Category: Retirement

A reader’s observations about the Alden-owned Tribune

I kept my daily subscription after the Chicago Tribune was acquired in late May by hedge fund Alden Global Capital, known for decimating newsrooms. Here’s what I’ve noticed about the paper since then: • There are more op-eds from outside contributors, filling space previously taken by Tribune writers. Longtime columnists like Eric Zorn and Mary... Read more »

Being alone is a choice for many older women

Interviewed for the April issue of Harper’s Bazaar, 83-year-old Jane Fonda said she was through with romantic relationships.  “I don’t want to be in a relationship, a sexual relationship, again,” she said. “I don’t have that desire.” Three-quarters of my women friends of my generation are single, with the single numbers equally split between never married... Read more »

Why aren’t hearing checks part of routine screening?

Colon and breast cancer screenings may not benefit older adults, the US Preventive Services Task Force says, but you’d think screenings for age-related hearing loss would. Hearing loss is the third most common health problem of older adults, according to the website Hearing Loss.  Yet the USPSTF says that there is insufficient evidence to recommend... Read more »
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Screening advice changes with age

As unpleasant as colonoscopies and mammograms are, I don’t expect to be delighted about quitting them. It will mean that I’m at the age when my life expectancy is part of the calculation about whether I should be screened. The US Preventive Services Task Force, an independent advisory board of medical experts, says that routine... Read more »

Do what makes you happy

We’ve all lost friends too soon, and their deaths bring up the big questions. Am I making the most of my time? What do I want to accomplish yet?  After a coworker’s recent death, I wrote in my journal: “Keeping mortality in mind is supposed to help a person make the most of every moment,... Read more »

Review Medicare choice even if you’re happy with it

Medicare open enrollment — the time of year we over-65ers can choose to switch our Medicare plans for the coming year — continues until December 7. Two people I’ve spoken with say they’re not planning to review the choices because they like their Medicare Advantage plans. It’s great that they’re happy, but according to health... Read more »
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Well-liked Medicare plan vs. higher-ranked providers

Medicare Open Enrollment ends December 7. The easy choice is to stay with all-in-one Medicare Advantage instead of switching to Traditional Medicare plus a supplement and a drug plan. The hard one is whether to switch between Medicare Advantage plans, from a well-liked one to one accepted at a so-called top-10 hospital. Humana Gold Plus,... Read more »

The aging brain: increase as well as decline

Quite a few commentators have noted the creaky ages of prominent politicians. Nancy Pelosi is 79, Bernie Sanders 78, Mitch McConnell 77, Joe Biden 76, and Donald Trump 73. I’ve tended to say that if they’re up to the task, their age is irrelevant (in Trump’s case, he’d be incompetent at any age). Two recent... Read more »

The grueling task of cleaning out parents’ home

My mother likely has never heard of Marie Kondo (Tidying Up with Marie Kondo), and they probably would find little in common. Mom comes from the Depression generation that keeps everything that you or your kids or grandkids might use someday, or that has sentimental value. She and Dad stocked enough cleaning supplies to equip... Read more »
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Downsizing for parents when they move into assisted living

What a whirlwind the last nine days have been. My parents looked at an assisted living facility last Monday, signed a lease on an apartment there on Friday, and moved in on Sunday. Here’s a typical conversation from last weekend, when we were packing for their move: Me (holding a dozen or so knives in... Read more »