Winter in the
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Letter from the Publishers Our February issue highlights the various stages of life that baby boomers are finding themselves in, as the first of the Boomers turned 65 in January. Some of us are at the stage where we are retiring from our careers and preparing to enjoy a quieter pace, while others are seeking encore careers or retraining to remain in the workforce for many more years. While some boomers are celebrating their children entering the workforce after college, others boomers are busy raising younger kids and some are grandparents finding that they are now challenged with raising their grandchildren. Some of us are finding our lives have changed suddenly as we’ve lost a 12 partner and have to make decisions regarding managing our finances alone. Others with aging parents find that they have to help them make decisions, when they were the ones who always gave us advice. Regardless of what position we find ourselves in, we have the ability to make changes in our world that will continue to make a difference for ourselves, our children and future generations. Thank you for reading the February issue of The Baby Boomer News.
Mary Ann and Marsha
in this issue 5
boomer generations 5 Baby Boomers and the Dating Scene 6 Menopause for Men: What Every Guy Should Know! boomer technology 8 Auld Lang Syne pay it forward 9 The Greater Good boomer generations 18 Hey Dad, Can I Have the Car Keys?
Heart to Heart Talk with Parents
boomer essay 10 Take That road trip 12 Winter Fun in the High Country 14
boomer technology A Photography Primer for Boomers
money money 16 Is Money Male or Female?
boomer jobs 21 How to Overcome Being
boomer humor 22 Retiree Draftee
lasting relationships “by Building providing personalized investment management services for high net worth
individuals and business owners. huntersville, nc
boomer pets 23 Winterize Your Pets
Stay financially informed . . .
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FEBRUARY 2011 thebbnews.com
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Volume 3 | FEBRUARY 2011
Publishers Mary Ann Dore firstname.lastname@example.org
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Give Your Valentine a “Love Coupon” A love coupon is a romantic way to say “I love you”. It is a form of voluntary IOU or promissory note between people in love that contains a promise from one of the partners in a relationship to engage in a romantic activity in the future. The love coupon contains a relevant artistic image or drawing, Michael Possumato • Eyefour Design a romantic promise and sometimes redeeming conditions like Print • Packaging • Identity expiration date. At• its core, the love coupon is a love note that uses 973-471-7829 eyefour.com the coupon metaphor, but can also be viewed as a very specialized form of greeting card. The promise made through the love coupon can range from romantic fantasies to taking care of domestic chores. Samples of romantic promises may include an evening of dancing, night of kisses and cuddles, evening of romance, (WooHoo) romantic weekend getaway, boat ride for two, stroll on the beach or a romantic day trip, a cruise, just to name a few. Think of something special and fill in the blanks below! This is a gift that’s sure to please!! And cashing it in might be great fun for both of you.
www.thebbnews.com www.thebbnews.com A complimentary magazine published by The Baby Boomer News, LLC and
A complimentary magazine published by The Baby Boomer News, LLC and distributed distributed throughout the Metrolina Region. throughout the Metrolina Region. Copyright 2010 by The Baby Boomer News, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction
Copyright 2010 by or The Baby Boomer News, LLC. All reserved. Reproduction in whole in part without written permission fromrights the publisher is strictly prohibited.in whole or in The partopinions without expressed written permission from theand publisher is strictly The by the columnists contributors to Theprohibited. Baby Boomer News are by notthe necessarily thoseand of the editor or publisher. or objectionable opinions expressed columnists contributors to TheFraudulent Baby Boomer News are advertising Advertisers andor advertising agencies assume not necessarily those isofnot theknowingly editor oraccepted. publisher. Fraudulent objectionable advertising full liability for all content of advertising and for any claims arising there from. Editorial is not knowingly accepted. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume full liability for contributors assume responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on all content of advertising for any claimstoarising there from.News Editorial contributors published work. and All items submitted The Baby Boomer become the sole assume responsibility for Baby any claims the publisher based on published work. property of The Boomeragainst News, LLC. All items submitted to The Baby Boomer News become the sole property of The Baby Boomer News, LLC. The Baby Boomers News, LLC reserves the right to deny any advertisement that does not meet The
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The Baby Boomer NEWS FEBRUARY 2011
To: My Promise: WITH LOVE FROM
By amy Sherman
and the dating scene
elationships should be life enhancing and ever lasting. That's why if you are recently divorced, widowed or between relationships and are ready to start dating again, you should know what to anticipate and how to avoid the common relationship pitfalls. For men and women, it is often frightening and maybe even devastating to find themselves alone and having to start over. After all, meeting new people in new social venues can be very scary. Yet, many single Boomers are making choices based on what they consider important and essential for their well-being and mental health. They are trusting that there is a life out there better than what they had before. They are willing to take the risk and be vulnerable, again. Successful relationships are built on mutual respect. Therefore, you can't expect things to run smoothly by bringing your old baggage into your new relationship. Any unfinished business from your past needs to be cleaned up as part of the process of closure and moving on.
Here are the steps you can take to release your negative emotions, so that your dating experience is positive and successful: Identify your "issues ". Are you having trust issues because your spouse cheated on you? Were you a victim of physical or emotional abuse from a controlling partner? Are you so co-dependent that you don't know how to live your own life? It helps to pinpoint what areas are bothering you and identify your underlying concern. Notice any patterns you keep repeating and be responsible for changing what you can about yourself. At the same time, realize you can't change anyone else. Therefore, don't expect to "fix" your new partner, especially if he/she has no interest in modifying what they do.
Once you know the problem areas, identify the feelings associated with them. Are you feeling sad, angry, guilty, bitter, hurt, resentful or just plain disillusioned? Some external trigger, like a familiar song, a comment, a certain look, a meal, etc, will usually uncover these feelings and others that may be suppressed. Your new partner, unaware of what is going on, will be a clueless recipient of your snide remarks and inconsiderate behavior. By identifying what triggers may be setting you off, you can neutralize your feelings, making those emotions lose their negative charge. In that way, you allow your new relationship to move ahead successfully, without unnecessary drama. Remember, you don't want to repeat your mistakes and blame others for things going wrong. Instead, take a look at what part you play in allowing any situation to develop. If you could do things differently, you probably would. Insight is the reward you get for learning your lessons and taking another path. Finally, visualize yourself happy in a relationship. You know what you want and what you don't want. Have a clear image in your mind of your desired partner and see yourself happy together. Sense how that would feel. The more genuine the feelings are, the more you will attract what you are looking for and what you most deserve. When you release old baggage from your past, it is very liberating. You feel a weight lift off your shoulders, setting you free to have a healthy, long-term relationship. The time you spend letting go of the past will make you and your potential partner grateful that you took the time to clear your mind, heart and soul in order to love again.
Amy Sherman, LMHC, is a licensed mental health counselor in private practice. She is the author of "99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 and Yes, 60!" and “Distress-Free Aging: A Boomer’s Guide to Creating a Fulfilled and Purposeful Life.” Go to http://www.bummedoutboomer.com to get more information and to sign up for her free eZine. Amy can be reached at email@example.com FEBRUARY 2011 thebbnews.com
Menopause for men
what every guy should know! What is menopause? The menopause, or "change of life," is defined by our medical textbooks as the end of a woman's menstrual periods. The periods stop because the ovaries no longer respond to the hormonal commands coming from the Pituitary gland in the brain. Menopause occurs, on average, at the age of 51. But, the best indicator for any woman is the age at which it occurs in her own family. See Chapter 1 of our book, Your Guy's Guide to Gynecology, to learn what causes menstrual periods in the first place, and other useful information about women's anatomy and physiology.
How do I know if my partner has reached menopause? It may be difficult to know- even for us as gynecologists- but women often will report the following: • Absent menstrual periods: as explained above • Hot flashes or flushes: sudden, intense sensations of heat in the skin of the upper chest and face, which reoccur without warning and often awaken women from sleep • Vaginal dryness: less natural vaginal lubrication, often making intercourse uncomfortable • Psychological symptoms: many women experience none of these, but others note nervousness, anxiety, forgetfulness, depression, irritability and difficulty concentrating.
What else happens as a result of menopause? Even though no symptoms are present, a woman's risk of heart attacks and strokes doubles shortly after menopause. In addition, her bones begin to thin out,
The Baby Boomer NEWS FEBRUARY 2011
By Bruce Bekkar, MD
resulting after several years in a condition known as osteoporosis. These conditions, although silent, are very significant. For instance, many people are unaware that ten times more women die each year from heart attacks and strokes than from breast cancer! Osteoporosis, and the fractures that often result, is a leading cause of nursing home admissions.
What can women do for themselves when they reach menopause? Menopause is not a disease, but it is a "call to action"; the consequences of a woman's behavior increase at this time. The most important step that all women can take is to make a commitment to living a healthy life. We recommend to our patients that they assess their own particular health risks- due to conditions they have, habits they've adopted, and familial traits- and then really make an effort to improve their odds. It's time to lose weight, aggressively manage their diabetes or high blood pressure, or quit smoking. Many women decide to take hormone replacement therapy or "HRT," a partial replacement of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, lost as a result of menopause. Much evidence exists of benefit, not only in terms of symptom relief (e.g. hot flashes), but also protection from longterm risks like bone loss and cardiovascular disease. Considerable controversy exists around this treatment, and it's not for all women; conversation with her doctor is important. Alternative hormonal medications are showing promise- the so-called "designer estrogens" like tamoxifen and raloxifene. These drugs and those to come in the next few years will have many advantages for certain women who aren't candidates for standard HRT. Botanicals and phytoestrogens, including yam creams, dong quai, and soy products may find a lasting place in menopause management, but more research is needed. Dangerous side effects are no less likely because these chemicals come from "natural" sources.
Resources for men: websites: www.menopause.org/ www.redhotmamas.org
books: • “No It’s Not Hot in Here: The Men’s Guide to understanding Gynecology” – By Dick Roth • “Your Guy’s Guide To Gynecology: Everything You Wish He Knew About Your Body If He Wasn’t Afraid To Ask” – By Dr. Bekkar
What can you do to help? Get informed and get involved! Educate yourself by visiting web sites like the North American Menopause Society or reading No It's Not Hot in Here, by Dick Roth. Your Guy's Guide to Gynecology provides information about a wide range of women's health topics – from birth control and planning for pregnancy to hormonal issues like menopause and P.M.S., and includes suggestions for helpful behavior from caring spouses (like you). Set an example! If she's going through "the change," guess who else needs to take a look at his "lifestyle"? The best way to inspire her to take great care of herself and look good is to do the same yourself. Lead by example and not by lecturing. Ask her how she's feeling. Menopause can be a difficult time for women, even if they don't have a lot of physical complaints. This major change in her body may make her feel less like a woman, she may be worried about some particular problem of aging- like Alzheimer's disease, or she may even be depressed because her kids are leaving home. If she's having a bad day, it is amazingly therapeutic for her if you simply ask, "How are you feeling today?" The key is to listen to her entire answer without interrupting and trying to "fix" her or make it better. This takes most of us guys a little practice, but watch how she responds. When women- or men- talk about feelings, we mostly want to be heard, to have someone really know how we're feeling. Overall, the most important thing for you to learn is that you can make a real difference in your partner's menopause. Don't withdraw from her! Even if you don't understand much of what she's going through, your participation in her process will lighten her load and bring you closer together. Dr. Bekkar, is a gynecologist who has written the definitive guide to women’s health written for men. Your Guy’s Guide To Gynecology: Everything You Wish He Knew About Your Body If He Wasn’t Afraid To Ask” to help the average man. Reprinted with permission from RedHotMamas.org. Learn the facts about menopause so you can make objective and informed decisions about your health at menopause and beyond. Red Hot Mamas provides education, support, understanding, hope and optimism through several educational outlets.
Clock Repair 828-381-0509 Wm.G. Isenhour
My 35th Year
take note Readers of The Baby Boomer News are Your Customers and are the largest, most influential and affluent demographic in our region! For information about advertising or to feature your business contact Mary Ann at 828-781-3583 today!
FEBRUARY 2011 thebbnews.com
by Tim Grier
Auld Lang Syne In the brilliance of exploding fireworks, the countdown to midnight as the “crystal ball” in New York’s Times Square drops, and the first joyful kiss of the New Year, 2011 is upon us. It is a time of renewed hope and expectations of what this New Year holds; it’s about promises of change and resolved problems, of opportunities unbridled by our past failures. It’s time for a clean slate. Or is it, really? We all broke into song after that ball fell on New Year’s eve; “Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne. We’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.” Every year, we sing that song, not really knowing the meaning behind those words, “for auld lang syne”. Auld Lang Syne was written by Robert Burns, Scotland’s farmer-poet, in 1788. The literally translation of “auld lang syne” is “old long since”. It is more loosely, and perhaps more clearly, translated as “(for) the sake of old times”. For old times’ sake, we need to pause to gather our memories and reflect on the past year. Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it”. As one year closes with regret and the next opens with promise, we need to take stock of what we have accomplished (or not) and what we need to do next. As with New Year’s resolutions, we’re encouraged to write those things down, keep them, and “back them up”.
ith today’s technologies, we keep so many things in a digital (virtual) format: your business’ Quickbook files, the pictures of your grandkids, and your iTunes’ music. These computer files need to be backed up. Backups are the insurance policies that allow you or your IT guy to recover your “stuff” from critical system failures. It’s not a question of if your computer will fail but when your computer will fail – it’s a machine with electronic and mechanical parts and they do break. Backups can be performed in a number of different ways to a number of different hardware devices including external hard drives, CDs, DVDs, flash drives or, in even larger networks, system libraries. Backups can even be completed over the internet to off-site facilities that specialize in data storage. No matter what configuration is used, there are basically three types of backup methods:
Full backups Incremental backups Differential backups As the name implies, in a Full Backup, all files and data are backed up to some type of medium. This process is the most complete, but, it also takes the most amount of time. In an Incremental Backup, we only back up those files that have changed since the last backup. During the process, the archive attribute on each file is removed signifying that the file has been backed up or archived. This provides subsequent backups and the ability to continue the process and only archive those files that have been changed. A Differential Backup is done between Full backups and only backs up those files that have changed since the last backup. Unlike the Incremental Backup, the archive attribute is not changed on the file. This ensures that subsequent backups back up all files that have changed since the last full backup.
The Baby Boomer NEWS FEBRUARY 2011
There are several retail backup applications that provide wonderful backup security. Symantec, Roxio, Acronis, Nero (the list goes on and on) all provide excellent software applications; online backups have their own utilities and, if you purchase an external hard drives for backups from companies like Western Digital or Seagate, the drive comes with easy to use backup utilities, too.
pay it forward If you’re interested in purchasing a high quality backup program, you can get reviews of many of the current applications available at http://pcworld.about.com/od/backuputilities/ Backup_Utilities.htm. For those with tight budgets, there are free backup programs like SyncBack, Cobian Backup, and Back4Windows – just be careful for viruses or corrupted software when you download internet files. Even your Windows’ operating system allows you to easily set up simple backup routines. In Windows XP there is a backup program, Windows Backup, although you may need to do some digging to find it. If you use Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista, the Windows Backup utility should be ready for use and you can find it in Programs (or All Programs) > Accessories > System Tools > Backup. If you use Windows XP Home Edition, you'll need to install the utility from the CD. In Windows 7, the backup utility can be easily found by opening Computer, then right-clicking on your Local Drive and selecting Properties. In the Local Disk Properties window, click on the Tools tab where you’ll be able to access the Backup utility. So what to backup? You might be tempted to back up everything, every bit of data on your computer but think twice before choosing this option. If you've installed many programs, your backup could add up to several gigabytes. For most people, backing up My Documents (or Documents) is a better choice. The documents and settings option preserves your data files (including e-mail messages and address books) and the personal settings stored in the Windows Registry. If several people use your computer—as might be the case on a shared family PC— select Everyone's documents and settings. This option backs up personal files and preferences for every user with an account on the computer. If you know that you have data files stored outside your “documents” folder, choose those specific locations as well. The “Let me choose…” option takes you to the Items to Back Up page where you can choose folders as needed. One of the better methods for backups given today’s technology options is on-line backups. Companies like Carbonite. com, Mozy.com and SOSOnlineBackup.com provide on-line storage services for a monthly fee. If you’re worried that fires, floods or theft that could wipe out your backup copies along with your computer, on-line options give you piece of mind. For a single home computer, the cost incurred for these services is generally small; multiple computers or large backups can become rather expensive. Do you really want a clean slate when it comes to the New Year or your computer files? For auld lang syne, backup your documents, your pictures, and your digital music. If you don’t believe me, just ask someone who’s experienced a hard drive crash – it can be an expensive nightmare! Tim Grier is the owner of CET (www.cetofnc.com) an information technology company providing repair service and support for Hickory and all areas around Lake Norman. Whether you need computer repair, virus and spyware removal, upgrades, network installation and administration, hardware and software consulting, or training, Tim will come to you or bring your computer back to his workshop. 704-677-3035 timgrier@ cetofnc.com
By Marsha Opritza
Simple Online Ways to Protect the Health and Well-being of
People, Animals & the Planet
ere are details of a great website… where every time you visit the site and click on the "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button, the site’s sponsors donate money to that charity. You can even sign up for a daily reminder to visit the site that day and click. Each click puts money into that charity. It’s easy and it’s FREE.
Visit the site: http://greatergood.com GreaterGood.org is an independent charitable organization devoted to addressing the health and well-being of people (particularly women and children), animals, and the planet. GreaterGood.org distributes funds generated through the GreaterGood Network of websites to the many charitable organizations responsible for implementing the programs named on these sites. 100% of the funds generated through the GreaterGood Network pass through GreaterGood.org to their partner charities. 100% of sponsor advertising fees also goes to their charitable partners. The GreaterGood Network of websites offers the public a unique opportunity to support causes they care about - at no cost to them. Each person's daily click on the “Click To Give” sites displays sponsor advertising. One hundred percent (100%) of sponsor advertising is paid as a royalty to charity through the non-profit, tax-exempt GreaterGood.org. Supporters can also contribute directly to charity by purchasing Gifts that Give More™, where one hundred percent (100%) of their donation is given to charity, or by purchasing one of the 4500+ products that are offered, including jewelry, apparel, and gifts. In the late 1990s, Tim Kunin and Greg Hesterberg, are coowner operators of CharityUSA.com (the parent company of The GreaterGood Network) recognized that broad consumer-adoption of the Internet offered a new opportunity to raise funds for good causes. They realized the power of providing busy Internet users with a fast, free and easy way to make a difference. One of several GreaterGood sites is The Animal Rescue Site which focuses the power of the Internet on a specific need - providing food for some of the 27 million unwanted animals given to shelters in the U.S. every year. Over 10 million animals are put to death every year in the U.S. alone because they are abandoned and unwanted.
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com Each click on the purple "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button on The Animal Rescue Site provides food and care for a rescued animal living in a shelter or sanctuary. Funding for food and care is paid by site sponsors and distributed to animals in need at The Fund for Animals' renowned animal sanctuaries (including Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas and The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Southern California), pet shelters supported by the Petfinder Foundation, North Shore Animal League, and other worthy animal care facilities supported by the GreaterGood.org Foundation.
FEBRUARY 2011 thebbnews.com
of my friends recently asked her dad to turn over his cars keys and it got me wondering how long it’ll be until my own car keys no longer jinglejangle in my purse. I already can’t drive after dark and I wonder how long it will be until I can’t drive before dark, too. But long before that day comes, I’m sure the day will come that one of the kids will take my television remote control away from me. I’m really going to miss it because I love to flip back and forth between The Weather Channel and QVC. But I don’t think that’s the reason the kids will take my remote away … I think it’ll have more to do with volume. They just go crazy By Linda S. when I pump up the volume. In Amstutz my hands, the kids consider my remote control to be a weapon of mass destruction – the mass being their ear drums. And speaking of eardrums, I think the kids are planning to take away my Ipod Touch, too. Maybe it’s true that I
sometimes forget that everyone can hear me when I break out singing “You and I travel to the beat of a different drum,” but really, what good is it to have those little pods in your ears, playing all that good old music, if you can’t sing along and maybe that time comes. dance a little, too? The kids just don’t It won’t be long until the kids try to understand. close my Facebook account. There are more dangerous things that I can feel it coming. should be taken from me, for my own They can’t for the life of them understand safety and the safety of those around me. why I love to post my photos, and theirs, Take my credit cards. Go ahead, you’ll be doing me a favor. I can’t find them half the too, on JibJab videos and upload them for the world to see. They don’t get it. And it time, anyway, and to tell you the truth, I’ve become a sucker for the Buy-One-Get- scares them. Probably the day after the kids close One-Free deal. I’ll buy anything if I can get my Facebook account, they’ll take my something free with it. If the kids want an passwords from me so that I can no longer inheritance, they better grab my credit blog about every little thing they do. They cards and shred them. think my judgment on privacy is slipping. Soon. They have no idea just how far I could slip. And, I know the kids are already itching I could go on and on about the things to take away my cell phone. While I’ve the kids SHOULD take away from me mastered Call Waiting and even Texting, I before I harm myself or anyone else, but just can’t get the hang of who it’s okay to I won’t. I understand that when the time call and when. I mean, if Lowe’s doesn’t comes, they will just be looking out for want me to call and ask for the manager me, and they will use their best judgment. to complain that no one will help me load the pine straw into the back of And really, as far as I’m concerned, they can our Jeep, why did they put the take anything they want ... I don’t care ... just store phone number on the as long as they leave me my Senior Discount. receipt? The kids don’t agree It’s all I ask. with my reasoning and have threatened to pull the plug on You can read more humor from Ms Amstutz my cell phone. at www.anotherlinda.com and you can Probably on my Life Support, too, when contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Baby Boomer NEWS FEBRUARY 2011
stay on Sugar Mountain! SKI • SNOWBOARD • TUBE • ICE SKATE
75% of chocolate purchases are made by women throughout the year. But in the days before Valentine’s Day, 75% of the chocolate purchases are made by men. Studies have shown that dark chocolate helps prevent heart disease and cancer. In 2010, researchers at John Hopkins say that a compound found in dark chocolate appears to limit stroke damage by amplifying brain signals that protect nerve cells. It has also been shown to improve mood by boosting the brain chemical serotonin.
Sugar Mountain Resort Accommodations www.staysugarmountain.com Book online 24/7 • 1.800.438.4555 Located at the time temperature sign at the base of Sugar Mountain
FEBRUARY 2011 thebbnews.com
and a 1 ice ska largest manag A nativ on” app avid sk priority ski exp This pa the red Sugar S replace feet of snowm pipes in brand new re equipm and thr By Louise Anderson machin terrain fullest in the winter season. from H Hawksnest has narrowed its list of activities accessible. to snow tubing and year round Ziplining. Both Lodging is al the Tubing Runs and the Ziplines are the longest with shuttle du on the East Coast. The Tube Runs of 400 - 1000 Sugar offers gro feet and the exhilarating Zipline rides above the accredited inst treetops offer fantastic winter scenery and a day ages and abiliti of fun for the whole family. available for ea Appalachian was the first ski area to open in and midweek d 1962. With a priority of teaching families and day after March groups to ski, Appalachian became the home available on ho of French Swiss Ski College, the South’s largest season and som independent ski school. Jim Cottrell formed packages offer the school in 1968. The school had taught over tickets, rental e a million skiers by the 2001 -2002 season. Mr. Cottrell still teaches skiing today. They have since added snowboarding to their instruction. Appalachian has a vertical rise of 365 feet. Under the management of Grady Moretz and his family since 1968, the Resort has invested in the past few years by adding new slopes, expanding snowmaking and generally improving the customer experience. Sugar Mountain Resort opened in 1969 and offers 115 acres of skiing, the highest vertical rise of all the resorts at 1,200 feet, a 1.5 mile slope, 700 foot long tubing runs,
Winter in the
I put the finishing touches on this article, I looked out my window to see that we have received over a foot of natural snow in the last few days. It’s hard to believe that just a few hours northwest of the greater Charlotte area lies the highest mountains east of the Rockies. Over 480 million years old, the Appalachian Mountains offer ideal conditions for the best in southern skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating and snowshoeing. Nestled within the Southern Appalachians is the area known as the High Country of the Blue Ridge Mountains which includes Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk and Sugar and Beech Mountains. Frequent snowfalls, cold temperatures, artificial snow-making and spectacular scenery all combine to make your ski experience one to remember from mid-November to late March. The four major winter resorts, Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain Resort and Hawksnest are located within 30 minutes of each other. All four opened during the 1960’s and have improved year after year. Each Resort abides by the philosophy that making a memorable experience for the guest is a primary objective. If they enjoy their experience, they will be back. With everything from family fun, to 4 and 5 star restaurants, night life, local shopping, ski and souvenir shops, the area comes to life at it
The Baby Boomer NEWS FEBRUARY 2011
10,000 square foot refrigerated ating rink. Sugar is North Carolina’s t ski area and has been under the gement of Gunther Jochl since 1976. ve of Austria, Mr. Jochl has a “handsproach to management and is an kier. This shows clearly in his top y to maintaining and improving the perience. ast year d lift to Ski was ed, 1,500 new making nstalled,
the whole family. The greatest advantage of value packages is the lack of the peak season crowds. Get more of the ski experience without the wait. Beech Mountain opened in 1967 and is the highest ski area in the East. Beech has been owned and operated by the Costin family since the 70’s. Ryan Costin is the general manager. Over the last few years, the resort has added a new automated PoleCat system for snow making, renovated the Beech Tree Village, two of its restaurants and reopened the OZ run. There is huge interest in southern skiing as is evident from a survey for the 2009-2010 ski season, prepared by RRC Associates of Boulder, CO for the NC Ski Areas Association. A reported 671,554 skier visits created an economic impact of 146 million dollars. Winter sports are not only alive and well in the Blue Ridge Mountains, they’re thriving! And to think….all of this is just a few hours away!
“Over 480 million years old, the
Appalachian Mountains offer ideal conditions for the best in southern skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating and snowshoeing.
ental ment ree brand new snow grooming nes purchased and extended the park. Sugar has a level access Highway 184 making it the most
lso available on the mountain uring Christmas and weekends. oup or private lessons from fully tructors. They accommodate all ies. WINTER VALUE PACKAGES are arly season through December 11 during prime season and every h 7, 2011. Sorry, packages are not olidays or weekends during prime me restrictions do apply. These a 30-40% discount on lodging, lift equipment and even lessons for
high Country resources www.visitnc.com/highcountry www.goskinc.com www.skinorthcarolina.com www.onthesnow.com www.skisugar.com www.skisite.com/clubsList. cfm?state=NC
FEBRUARY 2011thebbnews.com thebbnews.com AUGUST 2010
Photography Primer for boomers
By Dr. Gary Hinrichs
APPLICATION Buying a digital camera can be a challenge because of the variety, range of costs, and gadgets. Reviewing your applications should be one of the first considerations. • Shooting grandkids on the soccer field may require a fast lens or fast shutter speeds. The typical point-andshoot cameras of today are becoming more responsive to this application. • Is your goal to put pictures in a scrapbook, publish them in a book or on a website, or share the photos with others on the internet? The application of how and where your photos will be “published” may demand expensive software, or lighting equipment beyond that which is integrated into low cost cameras.
A recent encounter with an elderly couple at Wal-Mart caused me to reflect upon all of the questions a novice photographer may have when considering a new camera. Following a long discussion, the wife wondered if I was a camera salesperson or vendor since I had helped her and her husband make a selection without all of the technospeak. Years ago, many baby boomers were exposed (no pun intended) to film cameras but may not be up-to-speed on digital. Thus, today’s article is on getting the right camera for shooting travel sights, grandchildren and other activities of interest where a professional photographer is not required.
• Shooting on automatic may not create the best photographs. The reasoning is that on auto the camera decides through its algorithms the average shutter speed, ISO, and depth of field (technospeak). While the quality may be okay for a scrapbook, it may not be what you wanted to achieve for archival purposes or publishing. Therefore, having manual controls (not always available on lower priced point-and-shoot cameras) lets you choose what will often become your best photograph. Work with someone knowledgeable about cameras to determine what manual controls you need to consider.
DOES SIZE MATTER? Newer DSLR cameras (Digital Single Lens Reflex) have
The Baby Boomer NEWS FEBRUARY 2011
video, gadgets galore and are heavy. As a professional photographer, one camera I have with a 70-200mm lens weighs 3.7 pounds. A point and shoot camera I have as a back-up fits in my pocket and weighs but a few ounces. What is your tolerance for dragging around a heavy camera? The size of your CF (Compact Flash card) or SD (Secure Digital card) also matters. The occasional shooter can easily get by with a 2GB card. A few years ago that type of card was $200... today under $10.00. While on a recent photo safari to Africa, I shot around 20 GB…several thousand shots in RAW and JPEG (more technospeak).
LENS The typical point-and-shoot camera has a lens that cannot be changed; therefore you are limited to the range of the zoom that the lens has available. There are two assets that these cameras have that one needs to consider: optical and digital zoom. Simply, the greater the optical zoom the better. Its ability to “magnify” is related to the quality of the optics in the lens. Digital zoom means that the electronics/software, not the optics, will give you higher magnification and lesser quality.
DOCUMENTATION The old Kodak Brownies had a few pages of explanation on the use of the camera. A recent manual that came with one of my cameras has 263 pages. These user manuals are invaluable and with higher end cameras can be supplemented with
books such as aftermarket proprietary camera manuals. Other books referencing digital photography, guides to DSLR’s and training videos are also offered on the internet. Perhaps you have a friend that has experience with the camera you are considering and can be a good source for learning. What is great about digital is you can shoot and experiment without waste as it was when we shot film, and it takes only a few moments to see your results. “Chimping”, looking at your LCD screen immediately following a shot, is a quick way to establish if you have a winning photo. Tip: use your camera’s zoom function while viewing your image to check for sharpness and perhaps closed eyes on people shots.
CAUTION: GREY MARKET AND BUNDLED PACKAGES Camera companies frequently use different product numbers, names, and prices in different markets around the world. Some dealers buy cameras in countries with the lowest prices and then resell them in the US, this is what is known in the trade as “Grey Market” products. While the prices are often lower, you usually lose the manufacturer’s warranty and almost always lose technical support. Do your research before buying “packages”. A few dealers offer low camera prices and make their profit on the other higher margin things they include in the “package”. The package put together by a dealer often does not include quality or items of value (tripods,
lens cleaner Etc.). Even a camera manufacture will include a lower quality lens as part of their “kits”. Most camera makers offer three levels of quality lenses. “Kit lenses”, medium quality and professional quality lenses. Translated: Good, Better and Best.
RETURN POLICY AND WARRANTIES Reputable dealers have a return policy that is fair and reasonable. Meanwhile, some dealers try to discourage returns by requiring a re-stocking fee. Their argument is that there are costs for repackaging and handling the returned merchandise. Frankly, a small fee maybe appropriate but 15% or more for restocking is outrageous. Find a reputable local camera shop dealer (not too many in NC) or contact B&H or Adorama on the internet. Costco, Sams and BJ’s each have excellent return policies. (Costco, in my opinion, has the best) Dr. Hinrichs is a regular contributor to The Baby Boomer News. He is a semi-retired Organizational Psychologist and Professional Photographer in Denver, NC. He can be reached at: ghinrichs@ hughes.net.
The following is a current list of camera manufacturer websites you m ay want to rese arch:
Canon (www.u sa.canon.com) Fuji (www.fujifi lmusa.com) Kodak (www.k odak.com) Leica (www.le ica-camera.co m) Nikon (www.n ikonusa.com) Olympus (ww w.olympusam erica.com) Panasonic (ww w.panasonic.c om) Samsung (ww w.samsung.co m) Sony (www.so ny.com)
Additionally th ere are numer ous consumer reporting web sites that test an d recommend cameras to mee t your requirem ents. A few include: www.PCMagaz ine.com; www digital-photogr . aphy-school.c om; www. kelbytraining.co m; www.dprev iew.com; and www.ephotoz ine.com/review s.
March 26 THE SOUTHERN ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE ARTS CONFERENCE Greensboro: The Southern Entrepreneurship in the Arts Conference was created with the idea that more artists will succeed if they have the business skills, knowledge resources, and contacts. The mission of the SEA Conference is to present entrepreneurial strategies and resources to emerging artists to become self-supporting and successful in their careers. The conference also fosters their ongoing development by creating networking opportunities between students and emerging artists, working artists, business professionals, and community organizations$50.00 University of NC @ Greensboro. For more information, 336-256-8649 or email: email@example.com
FEBRUARY 2011 thebbnews.com
Male or Female
ast year, January’s article called for a resolution to get financial affairs in order and to develop a written plan, which would serve as your guide to a sound financial future. As you have probably already guessed, this year will be no different. I would like to set the stage for this year’s resolution by asking a simple question, “Are money issues gender specific?” Do men and women have different financial goals, different financial fears or different comfort with money? Karp Financial Strategies uses a research tool that allows us to analyze the financial personality and feelings of our individual clients, but it does not allow us to isolate information based on gender. Therefore, I decided some field research was in order. I went into the community, asked the question of both men and women, and got this answer: given the exact same circumstances, gender does not make a difference. A stay at home spouse, a widow or widower should have the same issues, regardless of gender. However, can circumstances ever be exactly the same? The concept of “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” would suggest that we are naturally wired to view the world differently, therefore the answer is no. Another factor may be society. The females that I interviewed shared a few interesting thoughts: • In most cases, they grew up in households where their dad handled the money, so there was not a female role model, and as a result, very little or no education in handling money and money issues. • In many cases, once married, the husband assumed the money management role, similar to their upbringing. • Most interestingly, because of the above issues, I was told either financial issues intimidate them or they had little motivation to be involved in the money management decisions.
By Jeffrey R. Karp of her. When he passed away, all the money issues and worries became hers. Her question stopped me in my tracks, “Will I have enough money to live on? Will I be okay?” Average mortality statistics clearly show that women outlive men by an average of 3-5 years, which means that at some point, as shown above, money management will become a required skill. The statistics also show that women become primary care givers to aging parents for both sides of the family, so maybe money does have gender bias after all.
now for the new years resolutions To Dads: • Take time to educate your daughters about money. As an example, I taught my daughter about saving for the future by setting up a “401k type matching program”; for every $1 that went to savings, I matched it. • Teach them how to organize money, including bill paying, responsible credit card use and investing. To Grandfathers: • Teach your granddaughters about your life experiences with money. Your successes and mistakes can be the best teachers. To Boomer Women: • If you are already engaged in the process, congratulations, financial planning is an ongoing process, so keep reading, seek advisors where needed and make changes to adapt to changing circumstances. • If you are not yet engaged, remember the mortality statistics. Today is the best day to get started. If you are married, sit down with your husband, discuss the existing plans for retirement, death, disability, major purchases, etc. and have an organizer that lists the locations of estate documents, investment accounts, insurance documents and account passwords. If you are not married, take advantage of the wealth of knowledge available through seminars, reading material and financial advisors. For Me: • Beginning this year, I will include gender issues, where they exist, so that you, the reader, will be better able to apply the information I share with you. I have found that many people work harder to earn their money than they do to manage it. The reasons range from lack of time to lack of confidence because of knowledge. While it may be easier to sweep the issue under the rug, it is not a prudent move. Adopt one of the above resolutions and you or someone important to you can have a better financial future. May 2011 be a happy, healthy and financially productive year for all.
Case study I originally met a client of mine, just after her husband had unexpectedly passed away. They had a great marriage; he was very successful and had always taken very good financial care
If you are interested in learning more about financial education and planning for your future, please contact Jeff Karp at 704-658-1929 or visit www.karpfinancial.com.
This information in the material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine what may be appropriate for you, please consult a qualified advisor. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. To determine what may be appropriate for you regarding taxes and charitable deductions, please consult a qualified tax professional.
The Baby Boomer NEWS FEBRUARY 2011
FEBRUARY 2011 thebbnews.com
By Mary Ann Dore
Can I have the car keys?
emember when you first learned to drive? Odds are that your father or mother taught you. Then, they willingly gave you the keys when you asked, “Hey Dad, can I have the keys to the car?”, so that you could go to the mall or take a girl on your first date. Today, you may find yourself asking the same question, but with a totally different end result. Today you may have to ask that question because it’s time for those who gave you the freedom to head out in the family car to give up their independence because they can no longer safely drive their car. According to the National Transportation Board, 1 in 5 licensed drivers will be 65 or older within the next 15 years. That number will nearly double from 30 million to approximately 57 million in 2030. Some of us may be facing the prospect of having “the dreaded talk” with our parents about turning over their keys when we observe that their driving abilities may have become dangerous, not only for them, but others sharing the road with them. You may have ridden in the car with them over the holidays and noticed that they are less able to judge distances and speed and their reflexes are slower. In addition, they may not be able to turn their heads or flex their feet and hands to operate a vehicle safely. You may have noticed other warning signs that indicate that they should begin to limit driving or to stop altogether. 1 Almost crashing, with frequent "close calls" 2 Finding dents and scrapes on the car, on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs, or the like 3 Getting lost 4 Having trouble seeing or following traffic signals, road signs, and pavement markings 5 Responding more slowly to unexpected situations, or having trouble moving their foot from the gas to the brake pedal; confusing the two pedals 6 Misjudging gaps in traffic at intersections and on highway entrance and exit ramps
The Baby Boomer NEWS FEBRUARY 2011
7 Experiencing road rage or having other drivers frequently honk at them 8 Easily becoming distracted or having difficulty concentrating while driving 9 Having a hard time turning around to check over their shoulder while backing up or changing lanes 10 Receiving traffic tickets or "warnings" from traffic or law enforcement officers in the last year or two. (source: AARP.org)
Older drivers may express strong emotions when someone talks to them about their driving. Firsthand knowledge of driving behavior will help families know if and when they need to intervene. So, how do you have this talk with your aged parent? How do you help them to make the decision to retire from driving? First do your homework. There are many great articles, guides and videos available through AARP, The Hartford and the MIT Agelab that provide a wealth of information on this delicate subject. Ideally initiating discussions before the keys must be surrendered permanently allows both the aging loved one and the family to talk about “stepping down“ their driving
activities. It may be that the driver doesn’t need to stop driving entirely but to just make changes to their driving behavior for now. Coming to an agreement that they make the following adjustments can provide peace of mind for you and still allow them to have their independence. 1 Drive at different times of the day – avoiding the rush hour traffic 2 Change traveling environment to less congested roads 3 Limit driving to certain places – grocery store, doctors appointments, beauty salon 4 Drive only during daylight hours – vision in older drivers tends to decrease at dusk and dark Involving all members of the family in the discussion is important. But choose the spokesperson carefully, studies show that discussions between a parent and an adult child who lives nearby and has had the opportunity to observe the person behind the wheel are most effective. Be empathic and compassionate! The loss of independence is major milestone. Be prepared to have several conversations to achieve a balance between safety and independence and note that studies have shown that men require more conversations about this subject than women. It is generally more emotionally difficult for men to stop driving than for women.
What you may have to do if they refuse to stop driving: • If your parent or loved one is a danger to themselves and others and refuses to give up their car keys, you may need to enlist the help of their doctor. The doctor can recommend that your parent be evaluated by an Occupational Therapist who is qualified to conduct comprehensive evaluations and provide clinical assessments of their driving abilities.
service to obtain schedules and bus stop locations. Make sure that your aging loved one can negotiate getting on and off the bus. 3 Paratransit – check with the specialized public transportation options for senior citizens and persons with disabilities in your area. Most municipalities have implemented, and are continuing to enhance, paratransit services for their residents based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. 4 Taxis/Private Car Service – These options may appear to be expensive, but in fact, cost much less than owning and maintaining a personal vehicle and they offer more scheduling flexibility. 5 Volunteer Drivers – check with local senior organizations or churches to see if they offer volunteer transportation services. 6 Non-medical home care – Seniors Helping Seniors, Home-Instead and other agencies may offer services that include transportation and errands and have the added benefits of companionship and regular visitors to notice changes in routines or behaviors.
We all want to keep our loved ones safe and independent for as long as possible, but as they said on Hill Street Blues “Let’s be safe out there!”
•You may have to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to have their license revoked. • If necessary, you may have to hide the keys, disable or even sell the car to prevent the person from driving It is important to recognize that not being able to drive, represents not only a loss of independence, but a loss of community connection. Many elderly drivers live in areas where alternative means of transportation is limited or even non-existent. There are a variety of transportation options out there that help provide means of mobility to help keep your loved one connected within their community; shopping, medical appointments and visits with friends. 1 The first option is, of course, family and friends who can help with transportation. However, sometimes work schedules or distance can make this difficult to put into action. Consider hiring a safe-driving family member or friend. Not only is it comfortable to have someone who is familiar to help out, but it can provide added income for the driver. 2 Public Transportation – check with your local transit FEBRUARY 2011 thebbnews.com
8 tips for promoting a
By Carolyn L. Rosenblatt
heart 2 heart
oes the thought of talking about money with aging parents make your stomach quiver? “We need to have a heart to heart talk”, you think, but your aging parent isn’t exactly approachable. In fact, you’ve been shut down for even trying to bring it up. And the idea that your aging parent might need help, well, that really sets ‘em off! No way. Or is there? This can be tricky territory. Culture can affect whether and how we approach such a serious subject. In some cultures, talking about becoming incapacitated is thought to bring on the thing discussed, and the subject is therefore avoided. Emotional makeup, communication styles, family patterns of self-disclosure and many other factors affect how easy or difficult it is to approach an elder about planning for the possibility of losing independence. Our own discomfort level is also a factor. If we don’t have a pleasant parent, or a good parent, or an easy parent, there is a corresponding difficulty in approaching him or her with questions about what Mom or Dad would want should the parent be unable to manage life without help in the future. Dread can hold us back. Here are 8 things to try for anyone facing this problem now.
Make up your mind that you’re going to get this done. Our own hesitation to deal with something unpleasant, or that we think will be hard can’t stop us forever. Our parents can live to be 100! We need to take the initiative.
Pick the right time. After a birthday or family celebration, or other family event is an opportunity to set aside a day or some hours to have the talk we need to have to plan ahead for our aging parents’ finances and possible incapacity in the future. Offer to stay over an extra day to cover the subject of aging and planning ahead.
Use respectful words. Adults generally don’t like being bossed around by their kids. Be gentle in your approach. Ask for their permission to talk about the future, “just in case”. Mention that the burden of making decisions will fall on you if anything goes wrong with Mom or Dad’s health or they have to go to a hospital. Offer your help with planning.
Gently insist if your parent tries to change the subject. “Nothing’s going to happen to me” is an aging parent’s typical way of avoiding the subject. You need to say things like, “Mom, we need to be realistic. Aunt Jill just had to spend 3 months in a nursing
The Baby Boomer NEWS FEBRUARY 2011
talk with aging parents
home after she broke her hip. It can happen to anyone and we need to plan ahead just in case”.
Ask for specific information. You’ll need to know where aging parents’ financial records are kept, who their tax preparer, attorney and financial advisor are, and how to contact them. Ask where to find account passwords if your parents bank online or have a brokerage account. Find out who the mortgage holder is, what banks they use and whether they have the information organized about their finances.
Use yourself as an example of needing to know. When we wanted to find out about my in-laws’ finances, my husband did a clever thing. He asked his Dad what he thought it cost to live in retirement. They got around to the subject of what it cost his parents and how Dad managed the budget. We were lucky. He was willing to share this. Giving advice to us about the cost of living for them was a means for us to learn what they needed to live on. After Dad passed away, this was very helpful for my husband.
Offer to help with a specific task about finances. Perhaps your aging parent is in need of some help organizing the records for your sake. Perhaps making a computerized file for the information is a task with which you can help. If your aging parent is the organized type, lucky you. Dad was, and it was a blessing. If your parents are not organized, that’s a good place to start. You can learn as you work on putting their paperwork in order and creating a central place to go to when the time comes.
Help get your parents’ legal ducks in a row. Lots of people have never done any estate planning. They think they don’t need to because they don’t have much money. It’s not true. Everyone can do his or her own will, even hand written, as long as you follow the laws of your state. Encourage your parents to see an estate planning attorney to learn what is best. By a do-it-yourself book and write your own will if you have very little money and no other assets. Otherwise, learn about a trust and get it done. It can save thousands of dollars of taxes, unexpected costs and arguments later on if your parents plan ahead properly. While you’re at it, encourage getting a Durable Power of Attorney done so the adult children can legally step in when a parent becomes incapacitated. A heart to heart talk can open the door to good, safe planning ahead for our aging parents. We all need to be ready for them to live long and we want their lives to be the best quality we can offer them. At AgingParents.com, we encourage you to make this a priority on your list of things you’ve got to do. © 2011, AgingParents.com
by Bonnie Lowe
How to Overcome Being “Over Qualified”
ave you ever gone through the interview process, felt confident that you'd performed extremely well, and then heard these dreadful words: "I'm sorry, but we feel you're overqualified for this position." Arrggh!! When I was told that after an interview, several thoughts went through my frustration-fogged mind... What kind of crazy excuse is that for not hiring me? So what if I'm 'overqualified' -- don't employers always want to hire the person with the best qualifications? If I'm willing to take this job, overqualified or not, why is that a problem? This isn't fair! What's the real reason they don't want to hire me? When interviewers say you are "overqualified," here's what they are concerned about: 1 You'll be bored in this position 2 You won't be satisfied with the salary they're offering 3 You'll leave as soon as you get a better opportunity 4 They'll have to go through the time-consuming and expensive process of hiring and training someone all over again.
This may not make you feel better about being "overqualified," but you must admit those are legitimate concerns. If you get the “overqualified” excuse once, you’ll be wary about getting it again. So if you apply for other jobs that may be at a lower level than warranted by your background, skills, education and experience, you may be tempted to "dumb down" your resume and omit things like college degrees. But, misrepresenting your background is not the way to go. Here's a better strategy: address it head-on. Be the first one to raise the "overqualified" issue with a potential employer. If you bring it up yourself, you can discuss it openly and convince the interviewer that it won't be a problem. They key – as with every job interview issue – is to anticipate and prepare. Before you go to the interview, think about what you'll say and how you will convince them that they should hire you, even if you are "overqualified." After explaining how you will be a great asset to their company, tell them why you are applying for a lower-level position. Do not say, “I can't find anything else and I really need a job." Though that may be the case, this approach is a little too honest and will reinforce their fear that you will leave at the first opportunity. Say something like, "You can tell that I've worked at a higher level before, but this position is exactly what I'm looking for." Then, depending on the job and your circumstances, explain why. For example: “I’ve always wanted to work for your company [or in this industry], and I'm willing to take a lower-level position to get that opportunity.” “It will allow me to use my skills and expand my experience in a new field.” “I’m looking for something a little less stressful, with fewer responsibilities, so I can spend more time with my family.” “This position provides the stability and long-term growth potential I’m looking for.” “The salary is not my top priority. I’d have no problem with earning less than I’ve earned in the past.” Be very enthusiastic about the job. Explain how you can meet their needs now and in the future as the company grows. And most important of all, convince them that you will not quit as soon as something better comes along. If you are convinced that this job would be worth it, you might even try this: offer to sign an agreement stating that you will stay on the job for a minimum of 12 months. Whether the hiring manager actually takes you up on that offer or not, it will definitely make a very positive impression! www.Best-Interview-Strategies.com FEBRUARY 2011 thebbnews.com
By Lou Mintzer
Retiree Draftee Tales of an Unemployed
Eleven more weeks of unemployment and I will really be retired. What am I going to do? I am turning 60, I’m not ready for retirement. For 14 years, I was a department manager for one of the big banks in Charlotte and now I have lots of time for yard work, house work...and to look for a job. Bummer! Now, I believe those reports that people over 55 will have a tough time finding a new job until their planned retirement. My wife, Lucy, works for a local insurance agency. I have tried diligently to hide my stress from her and help save money where I can. Do you know that you can get condiments from McDonalds, Hardees and Burger King? Ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar, and napkins are there for the taking. I hide the napkins; I don’t think Lucy would quite
understand, so I use them when she’s working. If I leave some on the counter I tell her the cashier at the drive-thru was trying to improve customer service. I prefer Charmin, so I do draw the line at restroom paper. I heard old people do this. Now, I spend hours each week dumping condiments into containers and hiding the evidence in the neighbors’ trash. Lucy recently commented that our condiments seem to last forever. Do you know that you can go online and see what the local hotels serve for breakfast? And the “E” Suites even has a “Happy hour”. I stumbled upon this after attending a seminar on Franchising. At the end of a long seminar, a cold beer or a glass of wine really hits the spot. Nobody even asked if I was a guest. I also discovered big meetings usually offer “free” lunches and great desserts, not to mention endless supplies of coffee, tea, and cold drinks. Those small bottles fit in your pocket. Attendees wear name tags, but if you dress appropriately nobody seems to care. As professed at a sales meeting, “If you believe it, you can achieve it!” And you just might learn something! Last week I attended an insurance seminar for 500 agents in the senior market. Do you know the economic climate is really devastating for seniors and Baby Boomers? After a big salad, sandwiches, cheesecake and a big cookie I knew I wouldn’t stay awake. I skipped the afternoon session on “Long Term Care Trends.” But, I am considering an insurance career. Next week I will attend a Fiction Writers Convention or a software seminar for small attorney firms. I’m betting the attorneys eat better! My favorite breakfast spot is the “H” Inn; there is one at every exit. Waffles, eggs, fruit, cereal, coffee and juice fill the bill. Sometimes I take my laptop and check emails, just like the working guys. You have to be careful not to go to the same one more than
The Baby Boomer NEWS FEBRUARY 2011
once a week. Another great place is a chamber of commerce event. Business Before Hours, After Hours, Ribbon Cuttings, Business Fairs, and with 3-4 chambers close by, I have to be careful not to double book. Their activities are on their websites; it’s easy to pick the good ones. (FYI: The ones that don’t serve alcohol are usually poorly attended.) Some freeloaders don’t even bother to get a name tag! I am considering business cards that say I am a “Consultant.” You can get 250 free cards from Vistaprint.com. I worry about my health and my Cobra insurance ran out last month. I go to Health Fairs. They have them at the mall, churches, and senior centers. Get your vital statistics checked and get cookies, candy and pens. (The grandkids love my little goody bags.) One little old lady got a pound of Hershey Kisses in one swift move and put them in her bag. “I don’t buy candy because I’m diabetic.” She commented, “I just get a few sweets here.” My cholesterol is down but my blood sugar is a little high. Do you know that diabetes is the biggest drain on the Medicare system? Good to know. I am taking Lucy to Fine’s Restaurant for our anniversary. It is top rung! I hope she appreciates how frugal I am; the dinner is part of an Estate Planning Seminar. Steak for me, broiled salmon for her, key lime pie for dessert! Romantic! Lucy noticed I don’t spend much on meals these days. She worries that I eat too much fast food. She usually packs her lunch. Yes, being unemployed/retired has been rough but I enjoy staying busy and meeting new people. Meet me for breakfast?
Lou Mintzer, a free lance writer, is the owner of The Lake Benefits Insurance Agency in Mooresville.
By Marsha Opritza
t seems we’ve had snow and more snow with accompanying frigid temperatures. It’s been an extremely cold winter thus far ...and we still have a month to go! We know it’s winter, and so do our dogs and cats. They grow their winter coats and react to the shorter periods of daylight just like we do. Our pets react to the cold, get sick more easily and suffer from joint aches and pains just like we do. Don’t think that they can easily withstand frigid temps, especially if they spend any time indoors with you. Remember that they are domesticated and as such have become more dependent on us for shelter from the elements. Be mindful of winter hazards. If you live near a pond or lake, go outside with your pet and watch that they don’t go near the water. It’s difficult to determine how thick the ice may be and if it “falls in” it will most likely be unable to get out and may drown. Also, snow covers up items that your dog cannot see…. items that may hurt him, such as sharp trash, cans, rocks, etc. If you or your neighbors have a cat….remember that cats like to curl up in warm engines. A good precaution is to Bang! on the hood of your vehicle to alert any cats hidden there to jump out. Starting your engine while a cat is sleeping there will be fatal to the cat. Rock salt and de-icers can be very destructive to your dogs footpads. It’s very important to wipe off his pads when he comes into the house from outdoors as he may lick his paws and as a result become very ill. Many dogs like the smell and taste of antifreeze and will drink it if they find some. Antifreeze is extremely poisonous
and will kill your dog. Watch for it and if you need to change your car’s antifreeze, make sure you are meticulous in cleaning up any spills. Even if you don’t have a dog or cat, make your yard safe for others’ pets. Dogs will often drink from a puddle or whatever water source they can find. This includes gutter water which can contain antifreeze, oil, or other household hazardous waste and other dangerous contaminants. When the temperature dips outside make sure you watch your dog and cat carefully. It’s a good idea to stay outside with them and when you get cold then they’re probably cold, too. Time for both of you to go back inside. If your dog stays outside for any length of time, make sure he has a clean source of “unfrozen” water…and a solid, warm shelter. Using cedar shavings with a dog bed or pillow on top will keep him comfortable. Do a little online research and you can find electrically heated dog beds to make him really cozy. Several sites where these can be found are: PetStreetMall. com, cozywinters.com, dog.com. When taking your shorthaired dog for a long walk, use a dog coat. Be gentle with an older dog or cat in the winter as they may need help getting up on their favorite chair…or help getting up the stairs. Their stiff joints may cause them to slip and fall. Elderly dogs and cats, like elderly humans have more fragile health. If your pet has arthritis, diabetes or heart problems make sure it gets it’s daily medicine and a routine health check up. Taking precautions, using common sense and caring concern will protect your pets from the harsh elements and keep them safely by your side!
February 16 ARE YOU AN INVESTOR READY ENTREPRENEUR? Charlotte: Raising equity capital is challenging at best. Becoming an Investor-Ready Entrepreneur is designed to educate and prepare growth-oriented entrepreneurs to successfully engage private equity investors. Getting ready includes a wide range of activities and decisions that will help the entrepreneur with their business in a number of ways. This program was developed with direct input from experienced entrepreneurs, angel investors, angel networks/fund executives, and venture capitalists, and provides an "insider's look" into the world of equity funding. By understanding what investors look for, entrepreneurs can reduce barriers to funding, navigate the process more easily, and increase the chances of obtaining funding for their business. $95.00 For information, call Tim Janke, (336) 403-1088.
FEBRUARY 2011 thebbnews.com
Published on Feb 1, 2011
Published on Feb 1, 2011
The Baby Boomer News is a lifestyle magazine for Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) featuring content that informs and entertains our gene...