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Let’s talk about death: Episode 113

Jon Braddock talks about DeathLet’s talk about death.

Jonathan Braddock is our guest for today and he is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and the founder and CEO of My Life and Wishes, an education and digital planning platform with a mission to help at least one million families become “thoughtfully prepared” for the inevitable, their own death. Jon is the author of “Advisor or Vendor”, “Retire Erase”, the “My Life and Wishes Organization”, and, his most recent release, “Click Here When I Die”, is an Amazon Best Seller.

Why is planning for our death important?

Leaving your family via your death is already hard for them, planning your wake and burial will be much harder for them. Leaving them via your death with a Will help them know what you want. They will know if you want to be cremated, in-ground burial, etc. Helping them know what you want or have planned for them is a really big thing because it lessens the hardship that they will face after your death.

For Jon’s family, it took them 10 months to finally finish all the paperwork left for his father-in-law. They found a bank account where the bank’s name is not familiar to them. Imagine the stressful phone calls they had to make to locate the bank. It will be much easier if you prepare everything like your bank accounts, social media passwords, ATM passwords, your will, insurance policies, and many more. Jon shares a story about someone he knows where he’s really guilty that he didn’t have her mother cremated when that’s what she really wants but he didn’t know that because she didn’t tell him.

What are the 5 stages of grief when there’s a death?

  • Denial – this is the first of the five stages of grief. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. As you accept the reality of the loss and start to ask yourself questions, you are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the denial is beginning to fade.
  • Anger – a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love.
  • Bargaining – Before a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God, ” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.” After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others. Then can I wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream?” We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What if…” statements.
  • Depression – After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever. It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss. If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way.
  • Acceptance – this is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one. This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time.

Reference:

You may reach Jon Braddock through:

E-mail: jon@mylifeandwishes.com

Phone: 844-369-4747

Website: www.mylifeandwishes.com

Jon’s Books:

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

What Does Your Retirement Life Look Like? Episode 109

This might be a hard question for some people, but let’s face it, what does your retirement life look like?

Steve Cousins is one of our listeners. (Hi Steve!) After graduating from college Steve joined an oil company at a refinery in Arkansas where he worked as an engineer, manager and eventually as the VP and General Manager.  He stayed with the same company for his entire career and remained at the same location.

Last year Steve retired upon turning 60 and immediately stepped into a retirement career designed to be part-time, low stress and lots of fun.  After a year, the plan is working great!  I wanted to discuss with him his choice in a “semi-retirement”.

“You shouldn’t run away from something, you have to run towards something”

Steve always thought he will be working until he was 70 or later because he really enjoyed his job. The last few years, things changed he did not enjoy it very much but he hung on because frankly, he was afraid of retirement. There were several reasons he was afraid of retirement and I think a lot of people can relate.

  1. Steve thought if he was leaving work because he didn’t enjoy it anymore that didn’t necessarily mean he would enjoy retirement either.
  2. He also looked at the compensation he was getting from work and it was painful for him to walk away from that after working so hard to get to that point in his career.
  3. His job was his identity and he didn’t want to lose that

Working to feel useful and productive in retirement

Even before retiring from his job, Steve decided what he wanted his retirement life to look like. He wanted to feel useful and productive. He started his side gigs which are pretty cool!

  • Contract Lobbying
  • Expert Witness work
  • Trade Association representation

Side gigs or semi-retirement not for you? Steve, says focus on volunteer work. He has a ton of volunteer positions! (As we tend to hear a lot, he is just as busy if not even busier than when he was working) His volunteer work includes:

  1. Chair the Board of Trustees for the local community college
  2. Local Hospital Clinic that helps people who are uninsured or underinsured
  3. State and local Chamber of Commerce
  4. State University mentoring students
  5. On the board of a local group called 50 for the future where they solve problems in the city

It’s not all work for Steve. He also spends time with his wife. They enjoy doing a lot of things together like running, hiking, off-road riding, discovering hidden waterfalls, and many more activities. Now that they are retired, they can spend a lot more time together but still spend time doing their own things as well.

Steve’s Advice from one listener of the show to another:

You should marry someone better than yourself and invest a lot of time in your relationship because if everything else went away and you still have each other, you will still be fine.

Widen your horizon’s. Don’t just do your job, volunteer to do other things. REach outside of your comfort zone, and practice public speaking because it helps boost your confidence. What great advice Steve!

Did you plan your retirement life? How did you do it? Leave a comment below and let us know!

This post of Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

How Different Generation Groups Organize: Ep105

Lisa Woodruff on How Different Generation Groups OrganizeLisa Woodruff was a previous guest and I brought her back for a second interview to talk about how different generation groups organize

Lisa is a professional organizer, productivity specialist, and author. She believes organization is not a skill you are born with. It is a skill that is developed over time and changes with each season of life. I am an avid listener and big fan of her podcast show at Organize365.com.

I gave Lisa an update on my personal progress and yes, I am making progress! We also talked about my ” Sunday Basket” and if you listen to Episode 88 which was my first interview with Lisa you can learn more about that.

What are the different Generation Groups? The dates can vary depending on where you look but here is a general idea:

  • The Silent Generation born between 1925 and 1945
  • Baby Boomer Generation born between 1946 and 1964
  • Generation X born between 1965 and 1980
  • Millenials born between 1980 and after

Lisa and I discuss how each generation deals with their “stuff” and what the differences are.

The Silent Generation was born and raised in the Great Depression. They had a lot available to them educationally but not a lot available to them materially. The Silent Generation typically did not have mortgages on their home and did not use credit cards. They were a hard-working and fairly frugal generation. There was not a lot of consumerism while they were growing up.

Baby Boomers were born and raised in the affluence of World War II. This is when consumerism and a lot of toys really came on the market. Barbies, GI Joe, TV’s  and commercials became prevalent and advertisers started targeting teenagers.

Gen Xer’s had all of the toys. They had all of the toys the baby boomers had growing up and then some. The majority of Gen Xers grew up in the 80’s which was the height of materialism. In the 80’s is when things cost the most and people wanted to accumulate a lot of “stuff”.

Decluttering and downsizing

These items that are in our parents and grandparents homes and attics are things that were hard earned. Baby boomers sometimes have a difficult time getting rid of their things because they worked so hard to obtain them. Take the time to go through those things with your parents or grandparents. Let them tell the stories of how the stuff was obtained and the memories that come with them. Find ways of making memories using the stuff.

Lisa has a lot going on! Below is some information on her workshops, podcast, and books

100 day home organization program 

Paper organizing workshop called the Sunday basket. You can learn more about it at thesundaybasket.com

You can also learn more or listen to her podcast at organize365.com

Books/Kindle Editions: 

The Mindset of Organization: Take Back Your House One Phase at a Time

How ADHD Affects Home Organization: Understanding the Role of the 8 Key Executive Functions of the Mind

The Sunday Basket: Weekly Paper Organization & Planning

10 Steps to Organized Paper

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Taking the Keys Away: Episode 104

Veronica Mitchell on Taking the Keys AwayIn this episode, I talk with Veronica Mitchell about the sensitive topic of taking the keys away.

Veronica is a friend of mine who I have known for awhile. We have served on the same committees at the Caregiver Coalition of San Diego and also the San Diego County Council on Aging. Veronica is an advocate for seniors, women, and caregivers. She is a guest blogger and writes her own blog featured on her website. She is passionate about prevention of Elder Abuse and Scams, along with helping families take the keys from their senior loved ones.

You love your parent or spouse, yet you know that they can no longer safely drive. How do you know that it is time to take the keys away? How do you have that conversation with them in a loving and respectful way? Where do you begin? Families members are afraid to approach the subject. It is our last part of our freedom as we age, and it is very emotional subject.

My father’s Parkinson’s caused his eyes to shut and he was still driving! Obviously, I was panicked and in our family, we had to deal with the tough subject of taking the keys away. Sadly, my story is not uncommon.

Veronica and broke this down into 4 phases:

  • Have Conversations with your loved ones and start it as early as possible. Have a frank conversation and the most candid approach is best. Don’t wait until it is a crisis.
  • Identify, Observe & Document Unsafe Driving. Follow them and observe their driving. Check out the car and see if there are more dents than usual. When you are driving them around ask them directions to get somewhere. Do they get flustered, angry or confused in traffic?
  • Create a Plan, Manage the Plan, and Vet All Participants. Coordinate with friends and family members about who is going to drive them to places. They still need to get to places such as doctors appointments or haircuts. They also need social engagement. Make sure there is a plan to get them to social activities so they don’t become depressed feeling stuck in one place. Make sure to be flexible and have all family members help.

Contact information for Veronica:

Email: veronica@veronicamitchell.com

Twitter: @VeronicaMitch1

Websitewww.veronicamitchell.com

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Preventing financial elder abuse: Episode 103

Laura Barish on Preventing financial elder abuseLaura Barish came on the show to talk with us about preventing financial elder abuse.

Laura is President and CEO of AltaGolden. She has a passion for working with older adults and loves her job.  Laura is responsible for marketing, community outreach, corporate management, and she also sometimes works as a caregiver so that she understands what it takes to be a great caregiver. Laura is on the clinical affairs committee for the San Diego Dementia Consortium.

In our discussion, Laura and I talk about some of the scams that are out there including:

  • Email invoked abuse and Microsoft Outlook worms
  • Western Union Fraud:  Someone calls and says, “Your grandson was taken to jail in Mexico. We need you to wire money for attorneys fees”. The scammers like to play on heartstrings.
  • IRS Scam is where someone will call telling you that you are in default on your taxes. The IRS will never call or email anyone. They will only send a letter.
  • YES Scam is when someone will call and pretend to have a bad connection saying “can you hear me now?” Their objective is to get you to say “YES” so they have your voice on recording and they can use your recorded voice to purchase things.

Anyone can order a mailing list. There is a lot of demographic information in these mailing lists. This includes; address information, age groups, and even reported income levels. Sometimes the phone scammers are not just randomly dialing people. They are targeting you for a specific reason.

We also talked about the recent Microsoft scams. This is where your computer gets locked up or you get a pop up on your screen indicating your drivers are not up to date. The scammers essentially hold your computer ransom until you pay money to get it unlocked.

Steps for preventing financial elder abuse

Don’t go to websites you don’t know

Don’t open an attachment or links in an email from anyone you don’t know.

If a scammer calls you, the easiest and safest thing is to hang up.

Educate your loved ones about the Scams that are out there so they are aware of them and they know what to look out for.

Make sure your computer virus software us up to date at all times

If you have a private caregiver, make sure they are aware of these scams as well. Laura also tells us that if you use a private caregiver don’t give them the “keys to the kingdom”. Make sure you have systems in place to ensure the caregiver cannot take advantage of your loved one

If you have questions, ask! It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help or guidance.

Contact information for Laura: Phone: 858-779-9254 or website: www.altagolden.com

As I mentioned in our interview, the Red Podcast has a few episodes about IRS Scams. Here is a link to one of them This Is What An IRS Scam Phone Call Sounds Like 

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Medications can cause dementia: Episode 101

Dr. Camille Newton on how medications can cause dementiaDr. Newton wants to educate people on how medications can cause dementia and how to avoid these medications.

The only thing worse than having Dementia is taking care of a loved one with Dementia. Many people do not realize that a large number of medications can cause dementia.

Dr. Camille Newton is a home visiting physician. You may also know it has a traveling doctor or mobile doctor. It is such an important service for seniors that are not able to travel for doctor’s appointments. She focuses on minimizing medications, especially psychotropic pharmaceuticals to help senior’s brains stay healthier longer.

When medications are tested by the FDA to see if they are safe, they are not really tested to see if they cause brain failure.

While performing house calls she has seen the effect psychotropic medications have on people who take them for a long period of time.

Some examples of psychotropic drugs are:

  • Antipsychotics including Risperdal  or Haldol
  • Sedatives especially the benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Xanax, or Valium
  • Anti-depressants
  • Antihistamines

These are some pretty staggering and scary statistics!

According to Dr. Newton, Benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of Dementia. Nearly tripling risk within 3 years. Quitting reduces risk over time, to only 10% increase in risk 3 years after quitting. Benzodiazepine use quadruples the risk of suicide in the elderly. In one study, Benzodiazepines and hypnotics increased suicide risk by 14 times.

Antihistamines can have the anticholinergic effect. This means some of them block a certain neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This can have a detrimental effect on the brain over a long period of time. This includes Benadryl.

in monkeys, laboratory rats, and humans, the antipsychotics such as Haldol, showed a huge measurable shrinking of the brain within 8 weeks of use.

A person goes to the drug store and they have allergy symptoms. They could choose Claritin or Allegra (which are not anticholinergic) or they could choose Benadryl or Coricidin and end up with dementia within a few years.

Maybe Less is more?

Dr. Newton tells a fascinating story about “Pam” who is a rare case of dementia reversed by getting her off of her medications. Although she has had only a few cases of ‘total cure’, she’s had numerous patients improve dramatically when their anticholinergics were stopped.  These medications are so dangerous to our brains, and yet there is no warning label.  Many of them are over the counter.

A lot of people ask Dr. Newton,”what CAN I take.” Her response is, don’t look for something to take when you are having a problem. Don’t look for a pill to solve your problem and question every medication you are given.

*Please note:  Neither the Rock Your Retirement Show nor the host, Kathe Kline provide medical advice.  Please consult your own practitioner about any healthcare issues that you have.

If you would like to reach out to Dr. Newton, her email is docnewton@att.net

Today’s Freebie, Medications that can cause Dementia, Can be found at http://rockyourretirement.com/Medications

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com