Something every Boomer should know about READING

From Lumosity, a brain-training APP/online tool: “Researchers from the Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging took brain scans of several literary PhD students as they read a chapter from Mansfield Park. First, the PhD students were asked to read the book casually, for fun. Then students were asked to switch to a critical reading mode similar to how they might analyze it in a literature classroom

This switch in reading modes created a significant shift in brain activity patternson fMRI scans. Casual reading activated pleasure centers while critical reading increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for the executive functions heavily involved in attending to tasks like reading.

Executive function is responsible for more than just attentive reading: this brain function helps moderate how you divide your attention, use your working memory, and generally direct your brainpower. It plays a powerful role in decision-making.

While the findings of the Stanford study are preliminary, they make a good case for further research on the impact of reading on cognition. Philips posits that critical reading could serve as a type of training, “teaching us to modulate our concentration.”

There is other evidence that reading can be good for your brain. A 2007 study from the Center for Occupational and Environmental Neurology found that avid readers benefited from an increased cognitive reserve. Cognitive reserve is the concept that challenging intellectual activity — like reading or brain training — can protect the brain against negative cognitive impacts later in life.

The studies on reading indicate that investing in intellectually challenging habits as early as possible can benefit your brain over the long term.”

I think every Boomer can agree. And every parent should get their kids reading!!!

Another Thing: The Feds say EVERY BOOMER should get tested for Hep C!

Apparently, one in every 30 Boomers has Hep C and doesn’t even know it. It doesn’t show up on a normal blood test–you have to ask for it. It can cause liver cancer, and other fatal problems. I guess there is a treatment, or they wouldn’t bother nagging us about this. This is from the CDC, so I would take it seriously.
So do it.

The Most Poorly Named Investment Product– that Every Boomer Needs

They are called DEATH PUTS!!  But do not be put off by this term! See this excerpt from Saturday’s Wall Street Journal:

“A growing number of financial advisers are pointing to a little-known strategy that can help solve this problem [of low returns on investments]: “death puts.” Formally known as estate-feature puts, they are available on a handful of high-grade corporate bonds as well as most CDs sold through brokerages.

Death puts guarantee that when the owner of the bond or CD dies, the heirs can redeem it at face value, meaning they get back all the money that originally was invested. The fees usually amount to about 0.125% a year, and come out of the interest payments.

Meantime, buyers collect yields significantly higher than they can get on shorter-term investments. A typical investment-grade 10-year corporate bond currently yields about 3.5%, roughly double the yield of a similar five-year bond. A 10-year CD yields about 2.85%, more than a percentage point better than a five-year CD.

Those yields are far better than can be gotten from longer-term government bonds. A 10-year Treasury note now yields only about 2%, while a German bund yields only about 1.75%.”

I am no financial guru. Like many in my generation, I have lived for today, and never trusted anyone over 30. (I still can’t accept that that group now includes me.) Saving for tomorrow was boring, old school, and the future would take care of itself.

So imagine my surprise when my little “never-grow-old” Boomer brain actually got interested in finding out more about something called a “DEATH PUT!” You see, this is perfect for Boomers: we live off the higher yields NOW, and our heirs get to cash in the face value. It should be renamed. Write me and tell me your suggestions!

This fits perfectly in my “live for today” mindset!!! I can’t wait to find out what the real story is here….like the risks and all that other boring stuff. Fellow Boomer: there’s also a risk to doing nothing.


I suggest you join me in checking it out.

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052702303990604577366312337599238-lMyQjAxMTAyMDAwMTEwNDEyWj.html?mod=wsj_share_email

“OUR TIME” Ads hit, and miss, the mark

These ads for this on line 50+ dating site pass the cringe test, but that’s about all. I wouldn’t want to be these people! If you are single, and 50+, you are probably looking to find interesting things to do, and interesting people to share them with. You get it that the romantic part of love has to be there eventually, but the fun part–the part where you are interested in each other because you are interested in the same things…becomes more important. After all, most of these folks have been here before.

I was almost expecting one of those joint bathtub shots at the end and a Cialis plug. That would have made me cringe, for sure.

Working Longer Helps Younger Workers! What a concept!

A recent Opinion piece in the Sunday NYT quotes a surprising fact: “recent studies in Britain and Germany find a positive correlation between labor force participation among the elderly and youth employment.”  As they earn more, they spend more first of all. (Boomers will second that.)  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/retirement-goodbye-golden-years.html?scp=1&sq=boomer%20retirement&st=cse

And older workers may be more likely to be entrepreneurs, imparting valuable skills to the young. Older folks ( I still deny that I am one of those…) are very often the MOST ENTREPRENEURIAL!  The example given is Palm Beach, which has the highest self employment rate in the country. Listen carefully, AARP: Don’t think of Florida as “retirees”….think of them as “re-inventers” with the ideas, skills, energy, and yes sometimes, the NEED to keep working well past the so-called golden age of 65.

I personally never thought it was going to be too “golden” anyway. At least not in that sense.

Like most Boomers, what keeps me going is that I still think I can make an impact on the world, somehow, and that people will care to listen if I have something to say, no matter what the “clock age” says. Those experiences will be my new definition of “the golden years.”

WSJ says Number of 90+ People Surged in Past 30 Years. They Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.

The WSJ today says that the number of people 90+ has nearly tripled since 1980 to 1.9 Million. They go on to say that “this group is projected to increase to 8.7 million by mid century. A century ago, fewer than 100,000 people reached 90. ” They say that better nutrition and medical care have driven down the number of strokes and deaths from heart disease. Here are the states with the highest share over 90: North Dakota, Connecticut, Iowa, South Dakota. In terms of absolute numbers: California, Florida and Texas lead the nation in the 90+ group.
Baby Boomers are going to upend these numbers. Who is thinking and planning and preparing for that. Maybe not the Boomers themselves. Many are still in denial, since the average is 55 years old…and they’re still working.

Wait till we make 90 the coolest age to be! Count on it…

AARP Tries to Rally “Seniors.” Are Boomers listening??

Another rendition of the "Greedy Geezers" from AARP

A new political ad from AARP http://www.aarp.org/protectseniors is the latest attempt by AARP to rally their base and build political clout. As a Baby Boomer, this new attempt just goes right over my head. I cannot relate to it, and I wonder how many in my generation can. First, the man in the ad, while he may be actually not that far from Boomers’ age group, looks old enough to be my Dad. Second, the camera pans wide to reveal a group of very serious- looking, definitely- not- working “retirees”–not a group I can relate to either. The “R” word again. The message is strident, angry even, aimed at getting seniors to call their congressmen and tell them not to cut their benefits. This just sounds like another ad in the “greedy geezers” genre. The message does not resonate with Boomers because Boomer’s benefits have already been cut! We don’t get social security until sometime AFTER age 65, not sure when we get Medicare.  We are the generation that coined the phrase “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”  We get that there have to be changes, many of us accept that, and frankly have probably known all along that we would have to plan for our own “second act” whether or not we actually have, which is beside the point.

AARP, which I continue to believe should be renamed the “American Association of Reinventing People” if it has a chance of winning over Boomers, has to shift its message to the Boomer generation if it is going to gain traction. Instead of  “there are 50 Million of us and we don’t want to give up one measly cent” how about ” We are the largest block of voters in the history of this country. Work with us, talk with us, and let’s fix entitlements so they are there for us and for our kids.” AARP: rally the Boomers. Anyone who underestimates the power of the voice of the Boomer does so at their peril.