Saturday, December 29, 2012

Eight Popular Retirement Stories from the Past

This article is intended to promote popular retirement stories from a few years ago.  Most of them are still relevant today.  Since this site has gained so many new followers since these articles were written, some of these timely stories may have been overlooked by our newer readers.

Generally, the most popular topics on this blog deal with finding a place to retire, making the most of our retirement income, maintaining our health and reaching out to our extended family. 

With these thoughts in mind, here are the most popular stories from 2011.  I thought this would be a good time of year to bring these articles to the attention of any readers who may have missed them.

Popular Retirement Stories

Cheap Places to Retire

Looking for an affordable location for your retirement years?  Here is a list of ten of the cheapest places to live in the United States.  While the prices may have risen slightly since this article was originally written, these communities are still less expensive than many places in our country.

Finding the Best Places to Retire

What are your criteria for good places to retire?  Are you looking for a low crime rate and a reasonable cost of living?  CNN produced a list of ten spots they thought were great retirement locations based on criteria they thought were important.  See if their list matches yours.

Prevent a Broken Bone or Hip Fractures

Every year about 300,000 people over the age of 65 fall and break their hips.  More than 20% of them will die as a result of these preventable accidents.  Learn what you can do to stay safe in your home.  This article could save your life or the life of someone you love.

Living on Social Security in the US

Don't have any retirement savings to supplement your Social Security benefits?  Don't despair.  Here is a list of ten communities where the average household income is about the equivalent of the amount the typical couple receives in Social Security benefits.  With a little planning, it is possible to survive on you Social Security.

Crafts to do with Your Grandkids

Looking for some fun activities to do with your grandkids?  One website I have found is which is full of easy to do projects such as homemade ornaments, jewelry and t-shirts.  Time you spend with your grandkids is time well spent, and this article is a good place to start.

Work From Home and Make Money

A number of Baby Boomers are facing retirement with less retirement income than they had anticipated.  Many of the retirees I know are supplementing their retirement income with little businesses they can manage from home.  For many people, earning anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a thousand dollars a month can make a huge difference in the quality of their retirement.  Here are some ideas to get you started.

Have a Long Life and Live to 100

How long are you likely to live?  Did you know that there are specific factors that seem to make a real difference in your life expectancy?  Check this article out and see if simple life changes could extend your life.  You will find other articles on people who live to be over 90 in the Medical section of this blog.

Copy a Photo Album for a Unique Gift

Trying to think of a special gift that will be treasured by your adult children or grandchildren?  This article contains instructions on how to put together copies of your favorite albums and share them with other members of your family.  Our daughters have cherished the photo albums we have shared with them.

The archives of this blog are full of other articles that you may find interesting and useful.  I hope you will take the time to browse through them and explore other topics of benefit to you.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Downside of Downsizing your Home

For anyone who has been planning their retirement very long, you know the importance of having a balanced budget after you stop working.  For many people, an important part of their financial planning involves downsizing their home so they are better able to balance their income and expenses.  Frequently, this is referred to as simplifying your life.  Some people, however, have difficulty creating this simpler lifestyle for themselves, and this can cause serious financial problems.

Five Pitfalls to Consider when Downsizing Your Home

Here are some of the most common problems that people experience when they decide to downsize.  By being aware of them, you may be able to avoid them.

1.  Does moving to a smaller home mean that you will be renting storage space for all those items that will not fit in your home or garage?  When my husband and I first downsized from a large home to a small condo, we rented two storage units that were 10 x 20 feet in size.  We filled those storage units with extra bedroom furniture, formal living room furniture, boxes of books, old toys left behind by our children, lawn equipment and tools we no longer needed.  We stored those items for two years until we finally dispersed them among our adult children or gave them them away.  We spent over $350 a month in storage fees for those two years, which means we spent over $8400 to store things we neither wanted nor needed.  I hope that other people will avoid our mistake. Make sure you get rid of everything you no longer want before you move to a smaller residence!

2.  Are you planning to recreate the quality of your former house in your new home?  This is another common problem.  Many retirees are purchasing smaller, less expensive homes, and then spending tens of thousands of dollars more to decorate them with luxurious drapes and plantation shutters, or remodel them so they feature granite counters, custom cabinets, designer wallpapers, and upgraded flooring.  By the time they have recreated their old home, the retirees discover they are living in less space but spending almost as much money.

3.  Another temptation some retirees need to avoid is the idea that they are saving so much money on their primary residence that they can now afford to buy a second home, an RV or a timeshare.  Their monthly obligations can quickly grow to the point where the retirees are actually spending more in monthly living expenses than they had been spending prior to "downsizing!"

4.  One adjustment that may be difficult for many couples is the crowded living space.  Couples may become irritable with each other if they feel they no longer have their own space to pursue hobbies or just get away from each other to read, nap or relax.  When you downsize, make sure that each of you will still have some private space ... a home office, basement game room, or a bedroom that has been converted to a sewing or hobby room.

5.  Finally, before you move to a new neighborhood you need to give careful thought to what you will be leaving behind.  Will you miss your neighbors?  Will the move require you to change your church, find a new book club, or switch doctors and dentists?  Would it be possible for you to avoid some of these changes by downsizing to a nearby community rather than one in another town or state?  Make sure you are emotionally ready for any changes that will result from your move so you can avoid depression and similar psychological effects.  It may help if you choose a new location that is actually closer to some dear friends or family members.  This will lessen the pain of leaving other friends and family members behind.

Before you decide to sell your current home and move someplace smaller, you will need to plan carefully and have realistic expectations.  If your goal is to save money, make sure that the changes you make will achieve that goal, while minimizing the amount of disruption you will experience.   You want to have a balanced budget, but you will also want to have a satisfying life.  This has always been important to Baby Boomers and those two goals do not need to be mutually exclusive.

Downsizing or simplifying your life prior to retirement can make a lot of sense, if it is done right. Take your time, write out a budget and make sure that both of you are comfortable with the decision and the changes you will be making.

If you are preparing to retire, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this page to find links to hundreds of additional help articles on a wide variety of topics.

You may also be interested in reading:

The Best Sunny Places to Retire
Do You Need a Million Dollars to Retire?
Cheap Places to Retire

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Choose Optimism for a Happier, Healthier Life

There are many reasons to get bogged down by negativity and pessimism, especially during the mid-winter months or on the anniversary of family tragedies.  Finances may make your life more difficult.  Travel or life changes can be stressful.  Hosting relatives or extra people in your home may feel overwhelming.  Added to all this is the fact that many people suffer from SADD or Seasonal Affectedness Depressive Disorder, a type of seasonal depression that is more common when people spend a lot of time indoors in the winter.

As we have gotten older, many of us succumb to minor despondency, especially in the winter and during the holidays.  However, we can shake ourselves out of it.  Despite the fact that there are so many reasons to be negative and pessimistic, it is still possible to choose to be optimistic.  Yes, optimism is a choice.

How to be Optimistic

Many of the steps we need to take in order to be more optimistic seem simplistic.  Despite that fact, research shows that they really do work.  Below are some basic actions anyone can take in order to improve their lives ... and their health.

Use positive affirmations.  Start your day by telling yourself that something good is going to happen.  There may be problems but, overall, this day will be a good one.

Do something for someone else.  Studies show that we get as much pleasure out of giving something to someone else as the pleasure we experience from getting something.  Hold the door open for someone.  Let someone get ahead of you in line at the grocery store.  Give your change to a homeless person.  Not only will you make their day better, but these actions will make your own day better, too!

Smile.  Laugh often.  Read funny stories.  Watch comedies on television or at the movies.  Play a silly game with your grandchildren.  Laughter really is the best medicine!

Finally, end the day with gratitude.  As you close your eyes, think of at least one reason you have to be grateful. 

Benefits of Optimism for Our Health

As we grow older, many of us have lost both our sense of optimism and our sense of humor.  Perhaps those two things go together.  By regaining one, we may also be able to regain the other.

Some studies have shown that happy, optimistic people seem to have better health and live longer.  Whether that is true or not, they are more likely to feel less stress, engage in less binge eating and have lower blood pressure.  They also have fewer headaches and experience less overall pain. 

As you can see, the older we get the more reasons we should want to be optimistic.  Why let pessimism cause us unnecessary pain, discomfort and other health problems?

As you go through the end of this year and the beginning of next year, no matter what problems you are experiencing, choose to be optimistic.  It may be one of the best things you can do for yourself!

If you are interested in learning more about maintaining our health after retirement, finding good places to retire, financial planning and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of other useful articles.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

American Retirement Opportunities in Borneo Malaysia

Are you looking for an exotic, unique place to retire?  Consider the city of Kuching, Borneo in Malaysia if you are looking for a romantic island with beautiful beaches, remote jungle rain forests, and proboscis monkeys, along with gorgeous golf courses, shopping malls, theaters, restaurants, museums and other modern conveniences.

Retire to Kuching in Borneo Malaysia

Cat lovers will be charmed by the city of Kuching, whose name means "cat."    There is a cat museum and cat statues located throughout the community.  Architecture is varied, ranging from English Colonial to Chinese and ultra-modern.  The official language is English.

According to a Yahoo! Finance article entitled "The Most Interesting Retirement Spot You've Never Heard Of," a couple can live in Kuching for about $800 a month plus the cost of housing.  There are generous incentives for permanent residency for anyone with an income of at least $3,200 a month, which makes it possible for American ex-patriots to set up residency there and live very comfortably on their Social Security benefits or other income sources.  These incentives include a program called My Second Home (or MM2H) which makes it easier and more affordable to buy a home there, and allows immigrants to import a car, work part-time, and even start a business.  If you are not quite ready for Social Security, you'll be pleased to know there are no age restrictions on this Malaysian program for foreigners who want to live there long-term.  The program also protects your foreign income from Malaysian taxes.

One of the biggest fears that many American retirees have about retiring to another country is the quality of medical care.  In the case of Borneo, there is little reason to be concerned.  Kuching is a popular destination for medical tourism because the hospitals and other medical facilities are modern and well-equipped, as well as very affordable. The doctors and medical staff speak fluent English.  Malaysia does not have a medical school, so their physicians have been educated in Europe, the United States, Canada, New Zealand or Australia.

Safety in foreign countries is also a frequent concern for retirees.  However, Malayia is considered the 19th safest country in the world. Compare that to the United States, which is ranked 82nd.  Violent crime is quite rare.  You can comfortably enjoy living there, it is affordable, and you do not have to be rich or learn another language.

If you are interested, you may want to visit the country and explore your options for yourself.  At the very least, you will have a wonderful, exotic vacation.

If you are looking for other possible places to retire, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this article to find links to hundreds of other articles, including on where to retire overseas.

You may also be interested in reading:

Best Places to Retire Outside the United States
Why Retire in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands or Guam
Retiring in Luxury to Hua Hin, Thailand

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

How to Help Grandchildren Deal with Death and Tragedy

A few years ago I read an article that said children who have at least five adults who are supportive, encouraging and interested in their lives are significantly less likely to become involved in alcohol abuse, drug use and crime.  Among the supportive adults that were mentioned in the article were the parents and grandparents, as well as Scout leaders, ministers, teachers and babysitters.  This knowledge supports the idea that it really does take a village to raise a child and that we all have a responsibility to be a positive influence on the children in our lives.

When children we care about are exposed to tragedy, whether it is the loss of a loved one in their family or a horrible event such as the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, it is important that all of us reach out and let our children and grandchildren know how much we care about them.

Many of us feel insecure and uncertain about how to help children who are upset and stressed by tragedy.  However, ABC News and the other television networks have broadcast several interviews with child psychologists about how adults can help children deal with the emotions they experience when they are exposed to tragedy.  Below are some of the suggestions that have been reported.

How to Talk to a Child about Tragedy

First, most of the psychologists suggested that young children not be allowed to watch television coverage of significant tragic events like the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.  The graphic details that are sometimes depicted on television may be too upsetting for a child.

Next, always let children know that they can ask the adults in their family about anything and they will be given honest, non-hysterical answers.

When children do hear about a shooting or death, answer their questions honestly, but in an age appropriate manner.  Do not lie, but do not over-explain.  Keep it simple.

When children ask questions about an incident, start your answer by asking them what they already know.  It is not unusual for children to have misinterpreted some of the facts surrounding an event, so you want to make sure they don't have any crazy misconceptions about what happened.  The truth is frequently awful enough.  You do not want to let a child's imagination run wild.

If a child asks why someone would hurt children, ask the child why they think it happened. Take time to let children express their opinions. Then, engage the child in a conversation about how a few people, very few people, sometimes become mentally sick and make terrible mistakes.  Emphasize how rare this is and reassure them that they and their family are safe.

If the child expresses fear about returning to their own school, talk with them about all the safety precautions that are in effect at their school.  Remind them of all the adults who are there to protect them and talk about the safety drills they have practiced at school.  Be reassuring and express confidence that they will be safe.  There is nothing to be gained by further traumatizing a frightened child.

If you believe it will be helpful, offer to drive a child to school or walk them to class for the next few days.  Give them a bit more attention, love and care than normal.   Grandparents can often provide a little extra love and attention when a child's parents are overwhelmed with their jobs and other obligations. 

Remember how important it is for children to feel they are loved and supported by many adults, not just their parents.  By offering whatever help you can, you may do more than you realize to help your grandchildren grow up to be secure, happy adults.

If you are interested in learning more about Baby Boomers and their family relationships, financial planning, where to retire, common medical issues and more, use the tabs or pull-down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

You may also be interested in reading:

Healing Relationships with Your Adult Children
How to Cope with Death and Grief
Living with Your Kids

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

How to Avoid Phony Online Pharmacies

Millions of Americans still lack affordable drug coverage.  This includes a large number of retirees on Medicare who continue to have high out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs, since the drug "doughnut hole" has not been completely closed, yet.  As a result, every year thousands of consumers seek out cheap online pharmacies as a way to save money on their necessary drugs. 

Unfortunately, according to the Food and Drug Administration, 97 percent of the online pharmacies they recently investigated did not follow U.S. pharmacy laws.  This lack of compliance with American laws can put the lives of innocent patients at great risk.  In response, the government has issued several warnings to help potential customers of online pharmacies identify the difference between those that are safe and those that are not.

How to Spot a Fake Online Pharmacy

You should be concerned about a pharmacy that exhibits these risky signs:

They will allow you to buy drugs without a physician’s prescription;
They offer unusually low prices;
They send out excessive amounts of spam email;
They are located in another country;
They are not licensed in the U.S.

How to Spot a Legitimate Online Pharmacy

Fortunately, there are online pharmacies that follow the rules and sell prescription drugs to American consumers in a legal and legitimate manner.  Here is how to tell if you are dealing with one of these legal pharmacies:

They always require a physician’s prescription in order to purchase prescription drugs;
They can provide customers with an actual physical address and phone number in the United States;
They offer good customer service, including the ability to speak with a real pharmacist over the phone;
They are used by your insurance carrier;
They have a license from your state board of pharmacy.

You can check to see if they have a license at:

Additional Warnings about Using Online Pharmacies

In addition, customers of online pharmacies may want to take the following precautions:

When you receive your prescription, look up the drug on the computer.  Make sure the pills look the way they are supposed to.

Be sure that you have a safe delivery location for your drugs.  A box left on your front doorstep that has a pharmaceutical company label can easily be stolen.

If you take these precautions, you may discover that you can still purchase cheap prescription drugs from online pharmacies without putting your health and your life at risk.

If you are interested in learning more about health issues that could affect you, financial planning, where to retire, and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

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More information about your medications can be found at the Food and Drug Administration website at

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Financial Facts affecting Baby Boomers in 2013

Whether you are already retired, or hope to retire in the coming decade, you need to be aware of some of the upcoming financial facts that may affect you.  Each year as the calendar rolls over, government agencies, commercial banks and private businesses make financial changes that often affect retirees and those close to retirement.  Listed below are some of the changes that have been announced for 2013.

Medicare, Social Security and Federal Retirement in 2013

Social Security benefits will increase by 1.7 percent for those who are currently collecting benefits.  Since the average benefit is about $1,240 a month, this amounts to approximately $21 a month.  Federal government pensions, including for military retirees and disabled veterans, will also increase by the same percentage.

Offsetting the small Social Security increase is the fact that Medicare premiums are going up $5 a month from $99.90 to $104.90.  Depending on the final negotiations currently going on in Washington, Medicare beneficiaries who have an income of over $85,000 as individuals or over $170,000 for couples could see their monthly premiums increase by $42.00 to $230.80 a month.  Deductibles are also increasing for Medicare recipients.  For example, the annual hospitalization deductible will increase by $28 to $1,184 and the annual deductible for outpatient care will go up by $7.00 to $147.00.

Beginning in 2013, the discount that Medicare Part D beneficiaries will get on brand-name drugs will increase from 50% to 52.5% and the discount on generic drugs will increase from 14% to 21%.

Also beginning next year, taxpayers under the age of 65 will see the threshold for itemizing their unreimbursed medical deductions rise from 7.5% to 10% of their adjusted gross income.  Those over age 65 will not be affected until 2017, when everyone will see the threshold rise to 10%.

Making Financial Gifts to Loved Ones

If you are planning to give money to your children or grandchildren, you should know that you can give a $13,000 gift that is tax-free to as many people as you want.  A married couple can give $26,000.

Maximizing Your Retirement Income

Retirement advisors continue to recommend that you postpone collecting your Social Security benefits as long as possible, up until age 70.  The longer you wait to collect, the greater your income will be and the less you will need to depend on supplemental income.

Working part-time after retirement is a viable way to increase your retirement income and not only helps people financially, but is also an effective way for retirees to keep their minds sharp, their skills current, and makes it easier for them to maintain their social connections.  If you have not yet stopped working, you may want to talk to your current employer about cutting back on your hours rather than retiring completely.  If you have stopped working, you may want to talk to former employers, friends and local businesses about opportunities for part-time employment.

Bank interest rates are currently extremely low.  Most banks pay only 0.01 to 0.08 percent, which is far below the rate of inflation.  You can slightly increase your retirement income by getting around 1 percent from online banks such as Ally, Barclays, Ever-Bank and CIT.  You can see their current rates at or  Before you open an account with an online bank, however, you will want to make sure the bank you are considering is FDIC insured.  Go to "Bank Find" at to check.

You may also be interested in reading these blog posts:

Choosing an Executor of Your Will
Do You Need a Million Dollars to Retire?
Cheap Places to Retire
Planning for Long Term Medical Care

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Financial facts as reported in Yahoo! Finance and the AARP Bulletin during December, 2012.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Choosing an Executor of Your Will

If you own a home or have any other financial assets, you should have a will that explains how you want your assets distributed after your death.  In addition, to simplify the way your assets will be probated, you should also have a trust.

However, before you write your will and set up a trust, there are a number of matters which need to be decided in advance.  First, you must decide how your estate is going to be distributed and you should make a list of any special bequests.  Then, before you meet with an attorney to write your will, you should also choose an executor who will be responsible for seeing that the will is carried out and that all debts and expenses will be properly handled.

Although many people consider it an honor to be appointed the executor of a will, they should also realize that there is a great deal of responsibility involved.  Before you choose an executor of your estate, you should discuss your decision with the person you plan to appoint.  You will want to make sure that they understand the responsibilities involved, and that they feel prepared to carry out the task.  My husband has been the executor for several family members, and it can be a time-consuming task. 

Responsibilities of the Executor of a Will

Listed below are some of the major responsibilities the executor will need to carry out.  Depending on the size and complexity of your estate, there may be additional matters that they will need to handle.

1.  Sort out all the finances of the deceased, including paying debts and taxes.

2.  File a copy of the will with the local probate court.

3.  Obtain multiple copies of the death certificate and send them to the Social Security Administration, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies and any other agencies and businesses where the deceased had an open account. (An executor may need as many as 20 or more original death certificates!)

4.  Open a new bank account to use to deposit funds from the estate and pay bills until all the property has been fully disbursed.  The executor should keep careful financial records.

5.  Maintain the property, such as the house, until it can be sold.  This includes continuing to pay for utilities, yard or pool maintenance, the mortgage payments and property taxes.

6.  Complete a full inventory of the decedent's estate and have valuable items, such as artwork, jewelry or coin collections, appraised.

7.  Make certain that all legal requirements have been met.

8.  Handle the sale of real estate and other property, including stocks and bonds, if necessary for an equitable division of the property between the heirs.  If there is only one heir, it may not be necessary to sell off property.  Even if there is more than one heir, it may be possible to reach an equitable division of the property without selling everything and splitting the proceeds.  The executor will have to ascertain this.

9.  Distribute the assets and bequests to the various heirs, according to the terms of the will.

Who Can Serve as an Executor

In most cases, the executor of an estate is a close relative of the deceased.  For example, in the case of a couple, the executor will often be the spouse.  Depending on the family situation, the executor may be the parent, child or sibling of the deceased. 

If the estate is small, or simple, the relative may be able to handle the job of executor without any outside assistance.  However, if the estate is large or complicated, you may recommend in your will that the executor obtain the services of a probate attorney.  The attorney who writes your will and sets up the trust is the logical person to provide this service.

For example, in our will, my husband and I are the executors of each others will.  If something happens to both of us, we have asked two of our daughters to serve as co-executors.  We have also stipulated in our will that some of the assets of our estate be used to pay for the services of a probate attorney to provide our co-executor with any necessary assistance.  It is our hope that this will reduce the amount of friction that could develop between the daughter who is our executor and her sisters.  We also hope that using a probate attorney will lessen the burden on our daughters.

Choosing Your Executor

Before you make your final choice of an executor, you should discuss these issues and make sure your future executor understands the responsibilities that will be involved.  Then, once your will has been written, be sure your executor has a copy.  In our case, we gave copies to all of our daughters so that questions, concerns and bequests could be dealt with while we were still alive.

In addition, you will want your future executor to have anything else they may need in order to handle the disposition of your property.  For example, we have given our daughters a list of our accounts and insurance policies, information about pre-planned funeral arrangements we have made, a key to our home and all the information we believe they would need in order to handle our estate.  We have even given them our health insurance information, in the event we are seriously injured or hospitalized and unable to communicate this information for ourselves.

Once you have taken care of these matters, you will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have done everything you can to make things easier for your heirs once you are gone.

If you are interesting in learning about additional planning you need to do, including financial planning, deciding where to retire, preparing for medical issues that could arise and dealing with changing family relationships, use the tabs or pull-down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

You may also be interested in reading:

Do You Need a Million Dollars to Retire?
How to Publish Your Autobiography for Free
Simplifying Your Life for Retirement
Retirement Income from Annuities or Investment Income

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

HIV AIDS and Baby Boomers - A High Risk Group

December 1 has been set aside each year as World AIDS Day, a day to recognize the on-going problem of HIV and the epidemic of AIDS that continues to spread around the world.  Baby Boomers are one of the highest-risk groups for acquiring this disease, so it seems appropriate that World AIDS Day should be acknowledged in this blog.

Since the disease first attracted national attention in the early 1980's, much of the original hysteria about the disease has diminished.  However, while the disease may not be attracting as much attention as it once did, it has not gone away.

According to CNN's Headline News, the Center for Disease Control has reported that there are over one million people in the United States who are currently living with the HIV virus, and individuals who are over the age of 50 make up one of the fastest growing groups of people who are contracting HIV.  One reason why Baby Boomers and older generations continue to be infected is because they are not well-educated about the behaviors that put them at risk.

Baby Boomers Fail to Take Precautions to Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Since many Baby Boomers, and older senior citizens, no longer worry about pregnancy, they do not take precautions that could protect them from sexually transmitted diseases such as the HIV virus.  This is a serious problem. Headline News reports, in an online article entitled "The AIDS epidemic: 31 years later," that the HIV virus is now "the world's leading infectious killer."  Unfortunately, far too many Americans believe that the disease has gone away, or that it is not something they need to worry about.

AIDS is a Serious Health Risk for People of All Ages

Surprisingly, a number of Americans of all ages believe, incorrectly, that AIDS is no longer a serious problem.  I work at a high school and recently one of the science teachers gave the students a copy of an article about HIV and AIDS in teenagers (another high risk group).  One of the students pushed the article aside and told me that, since AIDS has been cured, he didn't need to read the article.  He used as his "proof" the fact that basketball star Magic Johnson is still alive.  Since this young man is only 15, his lack of knowledge may be understandable.  Unfortunately, I have heard adults much older than him who believe the same thing.

According to the World Health Organization, the truth is that each year about 2 1/2 million people around the world are becoming newly infected with HIV.  Right now almost 33 1/2 million people are living with HIV.  Children and adults throughout the world who become infected may have done so as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, blood transfusions, being exposed to contaminated blood, sharing needles during drug use, or sexual intercourse.

One in Five People With the HIV Virus Do Not Know It

In the United States, the Center for Disease Control estimates that, out of the one million people who are living with HIV in the US, approximately 200,000 of them do not know that they have the infection.  Because of this, they may spread the disease for years before they become aware of the fact that they are contaminated.

There is still no cure for HIV.  However, there are treatments, including a drug called Truvada which may prevent it.  Meanwhile, the best prevention is to be in a monogomous relationship with someone who has had a blood test.  It is also wise to use a condom if there is any uncertainty about your partner's health or prior activities.

If you are interested in learning more about health issues that could affect Baby Boomers, as well as where to retire, financial planning and changing family relationships (including dating), use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.


You may also be interested in reading these health related posts:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases After Age 50
Avoid Grapefruit When Taking Medications
Planning for Long Term Medical Care
Patient Safety in the Hospital Near You

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