December 2013 • Tucson
Real Estate 2013
Reversing the Bad Rap on Reverse Mortgages With tighter regulations—and a big thumbs up from the Fonz—reverse mortgage lenders are striving to regain our trust. But can they really promise happy days ahead? : : by Jimmy Magahern
Finish Line Newsletter starts on page 37
The staff at Lovin’ Life After 50 would like to wish you and yours a safe and Happy Holiday season.
Five Tips For Holiday Shopping
ccording to a recent survey conducted by Nielsen, 72 percent of consumers prefer to shop online via their mobile device or computer versus shopping in stores. It’s clear why shopping online is the preferred method, as it saves time and eliminates stress. However, when it comes to safety, only one-third of respondents from Nielsen’s survey felt online shopping was the safest way to purchase items. With the holiday season upon us,
millions of consumers will turn to the Web for their gift purchases. But how can shoppers stay safe and protect themselves from credit card and identity theft or compromised passwords? To start, make sure you download a secure browser on your computers, tablets and phones. For example, when you download a Web browser from the nonproﬁt organization Mozilla Firefox, you’ll be alerted when accessing potentially fraudulent sites and have access to tools that will help
with everything from keeping your gift ideas safe from that special someone to having your holiday lists, recipes and directions readily available while on the go. Holiday shopping should be fun and feel safe, so here are a few additional tips from Mozilla Firefox to have the best online shopping experience: • Buy from trustworthy online stores: Look for seals of approval given by third-party organizations such as TRUSTe or Better Business
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Bureau Online—if you’re not familiar with the site, you may want to reconsider purchasing from them. • Keep your Web browser updated: Make sure any software you download to your desktop or your mobile device—including apps and add-ons—stays up-to-date. You can easily check for updates in the menu options of most software. • Look for the “S” for security: Never purchase anything from a site that doesn’t have SSL encryption. Make sure the site’s address starts with https:// instead of http://, and don’t provide your credit card information via e-mail. • Keep your information private: Most Web browsers, like Firefox, offer a “Do Not Track” feature that lets you say you don’t want to have your information tracked by websites. First introduced by Firefox, this feature will tell advertising networks, other websites and applications that you opt out of tracking for purposes like advertising. • Secure your passwords: Using a variety of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation, create a unique password for each account you log into. If you are worried about forgetting it, you can easily and safely store your usernames and passwords with the Firefox Password Manager. Once you’ve protected your Web experience, it’s time to shop! Looking to share wish lists with friends and family? Want to chat with a friend about holiday party plans while shopping online? Firefox is the only browser to integrate social sharing with sites like Facebook. You can also stay organized (and never forget a gift) with your holiday shopping by using Firefox Sync, which lets you take bookmarked websites and products from your mobile phone to your home computer. Now that you’re equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to have a safe and productive Web experience, you can have fun purchasing gifts and hunting for bargains this holiday season and all year round. Happy shopping!
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December 2013 : : Lovinâ€™ Life After 50 : : page 3
Reversing the Bad Rap on Reverse Mortgages page 18
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Sound Off The Curmudgeon The Up Side The Widow’s Corner Ask the Old Bag Bear Market Report
Announcing the Opening of
Harmony House of Tucson
Complimentary lodging for caregivers and non-local family members of Harmony Hospice patients For more information, call us at
12 15 16 24 26
Calendar of Events Trivia Contest Tinseltown Talks Puzzles Journeys
28 Easy-to-Update Items to Make Your New Home Yours 29 Jan D’Atri travel
32 Chicago’s Christmas Magic arizona senior olympics
publishers Steve T. Strickbine Steve Fish executive editor Shanna Hogan managing community editor Christina Fuoco-Karasinski features editor Christina Caldwell art director Erica Odello advertising sales director Zac Reynolds advertising sales manager Mike Jiggs senior account executive Lou Lagrave account representative Hilary Young sales administrator Shannon Fish contributors Jimmy Magahern, Drew Alexander, Jan D’Atri, Michael Grady, Terry Ratner, Gayle Lagman-Creswick, Tracy House
© 2013 by EOS Publishing, LLC. Lovin’ Life After 50 is a monthly publication dedicated to informing, serving and entertaining the active adults of Arizona. It is published by EOS Publishing, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company. Subscriptions are available for $24 per year or $40 for two years. Send check or money order to Lovin’ Life After 50.
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December 2013 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : page 5
opinion Sound Off
Seniors, beware, please, please, please. I was desperate after my husband passed away in the early part of this year. I needed money and I had some foreign coins. This collection of coins was personally gathered in trips to Europe. I had a list of value dated years ago beginning at $59 for just a couple or them. I called a number of a group that was presenting how they would help people give them money for the gold, for their silver at a local community. They said they didn’t have any schedule appearances, but they would be happy to come to my house. They came to the house and gave me $29 and took all of my silver. I was so stupid. I accepted it. Be careful. Be careful. I really love it how I buy three certificates for the “supreme” car wash at a local car wash chain, which has a value of $25 each, thinking that would pretty much include everything because I hate going to car wash places and being pressured into buying “extras.” Of course it
couldn’t be that easy! Once again I go in there with my $25 certificate for the “supreme” and the guy is once again trying to upsell me on more crap! You would think $25 would get you a decent car wash! I’m just going to start doing it at home or just take my chance at the ones where you just drive through because honestly there’s not much difference. I took one car to the auto $3 wash and the other one for the “supreme” wash and, besides a few small water spots and having to vacuum the interior myself, on the $3 wash there’s not much difference! To Drew Alexander: Another breathless doomsday scenario that amounts to nothing more than your usual clichéd jab at Democrats and the president. Drew, when you make statements based on notes cribbed from Fox Network (Official Propaganda Arm of the Republi-Tea Party), you look foolish. Better to put down the notebook and keep your eyes glued to Megyn Kelly’s bare knees. For a real analysis of the debt from a true expert with an uncanny track record of economic prescience, Google Paul Krugman, the Princeton University economics professor and columnist for the New York Times. His
The Curmudgeon Obamastein’s Monster
: : by Drew Alexander
he pitch black sky above the majestic white castle was shattered by wild streaks of lightning and earsplitting thundercrclaps. Inside, mad scientist Baron Barry von Obamastein stared anxiously down at the carcass of a dead tree; he had taken those parts processed into paper and stitched them together into sections that were now lying inertly before him in a completed massive body of work. His daring experiment was called Barry’s Invention for a Long and Lasting Life or “Bill” for short. Attaching 20,000 pieces of the operating rules manual to the main corpus, Bill would stand 7 feet tall when activated. “We will help you bring it to life, master,” said Obamastein’s assistants,
Harry and Nanny. “With a big dose of Demovote, your creation will become a living, breathing thing throughout the land.” “This will be my signature achievement,” grinned Obamastein, rubbing his hands together. “Generations will praise my name for giving them the secret to a longlasting, perfectly healthy life.” “Yes, master,” said Harry, bowing. “Your legacy will be the greatest of any mad scientist the world has ever known.” “Do it now, Harry and Nanny, give it the Demovote,” ordered Obamastein. Hunched over Bill, the threesome watched as the powerful injection of Demovote took effect. Bill twitched, then moved on the table, straightening out its spine and standing up.
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analyses are educational, provocative, and a fitting elixir to the bobbleheads on network and cable television.—Jim Wilson, Tucson Your children and grandchildren suffer from federal government deficit spending? Their standard of living will be $200,000 less than you have enjoyed. Demand that the government quits borrowing money from the youth. The government has borrowed $100,000 for every taxpayer. Your children and grandchildren will
have to repay the $100,000 and will not be able to continue to borrow another $100,000, thus the $200,000 reduction in standard of living.— Garry Trachsel Obama lied. His credibility died. Dear Sound Off, I enjoy reading your opinion section. I thank you for allowing all to share. Recently, my local House LD2 representative Andrea Dalessandro (D) ...continues on page 8
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“It’s alive! It’s alive!” shouted Obamastein. He was so proud of his creation that he took pen and ink and affixed his signature to a part of its body. When the townspeople heard of the conception of Bill, some cheered it as a supreme triumph. Others, however, were skeptical that Bill would perform as promised. “Bill will revolutionize the way life extension is delivered and will cost you less than previous entities,” said Obamastein in the town square. “But if you like the entity you have, you can keep it, period. If you like your mad scientist, you can keep your mad scientist, period.” For a time, much of the populace embraced Obamastein’s seemingly perfect innovation. But they soon became disenchanted, fearful and angry when Bill began bullying the townspeople with heavy-handed rules and forcing them to pay huge amounts to sustain it. Bill was rejected by many of the town’s merchants who lowered the work hours of their employees in
Write us: Lovin’ Life After 50 3200 N. Hayden Rd., Suite 210 Scottsdale, AZ 85251
order to avoid the stifling costs of supporting Bill’s existence. Moreover, the promised option that folks could keep their former entity and their mad scientist proved to be false. Out in public, Bill faltered badly, its various ill-fitting parts making it nearly impossible for anyone to have access to the monstrous Barry’s Invention for a Long and Lasting Life. Entrenched in his castle, Obamastein saw torch-bearing townspeople storming the gates, shouting and demanding that Bill be eradicated. “The fools, they just can’t accept that I know what’s best for them,” Obamastein said to his assistants. But Harry and Nanny were not there. They had run out the back door of the castle and disappeared into the night. Drew Alexander, also known as “The Curmudgeon,” is a monthly columnist writing about political issues. Send comments to email@example.com or to Drew Alexander, in care of Lovin’ Life After 50, 3200 N. Hayden Road, Suite 210, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.
The Up Side
Wishing You a Headcount Holiday : : by Michael Grady
’ll never forget my Mother’s screams that Christmas Eve. We’d all adjourned—as good children do—to our beds after “The Andy Williams Christmas Special.” But like most little boys, I was less interested in visions of sugarplums and more interested in catching Santa in the act. On previous Christmas Eves my parents, upon finding my bed empty, would search the house and fish their sleeping child out of whatever nook, high shelf or litter box I’d chosen for a stakeout. So this year, I had stuffed my blankets with enough clothes to resemble a silhouette of my seven-year old self. I topped it with a football, under a knit cap, to resemble my head. Then I turned out the light, and hid in a hall closet with a view of our Christmas tree. That’s where I was when my mother cried bloody murder. What we learned was that Mom had seen my adorable sleeping form and entered the dark room to kiss me goodnight. But when my head slid clean off my body and bounced around the room like a well-placed punt, she took it rather hard. Her favorite gift was Pina Coladas that year—a gift she unwrapped frequently, until school was back in session. But she refused to punish me or even be angry. “Everyone has a head this year,” she said. “It’s a good holiday.” This column appears in early December, so by now you’ve seen the whole Thanksgiving-Black-Friday look-at-those-weirdoes-camping-allnight news cycle that is the first strike of the Holiday Season. If you’re Jewish, you’ve doubled-down on Thanksgivukkah, and you’re still looking at a five-week forecast of: mostly commercial with a chance of ulcers. You’re already watching pretentious cologne commercials, thinking, “What does that mean?” and wondering, for the umpteenth time, why the movie “White Christmas” features a minstrel show number. And even though local stations have been playing carols since Labor Day, you feel like the holidays have snuck up on you.
Every year, I find myself facing Christmas the way the Arizona Cardinals face third-and-long: I understand what it is, but I’m not equipped to deal with it, and I just can’t see it coming off well. But time has taught me to adopt my mother’s approach from way-backwhen: cherish the fact that no one got beheaded—and treat anything else as a bonus. A few finer points: • Lower Your Expectations: Like limbo dancing: How Low Can You Go? If this seems defeatist or negative, it’s a heck of a lot healthier than expecting a dramatic bonding moment (only happens on the Hallmark Channel) or a gift-wrapped Lexus (only on Lexus commercials). Remember, if you’ve outgrown footie pajamas, Christmas is not about you. And if you read this and think, “I just need to connect with my inner child again,” let me clarify: • Don’t Try to Be a Child Again: “I want to enjoy the season like a did when I was a child,” a friend used to say, “when the holidays held a sense of mystery and wonder.” Important caveat to remember: you were a child, then. Cardboard boxes held a sense of mystery and wonder. If you want that feeling back, contact your local Toys for Tots Program (www. toysfortots-maricopa.com), or work through your church or office to find an actual child, stoke their sense of wonder and bask in the reflected glow. It’s the closest you’ll ever come to crawling back into those short pants. • Don’t Force Joy: Everybody has moments where they just don’t feel festive. For some reason, this becomes a crime around the holidays. We’re supposed to be joyous—or at least look like it. There’s nothing wrong with feeling blue, as long as you’re not an aggressive buzzkill about it. But there’s a clinical term for forced joy. It’s called “resentment.” • Prepare for a Little Stress: It always amuses me when family and
friends get hip-deep in the season and are SHOCKED to discover the holidays are stressful! Let’s look at Christmas’ own playbook, shall we? Charlie Brown’s Christmas pageant failed and his tree died; George Bailey attempted and dodged an embezzlement charge; Ebenezer Scrooge was abducted and tortured by ghosts, and the Who’s of Whoville were all robbed blind. See a pattern? All of these folks came to love the holidays—but none of them had an easy time getting there. • Don’t Compare This Holiday to Previous Holidays: This is like crawling out of bed, getting on Facebook, seeing a friend’s vacation photos and saying: “They have a better life.” It’s not a fair fight. People guild, edit, and airbrush the hell out of their memories. It gives them a fond recollection or two, but the present always suffers in comparison. With that in mind: • Try to Remember Your Terrible Holidays, Too: Here’s a fun exercise to do with the family: every time someone recalls an idyllic moment from holidays past, try to recall a horrific moment from that same year. (The tainted yams, the fight at the nativity scene, the time we lost grandpa at the grocery store, etc.) These stories are not only funnier and more interesting, they make your current holiday better just by contrast. • Let It Be: Is not a holiday song, but
it should be. All of the gift buying, present wrapping and table setting gives you the illusion that the holidays are yours to control. They aren’t. You can’t govern how someone else will react to your present, or appreciate your green bean casserole. So why try? Do your due diligence, then show up with an open mind. The rest is a reality show. • Use Your Peripheral Vision: Here’s the marvelous thing about the holidays as we age: if you dial back your expectations, the holidays still deliver in unexpected ways: the longforgotten ornament you haven’t seen in years; the familiar arguments that you have every year; the corny movie you watch because everyone’s here to watch it with you. These understated blessings don’t jump out and shout at you. But they twinkle on the periphery—yours to quietly observe. And finally: • Take a Headcount: Back to my Mom’s criteria. Look around when your holiday chaos is at its height: is everybody here? Is everybody healthy? Are their heads securely attached? If the answer to all of these is “yes,” then everything else is gravy. For my part, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Lovely Solstice, Awesome Kwanzaa. Whatever you celebrate, I hope yours rocks. Michael Grady is an Arizona-based freelance writer, reporter and playwright.
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December 2013 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : page 7
... from page 6 posted on her public Facebook page oppose various political topics. These a political post clearly Democratic in elected officials have never blocked nature. As a constituent, I responded me and often times have responded to the post. My post was short; did not with their reasons for their stance contain foul language, and was not of further explained. The Constituents a personal nature toward Dalessandro. of LD2 need to be aware that Andrea But it was my opinion, and not in favor Dalessandro will not be receptive to of her political opinion posted. Without hearing their point of view unless it is discussion as to the disagreement in the in agreement with her. I have since met posting, my representative blocked me and will be voting for Chris Ackerley from her page—essentially snuffing in 2014.—Lisa Andrews, Green Valley my First Amendment rights. When contacted by email, Dalessandro failed On commercial television, to acknowledge her wrongdoing but have you noticed sometimes instead said I had posted a political the commercials are better statement to her “legislative page.” It entertainment than the show’s appears she has since removed the so- juvenile-minded production writers, called legislative page thus eliminating who apparently just discovered their the possibility of her constituents to bodies and that magic thing called see her true political views. She does “difference” that must be shown openly continue to have her personal page and often to the equally ignorant which you can ask to be her friend. I viewers where modesty is forbidden? pointed out to Dalessandro that as a That’s interesting. vocal person I have commented via Facebook or Twitter or email to Gov. Mark Oct. 24, 2013, as another Brewer, John McCain, Jeff Flake, Ron day in infamy. The ignorant Barber and Ray Carroll sometimes in have spoken their racial hatred approval of their votes or comments but openly in Congress. As if we didn’t more often than not with opinions that already know. Poor, poor America.
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Can we still say good morning? Just who are these so-called politically correct complainers and their friends, the destroyers of early American children’s celebration of Christmas and Santa, Halloween ghosts and pumpkins patches, Easter bunnies and Thanksgiving, graduation and proms. All stolen for greedy adults by for business, for business, buy and
Well years ago, many Arizonans mocked former Sen. Sam Steiger’s predictions about the oil problems in the Near East and the electorate Rick Renzi. Well, finally Rick goes to jail, thanks to Sam long, long ago. But Arizona still needs more new bad, old Sam-style predictors. Oh yeah you’ll want to live in America and just work and have a normal life. Well guess what? Learn to speak the English ...continues on page 35
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Oh looky, looky all the little kettles are calling the big pot black. Well, if they didn’t spy on each other, no one would know anything except for al-Qaidas. Wise up for pity’s sake, you nit-pickers.
At last, all the dirty little secrets are coming out in Washington. It was no secret there were people who just wanted the president to fail. They’ve been fighting for that victor ever since day one—the election. Shame on you, you lousy Americans. Shame on you, you lousy traitors. Give the man the information he needs to succeed and stop undercutting the people that know what they’re trying to be doing correctly. You’re all traitors.
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page 8 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : December 2013
I’m tired of you publishing only pro-Democrat views. Wake up, Democrats. You voted for him! You probably won’t print this.
sell. Bah humbug on them. Run them out of town.
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The latest news is Chase Bank will pay $5 billion to someone in a fine for poor business practices. Oh, but who will be receiving all that bonus income? Maybe it’s just another mystery in Washington. Somebody’s benefiting. Does anybody know?
Member of the Medical Staff at Northwest Medical Center
www.lovinlifeafter50.com 11/20/13 8:22 AM
The Widow’s Corner Oblivious
: : by Terry Ratner, RN, MFA
have a lump on my right breast. It might be benign or it may be cancerous. I had to type the word “benign” before the “C” word, as if to convince myself that it was second in line, inconsequential, a low probability, a word in the distance. I discovered the nodule on May 16 while taking a bath. As I washed my chest area, I felt a marble-sized hardness on the lateral left side. I had never felt a breast lump on myself or anyone else. It’s not at all good when your nodule is “palpable” from the outside. Cancer, if that is what it is, works cunningly from the inside out. Detection and treatment often work more slowly and gropingly from the outside in. As a nurse, I’ve always been aware of the possibility, but it was something that happened to someone else—a lover, a patient, a friend or a person of high profile. There is an automatic course of events which follow after one finds a lump. The cycle begins with panic and shock. A call to the internist is next even though you know how they will respond. I hoped to hear, “that doesn’t feel like a lump we need to be concerned about” or “it’s probably a cyst.” But instead my doctor took his hand and felt around the area in question and said, “You need to follow up with a mammogram and ultrasound early next week.” The radiologist at the breast center came into the exam room after viewing my results and told me, “It’s definitely a nodule, not a cyst, but it looks benign. I’d advise you to wait six months and repeat the ultrasound.” That is the type of response I needed to hear, the kind of wishful diagnostic statement that makes you clap your hands, stump your feet and say, “Hallelujah, thank you God.” But at the same time I wondered if it was prudent to wait six months. “Why do you think it’s benign?” I asked him. I needed to know what he based his assumption on. “We have certain criteria we go by and your nodule doesn’t appear to be cancer,” he said as he handed
me his written report which reflected those exact words. Probably benign. Advised patient to wait six months and repeat ultrasound. I wanted to know more about the word “criteria” but it seemed to be either a secret he couldn’t or preferred not to divulge. It was the beginning of summer and I wanted to believe what he said. I wasn’t going to dispute or examine the criteria with him, as if I was his colleague looking at a case study. I’d been living with my boyfriend for the past six months and I didn’t want anything to interfere with the relationship, no problems to complicate things. I felt as if I deserved to enjoy my new life to the fullest: sexy seaside vacations, fancy dinners out with friends, trips to Napa and New York, and building merging family relationships. There was no place for surgical procedures, incisions, scars, a possible mastectomy, radiation, catheters, chemo were all to be avoided—the regimen that follows with most breast cancer diagnosis. I’m a nurse. I know too much. I keep the newly discovered lump from my boyfriend, family and friends. I don’t want to think about it and besides, I knew exactly how they would react. They would tell me to have it biopsied, no matter what anyone said. Then they would listen to my lame excuses and beg me to be sensible. They would ask me what I would tell them to do under the circumstances. So I avoid that conversation. It’s been three years since my husband died from cancer. I’m just beginning to live again and I’m not going to let a tiny lump spoil things. Not now. Not ever. So I’ll continue living as if nothing has changed. But every time I undress or shower, I’m aware of this tiny foreign object inside of me—hoping it might disappear as suddenly as it appeared. Terry J. Ratner, RN, MFA is a health educator at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. Visit her website at www.terryratner. com. Send comments to info@terryratner. com.
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December 2013 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : page 9
Ask the Old Bag
N OW O P E N!
Advice for the Over-50 Crowd
: : by Gayle M. Lagman-Creswick
ear Old Bag: On March 7, 2008, my husband died at age 83. We were married 61 years. We were alone at his death. We have one loving daughter in Alaska with three grown children and grandchildren. We have one deceased daughter and son-in-law with grown sons and grandchildren in Idaho and South Dakota. It’s now been five years since my husband’s death. Our daughter has been to see me for two days. My grandsons never came. I feel it is because I live with my sister and brother-in-law. The daughter does call six nights a week. I feel I have been shunned. It hurts. Please give me your advice. Sincerely, CMF Grand Junction, Colo.
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page 10 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : December 2013
ear CMF: Forgive me for shortening your letter, but hope I got the gist! I feel for you and understand how you feel, having been through some of it myself. I think what you describe is very common. I hear from those who complain about not seeing their children and grandchildren who live in the same city! One thing I know for sure is that families are busy nowadays. Remember when people had time to sit in the porch swing and drink lemonade? Young families today can’t do that. Busy is part of it. The other part of it is that they have no idea how important their visits and messages are to us, and they will not understand it until it happens to them! I am sure it is a factor that you are living with your sister. Visiting there is not the same as visiting you at your home. I believe we have to be happy with what we get. We can either make ourselves unhappy over it, or say, “My daughter calls me six days a week. Isn’t that wonderful?” If you are able, you should visit them. Don’t wait until they invite you. Call them and say, I would like to visit you. What date would work for you?” Signed, O.B. Dear Old Bag: ‘Tis the season, and what do I buy for my well-to-do married children and grandchildren? They have everything! I am ready to say “no more gifts.” Signed, Help!
ear Help: My son put me on to this: He said, “Mom we do not want you to buy any more traditional gifts for us or our kids. We would like you to write something for each. It could be a story of when you were a kid, or an anecdote, or an event, but it would be something from your heart.” One year I wrote them about what their dad was like as a little boy. This is another idea that I like and have mentioned before: Give them something of yours to treasure. Start giving away those things that your kids will have to figure out what to do with after you are gone. They may not treasure it now, but when you are gone, they will be happy to have something you gave them, and they can pass it on to their children. Signed, O.B.
ear Old Bag: Since the giftgiving season is upon us, I would like your help in gift-giving for our grandparents, who I am sure have everything they need. Suggestions, please. Signed, Out of Ideas Dear Out of Ideas: This may seem utilitarian, but I am in favor of talking to them and say, “Gramma, we are going to buy you a gift, but we would feel better if we bought something you wanted. So what would you like?” I personally love gift cards to my favorite book store, restaurant or clothing store. I do not want “things” such as knick knacks that my kids will have to get rid of when I die. When my dad died we found one drawer full of unopened pajamas and another full of unopened shirts. Good luck. Signed, O.B. Dear Readers: This month’s assignment for those who want to show the younger generation how to get along and respect each other: Make one friend who is different from yourself.
If you have a question for The Old Bag, please send it to: Ask the Old Bag c/o Lovin’ Life After 50, 3200 N. Hayden Road, Suite 210, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 or lagmancreswick@cox. net.
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Making a List—of Nice Things for Your Finances
: : by Teresa Bear
n this busy time of year, it’s tough to focus on money issues. However, some things just can’t wait until January. Here are five things to do in December to take advantage of tax and financial rules to make next year a more prosperous year. Take tax losses As I write this article at the beginning of November, the stock market reached another all-time high last week. It is likely that if you’ve invested in stocks, you have made money this year. However, you may also have some losers in your portfolio. If this is the case, you may want to investigate selling them to offset gains that you have elsewhere in your portfolio. If you like the company and believe that the long-term prospects are good, you can always buy the stock back in January. Just make sure that you wait at least 31 days to avoid the “wash sale” rules. Be True to Your School The Arizona state school tax credits are some of the best deals around. When my son graduated from the New School of Arts and Academics in Tempe (Yes, this is a shameless plug for the school), he asked me to continue to make donations to the school that he attended and loved. For those of you who have grandchildren or want to support a neighborhood school, this is a great way to provide additional funds to a school that you care about. You receive a federal tax deduction (if you itemize) and a direct dollar-fordollar credit on your Arizona state taxes. There are credits for public as well as private schools. Say goodbye to estimated taxes with form W-4V One of the ironies of retired life is that paying your taxes may be more complicated than when you were working. When you were working, you likely had most of your tax liability withheld from your wages and reported on form W-2. When your employer is no longer paying taxes on your behalf, it’s up to you to find
another way to pay your federal taxes. Many CPAs use form 1040-ES, which requires taxpayers to send a quarterly payment to the IRS. This can be time consuming and cumbersome. To avoid this headache, I use the IRS Form W-4V to withhold the annual tax liability from my client’s Social Security payments. To find out if this will work to simplify your life, check with your local Social Security office, your tax preparer, or visit www.irs.gov/ w4v. It doesn’t work for everybody, but many retirees can utilize this method of paying their taxes instead of having to worry about making those pesky estimated tax payments.
QualifyingCharitableOrganizations. aspx Like the school credits, you will receive a dollar-for-dollar credit against your taxes. The state of Arizona is allowing you to be generous on its behalf. It’s a win-win situation for you and the charity of your choice. Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and have a prosperous New Year!
Make sure that Uncle Sam doesn’t put coal in your stocking next April If you were born before July 1, 1943, and have a 401(k) or IRA account, you are subject to the rules regarding required minimum distributions. The penalties if you don’t take your distribution out are high—50 percent of the distribution that you should have taken. So be sure to get the money out before the end of the year. Keep in mind that some administrators have a Dec. 15 cutoff date for processing payments. Don’t wait till New Year’s Eve to get this done. Also, you may want to investigate setting up automatic required distributions from your account while you’re setting up your required distribution this year. Some providers will automatically calculate and send you your RMD each year.
Investment advisory services provided by Brookstone Capital Management, LLC., a SEC registered investment advisor. The information in this article describes general guidelines and suggestions for preventing identity theft. In no way should it be deemed as advice for any individual circumstance or situation.
Help Those Less Fortunate This time of year is often the time when people focus on the needs of those less fortunate then themselves. Food banks and shelters are often overwhelmed with merchandise gifts this time of year, but green cash is always welcome. The state of Arizona assists in your philanthropy by allowing you to take a credit for charities that help the working poor. There are many charities that qualify. The complete 13-page list is found at www.azdor.gov/TaxCredits/
Teresa Bear, CFP, CPA (www.TeresaBear. com), specializes in retirement planning and asset preservation for retirees and those about to retire. Bear is the author of the new book “She Retired Happily Ever After.” Send questions to TBear@JCGrason.com.
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December 2013 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : page 11
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calendar Dec. 1 Sunday Bob Kay, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sonoran Ballroom, 5536 E. Grant Rd., $4, 883-5491. The singing drummer/DJ plays “oldies but goodies” at a nonsmoking dance. “Southwestern Holiday Scenes,” throughout December, Madaras Gallery, 3001 E. Skyline, Suite 101, free, 615-3001, www.madaras.com. Tucson’s Diana Madaras—one of the region’s most influential artists— captures the essence of the holidays in true Southwestern tradition. Dec. 2 Monday
Booths • Exhibits • Entertainment
Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 Doubletree Hotel
SCORE Business Consulting, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Dr., Oro Valley, free, 505-3636. Free one-on-one counseling to small business owners. Dec. 3 Tuesday Introduction to Computers, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Valencia Branch Library, 202 W. Valencia Rd., free, 594-5390. In this fun, hands-on course, students will lean the basic computer skills including the use of a mouse and keyboard. Dec. 4 Wednesday Sons of Orpheus 16th Annual Holiday Benefit Concert, 7 p.m., Berger Center for the Performing Arts, ASDB Campus, 1200 W. Speedway, admission by freewill offering of cash or nonperishable food item, www. sonsoforpheus.org. Holiday-themed choral music to benefit the Tucson Community Food Bank. Dec. 5 Thursday Guided Tour of the Barrio de Tubac Archaeological Site, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., repeats Dec. 18, Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, 1 Burruel St., Tubac, $10, reservations required, 398-2252, info@ TubacPresidio.org. Special tour by local experts of the Spanish colonial archaeological site just south of the park which preserves the remains of the original Tubac town site.
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Living with Dementia for Individuals with Alzheimer’s Three-Part Series, 9 a.m. Dec. 5, Dec. 12, Dec. 19, Alzheimer’s Association office, 3003 S. Country Club, Suite 209, free, 322-6601. Dec. 6 Friday Walking Tours of Old Town Tubac, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., repeats Dec. 13, Dec. 20 and Dec. 27, Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, 1 Burruel St., Tubac, $10, registration required, 398-2252, info@TubacPresidio.org. Guided tours of the “Old Town” section of Tubac with Alice Keene, every
Friday through March. Explore the original adobe buildings and discover the rich heritage of Arizona’s first European settlement. Holiday Nights, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., repeats Dec. 7, Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, $10 to $15, 742-6455, www.tohonochulpark.org. Meander with hot cocoa or a glass of wine and check out the more than one million lights. Christmas Apple Festival, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., repeats 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7, Willcox Community Center, 312 W. Stewart St., Willcox, free, 384-2272, www. willcoxchamber.com. The country crafts fair features handcrafted arts and crafts and quality reproductions, entertainment, door prizes. Luminaria Nights, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., thru Dec. 8, Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way, $5 to $11, 326-9686, www.tucsonbotanical.org. More than 2,000 traditional luminarias line the gardens. Event also features cider and cookies, and music by 30 different musical groups, from madrigal singers to classical music. Dec. 7 Saturday Oro Valley Holiday Festival of the Arts, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., repeats 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8, Oro Valley Marketplace, Oracle and Tangerine roads, free, http:// saaca.org or www.orovalleyfestival.org. Up to 150 artists in all mediums display their wares while musicians perform on the main stage. There are also food vendors, family arts activities and holiday performances. Celebration of Basketry and Native Foods Festival, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Rd., free with museum admission of $4 to $12, 883-2702, www.desertmuseum. org. Join hundreds of native basket weavers and food producers for a dynamic celebration of tribal food and fiber traditions. Includes basket marketplace, chef and traditional cook demonstrations, traditional singing and dancing, basketry presentations and a film showcase. Indoor Craft and Flea Market, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Singles and Friends Inc., 2447 N. Los Altos Ave., free admission, 623-7875, www.singlesandfriendsinc.com. Rent a table for $10 or come to shop. Birthday Night Potluck and Dinner, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Singles and Friends Inc., 2447 N. Los Altos Ave., $5 members, $7 nonmembers, 623-7875, www. singlesandfriendsinc.com. Join the group for birthday cake and finger food with DJ Robert. Chest-Compression-Only CPR Presentation and Hands-On Skills Training, 9:30 a.m., University
of Arizona Medical Center—University Campus, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., free but reservations requested, 626-4146, email@example.com. Class presented by the REACT (Resuscitation Education and CPR Training) Group, UA College of Medicine—Tucson medical students dedicated to teaching people life-saving skills.
Fourth Avenue Fall Street Fair, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., thru Dec. 15, on Fourth Avenue between Ninth Street and University Boulevard, free, 624-5004, www.fourthavenue. org. Event will house more than 400 arts and craft booths, food, entertainers and musicians from around the United States, two stages and street performers and an art area for kids.
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Dec. 8 Sunday Bob Kay, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays, New Moon Lounge, 915 W. Prince Rd., $2, 883-5491. The singing drummer/ DJ plays “oldies but goodies” at a nonsmoking dance. Venue offers 10 percent discount on food and drinks to seniors.
Waypoint Theatre Company’s “O. Henry’s: The Gift of the Magi,” 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., repeats 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 14, and 3 p.m. Dec. 15, Scottish Rite Cathedral’s Campbell Room, 160 S. Scott., $11.95 to $21.95, (800) 838-3006, www.waypoint-theatre.org.
Dec. 9 Monday
“A Celtic Celebration!” 7 p.m. Ascension Lutheran Church, 1220 W. Magee Rd., $15 in advance, $18 at the door, free for children 10 and younger, 404-3148, www. southernarizonawomenschorus.org.
Tucson Community Stroke Support Group, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., University of Arizona Medical Center, Cafeteria Dining Room C, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., free but reservations required, 626-2901. Facilitated by Leslie Ritter, PhD, RN, and supported by The University of Arizona Medical Center, College of Nursing and Sarver Heart Center. For stroke survivors and caregivers to learn more about stroke, to find positive solutions to shared concerns and to unite in support of each other. Dec. 10 Tuesday “Christmas at San Xavier,” 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. thru Dec. 12, Mission San Xavier del Bac, 1950 W. San Xavier Rd., $90 ($70 tax-deductible), 407-6130, www. sonsoforpheus.org. The Sons of Orpheus in collaboration with the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus perform to benefit the restoration and preservation of the mission. Dec. 11 Wednesday Walking Tours of Tubac’s Art History, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., repeats Dec. 28, Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, 1 Burruel St., Tubac, $20, reservations required, 398-2252, www.TubacPresidio.org. Learn why Tubac is the town where “Art and History Meet.” Allow two hours for the tour and bring walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. Dec. 12 Thursday Green Valley Stroke Support Group, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m, Zuni Room, La Perla at La Posada, 635 S. Park Center Ave, Green Valley, free but reservations required, 626-2901. Facilitated by Leslie Ritter, PhD, RN, and supported by The University of Arizona Medical Center, College of Nursing and Sarver Heart Center. For stroke survivors and caregivers to learn more about stroke, to find positive solutions to shared concerns and to unite in support of each other. Dementia and Caregiving During the Holidays, 9:30 a.m., Joyner-Green Valley Branch Library, 601 N. La Canada Dr., Green Valley, free, 322-6601. Dec. 13 Friday Holiday Nights, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., repeats Dec. 14, Tohono Chul Park Tohono Chul Park, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, $10 to $15, 742-6455, www.tohonochulpark.org. Features more than one million lights blanketing the park.
Dec. 14 Saturday Africa Night Dance Fusion, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole Ave., $8 at the door, 888-1262, www.solarculture.org. Features the reggae band Rockers Uptown and DJ Moss Ross playing a mix of African music and R&B tunes. “A Southwest Nutcracker,” 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., repeats 2 p.m. Dec. 15, Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave., $16 to $35, 885-0862, www.tucsonregionalballet. org. Featuring the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the original, full-length classical ballet translates the traditional Nutcracker to Tucson in the 1880s complete with the battle of the coyotes and the U.S. Cavalry. Diaspora Showcase Africa: Fashion, Music, Food, Dance and Entertainment, 6 p.m., Etherton Gallery, 135 S. Sixth Ave., $45 in advance only, 8881262, www.diasporashowcase.com, diasporashowcase@ juno.com. The award-winning Diaspora Showcase Africa, hosted by TV actor Walter Jones will feature spring collections from fashion designers. Performances will include acoustic, blues and jazz interpretations. Pizza Night and Dance, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Singles and Friends Inc., 2447 N. Los Altos Ave., $5 members, $7 nonmembers, 623-7875, www. singlesandfriendsinc.com. Join the group for pizza, but bring a dish to share. DJ Dale provides the entertainment. Dec. 15 Sunday “A Celtic Celebration!” 3 p.m. Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd., $15 in advance, $18 at the door, free for children 10 and younger, 404-3148, www.southernarizonawomenschorus. org. Bob Kay, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays, New Moon Lounge, 915 W. Prince Rd., $2, 883-5491. The singing drummer/ DJ plays “oldies but goodies” at a nonsmoking dance. Venue offers 10 percent discount on food and drinks to seniors. ...continues on page 14
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calendar Dec. 16 Monday
... from page 13 Dec. 23 Monday
Sweater Nanas, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Joyner-Green Valley Branch Library, 601 N. La Canada Dr. Green Valley, free, 594-5295.
Sweater Nanas, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Joyner-Green Valley Branch Library, 601 N. La Canada Dr. Green Valley, free, 594-5295.
Dec. 17 Tuesday
Dec. 24 Tuesday
Learn to Play Better Chess with Roger, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Joyner-Green Valley Branch Library, 601 La Canada Dr., Green Valley, free, 594-5295. Dec. 18 Wednesday Writers’ Workshop, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Dr., Oro Valley, free, 229-5300. Join the group for an opportunity to discuss programs and creative writing techniques. Dec. 19 Thursday Green Valley Genealogical Society, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., St. Francis in the Valley Episcopal Church, 600 S. La Canada Dr., Green Valley, free, 396-4630, joannherbst@ cox.net. Clarice Bird will discuss “Give Me Land, Lots of Land,” a description of types of land records and their genealogical significance. The short program is “Document Detailed Oral Histories of Living Relatives” by Andy Rosen. “Heart Transplantation: The Future and the Present,” 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Canoa Hills Social Center, 3660 S. Camino del Sol, Green Valley, free, http:// tinyurl.com/Green-Valley-Lectures. Presented by the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and led by Dr. Zain Khalpey. Dec. 20 Friday Introduction to Excel, 8:30 a.m. to 9:50 a.m., Eckstrom Columbus Branch Library, 4350 E. 22nd St., free, 594-5285. Prior experience with the computer and an understanding of the Windows operating system is recommended. Dec. 21 Saturday Downtown Parade of Lights, 6 p.m., Armory Park, 221 S. Sixth Ave., free, 837-6504, www.downtowntucson. com. The 18th annual event features a holiday parade with commercial, nonprofit, community entries, Santa, lighted vehicles, floats, music, food and musical groups. Mistletoe Ball and Potluck Dinner, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Singles and Friends Inc., 2447 N. Los Altos Ave., $5 members, $7 nonmembers, 623-7875, www. singlesandfriendsinc.com. Bring a gift and receive a gift. Baked potatoes will be furnished; bring toppings for them. DJ Robert will entertain. Dec. 22 Sunday Bob Kay, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays, New Moon Lounge, 915 W. Prince Rd., $2, 883-5491. The singing drummer/DJ plays “oldies but goodies” at a nonsmoking dance. Venue offers 10 percent discount on food and drinks to seniors.
page 14 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : December 2013
Merry Christmas Eve from all of us at Lovin’ Life After 50. Dec. 25 Wednesday Merry Christmas from all of us at Lovin’ Life After 50. Dec. 26 Thursday Digital Downloads, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., Miller-Golf Links Branch Library, 9640 E. Golf Links Rd., free, 5945355. This class offers students the information needed to use devices to download ebooks and audiobooks. Dec. 27 Friday Urban Yarns at the Library, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave., free, 791-4010. Bring your hooks, needles and lunches to this informal weekly gathering. Dec. 28 Saturday New Year’s Eve Dance and Potluck, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Singles and Friends Inc., 2447 N. Los Altos Ave., $5 members, $7 nonmembers, 623-7875, www. singlesandfriendsinc.com. Casseroles will be furnished; bring a dish to share. DJ Dale entertains. Dec. 29 Sunday Bob Kay, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays, New Moon Lounge, 915 W. Prince Rd., $2, 883-5491. The singing drummer/ DJ plays “oldies but goodies” at a nonsmoking dance. Venue offers 10 percent discount on food and drinks to seniors. Dec. 30 Monday Sweater Nanas, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Joyner-Green Valley Branch Library, 601 N. La Canada Dr. Green Valley, free, 594-5295. Dec. 31 Tuesday New Year’s Eve Gala, 6:30 p.m., Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, 3800 E. Sunrise Dr., $199 to $240, 9031265, www.tucsonjazz.org. The Tucson Jazz Orchestra is reunited under the direction of Jeff Haskell, which performs along with the Jim Cullum Band, stars of “Riverwalk Jazz” on NPR and XM, and George Howard’s Motown and Rhythm & Blues Show.
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hristmas seems to come faster with every passing year. Once you pack up the tinsel and tree, it’s time to take them back out again! Not that we’re complaining. This magical time of year is a wonderful occasion to meet up with the kids and grandkids. So that got us thinking about family get-togethers. Sometimes gathering the family in one room can lead to touchy subjects, but usually it’s a fun, fruitful time to catch up with your loved ones and play games, eat like kings and give as much as you get. However, not all families get along famously. In fact, famous families often have the roughest time getting along. So, to celebrate the holidays, we dug up some dirt about famous families that must have led to awkward holiday moments.
Trivia–Famous Family Feuds
1 2 3 4 5
What politician’s daughters have made headlines for being on opposing sides of the same-sex marriage issue? What pop star’s mother had her guardianship of her grandchildren suspended when she disappeared to Arizona for 10 days? Which pop megastar has a homeless brother who is none too impressed by her fame and failure to help him out financially? Nicholas Longworth, an early 1900s Republican member of the house, didn’t back his fatherin-law’s bid for the presidency. Who was his father-in-law? What famous wrestler and his wife split up in 2007 and both started dating people 20 to 30 years younger?
To enter simply:
On a sheet of paper list the correct answers in order 1 through 5. Include your full name, mailing address, phone number and an email address (if you have one). Mail your trivia contest entry to: Lovin’ Life After 50 Attn: Trivia Contest 3200 N. Hayden, Suite 210 Scottsdale, AZ 85251
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Last Month’s Answers
1 2 3 4 5
The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in Plymouth, Mass. Each year before Thanksgiving the president of the United States “pardons” a turkey, which will roam free for the rest of its life. Americans spent $875 million on turkey meat in 2011. That’s a lot of turkey! A solution of water and salt that adds moisture to turkey meat is called brine. In 1941 Thanksgiving become a federal holiday.
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December 2013 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : page 15
Tinseltown Talks The Real Rod Serling
: : by Nick Thomas
t’s been called one of the most influential programs in the history of television drama. “The Twilight Zone,” an anthology series that aired in the early 1960s, was created by Rod Serling (1924-1975), a veteran of radio and World War II. Both influenced his career as a writer. “When he returned from war in the Philippines, he went to college and wrote for the campus radio station,” daughter Anne Serling recently recalled to me. “He later wrote plays for commercial radio, then television. He said writing was a way to get the war trauma ‘out of his gut.’” During the show’s five-year run, Serling was executive producer and chief writer, penning more than half the some 150 episodes. But he is best remembered as the program’s stone-faced host, whose foreboding narrations introduced the show each week. In biographies after his death,
the master storyteller of chilling sci-fi and fantasy tales was often described as dark and depressed, inaccuracies that led Anne “to set the record straight” in her own book about her father. “He was described as a tortured soul, but that wasn’t my father at all,” said Anne, who published “As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling in 2013.” “Although the war left scars, he was also a very positive, fun, down-toearth person. My friends adored him and any apprehension they had about meeting him would instantly dissolve because he could make anyone feel at ease. He was brilliantly funny at home, a great practical joker, and was always at the dinner table each night.” As a child, Anne had little knowledge of her father’s career. “I knew he was a writer, but didn’t know what he wrote about until I was about 7. Some mean boy on the school playground
page 16 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : December 2013
Rod Serling chats with Charlton Heston on the set of “Planet Of The Apes” with director Franklin Schaffner.
asked if I was ‘something out of the “Twilight Zone,”’ but I had no idea what that meant because I wasn’t allowed to watch much TV during the week—my mother’s rule! A few years later, we watched ‘Nightmare at 20,000 Feet’ together, the episode
where William Shatner sees a gremlin on an airplane wing. I remember looking at my father and thinking ‘this is what you write?’ It was a bit scary.” Praised for his original fiction writing, Serling was also highly respected for raising social issues
in some episodes although controversial topics were subject to the censors’ whim. So he frequently concealed his intent in fantasy. “He famously once said he could have aliens say things that Democrats and Republicans couldn’t,” Anne recalled. Several “Twilight Zone” actors also shared vivid memories of Serling. Theodore Bikel is well-known to fans of “My Fair Lady” as Henry Higgins’ rival linguist, the nosey Zoltan Karpathy. In July 1960, Austrian-born Bikel appeared on a Hollywood TV talk show, “Caucus with Backus,” and was verbally assailed by fellow guests—glamorous silent film actress Corinne Griffith and beloved character actor Adolphe Menjou. “We were talking politics and they said I had no right to open my mouth because I wasn’t born Mariette Hartley Robert Lansing in “The Twilight in this country,” recalled Bikel. Zone” episode The Long Morrow. Appalled, Serling appeared on a “He said he would be delighted later program defending Bikel’s right to freedom of speech. “I will never and I can still see him sitting in the forget how Rod came to my defense. I teacher’s desk at the front of the later appeared in the ‘Twilight Zone’ classroom talking to us,” Mariette said. “Years later, when I started episode ‘Four O’Clock,’ in 1962.” Ann Jillian and Mariette Hartley working in Hollywood, I met him were teenagers when they first met again when his limousine pulled up Serling. “I was 13 when I starred in as I was walking out the studio. He the episode, ‘Mute,’” Ann recalled. remembered coming to my class. I “I was very excited about doing the told him I was looking for work and popular show. Mr. Serling made me within a couple of months he gave me feel at ease and didn’t talk down to the wonderful gift of working in ‘The Long Morrow’ episode.” me.” Today, Serling continues to inspire And after seeing him on TV, a other moviemakers. J.J. Abrams, gutsy 14-year old Mariette Hartley director of the new “Star Trek” films, telephoned Serling and asked him to has called “The Twilight Zone” a big speak to her Connecticut high school infl uence on his career and reportedly drama club. has secured the rights to adapt Serling’s last, neverproduced script, “The Stops Along the Way.” Until then, Rod Serling’s work is still available for your viewing pleasure, almost nightly, on classic TV cable channels …. in “The Twilight Zone.”
Anne Serling with father Rod in early 1970s.
Nick Thomas has written features and columns for more than 350 magazines and newspapers. He can be reached at his blog: http://getnickt.blogspot.com.
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With tighter regulations—and a big thumbs up from the Fonz—reverse mortgage lenders are striving to regain our trust. But can they really promise happy days ahead?
the Bad Rap on
REVERSE MORTGAGES By Jimmy Magahern
hen Terry Goddard’s mother-in-law told him she was considering taking on a reverse mortgage, the former Arizona Attorney General was, not surprisingly, a bit skeptical. After all, it was Goddard who, in his final term in office, declared the protection of Arizona’s seniors against fraud and exploitation his “No. 1 priority” and who, during a 2010 speech before a group of seniors in Sierra Vista, predicted “Reverse mortgages are the next wave of fraud.” “As A.G., I always thought that this was the next area of major problems, because they were
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being so hyped and oversold to a very vulnerable population,” says Goddard, who left the office in 2011 after an unsuccessful run for governor and has now returned to his law practice. “I saw it as a growing market, one where more and more people were becoming eligible. And unfortunately that makes it an attractive market for the shysters.” Inevitably, Goddard was right. More people took out reverse mortgages at the height of the housing crash than ever before— about 115,000 annually from 2007 to 2009, an amount that’s leveled off to about 55,000 last year. But, ...continues on page 20
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Reverse Mortgages... from page 18
with shades of the subprime mortgage meltdown, many were sold to homeowners who were bad risks for the loans. Some who were promised they could never lose their home by taking out a reverse mortgage, nevertheless did, by blowing the lump sum too soon or taking on risky investments, and not leaving enough for fees, property taxes and insurance, which the borrower still has to continue paying. Other couples were talked into putting only the oldest spouse’s name on the loan, which became a problem when that spouse passed on and the surviving spouse was faced with eviction. “There have been some scary things in some of the reverse mortgages I’ve seen,” Goddard says. “Things like adjustable rates, and hidden costs, and slippery terms that you need to watch out for. When I first heard that there was an adjustable rate for reverse mortgages, I was horrified. Because the main reason for entering a reverse mortgage is to get a regular, fixed, predictable payment. And you definitely don’t want that payment you get going down in the future. We
already have enough uncertainty in our later years.” Cracking the Nest Egg The way a reverse mortgage is supposed to work is like this: homeowners older than 62 are allowed to borrow up to (currently) $625,500 against the equity in their home, receiving the amount either as a lump sum, monthly installments, a line of credit or a mix of all three. The loan, plus the accumulated interest, is paid back to the bank from the sale or refinancing of the house when the homeowner dies, moves out or sells it. If the house sells for less than the value of the loan, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance covers the lenders’ losses. An attractive feature of the reverse mortgage is that it’s a nonrecourse loan, meaning borrowers are not personally liable to repay the loan—which also applies to their heirs, who won’t get stuck with a debt, although they also won’t inherit the equity. “That’s the biggest advantage of reverse mortgages,” says Sandy McKee, loan
adviser at Sunstreet Mortgage in Tucson. “You’ll never have to pay back more than the net proceeds from the sale of your home, even if it sells for less than the original loan.” Still, that doesn’t mean a house can’t be foreclosed on, if the borrower fails to leave enough in the till to cover the regular obligations of paying property tax, insurance and maintenance of the home. Dana Anspach, president of the Arizona-based Sensible Money LLC and author of the financial advice book, “Control Your Retirement Destiny,” feels that’s an unfair objection to raise against taking on a reverse mortgage. “Those are just things you have to do anyway, regardless of whether or not you have a reverse mortgage!” she exclaims. “It always drives me crazy when I hear that. What happens if you don’t have a mortgage at all and you don’t pay your taxes? They can still take your home!” Even so, the figures have been alarming. The current default rate for reverse mortgages is around one in 10, according to the Consumer Protection Bureau—up from roughly 2 percent a decade ago. In many cases, savings-poor Baby Boomers were
RING IN THE HOLIDAYS WITH A CHANCE AT
Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, who prioritized protecting seniors against fraud while in office, says he was surprised when his mother-in-law told him she was considering a reverse mortgage.
talked into draining the equity out of their homes too early—at 62, when a homeowner becomes eligible—and were encouraged to draw most of it out at closing, which sometimes went toward bad investments, leaving not enough to pay the continued financial upkeep on the home. With many of us living longer lives, retirees who crack
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of the stipulations of the loan is that the house must remain your primary residence for more than 180 days a year, which could become a problem if the borrower becomes ill and needs to go into assisted living, or move in with a relative. If you live outside of the home for more than 12 months, the loan will have to be repaid. “And then what do you do?” Goddard asks. “These loans can’t be redone. Once that equity’s taken out, it’s gone.” ‘Fonzie’ Scheme In TV commercials running on networks geared toward older adults, Henry Winkler pitches the advantages of reverse mortgages to the over-60 set. The former Fonzie, his famous black ducktail now a dignified grey and his leather jacket replaced by a pastel dress shirt and khakis, announces he’s here to tell folks 62 years and older about “a great way to live a better retirement.” “Things sure have changed, haven’t they?” he says, before launching into the two-minute mini-infomercial. For Baby Boomers entering their 60s, Winkler (who actually closes one ad with the phrase, “There can still be so many happy times ahead of you”) comes across as a reassuring and trustworthy friend as the face of One Reverse Mortgage, a subsidiary of Quicken Loans and the company ranked by HUD as the largest reverseonly mortgage lender in the United States. “Who doesn’t trust the Fonz?” Goddard observes, with a laugh.
experience his father-in-law had with a reverse mortgage. Nevertheless, Smith agrees he’s a perfect paid spokesman to attract the huge influx of Baby Boomers now settling into their 60s. “We know that there are 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day,” he says. “That’s going to continue for 20 years. We know that right now there are about 25 million folks 65 and older that are homeowners, and two-thirds of them don’t have a mortgage. What a reverse mortgage does for folks is it allows them to liberate that money tied up in their home for other things.” However, Smith bristles at the suggestion that people in this age group are too young to be tapping into the equity of their homes. Today nearly half of homeowners considering a reverse mortgage are under age 70, according to HUD statistics, compared to 1990, when the average person taking advantage of the plan was in their late 70s. A recent MetLife study reports a 67 percent majority of them are doing it to lift themselves out of the dire straits caused by the financial crisis. Boomers are often referred to as the generation that has tragically undersaved, and some advisers fear they may be too quickly exhausting their one source of equity as a result. Smith maintains the situation is not quite so desperate for many of their clients, and that many are, in fact, liberating that “tax-free cash that you can use for anything” to live the good life Winkler touts in the ads—taking well-earned vacations, putting in home
Happier Days If you’re still not quite able to reverse your fears about taking on a reverse mortgage, the good news is that today’s most-utilized version of the program, the FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or HECM, has recently been revamped with new rules aimed
at better protecting the borrower. Earlier this year, the FHA eliminated the program choice which allowed homeowners to withdraw the maximum amount of money available in one big lump sum, requiring them to receive it in monthly payments better suited for today’s longer lifespans and rising health care costs. Starting in January, borrowers will also have to submit to a credit check and income assessment, to ensure they’ll be able to make their required property tax, utility bills and insurance payments over the life of the loan. Understandably, not all lenders are thrilled about the changes, as they in effect will make it harder to qualify people for the loan. “They’re already required to go through a counseling session before they’re even allowed to take on a reverse mortgage—that’s one of the FHA mandates,” says Anspach. “That in itself should educate people on whether it’s right for them. It’s only the kind of person who constantly overspends who will not be able to maintain the house and continue to pay the property tax. And they need to look at downsizing their habits in general, not just avoiding a reverse mortgage.” ...continues on page 22 ADAM MORENO
improvements and so on. “This program is not strictly for folks who are in a needsbased situation,” he says. “We also offer a program where you can use a reverse mortgage to buy another home. The issue is not so much that you can take it out too young, it’s how you utilize that reverse mortgage In TV commercials running on networks geared toward older adults, Henry Winkler, to balance your retirement the former Fonzie on “Happy Days,” pitches the advantages of reverse mortgages to the years.” As for all the naysaying over-60 set. Today nearly half of homeowners considering a reverse mortgage are under and hand wringing, Smith the age of 70, according to statistics. says the worries over reverse Gregg Smith, CEO of One Reverse, open their nest egg too soon may find mortgages have been overhyped. themselves outliving their money— insists the still actively working Winkler “We have a saying: ‘Think in reverse,’” which is not always as good as it sounds. (who last year had choice recurring TV “You get to live in your house for life, roles in “Parks and Recreation” and he says. “Most of the bad things that whether or not you’ve exhausted your the rebooted “Arrested Development”) you hear about reverse mortgage, just reverse mortgage,” says Goddard. But has a “personal connection” with think the reverse of what you’re being that can also be a curse, if the borrower the program—in interviews, Winkler told. That’s generally the case with ends up needing care later in life. One has said he was inspired by a positive most attributes of the program.”
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Still others feel the government is “She was too young to really get taking tighter control over a job the much benefit from it,” he says. “She more reputable lender already does had a nice house in Florida, was on his own. “I look very closely at looking at reverse mortgages, and the borrower’s situation to determine we ended up thinking it just wasn’t whether or not it even worth it.” Spread out makes sense for them over what the actuary to consider one,” says tables estimate as the McKee. “And I have had average lifespan— to advise some people today a 65-year-old against it,” he adds. woman has a better For his part, Goddard, than 70 percent chance a former HUD agent, of living over 85 (versus is happy about the new 40 percent for men)— FHA restrictions. “I’m and taking into account glad they’ve stepped in, the upfront fees and because people need to interest charges, “she look at it more carefully, would have gotten a and it’s certainly not for Dana Anspach, president fairly small monthly of Arizona-based Sensible payment everybody.” for the In the end, Goddard Money LLC is the author of asset,” Goddard advised his mother- the financial book, “Control says. “I told her she’d in-law to pass on the Your Retirement Destiny.” probably do better reverse mortgage—at least for now. selling her house and investing the Even at 70, the age she was at when proceeds in a secure bank account or she came to Goddard and his wife to money market fund. discuss the loan, his mother-in-law was “Now, if she had been 10 years still considered a “young senior” given older,” he adds, “it might have made today’s longevity standards. more sense.”
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EVEN EXCHANGE by Donna Pettman Each numbered row contains two clues and two answers. The two answers differ from each other by only one letter, which has already been inserted. For example, if you exchange the A from MASTER for an I, you get MISTER. Do not change the order of the letters.
SUDOKU TIME Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each small 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine.
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Across 1. Baltic capital 5. Like some talk 10. First name in jeans 14. Dutch cheese 15. Inquisitive 16. A way out 17. Ethereal 18. Wedding 19. Thrill 20. Tucson native and star impressionist 23. Strange sky sight 24. Ground breaker 25. Go with the flow 29. And so on.... 32. “When pigs fly!” 36. Go back 38. In days of yore 40. Fury 41. Top class Phoenix resort 45. “Family ___” 46. Two singers 47. Called 48. Sweetie 51. He’s __ it all! 53. Reunion attendees 54. Manhattan ingredient 56. “I” problem 58. Phoenix native and Brat Pack member 66. Certain fund-raiser 67. Safari sighting 68. Certain glow 69. Metal 70. Unbending 71. Artery’s counterpart 72. Grant basis 73. Fresh-mouthed 74. Small whirlpool Down 1. Take in 2. Brain child 3. Clothing
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s y e C urn Jo lose to six million Americans carry the diagnosis of heart failure. Heart failure also is the leading cause of all hospitalizations in individuals older than the age of 64. Additionally, once hospitalized for heart failure, the patient carries a 30 percent risk of being readmitted with heart failure in the next 30 days. Can these admissions and readmissions be prevented or at least reduced? The answer is an astounding yes. The patient has a vital role in avoiding one of every ﬁve hospitalizations for heart failure. Furthermore, a dedicated patient may decrease the risk of annual readmission by almost 40 to 45 percent.
True-life tales from some of Arizona’s most fascinating residents.
The Roles of the Doctor The role of the cardiologist does not stop after diagnosing and treating the failing heart with medications, surgery and/or devices, such as pacemakers and deﬁbrillators. The role of the cardiologist is fourfold in such a setting. The cardiologist wears several hats. She not only has to connect with the patient, engage as an active listener, convey and deliver the arcia treatment plan, isbuta most Warwick redimportantly,headed she assumes the role of the bundle of energy. patient’s coach,anas well. During animated one-hour conversation at the Tanque Verde Connecting theCenter, Patient Ranch’s with Nature Warwick Onetells would think that for halves such of a guests about the two common disease as heart failure, the her life—her years in the motion treatment would be universal and incuta picture industry which led, and dry, as well. Unfortunately, round-about way, to her that gig is as not the case. There is no cookie cutter naturalist. approach failure.Warwick The treatment Forto heart 30 years, would plan not only has to complement smooth her red bob, smile in the the patient’s lifestyle, and dislikes, but mirror and likes proclaim, “It’s show also has to be to consistent abilities time!” preparewith forhisher days and habits. Most importantly, the working on the likes of “Theheart Love failureBoat,” treatment plan hasand to conform “Dynasty” “Mighty to theDucks beliefs of the patient. All the 2.” above-described patient characteristics From then on, she’s been have entertaining to be identiﬁfolks. ed, recognized and acknowledged by the doctor. A Brooklyn native, Warwick was Thefascinated cardiologist respectnature and withmust two things: acceptandthese characteristics in her ﬁlm. Ending a job as secretary patients. to Joey Bishop’s assistant, Warwick was soon hired as a production Active Listenerby Aaron Spelling assistant To Productions, be an active listener,for the and worked 19 cardiologist is lucky, as already years on such shows asshe “The Love has Boat” the important ingredients and “Dynasty.” In lieu of of compassion andcollege, care. However, attending she learnedactive from listening requiresincluding time and patience. heralso superiors, longtime To have time, the vital component friend and mentor Norm Henry.on her side, the cardiologist would need to schedule her Heart Failure Clinic with
Natural Entertainment : : by Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Photos by Adam Moreno
Marcia Warwick Tanque Verde Ranch Naturalist Her “Passion:” “I love this desert. To be able to share my knowledge and the information with guests, it’s a thrill. Local folks know, yeah, that’s a prickly pear, yeah, that’s a mesquite tree. But what we do on our nature walks is give them the information of what makes this desert tick.” Longtime Love of Nature: “While other kids were watching whatever other TV shows, I was into these nature shows, and I was the only kid on the block watching nature shows. Somewhere in here, there was a passion for nature. How cool is that?” Favorite Production: “Baby Blue Marine,” ﬁlmed in striking Mount Shasta, Calif., and starring Jan-Michael Vincent. “After dark, you could still see the top of the mountain. It had snow on it. This was June/July when we shot it. The location was very, very special. At night, I remember you would be starting to fall asleep, and there’s a train whistle off in the distance.” “‘The Love Boat’ was a biggie,” she says. “To have big stars on the show was fun. Before I even got into the business, I was in a movie theater watching them. Now we’re working together.” In 1969, Marcia married Larry Warwick, a onetime production designer for “Dark Shadows.” Larry was offered a job by MGM working on the series “The Young Riders,” so they moved to the Sonoran Desert of Tucson—and never looked back. When she wasn’t working on ﬁlms, TV shows or commercials, Warwick was volunteering for the Mounted Assist Unit at Saguaro National Park. One day, she turned in a pair of sunglasses to the lost and found department. “As I’m ﬁlling out the paperwork, I hear somebody talking to the supervisor at the visitor center, ‘Do you know if any of your volunteers are knowledgeable about the desert? If so, would they be interested in a job at the Nature Center at Tanque Verde Ranch?’ I just turned around and said, ‘It’s moi! Here I am.’”
page 26 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : December 2013
Most Fascinating Star: John Forsythe from “Dynasty.” “He was the kindest, sweetest and nicest person. When the series was over, Norm had called him, and he was emotionally upset.” He thought he was depressed over the show’s wrap. “He said, ‘No, my wife just called and said our dog died.’ I thought, ‘Whoa.’”
Cholesterol: Know Your Numbers Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance involved with the production of our body’s cell membranes and hormones. It is naturally produced by the liver and obtained from our diet; mainly from egg yolk, meats, and shellfish. Although cholesterol is necessary for our body to function normally, too much cholesterol in our blood can lead to strokes and coronary artery disease (CAD), such as chest pain and heart attacks. High cholesterol often does not produce any warning signs until a heart attack or stroke occurs, thus it is recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) that adults 20 years of age and older test their cholesterol at least every 5 years. Lowering your cholesterol can reduce your risk of having these medical emergencies and needing heart bypass surgery or angioplasty. Understanding Your Cholesterol Numbers There are different elements of cholesterol. The most common elements include low density lipoproteins (LDL), high density lipoproteins (HDL), and triglycerides (TG). The desirable total cholesterol level which lowers the risk for CAD is less than 200 mg/dL. Individuals with levels higher than 240 mg/dL have twice the risk of developing CAD compared to those with levels less than 200 mg/dL. LDL cholesterol, often called the “bad” cholesterol, deposits in your arteries and can lead to a stroke and CAD. The LDL deposits form plaques in the arteries of your heart which decrease the oxygen supply to your heart and brain. This can progress to blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. In general, the desired LDL cholesterol level is less than 100 mg/dL for people at high risk for developing heart attacks. HDL cholesterol, often referred to as the “good” cholesterol, carries excess cholesterol from the blood back to the liver and then out of the body. Low HDL cholesterol levels less than 40 mg/ dL is a major risk factor for developing CAD. Conversely, levels above 60 mg/ dL decrease the risk for heart disease. The goal HDL cholesterol for women is greater than 50 mg/dL and for men greater than 40 mg/dL. TG is a form of fat that contributes to high levels of cholesterol and can
damage the pancreas at very high levels. The desired TG level is less than 150 mg/dL. High TG levels are associated with premature CAD and very high TG levels, those greater than 1000 mg/dL, can cause pancreatitis. Elevated TGs may be due to genetics but is more often a result from unhealthy lifestyle factors and obesity.
Lifestyle Changes To Improve Cholesterol Levels: • Increase physical activity to 60 minutes most days of the week • Limit cholesterol to less than 300 mg/day or to less than 200 mg/ day (which is almost the amount of cholesterol contained in 1 egg yolk) if you have high cholesterol • Limit saturated fat intake to less than 10 percent of your total daily calories • Limit alcohol consumption to no
more than 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men • Increase fiber intake to 25 g per day for women and 38 g per day for men • Stop smoking • Maintain a healthy weight For information about cholesterol medications or how to better manage your cholesterol, talk to your Walgreens pharmacist today! Walgreens offers cholesterol testing along with many other health tests.
ON MEDICARE PART B AND HAVE DIABETES?
New Medicare changes may limit where you can get your diabetes testing supplies. The good news is that diabetes testing supplies are available at every Walgreens along with: • Easy, direct billing of Medicare Part B and most supplemental insurance • A wide selection of major national brands • Convenient 90-day supplies
It’s easy to switch! Visit your local Walgreens or call 888-380-8051. Walgreens is an accredited Medicare Part B supplier of diabetes testing supplies.
December 2013 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : page 27 13MB0003_Diabetes_and_You_MedB_Ad.indd 1
3/11/13 3:53 PM
Easy-to-Update Items to Make Your New Home Yours T
...from page 24
his year more than 5.4 million homes were sold by the end of August, according to the National Association of Realtors. Before making any major renovations, it’s a good idea to live in a new home a while to see how the space is meeting your needs. Here are a few swift swaps that will have a big impact in making that new house feel like home sweet home.
Personalize with Paint It may be the most obvious update but painting is an easy solution to change the look of a room in an instant. Whether you paint an entire room, create a bold accent wall or incorporate glossy white trim, paint is an affordable fix for any home. You can easily and quickly bring your design ideas to life with Shape Tape from FrogTape. Available in three ontrend patterns: Wave, Chevron and Scallop, Shape Tape makes it simple to achieve unique, repetitive decorative painting styles. Each roll of tape features
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page 28 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : December 2013
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a pre-cut repeating pattern, so all you need to do is simply unroll, apply and get painting to create your desired look. From delicate, narrow waves throughout a bathroom or nursery, to bold, wide chevron patterns in the living area or bedroom, this tape can be used in any room of the house. Fabulous frames When moving into a new space, the things you love should take center stage. Once your home reflects who you are, the rest will slowly fall into place. Photo frames are the ideal choice to add a decorative and personalized touch to any room. Bring this common decor pick into the modern age by creating a personal gallery and displaying frames of varying shapes and sizes. To do this, plan the layout of the frames before hanging, either with paper on the wall or by arranging them on the floor. Or, you can simply purchase pre-arranged frame galleries at home decor retailers. Faucet focus Kitchen and bath makeovers tend to have the biggest impact on a home and its resale value. However, new homeowners who are strapped for cash may not have a large budget for a full-scale bathroom remodel. Fortunately, there are several basic swaps that can quickly change the look and feel of a bath. The easiest way to remodel your bathroom is to replace its hardestworking fixture—the faucet. This is a project new homeowners can tackle themselves at a reasonable price. Moen offers a wide variety of faucet options like the new single-handle Boardwalk bathroom faucet, to add a fresh, elegant look to the sink. Available at Lowe’s, Boardwalk fits almost any decor and comes in Moen’s Spot Resist Brushed Nickel finish, which resists fingerprints and water spots, so the faucet will stay looking clean as you show it off to family and friends. For a polished look, swap out old hardware with affordable, coordinated accessories including robe hooks, towel rings and towel bars. It’s very easy for decorating to become overwhelming for new homeowners. By starting with these few swift home decor swaps, your new home will be a comfortable and welcoming environment in no time.
SOCIALIZE. REL home Festive Sicilian Fig Bars ‘Cucidati’ : : by Jan D’Atri
SOCIALIZE. RELAX. RELAX. ENJOY. SOCIALIZE. ENJOY. SOCIALIZE. RELAX. ENJ
ou get two Italians together and it’s not long before the conversation settles food and family—especially during the holidays! Thus began my friendship with Vinny Dejohn, formerly the wine and specialty food buyer at Whole Foods Market in Scottsdale. Getting his suggestions for a good vintage was great, but getting his vintage family recipe for an Italian fig cookie was even greater. It’s one of the most delightful and delicious Sicilian holiday treats called Cucidati. Thankfully, Vinny’s mission a few years ago was to contact his great aunt, carve out some time and preserve a family recipe once and for all. Here’s how Vinny put it: “Great Auntie Antoinette Arnone was 93 years old when she died. Ten years ago during the holidays, I went back to New York and I made arrangements to spend time with Auntie Arnone and have her teach me how to make ‘Goog-i-dottie,’ as she would call them. “We spent all afternoon making the cookies. Not only did I leave with Cucidati, but also her handwritten recipe card and her grandmother’s meat grinder that she herself has been using to grind the fig mixture for 60 years! I was so appreciative of her for taking the time to pass along her recipe. I often think of those treasured moments together.” Vinny’s version of this soft, flavorfilled fig cookie with icing and little colorful candies is now part of my own holiday tradition. What better way to honor my own Sicilian father. The time put into making these delights is well worth it. Keep them in an airtight container and pass them around the table for a festive holiday treat.
1/2 box raisins 1 string of dried figs or 2 packages (7 oz. each) figs. 1 small can of frozen orange juice concentrate (do not dilute) 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves 1/2 cup honey 1 cup strawberry preserves 1 shot whiskey 1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the Fig Bar Filling 1 (11 oz.) package of dates
Mix together and drizzle over fig cookie bars. Top with candy sprinkles.
SOCIALIZE. RELAX.WHERE ENJOY. LUXURY &
Soak raisins and figs in warm water. Drain, Add raisins, figs and dates in food old-fashion grinder or food processor. Add the remainder of ingredients and mix together. Set aside. For the Dough 2 eggs 1 cup sugar 1/2 lb shortening 6 cups flour 1/4 cup baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup of milk 1 tablespoon vanilla
At Arté Resort Retirement, you will enjoy living amidst the natural beauty of Arizona landscape. Your new home with us will include: At Arté Resort Retirement, you • A private movie theater with custom lounge chairs will enjoy living amidst the natural • Reserved undergroundbeauty parkingof Arizona landscape. Your • A piano and a sports lounge with billiard table Athome Arté Resort you w new with us will Retirement, include: • State-of-the-art ﬁtness center and massage rooms landscape. • AArizona private movie theater withYour new hom • A beauty salon and spa custom lounge chairs
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Mix eggs, shortening and sugar in mixer. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add alternately to the first mixture along with milk and vanilla. Refrigerate for three to four hours (It LUXURY ALL -INCLUSIVE RETIREM LUXURY ALL-INCLUSIVE rolls out easier.) At Arté Resort Retirement, you will enjoy living amidst the natural beauty of RETIREMENT LIVING Starting at just $2,800 a month. Roll out dough as thick Arizona as piecrust. landscape. Your new home with us will include: Cut into 3-inch wide strips. Put filling Starting just $2,800 a Retirement, month. At Arté Resort you will enj • ACut private chairs 11415 N.at114th Street in Scottsdale in center and fold over dough. into movie theater with custom lounge Arizona landscape. Your new home with • Reserved 1 1/2 inch bars. Bake at 350 degrees underground parking • A private movie theater with custom • Aabout piano for 15 minutes. Recipe makes 80 and a sports lounge with billiard table bars. Recipe can be cut in half. • State-of-the-art ﬁtness center and massage rooms • Reserved underground parking
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Icing: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY • SUBMIT CORRECTIONS ONLINE Schedule your 2 cups powdered sugar LUXURY ALL-INCLUSIVE ADVERTISER: SLC_ARTE RESORT RETIREME PROOF CREATED AT: 10/18/2013 1:13 PM SALES PERSON: Rhonda Deaton PROOF DUE: NEXT RUN DATE: 10/20/13 Schedule your 2 tablespoons milk or cream (slightly more tour today at Starting at just $2,800 a month. PUBLICATION: AR-BROADSHEET 1 SIZE: 10 col X 10.5 in if needed) tourAZ today at 114th 85259 888.845.1824 11415 11415N.N. 114thStreet Street• Scottsdale, in Scottsdale 1 teaspoon vanilla 888.845.1824 Candy sprinkles
Check out www.jandatri.com for great recipes, stories and cool places we’re visiting! Come back often! www.lovinlifeafter50.com
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December 2013 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : page 29
Senior News LineDen tal
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Winter Workouts at Home
: : by Matilda Charles Den tal at the speed I set with my own legs. Den tal recently purchasedDengoes Dental tal a small, inexpensive And it didn’t cost the many hundreds of Dental Dental manual treadmill. dollars that an electric treadmill does. If you’re in good health (and your Unlike the electric ones, this one doesn’t doctor approves), with only a few pieces need to be within cord of equipment, you can get in mild Den talhaving distance of a wall plug, workouts this winter without and it’s not so heavy to go to the gym when it’s cold or wet that I can’t move it. It outside. Dental Dental Den tal Den tal Dental Dental Den tal Dental Dental
Consider acquiring a few of these:
you’re not sure about a treadmill, look for a workout video that emphasizes walking in place. • If you have room, think about a sit-down pedaler like a recumbent bicycle instead of a treadmill. They even make these with only the pedal part, which you use while sitting in a chair. Some of them can even be used for your arms, with the peddler put on a chair in front of you. • Squeeze balls for hand and finger thstrength. • Wrist or ankle weights. (Hint: get the kind with the removable weights so you can adjust for your own comfort.)
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©2004 American Heart Association ©2004 American Heart Association Made possible in part by a generous frominThe Bugher Foundation. Madegrant possible part by a generous grant from The Bugher Foundation. ©2004 American Heart Association Made possible in part by a generous grant from The Bugher Foundation.
December 2013 : : Lovinâ€™ Life After 50 : : page 31
Macy’s window displays capture the magic of Christmas.
Chicago’s Christmas Magic :: by Andrea Gross | photos by Irv Green
he day is frosty cold, and I say establishments both big and small. But again, we’re not here to shop. a silent thanks to the unknown goose that donated his feathers to fill We’re here to see the former Marshall my parka. My husband hands me a Field’s, which was once one of the mug filled with Glühwein. The hot, most renowned and most innovative spicy drink burns my throat in a nice, department stores in the world. It cinnamon-y way and, as the name offered the first bridal registry, the first implies, makes me glow with holiday personal shopping assistants, the first department store restaurants, the first cheer. We, along with several hundred escalators, and was the first store to other folks, are braving the weather at create holiday window displays for the Christkindlmarket, Chicago’s largest sole purpose of spreading joy. This holiday tradition, which began open-air Christmas festival. The in the early 1870s, holds atmosphere is distinctly true today. There are no European, with chaletwindows filled with glitzy style stalls offering a clothes, new appliances mind-boggling selection or tempting foods, no of Alpine delicacies attempt to lure folks to and crafts. We taste the cash register. The test a variety of wursts, displays are meant to schnitzels, strudels bring smiles, not to and chocolates, and extract cash. Now how gaze longingly at the nice is that? imported cuckoo clocks When, in 2005, after and nutcrackers. I buy a a series of corporate small ornament for my changes, the iconic store brother, but, like most of was acquired by May the Christkindlmarket Co., the terms included crowd, I’m more the requirement that interested in having Diners at Macy’s historic many Marshall Field’s fun than in seriously Walnut Room sit under a 45foot tall tree. traditions be continued. shopping. Afterward, well fortified with another So, although the Chicago store, which mug of Glühwein, we move on to “The is the third largest department store in Loop,” where we walk along streets the world, now goes by the name of lined with government buildings, Macy’s on State Street, its Christmas museums, theaters, public art, parks, windows continue to delight hundreds restaurants, skyscrapers and, yes, retail of onlookers.
page 32 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : December 2013
Hot spiced wine helps people stay warm as they enjoy Christkindlmart.
We walk slowly, carefully admiring wanted to show that they supported each animated scene, and then enter America’s World War II allies. The the store to view the celebrated domed museum placed a single pine tree in the ceiling that’s made of more than 1.6 rotunda and volunteers representing million pieces of iridescent glass. various nationalities changed the Designed by Louis Tiffany in 1907 and decorations on a daily basis. The handset over a two-year period, it’s a result: a rotating display that honored glorious mosaic of serpentine swirls diversity as well as community. In the 70-plus years since then that and graceful ovals in tones of amber, blue and gold with touches of red. I single pine has morphed into a 50-tree stare in awe until my neck begins to exhibit that lasts from mid-November hurt, after which we take the escalator until the end of December. We walk up to the fifth ﬂoor where I can see the slowly, admiring the ornaments on each tree. The tree representing Kenya details more clearly. Eventually we make our way to is adorned with wood animal carvings. the historic Walnut Room, known The one from Denmark is laden with for the classic chicken potpie that woven hearts, while the one from was first served in 1907. As always Bosnia-Herzegovina has miniature during the Christmas season, a 45- dolls and skis. And on it goes...Russian foot tree festooned with more than matryoshkas (nested dolls), Romanian 1,000 ornaments brightens the room. snowmen….an international display We try to get a table, but no luck. The for an international city. As we head back to our hotel, a restaurant doesn’t take reservations and the wait, according to the very nice gentleman who is sitting behind me on the train begins humming an old Frank hostess, will be more than an hour. Instead, we satisfy our hunger by Sinatra tune, “Chicago is my kind of purchasing—and devouring—some town.” My sentiments exactly. For the latest information on Frango chocolates. The minty trufﬂes have been associated with the store Chicago’s 2013 Christmas activities, go since Marshall Field’s acquired the to www.choosechicago.com original candy company in the late 1920s. Although they are no longer made in-store, in my mind there’s no doubt about it: chocolate beats chicken potpie any season of the year! Our final stop is at the Museum of Science and Industry, which hosts “Christmas Around the World,” an annual exhibit that celebrates the world’s— and Chicago’s— cultures and traditions. The first such display took place in 1942 when Chicagoans of all ethnicities Bugles herald the holiday season on State Street.
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December 2013 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : page 33
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... from page 8 language ﬁrst. My neighbor’s been rip-offs on the market? No mention of here for 15 years and is still waiting for previous condition insurance, either. me to learn to speak Spanish. Baloney. Lots of luck trying to ﬁnd one that Learn to speak English. That’s the No. works. 1 priority. Goodbye. I don’t think it’s right to discriminate against gay More tragedy on the Interstate people. I just want to say 10 dusty roads. We rarely had that when the land was that many of them are rude and growing cotton and grazing stock, irresponsible in their behavior around and the water still was allocated to the people who do not share their sexual reservation farmers. That’s what greed proclivities. Many times I have been subjected to unwanted advances from does for you. But feed those casinos. gay males who have wrongly assumed What school children today if someone looks good to them, that don’t know about only person is fair game. 30-year-ago Arizona is as bad as their equally ignorant parents’ misI think it’s time for the U.S. knowledge of history, animals, weather government to make changes and vegetation. Shame on the present to our federal income tax education expert reports. regulations. Why is it OK for me to have to claim taxes on anything that I win Interesting. “It’s disrespectful to over $600 on a rafﬂe but I am not able deny students of illegal parents to claim that rafﬂe ticket as an expense? for their free education” but it’s And why is the limit so low on having not disrespectful of those parents who to claim a prize as income? If I work at break us laws to bring those kids over a job for “income,” I am able to write the border? Hmm, double standard. off certain things as a work-related expense, right? Six hundred dollars is a Only spoken in Spanish. joke! Have they heard of inﬂation? It’s Oh boy, if you heard the been $600 forever! It should depend on story of the radio historical what the actual prize is in order for you broadcast that panicked to have to claim it as income and they the nation in 1938—it hasn’t much should raise the limit! So if I am lucky changed for the ignorant watchers of enough to win a trip to Vegas for two television who rush to their Twitters for $605 why should I have to claim that with the unconﬁrmed dumb rumors as income? It’s not income! The tickets that can still panic the ignorant of are non-transferrable so I can’t sell them so how exactly is that income? It’s America. just a free trip. It’s nothing steady. It’s a Well it’s new phone book time one-time trip. You should not be taxed and there’s no need to cut trees on any prize except maybe money, over to print new books. Just use the $1,500 or more. If I win a car not only recycled old books and enough drained do I have to come up with the money ink to color the Sunday advertisement for state and sales tax, but I also have to pullouts. See, each one keeps the other claim it on my income taxes! How does circulating ad nauseam. Well, it’s what that make sense? It’s just our wonderful we’re supposed to be doing—to go government trying to squeeze the little guy for every penny they can so some green. “fat cat” in Washington can get free Have you noticed in all the haircuts and trips out of town for free advertisements for hearing aids, steak dinners with high-priced call girls. not one ever mentioned the price? Maybe because the $1,000 is the I really wish that if a doctor’s cheap one? My primary recommended ofﬁce is going to be closed for and others start at $4,000 and up. One lunch from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., or two ears. This is the latest advertising they would have enough sense to not
make an appointment for 2 p.m. or at least unlock the door early. I took my son to the doctor the other day and as a “good mom” I arrived 15 minutes early to ﬁll out paperwork since my son was a new patient. Guess what? The door was locked! So my son and I had to wait outside where there is no seating until 2 p.m. for them to unlock the doors because we were parked too far away. They should have at least warned me that they take lunch from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Everyone knows that you always try to arrive early when you are a new patient to ﬁll out paperwork. I’m getting so tired of this charity that keeps calling me even though I am on the Do Not Call Registry asking for donations for breast cancer. I am a single mom to two kids and I lost my job. Even after I tell this woman that I don’t have the money to donate she asks if she can put me down for $15! I know her job is to get donations and she probably makes more the more donations she gets. It really irritates me that I keep having to tell these people over and over that I don’t have a job and have two kids to feed! As a single parent, I sometimes do things to earn extra money, like exit interviews. I don’t make a lot of money and I wish I didn’t have to resort to it, but it helps feed my kids and keeps us off of welfare. If you come across someone while exiting a store and they ask if they can ask you a couple of questions and you don’t have the time or don’t feel like talking, simply politely decline. What I don’t appreciate is the poor attitude and rude comments that are given by certain customers. You’d think I was asking for a pint of blood or $20. All these stores are looking for is honest and candid
feedback from their customers. If you don’t want to give it, that’s ﬁne. I just ask that you please be nice about it and say “No thank you.” While Gilbert cashes in on a gigantic Heritage Marketplace project, the clowns in Queen Creek have not learned their lesson! This after borrowing triple digit millions and putting their eggs in the house building industry, and watched it explode like a giant balloon in their faces! They keep raising my taxes for absolutely nothing! Instead of taking advantage of the Phoenix/ Gateway Airport trafﬁc and freeway extension to the north, and building a hotel, restaurants and developing the actual old town facade on an actual town street that currently looks like a ghetto, they are building eight to 10 more home communities. Huh? There are no jobs. The town center has not been developed. There are lots of undeveloped roads. Rittenhouse is still one lane, even by Schnepf Farms. Where are all those potential extra thousands of cars going to go? And Eastmark, Morrison Ranch and scads of other communities are building all around us...The trafﬁc on Ellsworth was bumper to bumper at 2:30 p.m. today. There is nothing to do. No theater, town waterpark/pool, a few corporate restaurants and a huge sales tax. Some vanity project included a horse park that 99 percent of the town doesn’t use. They don’t encourage small businesses by allowing excessive rent, high taxes and very little community support. The dirt storms are epic and it’s like I landed in hell.... stay far away from this dirty “burb!” I hope I can sell my house before this terrible idea continues and it drives my house price into the gutter or converts it to a HUD home.
Pick up your copy of Lovin’ Life at any Valley www.lovinlifeafter50.com
December 2013 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : page 35
Two Ways to Get Your Medicare Benefits : : by David Sayen
ome people may not realize it, but there are actually two ways to get Medicare benefits. The best-known way is Original Medicare. With Original Medicare, you can choose any doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider you want, as long as they accept Medicare. When you receive medical services or goods, Medicare pays the provider directly. The other way is Medicare Advantage, which is a form of managed care, like an HMO or PPO. Medicare Advantage is provided by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. If you’re in Medicare Advantage, you generally must go to doctors and other providers in the company’s network. If you go outside the network, you may have to pay more. On the other hand, Medicare Advantage companies may offer some coverage—such as dental, hearing, vision and wellness programs—that Original Medicare doesn’t. Most people with Original Medicare pay a monthly premium. If you’re in Medicare Advantage, you sometimes pay an additional monthly premium to the private insurance company that covers you. With Original Medicare, you must pay deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance. To cover these “gaps” in Medicare, some people buy a type of supplemental insurance called Medigap. If you have a Medigap policy, Medicare pays its share of the covered costs, and then your Medigap policy pays its share.
Medigap policies also are sold through private companies. All plans offer the same basic benefits but some offer additional benefits. The costs vary between insurance companies—and often cost is the only difference between policies. Some Medigap policies also offer benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t, such as medical care when you travel outside the United States. Original Medicare generally doesn’t cover prescription drugs. If you want drug coverage, you can get it through Medicare Part D. Part D policies are sold through private companies approved by Medicare. You have to pay an additional monthly premium for Part D. About 75 percent of Medicare beneficiaries choose Original Medicare, with the rest getting coverage through Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage companies must cover all of the services that Original Medicare covers, except hospice care and some care in qualifying clinical research studies. (Original Medicare covers hospice and qualifying clinical research care even if you’re in a Medicare Advantage plan.) In all types of Medicare Advantage plans, you’re covered for emergency and urgent care. Most Medicare Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage. But the plans can charge different out-of-pocket amounts and they have different rules for how you get service. For example, you may need a referral to see a specialist. And you
Medicare and Medicare Advantage in the “Medicare and You” handbook. An updated version of “Medicare and You” is mailed to all Medicare beneficiaries every fall. You can also find “Medicare and You” on our website, www.Medicare. gov. If you have any questions, you can always call Medicare’s toll-free number, (800)-MEDICARE (800) 633-4227.
may need to stay in their provider network, unless you’re willing to pay more to go outside the network. You should always check with the plan before you get a service to find out whether it’s covered and what your costs may be. If the plan decides to stop participating in Medicare, you’ll have to join another Medicare health plan or return to Original Medicare. How can you decide whether Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage is better for you? There’s a more detailed explanation of the differences between Original
David Sayen is Medicare’s regional administrator for Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Territories.
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T HE F INISH L INE Arizona’s Leader in Senior Fitness Thunderbirds Return as Partners to Senior Olympics 2013 Sponsors nce again this year Arizona
Senior Olympics will be partnering with The Thunderbirds to raise funds for the organization. “It’s a fun way for people to get involved and also be of real help to ASO,” commented Irene Stillwell, ASO executive director. The Birdies for Charity is a program of Waste Management Inc. and The Phoenix Thunderbirds. All the money that is collected by ASO’s efforts goes directly to them. The Thunderbirds bill for and collect money, thereby saving ASO that expense. “I hope everyone will realize that this is an ideal end-of-the-year donation because every cent of the donation goes directly into the program they are supporting,” Stillwell said. Arizona Lifelong Fitness Foundation, the 501(c)(3) parent corporation of ASO, will be sending out an email blast in early December and every donation is fully deductible from 2013 taxes. Watch for the “birdies” e-mail in early December. Everyone who donates before Dec. 31
will be eligible for a drawing for ticket to the Phoenix Open. It could be a double win: one for you and one for Arizona Senior Olympics!
Donate today at www. birdiesforcharityaz.com/pledge. Be sure to specify Arizona Lifelong Fitness Foundation (No. 276).
Looks like Santa’s getting ready for Senior Olympics! Happy Holidays from Your friends at Arizona Lifelong Fitness Foundation.
The Finish Line Newsletter is produced by Arizona Senior Olympics, founded by:
in partnership with the cities of Chandler, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Scottsdale, Tempe and the communities of Sun City, Sun City West, Sun City Grand
Arizona Senior Olympics P.O. Box 33278 Phoenix, AZ 85067-3278
web site: www.seniorgames.org
December 2013 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : page 37
Making Good Health a Habit Bad habits are hard to break—but so are good ones! This fall, create some healthy, fun habits that will enrich your life every day. Decide today to make exercise a regular part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth or having that morning cup of coffee. By the time the holidays roll around, you’ll be happier, healthier and ready to take the New Year by storm.
Give Yourself Six Months
There are great benefits that come with exercise. But to achieve them all, it is important to keep going even when you don’t want to. Some days will be easier than others, but if you can stick with an exercise routine for six months, you’ll be on your way to creating a healthy habit that can last a lifetime.
Stick To It
Exercise will improve your quality of life. It’s good for you. Yet, sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to keep it up. But with a few life changes, you can make exercise a part of your daily life today, and for the rest of your life. 1. Make it a priority. (Mark it on your calendar, every day.) 2. Make it easy. (Lift weights while watching TV, walk the mall, take a daily class.) 3. Make it safe. (Talk to your doctor; listen to your body.) 4. Make it social. (Get a workout buddy or take classes.) 5. Make it interesting and fun.
Pioneer Athlete Tells Her Story
(Listen to music or audiobooks. Do things you love, mix it up.) 6. Make it an active decision. (Take stairs, park far away, stretch while talking on the phone.) Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness Program is the nation’s leading fitness program. It is provided at no additional cost to with many Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans. So start today. Make a habit of walking, swimming, taking exercise classes, gardening, or chasing your grandkids. No matter what you choose, you already have a support team. Below are just a few SilverSneakers benefits. • Choose from more than 11,000 locations in the United States. • Take group classes made just for active older adults. • Read health and wellness articles online. • Talk to a SilverSneakers program adviser for more support. • Join in on fun group events and more! For more information call (888) 423-4632 or go to www.silversneakers. com. Find us on Facebook at facebook. com/silversneakers. For even more help, sign up for PACT, a new Web experience that allows members to set fitness goals and create a support network.
By Ellie Kallal Nancy Kummen just turned 63, and has been competing locally in the sport of triathlon. In the past few weeks, she has had some of her fastest times. She took second in her age group at the World’s International Triathlon in Chicago and plans to qualify in June to compete again the following year. At one time she broke her back in three places and used water exercise and massage to recover. A firm believer in activity, she urges others to get into a program to boost their mood and improve their overall health. When she’s not competing, she stays busy teaching swimming and water aerobics and gives private lessons in her pool. This is Nancy Kummen’s story in her own words. I consider myself one of the pioneers in the sport of triathlon. I was able to see the very first Ironman
Triathlon in 1978 on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, where I lived. I was so taken aback by this event that I started to train for it. Back then, people thought you were “nuts” to do such a thing. I was
ASO Offers In-Person Registration Need someone to help you register for the Arizona Senior Olympics? ASO volunteers are ready and happy to help. This year the organization is offering in-person registration at the following locations: • The ASO office by appointment only on Dec. 10, Dec. 11, Jan. 2 and Jan. 8. It is located at 4205 N. Seventh Ave., Suite 200, Phoenix, 85013. Call (602) 274-7742 for an appointment. • The Lovin’ Life After 50 Expo at the Sun Dial Recreation Center in Sun City from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Jan. 21. • The Lovin’ Life After 50 Expo at the Mesa Convention Center at 9 a.m. Jan. 29.
Arizona Lifelong Fitness Foundation Arizona’s Leader in Senior Fitness
REGISTER NOW! THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AT THE ARIZONA SENIOR OLYMPICS February 15th thru March 12 • Team sports March 5-9 Don’t miss the “SALUTE TO AMERICA” on Presidents Day! Barbecue lunch!
page 38 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : December 2013
Early registration Deadline: 1/31 NEW! Easier online registration NEW! A social at every event!
More information at www.seniorgames.org
www.seniorgames.org totally nonathletic, depressed and overweight. But, there was something very special about doing it. I started by running 500 yards. I was beat and had to stop. The next day I did a little more and did my first marathon six months later, ran my first marathon in 1979, and a little over a year later completed my first Ironman. And that’s a story in itself. Those who got involved back then were real guinea pigs. There was no information on how to train or how to eat. Events served donuts, cookies and peanut butter sandwiches. Some got really sick during the events. This was before rehydration products and energy bars. Today, in an open water swim there are buoys strung along the swim area. Back then, there was nothing. We were told to swim out to the ship, go around it and come back. I did the backstroke, the breaststroke, everything. I was not watching carefully and a kid came by
and hollered to me, “Hey lady, you’re swimming crooked.” I almost swam to the other shore, instead of to the ship. I finished in 13:24:00. Since then I have completed nine Ironman distances and would like to do more but races are getting so expensive; it’s difficult to do them without a sponsor. I’ve done more than 500 triathlons and countless swimming, bike and running races. I never get bored with the distance and training. I get into a zone and enjoy myself. I look forward to tomorrow, and I’m glad to be a part of the Senior Olympics. I was looking forward to competing in Cleveland, but fell ill and couldn’t go. I’m planning to qualify and go to Minneapolis in 2015. I enjoy teaching kids to swim and stay safe, and helping people get started in an exercise program. I’ve learned as you get older you need to have the discipline to watch diet, train and get rest.
Now Hear This: Dangerous Toys! ::by Rachel Brockway
ith the holiday shopping season upon us, it is time for grandparents to start shopping for toys for their grandchildren. Oh what fun this can be...but it is important for grandparents to be aware not only of the types and age-appropriateness, but also the noise level of a toy. Connie Short, outreach manager at Arizona Relay Service, advises that when grandparents are out shopping for toys that they carefully read the warning label. Toys that emit noise should have a warning label stating its noise level. In fact, the American Society of Testing and Materials, which sets international standards for safety, states the sound-pressure level produced by toys (except close-to-theear toys) shall not exceed 85 decibels (dB) when approximately 2 feet away. “What can be misleading is the distance at which the decibels are measured,” says Michele Michaels, hard of hearing specialist at the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (ACDHH).
“As we know, most kids are not keeping toys at arm’s length, they use them closer than that and most often right next to their precious ears.” Michaels states that 85 decibels (dB) is the maximum volume a child should be exposed to for no more than eight hours. Decibels are a unit of measurement to gauge volume and decibel volume is measured in several industries to ensure hearing safety. Sounds over 100 dB can damage hearing in less than 15 minutes of exposure. The Sight and Hearing Association (SHA), a nonprofit organization that works toward prevention of vision and hearing loss, evaluates the noisiest toys each year. In 2012, the SHA found that 19 of the 24 most popular toys tested were over 100 dB. Topping the list: • Toy Story Talking Figure Buzz Lightyear:111 dB near the ear, 81.6 at arm’s length • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo’s Electronic Sword: 109.2
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dB near the ear, 81.6 at arm’s length • Dora the Explorer/ Dora’s Desert Friends: 108.2 dB near the ear, 80.4 at arm’s length • Barbie Little Learner Laptop: 108 dB near the ear, 83.8 at arm’s length • 123 Sesame Street Let’s Rock Grover Microphone: 107.3 dB near the ear, 79.3 at arm’s length So how do you make sure you are keeping the young ones happy and still protecting their hearing? Ask yourself these questions when shopping: • Is the toy loud to you? Because if it is too loud to you it is probably too loud for your grandchildren. • Do the toys have an on/off switch for the noise? It is easy to check if the toy has an on/off switch for the volume. Plus the parents will also thank you for this one.
“While you are out shopping this holiday season take an extra second to look at the warning labels,” said Sherri Collins, executive director of the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. “What most people don’t realize is that once you lose your hearing, it is not something that will come back.” For more information, visit www. azrelay.org or www.acdhh.org. To see the entire list of toys tested by the Sight and Hearing Association, visit www. sightandhearing.org.
December 2013 : : Lovin’ Life After 50 : : page 39
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