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A Painful Confession

William Housley  |  Jun 28, 2024

IT PAINS ME TO SAY this, but I hurt—everywhere. I’ll start at the bottom and work my way up. My feet hurt, my knees hurt, my hips hurt, my back hurts and my shoulders hurt. One more thing: I can’t remember. My memory is in decline.

Cataract surgery improved my eyesight. Hearing aids mean my grandkids don’t have to be two rooms over when we watch TV together. Exercise seems to reduce my pain slightly and increase mobility.

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Playing the Long Game

Sonja Haggert  |  Jun 14, 2024

IN A NEW YEAR’S article, I offered eight ways to potentially become a super-ager. A super-ager is a person age 80 or older who has the memory of someone 20 to 30 years younger. Vigorous exercise, a good diet and getting enough sleep were considered some of the key ingredients.
Or is it just luck? A new study conducted in Spain and published in The Journal of Neuroscience examined the world of super-agers by following two groups for five years: 64 super-agers and 55 typical older adults.

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Eat Sleep Move

David Gartland  |  Apr 8, 2024

WHEN I WAS A KID, I would hear “old people” say, “If you have your health, you have just about everything.” I heard it. I understood it. But in truth, I didn’t really understand it—until I joined the “old people” category.
Looking back, I realize I’ve been blessed with good health. I’ve never broken any bones. I’ve never spent a night in the hospital. I’ve never had any long-lasting illnesses. I don’t regularly take medication,

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What Advantage?

Lucretia Ryan  |  Mar 27, 2024

WHEN MY FATHER DIED, my mother moved to be closer to me. I didn’t know anything about Medicare, but I knew she needed health-care coverage.
I would call up Medicare and ask questions, and the phone reps would read me a script. I’d ask another question and they’d read me the same script. Rephrase the question, and I’d get the same useless scripted responses.
I had no idea about the difference between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

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Fit for Retirement

Ken Cutler  |  Mar 5, 2024

I HAD A REVELATION while shoveling snow earlier this year. When I was age 40 or so, digging out after a snowstorm was always an ordeal for me, even with the aid of a snowblower. I’d need to take frequent breaks and would be wiped out for the rest of the day. Multiple body aches would appear over the next 24 hours, and full recovery might take a few days.
But in January, at age 61,

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Smaller Than It Looks

Richard Quinn  |  Feb 26, 2024

I RECENTLY STUMBLED on a retirement planning blog listing the top 10 regrets of retirees. Planning for health care costs was among the things that people wish they’d handled differently.
The site had this suggestion: “Before you retire, you should get a reasonable estimate of your health care costs and make sure you can afford them. Medicare does not cover everything and most people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket health care expenses in retirement—not even including funding a long-term-care need.”
This statement is scary—and very misleading.

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Stretching Myself

Kenyon Sayler  |  Jan 8, 2024

THE HEADLINES SCREAM that retirees should learn a new skill to stave off dementia. Start playing a musical instrument. Learn a new language.
The reality: Gender in languages baffles me. I can’t carry a tune. I have no rhythm. Which is why you’ll find me on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons in a repurposed warehouse learning tai chi. I was drawn to tai chi since it’s a form of meditation, and I’m aware of meditation’s medical and mental health benefits.

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Make Them Good Years

Howard Rohleder  |  Jan 4, 2024

MANY YEARS AGO, a Wall Street Journal article quoted a source as saying, and I paraphrase, “Young-old age should last as long as possible, while old-old age should last 15 minutes.” Those of us who have visited nursing homes can all relate to this.
Public health initiatives and medical breakthroughs have extended lifespans significantly over the past 100 years. In his bestselling book Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity, Peter Attia argues that we should focus not just on lifespan,

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Taking My Medicine

Dennis Friedman  |  Jan 2, 2024

I’M STILL KICKING myself for not getting a new Medicare Part D prescription drug plan during the enrollment period for 2023, even though our premium had gone up significantly. Most people, it seems, are like me: They stick with their current plan, rather than shopping for one that meets their needs at a lower cost.
For 2024, I vowed to do better.
Medicare’s open enrollment period ran from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2023.

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Maintain the Brain

Sonja Haggert  |  Jan 1, 2024

WHAT’S VERNON SMITH been doing since he won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics at age 75, and why should you care?
At 97, Smith is still on the faculty of the business and law schools at Chapman University. When he’s not traveling the country delivering lectures, he usually spends 10 hours a week writing and researching.
I read about Smith in a recent article in the AARP Bulletin devoted to super-agers, defined as those over age 80 with the brain of a person 20 to 30 years younger.

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Taught by My Parents

Ken Begley  |  Nov 1, 2023

MY DAD LIVED TO BE age 92 and my mom is going strong at 95. I was involved with my father’s care as he struggled with dementia, and I continue to assist my mother, who still lives independently.
Helping an elderly family member? Here are 16 important lessons that I’ve learned.
1. Don’t be blind. My dad started developing dementia five years before his cognitive ability totally fell off a cliff. No one in the family wanted to recognize his deterioration,

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Doctor’s Orders

Ken Begley  |  Oct 16, 2023

HERE’S ONE OF THE most important lessons I’ve learned in retirement: Bad health will limit what you can do—or feel like doing—no matter how much money you have. Good health is the biggest determinant of how rich and fulfilling your retirement years will be.
You and you alone are responsible for your health care. It’s not your spouse, your children, your friends or your doctors. It’s you. Nobody should have to beg you to see a doctor.

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Rx for Future Pain

Mark Eckman  |  Oct 10, 2023

HEALTH SAVINGS accounts (HSAs) were introduced in 2003, and have since become commonplace in employee benefit plans. My experience with HSAs dates to 2004, when my employer offered $400 in one-time seed money as an incentive to sign up.
HSAs differed from existing health-care flexible spending accounts, and offered some features I preferred. To me, the HSA’s most appealing feature was that I controlled the money. There’s no “use it or lose it” rule,

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Suffering in Private

Ken Cutler  |  Oct 9, 2023

I FIGURED IT MUST have been the spaghetti from dinner at the dining hall. What else could have given me such sharp abdominal pains? Perhaps I had food poisoning that would eventually pass. That night back in the apartment, I couldn’t sleep due to the pain. I got up every half hour or so and headed to the bathroom. Strangely, I was unable to relieve myself. In addition to severe pain, I felt constipated.

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Live to 100

John Yeigh  |  Sep 26, 2023

MY WIFE AND I JUST finished watching the Netflix documentary Live to 100, which I highly recommend. The four-part series focuses on Dan Buettner’s study of pockets of people around the world who achieve amazing longevity, including many residents who live to age 100 and beyond.
The seven longevity locations include Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Ikaria, Greece; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California. These locations of long-lived people have been labeled “blue zones” based on the seminal demographic work on Sardinia by Giovanni Mario Pes,

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