Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Having a Pet May Mean a Healthier Retirement

It may not be a new trend, but we are hearing from a quite a view readers that as part of their plan to REWIRE they have added a new pet to the family.  Not that it should be surprising, after all, recent surveys show that 68% of U.S. households have a pet.  Of course, that includes all pets: snakes, lizards, gerbils, alligators (yes, alligators), and other exotic beings.  Most are opting for the more traditional route: a dog or a cat.
The benefits of having a pet are multiple and hold great appeal for retirees.  Pets are great company.  You may live by or be home by yourself. If there is a pet in the house you are never alone. They make good company and take your mind off of yourself.  As one person said to us recently, "Yes, I admit it, I talk to my dog. He listens. I feel better. He doesn't feel worse. The day seems a little brighter.  Then we go for a walk."  What could be bad about that.
Don't make light of the "going for a walk" part.  Getting out of the house and walking is a great way to exercise with a purpose.  It is also a terrific way to meet new people. Ask anyone in NYC who goes to Central Park with their dog.  Strangers talk to them....the pet that is.  Eventually the conversation extends to the pet owner as well!  Social engagement via a pet has great possibilities. Some of our single friends say it can be as effective as Match.com.
Having a pet requires care and cost. It isn't fair if you are always traveling to leave them home or in the care of a stranger.  Grooming an animal can be time consuming. Taking them to the Vet can be a financial challenge for some people. Cleaning up after them is not so terrific.  If they get hair or fur over everything, vacuuming takes time.  There are no guarantees that you and a new pet will bond. For that matter, you may get the pet, but the pet may love someone else in the household more.  Now that all the disclaimers have been said.  Let's end on the one great truth of pet ownership: They are fun, distracting, lovable, and exciting to be around.  Sounds like a winning combination to us.

Monday, September 21, 2015

THE INTERN: Planning to Work in Retirement

There is a new film coming out this week called THE INTERN. Based on the preview we saw, we have added it to our list of  films to see.  Robert De Niro plays a recent retiree who REWIRES. He wants to be doing something he enjoys: work.  His character gets an opportunity to be an intern at a start up.    The film gives humorous and factual insight into today's work environment.  It's still competitive, challenging, and more complex than ever. Technology requires learning something new almost daily.  However it is also becoming more intergenerational.  People of all ages are learning from each other.  Now that's a novel idea!

If you are thinking of going back to work in some fashion, there are some things you need to consider.  Working in retirement today means you can become an intern, a part or full time employee, be a consultant or start your own business....finally doing something you love.

It’s key for you to think about some basic questions before you jump in....half of the time people say they want to work or want new work options, but don't know what it is they want; can't tell others who would like what they want to do, nor do they have an elevator speech ready to go to explain what they want to do.!

We need other people to help us uncover opportunities so we need to make sure--- coming out of the gate--- that we have our act together! We need to be mentally and physically prepared to help others, so they can help us!

Here are some tips to get you thinking. Many of them are pretty basic…in fact you may think they're so obvious that they should be second nature, and you'd be right! But the obvious is often overlooked.

1. Know WHY you want to work in retirement. (For pay, intellectual stimulation, community, for driver fulfillment?)
2. Think broadly about possible work options (for wages, for a fee, for free by volunteering, being a consultant, starting your own business, working for someone else?)
3. Determine how you want to work: Part time/full time/flex/seasonal
4.Visualize your "dream" job or situation. What would it look like
5.Keep your technology skills up to date
6. Review past accomplishments to get a sense of work you like
7. Identify the skills you want to use and needs you want to fulfill
8. Test market a work idea.  Start with an internship or shadow someone doing the job
9. Create a concise, short 2 minute elevator "job you want" speech (This tells your network what kind of work you want to pursue)
10.Stay RELEVANT physically, mentally, socially.

Monday, September 14, 2015

How old do you think you are?

How we see ourselves in the mirror is often misleading.  If you are having a bad day, you think you look older than you really are.  If you are having a good day, you think you look younger. Makes sense, doesn't it. We have a friend who has created a formula that he uses when he looks in the mirror.  Here is how he describes it: "Up until I was 45, every time I looked in the mirror, I saw myself as 28.  But once I hit 45, I saw myself as 35.  When I hit 50, it jumped to 40.  At 60, it went to 45. I just turned 70, so now I see myself as 50.  I guess when I reach 100, I will see myself as 75. It makes perfect sense to me."  In reality he doesn't care what anyone else thinks how he looks, and he readily acknowledges self-delusion. But his formula simply makes him feel better. A new study shows how people of different ages define older age. It confirms what we hear most often about the perceptions of aging.

Our faces often reflect are lives. Each wrinkle a decade of experience.  Some decades are harder than others.  It also shows how much time we spent in the sun without sunscreen.  Remember the home brew of baby oil and iodine many of us used in our teens and twenties? The sure way to tan. But it was even better if you used a reflector.  What were we thinking?  Skin cancer was hardly on the screen then.  The other factor is our DNA.  Did our ancestors win the tight skin lottery or did they have to run around in skin looking older than their age.

Whether you look young or old, the key is feeling good about yourself.  Take care of that skin.  Lotions, vitamins, exercises, sunscreen, hats, etc. all help.  It only takes a little effort to make a big difference.  After all, don't you want to look 75 when you hit 100?

Rewiring also means taking care of yourself as you age so you can look your best.  Projecting energy and vitality can lead to opportunities that can make a big difference, especially if you are looking for a new job, part time work, being selected for a great volunteer assignment, or if you are out in the dating market again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

If you Hate to exercise, Read this

No matter where we go in the world and talk about Rewiring Your Future, exercise seems to be top of mind.  Sometimes it is scary to hear people say they are going to run a marathon, but haven't done any exercise in years.  Yes, we have actually heard this.  We always tell people to STOP and GO SLOWLY.  The only people who benefit from strenuous exercise like running a marathon without significant preparation are doctors and undertakers. 

No matter what age you are, creating an exercise plan for yourself should be a thoughtful process and include input from professionals including your doctor.  The goal should be to improve your health, your life expectancy and the enjoyment of doing something positive for yourself.     Improper exercise results in pains, strains, torn ligaments, and other more serious injuries.  No pain, No gain may work for some, but we don't recommend it..

We tell people if you have an exercise routine that works for you, keep it up.  If you are bored with your routine, add some new exercises that make it more interesting.  Trying new things makes it a lot less boring and new challenges can be very rewarding once you master them. Not addressing exercise boredom  leads to no exercise at all.

Now for the good news: there is a great article out this week in the New York Times by Gretchen Reynolds.  We love the title: The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life.  The article talks about several new studies that gathered information on over 600,000 middle-aged adults They analyzed 14 years of death records for this group and came up with very interesting findings about exercise and fitness.

For those who hate rigorous exercise, there is hope.  You don't have to run a marathon, swim the English Channel, or climb the stairs of the Empire State building to get and stay in shape.  All you have to do is have a modest plan and stick to it.  According to the studies cited, "The Sweet spot for exercise benefits, however, came among those who tripled the recommended level of exercise, working out moderately, mostly by walking, for 450 minutes per week, or little more than an hour per day.  Those people were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who never exercised."
That sounds good to us.

There is no time like the present to get rewired.  Now that winter is behind us, there is no excuse that it is too cold to go for a walk.  Even if it is cold and raining, there is always the indoor mall or the gym.  Put on your headset, listen to the music that motivates you, and strut your stuff.  You will be glad you did and so will those who love you!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Open Your Eyes: Possibilities Abound

We are an odd nation of individuals; there are those who make things happen; those who watch things happen and those who after everything has happened say: “WOW! What happened?”  At this point, you should be asking yourself…Which one am I?

We hope you are in the first category, or at least can get yourself there. Why? Because your life will be more fulfilling…and fun…if you can make things happen for yourself.  There are thousands of self help books out there…and maybe you have read some but stop reading and let’s get into action. 

First, identify a real goal or something you are ready to pursue or at least investigate.

A recent retiree who we have been working with to rewire decided it was time to get some fitness into her life. She now had the time, freedom, flexibility and desire to “get in shape."   She had a gym in her apartment building, but didn’t like going there so our question to her was…why not?  What do you want to get out of a workout? What do you want to do and where do you want to do it? This may sound really simple and obvious but it isn’t always and it is a part of a person’s rewiring.

At our suggestion she “talked to herself” and through her own assessment discovered:

·        She didn’t want to work out alone.

·        She didn’t want the pressure or to pay for a personal trainer.

·        She wanted to try a variety of classes like Spinning and Zumba.

·        She thought she also might like to learn to swim.

·        She wanted a convenient friendly gym that wasn’t too glitzy but still “cool.”

…and then she started throwing up roadblocks. And that’s when we said STOP!

Get on Google; put in your desired neighborhood; identify your desire for a pool or fitness
classes and see what happens!

She is now a member of Asphalt Green on the Upper East Side in New York City.  A non profit community center that is 20 blocks from her home, where she had gone by hundreds of times in the last 20 years but never visited, and in the end she even joined during a special promotion!  The point is….she never opened her eyes and looked around to see what was right in front of her!

Lesson: At this stage of life particularly open your eyes and your mind to new possibilities!