Creative Aging Expert

July 2007

In This Issue

Help for Solo Travelers

Travel for single seniors is big business today. The Travel Industry Association reports that single travelers make up almost 25 percent of the U.S. traveling public. Whether you are interested in solitary travel, want to meet compatible traveling companions, or have interests in various types of group travel, there are plenty of organizations and specialized tours to satisfy your needs.

A great place to start is the Connecting Solo Travel Network, an international organization that provides tips, advice, and resources for single travelers in a bimonthly newsletter, as well as a "Single-Friendly Travel Directory," which lists tour operators and resorts with special offerings for solo travelers. The annual membership fee is $35. Visit or call 800-557-1757.

Savvy Senior, Jim Miller, Richmond Times Dispatch, April 16, 2007

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The Power Years

Today, increased longevity, much higher levels of health and vitality, and the assumption of continued personal growth have redefined the Boomer generation's expectations of their retirement years. This new chapter of life is becoming a period of renewal and reinvention, marked by personal wisdom, accumulated wealth, skills honed over the course of a career, and a sense that this is not a time of decline but instead, the beginning of what authors Ken Dychtwald and Daniel Kadlec call the "power years."

The Power Years: A User's Guide to the Rest of Your Life (2005, John Wiley Publishers) is about how to prepare today for those later years, which are bursting with potential. The authors provide an optimistic blueprint for what to expect in the areas of health, jobs, lifestyles, investments, and relationships. They describe how things will be so different from today as to be unrecognizable. The Power Years serves an excellent guidebook for boomers as they approach what used to be retirement years, offering useful and up-beat advice on how to get ready for what can be the best years of one's life.

Positive Aging Newsletter, July 11, 2006

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Oxford University's Institute on Aging Study

Oxford University researchers interviewed more than 21,000 people between the ages of 40 and 79 in 20 countries. They found that people in their 60s and 70s continue to play a vital role in the economy as many report feeling healthier and choose to reject a quiet retirement. "The future of old people is not penury or dependence. They have become turbos rather than the brakes of our community," said Clive Bannister, managing director of HSBC insurance which asked Oxford's Institute on Aging to conduct the study so it could learn about consumer behavior. Of 70 to 79-year-olds in the U.S., 72 percent - more than the global average - reported feeling in good health, and one-fifth still continue to work.

Richmond Times Dispatch, April 28, 2007

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Bikers Do It All!

While participating in Bike Safari in Live Oak, Florida, in May, I met Barbara and Richard from Bay City, Michigan, who rode a tandem bicycle. Traveling in a van, they carried their bicycle, golf clubs, tennis rackets, and enough paraphernalia to keep them happy on the road. Interspersing recreational exploits with visits to friends and attending weddings, they were really enjoying their retired life. When home Barbara volunteers at a hospital where she works with babies in need of cuddling. Their van converts into their bedroom, when necessary, thus avoiding costly hotel bills. In June, I rode Bike Virginia and who should show up again but Barbara and Richard, full of life and energy from their exciting retirement adventures. They inspire me!

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Affordable Travel Club, Inc.

Barbara also told me of a travel club they belong to that allows them to stay in host's homes which include breakfast for as little as $20 a couple, or $15 a single. Members of the club also open their homes to hosting other club members. Hosts orient visitors to their area but have no further responsibilities. For more information check out:

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Live Longer in Japan or San Marino

A study by the World Health Organization (WHO) based on 2005 statistics found that "a boy born in San Marino, a tiny republic surrounded by Italy, will likely live to age 80, the world's longest male expectancy." San Marino men, whose life expectancy tied with Japanese men's last year at 79, added a year to their longevity to outpace Japan. Men in the U.S. have a 75-year life expectancy. Females in Japan, who traditionally lead the world records for longevity, have a life expectancy of 86 years. Women in the U.S. are expected to reach 80.

Richmond Times Dispatch, May 26, 2007

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Ladies of the Mon Risqué Calendar

Twelve women in their 70s and 80s, giving sultry looks and sexy smiles to the camera, posed at historical sites in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. These women decided to bare it all - or almost all - to create a charity-driven calendar. "One of the advantages of being old is that you can do anything you want and get away with it," said 80-year-old Lois Phillips, who as Miss September was photographed in the back seat of a 1968 Mercury convertible.

The calendar was the brainchild of 80-year-old Lorys Crisafulli, who was inspired by the movie Calendar Girls, in which British women publish a nude calendar to raise money for cancer research. "I thought, why don't we do that in Monongahela?" she told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "We need something to put us on the map, to get us going." A former 5th grade teacher, Crisafulli is about to become better known as Miss January as she lounges in a black convertible covered in pearls holding a champagne glass in one hand and dangling slinky white sandals from the other.

It is liberating to see older woman freeing themselves from stereotypes and worries about how their older bodies look! I have decided to give this calendar to some of my older woman friends for Christmas. To read learn more about the calendar, visit To order a copy of the 2008 calendar, visit

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Encore by Marc Freedman

Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, has just published Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life. This book is a must read for all people approaching retirement age and trying to figure out how they want to spend their next 20-30 years of healthy living. Don't be put off by the reference to work. Whatever you plan to do, this book will give you many ideas about approaching life in a way that is deeply satisfying - finding passion, purpose, and perhaps pay.

Freedman points out that our culture is in an "awkward" transition phase right now. "The old norm for this period of living is in rapid eclipse and the new dream remains to be shaped. Studies show that 60 percent of 50 to 59-year-olds are reordering their priorities to put social purpose and impact front and center." He quotes a United Nations report that says the top three socioeconomic issues of the 21st century are Global Aging, Global Warming, and Global Terrorism.

The Duke University Center for Demographic Studies determined that "the active life expectancy," defined as the number of disability free years an individual could expect at age 65, is now approaching 14 years and will increase to 17 in less than a decade. With this extended period in the life cycle, something new is being invented between the traditional mid-life years and careers and true retirement and old age. "It is a development that is distinct, significant and historic," observes Freedman, who thinks it a mistake to see this time as more of mid-life, an updated version of retirement, or the new old age. "Sixty isn't the new 40. It's the new 60," he exclaims.

This period of our life will become what we make of it as we enter uncharted waters. Management guru Peter Drucker says that "the best way to predict the future is to create it." "Encore pioneers," as Freedman calls them, are doing just that. They are looking to fill this new period with personally fulfilling work that makes a difference in our world. He points out that planning for a 10, 20, or 30-year stage of life is different qualitatively as well as quantitatively from planning for a 5-year retirement. Slowly, new infra-structures are surfacing to help seniors transition into meaningful futures. One example is the proposed "Boomer Transition Center" at Gateway Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. Other similar programs are under consideration by several institutions. Many more changes are needed to help encore pioneers succeed.

Encore brings together the latest writings on this new, challenging, and yet to be defined period of life. By following the stories of several encore pioneers, we learn about the obstacles as well as the joys in finding purpose in our retirement years. The book has a helpful appendix listing questions to consider about retirement years and resources that allow readers to examine different fields of interest and unique ways of entering them.

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Fall Schedule

There will be no September newsletter as I will be on the West Coast from mid-August until late September visiting relatives, participating in an eco-bike tour in Oregon, and exploring coastal California. Expect the next issue in November. For potential clients - I carry my schedule with me and return all phone calls from the road. E-mails will be harder to access in a timely fashion. Thank you for your patience.

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Emily Kimball
3220A West Grace Street
Richmond, VA 23221-1306
(804) 358-5536
Fax (804) 358-2415