Tuesday, April 28, 2009


If you're thinking about moving into an Active Adult Community (AAC), suggest you thoroughly research the HOAs and CCRs of that community. I just found out at tonight's business meeting that we have 3 HOAs in my community as well as a Metro District.

I have to pay 3 separate dues for the HOAs. Because of the Metro District I have to pay almost 50% more in real estate taxes than the people who live across the street in another subdivision. So it's critical that you do your homework as many sales people will not provide you with factual information regarding real estate taxes or special tax districts. And when you're moving into a new community you can't get that information from tax records.
Many new AACs will create a Metro District to pay for the infrastructure (roads, sewer lines, etc.) that must be put in prior to home construction. In our case, I found out that the builder spent over $27 million which accounts for the much higher real estate taxes.

Spending extra time upfront researching your new community may save you a lot in unexpected monthly expenses! For some info on Active Adult Communities, go to: http://www.topretirements.com/tips/Choosing_a_Community/Is_an_Active_Adult_Community_Right_for_You.html

Friday, April 24, 2009


When I was younger the word "depends" had a totally different meaning -- like if I wanted to do something, it would
"depend" on whether I had done my homework, my parents let me or if I had enough money. As I got older, getting a good job "depended" not only on my education and experience, but mostly on who I knew.

As a retiree, "depends" can mean only one thing. It's a rather personal, and at times, embarrasing issue but since almost every magazine I picked up this week at the doctor's office had an ad for "DEPENDS", I had to write about it.

As we get older, both men and women have this problem, but it seems like no one wants to talk about it -- yet, like the picture; it might be what you need to continue to have the freedom to play and enjoy life.

If you have this problem, don't be embarrased to discuss it with your doctor. Believe me, they have heard a lot worse. I sincerely feel that as we get older we have a choice -- to let our chronological age or our attitude set the tone for our retirement life.

Those who know me well can attest that I've always had an attitude, so it's going to be my attitude, not my age that's going to determine my quality of life as I get older. My favorite saying about age is "Age is just a Number and Mine's Unlisted".

So, how about you -- are you going to let that "number" control you?

If you discreetly want more info/options, go to: http://www.us.depend.com/

Health Insurance

Like most retirees, I'm concerned about the rapidly increasing cost of my health care. I think about it a lot because even with good medical coverage, last year I spent over 15% of my net retirement income on medical expenses!

As a former Federal employee, my best retirement benefit was continued medical insurance. I still pay monthly premiums but I just recently found out that our retiree's union is working on a Federal Bill that would allow me to pay my medical premiums with pre-tax dollars.

I'm really excited about that as it would be a considerable savings for me. If the Bill passes, then the monthly amount I pay in premiums would not be included in my pension for income tax purposes.

You should do whatever it takes to keep yourself covered and continue to explore ways to reduce your monthly medical premiums.
So, to find out if you might have the same option:
1. Determine who pays your pension -- is it the company you worked for or was it turned over to a pension payout company?

2. Contact the payer -- there should be a point of contact number in your retirement package or on your monthly statement. Call them and find out if there's a way for you to pay your premiums with "pre-tax dollars".

3. Check out new plans -- Also, ask them if they have added any new Health Care Plans that may offer you comparable or better benefits for the same premium.

If your not satisfied with your current medical plan, you can get quotes from several companies at: http://www.healthinsurancesort.com/ppc/individual-health-plansD.htm?gclid=CJPJ-MbTiZoCFQkzawodARm9FA

I love it when I can figure out a way to cut my monthly expenses, because I feel it's just the same as getting an increase in my pension!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

At the Movies

STATE OF PLAY is a good movie that holds your attention and is reminiscent of "All the President's" men.

Russell Crowe gives a convincing performance as a reporter in search of the truth while trying to find the connection between 3 seemingly unrelated murders. His investigation is blocked by the fact that his former college friend, now a Congressmen, is linked to the murders.

Underlying the story line is the rapidly-approaching death of the newspaper industry as we Boomers know it. Due largely to the Internet, 24-hour TV news coverage and the fact that many younger people don't even subscribe to a daily paper, most big cities, like Denver, have been reduced to a one-paper town.

Rachel McAdams was bland as the new "Internet" reporter looking for her first big break. I loved her in "The Notebook", but for me, she hasn't shined in any recent movie roles.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Hey Boomers -- I know some of you would like to comment, but haven't quite figured it out. It's easy, just click on the word "comments" at the end of my BLOG article and then you can enter your comment or question. Or you could email me at Retired.Rosie@gmail.com I'd love to hear from you!

If you think one of my BLOGs might be of interest to a friend, click on the "envelope" and you can then email it to them.

Michael, one of my United Kingdom (UK) readers, sent me the link for discounts in the UK -- so whether you live there or are planning a trip abroad, go to: http://www.seniorsdiscounts.co.uk/

Thanks for your continued interest in my Retirement World!

WANTED: New Friends

Retired…but most of your friends still work or are not as active as you? Then, it’s time to leave your comfort zone and expand your social circle.

Here’s a few tips on how to get started.
*Identify your passions.
Make a list of your interests and hobbies. Surf the WEB for clubs in your area. If you’re not comfortable with surfing, then go to the Yellow Pages under CLUBS. Look for church organizations, community center education classes, or college classes which retirees can usually audit for free. Be creative in your research. A lot of groups would love to have some new members!

*Become more involved. Working with others on committees or special projects is a great way to build new relationships with people who have similar interests.

*Hit the gym. Try a new exercise class like Pilago (Pilates and Yoga) or join a racquetball or tennis.

A cute new movie about a guy who's having trouble making new male friends is “I Love You, Man”. Check it out for a good laugh! You can find a review of it at: http://chicago.metromix.com/movies/movie_review/movie-review-i-love/1031605/content

Friday, April 17, 2009

Where will you live?

Have you thought about it?
It's an issue most of us don't want to address even as we get older...but where will you live when you can no longer take care of yourself?

It really hit me hard this week while visiting my 84 year-old mom; then we went to the nursing home to see my 95 year- old aunt and I also spent a day with my uncle who's 90.

The hardest part was the nursing home visit because my aunt knows she's never going home again. My uncle also tore at my heart when he told me "I never anticipated living in a place like this" and he's living in a very expensive Continuing Care Facility, nothing like your typical nursing home. It's a very difficult choice that your children will have to make if you don't have a written directive, so it's critical that you make your choices known well in advance.

Another option that most people would prefer is to age in place in their own home. It's almost like when you had to childproof your home, but instead you need to make it more user friendly as you find it difficult to do your daily chores. To find ideas on home modifications for the elderly, go to http://www.homemods.org/

To check out nursing homes in your area, go to the Internet and type in:
Nursing Homes + your city

Either way, put it in writing and let your family know how and where you'd prefer to live!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Young at Heart

As I gracefully glide into my Golden Years, some days I just feel old.....my knees hurt, I'm long overdue for a dye job and I just can't get with the latest Hip Hop song! I can't understand the words let alone feel the beat.

But that feeling changes in a flash every Tuesday night when American Idol comes on.....it makes me feel young at heart and ready to go out dancing!
I just love that show, especially when the contestants sing songs from my rock'n'roll years like a few weeks ago when they did Motown songs or tonight when Adam Lambert sang "Born to be Wild". It brought back great memories of the many concerts I went to in the '60s.

If that doesn't make you want to jump up out of your easy chair and start dancing, then they better check you for a heartbeat!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Work Abroad

Are you a retired teacher and looking for an inexpensive way to see Europe?

Then consider working for the Dept of Defense Schools Overseas!

The most rewarding aspect of my life-long career as a Federal Government employee was the opportunity to live in Germany. I loved it so much -- the cultural experiences, the travel and meeting people from all over the world -- that I lived and worked there for 11 years.

If you haven't traveled in Europe, it's so hard to imagine just how close all the countries are. Traveling by car, I could be in France, Austria or Switzerland in less than 5 hours! One of my best trips was when I woke up in Berchesgarten, GE; skied all day in Stubaital, AUS; and slept that night near Venice, IT. What a day!

It was such a life-changing experience that I love to encourage others to try it. They currently are looking for teachers for 1 and 2 year assignments. Check it out -- you can supplement your retirement income, receive a tax-free living allowance and see Europe!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Senior Discounts

Looking for more discounts??

I found a great website at http://www.seniordiscounts.com/

They have 3 levels of memberships (one free) which entitle people over 50 to over 150,000 different discounts on everything from travel to dental.

First Watch

I'm in St. Louis visiting family and friends for the Easter Holiday.

Linda and I decided to try a new restaurant -- First Watch-- for breakfast. We usually go to The Diner, a quaint, local eatery, but since a friend recommended First Watch, we decided to give it a try.

We were impressed by their extensive menu which offered several new twists on standard breakfast dishes such as omelettes and crepes. We both enjoyed our breakfasts and when I went to pay the bill, of course, I asked for a senior discount. Doesn't matter if it's a restaurant, car repair shop, or book store -- everywhere I go I ask for one.

I also mentioned it was our first time there and to my shock, the manager gave us our meal FREE! What a deal!

He said they pick new customers at random and treat them to their first meal.
To see if there's a location in your area: http://www.firstwatch.com/

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Have a Heart!

Are you a Boomer, living alone, sick and need some help? Who do you turn to?

Finding someone to help you at a moment's notice is one of the most difficult aspects of aging, especially if you don't live near your family.

I'm fortunate because some of the ladies in my Active Adult Community have started a community outreach program called Have a Heart. They have several groups that will help out with everything from delivering homemade meals to driving you to the doctor.

If you can't find a group in your subdivision or church to help you out, then just go to the Internet and type in: Senior Outreach + your city,state (like Senior Outreach + Denver, CO)

That should give you a listing of several organizations in your area.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Asti d'Italia

After hearing about a new local restaurant, Asti d'Italia,
from friends and on the Warren Byrne Studio 1430 The Restaurant Show, I was excited about having lunch there on Saturday with a few friends.

Lunch prices were quite reasonable, but I found the menu limited. Overall, I was disappointed with our dining experience. The service was very slow even though the restaurant was not crowded and the food was mediocore.

I had the vegetarian soup of the day and salad. The soup was so salty that I had to send it back. The salad was just okay. But my friend who had the Duck Confit Salad thought it was outstanding. Perhaps, we just were there on an off day, so for another viewpoint, check out the review in the Denver Post:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cable Costs

Are you like me -- do you have a love/hate relationship with your TV and your cable company?

I love my HD TV -- everything from rock'n'roll concert specials to food shows to McDreamy. BUT I hate the cable company!!

When I got my last bill I was shocked as they had raised my basic bill by 25%! Don't they know that I'm on a fixed income and can't afford huge increases?

I had already done everything I could to cut my monthly bill by bundling my Cable TV, land-line phone and high-speed Internet with one company. I'm so fed up with cable and phone companies offering new customers fabulous deals for signing up or transferring, but then not taking care of us loyal customers. When will they realize that they should work on retaining customers with some good bargain rates?

Of course, I called and challenged them on increasing my bill and told them that I would just switch to another provider who offered a new customer discount.

To my surprise, they had a Customer Loyalty Department. After a lengthy discussion with the rep she finally agreed to a $9 a month increase instead of $31.

So, if you're faced with a similar situation, don't be afraid to threaten that you'll switch companies; just keep asking for a manager until you find someone to help you; and also ask for some cable pay-for-movie coupons for your trouble. Another thing, don't forget when comparing companies, that you will always save when you can bundle with the same one.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Easy Dining

Looking for a fun way to meet new people in your neighborhood?
Then start a monthly EASY DINING Group.

It's sorta like the pot-luck dinners that we all had when we were in our 20s, except that it's really meant to be 'easy' because most people buy whatever they bring. Some nights I can tell that all the food was purchased at COSTCO!

It's usually 4 couples, but we also include singles in our dinner parties. One brings the salad, one the appetizer, one the desert and the hosting couple makes the main dish. To keep the cost down, everyone brings their own liquor.

To get it started, someone in the community needs to volunteer and organize the monthly dinners. Always hold it the same day, like the last Tuesday of the month. You can have a sign-up book in the clubhouse; advertise it in an HOA email, or do it all by email invites and sign-ups.
Last night I hosted and we had an Italian dinner theme -- bruschetta, salad, pasta with meatballs, bread with roasted garlic and an incredibly delicious Italian Almond Creme Cake. The main thing is to just keep it easy and have fun!
p.s. -- It's snowing again!!