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THE HOOKUP: FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS

BEST YEARS FALL/WINTER 2019

FABULOUS LIVING AT 50+

3

Grand Girlfriend Getaways

Sheila E.

Music icon marches to the beat of her own drum

PLUS LOOKING FOR LOVE MASTERING MIDLIFE HIGH-TECH HEALTH AIDS RETIREMENT HOT SPOTS


WEEKENDS WORTH REMEMBERING.

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Avis is the exclusive car rental provider for AARP members.

AARP member benefits are provided by third parties, not by AARP or its affiliates. Providers pay royalty fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. Some provider offers are subject to change and may have restrictions. Please contact the provider directly for details. * Upgrade subject to availability. Terms and conditions: The savings of up to 30% applies to Avis base rates and is applicable only to the time and mileage charges of the rental. Offer does not apply to car group X. All taxes, fees (including but not limited Air Conditioning Excise Recovery Fee, Concession Recovery Fee, Vehicle License Recovery Fee, Energy Recovery Fee, Tire Management Fee, and Frequent Traveler Fee) and surcharges (including but not limited to Customer Facility Charge and Environmental Fee Recovery Charge) are extra. Offer is available for U.S. and Canadian residents only for rentals at participating locations in the U.S and Canada. Offer may not be used in conjunction with any other AWD number, promotion or offer. Weekly rates require a minimum five day rental period. Weekend rate available Thursday noon; car must be returned by Monday 11:59 p.m., or higher rate will apply. A Saturday night keep and an advance reservation may be required. Offer is subject to vehicle availability at the time of rental and may not be available on some rates at some times, including some online rates at Avis.com. Car rental return restrictions may apply. Offer subject to change without notice. Holiday and other blackout periods may apply. Renter must meet Avis age, driver and credit requirements. Minimum age may vary by location. An additional daily surcharge may apply for renters under 25 years old. ©2019 Avis Rent A Car System, LLC


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BEST YEARS FALL 2019

42

GIRLFRIENDS ON THE GO Four grand getaways for gal pals

Grand Isle Resort & Spa, Exuma, Bahamas

GRAND ISLE RESORT & SPA

FEATURES

30

36 MIDLIFE MASTERS

NAVIGATING THE EMPTY NEST

Sheila E. turns trauma into ‘glorious’ triumph

Embrace your 50s with power and purpose

Couples deal with life after the kids leave

A GLAMOROUS LIFE

50

3


FALL 2019

UP FRONT

64

BEAUTY Caring for maturing skin

8 12

STYLE

HEALTH

14 18 22 26

Fashion advice from online influencers

High-tech health aids Facts about essential supplements Alternatives to prescription drugs

Republiqué restaurant, Los Angeles

Tips to lower stroke risk

DEPARTMENTS FOOD + DRINK Healthy food to your doorstep Power up with a plant-based diet Enjoy wine the right way

SELF-CARE Maximize your valuable time

ON THE COVER: SHEILA E.

PHOTOGRAPHER: JEFF KATZ PHOTOGRAPHY

RETIREMENT Best U.S. cities for retirement life

80 84

RELATIONSHIPS Making social media connections

FINANCE Planning for future care costs

BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

Changing boomers’ lifestyle habits

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78 4

68

88

Looking for love online Ways to nurture and manage your friendships

92 96

Women re-entering the workforce

LAST WORD Finding resilience after a bumpy ride All product prices and availability are subject to change.

PROVIDED BY PHILIP STEIN; JAKOB N. LAYMAN; GETTY IMAGES

58 60 64 66 68


featured contributors PREMIUM PUBLICATION EDITORIAL

DIRECTOR Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com

KAREN ASP regularly writes about health, fitness and nutrition for publications that include O, Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart Living and Eating Well, and is the author of Anti-Aging Hacks. She loves delving into ways to help people live healthier, especially when they focus on natural therapies (page 22). Asp meditates daily in front of a device with red and near-infrared light for the skin anti-aging benefits.

LISA A. BEACH is an Orlando, Fla.-based freelance writer who covers health and wellness, travel, food and family for publications such as The New York Times, Eating Well and Good Housekeeping. She feels blessed by the decades-long friendships she’s sustained since childhood and the connections she’s cultivated through the years, so she enjoyed writing about how we can nurture our relationships (page 84).

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com EDITORS Amy Sinatra Ayres Tracy Scott Forson Harry Lister Sara Schwartz Debbie Williams ISSUE DESIGNER Lisa M. Zilka DESIGNERS Hayleigh Corkey Amira Martin Debra Moore Gina Toole Saunders CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Karen Asp, Toria Barnhart, Lisa A. Beach, Mary Helen Berg, Anna Katherine Clemmons, Paul Davidson, Isabel Fajardo, Valerie Finholm, Pam George, Tamara Holmes, Jennifer E. Mabry, Nancy Mills, Peggy J. Noonan, Jayne O’Donnell, Kim Painter, Sarah Sekula, Kathryn Streeter, Suzanne Wright, Stacey Zable

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VP, ADVERTISING Patrick Burke | (703) 854-5914 pburke@usatoday.com

Freelance journalist VALERIE FINHOLM has written for HGTV, Realtor.com and WebMD, among other publications. After researching and writing her story about dating after 50 (page 80), she took the advice of the experts she interviewed and joined an online dating site. “I realized it was time to stop waiting around for my older friends to set me up with a nice, single man,” she says. “The experts gave me the courage to try it.”

FACEBOOK Facebook.com/usatodaymags

NANCY MILLS, who lives in Los Angeles, writes a food blog, Mom’s Cooking Help, and is the co-author of HELP! My Apartment Has a Kitchen! Throughout her career, she’s interviewed film, TV and music stars, including world-famous percussionist and singer Sheila E., who has spent nearly five decades breaking boundaries (page 30). “I admire Sheila E.’s work ethic and her desire to be in control of her life,” Mills says.

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| BEST YEARS

UP FRONT B E A U T Y 8 | S T Y L E 1 2 | H E A LT H 1 4

SELFIMPROVEMENT

GETTY IMAGES

Staying healthy and taking care of ourselves — inside and out — are high priorities as we get older. Read on for ways to keep yourself looking and feeling great.

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UP FRONT | BEAUTY

THE PROTECTOR

Fine-tune your routine to give maturing skin the extra attention it needs BY SARA SCHWARTZ

M

any of us could benefit from better skin care, but busy schedules and past sun damage can result in less-than-stellar results. The good news is that there’s an easy way to incorporate products that protect, fix and heal. “If you ask any dermatologist about their regimen, they’re going to be using a sunscreen every morning. They’re going to be using a retinoid at night, and a lot of them will be using some kind of vitamin C serum,” says Dr. Leah Jacob, a dermatologist at the Tulane University School of Medicine Department of Dermatology. “Those are the three big key players.”

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JACOB’S PICK EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40

GERBER’S PICK SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense

BENEFITS OF SUNSCREEN • Blocks UV rays

• Reduces cancer risk

• Slows signs

• Keeps complexion

of aging

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

even

GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

Face Time

Critical in anti-aging and skin health, sunscreen blocks the sun’s UV rays from destroying our dwindling collagen and elastin. It also prevents discoloration, which can be tough to correct later. Alanna Barak Gerber, a physician assistant in aesthetics at Thibiant MedSpa in Beverly Hills, Calif., says when choosing products, reach for those with at least 50 SPF. “Make sure your product is labeled with ‘broad spectrum’ to ensure you are fully covered.” Jacob, who suggests that an SPF of at least 40 provides adequate protection, adds that oxide and titanium oxide are the two sunscreen ingredients that provide the broadest spectrum. Whichever SPF you choose, experts recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating for maximum results. Jacob likes EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40. “(It’s) a great morning sunscreen that also contains hyaluronic acid, which is a good overall moisturizer.” Gerber recommends the SkinCeuticals line. “My favorite is their Physical Fusion UV Defense because it’s mineral-based, which makes it both safe and effective, and its light, silky texture feels amazing on your skin.” Another reason to carefully read the label: You’ll want to avoid those that contain possible harmful ingredients, including oxybenzone, octinoxate, padimate O and octocrylene.


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UP FRONT | BEAUTY

Vitamin C is good for your overall health, and it’s specifically beneficial for your skin. Unfortunately, eating a diet rich in this nutrient isn’t enough, notes Gerber, so you’ll need to apply it topically, too. The benefits are bountiful. It stimulates collagen, reduces skin discoloration, calms redness and accelerates cell turnover for faster healing. Gerber and Jacob recommend SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, a serum that contains vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid. That combination enhances skin’s natural protection against environmental damage and works better together than alone. There are many forms of vitamin C products, including L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate. “Each type of vitamin C varies in both absorption rate and stability, making them differ in the quality of results,” Gerber says. “Note that a high price tag does not always mean a top-notch product.” For a less expensive but still stellar option, Gerber suggests Potent-C Power Serum by Peter Thomas Roth. When trying any product for the first time, it’s best to talk it over with your dermatologist to make sure you’re using ones that have been proven to work.

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

JACOB’S PICK Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Night Moisturizer

GERBER’S PICK SkinMedica’s Age Defense Retinol Complex

BENEFITS OF TOPICAL VITAMIN C

GERBER’S PICK Potent-C Power Serum by Peter Thomas Roth

BENEFITS OF TOPICAL VITAMIN C

• Stimulates collagen

• Mitigates acne

• Stimulates collagen

• Calms redness

• Reduces fine

• Balances

• Reduces skin

• Accelerates

lines and wrinkles

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JACOB’S PICK SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

complexion

discoloration

cell turnover

GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

THE HEALER

THE FIXER

A topical retinoid is one of the best weapons in your anti-aging arsenal. Derived from vitamin A, retinoids are a group of compounds that work by stimulating elastin and collagen while also increasing cell turnover rates, notes Gerber. “Often referred to as the ‘unicorn’ of skin care, retinoids have been shown to tighten skin, balance complexion, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and mitigate acne,” Gerber says. There are two retinoid categories: Retin-A (available as a prescription) and retinol (an over-the-counter product). While both work in the same way, prescriptionstrength products are more powerful. For retinol products, Jacob recommends Neutrogena Ageless Intensives AntiWrinkle Deep Wrinkle Night Moisturizer, while Gerber touts SkinMedica’s Age Defense Retinol Complex. “(It has) amazing ingredients, especially their algae extract, which helps keep skin soft, hydrated and protected against free-radical damage,” Gerber says. She says Biossance also produces great retinol products. “Their Squalane + PhytoRetinol Serum is great for people with rosacea-prone sensitive skin.”


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Trilogy® received the highest numerical score in the proprietary Lifestory Research study for years 2013 - 2019. Your experiences may vary. Visit lifestoryresearch.com. update with full global legal: Construction: SHALC GC, INC. (AZ ROC#291056) (FL #CBC1260716) (NC #75061) (NV #0080574) (VA #2705152813) (WA #SHALCGI863P9). Shea Homes Limited Partnership (CA CSLB #855368). Shea Homes, Inc. (CA CSLB #672285). SHSC GC, Inc. (CA CSLB #1012096). Sales: Shea Homes Marketing Company (CalBRE #01378646) (FL #CQ1034437). Shea Communities Marketing Company (AZ DRE #CO001121000) (NC #C25840) (NV #B.1002134.CORP) (WA #19548). Homes in Jubilee, Lake Frederick, Lake Norman, Las Vegas, Orlando, Rio Vista, Tehaleh, Vineyards, and Vistancia locations are intended for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older, with certain exceptions. Ocala is a 55+ community, with select neighborhoods open to residents of all ages. Encanterra, Verde River, and Wickenburg Ranch are all-ages communities with select 55+ neighborhoods. Monarch Dunes and Rice Ranch are all-ages communities. Ocala, Verde River, and Wickenburg Ranch contain golf courses that are planned to be private. Use of the golf course and club is at the pleasure of the club owner, and homeowners must purchase a separate golf membership from the course owner. Polo Club is private. Homeowners must purchase a separate membership from the club owner. Pricing does not include options, elevation, or lot premiums, effective date of publication and subject to change without notice. All square footages and measurements are approximate and subject to change without notice. IN ARIZONA, A PUBLIC REPORT IS AVAILABLE ON THE STATE REAL ESTATE DEPARTMENT WEBSITE. This is not intended to be an offer to sell, nor a solicitation of an offer to buy real estate to residents of any state or jurisdiction prohibited by law. Trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Equal Housing Opportunity. Models are not an indication of racial preference.


UP FRONT | STYLE

Fashion Forward These stylish women color outside the age lines BY MICHELLE WASHINGTON

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ll too often, women in their 50s, 60s and beyond are portrayed in popular culture as stereotypically straight-laced and frumpy, and they’re relegated to wearing baggy or “comfortable” frocks, muted colors and shapeless designs.

That might have been an accurate representation for some women at some time or another, but today, mature fashionistas the world over are defying those depictions and defining their own style. We only need to look to public personas such as Michelle Obama, Angela Bassett,

Madonna, Helen Mirren and Jane Fonda as examples. We asked four influencers to offer advice on channeling your authentic self through fashion. Unanimously, these women contend that the only person you have to answer to when it comes to your style is you.

Nina Bandoni, 60 Nina Bandoni says her Sharing a Journey blog was born of her desire to impart the surprising renaissance midlife offers. Having gone through a major transformation — she divorced and became an empty nester in 2016 — she decided to connect her dream of becoming a writer with her love of fashion, inspiration and lifestyle and share her experience. “Whether embracing your inner fashionista for the first time, reconnecting or continuing a longtime love of fashion and style, there’s no better time than now to let your look reflect the beauty, wisdom and grace you’ve cultivated through the years,” Bandoni says. “Remember: It’s never too late to live your best life.” What’s her favorite fashion? “I’m a dress girl; just slip on a dress and a cute pair of shoes, and you are pulled together.”

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GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY THE INFLUENCERS

Tampa, Fla. Sharing a Journey @sharing_a_journey; sharingajourney.com


Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, 52 Miami Jet Set Sarah @jetsetsarah; jetsetsarah.com

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon is always on the go. As a Caribbean travel writer, on-camera host and avid runner, Greaves-Gabbadon, also known as Jet Set Sarah, blogs about her adventures pursuing her three passions: travel, style and fitness. She says women shouldn’t let age dictate their style. “How I dress is a crucial part of ... telling the world who I am — stylish, colorful and dynamic — with a single glance,” she says. “You’ll never go wrong if you dress true to your particular own taste and style. Be the best version of you!” What’s her favorite fashion? “I’m all over the athleisure trend, which works really well for my active, airport concourse-to-Caribbean lifestyle. My go-to outfit is a track jacket and jeans or a track suit, accessorized with standout sneakers and sunglasses.”

Evelyn Irvin, 55

Minneapolis Fashionista Over 40 @fashionistaover40; fashionistaover40.com Evelyn Irvin uses her blog and social media presence to inspire women 40 and older with fashion and styling ideas. The self-described shoe addict, who regularly adds to her collection, says she loves “everything fashion, finding great deals and creating my looks” and encourages women to freely express themselves. “Don’t fall for the ‘You’re too old to wear that’ stigma,” Irvin says. “Style is ageless. Wear what you love, be bold and step out of the box.” What’s her favorite fashion? “My go-to articles are forever changing. Right now I’m into comfortable jeans. They’re perfect for casual wear and suitable for an evening out.”

Shauna Robertson, 59 Salt Lake City Chic Over 50 @chicover50; chicover50.com

Through her Chic Over 50 blog, Shauna Robertson aims to inspire and encourage women everywhere to be their best selves. She advises women to have fun with fashion and to be fearless. “Confidence is definitely a game changer. With it, all things are possible,” says Robertson, who embodies that ideal with her bright and bold color choices, including a soft pink pixie haircut she sported recently. “Dressing can be the quickest way to change your outlook on life. Taking time to put into the way you present yourself is worth every single minute. People will notice, and more importantly, you will feel better.” What’s her favorite fashion? “Definitely a pair of colorful statement earrings and a fab hat! These two things will change up your look quicker than anything.”

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UP FRONT | HEALTH

Tech Treatments Take control of your health with assistive devices BY MICHELLE WASHINGTON

S

The Walabot falldetection system tracks your health and monitors your gait, posture, breathing, sleep patterns and more to prevent falls at home. The device automatically alerts designated emergency contacts if help is needed. Starting at $99.99 per unit plus $9.99 monthly service fee, walabothome.com

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Philip Stein’s Horizon wellness bracelet channels natural frequencies to help manage stress and improve overall well-being. Available in multiple colors and interchangeable straps. $225 to $290, philipstein.com

PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

ometimes getting older isn’t a smooth transition, and there might come a time when you need help keeping your health on track. These gadgets can ease the way when issues crop up, or even prevent them from happening.


This Hammacher Schlemmer slip-on LED foot pain reliever uses medical-grade LEDs to improve circulation, relax muscles and relieve pain. $169.95, hammacher.com

Experiencing frequent body temperature changes? The Embr Wave bracelet helps you feel five degrees cooler or warmer with the press of a button. Thermal waves delivered to your wrist trigger a physiological response, offering relief in minutes. $249, embrlabs.com

Stop snoring before it starts with Smart Nora. When snoring is first detected, the pillow insert gently inflates and deflates, stimulating the throat muscles for natural breathing. $329, smartnora.com

The e-pill MedSmart VOICE automatic pill dispenser allows users to set up to six alarms per day, and a voice prompt issues a reminder to take medications. Each rotating compartment holds 24 standard aspirin-size pills. $249.95, epill.com

Omron’s HeartGuide wearable blood pressure monitor also tracks your heart data, activity and sleep quality, and functions as a smartwatch. Users can receive text, call and email notifications. $499, omronhealthcare. com

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Get your ears hooked on binge-worthy podcasts. From exposing the underbelly of environmental racism in The City to getting down-and-nerdy on the latest games, shows, and movies on the Mothership, come find your kindred audio-spirit with USA TODAY podcasts. applepodcasts.com/usatoday


UP FRONT | HEALTH

Added Benets Vitamins and supplements can make up for nutritional shortfalls BY ISABEL FAJARDO AND JAYNE O’DONNELL

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

GETTY IMAGES

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s we get older, our bodies don’t run like they used to, and it can be a challenge to maintain a well-balanced diet that provides the nutrition we need for optimal performance. More than 30 percent of people in the U.S. are at risk of developing anemia or a vitamin deficiency. Fortunately, supplementing your diet with vitamins can boost your overall health. It’s important to remember that supplements can interact with medications, so sure to tell your doctor about any that you take. Here are some, in dosages recommended by the National Institutes of Health, that can help you get — and keep — your body up to speed:


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UP FRONT | HEALTH

B VITAMINS

MAGNESIUM

Offers protection against heart attacks and diseases, including Alzheimer’s; helps the body absorb calcium.

Provide energy and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. B-12 is especially important for vegans and vegetarians.

Found in: egg yolks, fatty fish, milk

Found in: whole grains, meat, eggs, dairy, legumes, seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables, fruits

Helps reduce risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, improves sleep and heart health, lowers blood pressure and stress levels and relieves constipation.

Recommended daily dose: 15 micrograms

Recommended daily dose: varies — consult your doctor

PROBIOTICS

FISH OIL

Support digestion, thyroid function, normal blood cholesterol levels and immune function. Ensure that your probiotic supplement includes the B. lactis strain for digestion, the B. longum strain for immune function and the B. infantis strain to combat inflammation.

Omega-3s and omega-6s (essential fatty acids) help ward off ailments such as osteoporosis (brittle bones), rheumatoid arthritis, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and high blood pressure.

Found in: yogurt/nondairy yogurt, aged cheeses, kombucha, sauerkraut Recommended daily dose: varies — consult your doctor

Omega-3s Found in: flaxseed oil, salmon, walnuts, edamame Recommended daily dose: 1.1 grams Omega-6s Found in: nuts, seeds, vegetable oil Recommended daily dose: 11 grams

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

Found in: nuts, seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and some milk products Recommended daily dose: 320 milligrams

CALCIUM Estrogen helps retain bone mass; a lack of it puts older women at risk of developing osteoporosis. Estrogen levels decline in the aging process, so calcium is crucial to fortify bones. Found in: dairy, sesame seeds, sardines, broccoli, green leafy vegetables Recommended daily dose: 1,200 milligrams

GETTY IMAGES

VITAMIN D


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UP FRONT | HEALTH

You’ve Got Options Alternative therapies could cut prescription medication use BY KAREN ASP

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

CBD OIL What it’s being used for: CBD, which stands for cannabadiol, is a nonintoxicating chemical compound from the cannabis plant that’s being used mainly for migraines, pain, anxiety and insomnia. Potential to decrease medication use: Some people may be able to eliminate their medications and just use CBD oil for some of the above conditions, says Dr. Rachna Patel, a medical marijuana and >

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A

whopping 55 percent of American adults regularly take prescription medications — four on average, according to a Consumer Reports survey. That’s a lot of medications, and they each come with possible side effects. Could alternative therapies be an option to avoid some of them? Here, experts weigh in on five therapies that are being used to treat conditions that commonly affect individuals who are 50 and older, and could hold promise for cutting ties to many medications.


UP FRONT | HEALTH

PLATELET-RICH PLASMA (PRP) TREATMENTS What it’s being used for: PRP is most commonly used for tendinopathy such as tennis or golfers’ elbow, and osteoarthritis, especially after common remedies such as ice and rest have failed. The therapy involves drawing your blood, concentrating it so that it contains one to five times its normal level of platelets, and injecting that blood back into the site of pain. “You’re tapping the body’s innate ability to heal itself,” says Dr. Brian Halpern, chief emeritus of primary care sports medicine service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. As soon as that platelet-rich cocktail enters the body, it simulates the release of your own growth factors, which trigger cells to repair and rebuild and block inflammation, he says. Potential to decrease medication use: Because this treatment has a high success rate, most patients can stop taking anti-inflammatories, Halpern says. The therapy ranges from $500 to $4,000 and currently isn’t covered by insurance. Before you try it: Find a reputable physician who’s knowledgeable about the procedure, as an increasing number of unqualified practitioners are performing it, Halpern says.

RED LIGHT THERAPY What it’s being used for: Red light therapy, formally known as photobiomodulation (PBM), is the result of 50 years of research showing that the most penetrating wavelength of light

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

— red and near infrared — can activate pathways of enhanced energy production, blood flow and repair, says Dr. Joel Kahn, founder of the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity in Bingham Farms, Mich., who’s pursuing the use of PBM for heart function. The therapy is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, collagen promotion, skin aging and wrinkling, Kahn says. Athletes also use PBM to avoid delayed-onset muscle soreness, he adds. It’s simple to use: You sit or stand in front of a PBM device. The therapy is often offered at spas, tanning salons, chiropractors’ offices and sports injury clinics, or you can purchase a red light therapy device to use at home. Potential to decrease medication use: For pain and soreness, PBM could be a game changer. “The improved blood flow and decreased inflammation from PBM make prescription pain therapies unnecessary for many,” Kahn says. Some individuals with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have even eliminated thyroid medications, Kahn notes. Before you try it: If you’re using PBM at home, don’t overuse it, Kahn says. Daily or every other day for 10 minutes is enough. PBM isn’t recommended for pregnant women or young children.

FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTATION (FMT) What it’s being used for: Your stool contains a variety of organisms that make up your gut microbiome and help keep you healthy and fight infections. Lose that healthy gut microbiome, however, and you’ll be at greater risk for infections, especially Clostridum difficile (C. diff). Enter FMT — essentially transplanting via colonoscopy or enema fresh stool (mixed with sterile water to create a liquid mixture) from a donor you select or from a stool bank — which can help sick individuals fight infection, says Dr. Alyssa M. Parian, assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. The procedure is also being studied for the treatment of obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and certain psychiatric disorders.

Potential to decrease medication use: It could reduce the need for antibiotics if you have C. diff. Risk factors include being over age 60, antibiotic use, hospitalization and immunosuppression. Before you try it: This isn’t an FDAapproved treatment, and it comes with unknowns. “We don’t know what the long-term side effects might be or what else can be transmitted in the stool,” Parian says.

MINDFULNESS MEDITATION What it’s being used for: Mindfulness meditation involves being aware of your experience in the present with an attitude of openness or acceptance, and it’s often used for pain, namely in the lower back. “It could have a positive impact on pain intensity, sleep quality, fatigue and overall physical functioning,” says Dr. Helene Langevin, director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. It may also help with smoking cessation, weight loss, depression and substance-abuse disorders, Langevin says. Potential to decrease medication use: If you have chronic low-back pain, the American College of Physicians recommends using nondrug treatments like meditation first. However, whether practicing meditation can help you wean off pain medications hasn’t been well researched. Before you try it: Although mindfulness meditation is considered safe for most people, there are rare reports of side effects in people with serious mental illnesses. In such cases, health care professionals should be consulted to determine whether meditation is OK, Langevin says. l

GETTY IMAGES

CBD oil expert and author of The CBD Oil Solution. Others might be able to significantly reduce medication dosages. Before you try it: Talk with your physician before using CBD oil, as it may interact with certain medications and isn’t appropriate for people with heart, lung and psychiatric conditions, Patel says. Then do your homework in sourcing CBD oil. This is an unregulated industry and you could be exposed to toxins and other harmful additives. One red flag? If a company can’t produce lab test results for factors such as the amount of CBD, fungus, bacteria pesticides, heavy metals and more, Patel says. If you don’t see it on a company’s website, ask for it.


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UP FRONT | HEALTH

Healthy Habits Seven life changes that can protect you from heart attack and stroke

M

ammie Crowley-Maberry, 54, of Jackson, Miss., gave up ham hocks and took up stair climbing. Tonya Ware, 50, also of Jackson, changed her fast-food orders from fries to salads and started using a step-counting app. For Crowley-Maberry, the motivation for heart-healthy change was finding out she had high blood pressure. Ware had an even bigger wake-up call: the cardiac arrest that nearly ended her life in 2006. The adjustments these women made might seem small, but they are the sorts of changes that health experts say could save millions of Americans from heart

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

EXERCISE is a key way older adults can minimize their risk of many ailments, including heart attacks and strokes.

attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular crises. Deaths from such causes have stopped declining in recent years. “The good news is we know what works,” says Hilary Wall, a senior health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “There are factors that are beyond the control of the individual,” including unequal access to quality health care, walkable neighborhoods and fresh produce, says Dr. Ivor Benjamin, president of the American Heart Association (AHA). But, he says, adults can do a lot to lower their risks. Here are seven ways to go about it:

GETTY IMAGES

BY KIM PAINTER


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1

STOP SMOKING

2

LOSE WEIGHT

4

More than 70 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Losing 5 percent to 10 percent of body weight can decrease risk of heart disease, stroke and other health issues, according to the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

3

MANAGE BLOOD PRESSURE

High readings are a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Many people can lower their numbers with exercise and diet alone; others will need to rely on medication.

While rates have declined, 14 percent of U.S. adults still smoke. Quitting is the best thing smokers can do for their health, experts say.

The AHA says these lifestyle habits can help lower health risks:

6

REDUCE BLOOD SUGAR

High blood glucose can damage your heart. Diet changes and increased exercise can often work to get numbers under control in the prediabetes stage.

7

GET ACTIVE

Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. This could include brisk walking, swimming, dancing or cycling. DIETARY CHANGES and increased physical activity can improve one’s health outlook.

GETTY IMAGES

BEING OVERWEIGHT contributes to higher risks for certain cardiovascular issues.

CONTROL CHOLESTEROL

When too much of these waxy substances accumulate in your blood, they contribute to plaque build-up in arteries, putting you at higher risk. Diet changes — such as cutting saturated fat — can help. Many people also need medication.

EAT BETTER

That means more whole grains, fruits and vegetables and less salt. The average American consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, far above the recommended 2,300 milligram limit. A diet full of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, whole grains and fish is best for overall cardiovascular health, according to the ACC. In addition to reducing salt intake, limit your consumption of saturated fats, fried foods, processed meats and sweetened beverages.

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ROB SHANAHAN

Life


Legendary musician turns trauma into glorious triumph BY NANCY MILLS SHEILA E. IS IN PANIC MODE. YESTERDAY she flew from a Paris gig to Minneapolis, where the first leg of her tour starts tomorrow. But the percussionist and singer, who is considered one of the best female drummers alive, has nothing to wear. The airline misplaced her luggage. “I’ve still got on what I wore on the plane,” she moans. “I have no clothes or makeup. Nothing!” It’s rare to find Sheila E., whose full name is Sheila Cecelia Escovedo, not in total control of her life. She has been laser-focused on her goals since she started banging on pots at the age of 3, trying to replicate the sounds produced by her percussionist father, Pete Escovedo. At age 13, as a rising track star, she wanted to win a gold medal at the Olympics. At 15, she switched her interest to music, which led to the title track of her 1984 debut album The Glamorous Life earning multiple Grammy nominations. LA-based Sheila E. has spent 47 years in show business. It may sound glamorous, but she prefers “glorious,” punctuated by “hard work.” “I’m busier than I’ve been in years,” she says. “It’s rewarding but exhausting.” >

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office. “I’ve gone to therapy many times for my shoulder, my ribs and my arms,” she says about the injuries she sustained standing and pounding drums, bongos, congas and timbales. Years of performing on the drums in her signature high heels also took a toll in 1990, when she temporarily lost the use of her legs, as a result of shortened calf muscles. “Playing two separate kick drums with the snare in between and hi-hat on the far left of my left foot forced me to twist my lower back,” she says. “It took me four months to be able to walk around the block. Then on my last tour, I fell and twisted my right ankle. I’m known for performing in dresses and stilettos. When I put on heels I feel tall (she’s 5 foot, 3 1/2 inches), sexy and really pretty. It took my Achilles and ankle almost a year and a half to heal before I could wear heels again.” The oldest of four siblings, Sheila E. grew up in Oakland, Calif., in a musical family. Latin jazz star Tito Puente was her godfather. “We grew up poor,” she recalls, “but we didn’t know we were poor. We had no car and not a lot of food, but that was OK. My dad would take us to facilities to help kids who didn’t have parents or had parents who were on drugs or in prison. He would bring his percussion, and we’d go play with them and bring some light into their lives.” After committing herself to percussion at 15, Sheila E. made her professional debut with her father’s band, Azteca, opening for The Temptations. “That’s when I knew I was supposed to do this for the rest of my life,” she says. >

musical director for former President Obama’s 2009 In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina special on PBS.

PROVIDED BY SHEILA E.; ROB SHANAHAN

When her 50th birthday rolled around a decade ago, she was ready to embrace it. “I was excited,” she remembers. “I felt very vibrant and fortunate and blessed. It was the next chapter of my life, and I was equipped to play even harder and better than I had before.” Then came a little glitch. “In my late 50s, I started going through menopause. When your body starts changing ... oh my God! I have friends who went through it, and I didn’t really believe what they told me. ‘It can’t be that bad.’ Then I experienced it myself. I feel being a woman means I’m in control of things, but during ‘the change’ I had to alter my diet. I felt disoriented and confused.” Sheila E. will turn 62 in December, and she has her exuberance back. “I started to work out again,” she says. “Sixty is about prevention. Now I work harder to maintain being healthy and strong. I’m back to the mindset of ‘I’m 25,’ and my body says, ‘Not really!’” She laughs. “But I understand what my body needs and what it can and cannot do. I have my flaws. My face is dropping. I have wrinkles. But that’s who I am. I’ve earned those wrinkles.” Drumming has taken Sheila E., also an Emmy Award-nominated artist, around the world. She served as musical director for President Barack Obama’s In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina in 2009 and performed in the house band at the 2012 Oscars. She played drums on movie soundtracks such as Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Her high-spirited percussion work has also landed her in the doctor’s


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PHOTO CREDIT


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and strong belief in the healing power of music, she and Mabry created the nonprofit Elevate Hope Foundation in 2001 to help young people who are recovering from trauma or neglect. “We know how much music has saved our lives, and we’re able to share how we feel through music,” Sheila E. says. “We thought it was important to share, ‘Hey, we know where you are. We’ve been there. We’ve been abused. We understand it. We went through being angry as well. We know what that’s like and you know, this music helped us.’” What began as a small endeavor, the organization, now called Elevate Oakland, has helped more than 3,000 kids. There are plans to expand the program to other cities. These days, Sheila E. is planning a follow-up autobiography — this one about what happens backstage. By the end of the year she hopes to finish a children’s book, write a screenplay, direct two documentaries and appear in a movie. She also wants to strengthen her connection with her parents. “I talk to them every day,” she says. “They’re celebrating their 63rd anniversary in October. I just recently got my dad a trainer. I told him, ‘Pops, we got to get you back in shape so you can play golf again.’ “I’m blessed that I’m still alive and well,” she says. “I want to make the best of however long I’m here.” Meanwhile, back at the airport, Sheila E. did not get her luggage delivered in time for her first Minneapolis tour performance, but as usual, she took control: “I borrowed clothes from my singers!” l

singer and performer who died in 2016, was instrumental in launching Sheila E.’s solo musical career.

KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES; ROB SHANAHAN

In the beginning, she heard “No” a lot and “Who said girls can play drums?” I looked at those words as opportunities,” Sheila E. says. “Even when I couldn’t pay rent, all of those noes forced me to try harder and be better.” She has performed with such high-profile names as Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Ringo Starr and Lionel Richie. In the mid-1970s she connected musically and romantically with Prince. Their relationship, which included a brief engagement, was on and off for more than three decades. “We were in each other’s lives for most of our adult lives,” she says. “It was a great time, good and bad. We learned a lot from each other.” Throughout her life, Sheila E. has had to deal with the effects of child abuse. When she was 5, she was sexually assaulted by a babysitter who lived in her building. Despite talking about it with friends and strangers, she continued to struggle until 1995, when her best friend, singer Lynn Mabry, made a suggestion. “We were in Japan, and she asked me to write down what happened so I could share it with a group in Bible study,” Sheila E. says. “Lynn knew I would feel better. I wrote for an hour and a half, and when I started to read it, I realized how awful it was. I cried for two or three days. That was the beginning of healing. You can’t hold onto these things. It’s not your fault. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed. That stops you from leading your fullest life and experiencing joy.” She wrote a 2015 autobiography, The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir, detailing the abuse. Because of her personal experience


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MIDLIFE Look forward to your 50s and beyond with power and purpose BY JENNIFER E. MABRY

ILLUSTRATION: HAYLEIGH CORKEY

S

econd act. Second chapter. Middle age. Middlepause. Whatever you call or consider the milestone of turning the big 5-0, know this: You are not alone on the journey. Many women approach the milestone with fear and trepidation, viewing it as a signal that more than half of their life has passed. Others view it as a time to reflect — on past accomplishments, triumphs, relationships — and to project — setting goals, making plans to complete bucket list items: a cruise around the world, skydiving, a tattoo. The approaches to turning 50 can be as numerous and varied as the candles on your birthday cake. How can you embrace and focus on the positive aspects of being 50 and beyond? Here, four women who’ve crossed that momentous threshold and are living active, adventurous, fulfilling lives weigh in with how they are enjoying what many believe are the best years of one’s life. >

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MIDLIFE

“For me, rolling up my sleeves and getting involved in all aspects of my community was really gratifying, and a true gift that I gave to myself.” — AMY YONTEF-MCGRATH

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In July 2017, one year before she would turn 50, Amy Yontef-McGrath came up with a way to celebrate by serving others. “I always made public service a part of my family’s values,” says the wife and mother of three young adults. When her children were younger, she stepped away from her career as a public interest attorney to raise them. Two decades later, Yontef-McGrath was growing restless and uncertain about how she might redefine herself with her children relying on her less. She first devised a plan to shake up her life when she was 47, and decided to give herself a year of exploration “without having to know the destination” to figure out how to apply her passion, knowledge and talents in the world. She decided to write a blog titled Follow Me to 50!, in which the Maryland resident documented her experience engaging in 50 service projects throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area before turning 50. That effort, in the summer of 2018, culminated in a three-day, 50-mile walk along the California coast benefiting six charitable organizations. At the outset, YontefMcGrath thought the project would bring her

finality. Instead, she says it “transformed me and got me back to a better version of my old self.” She also says it provided her with purpose. “For me, rolling up my sleeves and getting involved in all aspects of my community was really gratifying, and a true gift that I gave to myself.” With her 50 service projects completed, Yontef-McGrath is determining how to best transition her blog into its next life. She continues to volunteer with a few organizations; is the go-to authority in her neighborhood for others who are interested in serving the community; and was named 2019 Volunteer of the Year by the Montgomery County (Md.) Volunteer Center.

EMBRACE THE PRESENT “This is your best year.” It’s an aphorism blogger and educator Maricia Johns embraces in life and through informative and uplifting posts on her blog of the same name. The former Texas public school educator, who is now a business instructor at Tarrant County College, began writing articles for a community newspaper, The Fort Worth Black News, in 2008. Four years later, she began to “dabble” in blogging for fun. By 2014, she began to take it seriously and was

PROVIDED BY AMY YONTEF-MCGRATH

SHAKE UP YOUR LIFE


STEVEN LEMONS

inviting readers to join her on cultural and artistic excursions throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Johns, 66, says she started blogging because she didn’t see herself or her interests reflected in today’s magazines. For her, blogging has built a bridge to new friendships with other women who remain active beyond 50. “I think friendships are very important as you mature, but you don’t need a lot of them,” she says, emphasizing quality over quantity. The title of Johns’ blog stems from something her mother told her: “You need to do what you can because one day you will wake up and you may not be able to.” Johns says it’s a reminder of how life can happen to any of us when we’re making plans or aiming for goals that may go unmet because time gets away from us. “We all look back in time and think that we could have done something better. ‘If I had been at this place. If I had told my children this. If I had taken that job,’” she says. Earlier this year, Johns fulfilled her lifelong dream of traveling to Italy with her sister and cousin. “We can’t go back in time, but we still have time to do some of the things that we want to do. You just have to embrace

it. Think of something that you want to do and then try it. If it doesn’t work, it’s OK.”

FIND A SISTERHOOD Therapist and relationship expert Audrey Chapman says she’s never “put a number on it” when it comes to marking one’s birthday. “I feel strongly that it’s not the numbers,” she says. “It’s whether you’re healthy and how you’re living your life. That’s what I’ve focused on. How physically healthy, and how mentally healthy and whether I have good social ties and relationships with family.” Chapman’s advice for women, and anyone else who asks, is “don’t think of life in terms of limitations.” She believes the messages women receive from their culture and community as girls set the tone for how they will navigate their 50s and beyond. She encourages women who may have not been empowered or not told they could be and do anything as young girls to join a support group where they can meet role models of all ages, and in different life stages, with whom they can find support. “I’m not a person that likes to join groups,” says Chapman, 70, but when she moved from her native Connecticut >

“We can’t go back in time, but we still have time to do some of the things that we want to do.” — MARICIA JOHNS

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“Don’t think of life in terms of limitations.” — AUDREY CHAPMAN

“It’s important to accept yourself, to befriend yourself.” — BRIGID SCHULTE

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

to Washington, D.C., she joined a local professional women’s organization that she believed would connect her with “powerful” women. “Two of the women who were in the group have been my best friends for 35 years,” she adds. Chapman notes that had she not stepped out of her comfort zone, she might have flailed. “If something doesn’t exist, create it,” she says. “I tell women that all of the time.”

BEFRIEND YOURSELF Author and journalist Brigid Schulte, 57, says she was fearful of reaching 50 until she realized it would allow her to reclaim “space” previously occupied by what she calls the intense, external pressures many women juggle such as work, marriage and motherhood. Schulte, who writes about work-life balance, says that in our 40s we’re faced with realities that might not match our youthful expectations of who we thought we might be. A middle-age malaise, if you will. “It’s a painful time, but almost a necessary thing to go through because then when you hit your 50s, it’s

like you come out on the other side of that. You still have internal pressures, but they’re not as intense.” Schulte, who is director of the Better Life Lab at the nonpartisan think tank New America and author of New York Times bestseller Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time, is honest about personally experiencing anxiety and depression, and being self-critical during this moment of life transition. She considers herself a work in progress, and says, “It’s important to accept yourself, to befriend yourself. Life is imperfect, and I’m imperfect, and that’s OK.” Schulte says despite constraints placed on women based on gender and structural barriers that limit full economic independence, gains, though gradual, have been made. “Women are writing different stories because we can. It’s almost like your age is not what defines you. What defines you is, ‘What is it that you want to do and be in this life?’ And I do think it’s an exciting moment. I don’t think we’ve ever been here before in human history, for women.” l

JOSEPH BEASLEY; PROVIDED BY NEW AMERICA (2)

MIDLIFE


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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019


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or avid hikers, Peru’s mountains are a dreamy mishmash of terrain. It’s a wonderland full of snowcapped peaks, turquoise lakes and fields of roaming llamas and alpacas. For Sheila Ashley and Alicia Agatone, who’ve known each other for 20 years, it is also a pretty epic spot to catch up. “This trip was special not only because I love Peru, but also because I was very excited to share it with a good friend,” Ashley, who lives in Bryn Mawr, Pa., says of Agatone of Norristown, Pa. The five-day hike through Peru’s Vilcanota mountain range, southeast of Cusco, is one of the highest treks in the country. The journey, however, was made a bit easier because the two pals were chatting, laughing and reconnecting the whole time. >


Grab the Girls & Go

Andes Mountains

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

develop a different kind of inscenery and enjoying each timacy and gives you a chance other’s company. to focus on your friendships “It’s very peaceful, very far rather than being distracted from civilization, far from by other responsibilities and the cities,” says guide Bruno family members’ needs.” Estefano Lopez Jara. With girlfriend trips being When Cara Birnbaum’s a popular vacation trend, girlfriends suggested a trip to it’s no surprise that Austin Kripalu, a yoga retreat in MasAdventures, a company that sachusetts’ The Berkshires, she organizes excursions to Peru was in — but not necessarily and other places around the for the mindful exercise. world, has seen an uptick in “I’m not even a yoga person,” female travelers. “We have seen the Montclair, N.J., resident adour women travelers go from 50 mits. But going to the Berkshire percent a few years ago to over 60 percent of all travelers today,” says owner Dan Austin. “It is quite common for a group of four to six BFFs to sign up — Anne Dimon, together for an president, Wellness Tourism Association adventure.” A bonus: Ashley and Agatone’s trip was hills with three friends she had a custom-guided excursion bonded with through their kids’ through the travel company preschool was a no-brainer. Andean Lodges. Their guides “Getting away with moms had years of experience and of young kids has a thrilling, longstanding relationships with jailbreak mentality,” Birnbaum the community. The result: says. “Even the drive up, with The two friends could focus a stop for Mexican food, was on taking in the surrounding a blast.” >

"... THERE HAS BEEN A HUGE MOVEMENT THAT FINDS INDIVIDUALS BECOMING THE DRIVERS OF OUR OWN PERSONAL HEALTH AND HAPPINESS."

ANDEAN LODGES

PERU

At some point over the course of a friendship among a group of women, there will likely come a time when the ladies decide to take a trip to escape — if only temporarily — the routines and rigamarole of their daily lives. Spa and yoga retreats and beach respites are always popular options for a “girlfriend getaway,” but some women crave more rigorous adventures like Ashley and Agatone’s hiking expedition. Whatever the destination, one thing is clear: This trip is not an average vacation. It’s a time for friends to reconnect, recharge and restore in a mutually beneficial way that experts say is unique to women. “Women can help one another process what’s going on in their lives in deep ways through a shared use of emotional language and an ability to be vulnerable in their communication with one another,” says Judy Ho, a clinical psychologist and author of Stop Self-Sabotage: Six Steps to Unlock Your True Motivation, Harness Your Willpower, and Get Out of Your Own Way. “A girlfriend getaway is different from traveling with a spouse because you are outside of your role as a partner. It’s an opportunity to


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Grab the Girls & Go

PRO TIPS Deborah Widdick, founder of Globelle Travels, a travel community offering information and inspiration for women worldwide, offers this insider advice: SET A BUDGET

Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

we’re never even really that hungry, but we always pick a good place.” The next day, the friends do brunch and go their separate ways. “Our getaway is usually only about 24 hours long including travel time, but I swear it’s so restorative and fun,” Corridan says. “This also makes it harder for spouses and kids to complain.” Melissa O’Neil Gunning of Alameda, Calif., goes on an annual trip with longtime friends to get away from the daily grind and have long, deep conversations. “You can be 100 percent real about what’s happening in your life in a way you can’t on long distance (calls),” she says. “Friends for that long are the only ones who can listen to you and then ask, ‘Are you sure that’s really what you want?’” These trips provide a break from the day-to-day, which Ho says helps to reduce burnout and increases your motivation to reintegrate into your usual activities when you get back home. “It also gives you a chance to experience gratitude for your friendships and miss your family,” she says. l — Lisa Lombardi contributed to this article.

COORDINATE SCHEDULES I highly recommend doodle. com. It’s an easy way to visualize your group members’ availability and find the best time that suits all of you.

ITINERARY OR SPONTANEITY? It’s always good to have an agreed-on skeleton itinerary, but it can be fun to leave time for spontaneous adventures.

DECIDE WHERE TO STAY Make a list of your would-liketo-haves and prepare to meet in the middle based on budget.

HOW MANY PEOPLE SHOULD COME ALONG? You can’t really go wrong with a group of four. That way, you can split up one day into pairs and do separate things, and the full group is a manageable size for anything from car rentals to dinner reservations.

LAURENCE NORAH/FLORIDA KEYS NEWS BUREAU

KEY WEST, FLA.

“Women in general, moms included, are traveling more together,” says Anne Dimon, founder and president of TravelToWellness.com and president of the Wellness Tourism Association. “One reason is that over the last decade or so there has been a huge movement that finds individuals becoming the drivers of our own personal health and happiness.” Kara Corridan of Springfield, N.J., swears by the mental health benefits of an annual trip with college friends she has known for almost 25 years. “I had a triple dorm room with these girls at Penn State, so it’s always so surreal and comforting to wake up in the same room as them again,” she says. The group goes in January or February so they “have something to look forward to in the dead of winter.” After arriving at their destination — never more than three hours away by car — they head straight to the spa. “Then we go back to the hotel and start drinking and eating cheese and crackers and nuts,” Corridan says. “Around 7 p.m., one of us tears ourselves away to be the first to shower before dinner, and because we’re buzzed and we’ve been grazing,

Ensure you’re on the same page in terms of how much you’re willing to spend for each part of your trip such as excursions, food and accommodations.


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Grab the Girls & Go

JUST RELAX Here are three trips to help you and your girlfriends get away from it all:

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BEACHING IN THE BAHAMAS

For serious R&R, the Grand Isle Resort & Spa, a luxe destination resort in Great Exuma, is a solid choice. You can opt for your own golf cart, which makes getting to the spa, the golf course and the beach a breeze. When hunger strikes, dine at Palapa Grill overlooking Emerald Bay where catch-of-the-day sandwiches, creamy conch chowder and shrimp mango salads are crowd pleasers. After that, enjoy a dip in the infinity-edge pool. Once you’re ready to venture out farther, the hotel can arrange lunch on a private island and a boat tour through the Exuma Cays for cave snorkeling, turtle sightings and a visit to an island full of iguanas. Come evening, hop over to 23° North Beach Club. There’s a pool overlooking the beach, cozy cabanas, daybeds, an indoor and outdoor bar and a restaurant.

R&R IN THE ALOHA STATE

Your crew will appreciate so many things at the five-diamond Four Seasons Resort Lanai, less than 10 miles off the coast of Maui, Hawaii. Here, you can spend days on end lounging around the lagoon-shaped pool that overlooks Hulopoe Beach, taking yoga classes, strolling through the botanical gardens and dining on Japanese cuisine at cliff-side Nobu Lana’i. When you’re ready to check out the ocean, book a dive or fishing trip on the hotel’s high-speed luxe boat that will take you to some of the prettiest spots around. The waters off Lana’i island remain pristine and typically offer 100-plus feet of visibility, which means it’s easy to spot dolphins, turtles and candy-colored fish. Afterward, hit the spa, where your lucky limbs will be lathered with a honey sugar scrub with fresh active pineapple (if you opt for the Lanai Tai Signature Scrub) and a deep-tissue massage to soothe your muscles. The best thing of all is that Lana’i offers all the activities you’d find on the other Hawaiian islands and the same stunning topography, but without the crowds.

If you and your BFFs prefer a relaxed vibe, Key West, Fla., is a solid choice. Stay at Sunset at Harbour Place, a two-bedroom oceanside rental home that sleeps up to four adults. It’s part of Vacasa, a full-service vacation-rental management company, and features dreamy views of Key West harbor, has a stunning kitchen and an ocean-view balcony. It’s a quick bike ride away from Fort Zachary Taylor State Park and close to major attractions. There are loads of impressive dive and snorkel spots including the Outer Reef where lionfish and turtle sightings are a plenty. Or opt for a wreck dive. Dive Key West takes adventurers to a slew of cool wrecks, including the USS Vandenberg, a missile-tracking ship used in World War II. Prefer to skim the surface instead? Rent a see-through kayak from Clearly Unique Ocean Adventures to see stingrays and dolphins beneath you. The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum is also worth a visit. Tour this National Historic Landmark and you can snap photos next to Hemingway's typewriter and greet the famous six-toed cats. And no trip to Key West is complete without a slice of iconic Key lime pie. Stop at Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe on Elizabeth Street to try the decadent dessert made with Key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Sharing is optional. — Sarah Sekula

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Develop a plan to embrace life after kids leave home BY KATHRYN STREETER

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

sing my phone’s speech-to-text feature in a recent exchange with a friend on the difficulties of the empty-nest season, I glanced down to check for accuracy before sending. My device transcribed “emptiness” instead of “empty nest.” Ironically, emptiness is exactly what many feel after their final child


off at college. “Start fresh things in your own life together a couple years before your last child graduates,” advises clinical psychologist Margaret Rutherford, who hosts the SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford podcast. You’re giving your child a lovely gift when you successfully move forward, she says. Christie Turnbull, of Indiana, and her husband, Greg, are redirecting the energy they gave their children as they near empty-nest status. The Turnbulls have four children, and only one remains at home. “While it’s sad to think about how quickly time has passed, it’s also been fun to see our kids enjoy where they are and where they’re headed,” Turnbull says.

“We’ve always loved investing in the lives of teens, and with our extra time our focus is to be more intentional about continuing that with kids in our community.” If Rutherford’s patients resist the shift in priorities, saying they’ll miss out if they don’t focus 100 percent on their teen, she’s bullish: “Don’t be so afraid of missing out that you don’t invest in building that foundation for your own relationship to go forward.” Having friends is also vital because your spouse can’t possibly meet your every need, Rutherford says. Cultivating fun, trustworthy companions to walk by your side is especially important for single parents, she counsels. Seek out >

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leaves home. Author Melissa Shultz interviewed 50 women of diverse backgrounds and circumstances for her book From Mom to Me Again: How I Survived My First Empty-Nest Year and Reinvented the Rest of My Life. The one thing all interviewees shared was a powerful love for their children. As a result of this love, when children leave home their absence can produce a sense of emptiness, Shultz explains. “Kids bring this fantastic chaos with them and when they go, it’s like all the air goes out of the room,” she says. Shultz empathizes, recounting how she and her husband asked, “Now what?” on their first night home after dropping their youngest

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those with shared interests so that you’ll “already have people in your life who enjoy doing the things you enjoy doing” and appreciate you as an individual, outside your role as a parent. Develop a communication plan because couples grieve differently. “My sense of loss was different than my husband’s, but no less significant,” Shultz acknowledges. Rutherford explains that the parent experiencing the most detachment might want more contact with the child. Her advice is to develop a threeprong communication plan that will honor the most affected parent, the parent who is more ready and the child. With each of these perspectives in mind,

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

“Sit down and develop a plan before the child leaves so everybody knows what’s going to happen,” says Rutherford. Shultz also strongly advocates for an early, honest conversation about maintaining the connection “comfortably felt as a family under one roof.” Stress that it’s important you stay connected, albeit in a new way. Parents should get professional help, if needed. Fighting can erupt from the stress of pending change. Don’t be frantic, says Rutherford. If signs of clinical depression appear, get help, urges Rutherford, whose next book, Perfectly Hidden Depression, will be released later this year. Depression can be relentless,

overwhelming you with a lack of life purpose and causing you to lose interest in everything. It’s an emotional time and Shultz cautions, choose your words carefully. “(Kindness) is the No. 1 trait of happy couples,” she says. Overall, be stubbornly optimistic about what’s ahead, she encourages, and rewire your thinking to expect the empty nest to reveal strengths, not weaknesses. Shultz advises couples to plan their empty-nest phase in whatever way works best for them. “There’s no wrong way to do it as long as you are making plans and moving forward.” It’s a teachable moment, Shultz says, because just as you want your kids to move forward in life, so should you. l

PROVIDED BY CHRISTIE TURNBULL

The Turnbull family


Survival Strategies These tips from author Melissa Shultz’s book From Mom to Me Again can help to stave off the empty-nest blues:

Exercise. Any kind of exercise. The point is to tune in to your movement, the music you listen to while exercising, whatever rings your bell so you stop thinking about the junk that doesn’t.

1

Don’t be so afraid of missing out that you don’t invest in building that foundation for your own relationship to go forward.” MARGARET RUTHERFORD, clinical psychologist

Do something artful. Take photographs. Get lost in it. Draw, paint, hammer, bake, cook. Focus on the joy of it, and tune everything else out.

2

Practice gratitude. When you think things are awful, say exactly how they’re awful, out loud. Then do the opposite: Say out loud what’s good about your life and what things you appreciate.

3

Hang out with the funniest person you know. If you can’t, rent a movie that makes you laugh and fast-forward to your favorite lines. Or open a favorite book and read the lines that make you laugh out loud.

4

If you still can’t shift your focus, then counter it. Ask yourself what you’re most worried about, then how likely the scenarios are to come true. Imagine the worstcase scenario, and solve it.

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Financing the Future Financial planner Jonathan Knapp says it’s not uncommon for recent empty nesters to realize they’re not on track for a secure retirement after years of funding the lifestyles of their departed kids. Here’s a game plan to play catch-up:

Bolster your savings Increase the percentage of your pay that is invested in your 401(k) plan, says Mark Lamkin, CEO and chief market strategist at Lamkin Wealth Management. The maximum amount you can set aside in your 401(k) in 2019 under IRS rules is $19,000, and workers 50 and older can save $6,000 more in “catch-up” contributions. To work toward maxing out, gradually increase your paycheck deductions, to the percentage that meets the IRS limit.

Make sure you get ‘match’ Don’t pass up free money from your employer, advises Tony Ogorek, founder and CEO of Ogorek Wealth Management. That means at least saving enough on your own in your 401(k) to take advantage of your employer’s full matching contribution. “You must at least fund up to that (matching) level,” says Ogorek. “If your employer is matching 50 cents on the dollar, you are making a risk-free, 50 percent return on your money.”

If possible, ‘max’ out The more you save, the quicker you can replenish and rebuild your nest egg, says Diahann Lassus, president of Lassus Wherley, a wealth management firm. A married couple over age 50, for example, can sock away $50,000 in pretax dollars in their 401(k)s. And that sum doesn’t include matching dollars from their employers. That same couple can boost their combined account balance by a quarter of a million dollars in five years by maxing out.

Play catch-up If you’re older than 50, the IRS lets you save an additional $6,000 in your 401(k) with before-tax dollars in catch-up contributions. And saving more will help you reach your goal of having enough cash to retire. “This is another opportunity to redirect freed-up cash toward yourself rather than your kids,” says Ogorek.

Keep spending in check Sure, you’ll likely have more money leftover at the end of the month now that you’re no longer supporting kids. But if you blow all of it on vacations or that new convertible, you’re just going to dig yourself into a deeper financial hole, according to researchers at the Center for Retirement Research (CRR). If parents spend the extra money instead of saving it, they will get to retirement with less money and a higher standard of living to maintain.

GETTY IMAGES

— Adam Shell

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019


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| BEST YEARS

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F O O D + D R I N K 5 8 | S E L F - C A R E 6 6 | R E T I R E M E N T 7 2 | R E L AT I O N S H I P S 7 8 | F I N A N C E 8 8 | L A S T W O R D 9 6

WORK IT OUT

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Exercise helps keep your body and your mind fit. Check out 10 expert-approved ways to adopt better lifestyle habits as you enter your next chapter (page 68).

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FOOD + DRINK

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FOOD + DRINK

Eating for Life Seven easy strategies to put your diet on a plant-based path BY KAREN ASP

A

disease is a plant-based diet,” says Marco A. Borges, exercise physiologist, founder of 22 Days Nutrition and New York Times bestselling author whose latest book is The Greenprint: Plant-Based Diet, Best Body, Better World. Statistics show that roughly 600,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, but 80 percent of cardiovascular disease is preventable, especially with a shift to a plant-based diet, says Dr. Saray Stancic, a lifestyle medicine physician in Ramsey, N.J. There’s also evidence that the current food system is unsustainable. “Worldwide, animal agriculture provides 18 percent of humanity’s food calories and 37 percent of protein, but uses 83 percent of farmland and one-third of the planet’s fresh water, and is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s cars, planes, trucks, ships and trains combined,” Robbins says. Yet, changing how you’ve always eaten isn’t easy. Where do you start? Experts share seven strategies:

PHOTO CREDIT

plant-based diet may have seemed extreme years ago, but today it’s all the rage — and for good reason. In many ways the planet and human health are in trouble, and a plant-centric diet is one way to address both issues. More than 10,000 studies in peer-reviewed medical journals show that a diet based on whole plant foods leads to higher life expectancy and lower rates of cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and most other chronic ailments. “If you eat the standard American diet, you’re going to get the standard American diseases,” says Ocean Robbins, co-founder of the Food Revolution Network and author of 31-Day Food Revolution. “However, a plant-based diet can add years to your life and life to your years.” When you look more closely at heart disease, the No. 1 killer of American adults, the story becomes even more convincing. “The only diet proven not just to prevent but also reverse heart

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019


1

DON’T THINK ALL OR NOTHING

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, you don’t need to shift your diet overnight. “Every step you take toward more whole plant foods is a step toward greater health for you and the planet,” Robbins says. How closely you lean into plants is your choice, but know that in the “Blue Zones” — places around the world where people live the longest and healthiest — diets are focused on whole plant foods with almost no added sugar or processed foods and between zero and 10 percent of calories from animal products. In the United States, however, approximately 54 percent of calories come from processed foods and another 34 percent from animal products, Robbins says. No amount of processed food is healthy, and even if animal products are a small part of your diet, “the Blue Zones show that what’s best is a lot less than most are eating,” he adds.

2

MAKE PLANTS THE STAR OF YOUR PLATE

3

ADD WHOLE PLANT FOODS TO YOUR ENVIRONMENT

If you’re eating like most Americans, animal products comprise most of your plate. An easy fix? “Put plants at the center of your plate, and if you do have any animal products, make them the side dish,” Stancic says. As your taste buds adapt to this new way of eating, gradually push animal products off your plate completely so that you’re following the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s Power Plate formula, which divides a meal into four quadrants: whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes.

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Your environment plays a key role in determining whether you’ll succeed at adopting a new habit, which is why it makes sense to set it up for success. The best strategy? “Bring more whole plant foods into your house and put them out where you can see them,” Borges says. How many times, after all, have you bought fruits or veggies, shoved them into the back of your fridge and later found them spoiled because you forgot about them? Instead, keep fruits and veggies at eye level in the fridge and place bowls of fruit on counters in view. At the same time, keep unhealthy processed foods out of sight as you gradually work on cutting them from your kitchen.

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FOOD + DRINK

4

BE A PLANNER

5

DO BATCH COOKING

6

ADOPT THE MEATLESS MONDAY HABIT

7

FIND SUPPORT

Nothing gets done in life without some planning, healthy eating included. Start by shopping from a list, as you’ll stand a better chance of avoiding unhealthy impulse purchases, Robbins says. Then think about your meals for the next week, or just the next day if that’s easier (“plan breakfast before you go to bed,” he adds, suggesting overnight oats or presoaked chia blueberry porridge), so that you don’t end up eating unhealthy food in a pinch.

When Borges’ mom switched to a 100 percent plant-based diet, he advised her to pick a day each week to cook foods like whole grains and beans in batches, even making salad dressing for the week. She could then store the foods in the fridge or the freezer and pull them out as needed. “Although it takes time to cook them, it’s a huge time-saver,” he says.

This global campaign encourages people to take meat off their plate every Monday, and it’s a good entry point to eating more plants. “Research shows that we have our best intentions for healthy eating on Monday, and Meatless Monday is a great way to dip your toes in the water,” says Sharon Palmer, registered dietitian and author of Plant-Powered for Life. After seeing how easy it is, you may be encouraged to eat meatless on other days, too.

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No matter what change you’re trying to make, going it alone can be challenging. That’s why Stancic asks her patients to bring family members when she speaks to them about adopting a whole food, plant-based diet. “You’re introducing a significant change into your life, and if you don’t have support, that change becomes more difficult,” she says. Even if your family isn’t on board, you can find support in friends, work colleagues and local meetup or Facebook groups. Of course, changing habits can be challenging, and for many, shifting to a plant-based diet is a work in progress. And that’s OK. As Borges says, “Aim for progression, not perfection.”

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019


TWO TO TRY

These recipes can help you begin to incorporate more whole plants into your diet, or you can add them to your existing repertoire of plant-based meals.

RAINBOW QUINOA BOWL Ingredients: 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa Sea salt

JAIS TOLLETTE/THANKSGIVING.COM; LAUREN VOLO

VEGAN DEVILED POTATOES Ingredients: 1 pound white baby potatoes (about 12–15 potatoes), cut in half lengthwise 1 can navy beans, drained 2 tablespoons vegan mayo 2 tablespoons distilled vinegar 1 teaspoon celery seed 1 teaspoon yellow mustard 1 teaspoon kala namak or Himalayan black salt (can be replaced with 3/4 teaspoon of regular salt) ½ teaspoon paprika A dash of turmeric for color Chopped chives and Spanish smoked paprika for garnish Instructions: Plunge the halved potatoes in well-salted boiling

water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. While potatoes boil, place all remaining ingredients (except garnish) in a food processor and run until smooth to create faux egg yolk mixture. Remove potatoes from heat, drain and run under cold water until cool. Scoop the center of potatoes out with a melon baller or spoon. Fill potatoes with faux egg yolk mixture using piping bag or spoon. Sprinkle deviled potatoes with chives and a dash of Spanish smoked paprika. — Recipe by Jais Tollette via Thanksgiving.com

Lemon-Tahini Dressing 1 ½ tablespoons tahini Juice of ½ lemon Pinch of garlic powder ½ teaspoon sea salt Bowls 2 cups chopped stemmed kale leaves 2 carrots, shredded (about 1 cup) 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved ½ Hass avocado, sliced 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 cup canned sweet corn, drained and rinsed Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Sesame seeds Directions: Rinse the quinoa in a finemesh colander and drain well. Transfer the quinoa to a small saucepan and add 1 ⅓ cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to

a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the quinoa with a fork. To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and 2 tablespoons water. To assemble the bowls: Divide the quinoa, kale, carrots, tomatoes, avocado, chickpeas and corn between two bowls. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the dressing, garnish with sesame seeds. — Recipe reprinted from The Greenprint: Plant-Based Diet, Best Body, Better World by Marco A. Borges, published by Harmony Books

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FOOD + DRINK

RED WITH STEAK?

It’s time to let go of the standard guideline to serve red wine with steak and white wine with fish, experts say. The point is to serve wine that you enjoy and that won’t be overwhelmed by food’s flavors. The red-wine-with-steak rule “is very old fashioned,” adds Oram. “There are reasons for those concepts, but there are so many exceptions to them that you can ignore them. There are rieslings that are absolutely fantastic with a steak.”

Bottoms Up! Enjoy your red, white or rosé like an oenophile BY MARY HELEN BERG

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

THE RIGHT POUR

Pouring wine correctly prevents cabernet stains on your favorite tablecloth and ensures you don’t dribble on your dinner party guests. “The quick twist of the wrist is always the trick, but there are lots of gadgets to help with that as well,” says Oram. Make sure you avoid the “big boy pour.” Don’t fill a glass too high because this reduces the opportunity for a wine to decant, advises Tracy Waldron, a certified wine educator and partner at the Virginia Wine Academy in Richmond, Va. A perfect pour will hit the glass just as it reaches its widest point, usually less than halfway.

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hen it comes to wine, you know what you like, and the fact that some studies say drinking moderate amounts can provide a health benefit is only a bonus. But if you’re fuzzy on the best way to serve, order or enjoy a bottle of vino, these expert tips can demystify the details and grant you the confidence of a connoisseur. First lesson: Don’t worry too much about trends, advises Ben Oram, sommelier for Meritage Restaurant and Wine Bar at the Boston Harbor Hotel. “Basically, just drink whatever you enjoy; that’s what it comes down to,” says Oram, who is also co-chair of the Boston Sommelier Society. “Wine is just like music. Just because somebody else really likes this band doesn’t mean I’m going to like them. Just listen to what you want.” Here are some more tips from the experts:


CHOICE OF CHALICE

Did you know that a pinot noir glass can be a different shape than a cabernet glass? There are dozens of glass styles to match different varietals, but you only need two basic types — a classic red and smaller white, experts say. If you don’t mind missing the chance to swirl your glass and prefer to drink out of a jelly jar, that’s fine, too, says Sam Rethmeier, who oversees a selection of 2,000 labels as wine director at Republiqué restaurant in Los Angeles. “While a stemmed wine glass will help with the overall experience, it isn’t totally necessary. Have I sipped wine out of a coffee mug while on vacation? Yes. Yes I have.”

FLUTES ARE OLD SCHOOL

EASY DECANTING

THE NOSE KNOWS

A wine’s aroma, whether it’s fruity, floral, oaky, spicy or herbal, enhances the experience of every glass. But how do you know if a wine has turned? A musty, mildew, cardboard or vinegar scent means the wine is probably flawed, Oram says. “If it’s very smoky it could be an infection of Brettanomyces,” he says, referring to a type of yeast that causes wine to spoil.

For most wine, you don’t need a fancy decanter if your glass has a bowl large enough to swirl and aerate the wine, experts say. “I don’t think you need to decant reds,” says Rethmeier. “If you’re talking about a very intense, fullbodied nebbiolo or barolo or something like that, decanting when it’s very young can help it open up, but a majority of wines are not designed to age that long, so I don’t think decanting is that essential.”

Throw out your old notions about how to drink champagne. Flutes are festive, but aren’t necessary to enjoy a glass of bubbly. “We tend to think of champagne as its own thing, needing its own glassware, but in reality, champagne is a wine that happens to have bubbles,” Rethmeier says. In fact, “glasses with a bigger bowl, like a pinot noir or Burgundy glass, will help the wine best express itself.”

STEM VS. BOWL

If you’re tempted to hold your wine glass like a brandy snifter, remember that the glass’ long stem is there for a reason, says Waldron. Holding the bowl of the glass warms the wine, and as it changes temperature, the flavor will also be altered.

THREE-DAY RULE

KEEP IT COOL

If you sip whites ice-cold and reds at room temperature, you may be missing out. Chill a red for 30 minutes before drinking to release its flavors, says Rethmeier. Overchilling whites is a pet peeve for Waldron. Aroma and flavor will be muted if a white is too cold. Waldron recommends chilling full-bodied whites like chardonnay to 55 degrees and sparkling wine to between 45 and 50 degrees.

That bottle of chardonnay in the refrigerator doesn’t keep forever. An open bottle resting in the fridge for more than three days is pushing it, according to Rethmeier. Red and white wine can be refrigerated to prolong freshness, but keep the bottle upright to reduce the amount of wine exposed to oxygen, Oram says. A red left on the counter will last only two to three days.

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SELF-CARE

Got a Minute? BY PEGGY J. NOONAN

S

uppose you were promised $1,440 each day for your entire life — a whopping $525,600 a year — that could never be reduced or

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

changed as long as you live. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Actually, we all do get 1,440 a day — but in minutes, not dollars. Time is our most precious and finite resource,

says Steve Booren, founder of Prosperion Financial Advisors in Greenwood Village, Colo., and author of Intelligent Investing: Your Guide to a Growing Retirement Income.

GETTY IMAGES/ILLUSTRATION: LISA M. ZILKA

Make the most of the time you have by treating it like money


It’s possible to get more money, but you can’t make more time. We can’t add a single second to our daily allotment, nor can we stop it or bring back time we’ve let slip away. That makes time even more precious than money, according to Booren. Many of the same sound management practices that help people get a handle on — and make the most of — their money can also be applied to what Booren calls your “time currency.” The question is, he says, are you a good steward of your time? Try these simple steps to take control of your clock and calendar:

do. Making this assessment “gives people a clear picture that they actually do have a lot more time than they realize,” Clark says.

START PLANNING Invest a few minutes at the beginning of each day or week to plan and organize. Ten minutes of planning can save you an hour of time and helps stretch the time you have, Clark says. “People put off planning — or don’t do it — (and then) wonder at the end of the day or week where their time

productively, suggests Janine Adams, certified professional organizer and owner of Peace of Mind Organizing in St. Louis. Group small tasks into one job. “I think batching things together is really helpful,” says Adams. When you have errands to run, instead of making three separate trips on three different days to grab groceries, office supplies or home store products, batch them — hit all three stores in one trip, she suggests. It’s more efficient to plow through “little one-off” tasks in one swoop rather than deal with one at a time throughout the day.

TAKE STOCK

REINFORCE YOUR WINS

Find out where your time is going now. Write down everything you do in a day. Include work, cooking and meals, cleaning and household maintenance, personal hygiene, sleep, family time and mindless activities such as binge-watching TV and getting lost in social media. Tracking is the most important step, says Corie Clark, of Irvine, Calif., founder of the Purposeful Planner and author of The Simplicity Project: Win Your Battle With Chaos & Clutter So You Can Live a Life of Peace & Purpose. “Take an assessment of where you’re already spending your time, just like you would if you needed to sit down and look at your finances,” she says. Look at your day in 15-minute increments, suggests Clark. Block off sleep first, then nonnegotiables such as your job or family commitments, and you’ll see pockets of time you can use for things you want to

At the end of the day, week, month and year, take a look at how well you’ve managed your time. You’ll see where you could do better and where you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. Booren likens this progress check to reviewing your annual financial statement but says, “Far too often, we don’t look at our statement” in terms of time, but we should be asking ourselves, “What are my wins today?” and “What wins do I want to have tomorrow?” Take time each day to reflect on your accomplishments and set goals for tomorrow. Do that over and over and “it becomes habit,” Booren says, like “muscle memory, so it’s natural.” Once you take charge of your own 1,440 daily minutes and invest your time well, you’ll know exactly how to answer the next time someone asks, “Got a minute?”

Find out where your time is going now. Write down everything you do in a day. went,” she adds, just as people who don’t budget wonder where their paycheck went. Do what you planned. People may put things on their calendar but often don’t stick to their own plans, Booren says, but it’s important to honor your own calendar. Focus and concentrate. “Don’t let people come into your time wallet and steal (from) it because when they take your time, they’ve stolen something from you that you can’t get back.”

SET PRIORITIES Put health first. “Invest the first 10 or 20 percent of your time in taking care of yourself,” Clark advises. “Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and taking care of you first, so that you have that extra time and energy as the day goes on.” Set limits. Use kitchen timers, phone reminders, apps or other timing devices to stay focused and work more

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SELF-CARE

Boomer Boot Camp 10 steps to building healthy lifestyle habits BY BRUCE HOROVITZ

Kaiser Health News asked three professionals who focus on aging and health for advice on how seniors can find the willpower to adopt better habits. “People do financial planning for retirement, but what about retirement health planning?” King says. Motivated seniors can begin by following Kaiser Health News’ 10-step program:

1 “Self-improvement isn’t just physical. It’s mental, too.” — SHARON SULTAN CUTLER, AUTHOR

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IMPROVE YOUR BREAKFAST. Stop

eating the sweet roll with your morning coffee. Consider a home-blended smoothie with a banana, almond milk and protein powder. And cut out excess sugar in all meals, AgingParents.com founder Carolyn Rosenblatt says. For example, substitute soda with seltzer water.

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t takes moxie to flip an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one — particularly for those over age 60. Dr. Dana King chairs the department of family medicine at West Virginia University. He says most baby boomers approach retirement age unwilling to follow basic healthy lifestyle goals established by the American Heart Association.


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PRACTICE RESISTANCE TRAINING.

To keep your muscle mass from disappearing, Kay Van Norman, owner of the consulting firm Brilliant Aging, suggests resistance training with dumbbells, barbells or weight machines. “Your muscles are amazing,” says Van Norman. “But if you don’t use them, you lose them.”

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TACKLE A PROJECT. Pick a project that has meaning to you. Author Sharon Sultan Cutler, 71, co-wrote her first book, Bandstand Diaries: The Philadelphia Years, 1956-1963, an inside look at one of her favorite TV shows, Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. Now she’s on her third: Your New You After 65: Valuable Advice to Inspire Your Awesome Aging. “It’s like having a daydream that you can actually make happen,” she says.

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BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Faced with self-doubt and depression after several tragic, challenging personal events, Sultan Cutler turned to therapy. “The first person you have to believe in is yourself,” she says. “People like to be around other people who believe in themselves.”

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EMBRACE SELFIMPROVEMENT.

Some call this lifelong learning. Living a healthier lifestyle requires constant learning and self-improvement, Sultan Cutler says. Seek out local learning resources such as community colleges, where classes are often steeply discounted for seniors. “Self-improvement isn’t just physical,” she says. “It’s mental, too.”

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CHALLENGE YOUR SPEED. It might not seem as if folks over age 60 need to worry about exercise that involves speed and intensity, Van Norman says, but they do. “Most people don’t even think about speed in order to stay healthy,” she says. “But tennis players are doing that all the time. You need to do something to challenge your speed, not just your power.” That’s why sports such as tennis can be terrific as you age, she says.

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BUY QUALITY SNEAKERS. Purchase a

pair of durable, comfortable shoes designed for walking, says Rosenblatt, who started participating in triathlons at age 63 and continues to do them at age 70. Start by walking around the block, she recommends. Build up to 30-minute walks at least three times weekly or set a goal to increase your walking distance by 10 percent every week.

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SELF-CARE

8

PRACTICE YOUR BALANCE. The best way to avoid falls is to retain a good sense of balance, Rosenblatt says. Try standing on one leg with your eyes closed for at least 30 seconds.

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DE-STRESS WISELY. Find ways to manage your stress that don’t involve food, alcohol or smoking, Rosenblatt says. Consider downloading a meditation program on your phone to listen to throughout the day.

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HIT THE FLOOR. Aging adults need to regularly practice getting down on the floor and standing back up again. “If you don’t get down on the floor and back up, you won’t be able to do it after a while,” Van Norman says. — Bruce Horovitz writes for Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service covering health issues and a USA TODAY content partner.

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In 2009, William Molebash was approaching his 50th birthday. He started to think about his lifestyle and worked on ways to become healthier by competing in half marathons and joining a gym. It was then that he noticed the older generation needed a place to go where they weren’t intimidated by fitness fanatics. Molebash started studying to become a personal trainer in 2015. Two years later, he received his certification and opened the Old Bones Fitness Studio in Chillicothe, Ohio. “It’s a place where people of the same age and goals can come together to socialize and work out,” Molebash says. Workouts at the Old Bones Fitness Studio are based on repetitions, or reps, not weight. There’s a chair circuit program that lasts 40 minutes and a 30-minute ball circuit. Exercises last for one minute each and include both sitting and standing activities like arm circles, leg curls, ankle raises and wrist flexing. Workouts with the ball affect every joint in the body. All programs are designed to increase stability, flexibility and strength. Molebash says the “use it or lose it” mentality is especially true when it comes to seniors. Often, older people can develop degenerative issues. In severe cases, an individual can develop bone on bone pain, which is a result of cartilage wearing away. While Molebash can’t replace the cartilage, he can help gym members strengthen their joints and maintain bone health. Molebash’s mother attends his classes. She’s had three shoulder replacements, and he watched her struggle to get back to her daily routine after surgeries and physical therapy. Other members have had multiple procedures like hip and knee replacements, and the gym’s nonstrenuous workouts help build up strength and mobility. Molebash wants to make sure the average retiree can afford a membership at his studio, so he has been working to become a SilverSneakers-certified instructor. The program grants no-cost memberships at certified gyms to those age 65 and older with Medicare Advantage plans. “Exercise strengthens you and your joints,” Molebash says. “I’m just trying to help people keep their independence.” — Toria Barnhart writes for the Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette.

GETTY IMAGES; ROBERT MCGRAW

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Retire Right Consider these locales when choosing where to set your anchor BY ANNA KATHERINE CLEMMONS

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

PALM SPRINGS, CALIF. With a population of close to 48,000, Palm Springs is the fourth-largest city in the Coachella Valley. An estimated 12,800 of those residents are 65 or older, so retirees will feel right at home. The median house value in 2018 was $389,483 — about 74 percent above the national average and a figure that is expected to rise in the coming years. About 88 percent of the city’s population had health insurance as of 2016, and health care providers are plentiful in the area. While events like the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Stagecoach Music Festival draw younger crowds, there’s plenty of enjoyment for residents of all ages. Downtown, there are fantastic museums to explore, including the new Architecture and Design Center. Every Thursday night in downtown Palm Springs, you can find VillageFest, a great opportunity to socialize, shop and explore. >

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hen deciding where to retire, you likely have multiple factors to consider. First and foremost, where will you be happy, healthy and financially stable? Are you a mountain person who prefers cool morning hikes, acoustic music and tucked-away coffee shops? Or are you a beach lover who plans to start each day with a walk along the sand as the waves crash at your feet? Perhaps golf is your passion, and you need a location that offers plentiful courses of rolling greens. Maybe access to health care is your most important consideration, and you need to base your decision on the quality and affordability of related amenities. Today’s Americans are living longer than ever, so it’s important to pick a place that looks, sounds and feels right. To help you narrow down your choices, here are four cities throughout the United States that may have all the criteria you’re looking for in a retirement destination:


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RETIREMENT And if you love the sun, this alone should persuade you: more than 350 days of sunshine a year, with less than 5 inches of total rainfall. Winter temperatures average around 70 degrees during the day, though the dry desert heat means the thermometer can top out in the 100s in summertime. On the affordability front, cost of living indexes indicate that a Palm Springs lifestyle costs about 40 percent to 50 percent more than the national average.

There is no shortage of activities to keep retirees busy in the mountain town of Brevard, N.C. The city’s downtown area offers plenty of music, art, dining and shopping options.

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Mount Wrightson in Tucson, Ariz., lures hikers with its many trails and arid climate. If golf is your game, you can play 18 holes at one of the area’s many famous courses, including the Gary Player Signature course at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa, Desert Willow Golf Resort and Indian Canyons Golf Resort. If you prefer hiking and walking, head to the trails of the Indian Canyons or explore the San Jacinto Mountains. Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, you’ll likely never tire of the famous Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, a ride 8,500 feet up to the top of Mount San Jacinto.

If the eastern United States is your preferred environment, consider Brevard, N.C. Around 8,000 residents with a median age of 51 call this mountain town home with median housing prices at $218,000. Transylvania County’s outdoor options include Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Recreational Forest, Gorges State Park and more than 250 area waterfalls, myriad hiking trails and more than 41 percent of land dedicated to recreation. Swimming holes, canoeing, hiking, backpacking, climbing — if it’s an outdoor/ nature-related activity, you can probably find it here. Music and art abound as well, including classes in painting, pottery and more. Local entertainment events include Halloweenfest in October, a Christmas Twilight Tour and parade and 4th Friday Gallery Walks from April to December. Dubbed “the cycling capital of the South,” Brevard also hosts numerous bike rides and races. The area’s cost of living is 1 percent below the national average and decidedly lower than nearby Asheville, N.C. With no state income tax on Social Security benefits, no estate/inheritance tax, an above-average number of doctors per capita and a stable, strong economy, Brevard is appealing to the senior population.

GREEN VALLEY, ARIZ. Green Valley’s population of 21,000 is largely made up of retirementcommunity residents in this desert town near Tucson, and more than 70 percent of the population is older than 65. With an overall cost of living at 3 percent below the national average, and a median home price of $189,000, Green Valley is an affordable option for >

TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY TOURISM/EXPLOREBREVARD.COM; ADRIENNE MCLEOD; PETE GREGOIRE

BREVARD, N.C.


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retirees. And with more than 50 assistedliving facilities, as well as 15 home care agencies and three skilled-nursing home facilities, the available options are plentiful as you age. If golf is your passion, Green Valley offers eight beautiful public and private courses. The desert climate of hot, dry days and cool nights also allows for hiking enthusiasts to enjoy the trails of

While the cost of living in Fort Myers is slightly higher than the U.S. average, it is slightly less than Florida’s.

Residents at Shell Point Retirement Community enjoy a waterfront lifestyle. Mount Wrightson, the highest peak in Tucson, where handicap-accessible trails offer a gentler climb. Madera Canyon is a top birding destination in the United States. You can view 15 species of hummingbirds as well as hundreds of other bird types. And the Green Valley Gardeners operate the all-purpose botanical Arid Garden, which is open to the public daily.

FORT MYERS, FLA. Close to 80,000 people call Fort Myers home, and of those residents, 18 percent are at least 65 years old. While Florida

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is filled with cities and towns often considered ‘hubs’ for retirees, what makes Fort Myers — located along the scenic shoreline of the Caloosahatchee River — different is what it offers its residents (the majority of whom are ages 35-54). While the cost of living is slightly higher than the U.S. average, it is slightly less than Florida’s. The median home price is $215,400. Assisted-living and nursing home options are numerous, and Lee Memorial Hospital gets a high-performance ranking by U.S. News and World Report, particularly in the categories of treatment of COPD, heart failure, and hip and knee replacement surgery. Engaging with nature is a popular recreational option amongst Fort Myers’ residents. Whether you’re visiting Manatee Park, where you can sit and watch the protected manatees for as long as you desire, or taking a walk along the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve boardwalk — where you can glimpse a variety of creatures including turtles, alligators, birds and river otters — being a part of nature is easy. Take a boating excursion along the Intracoastal Waterway or enjoy ocean activities (fishing, anyone?) by traveling by boat from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. “It’s very much waterfront lifestyle down here,” says Lynn Schneider, director of marketing and communications for Shell Point Retirement Community, a 700-acre, resort-style waterfront community. It’s the largest continuing care retirement community in Florida, with 2,400 residents. Dock your boat for free, enjoy a championship 18-hole golf course and much more. Retirees can enjoy the restaurants, live music and artistic offerings along the downtown waterfront. Cultural options abound, whether visiting the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, holding season tickets at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall or becoming a regular on the Seminole Gulf Railway Murder Mystery Dinner Train. Shoppers will love the bargains inside the outlet malls. Finally, like most Florida towns, you’ll enjoy a mild winter, hot summer and a temperate fall. l

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MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR CLUBHOUSE & OUTDOOR RECREATION CENTER INCLUDED! Brokers Welcome. Valencia Bay is being developed and sold by Boynton Beach Associates XXII, LLLP. THE COMPLETE OFFERING TERMS ARE IN A CPS-12 APPLICATION AVAILABLE FROM THE OFFEROR. FILE NO. CP16-0105. Valencia Bonita is being developed and sold by Bonita Springs Associates I, LLLP. Valencia del Sol is being developed and sold by Hillsborough County Associates IV, LLLP. Valencia Cay at Riverland is being developed and sold by Riverland Associates I, LLLP. Valencia Bay, Valencia Bonita, Valencia del Sol and Valencia Cay at Riverland are separate and unrelated communities being developed and sold by separate entities. Each is designed for residents aged 55 & older, and intended to meet the exemption under the Federal Fair Housing Act. Prices, terms and features are subject to change without notice. This is not an offering in states where prior registration is required. Photographs and feature descriptions are shown to depict general lifestyle and features, but will be different in each community. Stay & Play program is available in select locations and some restrictions apply. ©2019 7-11-19


RELATIONSHIPS

HELLO! HEY!! LUNCH? YES!

WHAT’S UP? READING!

Digital Villages Online networking platforms encourage female friendships BY STACEY ZABLE

O

pinions on social media are as numerous and varied as the types and volume of sites. Some see it as a scourge fraught with negative behavior if used improperly, and others praise it as a lifeline for bonding and building relationships. For many women, it has become part of their social fabric, helping them find new friends and rediscover old ones. According to Facebook, one of the most popular social networking sites, 1.4 billion people use Facebook Groups — spaces where people post and chat about specific common interests — every month, and more than 400

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BEST YEARS I FALL / WINTER 2019

million people belong to a group “that they find meaningful.” Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa Heffernan are founders of Grown and Flown Parents, a Facebook group of 118,000 members created for parents of teens and college students. “Finding a digital community can be every bit as compelling and gratifying as a community in real life,” says Harrington. “You are not limited by geography, time availability or financial resources. A smartphone and good Wi-Fi are all the technology you need to begin to develop connections with others with like minds or interests.” Harrington and Heffernan, also

co-authors of the recently released book Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults, say perhaps the most important thing they see in the group is that parents connect with others to whom they can relate. “Many times parents do not know someone who shares their experience in real life and so this friendship is a lifesaver,” says Harrington. Kelly Brock, 50, belongs to several Facebook groups, including Grown and Flown Parents, where she has made a number of “digital friendships.” She became friends with a mom who was seeking advice about sending her


daughter to study abroad at the same on Instagram; one week later, back university Brock’s daughter was at school, the pair went out and are attending. Brock, a freelance graphic continuing to date. The moms also designer from New Jersey, exchanged became friends. Glatter visited the emails with the mom from South other mom while on a trip to Florida. Carolina for about six months. “We learned we had a lot in com“The groups are so helpful in mon beyond the kids,” says Glatter. terms of the availability of informa“We had similar upbringings in New tion,” says Brock. “It’s amazing that York, a shared culture and many of a mom with a daughter studying the same interests. Conversation was abroad for the first time from South easy between us, and it felt like we Carolina can find me and ask queswere lifelong friends. A shopkeeper tions about a very similar interest even asked if we were sisters.” and experience.” After Eileen Greenberg’s husband When Vicki Belsky, 53, a retired died a few years ago, the 72-year-old emergency medical services (EMS) retiree from New York City turned to worker, moved to Jupiter, Fla., from social media to find friends and get New York City two years ago, social out of the house. She joined a local media led the way walking group for to her integration women 50 and in her new comolder through munity. She joined Meetup.com. a Facebook group The group for retired EMS officially has more workers in Florida, than 450 memreconnected bers, but typically with old friends a group of 20 to 25 and made new women go on the ones. The group monthly walks, — MARY DELL HARRINGTON, often has special with some going CO-FOUNDER OF GROWN local events where out for brunch AND FLOWN PARENTS members meet in at local diners person. afterward, says “I worked with Greenberg. people for 25 years, retired and “The group organizer meticulously moved to Florida only to find out plans and puts together our walks,” hundreds of EMS retirees are down says Greenberg. “The group is not here,” says Belsky. “Because we had so much about athleticism, but EMS in common, I was able to meet more about socialization. I’ve met all these people as I started my new many interesting women within life here and make plans with people the walking group who love to keep locally.” active and join me on adventures Matchmaking also occurs via to other parts of New York City. The these communal online spaces. company is wonderful, and it makes Alissa Glatter, a youth adviser who the exploration and sightseeing lives outside Atlanta, joined her experience more enjoyable.” daughter’s university parents Experiences like these are made Facebook group. At Thanksgiving, a more possible by the convenience of thread was started requesting photos online forums that make it easy for of parent-child reunions during the women to connect the ties that bind holiday. Glatter, 53, posted a photo of them together. For many, it can lead her daughter, to which another mom to nurturing friendships that are only responded: “Did I tell you I have a a click away. handsome, brilliant son?” Glatter “Social media allows women to replied in a private message, “How do deepen existing relationships and we get these two nice kids together?” strike up new ones all without leavThe moms connected their children ing their home,” says Harrington.

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The Dating Game Over 50 and looking for love? It could be time to go online. BY VALERIE FINHOLM

F

ship expert and author of AARP’s Dating After 50 for Dummies. “The pool is online (when you’re over 50).” Schwartz — a mentor on Lifetime’s Married at First Sight — met her husband on a dating site when she was in her 60s. She advises people 50 and older to join a site that requires a membership fee. “These make for better behavior because they keep credit cards on file,” she says.

“Never give up on true love, even if you are slightly less young, and forgot to go to the gym after you had a child, 27 years ago.”

TAKING THE FIRST STEP

past 50 can be daunting, and the odds are you won’t meet your perfect partner right away. You’ll meet a mix of people, interesting and

If the last time you dated was in the 1980s, the online dating scene can seem overwhelming. Dating

— ANNE LAMOTT, AUTHOR

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or the newly single person older than 50, online dating can seem a bit sketchy, even embarrassing. But if you’re waiting for friends to set you up with a compatible companion, think again. Chances are good that they don’t know anyone who fits the bill. The truth is if you really want to find a soul mate, you have to make your own luck. And that may mean taking the plunge into online dating. “When you’re younger there’s a lot of luck involved and a bigger pool of people,” says sociologist Pepper Schwartz, a sex and relation-

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Sites to Try FORMULA FOR ROMANCE

EHarmony boasts a scientific approach to matching highly compatible singles. The site also offers free dating advice. eharmony.com

CATERING TO THE 50+ CROWD

OurTime.com is an online dating community that focuses on the specific interests of singles age 50 and older. ourtime.com

MAKE CONNECTIONS

Tinder, which has users swipe right when they like a potential match in the online app, has evolved to include older singles. tinder.com

CONTROL THE CONVERSATION

On Match.com, users communicate via an anonymous email network, and no information is shared until a member decides to connect with a potential match. match.com

PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

boring. You’ll reject some potential suitors, and some will reject you. Most dating websites start with a questionnaire that covers everything from whether you have kids at home to religious beliefs and how important they are to you. You’ll also have to write a profile and upload a photograph or two. Schwartz recommends working on your online profile with friends and having them help you choose a photo. (Make sure it’s a recent one.) She says most dating profiles are not specific enough. Instead of writing simply “I love beaches,” for instance, she suggests adding a detail that reflects your interests, like “I’m a beachcomber who can spend hours looking for the perfect piece of beach glass.’’ Some companionship sites are specifically for people >

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Keep It Real So, you’re ready to stop procrastinating and venture into the online dating world. Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist and sex and relationship expert, offers these tips to realistically approach your journey in the AARP book Dating After 50 for Dummies:

• Take stock of yourself and

update your dating criteria. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you want the same things from a partner that you wanted in your 30s.

DON’T GIVE UP TOO SOON In her 2013 essay My Year on Match.com, author Anne Lamott describes subscribing to the dating site as one of the bravest things she’s done. Lamott says every few weeks she met with a new man and over coffee “practiced my dating skills — listening, staying open and bringing the date to a

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friendly close.” She learned to quickly jettison newly divorced men looking to quickly remarry and those who talked about themselves but forgot to ask anything about her life. She also felt the sting of rejection, which often took the form of “a flurry of dates, followed by radio silence on the man’s part.” Lamott — who was still single after a year on the site — recently married a man she met in 2016 on OurTime. com. In a Facebook post, she advised older people looking for a partner: Don’t quit. “Never give up on true love, even if you are slightly less young, and forgot to go to the gym after you had a child, 27 years ago.” Schwartz suggests not setting a time limit for finding a partner. “You have to admit to yourself that you really want a partner,” she says, adding that you must make a commitment to finding one. “It’s like looking for a job. You don’t say: “I‘ll try it for a year. You look until you get the darn job.” l

• Reject the idea that “all

the good ones are taken.” Divorce and tragedy strike quite a few people over 50. Others may have delayed love for other obligations or just failed to meet the right person.

• Don’t look for perfection.

By 50, everyone has baggage, even if it’s not visible at first. That said, be aware of red flags or gut feelings that tell you to move on.

• Make a list of five things

that are must-have qualities before you even go out on a date. Be realistic. Are you looking for calm and thoughtful? Romantic? Great sense of humor? Loves animals? High income?

• Make a list of deal

breakers, too. These might include: smokers, liberals or conservatives, heavy drinkers, someone who is or is not highly religious or someone with grave health issues.

• Stop thinking that you’re

too old to date. You’re never too old for love.

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in their 50s, including OurTime.com and Stitch. Others are eHarmony and Match. com. Stacy Hansen, 58, of Denver, who is divorced, met her boyfriend on Tinder, an app once considered strictly for young singles. Some people prefer a custom matchmaking service like It’s Just Lunch. These services can be expensive but provide a more personal touch. “We meet everybody in person,” says Hope Rike, a matchmaker in the company’s Denver office. “When we make a match, we don’t send a photo. It’s a blind date.”


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RELATIONSHIPS

Purposeful Pals Manage expectations for varying levels of friendships in your life BY LISA A. BEACH

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FRIENDSHIP TRIANGLE

1 POSITIVITY

D

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o you have a BFF? If so, good for you — literally! Research continues to show that one of the top factors in determining our well-being and longevity is social ties. And a 2015 study by Brigham Young University found that being socially disconnected can be as detrimental to our health

Relationships should feel good, be enjoyable and provide more reward than pain. It takes five positive interactions to counterbalance a single negative one to maintain healthy relationships, Nelson says. “They don’t have to be perfect, but they do need to be enjoyable,” she notes. “That can look like laughter, kindness, empathy and validation.” as obesity, physical inactivity or smoking. And yet, despite all our social media connections and digital interactions, experts say we’re lonelier than ever. According to the Pew Research Center, the average size of Americans’ core social networks has dropped by about one-third since 1985. What gives? “Though we may know a lot of people, that doesn’t mean we feel we have meaningful connections,” says Shasta Nelson, author of Friendships Don’t Just Happen!: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends and Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness. Nelson explains that creating deep friendships is both an art and a science — embedded with a formula for success. For her books, she tapped into her decade of experience as a trained pastor focused on building community. She also dug into research about trust and relationships, discovering three commonalities she feels are needed to build healthy friendships:

2 CONSISTENCY

Relationships need regular interaction and time spent together to create a pattern of building memories. “Time together leads to trust and the feeling of commitment,” Nelson says.

3 VULNERABILITY

Relationships need vulnerable sharing to get to know each other’s stories, hearts and minds. “This helps us feel understood — to feel known,” says Nelson.

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“Though we may know a lot of people, that doesn’t mean we feel we have meaningful connections.” — SHASTA NELSON, AUTHOR

Nelson, center, is joined by women who participated in her 2018 TravelCircles trip to the Amazon in Peru.

TIPS FOR MAKING AND SUSTAINING FRIENDSHIPS Looking to expand your social circle or nurture the friendships you already have? Relationship expert and author Shasta Nelson offers these tips:

1 A new relationship needs consistency to grow, so joining an established group is helpful. Joining an existing group provides structure and consistency, and you won’t have to do all the initiating and scheduling. Some examples include a book club, networking or hobby club, association, class or church group.

2

3

4

Consistency is almost always the most challenging friendship factor, even with local friends. Nelson says it’s difficult to feel positive about a friendship if there’s not interaction, so consistency becomes the foundation for the other two relationship factors that Nelson stresses: positivity and vulnerability.

Identify who you’re going to prioritize and aim to have more consistency in those relationships. Figure out a plan, such as starting a group brunch or scheduling one-on-one get-togethers. It’s best to schedule the event to occur on a repetitive date, such as the first Friday of every month.

Determine how you can “fill in the cracks” between in-person get-togethers, perhaps through phone calls, texts and social media.

PROVIDED BY SHASTA NELSON; GETTY IMAGES

She dubs these factors the “friendship triangle” and says we need all three to create and sustain friendships. “When we want to make new friends, pay attention to these three factors,” Nelson points out. At the base of the triangle is positivity (“I should smile to make this person feel good!”) along with consistency (“Let’s get together the first Saturday of every month.”) and vulnerability (“I’m really nervous about my upcoming job interview.”) But these are the exact same things we also need to deepen existing friendships. Nelson says we can also use the friendship triangle as a diagnostic tool. If a relationship doesn’t “feel good,” it means it lacks one (or more) of these key factors. We can pinpoint what’s missing and either repair the friendship or walk away if it’s not working anymore. Now, back to that initial question: Do you have a BFF? If not, don’t sweat it. Take comfort and find satisfaction with relationships that sit on various levels of the “frientimacy spectrum” that serve us in different, meaningful ways. For example, your friendship with some fellow moms may have served you well when your kids were younger, but those relationships may have fizzled once the kids got older. “What most of us want is a BFF, but there’s no way to get that without starting at the bottom of the friendship triangle,” says Nelson. As we practice the three key factors, we nurture our friendships. Some people may never reach best friend status, but they still provide value, Shasta says. Nelson stresses the importance of building a pipeline of relationships, dovetailing those three factors into your interactions. Enjoy all the girlfriends in your life, and don’t dismiss those who might not be BFF material, but could very well still make good friends. l


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FINANCE

For the Long Haul Cost of future care makes planning ahead crucial

W

hen former Wisconsin Gov. Martin Schreiber of Milwaukee was in his 50s, planning for nursing home care was the last thing on his mind. Luckily, a financial professional knew better. “If it hadn’t have been for a pesky life insurance agent, I don’t know if I would have ever bought long-term care insurance,” Schreiber, now 79, says. When his wife, Elaine, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about a decade later, he realized signing up for that policy was one of the best decisions he could have made. As the disease progressed, “it got to the point where I knew that I could not take care of Elaine anymore,” he says. The long-term care policy

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The average age of long-term care recipients in 2018 SOURCE: Genworth Financial Beyond Dollars study

covers the cost of the nursing home where his wife, now 79, has lived for the past three years. “The disease is hard and devastating enough without having to worry about the financial aspects,” Schreiber says. Nobody wants to envision their golden years living in a nursing home, yet 56 percent of Americans between ages 57 and 61 will spend time in one during their lifetime, according to a 2017 study by the research organization the Rand Corp. And the costs can be prohibitive. The median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home was $7,441 per month in 2018, according to the Cost of Care Survey by Richmond, Va.-based long-term care insurance company Genworth Financial. To ensure that you have the most options, it’s important to plan ahead. >

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BY TAMARA HOLMES


FINANCE

PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE If you’re ready to start your planning, experts offer the following advice:

1

Consider your specific needs Ask yourself what you’d want your ideal long-term plan to be. Do you have a large family network that could provide informal care? Does your family have a history of illnesses such as dementia that require specialized care?

2 Long-term care refers to an umbrella of services designed to help you with the activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing and dressing. Contrary to popular belief, these services aren’t covered by health insurance, Medicare or disability insurance, but you can purchase long-term care insurance. Medicaid does cover long-term care services, but to qualify, your income and assets can’t exceed levels set by your state. Your other option is to pay for the services out of pocket, which can leave a family financially devastated. Tim and Gina Murray, founders of Aware Senior Care, an inhome care agency in Cary, N.C., have seen firsthand the toll longterm care services can take. “It breaks our heart when a family needs the care, but they don’t have the financial means,” says Tim, 59. That’s what prompted the couple to purchase long-term care insurance before they turned 60. “We have four grown children, and we don’t want them to be burdened,” says Gina, 59. When it comes to planning for long-term care, time matters. If you wait too long, long-term care insurance may no longer be an option because you can be denied due to health conditions. “You can’t get long-term care insurance after a certain age — generally about 75,” says Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. Premiums are also higher the older you apply, so the ideal time to apply is between 55 and 65, Slome says. There’s another reason why it pays to plan early. “We’re seeing an increase in illnesses coming on at an earlier age,” says Jennifer Johnson, clinical director of CareScout, a Genworth subsidiary that helps families find care for their older loved ones. The average age of long-term care recipients in 2018 was 66, according to Genworth’s 2018 Beyond Dollars study. l

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Former Wisconsin Gov. Martin Schreiber with his wife, Elaine, in 2017.

3

Buy what you can According to LTCG, an analytics firm supporting the long-term care insurance industry, the average cost of long-term care policies is $2,700 a year. However, this number varies based on the age of the insured when the policy was purchased. Policies vary in terms of how many years you have coverage and how much they will pay out per day.

4

Consider your ultimate goals Some people worry that they might be paying for something they won’t use. Hybrid policies combine life insurance with long-term care insurance, so if you don’t use it, your beneficiaries will receive a higher benefit. With so many options, it’s helpful to discuss your options with a trusted financial professional.

PROVIDED BY MYTWOELAINES.COM

UNDERSTANDING LONG-TERM CARE

Know the costs While the median cost of private rooms in a nursing home is $8,365 per month, the median cost at an assisted living facility is $4,000 per month, and the median cost for home health aides is $4,195 per month. While you can’t predict how long you’ll need long-term care services, the average woman needs care for 3.7 years, and the average man needs it for 2.2 years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Share Curiosity. Read Together. w w w. r e a d . g o v


FINANCE

Workforce Rebound More older women are returning to work to rebuild savings and a professional identity BY PAUL DAVIDSON

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rica Hernandez was a stay-at-home mom through two recessions that depleted her family’s retirement savings, forcing them into a frugal lifestyle that left little money for frills like dining out. So in 2017, with her two children gearing up for college, she returned to the workforce after a 19-year hiatus — not as the public relations executive she had once been, but as an administrative assistant

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for a teachers union. “My husband had shouldered the burden all these years,” says Hernandez, 54, who lives in San Francisco. “It was time for me to share the load.” The best job market in half a century has been a boon for older women going back to work, typically after halting their careers to raise kids, and for those staying in the workforce at more advanced ages. The 3.7 percent unemployment rate is near a


50-year low, and there were a near-record 7.4 million job openings in April, Labor Department figures show. Like Hernandez, many older women are helping their families catch up after the Great Recession of 2007-09 set back their finances. Baby boomers are living longer and facing eye-popping college tuition costs, which demand bigger nest eggs. Some are seeking self-fulfillment after years devoted to the needs of others. “Most want to find a sense of purpose in their life,” says Hilary Berger, founder of Work Like a Mother, a career counseling service that helps stayat-home moms transition back to work. “If women have been out of work and not attending to their own growth, this is their time to do that.”

Products, an environmentally friendly consumer products company. She also went back to work because she was bored, she says, adding that the healthy job market made it easier for her. Initially, though, she worried about the big gap on her résumé, wondering, “Am I too old? Am I going to find something?” Hernandez says her husband, Andrew, saw his 401(k) investments hammered by the 2000 dot-com crash. Their nest egg shriveled further during the Great Recession and Andrew stopped contributing to his 401(k). To meet expenses on Andrew’s salary as an instrument technician, the couple stopped dining out and borrowed a friend’s RV for lowbudget camping vacations. Andrew drives a 1995 Honda Civic; Erica, a 2003 Toyota Prius. They had little retirement savings, two kids LONGER LIFE SPANS, RECESSION FALLOUT poised to enter college and plans to remodel their Yet, experts say many women over 50 face kitchen. “None of those things were going to hapformidable obstacles as they re-enter the labor pen unless I went back to work,” Hernandez says. force, including rusty skills, a lack of confidence, In the favorable labor market, it took her just a employer discrimination and couple of months to find a job as new technologies. regional administrative assistant The number of working womfor the California Teachers Associaen 55 and older has increased tion. “I wasn’t looking to (return 4.2 percent over the past year to to public relations and) climb the 17.4 million, compared with a 1.8 corporate ladder,” she says. Yet, percent increase in employment reorienting herself to the daily for all women and a 3.3 percent grind “was really hard.” Previously, hike for men over 55, according “I’d schedule two-hour lunches and to the Labor Department. stay in my bathrobe until noon,” The trend can partly be she says. — ERICA HERNANDEZ, explained by demographics, says She says she loves her job, noting ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT economist Sophia Koropeckyj it draws on skills, such as writing of Moody’s Analytics. There are and arranging meetings and about 74 million baby boomers, and the youngest conferences, that she cultivated in public relations. turn 55 this year. Thirty-one percent of female But, she adds, “It was a huge culture shock.” She boomers have bachelor’s degrees, compared with learned, for example, that copy machines now scan 24 percent of women of older generations, allowing files that can be sent via email. boomers to work longer in less physically demandThe couple’s finances are more stable, and they ing jobs, Koropeckyj says. recently took a trip to Mexico. There are other factors. “Women have longer “I can buy clothes! I can buy a pair of shoes!” life expectancies” and need to finance longer Hernandez says. retirements, says Jen Schramm, senior strategic policy adviser for the AARP Public Policy Institute. DIVORCE ALSO A MOTIVATING FACTOR Pensions that offer a guaranteed income have Other women are forced to go back to work after largely vanished from the private sector. Tuition a divorce because alimony is typically not enough and fees at public four-year colleges average to cover expenses, says Berger. $10,230 in the 2018-2019 school year, while costs at In 2015, 10 of every 1,000 married people age private colleges average $35,830, according to the 50 and older divorced, a rate that has doubled College Board. since 1990, according to a Pew Research analysis “We’re trying to stockpile to get through colof government data. Berger says about half of the lege,” says Susan Swanson, 54, of Vernon Hills, Ill., mothers she helps ease back into the workforce are noting her daughter recently started college and recently divorced. her son will begin next year. Swanson, a former During the recession, many couples postponed management consultant, started working about 30 divorce because of their financial struggles, says hours a week as an accountant for Eco Promotional Lili Vasileff, founder and president of Divorce and >

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“My husband had shouldered the burden all these years. It was time for me to share the load.”

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FINANCE Money Matters, which provides financial planning. Now, she says, the healthy economy and job market may be prompting some older women to end their marriages because they can more easily find jobs to supplement their income. Susan Patnaik, 51, of Wilton, Conn., says her divorce last year was part of the reason she has decided to go back to work, but she also wants to be “professionally engaged” again after spending nearly two decades raising a son, 16, and daughter, 18. Noting her expenses, such as renting a house, have increased, she says, “There’s less to go around. You’re splitting everything.” For now, Patnaik, a former financial analyst who plans to get a job as a public relations writer after her son graduates high school next year, has traded trips to Europe and California for more modest visits to her parents in Pensacola, Fla.

RECALIBRATE AND RECLAIM VALUE Many women returning to the workforce throttle back from their former careers, experts say. Finance professionals and accountants become personal advisers and bookkeepers. And women of various backgrounds try their hand as real estate brokers. Yet, others face challenges. “To have lost all their professional confidence and access to their old skills and to take a risk and learn new skills, they become very much shut down,” Berger says. “Being at home with a child is very isolating, and you don’t get validation, and you can start doubting yourself,” Patnaik notes. “I didn’t have any kind of professional activity I could talk about. ... It’s not like you get a résumé for motherhood.” Women over 50 also can face age and gender discrimination, says Kathy Caprino, head of Ellia Communications, a women’s career coaching service. “It’s an uphill battle,” she says. A 2015 study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found “robust evidence of age discrimination against older women,” especially those nearing retirement age. Many older women do an end-run around the scramble for a job, using the equity in their homes as collateral to start their own businesses, says Mariel Miller, president of The Franchise Advisor, a consulting firm. The share of franchises owned by women increased from 20.5 percent in 2007 to 30.6 percent in 2012, according to the International Franchise Association. Berger says she helps women who want to land a more traditional job “reintegrate the intellectual and professional part of you back into your life.” Patnaik says older women re-entering the workforce must put the “focus back on ourselves and reclaim our value.” l

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GREAT GIGS Get inspired to find your next job It can be daunting to step back into the workforce after taking time off. Whether you’re job hunting after raising children or you want to keep busy in retirement, you may be looking for options that don’t require years of training or experience, that will allow you to keep a good work-life balance — and may even be fun. When Chris Hornbeek, 57, moved to Wolfeboro, N.H., from Texas, the native New Englander decided to turn her passion for skiing into a job — something she’d dreamed of doing since she first learned to ski as a teenager. “I love it — more than I ever thought I would,” Hornbeek says. Last season, she got her Level I certification through Professional Ski Instructors of America, but she notes that certification isn’t required to teach skiing. While Hornbeek says the pay isn’t especially lucrative, she’s not in it for the money. She enjoys the flexibility (She’s on the mountain two or three days a week, and not teaching all day.) and the sense of fulfillment. “I’ve always loved to help people accomplish something that they didn’t think they could do, and just to pass on a love for the sport,” she says. “When people say, ‘I love this,’ I think, ‘My job here is done.’” Whether you’re looking to turn a hobby into employment or you just need an income boost, here are a few more ideas to consider:


Librarian or assistant If you enjoy interacting with and assisting people in a literary setting, this might be the job for you. Librarians usually need a master’s degree in library science, which can take one to two years to complete. Job duties vary, but public librarians recommend or help visitors locate books to read, assist with research projects and plan literacy programs for the community. If you’re looking for a position with less-extensive requirements, consider becoming a library technician, which may require a certificate program, or a library assistant, which typically involves short-term on-the-job training. In 2018, the median wage for a librarian was $59,050, and the median wage for a library technician or assistant ranged from $12.74 to $18.58 per hour.

Au pair counseling Organizations that match overseas au pairs with families in the U.S., such as Au Pair in America or EurAupair, employ community counselors to be the point-person for host families and their international caretakers. They work with people around the world, from the comfort of home. Their duties might include recruiting and interviewing potential host families and helping those families find a nanny; conducting orientations for families and offering guidance and support during the au pair’s stay; and organizing activities for the au pairs in their area. Counselors are typically responsible for a group in their region, and Au Pair in America says pay depends on the size of the group.

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Teaching Many school districts are facing a teacher shortage, particularly in math, science and special education — areas where you might have skills to draw on from professional or life experiences. Each state sets its own requirements for teacher certification, and they vary by subject and grade level. Some alternative certification programs allow you to work in the classroom alongside experienced teachers while you progress toward your certification. You can also consider becoming an instructional aid (you may still need a related license to work with children) or administrative assistant. The median pay for elementary school teachers, except special education teachers, was $58,230 in 2018. For high school teachers, it was $60,320, and teacher assistants had a median pay of $26,970.

Real estate If you’re a people person, working with clients to find their dream home or prepare their home for sale might be a good fit. You’ll have some independence, and depending on the firm you work for, you might have flexible or part-time hours, although you may need to be available during evenings and weekends to prepare paperwork and contracts or negotiate a deal. You’ll need a real estate license before you start, which requires training either online or in person, and then you’ll have to pass an exam. The number of education hours required and the test varies by state, and the courses and licensing requirements could cost $500 to $1,200. Real estate brokers had a median annual wage of $58,210 and real estate agents earned an average $48,690 in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. — Amy Sinatra Ayres

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Road to Resilience Even in the midst of a chaotic journey, there are lessons to learn BY SUZANNE WRIGHT

T

he roads in Tucson, Ariz., are notoriously ragged. Pitted with potholes like mini craters, blacktop scarred with serpentine squiggles of asphalt filler, crumbling rubble at the edges. All of it rattling your car, setting your teeth on edge. That’s why, when you hit smooth, freshly paved stretches, you’re grateful. 2018 felt like those roads: a

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rough ride that’s finally yielding to smoother pavement. Last year, I was on the tail end of a 2 1/2-year odyssey across several states — the continuation of a midlife gap year during which I relocated from Tucson to be close to my mom in Florida, who’s in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease and was facing eviction from her memory-care facility. During the last 12 months, I

struggled to keep my head above water — emotionally, financially and physically. In the midst of dealing with serious family issues, I was treated for anxiety, depression and insomnia, which began to affect my livelihood and my life. I felt like I was battling wars on every front, and there was no sign of victory. I’ve returned to my beloved Arizona, now a happy homebody after what turned out to be a turbulent and emotionally trying time. My mother’s housing situation is now secure, and the family issues are slowly resolving. I’ve regained my footing and sense of self. My emotions are back on track. I’m writing again, and it feels good. Optimism is like the Southwestern sun on my shoulders. Now that I’m not drowning in daily distress, I can see the valuable lessons in life’s valleys, and I can catalog these universal truths I’ve learned: • Acknowledge both the shadow and the light of challenging situations • Honor your body: Run hard when you must, rest when you need to • When overwhelmed, resolve to do one next thing, not everything • Admit vulnerability and accept not just advice, but actual help • Accept that some lessons are learned through pain • Allow that you don’t know — and can’t control — what happens • Be open; you don’t know what shape salvation will take • The journey may not be over There are still many, many bumpy roads in the Old Pueblo. But today, as I glide my car over new asphalt, this thought comes to mind: “The road crews are making progress.” And so am I.

PROVIDED BY SUZANNE WRIGHT

LAST WORD


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