Impressive Sun City Carolina Lakes

Impressive Sun City Carolina Lakes

Impressive Sun City Carolina Lakes

We visited Sun City Carolina Lakes and were highly impressed with the beauty, the activities and the people. We were on the three night  Explore Del Webb vacation getaway.

All Sun City communities have a golf course and this one was a beauty!

Golf course at Sun City Carolina Lakes
Golf course at Sun City Carolina Lakes

18 hole golf course and putting tee with it’s own clubhouse with grill restaurant.

One of 10 Lakes at SCCL
One of 10 Lakes at SCCL. This is at the Grandkids Park where they have their own dock to fish and look at turtles.

The lakes at Sun City Carolina Lakes were beautiful and really sets this community apart from others. The lakes are stocked and fishing is enjoyed by many.

The community is on the Catawba River
The community is on the Catawba River

The Catawba River is a large river as you can see. Lush green cool surroundings perfect to get out into nature right in the community!

Canoe and kayak club at SCCL
Canoe and Kayak storage facility

With a river and 10 lakes, SCCL residents have a Canoe and Kayak Cub.  This club not only uses the lakes and river at the community, they make outside trips.

Nature trail to Catawba River
Nature trail to Catawba River

There are wooded trails to the river and gardens that can be walked or residents can ride their golf carts. 1500 acres are in the community.

Community Gardens
Community Gardens

In the bottom lands down by the river there is a large  community garden that is both beautiful as well as bountiful.

Some other Outdoor Activities at Sun City Carolina Lakes

We are bocce players and enjoyed playing on the nice lighted courts and meeting other bocce players.  We met a group of tennis players who invited us for wine and cheese after their meet.  Look at the picture of the dog park above and you will see a gathering of people under the shade tree having a good time. The pickleball players also had a gathering with a tent and refreshments. We noticed happy people socializing and sharing the activities.

Lake House: The 40,000 Activities Center

This is the finest clubhouses we have ever visited. (By the way,  there are plans to build a second clubhouse at the rear of the community too.) This clubhouse is beaming with activity.

The Lake House at Sun City Carolina Lakes
The Lake House at Sun City Carolina Lakes

Some activities at the Lake House when we visited

There is always something going on at the Lake House. There are about 150 groups and clubs at Sun City Carolina Lakes. The  Lifestyle Director is Trevor Sunderlage and residents say he does a great job.

We took a line dancing class, class level one. There was a level two class just after ours and they have offer a level three class too.

Line Dancing Class
Line Dancing Class

What We Liked About Sun City Carolina Lakes

The beautiful grounds – 1500 acres.
10 Lakes and on a river
Golf Course
The wonderful Lake House
The People are Happy and Friendly
Clubs and groups for range of interests, activities, and  socialization.
The great staff – It’s a Del Webb community – Sun City.
The model home park – great floor plans – 2800 homes
This is not an isolated community. There are restaurants, groceries, shops and services nearby like you would find in any suburban location.

The Community Information

Name: Sun City Carolina Lakes
Web site: http://www.delwebb.com/sccl
Phone: 803-396-9803. We met with agent Brook Moore.
Location: 5074 Grandview Drive, Fort Mill SC 29707

Special thanks to Pam with Explore Del Webb program for our community tour and introductions.

 

Splitting Entrees

Retirement Savings: Splitting Entrees

Retirement Savings: Splitting Entrees

In retirement you need to save money when you can and also need to watch your weight.  I have a way to do both by splitting entrees.

Splitting Entrees
Splitting Entrees

Splitting Entrees

Today we were at lunch at Cuzie’s, a little french cafe down the street and my wife ordered the Pastrami and Cheese Panini and I ordered the Ham and Brie Panini. We both got sides.  We really were not that hungry at lunch and ending up with a to go box.  We both said “Why didn’t we split one entree and get one addition side”.

If we would had split the entree, we would have not had to lug that to go box home, to sit in the refrigerator and probably be throw out with this week’s garbage.  If we had eaten it all, we would have been stuff. The bill was $25.

On the other hand if we have ordered that Pastrami and Cheese Panini to be split by the both of us and one additional side, then that would have been more than enough food. This is great portion control. We would not have had to dealt with the take out and would have saved some money as a bonus.

Do you ever say “We should have split on entree”?

Many restaurants are happy to split entrees for you and serve on two plates. We go to a nice Italian restaurant and split theManicotti dish and share a salad.  The restaurant does a good job splitting on serving on individual plates. That’s the way to do it.

 

learning

FREE Learning Opportunities in Retirement

Learning is FREE

Being the publisher of Retirement Media I read a lot about retirement and live the retirement lifestyle since I am age 66. Something that does not get too much press is lifelong learning.  You may click that link to see a good article explaining what the term is and why it may be useful throughout your life and especially  in retirement.

There are plenty of free opportunities to learn. You really don’t need too much to learn, just be observant;  however taking a class is a excellent way to learn.

When you learn for free it is even better. Here are some free classes listed below that I have taken this year. This may give you some ideas.

FREE Learning Opportunities in Retirement

1. Free Dance Lessons – Many dance clubs give free lessons not only to beginners but advanced also.  Some feel the dance lessons are the most enjoyable part.

2. YouTube Videos – I am convinced you can learn to learn how to do anything watching YouTube Videos.

3. Smartphone lessons – My wife and I just took a two hour class covering all the features on her new Galaxy 5 phone at our Verizon store. Just go to your provider’s web site to find a class.

5. AARP TEKAARP TEK provides all sorts of workshops to learn about technology. We took the workshop on tablets and smartphones.

6. Senior Centers – We attend the lunch & learn once a month.  I liked visiting the 911 call center to learn how that works. Adult learning centers are also good places to learn.

7. Book Clubs – Join a book club that will select a book of the month and then have a discussion about the book. Reading is a great if not the best free learning tool. Libraries have author lectures.

8. Meetup.com – Tonight I am going to a free two hour course on how to use Instagram. They also give free classes on Facebook and Twitter. For almost any subject you are interested in learning about, there usually is a group on Meetup.com that will help you learn.

9. Colleges – Many have free audition classes for seniors.

10. Free on-line courses – Get 1000 free online courses from the world’s leading universities –  Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more.

11. Free Computer Classes for Seniors – available at senior centers, libraries and other places. Kids love teaching seniors about computers. Professionals volunteer their time teaching also.

12. Free Day at the Museum – I went to Atlanta’s High Museum on the first Saturday of this month because they offered FREE admission for that day.  Ask your museum if they have a free admissions day or evening.

13. Volunteer – Volunteers get some free training. My wife volunteers at a hospital and they have a auxiliary meetings with guest speakers too. You can also volunteer to usher and see free shows and lectures.

14. Hospitals – have free health fairs and health screening where you can learn how to improve your health.

15. Arts in the Park – We just went to a free concert by the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra in Newtown Park.  Funded by the Arts Foundation. Your area park probably has something like this.

16. Book TV – I love watching Book TV on the weekends on TV. They also have free videos of their authors talking about their books on the Book TV website.

17. Free Arts Classes – I signed up for a free arts class “senior to senior” where they match you the senior with an arts senior in high school.  Check with your arts center for free classes.

Well I was able to come up with these 17 free learning opportunities from my own life. I hope there are ideas that inspire you to check them out.

If you think of other free learning opportunities you should comment below.

More Retirement Activities

enjoying retirement

Less Is More In Retirement by Ann Hearn

Less Is More In Retirement by Ann Hearn

The last time that I wrote a blog, I was working a full time job on the night shift and dreaming of retirement. Some of you may remember me as WorkingBoomer. I used to write blogs on Boomerplaces.com. That seems like such a long time ago because many things have changed since my writing days. The single most important thing that has changed is just this; I AM NOW RETIRED. I even retired my old computer and purchased a new lap top. Retirement means different things to different people. For me my Less is my More. I will attempt to list the reasons for my less retirement life which has become my priceless More Retirement Dream.

1. For the first time in my life I truly know what it feels like to be relaxed.

Enjoy Flowers!
Enjoy Flowers!

2. I have learned to enjoy planting flowers and watching them grow.

3. My days of clock watching are gone. There are no more alarm clocks sounding when most people are preparing for bedtime.

4. I can sleep as late as I choose and still have time to do the things that I want to do.

5. My new Medicare HMO insurance gives me free membership to Silver Sneakers at my local YMCA. There I can have fun and meet new friends.

6. Since my youngest grandchild lives over a thousand miles away, I learned to use Skype. I enjoy learning.

7. I finally had the time to get rid of clutter in my apartment.

8. I visited the senior center in my area. The nice people there provided me with a list of senior housing. Some I have visited. One place that I visited was a 55 community.

9. Grocery shopping is more pleasurable since I can now shop during the less busy hours.

Healthy Meals
Healthy Meals

10. There is more time to prepare healthy meals.

11. Now that I don’t work every weekend, I can do simple things that make me happy such as attend church, people watch at the mall, take in a daytime movie, go to the zoo, or make plans with my friends if I choose.

12. Also the days of fighting traffic twice a day are gone. I don’t miss my stomach being tied in knots while trying to keep away from road rage.

Sweetie
Sweetie

13. Even my dog Sweetie is more relaxed. I can now give her all the attention that she deserves. I don’t have to feel guilty leaving her every night for eight hours alone.

14.If I need to make a doctors appointment or go to the bank, it is much easier to do with my time being flexible.

15. I now have the time to attend some of my grandchildren’s school sports events.

16. I can take a road trip just because.

Enjoy the Park
Enjoy the Park

17. The park is one of my favorite places. There is plenty of time to enjoy a stroll on the walking trail and be with nature.

18. If I choose to work, I can volunteer or work part time.

Yes my less is more.

Some people dream of traveling, moving to a new location, or participating in cultural activities. Whatever makes you happy then do it if possible.

For me happiness comes from the simple little things in life.

I had a goal to be the first person in my job description to retire. I succeeded with the help of my wonderful co workers. For me, a doer, it is a pleasure to just not have to do.

It would be nice to have lots of money but I am content with my less because just being able to relax, feel grateful, see the sunset, smile at a new friend, read a novel, learn a new hobby, have memories, and enjoy the things in life that are free turns my Less into More during the last chapter, my retirement days.

By Ann Hearn, a Working Retired Boomer!

Note from Robert Fowler, publisher of Retirement Media Inc: Ann wrote so many great posts on BoomerPlaces.com. They have become classics enjoyed by many even today.  Everyone one of her posts has things we all can relate to and I found myself nodding yes to the post above as well. Ann wrote this post at my request. Thanks Ann!

Flowers
Flowers

Social Security

Class of ’66 Turns Age 66

Class of ’66 Turns Age 66

Have you noticed that the high school class of 1966 turns age 66 this year?  I have since I turned 66 this month and I graduated in 1966. That’s like 46 years, a lifetime ago.

Ann taught me the value of living in the present and looking forward to the future, which is fine with me since I am not much on looking back anyway.

Age 65 Was Good

Being 65 this past year was fine. No one has to fear turning 65.

It was little strange getting my Medicare card in the mail. It felt like getting that AARP membership at age 50 did but both have been a benefit not a hindrance. The United Healthcare Advantage Medicare plan worked fine and I didn’t even have to change my primary doctors.  Insurance is always a hassle to deal with no matter what.

Retirement activities that I enjoyed this year include blogging, took two cruises, traveled some, went to two AARP LifeAt50+ events in Atlanta and Boston, served on the activity committee of Park Place Active Adult Center, played Bocce two times a week,  used my  Just Fitness Gym membership, became a member of a dance club, regular lunches and dinners with my friends, expanded my medals collection, read more books, was a regular member of  the Park Place Pacers a walking club, won some medals in the local area Golden Games including the gold in the half mile walk and silver in Bocce and bought a house in  an active adult community that we will move to one day. Enjoyed going to our local listening room for concerts, but this is enough, you get the idea! Oh yeah, Mary Ann and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.

Looking Forward to Age 66

So July first I started receiving my spousal social security benefits  letting my own social security benefits increase by 8% per year until I start taking them at age 70. Yes you can do that. Well that was a good start.

Looking forward this year to continuing my passion with my retirement job at Retirement Media, have two cruises booked later this year, planning to go to IdeasAt50+ event in San Diego in September, will be doing some retirement communities visits and reviews this Summer starting with a 3 night visit to Sun City Carolina Lakes near Charlotte later this month, and send my application off to participate in the Georgia Golden Olympics in September and if I qualify plan to go to the National Senior Games in Minneapolis next July.  Plus I plan to do a lot of the fun things I did this year.  One thing about retirement is that you can change your plans anytime you want, so who knows what will be coming my way.

Just like my life has gotten better after 30, 40, then 50, I am have an optimistic feeling for 65+ because I am having the time of my life.

Robert Fowler

Massage Room at LaVida Massage

Getting a Massage for Relaxation or Therapy

Getting a Massage for Relaxation or Therapy

As the baby boomer generation moves into its retirement years, people are living longer after retirement, and the senior population is increasing in numbers significantly. In response to the growth of this demographic, more massage therapists are focusing their practice on massage for the 65+ crowd. Not only can massage be enjoyed for pure relaxation purposes, but several studies have shown that targeted massage therapies can relieve symptoms of age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Why try massage?

The human body is designed to repair its injuries and ills, but as we age this process becomes less efficient. Although many of today’s retirees are able to remain healthy and active even into their nineties, eventually our aging bodies will experience a wide range of aches, pains, and other physical problems. Chronic pain and stiffness are not only physically draining, but can take an emotional toll as well, detracting from the quality of life and making it more difficult to enjoy our leisure time during our retirement years.

Despite the inevitability of aging, there are things you can do to reduce chronic aches and pains and improve flexibility, coordination, and muscular strength. Exercise is, of course, important, including weight-bearing exercise, cardio exercise, and flexibility training such as yoga – but regular massages can also benefit and improve your physical (and mental) well-being.

The practice of massage

Eastern cultures have traditionally viewed massage as a health treatment, similar to acupuncture, that will help to balance energies in the body. Today, massage is seen both as a physical therapy and as an enjoyable and relaxing leisure activity. Whether you get a massage for health and wellness purposes, or merely for a pleasurable experience, you will reap the many benefits: a calmed nervous system, improved mobility, increased circulation, and reduced muscle tension.

Massage benefits

The healthful aftereffects of massage can be long-lasting, including enhanced sleep, improved coordination in activities of daily life, speedier recovery from injuries or some surgeries, increased vitality, and even improved breathing. A massage just feels good and puts you in a pleasant relaxed frame of mind.

Massage has the following health benefits:
  • Increases circulation
  • enhances the immune system
  • promotes nervous system functioning
  • reduces blood pressure
  • relieves pain and muscle tension
  • improves mood, intellectual reasoning and job performance

Seniors and massage

Although massage is generally useful for therapy, relaxation, and stress relief, there are some age-related conditions that may be exacerbated by certain types of massage. It is a good idea to talk with your physician before getting a massage, and to let your masseur know about any physical issues you are experiencing, and any changes in your health.

Massage benefits for seniors can be most important, since it can improve flexibility of muscles and joints which may help prevent falls. Improved circulation is another benefit getting a massage can help seniors with.

Tip: Some massage schools offer an hour massage as low as $25 using some of their more experience students. This can be a good affordable way to get a decent massage.

LaVida Massage
LaVida Massage

model air plane hobby

Retirement Activities on Display

Retirement Activities on Display

What better place to get retirement ideas than to visit an Active Adult Retirement Community’s groups and clubs activities  day exposition. That is exactly what I did yesterday and got a good sampling of all kinds of activities to be enjoyed in retirement no matter where you live.

Thanks to the Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb Community in Georgia for the invitation. There are over 90 clubs for activities there and many were on display in their 35,000 square foot clubhouse. I really enjoyed speaking with the passionate residents that represented their club for the activity they were in love with.

I will share the ideas for these retirement activities with some of the photos I took.

Model Plane Enthusiasts

The featured photo at the top of this post is one I took of some of the model airplane enthusiasts at the activities exhibit. There were planes, gliders, and even drones!

Not for Squares Dancing

We talked with square dancing representatives and they say it is fun and friendship set to music! They claim everyone can learn to square dance even if you consider yourself to be “dance challenged”.  They offer lessons and say you will enjoy dancing from the very first night. They dance every Tuesday evening. There are other dance clubs from ranging from ballroom to shag.

Dancing as an activity
Dancing as an activity

 

 Culinary Club

Just what I need – a club where you eat!  They have a very nice demonstration kitchen as you can see and these members told us about many different cooking class ranging from participating to just demo and tastings!

Culinary Club
Culinary Club

Day Trippers

One of the most most enthusiastic group was at the Day Trippers table. They use the full service tour buses (no senior vans!) and visit really neat places like Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, the Fox Theater, museums, and interesting towns. I like the idea of seeing a play at the Fox and not having to worry about driving downtown. Cost is very reasonable too.

activities with day trippers
Day Trippers

 

 Table Games: Mah Jongg

Next we stopped by the Mah Jongg display and enjoyed looking at the beautiful game set on display. The case even had rollers! It does sound like fun and they do offer lessons. 4 players per table and they are up to 7 tables. Many other table games, this is just a sample.

Mah Jongg
Mah Jongg

Bocce Ball

OK now we are talking! Bocce is my game and Deaton Creek has three wonderful bocce courts. Bocce is a game almost anyone can play as it is not strenuous at all except for standing.  Over 200 people play this at Deaton Creek.  I didn’t get a photo of the Pickleball exhibit because it was so crowded with people but Pickleball is one of the fastest growing and easiest to learn sports for all ages.

Bocce Champions
Bocce Champions

 The Trail Club

Some of the fittest people we met were at The Trail Club table, smartly decked out in brown hiking outfits and hiking boots. These guys get around, hiking not only the 7 miles of trails in the community but trails all over the area. Just show up at the appointed time and go!

The Trail Club Hikers
The Trail Club Hikers

 Photography Club

The gentleman at the photography club table was excellent and had a great passion for this hobby. He instructs classes and forums. I would love to go to the one about framing shots. He gave me a few tips of how to use my camera.

Photography Club
Photography Club

It’s Showtime!

Over 200 people attend each of these frequent shows with tribute bands like the Rod Stewart band coming up this month to game shows and various other entertainers.

It's Showtime Concerts!
It’s Showtime Concerts!

Well those are nine of the many activity club tables where we stopped of the more than 90 clubs offered at Deaton Creek but you get an idea. I liked talking with the people and seeing their passion for their activities and their welcoming attitudes made us feel good. I can see how they would be good neighbors. This was a very positive experience seeing folks just having fun!
-Robert and Mary Ann Fowler

Resources:
Active Adult Communities
Why I like Del Webb Active Adult Communities
Retirement Activities

cruise ship

Retirement Travel: Why Cruises Are Most Popular

Retirement Travel: Why Cruises Are Most Popular

From what I see in the retirement world, cruises are the favorite option for retirees when doing their retirement travel.

We have talked with many retirees about their cruise habits and here is what they are telling us are the reasons they like to cruise.

Just Pack And Go

Yep after booking your cruise and airfare just pack and go.  You don’t have to worry about repacking and moving every day or so and that really is a nice benefit. It is hard moving around with a suitcase or two. This way your hotel room goes with you.

Do As Much or As Little As You Want

I remember taking a two week bus tour of Italy. Sure we saw a lot of sights but we got so tired of getting up early and getting the suitcases in the hallway by 6am. We couldn’t slow down because we had the bus to catch to the next town.  Well with a cruise you do as much or as little as you want. In fact each person can make that decision for themselves. Get up early or stay up late, whatever you want to do.

cruise ship entertainersThere Is So Much To Do

In fact there is more to do on a cruise that you can do, so you just pick what you would like to do. Except for some excursions, you don’t have to plan ahead too much either. Shows, casino,bars, entertainers, dining, sports, or just lounging by the pool.

Travel to Different Parts of the World

Sightseeing while in port is fun and there is so much variety whether you are flying up a glaciers in Juneau on an Alaskan cruise or walking through the rain forest in Dominica on a Caribbean cruise.  Tour  St. Petersburg Russia while on the Baltic Sea cruise, spend a day at Waikīkī beach while on a Hawaiian cruise. Visit Ireland and Scotland on the British Isles cruise.

Most Affordable Retirement Travel

Cruises are some of the most affordable travel you can do and by paying a little attention anyone can get a good rate.  $80 to $100 per night is a good rate for a cruise.

dancing on cruise shipFriendly Like Minded People

Most people like meeting and talking with other cruisers. Many live in active adult communities and are used to making friends easily. Share a table with new folks at most meals and you may consider this reason enough to cruise again.

Wow I didn’t even mention the meals which many think is the reason to cruise, but most people we talked with didn’t even mention that.

If you are retired then you probably will start with 7 day cruises then move on to the longer cruises of 10, 12 and 14 days. Then many retirees like to either do back to back cruises or a cruise land vacation combination.

We have two more cruises booked later this year and are looking into a river cruise soon.  We enjoy cruising in our retirement and hope you do too!

Celebration Cruises

Celebrations are one of the main reasons people like to take a cruise. Anniversary cruises, retirement cruises, birthday cruises.

Resources You May Like:
AARP Travel -travel deals, tips & news for tours, air, hotel.
Retirement Travel
Cold Weather Cruises
Boomer Travel – Expedia CruiseShipCenters

Technology for Seniors

Home Technology For Seniors

Home Technology For Seniors

Technology is really becoming useful to help seniors stay in their homes. Yesterday I took a technology for seniors workshop, then today I received this great info-graphic from the folks at Home Access Products.

Home Technology for Seniors Infographic

There are several items that I like that I had not heard of before like the EasyFamily IPad App that will make it easier for seniors to stay in touch with their family.

The FitBit Flex sounds like a good idea and I like it; it resembles a trendy looking watch that my nephew’s young wife is wearing. I may get one for myself.

I agree the Apple IPad is a great tool for seniors and  after taking an AARP TEK workshop yesterday using an iPad Mini to demo, I want one. Nice!  More info on AARP TEK see Technology Education Center.

Technologies that help seniors stay connected with friends and family are already good and will only get better as we boomer enter retirement and beyond.

Robert Fowler
Retirement Media

 

Princess Alaska Cruise Tour

Best “Cold-weather” Cruises

Best “Cold-weather” Cruises

While some people want nothing but leisure, warmth, Mai-tais, and shuffleboard on a cruise, more adventurous retirees may be seeking the awe-inspiring vistas and exploration involved in cold-weather cruises. Cold weather cruises, such as those that travel along the Alaskan coastline or Nordic fjords, provide a moving panorama of wildlife, massive edifices of rock and ice, and ever-changing vistas of natural beauty. They also offer more opportunity for on-shore recreation than usual in long tropical cruises.

Although cold-weather cruises often appeal to more venturesome seniors, most of us are still looking for the comforts and modern amenities found among the large luxury cruise lines. We seek such things as variety in itinerary, quality and quantity of onboard enrichment activities, and top-notch healthcare and accessibility features. With these priorities in mind, a couple of cruise lines stand out from the crowd as senior-friendly cold-weather cruise providers:

  • ALASKA: Princess Cruises – Princess Cruise ships are well-known for their luxury amenities, high levels of comfort, and quality personal service. As one of the first cruise lines in the Alaska market, Princess has a number of sailings including Glacier Bay National Park – the platinum standard of Alaskan scenery.

 

  • ALASKA: Holland America – Also renowned for modern conveniences and attention to detail, Holland America cruises extends this quality experience to land-based day-trips on the Alaska Railroad, with Holland America reserved fully-domed observation cars, superior to even those owned by Alaska Railways.

 

  • NORTH CAPE (NORDIC FJORDS): Hurtigruten – This company offers a unique experience. Its ships, which stop in at upwards of 35 unique port calls along the scenic fjords, carry passengers to tiny Nordic towns and villages that are nearly impossible to reach in any other way. There is also the opportunity to disembark, travel along the scenic coast by winding road, and rejoin the cruise at the next port. Although these ships carry local ferry passengers, mail, and cargo along the coastline, cruise passengers on Hurtigruten have full cabins and luxury amenities similar to those enjoyed on conventional cruise ships.
Alaska Train Tour
Alaska Train Tour

Cold-weather cruises may not be for everyone, but if you have tired of the “sun and fun” of conventional tropical cruises and yearn for more inspiring vistas and adventurous day-trips, these companies may give you the retirement travel experience of a lifetime.  If you live in the South like I do, July and August are excellent times to take a Cold Weather cruise to beat the heat.  Now is the time to book your cruise vacation, you can’t wait until the middle of Summer unless you want to try to get a last minute deal.

Resources:
AARP Travel
CruiseShipCenters
ChisCruises
Boomer Travel

 

Spirit of Retirement