Cruise for retirement

Enjoying A Cruise for Your Retirement

Enjoying A Cruise for Your Retirement

Ever wonder why so many people like to take cruises in their retirement?

Some people refer to a “retirement cruise” as a cruise they will take shortly after they retire. Maybe it will be their one and only cruise. It is a big thing and something to look forward to.  Just make sure you take a least a 7 day cruise and not a 3 or 4 day cruise, which in my opinion is really not enjoyable at all.  All your time is spend getting settled in and then start packing. So do at least a 7 day cruise or a 10 day cruise is even better.

But why are so many people really die hard cruisers in their retirement. You know the people who take one cruise after another, maybe 3 or 4  a year.

It’s like a travel bug that bites you and you just got to have more.  What’s the big attraction?

Cruising in Retirement

1. Taking a cruise is nice because you just pack and go. Once on ship you can do as little or as much as you want to but you don’t have to repack or catch a bus or change hotel rooms. That’s convenient and people like it.

2. Meeting and talking with new people is interesting and enjoyable. You have plenty of time on a cruise ship and everyone is open to talking with you at meals, at the pool or anywhere around the ship. We have met some very interesting people on every cruise and people are so nice.

Pool on ship
Pool on ship

3.  The food is really good. You can try new foods you don’t normally try. You can go formal dining or casual. Fixed seating or anytime dining.  You can visit the many specialty restaurants.

4. There is always something to do. During the day there are many activities and games, entertainment around the ship or just watch the waves and the flying fish if you are lucky.  Grab a chair and people watch. Share a drink at the bar. At night there is special entertainers like singers, ventriloquist, and magicians.  Then several shows each cruise with the ships singers and dancers which are excellent.

Food carving demo
Food carving demo

5. Oh there are destinations to visit too. Take one of the ship’s excursions or just get off the ship and walk around. Many cruisers set up their own excursions in advance over the Internet. Or just enjoy seeing them from the ship! Here is a picture I took from the ship of Antigua last week.AntiquaAntiqua

6. Take a class. The photo below is my wife Mary Ann taking a cook class aboard the Celebrity Equinox this year. There are classes for dancing, learning musical instruments, healthy living, computers and more.

Cooking class in ship
Cooking class in ship

7. There is always something to see from the ship like the Manhattan sky line on this photo I took last week.  I have seen flying fish, whales, Russian MiG plane, rainbows, 25 foot waves, beautiful islands, coatlines, mountains, skies and moonlights on the sea.

Manhattan from Royal Princess
Manhattan from Royal Princess

8. Relax by one of the pools or in the deck chairs all around the top levels of the ship.  On the middle level decks there are plenty of chairs and tables to sit and people watch and look out the window at the views.  Movies Under The Stairs is a big hit. Pick up card and table games are all over and you can check out the games from the ship’s library or bring your own.

9. Cruising is fun. We don’t live forever, have some fun! These people are having fun taking a dance lesson on ship.

Dancing on a cruise
Dancing on a cruise

Taking a cruise will give you many good memories. Planning a cruise is awesome too.  Give it a try and you many just like it so much you will become one of us frequent cruisers!

Retirement Travel – Why Cruise?
Cool Weather Cruise
Retirement Travel

View from cruise ship
View from cruise ship
Cruise for retirement
Cruise for retirement
Retirement Activities: Petit Lemans

Retirement Activities: Petit LeMans Race Series

Retirement Activities: Petit LeMans Race

Since retiring I have really enjoyed going to the Petit LeMans sports car endurance race series with two of my buddies.

We have attended the Petit LeMans race at Road Atlanta for the last five years now and it has become an annual event that we look forward to. The series is in about 15 cities beginning in January and ending in November.  Check the  Petit LeMans schedule for upcoming races. Class winners in our race automatically received an invitation to race at the 24 Hours of Lemans (France) next year.

I am not a car person but I like it. I did attended some races when I was in my 20’s and maybe even 30’s.  Then got busy with my career and stop going.  Now I see many if not most of the 100,000 in attendance are in their 40/s, 50’s, 60’s and higher age bracket. Lots of groups of men with gray hair like I have and some couples.

The paddock area is open before the race and fans and go down on the track and look at the cars, drivers and crew.  These are very sophisticated operations, that is for sure.

Last year, two of us got invitied to take a pre race ride around in the track with a professional driver. The driver of the Viper I was riding in got us up to 125 MPH and that was quite exciting. They go much faster in the race of course.

It is a spectator sport but there is some activity just getting your chairs set up in a good viewing position after you have been to the paddock area.  Bring ear plugs. There are large screens set up along the track for viewing also.

The race is 10 hours or 1,000 miles. There are four classes of autos and they all race at the same time. There is a prototype named the DeltaWing that you have to see. Several others too.

The three of us left my Johns Creek home at 8AM, had breakfast and was at the paddock area by around 9:30AM.  This race we left for home about 3:30PM but have stayed until dark.  Sometimes we pick up the wives and go get bar-b-Que after the race.

We are already talking about going next year. It is fun and we enjoy it. Isn’t that what retirement is all about!

DeltaWing
DeltaWing
Barnsley Resort

Romantic Anniversary Getaways – Barnsley Gardens Resort

Romantic Anniversary Getaways – Barnsley Gardens Resort

Many couples  celebrate their anniversary with a romantic getaway rather than just going out for dinner at a nice restaurant or even taking a cruise.

You don’t have to travel far to enjoy a romantic getaway. Many places are just outside metro areas.  You can settle in a resort for a couple of days and take a break from the routine and that is what we did to celebrate our 41st anniversary.

Barnsley Gardens Resort

A Southern experience with history, fine cuisine, attractive gardens,  sport and play bring couples a delightful getaway from their everyday lives at Barnsley Gardens. Located only an hour and 15 minutes from our home in Johns Creek (Atlanta area), it was easy to get to.

We stayed for two nights in the middle of the week on their Smart Stay Days plan and was very pleased with our stay.

What We Like About Barnsley Gardens

We liked our room because it was in a large manor house, yet private with it’s own porch. Free wi-fi and turn down service.

We liked we could walk to anywhere on the property. The grounds are gorgeous and there are plenty of green spaces including large town greens that go the whole length of the property.  There were 5 or 6 fire pits along the greens and in the evenings they just start them up and first come dibs on the chairs but that was not a problem.

town hall
town hall

 

Rice House at Barnsley Resort
Rice House at Barnsley Resort

The restaurants were excellent. The first evening we tried the Woodland Grill (pic below) and I enjoyed the trout and Mary Ann had the salmon after our fried green tomatoes appetizer. We both loved it.  The second evening we splurged and dined at the upscale Rice House and again loved it. (pic above)

The Woodlands Grill
The Woodlands Grill

The first day we walked to the beautiful gardens and toured the ruins of  the Barnsley house. There is an interesting history about this house which was built in 1835 by the Barnsleys. The ruins (pic below) are both interesting and beautiful.

Barnsley house
Barnsley house

The formal gardens were beautifully maintained.

Formal Gardens
Formal Gardens

There is a neat museum in a house attached to the ruins that tells the history of the house and the family. It has extensive collection of the family’s personal items.

Lovely Grounds
Lovely Grounds

The formal gardens in front of the Barnsley house are impressive but there are all kinds of flowers, shrubs and vistas throughout the property like the photo I took above will show. We also toured the chefs garden behind the Rice House restaurant.

Chefs Garden at Rice House
Chefs Garden

There are so many places to walk throughout the community. You can walk the wide streets to admire the homes and the landscaping with many interesting architectural improvements, view the golf course (and play too if you are so inclined). It’s a walkers paradise.

Or you can fish or hunt.

Fishing at Barnsley Resort
Fishing at Barnsley Resort

Fishing is one of the free activities offered so we stopped by the sports house and picked up two spinners, a tackle box and a box of worms and did some fishing in one of the several lakes on the property. We fished from a walking bridge and caught 6 or 7 nice fish. The picture above shows my wife Mary Ann’s prize catch.

Tellus Science Museum
Tellus Science Museum

At lunch time we drove the fifteen minutes to the Booth Western Art Museum over in nearby Cartersville.  There are two excellent museums in Cartersville, the Booth Western Museum and the Tellus Sciense Museum.  We visited both on consecutive days and had lunch both days in downtown Cartersville at Swheat Market & Deli, which is a real gem.

Other activities offered were hunting, fly fishing, boating, horseback riding and enjoying the pool and nearby salon.

pool
Pool

We feel like we escaped for a little while and got in touch with the land and nature.

Butterfly
Butterfly

So for a romantic getaway you don’t have to travel too far even though that is fun too. The couple seated next to us at the Rice House, who was celebrating their anniversary too came from Ohio.

For more information, visit Barnsley Resort.

Robert and Mary Ann Fowler

Introducing the New Be.group Website for Senior Living Options

This post brought to you by The be.group. The content
and opinions expressed below are that of Retirement Media.

There is great news to report! With all the information and misinformation floating around on the internet, it can be difficult to sort it all out. Well, be.group has an all-new website designed for seniors and their loved ones. The site is full of living options geared towards baby boomers and what could potentially be the next step in life. There is even an informative video that provides great information on what the website offers its visitors.

However, since the launch of the new site in August of 2014, it has been a reliable source for industry professionals to direct their clients and/or patients, as well as family members of seniors who are ready to embark on the next phase in life. Therefore, family, caretakers, and healthcare providers can all find valuable information on the Be.group website.

The user-friendly site contains information about senior living housing. In addition, the site provides information on the many living solution as well as costs associated with them. The site can be tailored as to who is visiting it needing the information. For example, if a professional, family, or the senior were to visit the site individually, they can select which category of information they would like to view.

If you are a senior who have been looking for quality information about your living options, you much visit the Be.group website today. You will be guided by a simple step-by-step process through all of the solutions that best meet your needs. Your will find slideshows, articles, quizzes, and informative videos.

You, your loved ones, and/or your caretaker will have access to several communities and their different levels of care offered. There are handy printable resources you can utilize or review while offline
as well.

If you are a professional caretaker or family member of a senior, please be sure to visit the site as well. Once you are familiar with all the information, you can then direct that knowledge to your loved one or senior you are caring for. The more everyone is informed on the next steps, the better and easier the decision-making process will become.

As stated above, the Be.group website if a wealth of information that is waiting to be tapped for every baby boomer. Visit the site today and get your Golden Years started fully informed and confident in your senior living decisions.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Man race walking

Race Walking – Great Activity for Retirees

Race Walking – Great Activity for Retirees

I think I have found the perfect activity for retirees to stay in shape and to provide a retirement activity they can do to improve their health without injuring themselves. It is called Race Walking.

According to popular site eRaceWalk.com which focusing on race walking technique, race walking is  the world of people who choose to regularly walk much faster and/or much farther than is required for mobility or basic fitness.

In my case, I got interested in race walking after walking two mornings a week with my two buddies at Park Place Adult Center. We participated in our senior center’s local Golden Games amongst 4 or  5 other senior centers and I won the competition in the half mile walk for my age bracket.

That got me thinking about the next level up, which is our state competition the Georgia Golden Olympics. Then if you qualify there you can go to the 2015 National Senior Games which will be in Minneapolis Minnesota.

To make it all the way, I needed to learn race walking and at age 67 I have been learning to race walk.  They say it takes 2 months to 2 years to learn race walking and I have only been learning for 2 months, so I hope I am a fast learner because I leave for Georgia Golden Olympics in exactly one week.

So far I have enjoyed learning to race walk.  It has got me in better shape already, much more than just the casual social walking I was doing before. I still plan to walk with my buddies a couple of times a week but if I qualify at the state games, I think I will get a little retirement travel in and go to the National Senior Games in Minnesota next year.

I am thinking more baby boomers will be joining me in learning race walking as it seems to be a perfect activity for us older boomers (or anyone of any age too). You can visit eRaceWalk.com and find a local track club to get more information.

racewalking shoes
racewalking shoes

 

tour guide jobs

Retiree Jobs for Personal Fulfillment and Extra Income

Many Seek Retiree Jobs for Personal Fulfillment and Extra Income

As the members of the baby boom generation edge into their retirement years – many in excellent health, feeling energetic, and in no way ready for days in a rocker – a demand for “bridge jobs” is on the increase. Perhaps the thought of uninterrupted days of leisure is simply unappealing, or maybe people want to continue earning income while they have the health and drive to do so, to ensure they don’t outlive their retirement savings. Whatever the reason, more and more seniors are seeking retiree jobs, which span the years between when they quit their long-term career jobs and when they are ready to leave the labor force for good.

Fortunately, many employers today realize the value of retirees’ years of experience – and their level of maturity. Some companies are even actively seeking older employees to fill part-time and seasonal positions, and offering advantages such as flexible schedules and telecommuting to entice applicants from the retired set.

There are a number of key elements that make a job appealing to retirees. Older workers prize friendly, drama-free work environments, flexible or part-time work schedules, jobs that do not require additional education or certifications, and work that is not physically demanding or highly stressful.

While many retirees seek bridge jobs somehow related to their midlife careers, there is a growing trend for newly retired individuals to seek more personal fulfillment in the work they choose to do. A history buff or arts enthusiast may take a position at a museum or as a tour guide in historical areas. Someone who has always wanted to travel may sign on with an airline or cruise line. If you have a love for animals, you may want to seek work in pet stores, vet offices, or rescue organizations.

You may simply want a part-time gig which will get you out of the house and socializing, as many retirees miss the camaraderie and social interaction they have developed over the years with co-workers. Retail establishments, coffee shops, and bars may have just the part-time job you are looking for.

There are many resources online to help retirees find retiree jobs such as these. If you are looking for a bridge job, you may want to check out websites such as Retired Brains, Retirement Jobs, Senior Job Bank, PrimeCB, Retiree Workforce, or Seniors4Hire.

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

Spirit of Retirement