This Is How You Know When It Is Time to Change Jobs

By Jane Brown

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, boomers between 18 and 46 held 11.3 jobs on average. At first glance, that seems like a lot of jobs. But a quick look at my own resume suggests that times have not changed all that much. It is likely that prior generations held far fewer jobs. At one time, the mantra was to find a good company, start at the bottom, and work your way up. It is possible that your grandparents only held one or two jobs. This is not your grandparents’ reality.

This is a mobile society. We no longer have to be stuck in a job that is clearly wrong for us. The problem is that it is not always clear when it is time to head out for greener pastures. Here are some tips that will help you decide when it is time to change jobs:

When You Hit the Glass Ceiling

The glass ceiling refers to the point in your job where you can no longer advance. Your skills suggest that you should be able to get a promotion. But at some point, it becomes clear that the promotion is never going to happen. You have hit the glass ceiling. If you consider yourself to be upwardly mobile, then it is definitely time for you to go.

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If you want to stay in your current line of work, you just need to find a different company. If you are in the medical field, you will never be able to sort out all of the possibilities on your own. You may want to look into one of the medical staffing agencies that know the industry, have thoroughly researched the area, and supply the field with high-level staff from doctors to hospital administrators. Finding a new job in the same industry is the easiest job transition you can have. Just make sure you find the right partner for your line of work.

When the Money Is Shorter than the Month

The most obvious sign that you need a new source of income is when the old one no longer pays the bills. Some people tackle this problem by taking on a second, and even third job. But compounding dead-end jobs never gets you out of the hole. You are spending all of your life’s essence just to keep from sinking even deeper.

The better longterm strategy is to go back to school, gain a new certification, or learn a new trade. You don’t need three bad jobs. You need one good job that will allow you to breathe easier, and live longer and happier. If you have time to do three jobs, you have time to do one job, and go to school.

When You Dread Getting out of Bed on Monday

It is socially normative to express dread for Monday morning. But some people experience legitimate stress over the prospect of going back to work for another week at their current place of employ. This is a bad sign. Life is too short to spend the majority of your waking hours doing something you truly loath.

Believe it or not, many people actually look forward to going back to work after a break. They even voluntarily stay late in the evening because they genuinely love what they do. The way to find this type of job is to find what you love and are good at, then do it for a living. Granted, that is easier said than done. But actually doing it will forever change your life for the better.

If you have hit the glass ceiling, need a bigger pay check, or truly hate what you do, then it is time to tell your boss to take this job and… Well, you know.

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Why You Should Consider Timeshares For Your Retirement Vacation Lodging Needs

By Jane Brown

Now that it’s time to retire, what’s next for you? Seniors who previously held a busy work schedule often find themselves looking for things to do once they retire to occupy their boredom. While the option always exists to work part-time to occupy time, that’s not what you really want to do. After all, you have spent your entire life working.

A popular option for people who are of retirement age is to travel the world.  In fact, many people look at retirement as the beginning of a grand new adventure in their lives. Those who choose to take to the open road (or land, or sea), may want to consider the benefits of renting or buying a timeshare, and here’s why.

It’s no secret that travel is on the top of the agenda for retirees. Here are some stats to consider: forty percent of those who are retirement age aspire to travel extensively once their day comes.

A total of 43 percent of retirees use their time in retirement to fulfill lifelong goals that went previously unfulfilled, such as traveling. At the time of retirement, those who are fortunate enough to have the finances in place-the primary driving factor that prevented them from traveling before-is no longer an issue.

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While many options exist for traveling retirees as far as lodging and accommodations are concerned, one viable option is timeshares. Some companies offer excellent and exciting timeshare packages complete with access to theatre productions, golfing, and local special events. The benefit of options, such as those offered through Welk timeshare tours, is that it makes vacation planning a breeze for retirees. Packaged deals can also carry a sizable discount, which also makes timeshares an attractive option for retirees. There are also a plethora of resources on the web to advise money-conscious travelers how to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to vacationing in a timeshare.

Booking a tour is easy and usually free of charge and in many cases new visitors are offered substantial discounts to sweeten the deal. Some companies even offer incentives and bonuses based on a point system. These points can be used toward extending a stay or upgrading to a more luxurious villa. Furthermore, those who are owners of timeshares often qualify for exclusive incentives that are heavily discounted and also only available to owners.

Some popular locations for timeshare rentals include San Diego, Palm Springs, Lake Tahoe, or if you’re interested in something a little south of the border, Cabo San Lucas. Welk timeshare tours offer retirees plenty of fun in the sun during this well-earned time of leisure. Some retirees may even choose to travel from one timeshare to another to enjoy a refreshing change of scenery. Other people may split their time between timeshares and RV living. Either way, a magical adventure awaits.

There was a time when timeshares got a bad rap, but things have changed in the industry. Many of these changes have created excellent opportunities for retirees desiring an adventuresome retirement. Be sure to weigh your options when considering timeshare rental or ownership before you make any major decision. Then, get ready for the adventure you’ve been dreaming of for your entire working life.

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Debt Consolidation for a Stress-free and Debt-free Retirement

Guest post by Charlie Brown. Browse through debt consolidation reviews to know more.

It is most important for retirees to implement effective strategies to get rid of debts at the time they are planning or arranging finances for retirement. Majority of the financial planners tend to agree on one fact, that is, it is extremely risky rather dangerous to carry debt into retirement. This can have a negative impact on your financial future. If debts are not cleared before retirement, they would certainly be responsible for draining your retirement savings. Elimination of debt for an individual who is already in retirement would seem to be an overwhelming and insurmountable issue. However, good news is that there are several ways that retirees could employ to reduce or even eliminate the load of debts.

Paying off Your Debts for Retirement is Mandatory

Debt seems to pose major hazard to any retiree’s financial security. In retirement, the fact is, your income usually dwindles down to only a fixed level that is derived usually from pensions, Social Security and some other retirement savings that have been accumulated over the years. A fixed income implies that you cannot generate money in future to pay off the debts than you have presently. If you are thinking of carrying the debt, you would only be paying greater interest and wasting a lot of money each month.

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Moreover, retirement would generally mean that there is a dip in your income as compared to what you were earning, while you were still employed. As such, a debt that was quite manageable while you were employed would become a comparatively larger cost and may even go completely out of hand. In retirement high-interest debt including negative amortization loans or credit cards may particularly get out of hand.

Furthermore, there are many kinds of debt or mortgages that have interest rates which automatically adjust upwards once a period of time has elapsed. Retirees are naturally on fixed incomes and are simply not in a position to tackle or take care of the mounting interest rates and as such they may falter and fall behind in handling their debt servicing payments. This leads to an increase in the debt burden thanks to penalties and fees. It is therefore mandatory to consider reducing, eliminating, even altering or consolidating your debts, if you are already retired or getting ready for retirement.

Strategies to Reduce Debts

In case you are still employed, you can think of altering your budget or delaying your retirement so that you are able to pay off the debt. But if you are already a retiree, even though, it may seem that it is really too late, there are still some ways that can ensure a debt-free secure retirement.

Use Existing Savings to Pay off Debt

The best, easiest and cheapest way of eliminating debt is to pay it off with your existing savings. All retirees may not have the luxury of adequate savings to do so, but if you have enough savings to reduce or eliminate the burden of debts, it is advisable to pay off the debt. This would help eliminate interest payments and ensure a financially secured future.

Opt for Reverse Mortgage

Reverse Mortgage is usually used to eliminate non-mortgage debts such as credit card debt or any high interest-debt. Reverse Mortgages entail absolutely no monthly payments. This works out best for retirees as this is an effective way of eliminating the burden of debt without the load of any extra monthly payments.

Avail Mortgage Refinancing

In case you are having an existing mortgage, the best solution in such a case would be refinancing. Accessing home equity would be possible now with mortgage refinancing, for paying off some other costlier debt. Refinancing may result in reduction of interest rate and ultimately, the amount payable every month on the mortgage. Several mortgage plans especially, for the retirees or the seniors are available today.

Working during Retirement

The best possible way of reducing or eliminating debt is by going back to work. It is a wise step to take up a full-time or at least a part-time job for mitigating your financial crisis, while preserving your assets and retirement savings.

Opting for Debt Consolidation: The Best Choice

A most common or frequently used strategy by retirees is debt consolidation. Debt consolidation is actually consolidating all your debts into a single outstanding sum, with only one monthly payment required. Debt consolidation is effective in centralizing or reducing the interest amount you are presently paying. Debt consolidation can therefore, save you money eventually over a period of time by lowering the interest rates of monthly repayment. You may eliminate the burden of debts much faster with debt consolidation.

You may now think of investing your money and plan a secured future once all your financial difficulties are mitigated by debt consolidation. You may browse through debt consolidation reviews to know more. Find legitimate and reputable debt consolidation companies to assist you with relevant services. However, choose a debt consolidation company only after checking its credentials properly.

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Financial Planning for Women & Debt Settlement

Guest post by Charlie Brown. Browse through debt settlement review to know more.

The fundamentals of good financial planning remain the same for men and women however, women often come across unique economic issues and lifestyle concerns that need special attention and consideration. Statistics reveal that women earn less than most men and they tend to live longer on an average.  They are mostly responsible for chalking out a household budget. Women tend to take care of aged and sick parents. Women often run into financial crisis due to lack of proper financial planning.

But it is extremely important for women to stay financially afloat and make sure that they are able to earn enough for paying off all their bills. Often single women face major financial hardships after a bereavement or divorce. They however, would still require paying off their credit card dues, rent, medical expenses, childcare expenses if any, and car maintenance as well as insurance bills. Women should follow a basic financial plan to survive in this era of economic crisis.

Identify and Prioritize Your Objectives

Men are mostly concerned about ways for capitalizing on current market trends and types of stocks to purchase. Women on the other hand are more concerned about balancing the objectives of giving kids good college education, caring for aged parents and retiring comfortably. Fulfilling all these requirements prove to be a great challenge for women.

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Women must chalk out a realistic financial goal, which may be setting up a business, purchasing a house, creating a kitty as a post-retirement income, overseas travel, child’s marriage or education fund or even buying a car etc. Knowing your goals is the first concrete step toward smart financial plan. Now you need to define the exact amount of money required and also, finalize the time-frame.

Prepare a Plan

You must begin by sketching out a financial plan, starting from basic income and expenditure, and then predicting future income or expenses. Having written these down, you now know the amount you would need to collect to achieve the goals you have set for yourself in the present and future. You must also factor in other aspects like time limits, types of investment options available and your risk appetite. It is important to have some form of insurance or a contingency plan to maintain a sustained cash flow, even if contingencies like sickness, job lay-off, or death of spouse occur. Women must make the most of savings opportunities.

Find a Reliable Financial Planner

One of the most crucial steps is to find a financial planner who is efficient and able to accommodate all your needs into an integrated financial plan. This however is easier said than done. The financial services industry has reportedly meted out condescension, disrespect and general inefficiency in several cases, leading to a severe lack of trust between service provider and client.

Most women have no preference for hiring a female financial planner. In fact, statistics show that 90 per cent of the women both married as well as single were not concerned about the financial planner’s sex. However, it is a fact that 25 per cent of women, mostly widowed and divorced women felt that lady financial planners were preferred by them simply because they have relatively better listening skills and they could relate much better to their state of affairs.

Investment Plan

You must start to invest in a disciplined manner. Most of the investing today can easily be done online. You would be assisted in documentation by most financial advisors. It is however, most important to devote time and read carefully about the nature and the risks involved before investing.

Periodic Reviewing of Plan

Keep reviewing your plan according to your increase in salary or expenses, liability acquisitions or new assets or even ever changing market scenario.

Despite following a robust financial plan, many women particularly single moms may face financial hardships and find it difficult to pay monthly bills and repayments. They are constantly under the pressure of mounting debt. In those cases, it is necessary to have a proper debt management plan.

Debt Management Plan

A Debt Management Plan is nothing but an informal agreement between you and your creditors regarding paying a realistic and affordable amount every month. A Debt Management Plan could be best as a short-term breather or sometimes, as a structured repayment plan on a long-term basis.

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement is actually negotiating with each one of your creditors regarding the outstanding amount, hoping to settle the balance. This type of debt relief measure is often recommended for single moms. A debt settlement firm is often successful in reducing the amount significantly. Single moms may opt for submitting a financial hardship statement to a collection agency. Wishing to settle the pending debts implies that you are aware of the debt and are willing to take the responsibility, but are not in a position to repay the amount you owe, due to financial distress.

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Divorce Survival Tactics: How to Effectively Deal With Debts after Divorce

Guest post by Rafael Houston. Rafael runs a successful debt settlement company in Ohio. He is highly informed when it comes to matters national debt relief. Talk to him today.

A divorce can not only result to emotional strain, it can also bring with it all manner of financial problems. Managing your debt and credit after divorce can be quite challenging. Just imagine all shared accounts as well as co-signed loans that were once romantic have now turned to be the cause of major issues. Quite sad it is! The good thing is that this does not have to be the case.

Understand divorce decrees

During a divorce, courts normally split up the responsibility for shared debts. This is done through a “divorce decree.” For instance, a husband can be made to pay the mortgage while the wife services an auto loan.

A good number of consumers usually assume that the division of responsibilities carries over to actual accounts. Most divorce lawyers perpetuate this illusion or myth. In reality, the divorce decrees actually do nothing to stop the responsibility for the shared accounts. In most, if not all, cases, the financial institution, or institutions, that issued a loan will never change anything regarding the manner in which an account will be managed or reported to a credit bureau. This is because the institution was never party to a separation agreement.

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Most divorcees run into financial troubles a few months after their divorce because one ex-spouse begins to submit late payments on one shared account. The late payments usually appear on both account holders’ credit reports. This is despite the divorce decrees. Of importance to note is that the double reporting is accurate and legal. Once the records show on your credit report, for sure, there is nothing that you can do to get rid of them. This is until their natural seven to ten year expiration date lapses.

To avoid these issues, divorced couples ought to refinance or close all the shared accounts. Any shared mortgages, loans, and credit cards shall continue to be a combined responsibility until that time when the two of you will work directly and effectively to resolve the issue.

Obtain your credit report

It is very important to obtain a copy of your credit report. After you get this copy, verify that you are not listed with your spouse any more on any accounts. Because financial institutions and credit facilities are not party to a divorce agreement, they are allowed by law to collect from you if you are still listed or registered in an account. This is regardless of whether you are the one responsible for the charges.

Moreover, check for any joint accounts so that you let a company know that all the activities therein took place before the two of you were married and that you are not responsible. Immediately after taking these steps, and you still find some charges on your credit report, dispute all the statements through a Credit Report Challenge.

Protect your identity

The sad truth is that when most couples go through a divorce, they remain bitter enemies throughout until the end. Fortunately, although rarely, some couples have a smooth divorce process. If yours is messy and bitter, it is prudent to consider all the potential damages that come with a disgruntled spouse. This can have severe damages on your credit.

Armed with your financial and personal details, such as birth date, and Social Security Number, there is no limit to what your ex can do. He or she could potentially and effortlessly steal your identity. He or she can then proceed to harshly damage your credit.

After an awful and contentious divorce, the best thing to do is take a number of steps to cushion yourself against any possible identity theft. One effective way of doing this is signing up for or with a credit monitoring program. This program alerts you immediately there are is a change in your credit data.

Always be on the lookout for any suspicious signs and/or mails that new accounts have been opened using your name. Change all your online banking passwords; request for your account numbers to be changed. If you suspect any case of identity theft, feel free to immediately contact the credit bureaus. Place a 90-day scam alert on all your credit reports.

Most importantly, always be aware of the possible risks for identity theft. According to the Better Business Bureau’s 2005 identity theft survey, over 50% of all identity thieves were close people to the victims such as neighbors, friends and relatives. When you deny that your ex could pilfer your identity, this can cause you to miss the most important signs of fraud.

Most divorce cases are normally messy. This can surely leave your financial life in tatters. To be on the safe side, use the above mentioned tips. Just like national debt relief they will help you deal with post divorce debts amicably.

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An Effective Guide for Busy Women to Enjoy a Debt Free Life

Guest post by Robert Wells. Robert is one of the most qualified and highly experienced certified public accountants in the country. His company has been of great help to countless women in debt. Talk to Robert regarding national debt relief and how you can enjoy financial freedom.

Most women are expected to bring in income, prepare the family budget, keep up with household chores and/or take care of all family members. No wonder women are impeccable when it comes to multi-tasking. While budgeting for your home and keeping track of your finances can be manageable, you might find yourself falling into debt easily.

Today, all busy women are looking for effective strategies to reduce their debts. There is no short cut to living a debt free life; you must come up with an effective and sound action plan. The following are useful steps any woman can use to become debt free:

Acknowledge the problem

Primarily, you must recognize that you are in debt – and that the debt is a white elephant in the room. After appreciating that you are right in the middle of a problem, take prudent steps to get out of your problem – debt.

Stop getting into more debt

One mistake most people make when they are trying to get out of debt is sinking into more debt. This is disastrous and should not happen. Keep off using your credit cards. In fact, never use them until the time you will be completely debt free. And even then, use the credit cards only on necessary spending. If you are going to come out of your debt problems, you need to quit digging the hole.

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Prioritize your debts

One strategy you can use to get rid of debts is putting them in the order of how you want to get rid of them. Move the mortgage debt and student loans to the bottom of your list. Put your car loan on the list, but just above your student loans. Organize all the other debts such as medical bills, payday loans and credit cards according to their interest rates. At the top of your list, put the highest interest debts. You need to pay off these ones first. This will go miles in maximizing your debt payments. It also does wonders to reduce the overall interest that you are supposed to pay.

Cut your expenditures

Find the “extra” money in the monthly budget. Carefully and keenly pass through all your expenditures. As you do this, find ways to cut back on the expenditures. Financial experts normally estimate that between ten to fifteen percent of the monthly income of most households is normally wasted. This is a lot of money. Recapture all the wasted money. Put it to more productive use. Wisely decide the exact amount of money you want to spare or can spare for an additional monthly debt reduction payment.

Make additional payments on your first debt

Remember that debt priority roll you just made? Well, go to it. Take that “extra” money you discovered and add it to the top of your minimum. Now, you are shifting from effective debt management to effective debt reduction. Proceed to making minimum payments on all other debts. For instance, if your first debt carries with it a minimum payment of 35 dollars every month, and then you have freed roughly 100 dollars from your budget, your total debt payment amount should be 135 dollars. This will make such a huge difference in getting rid of your debt.

Take care of other debts in your priority list

After you get your first debt off, scrap off the entire amount that you have been paying. Apply this amount to the second debt in your list. So what does this mean? For instance, using the above example, take the whole $135 and use it on the second debt. If your second debt has a minimum of approximately $30, then your new total will be $165. Repeat the same process down your debt list. You can even take it a notch higher by applying extra to your mortgage. This is especially true if you want to create or build your equity faster and pay it soonest. Paying off a mortgage early is purely optional.

Time to celebrate

As you clear your debts step by step, have some time to celebrate your achievements. Keep it relatively simple and small. The last thing you want is rewarding yourself excessively and end up sinking into further debt. When all your debt is completely gone, you can have the big celebration you always desire.

How about a bonus step: continue and maintain living a debt free life

By the time you are debt free, you should have no further need for any debt management. Throughout your debt reduction process, you must be cultivating nothing short of positive financial habits that will obviously keep you on an avenue to enjoy financial freedom.

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Don’t Become a Statistic! Tips to prevent a blood clot

Discussing blood clots is not a common topic of conversation. Chances are, you probably don’t know much about blood clots or how to prevent them.

The following information may just save your life. The American Blood Clot Association has a website dedicated to educating people on the signs and symptoms of blood clots. Did you know that the leading cause of preventable hospital deaths in the United States is blood clots? Or that the number of deaths from blood clots is more than breast cancer and AIDS combined?

Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT is a blood clot that forms in a major vein of your body. The most common site would be in your legs, but it can also occur in your arms. Generally, it occurs in one arm or leg, not both.

Usually there is swelling in the affected limb which can also include swelling in the foot or ankle. There might be pain and tenderness or you could experience pain in your calf that could feel like a cramp. Your skin might become red, blue or purple in color. But in many cases, there are no noticeable symptoms at all.

The American Blood Clot Association wants to bring high awareness to the public about the life threatening dangers of blood clots and educate both patients and healthcare professionals to prevent, diagnose and treat this life threatening condition.

How can you prevent blood clots from forming?

Get regular exercise.

If you are traveling for long periods of time, get up and move around often.

Maintain your weight at a healthy level.

Do not wear tight fitting clothes, socks or stockings.

Familiarize yourself with your own family medical history.

To find out more, visit The American Blood Clot Association.

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Variable vs Fixed Home Loans – Which is Better?

If you are ready to purchase a property, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether you want a fixed or a variable rate home loan. Some people always take out a variable loan or a fixed loan, not considering the pros and cons of each type of loan.

Not giving due deliberation to whether a certain type of home loan is appropriate for your circumstances however, can result in thousands of dollars lost to interest, over the life of your loan.

So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a fixed or a variable loan:

Variable home loans

The interest calculated on a variable home loan depends on the interest rate set by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). Banks and other lending institutions respond to the RBA rates by either increasing or decreasing their own home loan rates.

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With a variable rate home loan you have no control over how much interest you pay to the bank. As the RBA rate changes, the interest calculated on your home loan varies accordingly.

The reason why people like a variable rate home loan is that they can take advantage of times when the RBA cuts interest rates, meaning that their repayments will drop. This is fine when the RBA rates are low, but we have all seen that these rates can rise very quickly.

If you decide to take out a variable rate home loan, you must be prepared for interest rate rises which can, in extreme circumstances, double your repayments, as well as taking advantage of the interest rate cuts.

Fixed home loans

With a fixed home loan the interest rate is fixed at a set rate and your repayments are also fixed. So over the life of your loan, you know exactly how much your repayments will be every month. It doesn’t matter how high or low the RBA rates, your repayments do not change.

The problem is that you cannot take advantage of lowering rates, you cannot make extra regular repayments and you might have to pay a ‘break fee’ if you sell your home or want to pay your loan in full. Some institutions do allow you to make an additional lump sum payment once a year, but other than that, you cannot make extra repayments – as you can with a variable loan.

Conclusion

If you are short on cash and like the security of knowing how much your repayments will be each month, then a fixed home loan might be more suitable for you than a variable rate. On the other hand, if you have want to pay off your loan as soon as possible, then you need a variable loan.

So if you are ready to purchase your new property, visit Newcastle Permanent for home loans and mortgages and decide for yourself which type of loan is best for your situation.

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Dancing Through the Pain

Guest post by Laverne H. Bardy whose humorous, often irreverent, slant on life in general, and aging in particular, draws a large readership. She has been syndicated with Senior Wire News Service since 2004 and you can find her columns on the Huffington Post. Her book, How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old? was released in January, 2012, and is a compilation of the best of her columns.

LaverneI opened an e-mail that included a video of a 94 year old woman dancing the two-step. Background music was Gene Kelly’s classic Singing in the Rain.

Before executing her amazing agility, she demonstrated what a 94 year old is expected to look like, by entering the dance floor slowly, pushing a walker. Her dance partner, a much younger man, attempted to take her walker, but she resisted. At the end of this charade, the two of them began to dance.

Her moves were fluid. Her body was limber. And, if you know what a two-step is, you know it isn’t easy. It not only requires agility and strength, it calls for a sharp mind.

I want to be that woman when I’m 94. I want to be that woman now. I love to dance, and if I do say so, I used to be pretty darn good at it. I even won a couple of jitterbug contests back in the early 1950’s. Then I married a man who had no interest in dancing, so I spent 21 years at weddings and bar mitzvahs doing nothing more than tapping my feet.

Do not let Fear make your decisions for you. Risk has a price and so does security.

The next chapter of my life I married Mighty Marc, the best dancer I’ve ever known. In fact, he used to teach the instructors at Arthur Murray Dance Studios. But, as fate would have it, after finally landing a man who danced, my arthritis doesn’t allow me to do more than stand in his arms and sway to the music.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with my friend, Rochelle. I told her that I become teary-eyed when I see an elderly couple walking arm and arm. “It’s lovely to realize that they are still in love,” I said.

“Love has nothing to do with it,” she answered. “They’re holding each other up.”

I’m not shot in the head with all the negative changes aging has forced me to accept. I know my body has been undergoing changes from the day I was born, but most of those changes brought positive results; unlike now when each change has me rolling further down the other side of the hill.

Recently, I had a mammogram. The technician looked at me and said, “You have beautiful, well-defined shoulders.” I’d never had someone compliment my shoulders before so I didn’t know how to react. I decided to just tell the truth. “Thank you,” I said. “It’s arthritis.”

My hairdresser had the audacity to point out what she described as “a gray hair.” I quickly kicked that thought to the curb when I shouted, “You’re wrong! I do not have gray hair.” She reexamined the strand and recanted. “You’re right,” she stammered. It’s blonde.”

Aging doesn’t just manifest itself as wrinkles and gray hair. It shows in other, more subtle ways, too. For instance, I was in the bedroom, rushing to get dressed and out of the house when Mighty Marc walked in and found me standing in nothing more than a pair of undies.

He looked at me and said, “Are you ready yet?”

My brows furrowed. “Do I look ready?”

After checking me out for a few seconds he said, “You could use some lipstick.”

There was a time when walking into the bedroom and finding me in a state of undress would have brought about an entirely different response. Back then he wouldn’t have noticed, or cared, if I was headless.

I once greeted my first husband at the door, wrapped in Saran. Being his usual pragmatic self, he looked at me and asked, “Aren’t you cold? Where are the kids? What’s for dinner?”

What a terrible waste of plastic wrap.

Mighty Marc and I have been together for ten years and there is another change that is apparent. The three little words he used to say so often, have changed to “I gotta pee.” On our last road trip we had to drive the longer route to our destination because the shorter one didn’t provide rest stops every ten miles. To avoid eating junk food along the way, we packed healthful snacks, which we devoured before the third rest stop, forcing us to buy junk food at every rest stop thereafter.

My cousin, Joanie, is starting to think she married an usher. “My husband keeps a flashlight next to the bed so he can navigate to and from the bathroom throughout the night. Is that romantic….or WHAT?  I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way flashlight replaced candle light. I guess we’re officially old.”

I can’t begin to imagine how seniors maneuver through this time of life without a sense of humor.

Other posts by this author

Men and Women Throughout History

I Don’t See Well Anymore

Giddy Yup

Stop Telling Me I’m Old

Growing Up Dangerously

Watching Real Beauty

Hell, Not on the Map, but I Was There

Cellulite: A Rite of Passage

Camping: Not for Sissies

Don’t Count Me Out

Aging, Not All Fun and Games

Challenging My Legacy

Behind Closed Doors

Battle of the Bulge

How the Home Shopping Network Turned Me into a Zebra

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Remodeling Ideas for Aging in Place

Guest post by Kurt Jacobson. Kurt is a surfing enthusiast with a background in real estate. Having moved 10 times in the past 7 years, he thrives on helping others learn from his experiences. When he’s not out shredding waves he writes about homes for househunter.co

Whenever people are looking for a home, a good idea is to envision how it would be for them to age in that place. Even if their home is not a perfect choice from this point of view, there are many remodeling ideas for making their locations more senior-friendly.

Ideas for remodeling kitchens

Safety is a common issue that comes up whenever a renovation plan is discussed. When you are remodeling for aging in place, consider relocating the kitchen on the main floor, in case a food preparation room is not present there. Since cooking and eating are daily activities, there should be no hindrances in reaching the kitchen and going about the common chores involved with it.

Relocating and adjusting the level of the sink in the kitchen is also important. A shallow sink is a good idea, and take into consideration to leave enough space beneath the sink so that even people in wheelchairs can use it comfortably.

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Pull out drawers for lower cabinets and pull down drawers for upper cabinets should be included in your renovation plan. When you are considering remodeling projects, take into consideration changing some of the appliances if they are not easy to use and they do not come with clear information displays.

Ideas for remodeling bathrooms

To avoid any strain for people living inside the home who cannot move with ease, consider having at least one bathroom on the main floor. When you are remodeling your bathroom, remember that you need to have more space to move around as you age.

Also, installing new amenities such as walk-in showers may also be required. If you want a good measure for remodeling this space, try to imagine how much extra space would be needed for someone in a wheelchair to move around the toilet, the sink and the bathtub.

Added comfort and safety can be provided by installing a proper toilet. The height must be adjusted, so that seniors and the elderly can use it with great ease. Grab bars can also make a world of difference, and they can be installed in all the places where people may make use of them.

Ideas for remodeling bedrooms

Easy access is essential for bedrooms, just as it is for kitchens and bathrooms. The master bedroom should be located on the main floor, so that the house inhabitants can reach it quickly. Installing safety handles around the bedroom, but, most importantly on the bed, will greatly reduce the risk of falling. Safety rails come in all shapes and sizes, and there are plenty of models that are quite stylish, so you can choose the ones you really like.

Installing a bedroom phone is also highly recommended, since it can be used when the need to call for help arises. A closet lighting is a good idea as well, since it can help to get dressed with greater ease, especially for people with failing eyesight.

Make sure to reduce clutter to a minimum. Risk of tripping and falling is a major problem to address for seniors and the elderly, so you should concentrate on making the bedroom space as risk free as possible.

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