Finally, a realistic portrayal of retirement.

This is the best article I have read on retirement, written by someone who speaks from experience, not research and techno babble. I highly recommend it.

Retirement is like any other stage of life – filled with joy and sorrow.

I understand why the ONS says the newly retired are among the happiest. But happiness, like everything else, has an expiry date

What one expects from retirement is different for everyone because we are unique creatures. Yet all of us must realise that we are on a journey, from the moment we are born until the day we die. The final stage in our lives should be treated like all the other episodes in our brief existence – as an adventure filled with discovery, joy, wonder, sorrow and bliss.

Everyone’s retirement will be filled with trial and tribulation because death is awaiting us. How we overcome those tests of our physical and mental health depends not only upon our own resilience but on getting support from our family, friends and our government.

Working, post-retirement.

Good story about employing older workers:
Older workers: At this company, average employee is 65.

Ferson is part of a unique workforce at the family-owned firm, Vita Needle, that may offer a glimpse of all our futures. Half of Vita’s 49 employees are 75 or older. Half the workforce is part-time and the average age of all employees is 65.

Ferson recently became the oldest worker when Rita Finnegan, who turned 100 in 2012, upped and quit.

“Her health is fine,” says 30-year-old Frederick Hartman, a third-generation member of the family to work at Vita. “She wanted to keep working, but her family moved 30 miles away and she couldn’t handle the commute. We miss her.”

Fred Vettese, chief actuary with Toronto pension consultants Morneau Shepell, says the day is coming when there will be more companies like Vita. Forget Freedom 55, he says. Think Freedom 67 and beyond.

“The cohort that’s growing the fastest in the workforce is the 60-plus group,” he says.

The reason for the growth is that baby boomers want to keep going and the economy will need them. As this demographic moves into retirement, it will leave gaps. There aren’t enough younger people to fill the spots.

Living “Home Free”

Interesting story on Post50:
How we became international senior gypsies in retirement.

At 72 and 67, we have been home free for two-and-a-half years, lived in nine countries, and we have never been healthier or happier! Buenos Aires, Argentina, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Paris, Florence, Istanbul, London, Dublin, Marrakech, Morocco, and California’s Central Coast have been our temporary homes for anywhere from two weeks to three months at a time. We’re living in Paris for three months this year. Berlin will be our home in August, while in September we will return to a favorite village in Britain, near Henry the VIII’s Hampton Court Palace, outside London. Our repositioning cruise from Copenhagen will take us back to the United States in October, where we’ll rent a place through the holidays. We have no home base, and all of our belongings are in a 10′ by 15′ storage unit in California.

Repositioning cruises (cruise ship lines move their equipment twice a year from one part of the world to another and offer passengers exceptional deals for those voyages), apartments and houses for rent through vrbo.com (Vacation Rental by Owner) and homeaway.com, car rental deals, trains, planes, hotels and communications options.

Thousands of new friends read our website, Home Free Adventures, regularly, and many of them tell us that they are following our lead, finding ways to expand their horizons in their retirement.

Cuena and Medellin – Top Retirement Spots

Read full story on the Huffington Post:

Cuenca, Ecuador, and Medellin, Colombia, are two of the top retirement options in Latin America right now. Which is better? Which one might be the right place for you to think about retiring overseas? Trying to answer those questions requires drawing some comparisons.

Both of these cities enjoy great weather, with no bugs, all year. Living in either place, you wouldn’t need to use heat or air conditioning, a big help with monthly utility bills.

That said, the weather is not the same in these two cities. Medellin is warmer, with daily highs averaging around 81 degrees Fahrenheit, lows in the 60s, and minor seasonal variation. In Cuenca, monthly average highs vary from 65 to 71 degrees, depending on the time of year, and nightly lows are likewise correspondingly lower.

Medellin sees more rain (66 inches annually versus 35 inches in Cuenca). At the same time, Medellin sees more sunny days, on average, annually, than Cuenca.

Does either of those descriptions qualify as “perfect weather” for you? As with all retire overseas factors, it’s a matter of your own preferences.

Residency is fairly easy to establish in both Colombia and Ecuador, with low thresholds for visa qualification in both countries. In Colombia, the pensioner’s visa requires an income of just under $1,000 per year, while in Ecuador the level is even lower, at $800 per year. For an investor-type visa, Colombia’s options start at around $34,000, while Ecuador requires but $25,000.

12.7% increase in confusion, memory loss and functional difficulties in US adults 60 and older.

A recent Morbidity and Mortality Report found increased confusion, memory loss and associated functional difficulties among US adults, 6o years and older. What struck me most about this report was that functional difficulties were significantly higher among adults aged 60–64 years than those who were 65+.  And, there is a direct correlation here to the sharp rise in US suicide rates. For women, the largest increase was seen in those ages 60 to 64, among whom rates increased by nearly 60 percent, to 7.0 per 100,000.

From the Morbidity and Mortality Report:

To estimate the prevalence of self-reported increased confusion or memory loss and associated functional difficulties among adults aged ≥60 years, CDC analyzed data from 21 states. The results indicated that 12.7% of respondents reported increased confusion or memory loss in the preceding 12 months. Among those reporting increased confusion or memory loss, 35.2% reported experiencing functional difficulties.

Among those reporting increased confusion or memory loss, significant differences in the percentage with functional difficulties were found among the same demographic groups, although in some cases the patterns differed. For example, the percentage with functional difficulties was significantly higher among adults aged 60–64 years (44.7%) compared with 65–74 years (29.0%) and 75–84 years (32.6%).

Among persons reporting increased confusion or memory loss, those with functional difficulties were significantly more likely than those without functional difficulties to report needing help (81.0% compared with 38.2%). In addition, those who reported functional difficulties were more likely to report being unable to work (32.8% compared with 9.6%).

More admissions to hospitals in England of pensioners for alcohol-related injuries and illness than of 16- to 24-year-olds.

Older people are abusing alcohol more than the young – an important topic covered today in The Guardian:

While it is young people who are often stigmatised for their drinking habits, a silent story is evolving among older people as they experience life-changing events such as retirement, redundancy or bereavement.

Recent statistics show more admissions to hospitals in England of pensioners for alcohol-related injuries and illness than of 16- to 24-year-olds in 2012-2013. In the past five years there has been a 62% increase in alcohol-related admissions for the over-65s. The number of alcohol-related deaths in the UK remains highest in the 55-74 age group, and surveys suggest that since 1984 both men and women aged 45 to 65 have been exceeding the sensible limits in rising numbers.

It is a hidden health timebomb, said Dr Sarah Wadd, programme director for substance misuse and ageing research at the Institute of Applied Social Research at the University of Bedfordshire. She said: “Evidence suggests that the UK may be facing an epidemic of alcohol-related harm among older people. An estimated 1.4 million people aged 65 and over currently exceed recommended drinking limits, and the large numbers born in the post-second world war economic boom period – the so-called baby-boomers – are moving into old age drinking relatively high levels of alcohol compared with previous generations.”

Retiring in Nicaragua.

Good article on the Huff Post by Suzan Haskins and Dan Prescher.

Nicaragua offers the lowest cost of living in Central America, and no… there is not a war going on. That ended more than 25 years ago. Today, Nicaragua enjoys a stable democracy and was ranked in a recent Gallup Poll as the safest country in Central America. The Economist Intelligence Unit says Nicaragua is one of the safest countries in all of Latin America.

By some estimates, as many as 1,000 expats call Granada home — a socially active group that enjoys cultural events, outdoor activities, and volunteer endeavors… and a place where a couple can live quite comfortably for much less than they would pay in the U.S.

Renting a comfy spot long-term to explore from can cost as little at $500 per month for a condo with a community pool.