Wellness Wednesday – Three Fitness Tips to Put the Boom Back in Baby Boomers in 2018

Baby Boomer Couple on BicyclesBaby boomers whose exercise routines have gone bust may be thinking about putting the boom— and a little sweat— back into their lives as they ponder New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

In the article Three Fitness Tips to Put the Boom Back in Baby Boomers in 2018, out-of-shape boomers who want to lose weight, feel better, look better, get fit and put that boom back in their lives can use these simple exercises recommended by Jaime Brenkus, a nationally recognized fitness expert:

Sit and get fit. Four easy moves you can do on a chair will give you a slimmer, trimmer and tighter waistline. Do at least 20 repetitions of each exercise. For the first, place your hands behind your head, crunch forward and then lean back as far as you can while keeping your feet on the ground. For the second, you can do side bends. Place your hands behind your head again, but this time alternate bending from one side to the other. For the third, rotate your body side to side with more twists. Finally, scoot to the edge of the chair. Bring both knees into your chest and then lower your legs to the starting position.

Round-the-world lunges. You will do a forward, a side and a reverse lunge. Perform each in one movement. (1.) Forward lunge. Stand with your feet together and back straight. Place your left hand on a chair for balance and support. Slowly take a big step forward with the right foot. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your right shin is vertical. Then move back to the starting position. (2.) Side lunge. Slowly step to the side with your right foot about 3 feet and squat so your thighs are parallel to the ground. Move back to the starting position. (3.) Reverse lunge. Slowly step back with your right foot about 3 feet. Bend both knees and lower yourself until your left thigh is parallel with the ground. Return to starting position.

Morning rituals. Brenkus says he starts each morning with fitness moves that work the entire body. The first is push ups. Start with an amount you’re comfortable with. For example, if you do 10 every day, that adds up to 300 for the month. If you’re a beginner, it’s okay to start your push ups by doing them on a wall. Next are squats. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. With your abs held tight and your back straight, slowly lower yourself into a seating position until your bottom touches a seat. Make sure your knees don’t go past your toes and are aligned straight. If just starting out, try quarter to half squats where you’re not bending down as far. ”

Read the whole article: Three Fitness Tips to Put the Boom Back in Baby Boomers in 2018.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – How to Downsize Your Stuff for a Move

Cluttered RoomWhittling down a lifetime’s worth of belongings for a move into a smaller home can be a difficult and emotional task. How can you decide what to keep and what to toss?

In the Reader’s Digest article How to Downsize Your Stuff for a Move, author Ian Landau offers tips you might not have considered when downsizing your possessions before you move:

Get an early start. If you wait until you’ve signed a contract on your new home, you’ll end up getting overwhelmed and tossing everything into boxes to take with you. So start going through your belongings as soon as you decide to move.

Work in concentric circles. Start in the rooms farthest from the heart of the home, such as the attic, basement, and storage rooms. That’s where there are more items that are simply being stored rather than used. Then move into the bedrooms, family room, and kitchen. Pack as you go through these rooms, and make separate piles of items you plan to sell, donate, and give to friends or relatives. Then get those items out of your home right away, so you won’t change your mind.

Involve your family. Items hold different meanings for various family members. You don’t want to save and store that box of toys from your daughter’s childhood only to find out later she doesn’t want them. You also don’t want to toss your son’s old baseball gear if it holds great sentimental value to him.

Be kind to yourself. You don’t have to get rid of everything you hold dear. If you’re really attached to an item and it would break your heart to let it go, keep it!”

Read more at: How to Downsize Your Stuff for a Move.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: How Mom Can Get In On the Home-Sharing Economy

Elderly Lady with Nurse at Assisted Living Facility

In the Next Avenue article How You Can Get In On the Home-Sharing Economy, author Chris Farrell gives us a peek at the cottage industry, plus one man’s home-sharing story:

“Survey after survey shows that Americans want to remain in their own homes as they get older; it’s called ‘aging in place.’ Failing that, they’d like to live in someone else’s home – just not an institutional nursing home. Turns out, you may be able to make some money from this wish by launching a home-sharing operation or just renting out part of your own home.

Here’s the basic idea. Home-sharing programs — often managed by nonprofits — match older homeowners (sometimes empty nesters) who could use extra income with older local people looking for a reduced rent, usually in exchange for helping around the house. For instance, monthly apartment rents in Ann Arbor, Mich. average $1,300 to $1,400 a month, while the average home-share rent is $400 to $500, says Kim McKitrick-Thompson, head of the Housing Bureau for Seniors HomeShare Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.”

What is it like to share your home?

“Earl Roy, 81, lives in Ann Arbor, Mich. and has shared his home with several housemates over the past five years or so. ‘It has worked out for me,’ he says.

Roy, a former civil engineer who spent most of his career building and maintaining supermarkets, wanted to stay in his home. His wife didn’t. So they separated and she moved into a small condo complex in town. But Roy couldn’t afford to keep his place without extra cash to pay for it. He turned to the area’s Seniors HomeShare Program to match him up with renters.

‘I needed the income,’ he says. ‘And I don’t really like living by myself.’

Read more of Earl’s story at How You Can Get In On the Home-Sharing Economy.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Freedom Friday: Want to Retire Abroad? Answers to 14 FAQs

Retire Abroad Word MontageIn the Next Avenue article, Want to Retire Abroad? Answers to 14 FAQs, author Kathleen Peddicord provides advice on everything from Medicare abroad to working overseas:

If I live overseas, would I lose my original citizenship? No, your residency status abroad has no effect on your citizenship. Residency and citizenship are two different things. If you’re a U.S. citizen, the only way to lose your U.S. citizenship is to renounce it formally. This is a serious step that you can’t take accidentally. In other words, there’s no chance you’d lose your U.S. citizenship without realizing it. Renouncing it requires a formal application and at least one interview with the FBI. Once your application to renounce your citizenship has been approved, you then must appear again before federal authorities to relinquish your blue passport with the eagle on the cover. The United States doesn’t want to lose you as one of its citizens, for, as long as you carry U.S. citizenship, no matter where you roam, you are obliged to report your income and earnings to Uncle Sam.

Can I still receive my U.S. Social Security payments? Yes. If you’re eligible for Social Security, you can even have your monthly check direct-deposited into your account in some countries. See this link for a list of countries where this is possible.

Will Medicare cover me living overseas? No. No exceptions. As an American abroad, you need to make another plan for covering your medical expenses overseas. I recommend, though, keeping your Medicare as a major medical backup.

Can I drive on my home country’s driver’s license? Yes, typically for the first 30 days to one year that you’re resident in a new country.

Can I get a job? Probably not. To work in a foreign country, you’ll need a work visa. This is not easily obtained unless you’re sponsored for a job by an international employer and relocated to the country with its help. The one exception to this general rule right now is Panama. This country’s Friendly Nations visa program bundles the possibility of a work permit. Ecuador and the Dominican Republic allow you to work by just obtaining legal residency. Belize allows you to work if you go the permanent residency route rather than QRP. In many places in the world, however, you can start your own business. The easiest is a laptop-based enterprise.”

Read more at Want to Retire Abroad? Answers to 14 FAQs.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: More Advice — Are You Psychologically Ready to Retire?

Businessman Brainstorming About Retirement Planning

In the article Are You Psychologically Ready to Retire?, author Ronald E Riggio Ph.D. suggests four critical questions you need to ask yourself before making this decision:

If your job is stressful, is it retirement you seek, or a change in careers?

My brother found dentistry stressful and unfulfilling. He’s much happier in his new career. My executive friend was passionate about his job, but he is equally passionate about his volunteer career. The point is the decision to retire is about what you value. Are you a working type, or a creative leisure type? My friend Tom, retired this past year. He is an exemplar of “successful retirement.” He has always had a very active leisure life (during his non-working time, he sailed, played tennis, golfed, volunteered, and he has a large social network and a love of travel…). By every account, he is happily and healthily retired.

Are you prepared psychologically to retire?

Do you have a retirement plan? Do you have hobbies or interests that will fill your time? Have you realistically considered what your life will be like as a retired person?

Many people have unrealistic expectations about their retired lives. They imagine that they will take up golfing or tennis, begin hobbies, learn to play the guitar, travel, etc. A good test is to evaluate that part of your life currently. Are you involved in sports, hobbies, or music and passionate about it? If not, it may be unreasonable to expect that you will suddenly develop that passion the day after you retire. The most successful retirees plan out their post-working lives.”

Read the rest at Are You Psychologically Ready to Retire?.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday – More Secrets to a Long Life from Ancestral Greek Islanders

Greek Island SantoriniIn the Next Avenue article Secrets From the Island Where People Forget to Die, author Laine Bergeson writes about the remarkable longevity of the residents of the Greek island of Ikaria:

“On the Greek island of Ikaria, people forget to die.

For the most part, they also forget to get sick – the island’s many nonagenarians experience relatively little cancer, cardiovascular disease or dementia.

This small island in the north Aegean Sea has been the subject of much study by researchers across the world. Every outsider wonders: What is the secret to a long and healthy life?

In her cookbook Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die, ancestral Ikarian and part-time resident of the island, Diane Kochilas, offers an insider’s perspective on why this far-flung Greek community lives so long and so well.”

In a previous article, we reported on four of Kochilas’ longevity tips. Here are two more:

5. Turn to herbs for most of the minor things that ail you and let your body heal itself. The folk pharmacopoeia is vast on the island, and I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg in the book.

6. Walk. Plain and simple. Exercise for priming body and mind alike. Every old person I know on Ikaria still walks a lot.”

Read the whole article: Secrets From the Island Where People Forget to Die.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – More Ways to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind

Donation Box Full of Household GoodsIn the Realtor.com article Moving? Here’s How to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind, author Jamie Wiebe offers tips you might not have considered when downsizing your possessions before you move:

Sort, sort, sort. Go through each room of your house, from least-used to most-trafficked, and sort each and every item you see. Divide them into three piles: keepdonate, and toss. Having trouble choosing the correct designation? Take a cue from Marie Kondo and ask yourself, ‘Does it bring me joy?’ If the answer is a true, honest-to-God yes, add it to the keep pile. Otherwise, it’s time to say goodbye. ‘We would never recommend throwing out everything unless you have the means to completely outfit your new home, but getting rid of those items will make your new house a happier space,’ says Michelle Hale, the co-owner of New York City’s home organization service Henry & Higby. Once you have the donate and toss piles in order, deal with them immediately. The longer they sit, the more likely you are to put junk into your moving boxes. You’ve already said adios once—don’t force yourself to say it again.

Ditch the duplicates. Unless you’re holding onto something for sentimental reasons, now’s the time to get rid of doubles. Two wine holders? Multiple printers? Six table lamps when you need only three? Choose your favorites and downsize the rest.”

Read more at: Moving? Here’s How to Downsize Your Stuff Without Losing Your Mind.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: How to Reduce Stress When Planning a Manageable Move

Baby Boomer Couple with Moving Professionals

According to the advice in the AARP article How to Plan for a Manageable Move, the first step is to decide what to take and what to leave. The process can be stressful and exhausting for everyone involved.

Here are some tips on how to make the process a bit easier:

Tips for Minimizing Stress

  • Parting with beloved items can be easier when they’re given to a beloved family member.
  • Note to recipient: Even if you don’t want the china, take the china. For your loved one, thinking that you will use and love the china is a comfort at a time when comfort is needed. Say thank you. Put it aside for six months. If no one in the family wants it, quietly consign or donate.
  • Phrases like “You don’t need that! It’s junk!” are not helpful. When the to-go pile swells, offer a gentle “This-one-or-that-one?” choice.
  • Sketch a to-scale map of the floor plan in your loved one’s new home. Cut to-scale rectangles, squares and circles to represent furniture. Your loved one can see what will and won’t fit without being told.
  • Focus on the upside. “What are you going to do with the money you make from selling the patio furniture?”
  • If your loved one is going to a community for the aging and he or she has a sturdy outdoor bench or birdbath, ask if it could be used on the grounds.
  • Take hourly breaks.
  • When your loved one has finished deciding what to jettison, urge a short rest. Use the time to bag donations.

Read more at How to Plan for a Manageable Move.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Savvy Seniors Living Seminars – Rightsizing 101 – Part 2

View this Rightsizing 101 video (Part 2 of a 9-part series) to discover the stories of how top downsizing professionals serving seniors in the Bay Area have helped their clients. Hear real-life experiences from Katherine Fogelman of Senior Sorters and Estate Liquidators, Tammy Jo Borosky of Clear Organizing, Karl Anderson of Anderson Bros. Movers, and Mary Lynne Murray of It’s About Time Organizing. This Rightsizing 101 seminar is part of the Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series hosted by Dayna Wilson, Senior Real Estate Specialist with Keller Williams Realty-East Bay. These 90-minute monthly educational seminars are presented at the Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette. Adults 55+, seniors, and caregivers are invited to attend the free seminars to learn the actual facts about issues related to home ownership and post-retirement downsizing in the S.F. Bay Area. See the full seminar schedule at http://savvyseniorsliving.com/schedule/

Freedom Friday: More Advice in 2018 for the Nearly Retired

Four colored price stickers on the worn wooden backgroundIn the Market Watch article, 9 New Year’s Resolutions for the Nearly Retired, author Alessandra Malito suggests that if you are planning to retire in 2018, there are some important resolutions you should make now:

Get the important documents settled. Even at your healthiest, or when you’re struggling to save money, wills and other life documents, such as a power of attorney, are important, especially if you want your wishes to be followed. ‘Don’t leave your family with difficult decisions and scrambling to piece together your finances,’ said James White, a financial adviser and founder of J.H. White Financial in Pottstown, Penn. Know who you want to make the medical decisions, who should be executor of your estate and how to divide your assets. And, though it seems morbid, write out a safely stored document with all the important information you know that your family may need, such as all financial accounts, passwords to social media and other websites and even family recipes they may want, to keep your family’s legacy alive.

Declutter. Getting rid of possessions can be a tedious process, but it frees up space in your home — and could do the same in your mind. ‘By simplifying your life early in retirement, you’re not only freeing up space in your home, but you’re able to take your time to examine what’s most meaningful to you and release anything that no longer serves you,’ said Penny Gordon, senior vice president and private wealth adviser at Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust in East Berlin, Penn. Having a clean slate is just as important as getting your financial house in order, she said (and it could make downsizing homes in the future easier, too). The items that no longer mean much to you may mean a great deal to a family member, friend or charity organization, Gordon added. Some may want to follow Marie Kondo’s method of decluttering, where she puts everything of one category (such as clothes, books or linens) on the floor and picks them up one by one to see which “spark joy” and which don’t. When something is no longer important, you’re supposed to thank the item for its time and find a new place for it (outside of your life).

Know your benefits. Educate yourself on what your company gives you in retirement, including how your retirement accounts are invested and if you get any health benefits. About a quarter of employers who provide health insurance also offer some sort of financial help with medical needs (though that share of employers used to be a lot higher — 60% in the 1980s). Along with what employers offer, it’s important to know what the government will give you. Social Security benefit checks are expected to shrink in a few decades, because there are more people currently retiring than there are people entering the workforce. If you haven’t already, create an account with the Social Security Administration at My Social Security to ensure work history and personal information is current, view Social Security benefit statements or see what you should expect to receive in the future.”

Read more at 9 New Year’s Resolutions for the Nearly Retired.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582