Monday, December 9, 2013

Why is REWIRING So Important?

One of the biggest fears our readers have is that they will eventually be faced with memory loss.  Alzheimer’s disease & Dementia looms in the back of our collective minds. For that very reason we have been beating the REWIRING drum since the first edition of our book, Don’t Retire, REWIRE! was published, encouraging people to continue to be active and involved in life.  We know that for many people retirement can be deadly.  If you stop work and go on a permanent vacation, you run the risk of letting your mind and your body atrophy.

We are not medical doctors or psychologists, but we are always looking for news that will be useful to our readers. We are happy to report that the news isn’t all bleak. Alzheimer’s & Dementia Weekly cites an article in The New England Journal of Medicine that reports that the rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s are going down.  How can that be?  While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are lifestyle adjustments people are making around the globe to postpone memory loss. It is all about rewiring and how you look at and what you do in the future.  Exercise is the number activity recommended.  Forty-five minutes, four days a week of aerobics…..walking, jogging, biking, etc. is the number one thing you can do to help your body and your mind.  Exercise goes hand in hand with having a healthy diet.  Maintaining your optimal weight is another important aspect to consider at this life stage.

Having an active social life and staying engaged with others is mandatory.  Social interaction keeps the brain stimulated. Having fun, doing volunteer work, attending religious services and activities with others can all have a very positive effect.

Don’t forget your annual physical.  Find out if you have high blood pressure… it is easily treatable.  High cholesterol is also very treatable.  A healthy diet helps, but there are medications available to lower it, too. And for heaven’s sake, STOP SMOKING.  That is the worst self-inflicted injury that can be avoided. 

Stay working as long as you can.  The seduction of early retirement is one of the most negative things you can do to yourself.  Having a schedule, using your skills, solving problems are all ways to keep your brain running smoothly.  If you are forced to retire, get rewired quickly.

Not everyone will avoid Alzheimer’s or dementia, but doing the above will slant the odds in your favor.






Friday, November 22, 2013

Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving, 2013 is upon us.  Where did the year go?  We just received a phone call from a reader who has become a friend wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving.  We hadn't talked since last Thanksgiving, so our conversation covered year's events and the many things we are thankful for: family, friends, work, etc.  The list for the fortunate can be quite long.  But that is the beauty of living in the United States.  Even with all the political madness, we have opportunities that are unavailable in other countries and cultures.

Our friend pointed out that her response to Thanksgiving 2012 was to go and find a volunteer opportunity that would enable her to give back and give thanks.  When we congratulated her, she said not so fast.  I am on my third charitable involvement.  The first two didn't work out and this one is presenting some challenges.  We let her know that this is a familiar refrain from many of the people we know.  They wanted to give back but no one would let them!

We suggested to our friend that she go back and re-read the section on volunteering in Don't Retire, REWIRE! There are some things about yourself that you must factor in before you select a charitable endeavor. 

Here are a few things to remember:
1. Whatever volunteer gig you select make sure it aligns with your own Drivers.  Drivers are the emotional fulfillment your receive from the work and activities you perform. For example, If you have a leadership driver, you probably want visibility and a decision making role. Serving soup in a homeless shelter won't give you the driver fulfillment you seek.  Get on a Board or Executive Committee instead.  Both jobs are important. If you don't get the fulfillment you need chances are you will leave or be very unhappy.

2. Find a volunteer opportunity where you will be appreciated.  If you end up doing volunteer work for people who are thoughtless or rude (yes, even they can be volunteers) you will quickly tire of the lack of respect and not receiving positive reinforcement or a simple thank you.

3. Select volunteer work that is geographically convenient.  If you have to go too far to make a difference, you will quickly tire of the journey.  God knows there are plenty of needs. So find one close by.  When you are tired, the last thing you want to do is drive or take a bus for 45 minutes.

These are just a few thoughts to consider.  Thanksgiving is a great time to consider giving back.  So if you aren't already volunteering, start.  But know your drivers first!

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Wall Street Journal Report on Living the New Retirement

On October 28th The WSJ published one of its Journal Reports called PLANNING & LIVING THE NEW RETIREMENT.  The section was delivered on Monday morning.  What a great way to start the week.  We couldn't put it down. It contained some of the most interesting articles about retirement such as In Search of a New Identity by Sydney Lagier and So-You-Think You're-Ready-for-Retirement QUIZ by Glenn Ruffenach.  The article about living to 120 was very thought provoking and the Living the Good Life column had an interesting article about The Best Job in Retirement or Not.

Too often we see articles about retirement featuring beach chairs, an umbrella and drinks with small parasols in them.  It leads people to the wrong assumption that retirement is one big vacation.  It isn't.  It is more likely a large block of time divided by ages and stages and it may very well include new work either volunteer or paid, going back to school, starting a new business, trying new things, traveling, and even continuous learning outside the classroom.   Some will be in retirement longer than they worked. It's called longevity and that is the bonus our generation has gotten.  Gerontologists predict that over 3 million Baby Boomers will live to be 100+.

Some Boomers will move out of the country, learn a new language and go on a journey of discovery. International Living magazine is filled with articles about the challenges and joys of living in a place that probably has a significantly lower cost of living.  Making retirement funds stretch is a new form of exercise. 

Reading about the possibilities that the future represents is stimulating, thought provoking, and eye opening.  It isn't scary.  What's scary is not reading about what the future may hold and planning for it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

REWIRE! with Music and Reduce Stress

Our readers often report that when they sit down to plan the future, either individually or with a partner or spouse, they find their anxiety level climb.  The future can be intimidating and appear uncertain even with calm, careful planning.  But nevertheless planning is a key ingredient that leads to self-actualizing a future that is fulfilling and sustaining. There is a secret to making planning less anxiety producing.  It is called MUSIC

That's right, listening to music while planning can reduce stress, improve focus, and make it a more enjoyable experience.  A recent article by reporter, Elizabeth Landau, CNN, highlights a study showed that patients who were to undergo surgery and listened to music reported being calmer than patients who were prescribed anti-anxiety drugs.  If other studies continue to confirm these findings, it will have a profound effect on how we medicate in the future.   A doctor's prescription for anxiety may eventually read: Beethoven 2X a day, or Jimmy Buffett, as needed. It may also mean a huge savings in prescription drug costs.

Whether it's chanting, Willy Nelson, Josh Groban, or Yo Yo Ma, you choose what's best for you.  Many of the people we have spoken with about music and anxiety report that Mozart is the best antidote.  Now listening is made even easier with Pandora.  You can set up your own favorites list and every time you sit down to plan, you can become calmer.  Now that's a symphony we can all REWIRE to!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Write Your Own Memoir and REWIRE!

Our book agent, Martha Jewett, has rewired. After a long and successful career in book publishing, she is now working in an area that comes naturally to her: memoir writing. Martha is an exceptionally talented person.  She was a great agent.  Now she is a great author, teacher and memoirist.  Martha’s interest in memoir was handed down in her family. “My grandmother and great-grandmother both wrote their memoirs,” she says. “I know that my great-great-grandmother sang around the house, something I do too.”

Martha now combines her natural interest in memoir writing with her expertise at showing first-time authors how to write books. On her website,, Martha shows non-writers how to write their memoirs. “Everyone has a story to tell. But few people know how to write their memoirs.” explains and illustrates memoir-writing techniques and gives examples of family memoirs Martha writes.

 Martha has just published a new e-book, the only guide on the market on how to use storytelling techniques of fiction in memoir writing. How To Bring Your Memoir To Life: 53 Fiction-Writing Techniques from the Marshall Plan®, co-authored with Evan Marshall, includes examples from bestselling memoirs. “These are the same techniques professional writers use to write memoirs that are alive, clear, riveting, dramatic, full of feeling, fast-paced, and immersive,” says Martha.

Looking to pen a compelling memoir? Now you know where to start.     

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Boomers Embrace Technology

Boomers have been Rewiring, figuratively and literally.  Since we wrote Don’t Retire, REWIRE! we have been urging Boomers to embrace technology and improve their lives. This is important for everyone. One of the key reasons our readers cite is that by using technology you get to stay in the workforce longer.  You won’t be classified as “yesterday’s worker.”  You get to stay connected to others on and off the job. You can continue to learn and improve your job skills more conveniently and less expensively, too.

You can have more fun….no, not just playing games online, but by opening up a world of adventure and travel.  You can plan better, more cost effective vacations, which translates to being able to have more of them.  The list of how technology can enhance your life goes on and on, and probably will long after future generations ask, “What was a Baby Boomer?”

Not too long ago,  AD Age Digital quoted Rob Sinclair, Microsoft’s director of Accessibility who stated that Boomers represent 25% of the population, yet purchase 40% of all technology.  So if you go on a job interview and you run into a condescending younger interviewer throw this tidbit out and at least get them thinking that “Gee, maybe I underestimated by parents generation.”

This trend isn’t confined to the U.S. either.  On every global trip we have taken in the last 5 years, we make a point to look to see who is using technology in the countries we visit.  It is not just the under 40 set.  It is just about everybody, particularly those of Boomer age.  Whether they are staying connected to work, sending photos to family, or reading their favorite author on their Ipad, they are using technology to their advantage.

Occasionally, we get reader comments on how disgusting it is that technology has separated us from others.  This is so far from the truth as to be ridiculous.  Our personal experience alone, shows that by using FaceBook, Linkedin, Reddit, and other social media sites, we have been so much more connected to a much larger group of friends and family.  It is so fantastic to find out what is going on in the lives of people we care about but don’t always see.  You can’t do this when you aren’t connected!

If you are getting overwhelmed by technology and want a break, simply turn off your phone, Kindle, computer, IPhone, IPad mini or whatever you use for a few hours.  Staying connected is a choice.  Choose to be connected, but manage your time so that the connections pay off for you.  How lucky we are to have the world at our fingertips.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Get Involved and Learn!

It's almost fall.  Labor Day signaled the last day of summer vacations.  School has begun and the yellow buses are packing the roads once again. But learning isn't just for kids.  One of the secrets we have discovered from people we have interviewed over the years is that learning is ageless, fun, and engaging.  Whether you are 50 or 90, continuing to learn improves vitality and increases energy.  Learning is a form of REWIRING.  It doesn't matter what you call it.  Continuous or life long learning mean the same thing.  The important point is that you do it.
One of America's wisest sons, Benjamin Franklin, was voracious in his desire to learn, to explore, to travel, and acquire new perspective.  He never stopped doing it and was the richer for it.  After a long life, he reflected on what and how he learned.  He said:
"Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."  These are words to live by.

We all learn differently. We do so by listening to others in a lecture, by visiting historical sites and talking and listening to guides, by doing hands on volunteering. The internet has opened vast amounts of knowledge for all of us to know.  If you have never watched a TED Talks, you are missing something very special.  Try it. We know you will like it.  You can also secure DVDs at your local library on just about anything.

One form we recommend above all the others, is putting yourself together with other seekers.  You will benefit from the collective questions, knowledge, and enthusiasm that groups provide.  Community colleges, museums, and traveling with others on a themed tour or vacation are just a few of the activities that can lead to knowledge, new friendships, and broadening your perspective.

Geography shouldn’t be a barrier.  You can learn locally, go to another state, or travel to another country, or never leave home. After all you can learn in a group on an interactive webcast.  You can learn regardless of your budget.  Now there are learning venues for everyone.

So as Ben said: Get Involved and Learn!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Reunions: Agony or Ecstasy?

A recent interview Jeri did with her sorority, Tri Delta, Living in 3D,  got us thinking about reunions.  We’ve heard from so many readers who have told us stories about reconnecting with old friends and making new ones via attending reunions of every kind imaginable: family, camp, high school, college, sorority, fraternity, with friends who served together in the military and former work associates.  Rick and I are Avon Products alumni (that’s where we met), and have reconnected with friends at Avon reunions.

When we started discussing reunions we went to Google to see what was being said about them.  Should people go or avoid them at all costs.  We found several prominent articles on all kinds of reunions that were both pro and con.  But what was telling were the themes of the articles, for example: 31 Reasons Why You Should Go to Your High School Reunion.  Another articled trumpeted 6 Reasons Why High School Reunions Shouldn’t Exist.  Some of the reasons in both articles were funny, sad, and even downright crazy.  But 31 trumps 6, so our advice is go to any and all reunions with an open mind and an open heart. 

Attending a reunion is a form of rewiring®.  Yet many people dismiss reunions as not necessary.  Some don’t want to revisit bad memories or avoid them at all costs because, “I look too old” or I’ve gained too much weight.”   Entrepreneurs clearly don’t see it that way.  They jump at the chance to go to reunions.  Why? Because entrepreneurs view it as a new learning experience that will improve their chances for success.  A conversation at a reunion may lead to a new idea, a new client, a new supplier, a new career opportunity or a whole new perspective. 

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to get something positive from a reunion.  It may lead to new ideas where to travel, what classes to take, hobbies to begin, where to volunteer and give back.  You may even find someone to travel with, play a sport with, or just go have fun with.  Whether you continue to work, want to start a new business, or increase your leisure time enjoyment, you can benefit from what you find out at a reunion.

So go to your reunion. You may find some pleasant surprises and unexpected magic when you walk down memory lane.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Boomer Organ Recital

Recently we were with a group of Boomer friends many of whom were complaining about aches and pains due to sports and other physical activities. It became a game of can you top my pain.  Fortunately one of the group yelled "Stop. I have had enough of this organ recital."  Rather than get angry the most vocal looked around, got very quiet and smiled sheepishly.  As researchers on Boomers, we asked ourselves what pains are in store for this huge cohort?  Not everyone is going to suffer extreme aches and pains and those that do will suffer in their own way.  However, there is one specific pain causing disease that is targeted to grow to epidemic proportions.  We all know it. It's called Arthritis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that today there are 50 million cases of arthritis in the U.S. By 2030 they project 67 million cases. But only old people get arthritis, right?  Wrong.  Chances are that as our bodies age we run the risk of becoming an arthritis statistic.  But all is not lost.

We recently saw an article in Arthritis Today magazine about Pearl White, a 96 year old woman, who is a role model for all of us.  A life long dancer, she was forced to give it up at age 80 when her arthritis became too painful for her to continue.  But she rewired and became a fitness instructor.  She didn't give up.  She found another way to channel her energy, continue to exercise, and remain socially engaged as a teacher.  Pearl asked herself, what else can I do?

Life is all about ages and stages.  If something you do becomes problematic, like exercise, playing golf, tennis, dancing, or anything else, you need to find new alternatives that keep you in the game.   Staying physically active and socially engaged is one sure way to have a better future.  It will benefit your body and your mind. So it happens to you, do what Pearl did and find something new!  You can REWIRE as many times as you can imagine or need to.  When one thing goes, try something new.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Are You Ready To Try Something New?

In the past two weeks several people told us that they want to learn to play the piano as part of their rewiring®.   But they said they were afraid they couldn’t learn or give the time to practice or that they wouldn’t be able to remember the keyboard! In other words the desire was there…but so were the excuses!  So here we were on this past Sunday looking at the 88 Pianos Event at Lincoln Center surrounded by 88 pianos, all colorfully decorated.  Who did we see there, but one of our piano hopefuls?
He admitted he had never sat on a piano bench; had never tinkled the ivories and when he heard the pianos were there he said he would just stroll over. He didn't know anyone so he sat down, ran his fingers over the keys and pretended he knew how to play. when he saw us he looked a combo of surprise, sheepishness and then he beamed, and said, I like it!

So what have you been thinking of doing? Do you want to learn piano or to paint, play bridge? If the opportunity to try something new was right in front of you, would you take it?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

50 + Workers: Put Your Best Self Forward!

The job market for the 50+ age group seems to be improving.  Slowly unemployment is declining. But mature workers continue to meet obstacles (real and imagined) that are preventing them from working.  AARP has provided some excellent articles and tools for this group.  One of their articles published earlier this year, How Should Older Workers Navigate the Job Market? is particularly helpful.  They also have a Life Reimagined for Work section which provides tools for job seekers.

There are many reasons why this group is seeking employment: need the money for themselves, to support children, grandchildren, or parents; miss the social environment work provides; want to continue to use their skills or develop new ones.  The list goes on. 

Research, our own and from others’, has unearthed that many people ages 50-65 who are seeking a job are physically and/or emotionally tired and anxious.  Some have disabilities that make working an even greater challenge. These circumstances make it even harder to keep looking. Unfortunately burn out, rust out, and the apathy that comes from repeated disappointment is telegraphing their state of mind to interviewers. As one HR staffer told us, “They look rejected before the interview even starts.  Where is the motivation? Quite a few let their anger at their circumstances seep through. Some actually say that they never expected they would have to be working at this life stage.” Not very positive, is it?

We recommend that people get to know their drivers....reasons why they work beyond a paycheck.  Knowing your drivers will improve your chances of finding a job that you are happy about doing.  We recently asked staffing executives what these mature job seekers can do to set themselves apart from the pack and highlight their talents.  Here are a few suggestions they offered.
  1. Show up prepared and dressed appropriately. Look like you want the job.
  2. Never forget you are a skills merchant. Tell us what you have done to keep your skills relevant and up to date, e.g. do you take classes, attend seminars, get training. Remember it is a competition (we suggest individuals take the Rewirement Ramp Up Quiz to get to know themselves better before the interview).
  3. Be prepared to talk specifics.  Tell us what you have that is pertinent to our job opening and our business.
  4. Be confident.  If you act dejected you will be rejected.
  5. When we ask, “What do you know about our company?” be able to answer it with specifics.  Research their website, read Google articles, find out who their major competitors are, and if you can ask current or former employees about the culture.  You would be amazed how many people never go on the company website prior to the interview.  What a lost opportunity.
It sounds simple, but finding a job over the age of 50 is not easy.  Nothing worth getting is easy. However, many people over 50 are finding employment.  So if you are looking for a job or thinking about it. Get ready; Get Rewired; then go for it.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dancing in China

We just came back from a trip to China.  It was a great learning experience for us on every level.  Of course we looked to see how the Chinese REWIRE after they retire.  To our amazement one of the activities beside Tai Chi that retirees are into big time is dancing. Group dancing, individual dancing, sword dancing, folk dancing, ballroom dancing, dancing with a partner; you name it they dance it.  We found this out on one of our first mornings in Beijing and witnessed it every place we went inside the country.

China has beautiful parks in most every city large and small.  If you go to the park in the morning, you can see what we are talking about.  Men and women are out getting exercise, socializing, loosening stiff joints, and kindling new friendships.  When they go to bed at night, they have something to look forward to. When the alarm rings they head to a social event.  Some dress in their normal street clothes.  Others are in dancing attire and some are in outfits that resemble pajamas…satiny and shinny. 

Retirement in China isn’t easy.  Pensions aren’t large and apartments and homes are small.  So they need to be creative and find something that will get them outside and moving. Dancing is one of those activities.  Our guide told us they do it in all seasons.  Yes, even in the cold of winter and the heat of summer.  Rain does put a dent in things, but you can buy a cheap rain suit and keep dancing.

History buffs will recall that Chairman Mao loved to dance.  The Memorial Dance Floor at the Raffles Hotel in Beijing is a restored piece of history. Mao and President Nixon danced there, but not with each other.  Perhaps the Chinese have a dancing gene in their collective DNA.  It gives a whole new meaning to “Bop to you Drop.”

We loved it because it represents so much we advocate in Don’t Retire, REWIRE!  Dancing helps people stay connected to others; provides excellent physical activity; offers structure to the day; and provides a purpose.  You can work on your dancing skills, be in competitions if you so choose, or continuously learn new steps.  That’s what we call Driver fulfillment. 

There is one downside however.  It is a cautionary tale.  The divorce rate among retirees is climbing slightly.  Some men and women are finding that they like dancing with their new partner better than dancing with their spouses. 

More on China is coming in future blogs.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Tom Friedman recently wrote in his column in the New York Times that Boomers had it easy when they first started out in their careers. All they had to do was “find a job.” He contrasts that with today’s recent college graduates who may be lucky enough to find a job, but more than likely will have to “invent” their own job. The internet has alleviated the need to know or memorize facts.  After all any internet connected device (I-phone, Blackberry, Droid, I-Pad, tablet computer, etc.) can access facts on the internet. The key however is not to know the facts, but to know what to do with the facts at your finger-tips.

 This has become the challenge of the mature worker (defined as anyone over the age of 40).  If they can’t find a job, they must invent one and become an entrepreneur, or an outsourcing agent for someone’s business.  Let’s say you are 60 years of age.  You were forced to retire early.  But you still need an income because the retirement savings you planned on were used to pay for your child’s education, your Mother’s eldercare, and the new car to replace the old one that just died with 200,000+ miles on the odometer. Starting your own business isn’t easy especially when financial resources are slim.  What do you do now?

A significantly important ingredient to a successful career “invention” is to identify your DRIVERS before you start something new.  DRIVERS are the emotional rewards we derive from work, play, fun that gives us a significant level of satisfaction and holds our interest.  We conducted research with pre and post retirees.  We asked one question: “Why do you work beyond the paycheck.”  We got back 85 different reasons: to have accomplishments, to use my skills, continuous learning, make a difference, mentor, etc.  The length of the list surprised us.  The responses were so impressive that we wrote a book about them.  Don’t Retire, REWIRE!  Knowing your DRIVERS and aligning them to the work you do or business you start is a major key to success.  The opportunity to get driver fulfillment is usually the difference between toil and drudgery or looking forward to getting up in the morning to do something that satisfies, stimulates, excites, and engages. 

If you need to find work or “invent it,” make sure your DRIVERS are getting fulfilled. Take the DRIVERS test.  Don’t worry about the facts.  You can download them!

Thursday, March 28, 2013


People frequently tell us they want to try something new. When we follow up with them, we often find out they haven't even taken the first step. There's a lot of lip service between what people say they want to do, and what they actually do. We have begin to analyze why.

A big and not surprising factor, is that it can come down to jealousy. That's right, jealousy of safeguarding one's time and money! Today, more so than ever before, people want a good return on their investment of time and money. We understand that expectation because we do to! But we also know that people are eager to find new hobbies, interests, passions, you do have to expend time, effort and money to find out what you like and don't like. This is where people get stuck. They don't want to spend the money or time on something they might not like---but then again, it could be time and money spent on something they do like. Frustration is an obvious result, as well as feeling frozen, or in limbo, waiting to take that first or next step.

We have a few ideas to share that will help people get unstuck and begin to rewire in a cost-effective way.

For example, if you want to learn something about 19th century art, you can sign up for a 6 week $600 course at a local museum. But what if after the second class you discover it isn't what you wanted to learn. Now that's a problem; you're thinking, money and time wasted. So rather than running the risk of being disappointed and a little poorer, people convince themselves to do nothing. We understand their reluctance because time and money are both precious commodities, especially today.

But wait. How about managing your risk with a free or low cost seminar before you take the plunge? Now there's an opportunity. You would be amazed at the number of free lectures, seminars, classes, and other offers on the internet. Take a look at some of the GROUPON offers...or offers coming through Some people automatically use them, and others automatically click them off! We say look before you delete! Your future fun could be lost once you hit that delete button!

Museums offer free lectures that are excellent and inspiring. You can meet like minded people interested in the same topic that you are pursuing, or if you are feeling like a hermit, you can learn new and exciting things on -line. How you choose to experience new things is your call...but our point is that there are FREE things to try before you plunk down your hard earned cash. You just have to do some investigation to find one that fits your interest. It's a great way to "try before you buy." These type of offers can get you started on a rewiring path to a new interest or an old one that you want to rekindle.

How do I do it? Just go to your browser and type Free Seminars and your city or town name. Then see what pops up. Usually the local newspaper or magazine has a listing. Do it now---your future is waiting.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Conquering Obstacles for a Fulfilled Future

We've attended several weddings over the past year ,(each one more unique and fabulous than the last!) and at each event we met people who were either close to retirement age (which was defined by them as being between 60-72), or were retired already and wondering what's next? Each man or woman, whether we were sitting and waiting for the ceremony to start, enjoying a glass of champagne or out on the dance floor, yes, even on the dance floor, we were tracked down, and questioned about how do you get it right in your next act? These people were not panicking, but they admittedly were nervous about the future.

The general theme was: "Everybody tells you to save money----ok, we've done it. We know where we want to live; we want to stay right where we are but travel more. But the media makes the future sound easy, but let me tell you I'm no kid and I've discovered that I'm more than a little scared."

We didn't want to turn the wedding into a focus group, so we kiddingly said, "One of the greatest obstacles to rewiring is ourselves.  Everyone needs to get out of their own way."  We put together a list of obstacles that can lead to emotional paralysis. Sometimes by acknowledging our own reality we can overcome these obstacles.  If the obstacle is deep seated enough it may require counseling.  Do any of these apply to you? Either way getting over the obstacle can lead to a fulfilling and joyful future.  Isn't it worth trying!!! 
  • Lack of confidence ----self doubt
  • Fear of failure and perfectionism
  • Procrastination
  • Anxiety
  • Indecision and indecisiveness
  • Depression
  • Immobilization 
  • Rigidity: unwillingness to compromise or to be flexible
  • Aversion to risk taking 
  • Impatience
  • Lack of motivation  
  • Difficulty getting organized and feeling overwhelmed
  • Inability to set priorities
  • Difficulty tolerating frustration

Friday, March 8, 2013


65 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU RETIRE: TRAVEL is a new book of travel essays edited by Mark Evan Chimsky. We are delighted to be contributors of a REWIRE! travel essay.  All profits from the book go to fund Cancer research and prevention.  It is a wonderful opportunity to learn about travel and make a contribution to a worthy cause.

Here is what is being said about the book:  "A total of 10,000 people turn 65 each day -- and many of them who retire want to make the most of travel opportunities. 65 Things to Do When You Retire: Travel offers practical, inspiring advice about how to have the time of your life, whether traveling with a group, with a spouse or partner, or on your own. More than 65 intrepid writers and travel experts reveal their own personal adventures and describe glorious getaways for retirees, including such exciting travel opportunities as international house-sitting, going to Italy for a writing workshop, volunteering to help communities in developing countries, doing archaeological digs, taking a retirement "gap year," and chucking it all to see the world. Readers will discover how to plan for their own "great escapes," whether it's a trip to a lodge and spa in Wyoming or to a sacred pilgrimage in France."

The previous book, 65 Things to Do When You Retire, was recently hailed by The Wall Street Journal as "[one] of the year's best guides to later life...Reading the essays in Mark Evan Chimsky's 65 Things to Do When You Retire is like having your own brainstorming session with 65 highly knowledgeable men and women of a certain age and many different walks of life. The collection is full of candor, humor and wisdom."

If you want some great travel insights, get this book.  It's a great read with wonderful thought-starters. If you already know where you want to go, it is a great guide.  If you are not sure where to head, you will get great ideas.  And for the armchair traveler, who never wants to leave home, you will get something to stimulate your imagination. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Where Stress Evaporates and Time Stands Still

It seems that everyone we speak with acknowledges that they are living in a world of extreme ambiguity and uncertainty. Many boomers are sandwiched between caring for parents and children and grandchildren. The social exhaustion of party politics and the presidential election has people deleting political apps and turning their backs on the media. Even the media is tired of the media. Financial uncertainty, the continuing housing crisis, and endless statistics that blind us are the icing on the cake. A close friend asked us, “What do I do now? Should I just go and hide.” It is a tempting thought, but there is a better way to rise above the fray. Rather than hide, go and REWIRE!

Cast aside stress: If you REWIRE! only one leisure activity in your life, you will begin to see the benefit rather quickly. Leisure at it’s lowest level is a diversion. But don’t settle on distraction. Go to the point in the activity until you find pleasure in it. But don’t just be pleased. Continue to the highest level where the activity provides meaning and purpose as well as pleasure. It is the place where time doesn’t exist. Three hours seems to be three minutes. You will know when you find it, because you will be enjoying challenges, using your skills or acquiring new ones, and you will be connecting to others in a fertile community of activity.  It personifies fulfillment.

We decided to tackle a totally new endeavor---Opera.  No we are not singing, but we are learning, traveling, meeting new people, and importantly using our curiosity to propel us to learn,, marvel, and lust for more. We are fulfilling one of our most important DRIVERS: continuous learning. We kick started it by taking Opera Boot Camp offered by the Metropolitan Opera Guild. It was a commitment of an hour and one half over a period of 4 Saturdays at a very minimal cost. It has begun what we believe is a life long love affair.

It doesn’t have to be opera or any cultural activity. Perhaps it is a sport, or a hobby, or an interest in something that you have always wondered about. Give yourself a gift. Take the time, make the effort, stand back and be wowed by how you feel and what you learn.

REWIRING sure beats the drudgery of daily stress and the ambiguity of life!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Encore: Rewiring for Your Next Act at Kanuga Conference Center

It isn’t often you get to mix planning for the future with Jazz improvisation and the spiritual journey. But that’s just what’s happening on February 25-27th at the Kanuga Conference Center outside of Asheville, NC. The program is Encore: Rewiring for Your Next Act. This event will focus on how to “do” retirement and the future, however you define it. Participants will learn to discover what really motivates and fulfills them as individuals, create a personal vision for the future, and begin to develop a personal “REWIRED life portfolio. There will be an opportunity for some personal coaching as well.

The program is the 2013 Bowen Conference, an annual event to explore Christian commitment.

We are delighted to be joining with the Theodicy Jazz Collective, the Reverend Ben Alford, a recent rewiree, and the Reverend Lisa Flores, Conference Coordinator.  Working with a Jazz group who constantly improvise as they play is a dream-come true for us. We love Jazz and we have seen first hand how retirees benefit when they use improvisation to improve their experiences and enhance their dreams. Attendees will leave with deeper personal insights about themselves and tools they can use to achieve a more fulfilling and enjoyable future.

Kanuga is one of the great conference centers and camps in the nation and is located in a magnificent setting in the mountains of Western North Carolina. It’s been around since 1928 situated on 1400 of the most beautiful acres you can imagine. Lake Kanuga is a photographer’s dream. The facilities of Kanuga are modern and amazing. In addition to the conference individuals can take full advantage of the hiking trails, yoga and other recreational venues located at Kanuga. 

Here is the link to learn more about the Conference and how to register for what will be an exceptionally rewarding and fun experience. The conference is open to everyone regardless of religion or denomination.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I had postponed writing a New Year’s blog because I found myself beginning to write some of “the same old, same old.” What I mean is that each year there is the expected dialogue that people have with themselves about making and keeping resolutions. Or perhaps it’s the dialogue about getting committed to changing some things in your life that you have been complaining about forever. Or maybe you truly are sincere when you try to convince yourself that you really have the desire to start anew but just can’t get into gear for whatever reason.

I thought about those dialogues and decided NOT to write about change or resolutions this year. Instead I decided to get right to the point and to tell everyone DO SOMETHING SMALL. YES SMALL! Don’t go for BIG! You won’t get there. You know yourself and you might have proven that to yourself already.

Think about it: We learn to crawl before we walk, and to walk before we run. Yet as grown ups we go for BIG and often make monumental commitments to ourselves, only to falter, or even worse, fail because the commitment or goal just looked too massive. So rather than being down on yourself … GO SMALL. Take a small step.

In fact I challenge you to make some small effort or action today towards a goal you have been thinking about. Then when you’re done, smile and pat yourself on the back. Sounds trite but if you do that every day for one week, you’ll not only feel better about yourself but you’ll be moving forward on some initiative in your life.

Rewiring your life…whether it be at work, play, in the community or in relationships, doesn’t happen overnight. There are books, YOUTUBE videos and podcasts on taking small steps to success, so take them! And HAPPY NEW YEAR!