus when planning for retirement concerns finances. All other factors take a backseat. Therefore, there may be emotional issues that arise during retirement , and retirees are not always prepared to deal with such issues. Having a post-retirement plan in place can mean the difference between happiness and having a hard time adjusting, according to experts. Here are some tips that can help anyone ease into the golden years. • Establish goats After working for years ,the idea of setting goals can seem counterintuitive. But goals can give life

direction and have you looking forward to things in the future. Goals also motivate retirees to get up in the morning now that a commute to work isn't part of the daily schedule. • Donate time or money Giving back to others , whether to the community or to a charitable organization , can feel good and give retirees some structure. Volunteering your time at a place can give life some sort of purpose outside of a job. • Start a home-based business lust because you retire doesn 't mean you have to fully retire. Now may be the opportunity to start a business venture you have always dreamed about,whether that is something hands-on or just serving as a consultant. • Try new things Part of goal-setting is to add things to the list you've never done before , which can boost feelings of excitement. You may discover a new interest that becomes a passion. Now that


Getting out with friends

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you have time to explore new hobbies ,

• Realize it's alright not to love retirement j ust because the grass seemed greener in someone else's yard , doesn't mean it always turns out to be that way. It is OK to accept that maybe retirement isn't entirely what you expected and to make changes that can enable the experience to be better.

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The Augusta Chronicle • Life After Fifty Expo

Travel Ideas For Active Seniors Mill

While certain destinations are not always pracitical for certain age brackets, there

are many places to which seniors can visit

comfortably and enjoy a wealth of memories.


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Those who have said goodb ye to the work-a-day grind now have many hours to settle down and relax . People who have continually put off vacations in lieu of work responsibilities may now have all the time they need to explore the world. Traveling for seniors can be rewarding and relaxing. Those with a substantial retirement nest egg have numerous destinations at their disposal. Mature vacationers travel more frequently and stay longer than any other age group. Travel ranks among the top leisure activities for men and women over 50, according to the Web site Suddenl y Senior. Seniors can find several travel advantages at their disposal. Also, thanks to special senior discounts ,travel may be even more affordable than first expected. While certain destinations are not always practical for certain age brackets , there are many places to which seniors can visit comfortably and enjoy a wealth of memories. • Theme parks Although theme parks may seem carved out entirely for the adventure-seekers ,there are many other more placid activities that would appeal to those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground rather than looping through the air on a rocket-propelled coaster. With animal preserves , water parks , fine dining, and a bevy of hotels either in the park or directly on the outskirts, theme parks provide many activities for older travelers. Although theme parks require a lot of walking, many provide wheelchairs or motorized scooters for those who need to get off of their feet. They also make a great option for seniors who will be traveling with the entire family, including children . • Beach resorts Provided flying is medically safe , a beachside vacation can be the ideal trip for seniors looking for the utmost in relaxation. For those who have passports , the possibilities are endless. Those who prefer to remain on relatively domestic soil can retreat to Puerto Rico, south Florida, the California coast ,Hawaii ,and the U.S. Virgin Islands. • Cruising Cruising is a preferred vacation choice for the 5o+ set because it offers the convenience of an all-inclusive package and transportation all in one.

With the myriad activities offered on board , cruises are a versatile vacation option for seniors. Also , there is no need to worry about traveling far for meals and other entertainment options , as everything is self-contained on the cruise shi p. For more active seniors who enjoy the daily getaway, excursions in ports of call can provide the variety desired. • Guided tours Seniors who want to experience a piece of history can sign up for tour packages backed by reputable companies. The tours may involve train or bus travel,and various attractions will be visited. At the end of the tour,individuals can choose to extend the vacation by checking into a hotel nearby. • RV trips Another self-contained vacation that is entirely up to the people traveling is vacationing by recreational vehicle. Seniors can customize their routes depending on which areas they want to see. Companies like Cruise America RV enable people to rent an RV

so they needn 't worry about the expense of buying one outright. However, should RV traveling become addictive, there always is the option of buying a camper later on. Setting an itinerary and then establishing the pace enables travelers to tour the country or cross the border as desired. From beaches to national parks, many areas offer RV hook-up areas and amenities. • Exotic tour Seniors who were never able to afford or spare the time for an extensive vacation may now want to visit those exotic locations that have beckoned for years. Now could be the time to book a ticket for Europe and visit all of the cities that have made the history books. Those looking for even more adventure can travel to the South Pacific and explore tropical islands. Others may want to go "down under" and experience the rugged Outback or the culture of Australian city centers. With a bevy of free time and fewer restrictions holding them back , seniors could be ready for the next great travel adventure.


19 Life After Fifty Expo • The Augusta Chronicle

The number of drivers 7o and over is predicted to triple in North America over the next 20 years. Research indicates that the older a person is,the higher the risk of driver accident or fatality. The risk posed by older drivers and the inevitable increase in older drivers on the road over the next two decades has sparked debate as to whether or not such drivers should be reexamined to ensure safety on the road? In 2003, an 86-year-old man unintentionally killed io people and injured more than 70 when he drove his car through a crowded farmer 's market in Santa Monica, Calif. In 2010, a 72-yearold Connecticut man faced vehicular manslaughter charges for allegedly striking and killing a motorcyclist. In 2 012 ,

an elderly man in Buffalo , N.Y.

caused an accident resulting in three fatalities when he traveled in the wrong direction on the New York State

Thruway. Very frequently the local news is peppered with reports of elderly drivers causing serious accidents. Some wonder if more stringent requirements for elderly drivers would help the situation. Thirty-three states presently have legislation in place to ensure drivers can retain driving privileges once they reach a certain age. It's important to note that , according to the National Safety Council , drivers over the age of 75 account for only 3.3 percent of accidents in the United States. Drivers age 25 to 34 account for the largest number of accidents , at nearly 20 percent. Some argue that these findings do not paint an accurate picture because senior drivers spend far less time behind the wheel and log fewer miles than younger drivers , reducing the chance for accidents. Though the debate about older drivers figures to remain a hot topic ,the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration



Aging Can Impair Driving Ability notes that aging can affect drivers in a number of ways. The physical and mental changes that accompany aging can have a profound impact on a person's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle . Reaction times may be slower, hearing and vision loss may affect driver awareness , loss of muscle strength and flexibility can make steering more difficult and medication can impair focus and/or concentration. Many senior centers and organizations offer programs that allow elderly drivers to brush up on their skills behind the wheel. Drivers also can contact their insurance companies to see if there are any sponsored classes they can take to reassess their skills and possibl y lower their insurance premiums. AAA offers a Driver Improvement course and suggests seniors find a car they can safely and comfortably operate. AAA also offers Roadwise Rx, a free online tool that provides confidential, individualized

feedback about medication side effects and how these drugs may impact drivers on the road. AARP also offers a Driver Safety course. It also is important that senior drivers and their families familiarize themselves with local legislation to determine if driver refresher courses or retesting are necessary for older drivers to remain behind the wheel.

Did You Know? The Baby Boomer generation is one

of the most influential demographics in the world today. Boomers represent roughly 28 percent of

Jackson,singer k.d. tang and business

mogul Donald Trump all belong to

the baby boomer generation. Here

the total population of the United

are some additional facts and figures about baby boomers:

magazine, and this means they are

discretionary income than any other

States,according to "Baby Boomer"

the largest generational segment as well as the single largest economic

group in the United States.They hold 70 percent of the U.S. wealth and are

expected to inherit millions of dollars over the course of the next 20 years.

Baby boomers comprise a population of adults who were born between

1946 and 1964.That makes boomers

people who are between 49 and 67

years old.Manyofthese baby boomers have grown to be household names

and influential individuals in all areas of business.Actor Brad Pitt is a baby

boomer,as is President of the United States Barack Obama. Director Peter





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• Baby boomers own 80 percent of the money in savings and loan

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The Augusta Chronicle • Life After Fifty Expo

Things to Consider Before Inviting an Aging Relative to Move in As many seniors age,their ability to live independently is compromised. An older adult may suffer from a medical condition that makes it difficult or impossible for him or her to drive an automobile or manage day-to-day life independently. In such instances, many younger relatives opt to invite an aging parent or grandparent into their homes, a decision that men and women should not take lightly. Asking an aging relative to move into your home is often a selfless decision rooted in the affection you feel for that person. But there are cert ain things to consider about your home as well as your finances before inviting an aging relative to move in. Space in the Home When your household is taking on a new member , you will obviously need to find some space for that person. But if you're currently at full capacity, then you will need to determine if the space you have is truly capable of handling an additional

member of the household. Seniors often value their privacy, so sharing a room is not an ideal option nor one that your relative is likely to embrace. If you determine you'll need to remodel or add a new suite to your home ,it's important to know that such projects can be very expensive ,with a room addition very likely costing close to or more than six figures. But men and women with lots of available space in their home may find their home is not ideal for seniors , either. For examp le, seniors whose physical condition is less than ideal mi ght not be able to get up or down stairs easily and might find walking from room to room in a large house to be too physically taxing. Before inviting an aging relative into your home , be sure the space available in your home is suitable that person and their particular condition. Proximity to Medical Facilities Many seniors need to visit medical facilities more frequently than younger



men and women. This makes the proximity of your home to doctors ' offices a significant factor to consider before inviting an aging relative to move into your home. If your home is far off the beaten path or in an area where access to medical care is sparse ,then your loved one's health may be compromised if he or she moves into your home. Discuss your

loved one's medical condition and history with them before extending an invitation. If he or she has considerable medical needs and your access to reliable medical facilities is limited , then you mi ght need to move before you can comfortabl y house an aging relative or explore other housing options for this person. Personal Finances The cost of caring for an aging relative is considerable. According to the MetLife Mature Market Institute , the average cost of in-home care for a parent who requires a home health aide was slightly

less than $22 ,000 per year in 20 11. That's a considerable amount of money, especially for men and women whose own retirement is imminent. Because those costs are so substantial, many men and women care for their aging relatives on their own, which can still prove quite costly over the long haul. Taking on that role might impact income you sorely need , especiall y if you're forced to scale back your workload so you can better care for an aging relative. Inviting an aging relative to move into your home is a decision that requires careful consideration of a host of factors.



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2 1Life After Fifty Expo • The Augusta Chronicle

Keeping Marriage Going Strong Into Your Golden Years

The trend of long-married coup les calling it quits has been growing. However , there are some steps coup les can take to keep their relationshi ps going strong. According to the AARP, divorces among

people over the age of 5o have doubled since 1990. According to Susan Brown, codirector of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, one out of three Boomers will face their golden years unmarried. There are a number of reasons why divorce rates have skyrocketed among the over-5o set. Understanding just why these divorces are taking place and taking proactive steps to alleviate some of the divorce triggers can be a recipe for a happy marriage that continues throughout a couple 's golden years. • Increase accountability Ours is a transient society where families no longer bat an eyelash over moving great distances away from other famil y


members. As a result, Boomers may feel like they are not connected to children or grandchildren. With this in mind,they may feel less attached to their marriage or their responsibilities or believe that no one will get hurt by a divorce. Keeping families close and remaining in frequent contact can increase accountability and reduce the propensity for divorce. • Get things out in the open A major reason for a failed marriage is years of avoiding significant issues rather than addressing problems. Couples should make time to talk to each other about anything that mig ht be bothering them rather than letting too many things slide. If these conversations turn into shouting matches , there is always the option of bringing in a third party to serve as a mediator.

• Spend time apart After retirement, coup les may find themselves spending hours upon hours in each other's company. While togetherness can be

beneficial,too much time spent together may lead to feelings of suffocation and the perception that each member of the relationshi p is no longer his or her own person. Individuals can remedy this by doing more things on their own, whether spending time apart with friends or engaging in hobby time without your spouse. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Brief periods of separation can make the time married couples do spend together feel more meaningful. • Recommit to your vows After 30 or more years ,the vows you shared on your

wedding may be a distant memory. Some people may have different views on the permanence of vows, putting personal happ iness ahead of the happiness of the couple. Take stock of what you promised one another on your wedding day and stick to those words. • Become a comedian Laughter has a way of dissolving a tenuous situation.

Focus energy on laughing at mistakes instead of pointing blame. Couples can make fun of themselves and resolve to not take things too seriously. • Act like you're dating Couples often become comp lacent after many years of marriage. They may forget about the little details that made the relationship fun in the early years. The personal notes and cards and other surprises may fall by the wayside after being together for some time. Make an effort to go on dates , write love notes and think of what was appreciated by your partners when you were in the dating stage. • Practice selflessness Sometimes all that is needed to rekindle a relationshi p is a selfless act that shows how much you care for your partner. Couples who are on the fence with regard to divorce can make an effort to improve the relationshi p rather than simply see divorce as the best option.


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The Augusta Chronicle • Life After Fifty Expo 22

Simple Ways to Avoid Overspending as Retirement Nears When the nest is empty and the kids no longer need financial support , many men and women find themselves with some extra money in their budget. Fewer mouths to feed and no more college tuition bills can give parents a sense of financial freedom they may not have had since before starting their family. But that freedom can also lead to overspending, something that can put retirement in jeopardy if peop le are not careful. Though it's understandable for men and women to splurge on a welldeserved getaway once the kids have finally left the house, it's important for adults to ensure that such sp lurging does not become routine. The following are a few ways men and women with some newfound disposable income can avoid overspending and putting themselves in financial hot water as they get closer to retirement. • Pay with cash whenever possible Swiping a debit card or credit card is certainly a convenient way to shop, but it

can also be dangerous. Many people find it difficult to keep track of their spending when they use debit cards or credit cards to make their purchases. Using cash to make purchases,especially daily purchases like a morning cup of coffee, reduces the likelihood of overspending. This can help you get a better idea of how much money you're spending and if there are any steps you can take to curtail that spending. An effective way to use cash is to withdraw money from the bank once per week and use that as your weekly supply of money. If you find yourself frequently running out of money each week , then you're likely spending more than you should. • Keep a financial journal Men and women who must adapt to having newfound disposable income may find it is not much different from younger men and women learning to manage their money when they first start working. Some of those lessons, like saving

more than you spend , might need to be relearned. One way to get a grip on your spending is to keep a financial journal to track your daily and monthly expenses as well as larger purchases like a new television. Write down the monthly expenses you know you have each month , such as a mortgage payment or a car note, and each and every purchase you make, including how much you spend on dining out each month. Do this for at least a couple of months. When you have logged several months ' activity, examine your journal to see if there are any expenses that can be trimmed to save money. • Don 't go overboard rewarding yourself Once your last child has left the nest, the temptation to reward yourself with a luxury item or two might prove overwhelming. After all , raising a family and paying for college tuition has no doubt required substantial sacrifice on your part , so it's well within reason that




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you want to reward yourself after all these years. Avoid overdoing it so your finances aren't stretched too thinly. A vacation with your spouse is reasonable, but buying a villa overseas might be a little over the top. Luxuries can be nice, but they can also drain a budget. Your monthly expenses once the kids have moved out should be lower, so if you find your cost of living has increased now that your nest is empty, you might be forced to determine which of your expenses are luxuries and which are necessities. • Take advantage of your "experience" Thoug h accepting a "senior" discount might be a blow to your pride , it also can be a boon to your bottom line. Many establishments, including gyms, restaurants and movie theaters , offer discounts to men and women age 55 and older. This can help you save a substantial amount of money over time, and no one has to know you've started cashing in on your experience.

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23 Life After Fifty Expo • The Augusta Chronicle

Get to Know Cataracts Risk Factors As men and women age, they can experience certain physical changes and health challenges. Vision impairment is one condition that many associate with aging, and cataracts are a primary concern for those of middleage and older. Today, more than 22 million Americans age 4o and older have cataracts. According to the National Eye Institute , by age 8o, more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Cataract is clouding of the eye's lens that blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. Normally the lens is clear, which allows light to pass through to the back of the eye, so that a person can see well-defined images. If a cataract forms and the lens becomes covered in an opaque film, light cannot pass through easily. The result will be fuzzy vision, almost like looking through a fogged-up window . If cataracts are not treated ,an individual


may eventually lose most of his or her vision. One or both eyes can be affected by cataracts. In the case of both eyes being compromised ,one eye is usually worse than the other. The primary risk factor for develop ing cataracts is age. The older a person is, the greater their risk. However, there are several other risk factors as well. • Intense heat or long-term exposure to UV rays from the sun • Certain diseases , such as diabetes • Obesity • High blood pressure • Inflammation in the eye • Hereditary influences •Long-term steroid use • Eye injuries • Other eye diseases • Smoking Prevent Blindness America provides free information to the public on everything from cataract basics to tips on what to expect from cataract

surgery. Visit or call its toll free number at (800) 3312020. And , as part of its new Healthy Eyes Educational Series, PBA offers a specific online module on cataracts , including a Power Point presentation and guide. The organization shares this information about cataracts: • Early symptoms of a cataract may include cloudy or blurry vision. • Li ghts may cause a glare ,seem too dim or seem too bright. • Sufferers may also find it difficult to read or drive , especially at ni ght. • Individuals may have to change their eyeglass prescriptions often. There are no medications or other treatment options besides surgery to correct cataracts. In the United States, cataract surgery has a 95 percent success rate, and patients often have 20/20 or 20/40 vision post-surgery. Cataract surgery is also the most frequently performed surgery, often

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