2014年8月30日 星期六

Increasingly, Retirees Dump Their Possessions and Hit the Road

Increasingly, Retirees Dump Their Possessions and Hit the Road
SOME call themselves “senior gypsies.” Others prefer “international nomad.” David Law, 74, a retired executive recruiter who has primarily slept in tents in several countries in the last two years, likes the ring of “American Bedouin.”
They are American retirees who have downsized to the extreme, choosing a life of travel over a life of tending to possessions. And their numbers are rising.
Mr. Law and his wife, Bonnie Carleton, 69, who are selling their house in Santa Fe, N.M., spoke recently by phone from a campground in Stoupa, Greece, a village on the southern coast of the Peloponnese. He explained that they roam the world to “get the broadest and most radical experience that we can get.”
They recently decided to fold their tent. “Hey, we’re getting to be too old for this,” said Mr. Law about camping out. But they intend to continue what he termed their “endless holiday” in a more comfortable and spacious recreational vehicle.
Between 1993 and 2012, the percentage of all retirees traveling abroad rose to 13 percent from 9.7 percent, according to the Commerce Department.
Continue reading the main story

Travel Tips for Vagabonds-in-Training

  • Make sure travel insurance covers medical evacuation to the United States. A rider or separate policy may be required.
  • Bring noise-canceling headphones for immediate access to peace.
  • Consider downloading the Point It app, a catalog of photos of items travelers need with translations in several languages.
  • Buy a few pairs of fast-drying microfiber underwear, which take up less space in luggage than conventional knickers.
About 360,000 Americans received Social Security benefits at foreign addresses in 2013, about 48 percent more than 10 years earlier. An informal survey of insurance brokers found greater demand by older clients for travel medical policies. (Medicare, with a few exceptions, does not cover expenses outside the United States). While many retirees ultimately return home or become expatriates, some live like vagabonds.
Lynne Martin, 73, a retired publicist and the author of “Home Sweet Anywhere: How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life, and Saw the World,” is one. Three years ago, she and her husband, Tim, 68, sold their three-bedroom house in Paso Robles, Calif., gave away most of their possessions, found a home for their Jack Russell terrier, Sparky, and now live in short-term vacation rentals they usually find through HomeAway.com.
The Martins have not tapped their savings during their travels, alternating visits to expensive cities like London with more reasonable destinations like Lisbon. “We simply traded the money we were spending for overhead on a house and garden in California for a life in much smaller but comfortable HomeAway rentals in more interesting places,” Ms. Martin said by email from Paris.
On her blog, Barefoot Lovey, Stacy Monday, 50, a former paralegal and mediator who lived in Knoxville, Tenn., wrote: “I used to dream about all the places I would go as soon as I was old enough to get away. But then ... life happened.” On May 1, 2010 — like many itinerant baby boomers Ms. Monday can quickly recall the date her journey started — she embarked on her dream trip. She “crisscrossed the U.S. three times” and visited Mexico, Ireland, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and many other countries.
“I sold everything I had,” Ms. Monday recalled earlier this summer from San Francisco before she headed to Las Vegas, Dallas, Memphis and Knoxville. “I paid off all of my debt. I have no bills and no money.” She estimates that she now spends $150 a month — sometimes less if she is saving up for a flight — and earns a modest income through “odds-and-ends jobs,” as well as the tip jar on her blog.
To stick to her tight budget, Ms. Monday volunteers for nonprofits and organic farms in exchange for room and board or finds free places to stay through Couchsurfing.org. The company puts its membership of people 50 and older at about 250,000.
Ms. Monday monitors ride-share boards at Couchsurfing and Craigslist for free or inexpensive transportation, and she travels light. “I get away with a couple pairs of jeans, a pair of shorts, a skirt and four or five shirts and a pair of pajamas,” she said.
When she answers the ubiquitous question, What do you do? Ms. Monday notices that most women respond with encouragement, while many men are less supportive. “They say: ‘You should be home. That’s not safe. You are old.’ I get that from a lot of the men,” she said.
David Law and his wife, Bonnie Carleton, on the Great Wall of China.
Hal E. Hershfield, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of California, Los Angeles who studies the influence of time on consumer behavior, observes that many “pre-retirees” still assume retirement is a “decrepit, sitting on a porch, maybe playing golf, ice-tea type of life.”
But current retirees are “changing the way they think,” he said, “because they are still healthy and sort of young at heart.” In the last 50 years, retirement “wasn’t this period that we spent years and years in,” Mr. Hershfield continues. “It really, truly was the end of life.”
Galit Nimrod, a research fellow at the Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Aging at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, says an extended postretirement trip can assuage a sense of loss from ending a career. Travel can “act as a neutral, transitional zone between voluntary or imposed endings and new beginnings” and “serve as a healthy coping mechanism,” Dr. Nimrod said by email.
Gary D. Norton, 69, acknowledges that he felt “afraid of retirement” when he left his job of 34 years as a science professor at a South Dakota community college.
In 2002, he and his wife, Avis M. Norton, 67, a retired farmer, sold their house, bought an R.V. and started volunteering full time for two nonprofits: Nomads on a Mission Active in Divine Service, or Nomads, and RV Care-A-Vanners, an initiative of Habitat for Humanity.
The couple typically rebuilds houses damaged by natural disasters, projects that usually last several weeks. Mr. Norton, who now specializes in drywall finishing, and his wife, who studied carpentry, say they cherish the chance to give back to society while seeing the country. “Now what we’re doing is so satisfying and fulfilling, even though we have some health issues, we say we don’t want to quit,” said Mr. Norton, who estimated that he and his wife had repaired damaged homes in 28 states.
The chance to volunteer on international conservation projects and the opportunity to live like a local inspired Danila Mansfield, 58, and her husband, Chris Gill, 64, to sell their house in San Jose, Calif., last year. They got rid of nearly everything they owned — the exceptions being two suitcases, clothing and a pair of guitars (Mr. Gill’s prized Gibson ES-335 electric guitar is stowed at a friend’s house, but he totes around a travel guitar) — and do not even rent a storage space.
The purge of possessions was “a little nerve-racking” at first, but ultimately “hugely liberating,” said Ms. Mansfield, who is currently in South Africa. She and her husband plan to volunteer on game reserves to protect endangered species and then study great white sharks.
So far, their travels have surpassed expectations. They drove from San Jose to Florida over five months, before cruising to Europe. High points included meeting a judge at a bar in Amarillo, Tex., who invited them to visit his drug court, catching crawfish with locals in Louisiana’s bayou country and making new friends in Austin, Tex., who invited the couple to stay with them in South Africa.
But Ms. Mansfield has also hit bumps in the road. In Galveston, Tex., and New Orleans, an acute respiratory illness required three visits to urgent care centers. “It was really dragging me down,” she recalled. At one point she cried for home, but then managed to brighten her mood. “I kept telling myself, ‘This is home,’ ” Ms. Mansfield said. “Where I am is home.”

2014年8月27日 星期三

The Ready for Ageing Alliance has set out an 11 point prescription to help individuals prepare for ageing.

When's the right age to start preparing for being old? Here in the UK, the Ready for Ageing Alliance has set out an eleven point prescription to help individuals get ready for their autumn years. Advice includes getting fit, making friends and planning your finances. Is fifty the right age for that kind of advice? When do you think "old age" begins? Let us know your thoughts and tune in to World Update with Julian Marshall at 0900GMT.

‘Ready for Later Life’ pack targeted at 50-year-olds

Source : ILC-UK
Published on 26 August 2014 02:00 PM
An older man standing outside
The Ready for Ageing Alliance has set out an 11 point prescription to help individuals prepare for ageing.

The Alliance, a coalition of 8 organisations, came together in 2013 to make the case for action to ensure that our society is ready for ageing. The coalition urges individuals to keep fit, eat healthy, and plan ahead.
The Ready for Ageing Alliance is publishing the prescription ahead of the launch of its Manifesto on 8 September 2014.
The Manifesto will set out ideas for how policymakers can better respond to the challenges of ageing. 

Older people need access to advice and services

The Ready for Ageing Alliance points out that our responsibility to age well needs to be supported by a series of rights.
Policymakers must ensure that we are all well equipped to ensure we are ready for ageing. It argues that individuals need access to advice, services and opportunities for learning.
The Ready for Ageing Alliance calls for the creation of a ‘Ready for Later Life’ pack. The aim is to help people at the age of 50 to access additional information and advice on preparing for ageing.

Are you ready for ageing? 11 point prescription

  1. Get fit: Keeping physically active is one of the most important things we can do to ensure a healthy old age. Learn to ride a bike or get out to the park. Not everyone can do a marathon, but most of us should keep fitter than we do.
  2. Save for your old age: Yes, you will get a state pension. But for most people, it is unlikely to provide the sort of income you are used to. Saving is important at any age. But the younger we start, the greater we benefit from investment returns and compound interest.
  3. Pay off your debts: Having debt can be a major barrier to preparing for ageing. Get advice from a charity such as Age UK or Stepchange and start planning for the future.
  4. If you smoke, stop or cut down: Smoking reduces our life expectancy and can make it more likely that we suffer poor health or need care in old age. You are never too young or old to stop.
  5. Be healthy: Eat a healthy balanced diet, drink enough water, and not too much alcohol. Be mentally active. Keep yourself informed about how you can prevent ill health and ask your GP if you need any adult vaccinations.
  6. Plan ahead: Too few of us plan for the future. And planning for old age is difficult as few of us expect to suffer ill health, bereavement or a job loss. But a little thinking about how we respond to these challenges can make for a better old age. If we are to have longer working lives, it is unlikely that many of us will stay in the same job for a long time. We need to accept our careers may change and invest in careers advice and retraining. In addition, don’t be afraid of thinking about your own death, however far off it may be. Ensure you have taken out a Will and consider a Power of Attorney.
  7. Keep your friends and make new ones: Isolation and loneliness in old age hits far too many people. Maintain friendships and build new networks and relationships across the life-course and into older age. And build relationships in your home community, not just where you work.
  8. Adapt your home: As we age, we want and need different things from our housing. Our homes may have become too big or may no longer suit our needs. If this is how it is for you, think about moving home. Everyone should take opportunities to upgrade home energy efficiency.
  9. Keep up to date with the kids: The world is changing around us. Keep your mind active and engaged, from new digital technology through to new attitudes. Make sure you aren’t missing out and take every opportunity to talk to younger people. Try to get yourself online. Listen to One Direction (at least once).
  10. Talk about ageing: Ageing should be seen as a positive experience. Too few of us talk about ageing as anything but a passing joke. Talk to friends and family about this list.
  11. See retirement positively: A time of change. A time perhaps of getting out more, taking more exercise, eating better, giving up smoking and making new friends. A time to have fun.
David Sinclair, Spokesperson for the Ready for Ageing Alliance said:
‘We should all take responsibility for ageing well. But if we are to keep active, it is important to ensure there are services available to help us do so.
‘If we want people to continue to be engaged as older workers or volunteers, we must end ageism. At the age of 50, everyone should be sent a sent a Ready for Later Life pack, signposting them to information and advice on preparing for ageing.’
Download the 'Getting ready for ageing' manifesto (PDF, 755 KB)

2014年8月11日 星期一


電子郵件提供你簽名以自動張貼你選的格言----這,我通常半年或一年換一次。前天匆匆回信給 William Scherkenbach,忘記將王鼎鈞的這句刪掉:

Bill略通中文,馬上來信說: 漢清, 你是不是老了!