Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friends and Foreclosures

It's a sad sign of the times that every day, average, hardworking people are facing foreclosure and becoming homeless. The face of the new class of the homeless no longer fits the stereotypical lazy, in-the-gutter drunk bum who just doesn't want to work!

Daily we are bombarded in the papers, TV and internet with horror stories of respectable people losing their homes because some slick talking mortgage banker manipulated them into refinancing their fully-paid-for home with an adjustable rate mortgage or they unexpectedly lost their job. It really saddened me the other night when I saw a senior citizen interviewed on the news. This was a family man, in his 60s, crying on national news because he could not believe the 'system' had failed him. He had worked hard all his life and was looking forward to retirement. Instead of getting that monthly pension check, he's now out of work and homeless.

So, what can you do about it short of taking in someone?

  • If someone you know is a victim of this economic crisis, don't abandon them. Be a true friend and do whatever you can to help them get through it. Something as simple as listening to their problems or inviting them to dinner once a week can truly lift their spirits.
  • Retired, with more spare time than money, then volunteer at one of the homeless shelters in your area.
  • Organize a food or toiletries drive for the homeless in your community.

Want to help, but don't know where to start?

Go to Scroll down to the map and click on your State. You can find several organizations there that need your help!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Tomorrow I turn 61!

WOW - that's a big number!

So, I'd like to reflect a little on my 60th year as it was definitely a roller-coaster ride and a tough year for me. It started out great last February as I had a wonderful birthday party here in the mountains with some of my friends. Then I spent several fun-filled weeks skiing in Summit County, Vail and Beaver Creek, CO.

In April, I went to Germany, spent a few days in Italy and then spent 2 weeks in Egypt. It was a dream-come-true trip as I had always wanted to see the Pyramids and go into the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, but it turned into a nightmare as I brought home an unexpected guest! I apparently picked up a bug in Egypt resulting in ECOLI poisoning, 2 stays in the hospital, and then spent most of last summer indoors recuperating. Being that ill was a definite wake-up call!

In September, I finally launched my BLOG -- it's one of those things I'd been meaning to do, but never got around too. I was really excited when I wrote my first BLOG - see
I made a few trips back to St. Louis to visit family and friends and spent the Christmas holidays there. Now, I'm back in Summit County skiing as I love to spend my birthday skiing.

As I've been sick off and on since June 08 and am still on meds, my illness in this past year has reminded me of how precious life is, how I need to continually re-prioritize my goals, and to consciously decide who I want in my life. So, tomorrow I'll spend some time setting heart-felt goals for my 61st year and thinking of who I'd like to take with me on my next adventure!

I'd love to hear from you -- what does another birthday mean to you and how do you plan to celebrate it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bailouts, Banks and You

With the stock market falling almost 300 points on Tuesday and CNN and MSNBC Market experts still proclaiming that they "just don't know when it will hit bottom", it's a tough time for all, especially we Boomers who were heavily invested in the Stock Market.

Since none of us have a crystal ball, perhaps it's time you thought about playing it safe and putting what you have left in CDs. While I'll never get anything from the Gov't bailing out the banks, at least if I invest in CDs, I know I won't lose any more of my money!

You can check out current CD rates at:
It's quite user-friendly and gives rates for different time frames.

We all need a good laugh about the Bailout, so check out Wanda Sykes on Jay Leno. It's a riot!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Any of you Boomers remember that TV show from the late 50s/early 60s that was hosted by Johnny Carson? I recall watching that show when I got home from school and it was a typical quiz show for the time. But it's not TV that's on my mind today -- it's the question of TRUST.

Don't you feel that's what's eating away at all of us nowadays? We Boomers grew up in a society where we truly felt we could trust not only our family members but the Government.
With the on-going events that have thrown our economy and lives into a daily state of financial turmoil, that's the question we all want an answer to -- Who can I trust with my money?

I wish I had the definitive answer - but I don't! All I can recommend is that you personally know who's managing whatever's left in your portfolio; the real person, not just some guy who answers the phone.

Don't stay with that brokerage house just because you've always done business with them! Ask pertinent questions about where you should now put your money based upon how well you handle risk and how many years you have left to retirement.

And most importantly -- if you no longer trust your financial adviser -- then research potential replacements on your own. Don't take the recommendation of your friends -- after all, isn't that how so many people were duped by Madoff?

At the Movies

I'm still in the mountains, but one day last week it was just too cold and foggy to ski, so we went to see the new flick "He's Just Not That Into You".
If you're a "Sex and the City" fan, then you'll recall the episode that made that line a popular commentary on the current dating culture.
I'm a big fan of "Sex and the City", but still couldn't believe that a movie was actually made around that one line!
I liked it, but didn't love it. The movie was lacking in that there was little screen chemistry between the couples -- it just didn't look like either of them were that "into" each other. But it's passable entertainment.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Hi all

I'd like to apologize for some of the ADs that have recently appeared on my BLOG. I have no idea where they are coming from and I have written to both GOOGLE and that other website trying to get them off.

Ad Sense from GOOGLE is supposed to put 'relevant' advertising on this BLOG, like for the Retirement Communities, etc.

So until I get to the bottom of this, just ignore those inappropriate ADs.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Capping the Crooks

Last week President Obama set a $500,000 pay cap for executives of failing firms. Now these are the men who have driven their companies into the ground; continually lied to investors and still have had the balls to ask taxpayers for a "bailout".

I find it infuriating that the Government would even give a failing executive that high of a yearly salary! Whatever happened to pay for performance? I am a retired Federal Gov't employee and over the years we've unjustifiably been tagged as lazy and inefficient.

Yet, I can guarantee you that I had an annual Performance Plan with specific quarterly goals that I had to meet. My performance against those targeted goals was closely monitored and discussed during quarterly reviews. No way would my boss have given me a bonus or pay raise if I hadn't meet those goals.

I don't know how a corporate executive can actually sit there with a straight face and ask for a bailout when they have so miserably failed as a leader and financially raped their company by taking millons of dollars in yearly salaries.

I'm a Boomer who was taught early on that you put in a hard day's work for a fair wage. Yet, if the Feds continue to grant bailouts to failing corporate leaders, then they are rewarding them for poor performance.

Seems to me that if the Federal Gov't doesn't also dictate that there must be a direct link between an executive's salary and profitable performance, then it's sending the message that they can still make at least $500,000 just for showing up!!

Snow Conditions

For all Colorado Skiers and those who wish they were here - check out the Colorado Snow Report website:

It's really cool, because in one place you can find out which resort has had new snow, how much and the best overall mountain conditions.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Leadville CO

My sister, Paula and I spent Saturday in Leadville, Co. Sitting at 10,430 feet elevation, it's the highest incorporated city in North America's. In its hey-day, Leadville was the West's richest silver mining Boom Town.

The Main Street area is a quaint throw-back to frontier towns. The buildings there have been so authentically restored that the area has been designated as a National Historic Landmark District. Anyone who loves the outdoors will enjoy a visit to Leadville. Check out the many activities at

My friends, Mary and Terry live there. They suggested that we visit Tennessee Pass Nordic Center & lunch at the Cookhouse Restaurant which is located in a Yurt. You can either snowshoe to the Yurt or ride a snowmobile. I opted for the ride as I didn’t feel I’d be up to snowshoeing almost 3 miles round trip at that altitude.

The luncheon menu is priced very reasonably but the dinner menu is quite high at $75.00 per person.

I tried the grilled salmon croissant which was so delicious. It was an interesting combination with baked brie and strawberries on the sandwich and served with potatoes and vegetables. At $15.00 I thought it was quite reasonable. They also have some unusual fare such as their Buffalo Burger.

What a great way to spend an afternoon with friends! For more info on the Yurt dining experience, go to

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Email Subscribers

Hi Readers
Whenever you receive an email notice, that's only the first few sentences of the BLOG article.
To read the entire BLOG you must click on the heading, like under "5 Days", click on that in order to take you to the BLOG and then you can read all of it.

There are still a few problems with FeedBurner. Mike's working on it and I'll let you know as soon as it's fixed.

Thanks for your continued interest. Happy reading!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

5 Days

You know that good exhausted feeling you get after doing something you love -- well, that's how I feel right now! I just spent 5 days skiing the slopes at 3 different resorts here in Summit County (Colorado) and it was so much fun.

For me the best day was Thursday at A-Basin. In the mid-1940s, when skiing had little appeal, a group of pioneers cut down trees, put up a rope tow and a local legend was born.
Arapahoe Basin opened in December of 1946 with a daily lift ticket costing only $1.25! (a daily pass is now 65 bucks!)

Last season, A-Basin opened the Montezuma Bowl. That 400 acre expansion increased the ski area's terrain by 80%.

The weather Gods fully cooperated on Thursday and we had a perfect day skiing the Montezuma Bowl. I hate to admit it, but you have to be a little crazy to make that first turn down the slope at the top of the Montezuma Bowl as here's what those warning signs above say:

  • Caution - Hidden and unmarked obstacles
  • Thin and Variable Snow Conditions - Ski with Care
  • Rescue from this area is difficult and time consuming - Please Ski Responsibly

We were all a little nervous as none of us had skied the Bowl, so we had no idea where it led or what to expect. After reading the signs, we stood there for awhile; debated about whether we should do it; but then we jumped in on the Columbine Run and had a great time schussing down thru the Bowl.

It's truly breathtaking scenery back there and what many skiers love about the experience is the peaceful feeling one get's from gliding down the mountain among the trees.

Feeling Isolated?

I know from personal experience that what we retirees miss most each day when we stop working is our friends and the many social encounters that we have each day, ranging from a simple "Hi" to someone inquiring about your health. It's normal to miss that familiarity.

Winter is the worst time of the year for being stuck indoors. Think about it -- if you're single and don't venture out even in cold weather, you won't see anyone. Social interaction is what keeps us going. It's been proven in several studies that the happiest people are those that are socially affiliated with several social networks. One might be at church, another at the gym.

Here's a group of my friends skiing last season at Beaver Creek.
We were there to celebrate my BD. I'm the short one in black!

We're so much happier when we're around others who enjoy the same things we do -- so, if you can't find a group to join, start one!

A good book on the subject is "Creating your Best Life". For more info, go to:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I had a fabulous day on the mountain -- no wind, sunny, in the 40s and wide-open groomed runs. It just doesn't get much better than that unless there were a few inches of fresh powder!
I'm so blessed - I'm spending 5 weeks skiing in Colorado, sharing a condo with my sister, Paula and her husband, Ken.
Today we skied Keystone, tomorrow Breckenridge; and next week, it'll be Vail and Beaver Creek too. Vail Resorts offers the best deal for skiers with their Colorado Pass - only $449.00 and it covers 5 resorts with just a few restrictions (
My friend, Don, is enjoying his retirement because he's fulfilled his life-long dream of living on a ranch in Texas. His passion is riding and he gets to ride every day.
My wish for you is to find something you're passionate about because to truly succeed at retirement, you've got to find a sport or hobby that you love. How else will you fill all those spare hours since you're no longer working? If you're still looking for your passion, I strongly encourage you to talk to your friends about their interests, visit your local Senior Center or check out classes at your local Junior College.
So what are you passionate about? I'd love to hear from you about your favorite sport or hobby. Just add a comment below or send me an email to

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

All Boomers love the Super Bowl!

If you're not a football fan, then you still sit there for hours just to see the commercials, although this year they weren't too exciting. My favorite was the Doritos commercial where he throws the globe at the vending machine; then another target!

Oh, I so wanted the Cardinals to win since I'm from St. Louis and they were the St. Louis Cardinals before the move to Arizona. What an exciting final few minutes!

It was a great game for Boomers with Bruce Springsteen performing and Joe Namath bringing out the trophy! Wow -- he sure looked old -- not like the Broadway Joe I remember when he took the Jets to victory.

Whether you're a football fan or not, it was a great day because for a few hours our entire Nation could forget about their financial woes, relax and watch some superb athletes make it all look so easy!