Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Resources for Seniors

     Today, I'd like to remind everyone that way down at the bottom of my site there is a list of links to online resources that might prove helpful for retired people. Some of them you probably already know about, like the New York Times blog called The New Old Age, and the travel site Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) which focuses on travel opportunities centered on lifelong learning.

     I was going to provide links to the sites I mention here ... but then you might just click on the link and not go down to the bottom of the page! So, go down to the bottom of the page, look around for yourself, and click on the links there if you want.

     If you know of some other good sites, maybe you'd be willing to share them. Let us know if you've found any other useful sites that cover health, finance, retirement – or any "other concerns of people who suddenly realize that somehow they have grown up."

     From the list below, I particularly like these three:

     1. The Legacy Project. This is a site produced by Karl Pillemer, a professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, and Professor of Gerontology in Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College. He collects practical advice from "older Americans who have lived through extraordinary experiences and historical events."

     Pillemer gives us words of wisdom from regular people, such as Nita who tells us: "Nurture good friendships and good will with family, neighbors, coworkers, and others." And then she goes on to advise: "Don’t bore the younger generations with tales of living during the Depression."

     Pillemer also passes on some basic but oft-forgotten marriage advice:  "In long marriages, people have learned the value of simple civility. They point out that we often talk to our spouses in ways we’d never talk to friends or co-workers: dismissively, insultingly, or disrespectfully. Simple politeness in spousal interaction, they say, can prevent many a spat or tiff."

     2. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The approach here is a little more academic, but it covers all sorts of topics from Social Security to senior housing. There's an article called "How Prepared Are State and Local Workers for Retirement?" It finds that "most households with state-local employment end up with replacement rates that, while on average higher than those in the private sector, are well below the 80 percent needed to maintain pre-retirement living standards."

     Another paper asks: "How Do Subjective Longevity Expectations Influence Retirement Plans?" It concludes that people who are confident that they will live to at least age 75 are more likely to keep working fulltime to a later retirement age. In a way that sounds obvious. But does it mean that those of us who took early retirement expect to die at a younger age?

     Anyway, I'd encourage people who are a little more academically inclined to poke around on the Boston College site, and expand their understanding of retirement and what it means for all of us.

     3. How Long Will I Live? Apropos to the question implied by the Retirement Center at Boston College, this quiz from the University of Pennsylvania will calculate your life expectancy by asking you a series of questions about your family, your work life, your lifestyle. Of course, there are a bevy of so-called life calculators out there. This one, I've found, asks enough questions to be reasonably accurate, without putting you through a long drawn out examination.

     Anyway, I encourage you to search through some of these sites. And again, if you can suggest any others that would be helpful, please let us know. Happy hunting!


rosaria williams said...

Great resources, Tom.

Stephen Hayes said...

I really appreciate all the useful information. Thanks.

DJan said...

Thank you for being such a good resource, Tom. I'm enjoying the way you write your blog. :-)

Anonymous said...

David used to check longevity websites to see how long he and I would live. It was entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Another source is A Place for Mom. We used it to check out retirement facilities around here.

Tom Sightings said...

Thanks for the tip, Dianne. A Place for Mom seems like a helpful site. Apparently, you have to give them your name and phone number in order to access any information; but worth it if you're really looking for senior housing.