Active Adult Living Del Webb Communities Retirement

Thoughts on Turning 70 Years Old

This year I am turning 70 years old. So far it is interesting to experience some events that were in the far off future, not long ago. A few of the events that start finally when you turn age 70 are:

Events That Happen When You Turn Age 70

1. I start to receive my full social security benefit. Yes, I am one of those who waited until age 70 to claim my social security, in order to get the increased amount. A lifetime annuity has begun and if I die first, Mary Ann will receive my larger amount, hers being smaller because she started at age 62 getting her benefits.

2. RMDs or required minimal distributions from my IRA account is required when I turn age 70 and a half. I had IRAs at several institutions but last year transferred them all to Fidelity so that when this time comes, the RMD can be calculated easily. My RMD for the year will show on my Fidelity account summary. If you turn 70 after July 1st, then you won’t have to take your RMD until the next year.

3. Senior school tax exemptions start in some counties. In Hall county Georgia, there is a senior school tax exemption to those of us who are 70 that is not based on income, everyone can get it. This is a huge benefit. But you have to be 70 at the first of the year, so it won’t kick in until next year.

4. Jury Duty is exempted when you turn 70 in Hall County. I just served on a Hall county jury and was the oldest person on the jury. The next time I get a jury summons, I could just send the form back exempting myself from serving if I wanted. We will see, I just may go anyway.

5. You are in a different age division or group. As you may know I do senior and master sports competition that is grouped into age divisions. I am moving from age division 65 to 69, up to now competing in the 70 to 74 division.

What Happens to You When You Turn Age 70?

So far very little difference. It’s a big yawn. I race walked a 5K yesterday, much like normal and my time was about as expected. I plan on playing pickleball this week and maybe walking with the guys over to the hospital for breakfast. Calendar looks normal.

Medical Issues

Well there in one little thing that just happened and that is I started taking blood pressure medicine. Up until now I have never been on any medicines, ever. But now the Doc says I need to take this one little pill every day for the rest of my life. Well it is working, so good. Overall I am extremely fortunate health wise and to be able to race walk and be active.

Most 70 plus year olds do have some medical issues, but do a great job making the best of it.

Lifestyle plays a major role in maintaining your health and there is no better place to do that than here, at an Active Adult Community.

Inspiring Examples of Life at 70 Plus

70 year olds seem to be the majority group in our 10 year old active adult community and some of them are excellent inspiring examples of how to be active in your 70s. Some of the best players in my pickleball group are in their late 70s. I remember several of the most creative people in the writing group were in their late 70s & beyond. You could say the same no matter what the mental or physical activity, with 70 plus year olds excelling at what they do.

Travel is certainly one of the most favored activities of people in their 70s with popular activities being river cruises, ocean cruises, land tours, day trips, and foreign travel. Many are away for a few weeks or more.

My Calendar Is Full

The age 70 plus mantra continues to be “do it while you can!”. The “it” includes such things as I have observed people doing in my community, such as:

Walking several times a week, going to the gym three times a week, visiting grandkids, traveling, volunteering, doing crafts, square dancing, trying out new restaurants, getting seasons tickets to a community theater, going to Florida for 2 or 3 months during the Winter, starting a club, collecting something, writing a book, singing in a choral group, taking a motorcycle trip, teaching Sunday school class, having neighbors over for dinner, studying trivia while walking on a treadmill, going to the National Senior Games, trying to figure out Medicare, taking in senior discount day at Regal Cinema, going back home for a visit, take a 30 day hike across Northern Spain, having overnight guests stay with you, going to see the Braves play at Spring training in Florida, taking a day trip to a casino or a museum, taking back-to-back cruises, getting involved in a political group, going to a meet-up group, watching a softball game, asking for a senior discount,calling your brother or sister, cleaning up the walking trails in the community, playing putt putt and then going to lunch, developing a meditation practice, go biking, going to a costume party, growing a patio garden, reading books, playing the piano, doing some estate planning, going to a Georgia football game, selling things on Ebay, writing a blog, having family reunions, researching your family tree, having your children over for Holidays, hosting a card party at your home, driving a school bus, hosting a tournament, joining the writers group at the library, setting up a trust fund for your grand kids, going to breakfast with the guys, making a bucket list, redoing your will, trying to improve your sleep to get 8 hours, checking Facebook, going to the Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta, enjoying a glass of wine, discovering a good Netflix series and binge watching all episodes, taking an on-line course, joining the botanical gardens, visting with the medicare nurse, playing pool at the clubhouse, updating your net worth schedule, teaching a class, taking a food tour, hanging around the clubhouse lobby and talking with people, singing karaoke, keeping your calendar updated, listening to a good radio program, recording your weight and blood pressure, taking a trip to be away from home over a month, visiting the history museum, taking an art class, starting a dinner club, taking your spouse for Doctor visits, reminisce about your life, give a eulogy at a friend’s funeral, make travel plans for a big trip, talking with a stranger until they have to go, get a half calf coffee, read the obituaries, going to a class reunion, competing in a sporting event, attend the Kentucky derby, visit your ancestry’s county of origin, have cataract surgery, looking at your fitbit data, using an echo dot and asking for your favorite song every morning, working on the jig saw puzzle at the clubhouse.

Wait a minute, I just noticed I have 1193 words in this post, going way over my 1,000 word limit.

Just remember to have fun, be active, do what you want to do with people you want to do it with and by all means, let’s “do it while we can!”.

Robert Fowler



Book review: You’re Too Old To Die Young

Dan Zeman in his book “You’re Too Old To Die Young” points out to us baby boomers that medicine and technology has prolonged our lives but has maybe given us a false hope of prolonged quality of life.

Dan sheds a new light on the importance of physical activity. By the way, the book was written for us male baby boomers and at age 73 I could relate. 

Exercise, of lack thereof, seems to be the missing ingredient. As in the past, just living does not require much physical activity. Dan gives many examples of daily activities that we no longer have to do that us boomers will remember.  Yesteryear’s generations worked physically hard and easily exceeded today’s guideline for physical activity.

Today, as a replacement, just exercising three days a week does not do the job of replacing those activities we no longer do.  

Why is physical activity important if we don’t have to do it anymore? Because we live longer and we need to keep physically active to maintain good health and quality of life. If you thought exercise was just to live longer, you should reconsider.  It’s to help us remain healthy and able to perform the activities of daily living while living a longer life.

Dan suggests new ways of looking at exercise saying a key point is to realize the fun will not be found in the daily preparation, but with the smile that comes from the memory of completing the event. Being the leader of our community’s WALKING FOR FITNESS group I can totally relate to that observation.

Chapter 5 presents Dan’s Healthy Dirty Dozen which provides a clear picture of 14 choices you can still make to improve your health. I particularly like number 4 “Safety Measures Aren’t Just for Kids” with ideas to make us more anti-fragile.

I liked the reminder that we need both cardio and strength exercises.  In fact becoming more well-rounded in my exercise activities was advice I needed to hear. Walking is great and I do plenty of it, but doing some resistance and weights would do me good.

Dan reminds us to have fun with our exercise and gives some examples of how to do that.  We are likely to be more active if we are having fun.

Speaking about the aging male, it is pointed out that we can deal with the idea of death better than we can of living longer but not being able to take care of ourselves. Nobody wants to be totally dependent on others, especially us.  

How to remain flexible, mobile and maintaining our strength is our goal at this stage of life.  Dan tells us how to do that by redefining exercise to be fun, not boring, and at the right intensity, frequency and duration that you need.

Even if you are an exercise buff, Dan’s book will help you take a look at what you are doing now to see if it’s the best program for you at this stage of life.

Some of the best takeaways for me as a Race Walker were covered in topics like “Is it worth it?”, “How much is too much exercise?” and “Consider your exercise goals”.  

I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to my fellow male baby boomers and think you will find it interesting and benefit as well.

Robert Fowler
Retirement Media Inc.

Dan Zeman is an Exercise Physiologist with forty years of experience in the health, wellness, fitness and sports medicine arenas. More about Dan Zeman