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Face 2014 With a Fresh, Fit Look
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Shining Through Adversity
Let 2014 be your year to overcome anything with the power of positivity
His comedic inspirations, “SNL” memories and philosophy on aging – sort of
What is Jane Pauley Doing? The legendary broadcast journalist has a good answer to that question, and many more
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Cover Profile 12 What Is Jane Pauley Doing?
While it is now more of a paragraph than a sentence, the legendary broadcast journalist has a good answer to that question – and many more.
Shining Through Adversity
The Look of Life After 50
Face 2014 With A Fresh, Fit Look
Let 2014 be your year to overcome anything by incorporating the power of positivity.
Kevin Nealon on his inspirations, “SNL” memories, and thoughts on aging – sort of. Looking a little haggard? Reverse the signs of aging with Facial Fitness.
50-Plus: What You Need to Know
A quick look at things 50-plusers should be aware of.
It’s The Law
Tuned In To What’s On
Cooking, Eating and Living Well
Calendar of Events for January/February
And Finally…The Bookworm’s Best, A Look Back and Just A Thought Before We Go
Attorney Mitchell A. Karasov on legally proceeding in the aftermath of a dementia diagnosis. William Jordan says revisiting investment strategies is a great way to start the new year. The best in January television viewing.
Jackie Keller serves up a tasty list that will help improve your health in 2014. Looking for something to do? Our January/February calendar has suggestions.
Ed Boitano takes you on a genuine journey to Vietnam.
Our January book suggestion, memory, and a little something to leave you with.
Cover photo by Barry Morgenstein All material published within this issue of “Life After 50” and on www.lifeafte50.com is strictly for informational and educational purposes only. No individual, advice, product or service is in any way endorsed by “Life After 50” or Southland Publishing, Inc. or provided as a substitute for the reader’s seeking of individualized professional advice or instruction. Readers should seek the advice of qualified professional on any matter regarding an individual, advice, recommendations, services or products covered within this issue. All information and material is provided to readers with the understanding that it comes from various sources from which there is no warranty or responsibility by “Life after 50” or Southland Publishing, Inc. as to its or their legality, completeness or technical accuracy.
JANUARY 2014 LIFEAFTER50.COM 3
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Resolving to Convert to the Gospel of Change
mmediately following the formal interview I conducted with Jane Pauley for this issue, she and I fell into a chatty, informal, post-interview coda. A fairly typical way for most interviews to conclude, these chats usually consist of off-the-record observations on current affairs, inquires and updates on mutual friends or acquaintances, recommendations on various things such as restaurants, books or movies, or the exchange of future invitations and personal contact information. During our interview, Pauley had mentioned her new year’s resolution would be to say “yes” more often in 2014, so as we said our goodbyes, I wished her well on saying “yes” to things. “Not just to things,” she corrected me. “To new things.” She went on to say she had actually adopted that resolution for 2013 and it proved to be so successful, she was doubling down on it for this year. “A friend of mine has these parties where the guests do a reading of a Shakespeare play,” she told me. “I am not an actress,” she continued. “I was never even in a school play. So I would never go. But last year, because of my resolution to say ‘yes’ to new things, I decided to go and was cast as the princess in ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost.’” She paused as if she were about to reveal some grand secret. “David, I have to tell you,” she said. “It was so much fun. I loved it and was so proud of myself for doing something new. I had such a great time that I will now always make it a point to attend his Shakespeare parties.” In the days following our chat, I thought about what Pauley said and realized it was a metaphor – the perfect synthesization of what we had talked about during the more formal part of our conversation – that in order to ﬁnd one’s passion or calling or purpose, especially from mid-life on, we have to be open to saying “yes” to new things and to change, and to not just say “yes,” but to also accept, embrace and act on new thoughts and ideas to manifest them as realities. As a part of her own encore career, Pauley has taken to calling herself a “reinvention evangelist.” “I think the word ‘evangelist’ is perfect, because you don’t have to have a credential or be an expert in something,” she had told me when we began our conversation. “As an evangelist, you’re more of a thought leader.” A zealous thought-leading advocate for 50-plusers contemplating a reinvention – a willingness to say “yes” to new things – to change – Pauley evangelizes a gospel to which we should all resolve to covert, and become devout disciples of, in 2014… and beyond.
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Hey! I Know You!
What You Need to Know
Tests that measure one’s ability to recognize and name famous people may help doctors identify early dementia, according to a new Northwestern Medicine research. “These tests also differentiate between recognizing a face and actually naming it, which can help identify the specific type of cognitive impairment a person has,” said study lead author Tamar Gefen. The study also found that people who had trouble putting names to the faces were more likely to have a loss of brain tissue in the left temporal lobe of the brain, while those with trouble recognizing the faces had tissue loss on both the left and right temporal lobe. For more information on this study, click on www.northwestern.edu.
By Claire Yezbak Fadden
Boomers to Boom the Economy in 2014 Baby boomer blogger Mark Bradbury has consulted his crystal ball and weighed in with his predictions on what kind of year it will be for those over 50. “The new year will be a pivotal one for our continued impact on American life, in particular, our economy,” says Bradbury. Here are his top three prognostications for 2014: 1. Boomers will drive economic expansion with post-recession spending While boomers continued to spend after the recession, like everyone else, they made sacrifices. With the Dow hitting 16,000 and housing values significantly restored, many boomers have rebuilt their lost wealth, and it’s time for a little reward. You can expect boomers to spend in 2014 like no other age group across a wide variety of categories including new cars, technology, home furnishings, travel, entertainment and dining out. 2. Boomer consumerism will create new jobs in recovering sectors Boomers own more home value than any other generation, and with the real estate market rebounding, they are now freer to sell their existing homes and downsize, and/or invest in home renovations that were put on hold. This will create demand for a broad range of housing professional services, including agents, lenders, interior decorators, architects and contractors. Expect to see a similar trend as the automotive sector expands and boomers demand cars designed to meet their evolving lifestyle. As the boomers buy, you will see a marked uptick in jobs in manufacturing, marketing and sales. 3. Boomers will drag even stubborn marketing traditionalists out of the 20th century In 2014, the last of the boomers will exit the coveted 18 to 49 demo. Fourand-a-half million boomers turning 50 will be replaced by four million millennials turning 18. Seems like a nearly even exchange, right? Not so fast. New 50-year olds will be eight times likelier than new 18-year olds to be employed full-time, and their annual earned income will be $41,000 higher. That’s just too much spending power to ignore.
Fifty-Plusers to Drive Car Sales
Fifty years ago this month: President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War on Poverty,” U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry delivered the first surgeon general’s report declaring that “smoking may be hazardous to your health,” architectural plans were unveiled to erect the World Trade Center in New York City and the 24th Amendment to the Constitution went into effect insuring voting rights shall not be denied or abridged by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax. Notable personalities who were born in January 1964 and are celebrating their 50th birthday this month include First Lady Michelle Obama, actor Nicolas Cage, actresses Penelope Ann Miller, Mariska Hargitay, Bridget Fonda and FOX News anchorman Shepard Smith.
Automotive marketing efforts should concentrate on buyers 55 to 64 years of age, says a recently released University of Michigan study. Baby boomers have increased as a percentage of the car-buying market, while gen xers have declined, and those aged 18 to 24 are the least likely to make an automobile purchase in 2014. The study, done by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute shows that over the past 30 years, there has been a continuing decline in the number of younger licensed drivers. In 1983, 91.8 percent of people aged 20 to 24 had a license, but by 2011 that figure had dropped to 79.7 percent. Interestingly, among boomers, the number of licensed drivers actually showed an increase in that same time period – 83.8 percent in 1983 compared to 92.7 percent in 2011. The study also found that people aged 35 to 44, while perhaps driving as much as ever, are in less of a buying mood. They accounted for 29 percent of vehicle purchases in 2007 but only 22 percent in 2011. Boomers bought 23 percent of new vehicles in 2011, an increase from 18 percent in 2007, and the upward trend is likely to continue, the study concluded.
6 LIFEAFTER50.COM JANUARY 2014
A Little More You Need To Know
Getting to Know the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka PPACA or Obamacare, is the congressional and senate-passed law, signed by the president and deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court. Like it or not, simply put, it is the law of the land and it is here to stay. This new law will have a tremendous impact on how American healthcare is offered, purchased and delivered. It may be controversial, but no matter what one’s feelings are, it is paramount that everyone, of every age, educate themselves on what it is, as well as what it isn’t. If there is one thing everyone agrees on, it is that the PPACA is complicated. So, as a service to our readers, Life After 50 will do its best to break it down into the most simplified terms. Each month, without any agenda other than to educate, we will offer the answers to questions as to what the PPACA does and doesn’t do.
New Words You might not find them in a dictionary yet, but they’re already a part of the everyday American vocabulary, so you need to know what they mean: Twerk: Sensuous, suggestive dance choreography including buttocks gyrations, thrusting hip movements and low squatting in a sexually provocative way. 4G: Okay, granted, it’s not a word, per se, but, you hear it all the time. The “G” stands for “generation” and the speed of data transmission over wireless networks increases with each generation. In telecommunication systems, 4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone communication technology standards. A 4G system provides mobile ultra-broadband Internet access for laptops with wireless modems, smartphones and other mobile devices. Phablet: A smartphone with a screen that is larger than a typical smartphone and smaller than a tablet computer.
What elements of the new law will take place as we come into 2014? Beginning on January 1, 2014, all but a few Americans will be mandated to obtain health insurance. If you are uninsured, and can afford it, you will be required to purchase what the federal government defines as “minimum essential coverage.” This type of coverage typically includes things such as hospitalization, emergency and ambulatory services, maternity, newborn and pediatric care, lab tests, treatment for mental illness and substance abuse, and prescription drug coverage. If you’re already covered by a qualifying individual policy, an employer group plan, or a government program such as Medicare, Medicaid or the Veterans Health Administration, you’re automatically in compliance with the mandate.
The Most Important Thing to Know This Month Social Security beneficiaries will see a one-and-a-half percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) beginning this month. Benefits are automatically adjusted to keep up with the cost of living. This adjustment is slightly below last year’s COLA of one-point-seven percent and below the average of two-point-seven percent since 1990. The increase will become effective with December 2013 benefits, payable in January 2014. The COLA calculation is based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earnings subject to Social Security taxes will be capped at $117,000 in 2014, compared to $113,700 in 2013. Of the estimated 165 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2014, about 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum. For more information, click on www.ssa.gov.
What happens to those who choose to ignore the mandate? Those without coverage in 2014 will face a tax penalty of one percent of their annual income or $95, whichever is greater, and a per-child fine of $47.50, up to a family cap of $285. By 2016, the penalty, which is added to the individual’s federal income tax, will then increase to the greater of two-and-a-half percent of income or $695 per individual. Excused from the requirement are incarcerated individuals, undocumented immigrants, members of American Indian tribes and congregants of religious groups opposed to health insurance. Those with incomes so low that they are not required to file a federal income tax return – roughly $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for families – and those who would have to pay more than eight percent of their annual income for health insurance also will not be penalized for lack of coverage. How will the federal government know if someone is insured or not? There will be no requirement to demonstrate that you have health coverage, or an exemption from the mandate, until you file your 2014 federal income tax in 2015. How will this reporting work? While the final details are still forthcoming, your health insurer likely will be required to send both you and the Internal Revenue Service a form stating that you have the required coverage. You would file this form along with your federal income tax return. If you owe the penalty, you’ll be expected to make the payment when you file your return. If you fail to do so, the IRS may subtract the amount from any refund you have coming.
JANUARY 2014 LIFEAFTER50.COM 7
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8 LIFEAFTER50.COM JANUARY 2014
WHERE DO I INVEST MY MONEY NOW? Many investors are trying to make sense from the stock market’s continued highs and the US economy’s lack luster performance. With debt and unemployment still at all time highs, GDP continuing to drop, and inflation beginning to knock on our door, where do you turn to invest your retirement. . You definitely have to own property as it is the best hedge against inflation and currency devaluation, but you also need liquidity as well. One must find a liquid investment that pays better than a 0.25% bank money market so your portfolio does not lose value based on time value of money and the constant devaluation of our currency. One solution for a safe and guaranteed investment is PMF Investment Notes which pays 7.39% interest per year. These notes are short term notes of 13-months in duration, and are very safe because they are invested in “corporate accounts receivables” from major companies like CostCo, Walmart and many other credit worthy companies. PMF Investment Notes have been paying investors for over 20 years without ever losing a penny for our note holders. Best of all, the interest is paid monthly. To learn more about this secure investment that pays 7.4%, please visit www.PMFbancorp.com/PMFnotes. By: Stephen Perl, MS, MBA and President of PMF Investment Corp. (stephen@ PMFbancorp.com)
It’s the Law Mitchell A. Karasov
Mitchell A. Karasov, Esq. has offices in Los Angeles, Ventura County and the Coachella Valley. He specializes in elder law with emphasis in long-term-care estate planning, Long Term Care Medi-Cal eligibility, trust administration, probate, conservatorships of person or estate, estate and trust litigation and financial abuse litigation. At the Law Offices of Mitchell A. Karasov they take a holistic approach to each case they handle. It is the firm “where elder law and elder care meet.” For more information click on www.karasovelderlaw.com or call (818) 508-7192.
Legally Proceeding in the Aftermath of a Dementia Diagnosis
My parents created a living trust about 10 years ago. When they started having some health issues, I suggested they change the trust so I could start helping them manage their finances, but they declined feeling everything was under control. Recently, they have come to a point in which they need help and I’m afraid it might be too late to make changes because my mom has been diagnosed with dementia. Some months back, she started making mistakes in her checkbook. She has forgotten to transfer money that resulted in bounced checks and has also misplaced bills. My dad and I have asked her to let me pay the bills, but she insists on continuing to pay them herself. On some level, my mom knows she needs my help, but she cannot let go. My dad and I figured out how to get around some of the issues, but we need access to some of her accounts. We tried to use the trust to put me on her annuity accounts, but the company said she needs to change the document so I can take over now or she needs to sign their form and the representative indicated we need approval from the doctor. Unfortunately, my mom’s internist said he can’t sign a form indicating she would understand enough to change the trust or the financial company’s power of attorney form. The financial advisor recommended I hire a lawyer and file for a conservatorship. My parents’ lawyer told me I need to get another lawyer, because he doesn’t file conservatorships. I talked to another lawyer and found this to be an expensive process that I could well lose. I can’t spend all this money, lose, and still not be able to help my parents. How can I fix this problem?
Although you’ve been told that your mom has to sign new documents or your only option is to go to court to get a conservatorship, you do have some interim steps that you could explore. Based on what’s going on with your mom, it sounds like it could be problematic to have her change her trust or sign the financial institution’s power of attorney. Since an internist diagnosed your mom, you really need to get a more accurate assessment of her legal capacity to sign new estate planning documents, which could include modifying a trust and a pour-over will, as well as signing a new power of attorney for finance and advance healthcare directive. As such, your mom would benefit from meeting with a medical team experienced in diagnosing dementia. Not only would this help with securing a more accurate picture of her legal capacity, but it could help to better address how to treat and deal with her illness. I would consult with an elder law attorney before you commence this process. The attorney will review the estate planning documents to determine the necessary scope of the medical team’s assessment. Having said that, I’m not sure it will be necessary to have your mom to create a modified estate plan. In addition, since she’s been resistant to your offer of assistance, she might not sign new documents. The fact is that an elder law attorney may determine that your parents’ estate plan might already provide the proper language to allow you to take the necessary steps to gain the legal authority to start accessing funds and paying their bills. In that case, the medical assessment might be geared toward your mom’s inability to manage finances and healthcare decisions which could trigger your ability to assume the legal responsibility. The attorney could prepare the necessary legal documents including the medical assessment to indicate that you now have the authority to start handling these responsibilities.✦
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Start 2014 by Revisiting Core Principals and Strategies
hile 2013 was another great year for the stock market, the question on everyoneâ€™s mind is: What will happen in 2014? Readers of my books and articles in Life After 50 know I am a cautious investor when it comes to the stock market. I do believe there is good room for stocks in many investorsâ€™ portfolios, however I know that many are far more apt to be overinvested in stocks as opposed to underinvested. Given the current market values, I thought the beginning of this new year would be a great time to revisit a few core investment principals and strategies: Donâ€™t chase the market Remember one of my favorite sayings: â€œMoney is emotional.â€? When we see the stock market reaching new all-time highs, our emotions tell us we need to be investing in the market. The desire to participate in those gains and the fear of missing out can be strong indeed. But stop and ask yourself: â€œWhen is the best time to buy any investment; when itâ€™s high or low?â€? The obvious answer is low, but when do most investors put money into the stock market? When itâ€™s high. That said, unless there is a fundamental change in your long-term investment plan, now would not be the time to add more money to your stock market investments. In fact, the opposite may be true, which leads us to the second principal. Rebalance periodically Assuming you have a planned percentage of your assets allocated to the stock market, it is important to rebalance or restore that percentage at least once a year, and potentially any time the market makes a significant move. For easy numbers, letâ€™s say you have 50 percent of your assets allocated to the stock market. Assuming the market has grown faster than your other assets, as it likely has over the past year or so, your percentage might have grown to 55 percent or higher. To rebalance, simply sell off five percent of your portfolio from your stockmarket holdings, and reinvest that money in your other investments. What you have just done is forced yourself to sell high. Have a long term-plan Without a plan, a written document that defines why you are investing and what you need to accomplish, you are far more susceptible to the emotions of the markets than if you have a written plan. Create your plan by asking yourself what you want your money to accomplish. What will you use your money for and what range of returns do you need to reach your goals? Then evaluate the level of risk you are both willing to take, and that which is necessary. In many cases, you will find that you are taking more risk than is necessary. If that is the case, it may well be time to lower your overall allocation to the stock market. As a final thought, our firm has a fund that is designed to earn most (80 to 90 percent) of the gains in the market when the market is up and avoid losing money if the market is down. The fund is limited to accredited investors, so if this is something of interest to you, feel free to call and ask about our equity indexed fund. Next month we will explore this option in more detail.âœŚ
JANUARY 2014 LIFEAFTER50.COM 11
BY DAVID LAURELL
12 LIFEAFTER50.COM JANUARY 2014
Photo courtsey of CBS/Lily Tomlin Photo courtsey of CBS/Lily Tomlin
One of the nationâ€™s foremost comediennes on her career, characters, causes and confusion over aging
What is Jane Pauley Doing? While it is now more of a paragraph than a sentence, the legendary broadcast journalist has a good answer to that question – and many more
ane Pauley watches as a California condor glides over the Paciﬁc Ocean that is unmercifully smacking the rocky coastline of Big Sur. Having just ﬁnished breakfast, she is giving up a bit of her Central California Coast getaway, as is her husband, “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who is taking care of some work back in the couple’s hotel room. “Not exactly a typical day,” she says with a laugh. “Not that any of my days are typical, which makes it difﬁcult for me to answer the ‘So Jane, what are you doing these days?’ question. I used to be able to answer that in a sentence, but now it takes a few paragraphs.” As a girl attending Warren Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, Pauley would have answered that question by saying she was a formidable competitor in debate and public speaking tournaments. As a young woman, she would have said she was an undergrad at Indiana University. In the mid1970s, she would have responded by saying she was reporting or anchoring at WISH-TV in Indianapolis or WMAQ-TV in Chicago. And, from 1976 to 1989 she would have said she was a correspondent and then co-anchor with Tom Brokaw and Bryant Gumbel on NBC’s “The Today Show.” If she had wanted to add a semicolon to some of those sentences, those years would include becoming a wife to Trudeau in 1980, a mother to fraternal twins – Rachel (who goes by Rickie) and Ross in 1983 – and to a son, Tom, in 1986. Following her 13-year run on “The Today Show,” during which she also did network news anchoring duty, Pauley could still have gotten by answering the question with a single sentence by saying she was hosting a successful NBC weekly magazine series, “Real Life with Jane Pauley,” which was later renamed “Dateline.” And, in 2004, at least for a short time, she would have said she was the host of a syndicated daytime talk show, “The Jane Pauley Show.” From then on, answering the question of what she is doing entailed a bit more of an explanation.
“My days are a patchwork, so none of them are typical,” says Pauley who has returned to her old stomping grounds of “The Today Show” to do a monthly segment, “Life Reimagined with Jane Pauley,” as an AARP contributor on 50-plusers who are reimagining their lives, creating new possibilities and pursuing their dreams. “We are beginning our ﬁfth season of the series, which is an entrepreneurial venture that I am very proud of,” she says. “From the time we ﬁrst started doing it, I believed there may be a way to fashion a book out of my stories, and, this past year, I ﬁnally did the book.” Her book, “Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life” (Simon & Schuster, 2013), which hits bookshelves this month, is the result of what she calls “an exploratory journey.” “It’s about the exploration to ﬁnd the answer to the ‘What are you doing’ question,” she explains. “What I am doing is what the people we present in our segments and the ones I present in my book are doing – exploring. I don’t think you can begin with a destination in the process of reimagining your life. I have found that, more typically, the destination is revealed by simply doing things and keeping your eyes open for what inspires you. I reference a quote from a newspaper in my book: ‘Inspiration is everywhere, but you have to be looking.’ I also reference the work of Professor Herminia Ibarra (a former member of the Harvard Business School faculty and the current director of the Leadership Initiative at the European Institute of Business Administration in France, widely considered to be one of the world’s best graduate business schools) whose research coincides with that headline. Her advice is to not give things so much thought, but to just get out there and do something – begin your journey of exploration that will make you available when inspiration and opportunity cross your path.” While a day of exploring the majestic beauty of Big Sur with her husband awaits her, Pauley doesn’t show the slightest indication that there is anything she would rather be doing than talking about what she has learned and shared from those who inspired her book. With palpable passion and enthusiasm for the subject of reimaging and reinventing one’s life, she balks somewhat when the word “passion” is used. ➤
Story by David Laurell | Photos by Barry Morgenstein JANUARY 2014 LIFEAFTER50.COM 13
Jane Pauley (JP): Yes, it certainly is true that I am passionate about what I am doing. But I think that when it comes to reimaging our lives, we can’t always lead with passion. I believe that instead of following your passion, you have to allow yourself an exploratory journey that will reveal your passion. I’ve seen so many people with whom the discovery of their reinvention came from something they would have never imagined – a reinvention that actually ﬂies in the face of the conventional wisdom of following your passion. Take the title of my book, “Your Life Calling.” It can be read as someone who is looking for a life calling, per se, and I would say that’s maybe 15 percent of the readers. The rest may read that title in a different way – that your life is calling out to you, not with the revelation of a calling, but by asking you: “What are you going to do?” As someone reads my book, they will notice that, of every story I tell, none of them repeat. They are stories of people who have all taken a very different approach to reimagining their lives. The book is really not about ﬁnding your calling, because I don’t believe we have just one calling. Professor Ibarra says that people make the mistake of thinking there is one true self and that they have to ﬁnd it. She argues that people don’t have one true self, but rather multiple selves that are only revealed as we go through the journey of life. I have found that many people, after retiring or leaving their careers, discover something about themselves they never knew. Life After 50 (LA50): The concept of mid-life or late-life reinvention was really never something that people prior to the baby boomer generation ever gave much thought to. Why is it such an important part of the lives of those over 50 today? JP: I think that, between the lines, the strongest theme of my book, and the reason we are seeing so many books like mine coming out, is not just because we are all living longer lives, but that we are living healthier lives that present us with far more opportunities than our parents or grandparents could have ever imagined having in their 50s or 60s or beyond. I was just recently reading a story about executives who are retiring young – in their late 30s and 40s – with comfortable fortunes. I read that and thought, I guarantee you, within a year, they will either go stir crazy or start doing something that may or may not have ever been on their radar. I think so many people get to a point in their lives when they crave just wanting to do nothing and living a life of leisure but, in reality, I have found that not to be a good thing. I think that it is great to be free of the obligations and stress of a job or a career. I think that is what people really yearn for. But there is an intuitive sense that the baby boomer generation has – one that I am symptomatic of – that we are at a point in our lives when we are no longer thinking of ﬁnancial gain or status or promotions and titles, but still want to be able to answer the question: “What are you doing?” Now some may want to, or have to, start a second career or a business, but I think almost everyone wants to be able to answer the question of what they are doing with a sense of meaning. I think people want to do something that matters and that makes them feel like they matter. I will admit that, in spite of what people may think, I am all too prone to doing nothing and inertia well, which is really bad for me. So I knew, in my 50s and 60s and on, that for my own well-being, I needed to impose a structure to my life. I wanted to be productive, but with meaning. LA50: You say that ﬁnding something meaningful – that you are passionate about – is often revealed as we journey and explore and keep our eyes open. How does one begin that journey? JP: Well, ﬁrst of all, my book is not a “how to.” It’s more of a “show-and-tell.” And, to answer your question, the journey is different for each of us. I once gave a speech in Houston about reinventing our lives and afterwards, a woman, maybe in her 70s, came up to me and told me that her children were grown and gone and that she was a widow and that she had begun to feel no one needed her anymore. She felt she was unnecessary. Then, one day, she decided she would look for an opportunity to help someone in some way every day. That was all she needed to ﬁnd a life with meaning – to be a helpful person who could make like better for someone else every day. That wasn’t a career. It was simply adopting and following a new narrative for her life. I write about Sue Halpern in my book. She had been a college professor who trained her dog, Pransky, to be a therapy dog and they visited nursing homes. I love what she said, that our time is like a gift box that we can ﬁll in any way we want. She ﬁlled hers by being one half of a therapy team. So it’s not always about starting all over again with a life-changing career or starting a company or creating an organization. It can be anything, but it has to be something that gives your life creative engagement and an answer to the question: “What are you doing?” LA50: Isn’t there, perhaps, a danger or a trap when it come to reinvention, that some people fall into desiring to do something that may be beyond them, or unachievable, or that they may just never get to the next step on, which causes them to become depressed? JP: Absolutely! I’m a reality-based person. I’ve always assumed that has to do with the fact that I’m a mid-westerner. There’s a chapter in my book called “Reality Check” in which I deal with that. Yes, you have to always be looking for what may inspire you, and sometimes that may not come easy, but even groping around in the dark is a form of looking. And while you are looking, you have to be doing research and be realistic in what talents or skills you can bring to the table. You know that Nike slogan – “Just do it.” The same applies to launching a reinvention. Professor Ibarra says that while reinvention is a process that takes exploration and research, at some point you have to make your move. I think there is a level of preparation – exploring and researching and learning before launching – that you have to do before taking the leap. But at some point, you have to leap. There has to be a time when an abstract idea has to become concrete. You can’t let your “I’m going to be” become so strong that it overwhelms the fact that you aren’t doing anything. It’s like the person who wants to be a screenwriter who is asked: “What have you written?” and they say “Nothing.” If you want to be a writer, there comes a time you have to put words on paper. At some point, you have to ﬁnish your homework and research and exploration and take your leap.
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LA50: Another issue that has to be addressed with those over 50 looking to reinvent their lives is that, in some cases, health, or the lack thereof, can be a factor. JP: Going forward and reinvention is not always about opportunity. My friend Meg was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and after battling the disease for 10 years, the doctor told her she was cancer-free and that it was probably not going to come back. Well, all of a sudden, she had to come to terms with something she hadn’t given any thought to while dealing with her illness – the fact that she could go on living for another 40 years and would have to answer that great question: “What are you going to do?” It is so important that people understand that reinvention is not always about creating a non-proﬁt organization that saves tens of thousands of lives. As long as we have a purpose and can make our lives matter, that is the reinvention in itself. My mother had ovarian cancer and had a few heart attacks that led to a stroke which left her an invalid for the last 15 years of her life. My father, who also had health issues, saw his reinvention as being the sole caregiver to my mother for 10 of the last 12 years of his life. I believe that is what kept him alive. Every morning when he woke up, he knew there was someone who needed him. He knew – every day – that his life mattered, because his wife needed his care. It was not a reinvention he had chosen. It was not the retirement he hoped for and it had absolutely nothing to do with his having a passion for caregivng. But my mother made him feel needed, and so he had a purpose in life. LA50: While on the subject of health, how have your own health issues played into your personal reinvention? JP: I was diagnosed at the age of 50 with a mental health disorder, which was the last thing I could have ever imagined. With my family’s health history, there was a long list of things I could have been diagnosed with, but mental health was not one of those things. When I became sick, starting with hives and then the medication that triggered my diagnosis that I was bipolar, I, for the ﬁrst time in my life, knew I had constraints. But that is the case with the majority of us. Some may have a health issue themselves, or a spouse or other family member that has an issue that limits some opportunities. But whether our journey brings opportunities or constraints or contingencies, we can still ﬁnd a life that has meaning – a life that matters. LA50: Does your health constrain you in any way today? JP: If the people at “The Today Show” made the highly unlikely invitation to me to become a permanent host on the show again, I would have to say: ‘Oh thank you, but no.” There are limits I have to be aware of. Doing what I do today, I don’t feel limited in any way. I never feel I can’t do something, but I do have to operate within certain reasonable constraints. I have not had a recurrence since I was really sick, and I do take really good care of myself. My diagnosis may have forced me into a reinvention that was smaller than it may have otherwise been. After doing “The Today Show” for 13 years, I was known everywhere and I used to be kind of famous. I think there are some people – those with high-proﬁle careers, executives, those who have had great responsibility – who may look at what I am doing – creating a ﬁve-minute monthly segment on a show I used to be the host of – as being a step down. I don’t see it that way. If my constraints played any role they were in allowing me to do something smaller that I am passionate about and have been able to build an entirely new reputation upon. Everyone faces issues throughout their journey. Look at Katie Couric when she lost her husband to colon cancer or Michael J. Fox, who is my hero. Michael’s work in Parkinson’s research will do so much to bless and beneﬁt those of us who are bipolar as well as for those with Parkinson’s disease. They are both still mysterious diseases which, in some ways, are next-door neighbors, so to speak. Parkinson’s is a brain disorder with physical symptoms where as bipolar is one with behavioral and emotional symptoms. There you go again – Parkinson’s ➤
JANUARY 2014 LIFEAFTER50.COM 15
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disease research – not a passion that Michael would have followed when he was young. But because of what came his way during his journey, his passion and work became inspired. LA50: You mentioned you take good care of yourself. Is that in the form of diet or exercise?
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JP: I exercise and swim and do Pilates and I’m probably in the best shape and more ﬁt than I have been in decades. As for diet – I’m not a fussy eater. I’ve never been a dieter, but I do try to eat well. I eat regular stuff, although I became a little more aware of eating well after I was diagnosed. I adhere to the fundamentals, you know, the ﬁve daily servings of fruits and vegetables. I eat fruit in the morning and at lunch and vegetables in the evening. I’m not much of a cook. Garry is a much better cook, but he doesn’t do vegetables, so preparing vegetables has forced me to become a bit better cook. I also believe that striving for balance in life is a huge factor when it comes to our well-being. I’m a bad amateur painter who (laughing), okay, I can’t believe I’m admitting this – I paint on coasters. I have a collection of them at home. I have them framed and they hang in my bathroom. Doing that is very relaxing and, while Garry is always facing his next deadline, we are really very low-key people. Our life is very balanced. I don’t have the pressure I did when I was doing “The Today Show,” but I am still productive and creative and can manage my own time. So it’s all about balance – a little work, a little eating, a little discipline, a little exercise, some amateur painting. I think of myself as a free agent and that, for me, makes for a balanced and happy life. LA50: While we are on the topic of a happy life and Garry, are there any secrets you would like to share for maintaining a happy marriage for 34 years? JP: A long time ago, Garry said something to me I never forgot. At the end of one day when, perhaps, my husband may have heard one too many sharp words from his wife, he said: “You know, I read the secret to a happy marriage is to leave one or two
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JANUARY 2014 LIFEAFTER50.COM 17
Shining Through Adversity Let 2014 be your year to overcome anything by incorporating the power of positivity By Meryl Hartstein
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here are times in each of our lives when we are faced with adversity. It usually comes unexpectedly and, at times, with so much force that it can literally knock us off our feet. Adversity has the power to shatter our world – our life as we know it – leaving us crumbled and broken. While I know, ﬁrst hand, just how powerful adversity can be, I have also learned we are not powerless against it. I have learned that we can, and must, become averse to allowing adversity to bring us to our knees. My story is not so different from the one many other women can tell. As a young girl, I lived a charmed life. I grew up in a beautiful home in the suburbs and we spent our summers at a wonderful beach house. I went to the best schools and had as happy a childhood as was possible. As I became a young woman, my life continued to be charmed. I married a man I loved and had a beautiful baby girl. Adversity Strikes For those who have dealt with the destructive force of alcoholism, you know that physical and verbal abuse are often a part of living with an alcoholic. The abuse I suffered became so bad, I had no other choice than to take my child and leave my husband. As time passed, I remarried, had another daughter, and a few years later, adversity reared its ugly head again – I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. It was over 20 years ago that I got that paralyzing news and in those pre-Internet days, there were no support groups and none of the information and treatment techniques and options that are available today. When I was told I had cancer, I didn’t know if I had been handed a “sure thing” death sentence or if I could or would recover. While I did recover, having gone through a health scare of that magnitude left me numb, in shock and almost unable to move forward. But somehow I did. As the years passed and I regained my health, I thought the adversities I had suffered were now a part of my past and that I would live the rest of my life without much drama. That all changed when my oldest daughter gave birth to a special needs baby and soon after developed a drug addiction that stemmed from a serious bout with kidney stones, unsuccessful surgeries and a husband who just couldn’t deal with it all and abandoned her. The adversity that gripped my daughter came with such a vengeance it ultimately took its toll to the point that she had to be admitted to a rehabilitation treatment center for help. While she was in rehab, I took care of my special needs granddaughter, who could not talk or walk. During this time, I myself began to crumble. I was overwhelmed, felt I was broken beyond repair and feared that I would never be able to climb out of the dark hole I was living in. While I had little hope, I did cling to the belief that I always had a choice. I could either become bitter and live a life that was full of fear, regret, guilt and shame, or I could choose to become better and create a new normal by ﬁnding the resiliency inside of me, bounce back and then move forward. The Morning Everything Changed One morning, I woke up and decided I no longer wanted to be a victim. I was determined that adversity was not going to continue to deﬁne who I was. I also came to terms with the fact that I was not alone in my despair and that I needed to reach out and start telling my story to help others. From that day on, I discovered a path that led me on a journey of bouncing back and moving forward. With a strong desire to overcome adversity, I came to identify four components to achieving this goal – passion, compassion, gratitude and developing self-worth.
Compassion Having compassion for others is another way of being able to heal. When you give back, you realize that you are not alone and you are able to use your knowledge and share your story to help others as well as yourself. Gratitude: Of all the healing tools, I believe gratitude is the strongest and purist. If you are grateful, it’s impossible for you to feel anger, resentment and jealousy. Those feelings simply cannot co-exist with gratitude. Developing Self-Worth: It was crucial for me to ﬁnd a strong sense of self-worth. When you have gone through any adversity, your self-worth is often destroyed. It takes hard work and determination to build it back up and letting go of the shame is the ﬁrst step. Becoming Averse to Adversity Adversity does not discriminate. It does not respect age, race, religion, sexual orientation or economic status. It can happen to anyone at any time. No one is protected and no one is exempt. When we recover from adversity, we are left with a rare gift – a developed strength that only those who have weathered a storm can have. We who have survived and overcome adversity become warriors, and we need to wear our badges of honor proudly. We cannot feel sorry for ourselves and bathe in self-pity, for we are no longer victims. We have knowledge that we’ve earned – a newfound wisdom of survival and rebuilding. I have survived abuse, divorce, cancer, a child with addiction, and the challenges that come with a special\ needs grandchild. But I didn’t allow it to destroy me. Instead I made the decision to build a life of happiness and success. I found my passion and gave back to those who need help. Today, my gratitude overﬂows and my thirst for knowledge is unstoppable. I have become the role model I want to be for my children and grandchildren. My intensions are pure and my heart is full. Believe me, if I can survive, anyone can. Since that morning when I decided I would no longer be a victim, I have gone on to become a published author, a strategic life and relationship coach, a public speaker and the founder of Bounce Back Women, a nonproﬁt foundation to help women who are in the place that I once was. I wrote my ﬁrst book, “You Were Born to Shine: Conﬁdence for Women, Internally, Externally, Eternally (Hartstein, 2014),” to inspire others to ﬁnd their path to living a conﬁdent, self-loving life. In it, you will learn more of my story and join me in a journey of self-exploration that will teach you how to live, look and feel better than ever. Once you start incorporating positive feelings into your life and relationships, you will feel empowered and excited and go on and live a life that is full, rich and rewarding – and totally averse to the power of adversity. Not a bad way to start a new year!
For more information on Meryl Hartstein, her foundation, Bounce Back Women, and her book “You Were Born to Shine: Confidence for Women, Internally, Externally, Eternally,” click on www.bouncebackwomen.com.
Passion: The ﬁrst step to overcoming adversity is to ﬁnd a passionate pursue in your life. In order to take the focus off of your pain, you need a reason to live. For me, that came through taking the actual adversities I suffered and empowering others with the knowledge I learned while dealing with my experiences. JANUARY 2014 LIFEAFTER50.COM 19
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New series, CBS – Premieres Tuesday January 7 at 9 p.m. Josh Holloway of “Lost” stars in this new cyber-themed action-adventure series as Gabriel Vaughn, a high-tech intelligence operative enhanced with a super-computer microchip in his brain. With this implant, Gabriel is the first human ever to be connected directly into the global information grid. He can hack into any data center and access key intel in the fight to protect the United States from its enemies. Marg Helgenberger also stars as Lillian Strand, the director of the elite government cyber-security agency that supports Gabriel and oversees the unit’s missions.
June In January
New original movie, Hallmark Channel – Premieres Saturday January 11 at 9 p.m. Save the date! Marilu Henner of “Taxi” co-stars with Brooke D’Orsay and Wes Brown in this new Hallmark Channel romantic comedy. D’Orsay plays a newly engaged bride, June Fraser, whose dream wedding is threatened by her scheming future mother-inlaw, played by Henner, when a sudden change in plans pushes up her perfect outdoor June wedding to a wintry January date. Every January, June goes through post-holiday blues. Alex, her longtime boyfriend who has been loath to commit, surprises her. He has accepted a fantastic offer a thousand miles away and wants to get married before the month is up.
When Calls the Heart
Tuned In To What’s On
New series, Hallmark Channel – Premieres Sunday January 12 at 8 p.m. The two-hour movie, “When Calls the Heart,” which aired this past October, was so successful, Hallmark has turned the inspiring drama into a regular series. Based on the bestselling book series by acclaimed author Janette Oke, this period drama is set against the backdrop of the western frontier. The show revolves around a young schoolteacher from a wealthy Eastern family, who migrates from the big city to teach school in a small coal-mining town in the west, and will involve stories of hope, love and encouragement.
Salinger: American Masters
Documentary, PBS – Premieres Tuesday January 21 at 9 p.m. This documentary is an unprecedented look inside the private world of J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of “The Catcher in the Rye.” It features interviews with Salinger’s friends, colleagues and members of his inner circle who have never spoken on the record before, as well as film footage, photographs and other material that has never been seen. Additionally, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, John Guare, Martin Sheen, David Milch, Robert Towne, Tom Wolfe, E.L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal and Pulitzer Prize-winners A. Scott Berg and Elizabeth Frank talk about Salinger’s influence on their lives, their work and the broader culture.
New series, Fox - Premieres Thursday January 23 at 9 p.m. Making his broadcast television series debut in this new drama, Academy Award-nominee and Emmy Award-winner Greg Kinnear plays a brilliant and frustratingly charming criminal defense attorney whose chaotic and self-destructive personal life often gets in the way of his professional one. Kinnear plays Keegan Deane whose personal problems have led him to self-destructive behavior that has him battling wits with everyone around him, including his ex-wife, the judges, the assistant district attorney, his bookie, and even the IRS. Also starring are John Ortiz and Miranda Otto.
Lizzy Borden Took An Ax
New original movie, Lifetime – Premieres Saturday, January 25 at 8 p.m. Long before Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony and Jodi Arias, there was another young American woman on trial for murder that became a media spectacle. This new film tells the story of Fall River, Massachusetts resident Lizzie Borden, who finds herself on trial for the brutal murder of her father, Andrew Jackson Borden, and his second wife, Abby Durfee Gray Borden, with a hatchet-type weapon, at their family home. She was acquitted, though no one else was ever charged with the crime, which has remained unsolved, leaving Lizzie Borden’s name in infamy. Christina Ricci stars as Lizzie, with Billy Campbell playing her lawyer and Clea DuVall as her sister.
The Best In January Television Viewing 0 r 5 ce te hoi f A C fe s Li tor’ i Ed
By Sandi Berg
Cooking, Eating and Living Well Jackie Keller Jackie Keller is a best-selling author, wellness coach and the founder of Nutrifit. You can contact her directly at www. jackiekeller.com or by clicking on www.nutrifitonline.com.
Here’s to a Healthy Start in 2014
ippocrates said it best: “Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.” As we turn the calendar to a new year, why don’t you resolve to ditch the pharmacy and, instead, head for the market. Here is a handy guide to the practically perfect ingredients for optimal nutritional health. Almost 35 percent of all cancers have a nutrition-related tie. This shocking statistic has led to an increase in the research in cancer fighting foods over the course of the past 20 years. Cruciferous vegetables, as a group, have been linked to lower cancer risk as they contain antibacterial and antiviral properties, as well as helping to fight carcinogens. Kale, bok choy and cabbage are all cruciferous vegetables that are high in fiber and antioxidants. Brussels sprouts are not only a member of the cruciferous family with all the associated health benefits, they also contain sulfur compounds called glucosinolates. These may lower the risk of prostate, lung, stomach and breast cancers. Broccoli also contains a plethora of anti-cancer elements, in addition to boosting immunity and helping to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar because of its high fiber content. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids and are an important part of a healthy daily diet. They have been shown to reduce internal inflammation, as well as reducing pain and stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers also believe omega-3s play a role in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, depression and heart disease. We primarily find omega-3s in fish, but walnuts are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, and their monounsaturated fat and antioxidant content is unmatched among tree nuts. Flaxseeds are good sources of protein and the omega-3 fatty acid, which is great for your heart. Chia Seeds, like flaxseeds, are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-specific omega-3 fatty acid. Unlike flaxseeds, however, Chia seeds don’t need to be ground or refrigerated. Wild caught tuna is high in protein, vitamin B, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Take caution in eating too much, though, as it is relatively high in mercury. Wild salmon is also rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which protect against premature brain aging and memory loss. Reduce your low-sensity lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, blood pressure and risk of heart disease with these heart-healthy super foods. Apples are tops in pectin, a fiber that targets and clears LDL cholesterol, and contain skin-protective compounds including anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. Fat-free milk, like other dairy products, is a primary source of calcium and vitamin D that contributes to bone health, aids in lowering blood pressure and can reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Choose non-butylated hydroxytoluene-treated milk and replenish your muscles after a workout with this great recovery beverage. Almonds are also rich in protein, calcium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which can lower LDL cholesterol that blocks arteries. Extra-virgin olive oil is also high in monounsaturated fats, helping to lower cholesterol, provide vitamin E and oleocanthal, which can reduce inflammation. Substituting healthy whole grains for refined grains is also an excellent and simple way to improve overall diet and health. Quinoa is not only a whole grain; it’s a fiberrich, complete protein that cooks quickly. Steel-cut oatmeal is barely processed and one of the best ways to start the day. It’s filled with fiber and contains energy boosting B vitamins and muscle-feeding carbohydrates. Barley is the whole grain lowest on the glycemic index. Along with millet, buckwheat, farro and amaranth, they make great alternatives to rice. These healthful grains help regulate blood sugar levels when consumed in moderation, and are considered an important part of a diabetic and heartfriendly meal plan. There are also a number of guilty-pleasure foods that have surprising health benefits. Dark chocolate is packed with flavonols, which aid in heart health and help the psyche. In addition, red wine, when consumed in moderation (one glass daily for women, two for men) contains resverastrol, which has been linked to longevity and a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease.✦
22 LIFEAFTER50.COM JANUARY 2014
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