Amazing Michigan! Page 18
The power of prayer Page 8
Minnesotaâ€™s Jewish history Page 12
AGING BUT DANGEROUS
Twin Cities designer-turned-author C. Suzanne Bates inspires women to embrace their second half of life Page 24
My Turn 8 The Basilica's special Taize Prayer service works wonders, thanks to its small size and humble origins.
5Memories 10 Aviation enthusiasts will find helpful volunteers and oodles of Northwest Airlines memorabilia at the NWA History Centre in Bloomington. This Month in MN History 12 Our state's Jewish history dates back to the 1850s, when the Mount Zion congregation first formed.
House Call 14 Ears ringing? You might be able to stop it with some simple solutions.
5Travel 18 You should add Michigan's beautiful cities and Great Lakes shorelines to your 2016 travel list.
Caregiving 16 Passing the CARE Act will help numerous caregivers as well as the state of Minnesota as a whole.
→→On the cover
Aging But Dangerous: C. Suzanne Bates of Minneapolis — after a long and successful career in the design business — co-founded the Aging But Dangerous organization in 2007 to help women over 50 age with a sense of humor and adventure. The Aging But Dangerous radio show followed in 2012. Today, Bates now has a new book out — Don’t Pee on My Sofa! And Other Things to Laugh About — the first in a series on aging with grace and dignity.
Photos by Marty Lang / lavasubmarine.com
29 Can’t-Miss Calendar 4 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
Finance 22 Did you overspend during the holidays? Here's how to get your financial life back on track: Fast!
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Good Start / From the Editor / By Sarah Jackson
Older, but better I keep stumbling on this quote: “I wish I could tell you it gets better, but it doesn’t get better. You get better.” Most recently I saw these words attributed to the late Joan Rivers. Who better than a great, incredibly longstanding female comedian to share such sage advice? I believe her. I believe that as we age, we do find ways to grow and adapt to our ever-changing lives, full of unexpected twists and turns. Indeed, due to an unfortunate change in my life — divorce — I know firsthand the impor-
Photo by Tracy Walsh tracywalshphoto.com
tance of finding new ways to look at life. (Please note my name change with this article.) Yes, life demands that we reinvent ourselves time and again — and often it’s for the better (even though it may not feel like it at the time). This month’s Cover Star — blogger-author-radio personality C. Suzanne Bates — is proof of that. Her rock-star career as an interior designer, her marriage, her life as she knew it, crumbled in the late 2000s. And she was forced to do some soul searching. “I realized that I had been living my entire life externally — only concerned with what things looked like on the outside,” Bates said. “When you lose everything, you realize pretty quickly who you are as a human being. I had to start
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measuring my self-worth by who I was on the inside.” Now, not even 10 years later, the Twin Cities woman, along with her business partner, Jean Ketchum, is the leader of a movement among women — age 50 and older — known as Aging But Dangerous. While companies and marketers have — wrongly, she argues — ignored women over 50, now it’s actually their turn, the time to be empowered, passionate and fearless. It's a time to be playful, too: Her new book — Don't Pee on My Sofa: And Other Things to Laugh About — is full of humor.
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“Women can do anything they put their minds to at any age, and that’s the message we wanted to get out,” Bates said. Yes, I think Bates — along with Joan Rivers — is quite right!
Sarah Jackson, Editor
Volume 35 / Issue 2 Publisher Janis Hall email@example.com Co-Publisher and Sales Manager Terry Gahan 612-436-4360 firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Sarah Jackson 612-436-4385 email@example.com Contributors Carol Hall, Skip Johnson, Jessica Kohen, Marty Lang, Tina Mortimer, Dave Nimmer, Will Phillips, Sandra Scott, Dr. Michael Spilane Creative Director Dana Croatt Graphic Designers Valerie Moe Amanda Wadeson Client Services Zoe Gahan 612-436-4375 firstname.lastname@example.org Lauren Walker 612-436-4383 email@example.com Emily Schneeberger 612-436-4399 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Good Start / My Turn / By Dave Nimmer ⊳⊳ The Taize Prayer service in the basement at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis is held in a small but inviting space.
Freedom, intimacy I’m freer here, not burdened with the usual concerns, causes and conflicts. If there’s a flow, I’m in it. If there’s a pattern, I’m part of it. The melodies are lovely, but the words are lyrical, sheer poetry: Calm me Lord as you calmed the storms. Still me Lord, keep me from harm. Let all the tumult within me cease. Enfold me Lord, in your peace.
Finding calm, peace
because one of its great values is its intimacy, with only 30 or 40 people in the room. The feeling is one of being among
→→The Taize Prayer service at the Basilica works wonders through simplicity
It has quite a miraculous effect on me:
I hesitate to write about this service
the fortunate, the chosen, the lucky. On the other hand, anyone going to a meditative prayer service would probDriving into
Minneapolis during rush hour, walking into the basement of a church, sitting in a hard-back chair, singing the same verse over and over again.
ably come with an attitude of reverence and respect.
Somehow, it brings me the greatest peace I have ever known.
How it all started
It’s the once-a-month Taize Prayer service at the Basilica of St. Mary. As the prayer
Taize is a small village in the hills
booklet says, “We sing uncomplicated, repetitive songs, uncluttered by too many
of Burgundy, France, and has been
words. A few words sung over and over again enhance the meditative quality of prayer,
the home of an ecumenical group of
allowing an encounter with the mystery of God through the beauty of simplicity.”
brothers from various denominations,
Accompanied by sound
all focused on common prayer. Today the community includes Protestants
It doesn’t hurt that (for those of us with mediocre voices) we’re accompanied by a piano,
and Catholics; the brothers come from
flute and, sometimes, a cello — all beautifully played. The light is low, the room is
quiet, the candles are lit and the scene is inviting. It takes place in a Catholic church, but the service is ecumenical — with no preaching, prompting or proselytizing. I’m a bit surprised at how good my voice sounds, at least to me; however, I do
Brother Roger, who came to the village in 1940, offered his house as a place of refuge for those fleeing from
sit next to my friend, Cindy Lamont, who not only carries a tune but also sings
the Nazi occupation. After the war
ended, he was joined by a small group
8 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
of others, who committed themselves to celibacy and a communal life. The Basilica seems a perfect place for the service because it was formally consecrated when Brother Roger arrived in Taize. Fathers Dennis Dease, Michael O’Connell and, now, John Bauer have led the church as much with their hearts as their heads. Over the years, the Basilica has seemed to me to be a place that welcomes those who seek comfort and comforts those who seek understanding. I’m always in need of both.
In the care of God For one hour a month, in that church, in the basement, sitting on a wooden chair, I feel as though I’m in the care of God, as I understand him/ her. Sometimes the spirit lingers
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after I leave and sometimes it doesn’t. But for a moment, I can feel that elusive peace, the kind that passes all understanding. Some may think me foolish or simply frightened of growing more fragile and feeble — grasping at a religious straw. For once in my life, however, what others think doesn’t seem to matter. If the Basilica offered this service five days a week, I’d be there Monday through Friday.
No matter which location or service you choose, you will always find an exceptional level of professionalism and care. Our experience, coupled with our perspective on the importance of ceremony, will help you discover ways to pay tribute. Whether traditional or unique, these tributes allow us to love, laugh, and live well again.
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Dave Nimmer has had a long career as a reporter, editor and professor. Send comments or questions to dnimmer@ mngoodage.com.
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Good Start / Memories / By Carol Hall
A flight back in time →→The NWA History Centre museum will delight airline enthusiasts
Following a merger with Delta Airlines in 2010, Northwest Airlines’ famous red tails vanished from the skies forever. But the memories linger on: There was the fabled Stratocruiser with the “downstairs” bar; the hot “Oshibori” towels served to first-class passengers before their Chateaubriand steak dinners. And who could forget the quirky TV commercial of
▲▲Northwest retirees are on hand to meet and greet guests at the NWA History Centre, where a gong — used in a Northwest Orient Airlines commercial — is on display. Photos courtesy of the NWA History Centre
Buster Keaton, whacking a Chinese gong: “Northwest Orient — BOING! —Airlines!” (See tinyurl.com/buster-nwa to watch it on YouTube.)
History: Preserved But all is not lost. The gong, its mallet and a life-sized cutout of Keaton have been preserved for posterity at the NWA History Centre museum in Bloomington. Also on display are vintage stewardess and pilot uniforms, an 8-foot wooden
Models of every aircraft Northwest ever flew — from Ford Trimotor to 747 — “soar” throughout the place (some are for sale). And that’s only scratching the surface. The airline’s 84-year history is laid out in
propeller from an early airmail aircraft — even the Chiclets chewing gum served to
collections, photos, flight manuals, office
passengers on an unpressurized DC-4.
furniture, books and CDs.
10 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
⊳⊳ These are just some of the stewardess uniforms on display at the NWA History Centre museum in Bloomington.
▲▲Former NWA pilots, mechanics, reservationists and flight attendants staff the history center Tuesday through Saturday.
A 747 pilot is usually around on Fridays. A reservationist comes Tuesday Essentially, everything you ever wanted to know about Northwest Airlines is on site.
mornings. And on Wednesdays, former
Mementos of Republic Airlines, which was merged with Northwest in 1988, are
flight attendants (me included) take over.
also represented, including items from the 12 other airlines that merged to become Republic. (“Herman” The Blue Goose, anyone?)
Haven for research
We’ll greet you warmly. We don’t charge a cent — although donations are welcome. And we have a nifty gift shop.
Author Jack El Hai used the facility, which opened in 2002, to research his recent book:
(Museum funding comes from dona-
Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines. The creators of the Mad Men TV
tions, memberships and merchandise
series gathered information for details of a passenger VIP lounge from the 1960s.
And the local PBS station, TPT, recently filmed interviews with long-retired Northwest pilots and stewardesses for its Lost Twin Cities series. In addition, the center has hosted programs open to the public. One of the most popular featured former Northwest pilot, Bill Rataczak — co-pilot of the infamous D.
See nwahistory.org for directions and hours, or call 952-698-4478. (Call ahead to arrange for a group.) Welcome aboard!
B. Cooper parachuting-skyjacking of 1971 — who gave a presentation of his role in that remarkable experience.
Relocated close by Recently relocated to 8011 34th Ave. S., Suite C-26 in Bloomington — directly across the street from its previous location — the not-for-profit museum is open Tuesday through Friday, and mornings only on Saturdays. Northwest retirees are on hand to meet and
Carol Hall lives in Woodbury. She’s a longtime freelance writer, a University of Minnesota graduate and a former Northwest Airlines stewardess. Send comments and questions to chall@ mngoodage.com.
greet guests. All are volunteers who love to be challenged with questions. Gearheads will want to stop by on Thursdays to jaw with the three mechanics on duty that day.
Minnesota Good Age / February 2016 / 11
Good Start / This Month in Minnesota History / By Jessica Kohen
Our state’s Jewish history →→Congregations began forming — and serving others — in the 1850s
On Feb. 26, 1857, more than a year before Minnesota statehood, Gov. Willis Gorman signed a bill recognizing Mount Zion as the first Jewish congregation
▲▲The Mount Zion Temple on Summit Avenue was designed by Bauhaus architect Erich Mendelsohn. It was first dedicated in 1954. Photos courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society
in the territory. Just a year earlier, eight German-Jewish families organized the Mount Zion Hebrew Association in St. Paul. At the time, Minnesota was experiencing rapid population growth with many
gave back through service to others. In 1900, the women of Mount Zion opened the Neighborhood House on
settlers arriving from New England as well as immigrants from Germany, Norway,
the city’s west side, a settlement house
Sweden and Ireland.
that welcomed the large waves of
With cheap farmland and a growing industrial base, diverse groups continued to migrate to Minnesota through the end of the century. Each group brought churches and temples, organizations and synods. Across the river in Minneapolis, Jews came together to form Shaarai Tov congregation in 1878, today known as Temple Israel.
Eastern European Jews then moving to Minnesota. In 1903, Neighborhood House reorganized, evolving from a purely Jewish social effort into a nonsectarian one. Over the years, it’s
In the early days, the Mount Zion congregation met in rented rooms on
served both immigrants and refu-
Robert Street in downtown St. Paul. Services were conducted in German and
gees who’ve sought new homes
followed Orthodox practices. Kalmon Lion was hired to lead worship services
and songful prayer, including blowing the shofar, a ceremonial ram’s horn (pictured, at right) used during the High Holidays. That very shofar is now in the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. In 1870, the founders built their first temple at 10th and Minnesota streets. By 1871, the congregants hired their first rabbi, Rabbi Leopold Wintner, a Hungarian immigrant. As the congregation grew, it began to abandon some of the more traditional customs in favor of an American-style Judaism focused on ethics and social justice. In 1878, Mount Zion joined the Reform Movement.
Creating community From the very beginning, the members of Mount Zion immersed themselves in creating a strong community. They built businesses and
12 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
→→Learn more Find out more about Mount Zion and Minnesota’s Jewish history at MNopedia.org, an online encyclopedia about Minnesota. Learn more about Mount Zion Temple at mzion.org.
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Holly Avenue and Avon Street, near Summit Avenue. Architect Clarence H. Johnston designed the building in the popular Beaux Arts style. It served the membership well, until it became too small. By the end of World War II, the Mount Zion leadership began searching for a new home. They decided to build a new synagogue, school and parking lot on prestigious Summit Avenue, in the midst of several landmark churches. The board commissioned Bauhaus architect Erich Mendelsohn to design the temple, which was dedicated in 1954. Today, hundreds of families gather regularly for religious services and to
is a potentially precancerous skin condition. Many Fair Skinned Americans over the age of 40 have actinic keratosis (AK).
continue the congregation’s service to its community. Jessica Kohen is the media relations manager for the Minnesota Historical Society. ⊳⊳ This shofar — a ceremonial horn used during the High Holidays — was used by a cantor with one of the first Jewish congregations in Minnesota history, Mount Zion of St. Paul, which still exists today.
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Good Health / House Call / By Michael Spilane
Tinnitus trouble →→Persistent noise heard in one or both ears may be easily fixable
Have you ever had a ringing in your ears after you were too close to something loud — like an exploding firecracker? Consider the distress if that obnoxious noise never went away. Sound is a wonderful thing, but not if it comes from inside your head. Tinnitus is the medical term for a persistent, continuous and unwanted noise heard in one or both ears. The noise is usually described as a ringing, but may be a hissing, roaring, pulsing or whooshing. The perceived volume of noise can be slight and only a minor annoyance, or louder and a constant aggravation. The volume may vary from hour to hour or from day to day, and the trouble is worse in a quiet area where usual sounds don’t mask the abnormal noise. At its worst, tinnitus robs a person of enjoyment during the day and makes a restful night impossible. Tinnitus is much more common in older adults, with about 15 percent having some trouble and 3 percent being severely distressed. Although the symptom is most often associated with hearing loss, it can occur in those with normal hearing. An associated problem called hyperacusis, or excessive sensitivity to ordinary sounds, often coexists with tinnitus.
Causes, cures There are many causes of tinnitus, but in older adults the most
hearing nerve, disease of blood vessels in the head or neck,
common cause is degeneration of the sound-transmission
viral infections and side effects from the long-term use of
system in the inner ear.
Years of frequent exposure to loud sounds can damage the
Every doctor knows (or should know) that tinnitus is a
microscopic hairs on nerve-receptor cells; the louder the
cardinal symptom of excessive use of aspirin, and that the
sound, the less exposure time is needed to cause the trouble.
problem can be caused by use of the medication known as
Random movement of the damaged hairs then leads to contin-
quinine. Tinnitus can also result from easily correctable
uous transmission of sound signals to the brain.
causes such as excessive earwax and ear infection.
Older age itself, without prolonged exposure to loud sounds, can lead to degenerative damage that results in tinnitus. Other
causes of tinnitus include stiffening of the hearing bones in
If the cause of tinnitus isn’t earwax or ear infection, treatment
the middle ear, trauma to the head or neck, a growth on the
14 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
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MOMENTS LIKE THESE ARE PRECIOUS. DON’T LET THEM FADE AWAY.
remedied, like earwax. Too often the problem is more serious and demands
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
the attention of an ENT (ear, nose and
is the leading cause of blindness in people 55+. It’s a chronic disease affecting more than 10 million Americans, and early detection is key to saving your sight.
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Protect your vision from fading away.
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Dr. Michael Spilane, now retired, spent more than four decades practicing and teaching geriatric medicine in St. Paul. Send comments or questions to drspilane@ mngoodage.com.
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Good Health / Caregiving / By Will Phillips
Caring for caregivers →→Supporting the people behind the patients is our next big challenge
There are more than 670,000 unpaid family
The CARE Act will require:
caregivers in Minnesota. These are family members, friends
⊲⊲ That the name of the family caregiver is recorded when
and neighbors who are providing care for no charge, often while working full-time jobs. The services these unsung heroes provide not only help their loved ones live independently in their homes and communities, but they also help save the state money. Each year, family caregivers in Minnesota provide more than $8.5 billion in services — services that don’t have to be paid for by the state or health care system. However, just because this care isn’t paid for doesn’t mean it comes without a cost. The sacrifices caregivers make often have a negative impact on their income, retirement security and mental and physical wellbeing. As a state, we can and should be doing more to support them.
Closing the care gap
a loved one is admitted into a hospital; ⊲⊲ That the family caregiver is notified if the loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home; and, ⊲⊲ That the facility must provide an explanation and live instruction of the medical tasks — such as medication management, injections, wound care and transfers — that the family caregiver will need to perform at home. Minnesota can and should be passing bipartisan healthcare solutions like the CARE Act. After all, when it comes to health care, we’re the best. We have some of the best hospitals and clinics in the nation, dedicated doctors and nurses, affordable health plans and the top-rated long-term care system in the nation, according to AARP and The SCAN Foundation.
One setting where caregivers typically need more support is
Making it official
at the hospital. When a loved one enters the hospital — often
We need to put the same emphasis on supporting care-
suddenly — it’s a stressful and confusing time for the family.
givers as we do on supporting patients, because caregivers
Things can get worse for caregivers when it’s time for the
are patients, too.
patient to come home. Hospital discharges aren’t always orderly affairs and all too often caregivers aren’t given enough advanced notice
Passing the CARE Act is not just about better serving today’s caregivers, it’s about investing in the future of our state. We know Minnesota’s getting older. We know tomorrow’s
or training to adequately take care of their loved ones.
seniors want to stay in their home communities. And we know
According to a recent AARP caregiving report, almost
it’s much more cost effective to care for them there. We also
half of family caregivers perform medical or nursing
know that in order to do so we’re going to need more dedicated,
tasks for their loved ones and most report that they
unpaid family caregivers.
received little or no training to perform these tasks.
Those caregivers should be empowered and have access to the training they need to keep them and their loved ones healthy and to help everyone age with dignity.
To help close this gap, AARP introduced the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act in 2015. The bill helps ensure that family caregivers have access to better information and training. The Senate passed the bill in 2015. In 2016, it will go to the House of Representatives.
16 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
Will Phillips is the state director of AARP Minnesota. There are about 650,000 AARP members in Minnesota and thousands of volunteers. Learn more at states.aarp.org/region/minnesota.
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Good Living / Travel
By Sandra S
00 more than 1 astline with co y r a rr te a a w n la, a longest fresh pper Peninsu U e th the world’s in ss e vast wildern beaches, a a few U.S. s one of only d more. a n a s s id n p a w R to d t ain Gran eapolis, big cities, qu — called out . (From Minn s, . 6 re m e u 1 u n lt 0 o se 2 cu ry u in ve ie m o e d f r o o G something fo le trail and fo 52 Places to art scene, a There’s truly mes story — s Ti it rk to e Yo u w d e , nt N s to offer. head Chicago.) the state ha in the year a In fact, a rece h g g ch u n u ti ro m si th w vi o s f h e o e pass worthy hlights to se r drive that destinations out these hig 8- to 10-hou ck n e a h C is . s g id in p Grand Ra the beginn apids is only But Grand R
ll a t i s a h n a Michig
LANSING The capital is always a good place to start, and so-called mid-Michigan is a good home base for travel to surrounding areas. Take a group tour of the elegant Capitol building (pictured above). Visit Michigan State and be sure to check out the new Eli and Edythe
Broad Art Museum, which opened in 2012.
Michigan’s largest city is also a comeback city with a plethora of things to see and do. The Beaux Art Detroit Institute of Art is the home of Diego Rivera’s mural (pictured at left), Detroit Industry. Also check out the Motown Historical Museum and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. 18 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
DEARBORN Though Dearborn is considered part of Detroit’s metro area, it’s a tourist destination in its own right. It’s best known as the hometown of Henry Ford (including his Fair Lane mansion, pictured at left) and is also home to the Ford Rouge Plant (open for tours) and the amazing Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.
ANN ARBOR Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, where you can attend a football game, the free U-M Museum of Art and the free U-M Museum of Natural History. At the Yankee Air Museum in nearby Ypsilanti, you can book a flight on a B-17 Yankee Lady or B-25 Yankee Warrior at the Yankee Air Museum. Ann Arbor, meanwhile, has an amazing variety of ethnic restaurants and a slew of notable breweries, too.
THE UPPER PENINSULA Fondly called “The UP,” this giant, forested region stretches northeast from Wisconsin and borders three of the Great Lakes. It is a multiseason destination with water fun in summer and plenty of snow in winter. The Edmund Fitzgerald will live forever at the bottom of Lake Superior — in song, and at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Minnesota Good Age / February 2016 / 19
MACKINAC ISLAND This unique, car-free vacation destination appears to have been frozen in time. The island is only 3.8 square miles, but it has plenty to offer. Itâ€™s home to one of Americaâ€™s oldest national parks, which covers more than 80 percent of the island. Visitors can explore the island on foot or horseback or by bicycle.
TRAVERSE CITY The city is a multi-season destination with numerous specialty shops to explore. Thirsty? Take a brewery and distillery tour. Then wander the Boardman Neighborhood Historic District, featuring dozens of Victorian homes. Next, venture out: In nearby Frankfort, stop by Point Betsie Lighthouse (pictured at left). Just up the road from there, you'll find Sleeping Bear Dunes with even more views of Lake Michigan.
20 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
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The county has white sand beaches and rustic country charm. New Buffalo is a hub for water activities, boutique shopping and art studios. Go stand-up paddle boarding or fishing. Drive around the bountiful countryside for fresh produce, freshly made cider and other homemade products.
BEYOND Michigan has many other outstanding destinations. In Saginaw, visit the Castle Museum and the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. In Grand Rapids, make a date with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum or the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, recently recommended by the New York Times. Sandra Scott is a longtime freelance travel writer based in Mexico, N.Y. Learn more at sanscott.com. Minnesota Good Age / February 2016 / 21 Winneshiek County Conv. and Visitors Bureau GA 0216 V6.indd 1/21/161 2:59 PM
Good Living / Finance / By Skip Johnson
→→Here's how to cure what ails you if you overspent last year
The holiday season is in the rearview mirror, but for many shoppers and gift-givers, those credit card bills are now front and center. The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for family and friends,
It may seem easiest to put the money into a savings account you already have — the same account that holds your
but often not so wonderful for your wallet. In fact, Americans added an average of
emergency fund, your vacation savings
nearly $1,000 to their debt loads over the 2015 holidays, according to a recent survey
and your back-to-school budget.
Instead, consider opening a separate
Credit card debt can drag you down and prevent you from reaching your finan-
account dedicated solely to your holiday
cial goals, such as saving for a child’s education or for your own retirement. If you
shopping budget. You may even want
find yourself facing the challenge of paying off credit card bills, make a plan to wipe
to open that account at a different bank
them out — the sooner the better!
than you usually use to avoid the temp-
Get organized Your credit card debt may seem daunting or overwhelming. That’s why I recommend starting with something simple — getting organized. Start by gathering all of your statements and writing down the balance and interest rate on each credit card. Don’t forget to keep track of the payment date for each card as well. You don’t want to tack on the expense of getting hit with late fees.
tation to spend the money. Just make sure you research any fees and interest rates that bank may apply.
Stay on it Debt is more than a holiday problem; it’s a year-round issue for millions of Americans. Twenty-one percent of people say they’re in so much debt they
Start with the credit card with the lowest balance and devote as much of your
won’t be able to pay it off before they die,
income as you can afford toward paying off that one card. (Make sure you’re paying
according to a report by Creditcard.com.
the minimum balance on every card to avoid fees and penalties.) Once you pay off
The problem with debt is that it’s
the balance on the smallest card, move to the next smallest balance. That rush you
very restricting, especially in retire-
get from paying off each card will help build momentum and keep you motivated.
ment when you’re on a fixed income. I recommend paying off all debt
Get a lower rate
before you retire. If that’s not possible,
Credit card companies want their money back, so they’re often willing to work
have a plan to pay it off — set a date that
with customers to pay down debt. Ask if you can get a lower interest rate. If they
you’ll be debt-free, and use these steps
aren’t willing to do so, shop around for a lower rate and transfer your balance.
to reach that goal.
But make sure you know what you’re signing up for. Credit card companies often offer a low introductory rate and raise it after a few months or a year. Also, pay attention to balance-transfer fees.
Look to the future You don’t want to do all this work to pay off your holiday debt only to find yourself in the same situation next year. Once you’ve paid off your cards, take the money you were dedicating to that goal and start a 2016 holiday fund. 22 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
Skip Johnson is an advisor and partner at Great Waters Financial, a financialplanning firm and Minnesota insurance agency. Skip also offers investment advisory services through AdvisorNet Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor.
d Photo by Marty Lang /Â lavasubmarine.com
g n i Ag t u b
n a dger ! s ou By Tina
C. Suza nne Bates â€” a Twin Cities b loggerturnedauthor â€” inspire s wome n to emb race th e second half of life wit h humo r and sty le
Minnesota Good Age / February 2016 / 25
C. Suzanne Bates was once a very successful interior designer. ¶ She held
Both women found themselves
senior positions with prestigious firms in Minneapolis and St. Louis,
wanting to do something new.
founded an award-winning interior design firm and served as design
and we were talking about how
editor for Twin Cities Magazine. ¶ She lived a lifestyle that included
life was changing for us, how
designer clothes and cars, invites to exclusive parties with Twin Cities VIPs and a big house on the St. Croix River. If there were a Who’s Who list of successful Twin Cities’ women in the 1990s and early 2000s, Bates — whose first initial stands for Carol — would have been on it. ¶ Her life was complete — or so she thought — until she lost it all.
“I was having lunch with Jean
we didn’t feel the same anymore — mentally or physically,” she said. “I knew we couldn’t be the same women we once were, but I also knew we still had tremendous value.”
Birth of a movement Bates, who had always prided
Finding what matters most
herself on being a mentor to women during her years as an
In 2007, her husband’s company began struggling financially
interior designer, decided she could use her skills to inspire
and went under, dragging Bates’ company down with it and
women in a new way — by helping them embrace aging with
forcing them both into bankruptcy. The home they’d owned
humor and panache.
together for 24 years went into foreclosure.
“Uniting women through truthful communication to
Eventually Bates and her husband got divorced, and she
support feeling good about who they are — that was our goal,”
found herself, at 60 years old, living in an efficiency apart-
Bates said. “Women can do anything they put their minds to
ment, alone. For Bates, it was time to take stock.
at any age, and that’s the message we wanted to get out.”
“I realized that I had been living my entire life exter-
Bates and Ketcham originally considered doing a talk
nally — only concerned with what things looked like on the
show. When that didn’t pan out, they thought up a new
outside,” Bates said. “When you lose everything, you realize
business model — a membership organization complete
pretty quickly who you are as a human being. I had to start
with a website, a weekly radio program, a podcast (one
measuring my self-worth by who I was on the inside.”
that currently boasts subscribers from 40 countries) and a
It was then that Bates decided to start focusing on the things that couldn’t be taken away from her, and she wanted to help other women do the same. She still had friends. One friend in particular, Jean Ketcham, who Bates had known for 35 years, was her most trusted ally. They’d met in St. Louis in 1979 while both were working in the design industry.
slew of confidence-building events catering exclusively to women age 50 and older. There was only one problem: They didn’t have a name for what they were doing. That’s where Madeleine Albright came in. The former secretary of state was speaking at a women’s lecture series — and Bates was in attendance. “She talked about how one of the ambassadors she worked
When both their husbands’ jobs were transferred to Minne-
with referred to her as ‘aging and dangerous,’ and that’s
apolis, Bates was eight months pregnant at the time, and Jean
when it clicked for me,” Bates said. “That’s what I was —
and her husband were the only people she knew in town.
aging, but still a force in the world.”
Fast forward a few decades. Here they were — both
Today, according to Bates, Aging But Dangerous has more
college-educated, successful career women who defied
than 40,000 followers, many of who tune into KLBB radio
expectations in the workplace, now retired. (That’s
every Saturday morning to hear Bates and Ketcham discuss
“mostly” retired for Bates: “I still have an occasional client
everything from sagging breasts to divorce and cancer.
from days gone by that I help,” she said. “Design is an addiction, and I periodically relapse.”) 26 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
C. Suzanne Bates and Jean Ketcham started their Aging But Dangerous organization in 2007, followed by their radio show in 2012 to help women over 50 age with humor and a sense of adventure.
Money, health and more
→→About the book
Around the same time Aging But Dangerous
Don’t Pee on My Sofa! And Other Things to Laugh About (Booktrope, $24.99), available at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon.com, is the first in a series.
was taking off, Bates began writing. At first she blogged for the website. When that didn’t suffice — according to Bates, she had just too
much she wanted to say — she decided to write a book. Don’t Pee on My Sofa! And Other Things to Laugh About: Tips & Strategies for Embracing Life After 50 is an extension of the Aging But Dangerous blog. And, much like the blog, the book uses humor to discuss difficult subjects — managing money, downsizing, diet and exercise, urine incontinence — that matter to women. “The book is all about scaling the obstacles of aging with gratitude, courage and dignity, to go beyond everyone’s preconceived notions about what women over 50 can do or should be,” said Bates, who insists that age is “just a number.” The book is also about scaling financial obstacles, which Bates, a mother of four kids and five grandkids, knows can be especially daunting. When it comes to money, Bates recommends paying a trusted expert for advice. She credits her own financial advisor with helping her get back on her feet again. “Women really need solid financial advice because it’s an area that’s very complex, and we don’t know what we don’t know,” Bates said. “So many women think they don’t have enough money to make their dreams happen, when it’s often just a matter of taking the money they already have and using it wisely.”
Inspiring other women Mary Sue Palazzari met Bates in 2010 when she answered a casting call for an Aging But Dangerous fashion show/fundraiser. At the time, Palazzari was 53 years old, without a job, and in need of inspiration, which she found. “Suzanne knows how to ask the right questions to get you to think deeper about yourself, and draw on strengths you may not know you have,” Palazzari said. “She has a different way of looking at the world, which is beautifully expressed in her blogsturned-book.” Perhaps it’s this “different way of looking at the world” that makes Bates, and her book, so appealing. “It’s amazing,” Bates said. “I’m truly shocked by how well the book is doing.” Amazon reviews have been positive and the book, published in October, is ranked 792 in the Humor / Self-Help & Psychology category. 28 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
C. Suzanne Bates plans to write two follow-up books, one focusing exclusively on financial health and one dedicated to relationships. Bates said, however, that she'll need a little breather before jumping into the next one. “Like starting your own business, writing a book is hard,” she said. “It’s like having a baby — at first everything is so exciting, and all you see is the cute and cuddly. But then you have this moment when you realize: Wow: This thing cries, eats, poops and spits up on you. “It’s a lot of work.”
Donna Chicone, animal rights advocate and author of Being a Super Pet Parent, said the book — again, much like Bates — has mass (female) appeal. “Suzanne has launched a book filled with authentic stories about women over the age of 50 who dare to live life to the fullest,” Chicone said. “Her humor and wit guide you through the book with ease and give (you) full permission to accept the joy of aging along with all the other realities that accompany the experience.” So who inspires the woman who serves as an inspiration for so many others? The answer to that question, according to Bates, is in the book’s dedication. “My mother, Ruthie — who at 90 years old can still be the most glamorous, funniest and wisest person in the room — inspires me every day,” Bates said. “My grandmother was also an inspiration. Both women were strong, but never encouraged by society to reach for the stars. “I’ve had other influences in my life. They’ve all been very tough women.” Tina Mortimer is an essayist and a contributing writer for many local publications. She lives in White Bear Lake with her husband and two children. Follow her work at tinamortimer.contently.com.
February Can’t-Miss Calendar
Wild About Architecture →→Wayzata-based architecture expert Bette Hammel will give a talk on her latest book — Wild About Architecture — featuring gorgeous photos and stories of some of her favorite buildings, including many of the downtown Minneapolis skyscrapers and sites around the region and the world. Hammel, age 90, began her architectural writing career more than two decades ago after the death of her husband, Dick Hammel, founder of HGA, Minnesota’s largest architecture firm. Her talk will coincide with an event promoting the LEGO Architecture line of toys. When: 1 p.m. Jan. 30 Where: Barnes & Noble, Ridgehaven Mall, Minnetonka Cost: FREE Info: tinyurl.com/bette-mn
Jan. 28–Feb. 7
St. Paul Winter Carnival
Free Symphony Concert
Women of Will
→→This multi-faceted festival is the oldest and largest of its kind in the nation, with more than 75 events and nearly 1,000 volunteers. Check out ice carving, snow sculpting, skiing, art shanties, parades, live music, a Frozen Family Fun Night (Feb. 2), fat-tire bike races (Feb. 3), a Frozen Film Festival (Feb. 4–6), a mini ice palace in Rice Park and more.
→→Enjoy a free concert by the Saint Paul Civic Symphony with a special guest — the Minnesota Boychoir — courtesy of Sundays at Landmark, a series of cultural and art events.
→→Shakespeare & Company’s founding artistic director Tina Packer spent 40 plus years investigating all things Shakespeare. In this funny, fierce and accessible Woman of Substance event, Packer deconstructs and conjures William Shakespeare’s most famous female characters.
When: Jan. 28–Feb. 7 Where: Various venues throughout St. Paul Cost: Most events are FREE. Info: winter-carnival.com
When: 3 p.m. Jan. 31 Where: Landmark Center, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: landmarkcenter.org
When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 Where: O’Shaughnessy, St. Catherine University, St. Paul Cost: $14–$34 Info: theoshaughnessy.com or 651-690-670 Minnesota Good Age / February 2016 / 29
Can’t-Miss Calendar Feb. 7–Nov. 6
Bob DeFlores Film Series →→Rare, classic film compilations will be shown in the Fireside Theatre, and Bob DeFlores — renowned local film historian — will be on hand to offer commentary and answer questions. When: Feb. 7 (The Soundies, jukebox musical films of the 1940s), May 8 (Great Comedy Shorts), Aug. 14 (Legends of Jazz) and Nov. 6 (Ladies of Song). Films will start at 3 p.m., followed by dinner served at 4:30 p.m. Where: Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Chanhassen Cost: $40 for the four-film series or $12 for single-performance tickets Info: chanhassendt.com or 800-355-6273
The Last Revel kicked off the Music Under Glass series in January.
Free Tax Filing Assistance →→Community Thread will be offering free tax help to low- and middle-income taxpayers, with special attention to people age 60 and older. Trained AARP Tax-Aide volunteers, certified by the IRS and the Minnesota Department of Revenue, will explain tax requirements and electronically file income tax returns. When: Appointments will be offered on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Feb. 8 to April 13. Call 651-4397434 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to schedule an appointment. Where: Community Thread, 2300 West Orleans St., Stillwater Cost: FREE Info: communitythreadMN.org
Newsies →→Set in New York City at the turn of the century, this is Disney’s rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenagers, who dreams only of a better life, far from the hardship of the streets. When: Feb. 9–14 Where: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: Tickets start at $39. Info: hennepintheatretrust.org or 800-982-2787
Feb. 12–March 5
Only One Sophie →→This imaginative world-premiere musical explores a boy’s longing to understand his place in the world as he remembers 30 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
Feb. 7, 21 and 28
Music Under Glass →→Beat the winter blahs by boogying to the blues, bluegrass and ballads in the tropical two-acre Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. This free, all-ages concert series showcases some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians most Sunday afternoons in winter. Beer, wine, soda and light snacks will be available for purchase. When: 4:30–6:30 p.m. Feb. 7, 21, 28 Where: Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: comozooconservatory.org
his beloved grandmother through colorful stories and heartfelt songs. Steeped in Jewish immigrant traditions, the show was inspired by director Michael Robins’ family history. When: Feb. 12–March 5 Where: Illusion Theater, Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, Minneapolis Cost: $25–$42 Info: illusiontheater.org or 612-339-4944
Feb. 12–March 6
Richard III →→This Shakespearean masterpiece features one of theatre’s most entertaining villains — the deformed yet charismatic Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who boasts that he “can smile and murder whiles I smile.” When: Feb. 12–March 6 Where: Theatre in the Round, Minneapolis Cost: $22 Info: theatreintheround.org
Feb. 12–March 27
The Two Gentlemen of Verona →→Sarah Rasmussen — the Jungle Theater’s new artistic director — will open the company’s 26th season with a Shakespeare comedy that bucks Elizabethan tradition with an all-female cast, plus a modern take on Shakespeare’s own Globe Theatre with 24 seats placed on stage to create a dynamic connection between the actors and the audience. When: Feb. 12–March 27 Where: The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis Cost: $25–$48 ($20 on stage) Info: jungletheater.com or 612-822-7063
Chocolate Tasting & Gift Fair →→This annual sampling event is focused on local and artisan chocolates, plus gifts to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
When: 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Feb. 13 Where: Mississippi Market locations, — 622 Selby Ave., 1500 W. Seventh St., and 740 E. Seventh St. — all in St. Paul Cost: FREE Info: msmarket.coop
Feb. 13–March 13
Gypsy →→Often lauded by critics as the greatest American musical ever, this is the latest show in the Broadway Re-Imagined series produced collaboratively by the Hennepin Theatre Trust and Theater Latte Da, an award-winning Twin Cities musical theater company.
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When: Feb. 13–March 13 Where: Pantages Theatre, Minneapolis Cost: $31.50–$56.50 Info: hennepintheatretrust.org or 800-982-2787
A Chorus Line →→Based on recordings of sessions with real professional dancers, this hit production tells the stories of 17 dancers vying for a spot in the chorus line of a Broadway musical. Set on a bare stage during the audition process, this show provides a rare glimpse into the lives and personalities of the dancers. When: Feb. 16–28 Where: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul Cost: Tickets start at $37. Info: ordway.org or 651-224-4222
VocalEssence: Witness →→Sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Witness (now in its 26th year), has grown to be one of the nation’s premier initiatives celebrating the contributions of African Americans to our shared American heritage. This performance will feature Morehouse College Glee Club, the VocalEssence chorus and a newly formed 200-voice high school male chorus, made up of students from Minneapolis and St. Paul high schools. When: 7 p.m. Feb. 21 Where: Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis Cost: $10–$40 Info: vocalessence.org or 612-371-5656
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Brain teasers Sudoku
Word Search IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY BANK BENEFITS BONDS COLLECTION CONTRIBUTION CREDIT DEBT
EXPENSES FUNDS INCOME INSURANCE INVESTMENT MANAGE MONEY
PAYMENT PENSION RETIREMENT SAVINGS SPENDING STOCK WEALTH
Break the code to reveal a quote from a famous person. Each letter represents another letter.
Source: Andrew Carnegie Clue: Z = N
Q L V
U P M
C V G D N V
S E G L
T K Q
M D K S
P X X
D Z V
Complete the following three six-letter words using each given letter once. Q L V Z . U P Q G L
Q L P Q
C P F W V Q .
S ___ ___ ___ C T ___ X ___ ___ C T ___ ___ ___ A C T P
P Z H
1. American Express, in 1951
C P F W V Q
3. 3/4 cotton and 1/4 linen
Answers 32 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
A new place to stay active!
Trivia MY MONEY ON MY MIND 1. What company made the first credit card?
2. This slang term for money originated in the 18th century when deer skins were valuable trade goods.
3. What is “paper” money actually made of?
The way to become rich is to put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket. SUDOKU
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Crossword DOWN 1 Hyphenated fruit drink brand 2 Worker welfare org. 3 Hairstyle with upturned ends 4 Social media website 5 Dr.’s group 6 Elevate 7 “Yup” 8 Confessional rock genre 9 Afternoon snooze 10 Cyclops feature 11 Laughing uncontrollably 12 Hay bundles 13 Magi’s resin 18 Encircle 23 Nor. neighbor 25 Charged particle 26 Black key after C 27 Partner in war 28 Scott of “Charles in Charge” 29 Jane Austen heroine 30 Messing around 33 “The Simpsons” network 34 Onassis nickname 36 __ noire
37 Smart-alecky talk 39 Raid
40 Perlman of “Cheers”
40 Second-place finisher
41 Big galoot
43 __ volente: God willing
42 Parkway off-ramp
45 Opposite of SSW
43 Songs for two
46 Story told in episodes
44 Magnified map detail
47 Peruvian capital
16 Aye’s opposite
47 Eyeglasses pair
48 Mongol invader
17 1994-2000 medical drama
49 Come together
19 35mm camera type
52 Make mad
50 NFL network analyst Michael __
20 Big galoot
53 Sleep phase initials
51 Not at all swank
21 Terre Haute sch.
54 Top-row PC key
55 Word repeated in a Doris Day song
22 Fragrant compound
57 Madre’s hermano
56 James of “The Godfather”
24 One is made before blowing out candles
58 Historic 1963 civil rights speech words
59 1,000-year Eur. realm
28 “Behave yourself!”
63 Justice Dept. arm
60 Prince Valiant’s son
31 Group of ships
64 Deodorant brand
61 VIPs at trials
32 “There’s __ Out Tonight”: 1961 hit
62 58-Across speaker, initially
66 NBA official
35 Network with an eye logo
67 Squiggy’s “Laverne & Shirley” pal
38 Ideal “Are you hurt?” reply
68 Punish with a swat
1 Labor leader Jimmy who vanished in 1975 6 Good, in Guadalajara 11 Tech co. whose name is its ticker symbol 14 Sunni’s faith 15 Exclamation that’s a near-homonym for an Arabian Peninsula country
34 / February 2016 / Minnesota Good Age
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