Living Healthy in Retirement: Episode 144

living healthy

Living Healthy in Retirement

I talked with Cassandra Hill, who is a gerontologist and a certified wellness coach. She started out working with seniors in long-term care and assisted living and enjoyed her time. The health of the seniors she worked with declined to a point that their quality of life was limited. This gave her the passion to work with seniors and give them a better quality of life.

In this episode, Cassandra enlightens us on how to age properly and the things that we should do to live out our senior years in peace and confidence.

Cassandra tells us that the baby boomers are in their retirement age and they need to be proactive about aging. She has served seniors living at home, in a skilled nursing, assisted living, and also in hospice. She ensures that their emotional health is also taken care of so that they are in a good mental state. Their wellbeing is not only important to them, but also for their loved ones and family members.

Our body and mind are interwoven and often mental stress can lead to physical symptoms and even cause illness. It is necessary to take care of both in order to live a comfortable life.

Concerns about aging

I ask Cassandra to tell us more about the concerns of aging and growing old. She states that the primary concern of seniors she works with is finances. Having the means necessary to live and fear of outliving their money. Many people have not bought long-term insurance or didn't save enough to go through retirement. With the advance in medical science, people are living longer but with chronic illness.

Such people need to apply for government insurance like Medicaid immediately, which can cover long-term care depending on your circumstances. The insurance also pays for meals or any medical expenses including that of a nurse. Some states also offer the PACE program for seniors which are all-inclusive programs that come helpful in the golden years.

Cassandra is now focusing on people who are yet to retire so that she can work with them and help them save enough for retirement. She also feels that the retirement system in the country should change otherwise future generations won't be able to support them.

Living Healthy

I presented Cassandra a hypothetical situation of a 62-year-old woman who has to take care of her kids and also has to check in on her parents.  Doing things for her parents such as occasionally buying groceries and other things for them. I ask Cassandra what suggestion she would give to such a woman.

Cassandra says that this woman should first take care of herself otherwise she won't be able to care for others. She should go for a routine check-up at least once every 6 months. She also advises her to take self-care measurements and get the finances sorted. She suggests getting some form of pension and gets a retirement plan while making some cutbacks in her lifestyle. Her kids can also apply for education loans to take some burden off her shoulders.

For a 62-year-old woman living independently, Cassandra advises her to develop healthy habits or should practice living healthy. She should also exercise regularly for about 30 minutes a day to increase her heart rate. To avoid feelings of isolation, she should join some community such as YMCA and interact with people who share the same interests.

Advice from Cassandra

Cassandra also gives out words of wisdom who want to be proactive about their aging. She tells us to invite an Aging in Home designer who can come and assess your house. They can suggest a number of changes which might help you in living healthy and happy for a long time. Such considerations include putting slides in the shower, taking up rugs and so on. Talking on the subject it turns out that falls are really common with senior people. Most of the falls happen in the bathroom facilitated by factors such as water and slippery floors. The kitchen is another place which might prove to be hazardous in your old age.

You can make your house suitable for living and reduce the chances of mishaps. Such measures include putting a grab handle in the shower so that you can save yourself from falling.

If you want more tips about the science of aging, you can visit Cassandrahill.com and also check out her Facebook page Live Health for Life.

Connect with Cassandra:

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

Retire Early and Travel! Part 2 of 2: Ep. 142

retire early and travelRetire Early and Travel! Part 2 of 2

In this episode, I continue my conversation with Keith and Tina Paul who are early retirees with a zeal to travel. We have been talking about how to retire so that you can travel overseas and maybe even live there! Our guests also tell us how you can have a tight budget and still travel like you have desired. As we shall see from them, it’s easy to retire early and travel!

Keith and Tina tell us about their exciting appearance on HGTV’s International House Hunters. They sent an email to be on the show but didn’t get any reply for six months. They received an email asking them to be on the show just as they planned to move to Cuenca in Ecuador.

After answering 25 pages of questions and making an 8-minute promo video, they got to be on the show. Keith and Tina wrote a whole article about the “staged reality” show on their blog detailing the back of the scene events.

The couple became famous after their appearance on television and people started to recognize them even on their travels. People even asked to take pictures with them and recognized them from the HGTV show. They became a symbol of all that you can do if you retire early and travel.

What is it like to retire early and travel?

I ask Tina and Keith to tell us about some experiences in their travel and how we can look forward to retiring early. They tell us that many people resist the idea of traveling as they can’t speak the foreign language. But Keith says you don’t need to be a language expert to visit or stay in other countries.

Both of them manages on broken Spanish and you can undertake your travel if you can speak a bit of the language. You can always take classes and learn the language to make things easy. Also, there are many countries that speak English.


I proceed to ask Keith and Tina about their experience of living abroad and the things that they liked. I was amazed to know that Cuenca is a super safe place where kids walk to school or take the public transport by themselves.

The place is also safe for walking at nights and there are no worries of being mugged or robbed. They feel like living in the 1950s when you didn’t need to fear about leaving your kids alone or going out in the dark.


Healthcare is also another major vertical which differs from the USA. The doctors are compassionate and even give their personal number to patients. Medical procedures are almost 25% cheaper than the USA and you can visit an eye specialist in $40- which even includes the charges for all follow-up visits!


When I asked them to relate the things they didn’t like, it amounted to just a few things. They cannot get most American brand foods in the supermarkets. So if you have become used to something then it may be a problem. But some people in Ecuador sell American things for an extra charge, so there isn’t much of a problem, and you can always find domestic alternatives.

One of the biggest challenges of living in a place like Cuenca is lack of connectivity. It doesn’t have an international airport and you have to fly to Quito to catch an international flight. They had once missed a cruise as the local flight to Quito was canceled.

Another problem is that you don’t get Amazon deliveries on the same day and have to pay tariffs and high shipping charges on top of it. Also, you cannot carry more than 2 phones into the city.

The drawbacks of living abroad are never enough to hold you back. Like Keith and Tina, you can also retire early and travel!

Connect with Keith and Tina


Retire Early and Travel! Part 1 of 2: Ep. 141

retire early and travelRetire Early and Travel!

Many people have the dream to retire early and enjoy a peaceful and happy life. Some have special reasons to retire early and this episode is all about how to retire early and travel to your heart’s content.

Our guests Keith and Tina Paul will enlighten us on how you can retire early and travel even if you have a tight budget. Both Tina and Keith are early retirees and live abroad in Cuenca, Ecuador. The retired just at the age of 55 to travel and see the world and Keith never wants to go to work for a single day in his life again!

How they decided to retire early and travel

Tina and Keith have known each other since they were 18 years old and got married at 24. They shared a strong love and passion for traveling and chanced upon the idea of living abroad when they were visiting Guatemala.

They met a couple living there and found that they could live there for less money than in the USA. Their kids also worked and lived abroad, and Tina and Keith wanted a glimpse of their lifestyle.

They got to working on their plans as soon as they got home. Keith did the math to make sure that financially they could retire, and they would be able to live off their money in some less expensive country. They started Googling places to live and zeroed in on Cuenca in Ecuador.

Advice for someone who wants to retire early and live abroad

Keith and Tina tell us that we don’t need a lot of money to live abroad or travel. It helps to have savings, but you can also live off your Social Security check in a place like Cuenca. The couple runs a website Retire Early and Travel where they write their experiences and post pictures of their travels.

How did they choose WHERE to live? Just a simple process of elimination really. They made a wish list of 10 things they wanted and checked places off as it matched them. Tina and Keith wanted a walkable city and a nice climate like Southern California. They already loved Latin culture and spoke a bit of Spanish which made them fall for Cuenca. Another advantage was that they could travel back to the USA whenever they pleased due to geographical proximity.

They decided to live in  Cuenca, Ecuador!

Cuenca became the destination of their dreams. It has a lot of expats, pleasant 70-degree weather with very less seasonal changes and a buy city which ensured they don’t end up getting bored! Cuenca is situated at 8,500 feet, and you don’t find any bugs and mosquitoes to ruin your peace.

The best thing about Cuenca is that you can live here on a monthly income of about $1,000. This was was never possible back in the United States. For a couple, you can live comfortably for $2,000 a month which includes everything like rent and food plus extras for things like eating out and entertainment! They even live in a 4,600 sq. ft. house for which they pay $1000 a month in rent.

Keith says that they have everything they need to have a comfortable lifestyle. They may not get all American brands but they can eat organic vegetables brought fresh from the farm without any harmful chemicals, pesticides, or preservatives. They even get produce for a lot cheaper than in the United States.

When I asked them about the things they find difficult in Cuenca, Keith only had to complain about high shipping charges and lack of same-day delivery from Amazon!

If you want to know how to retire early, you can visit their website Retire Early and Travel. It also has some nice articles on how to earn while you are retired and gives you best travel deals and hacks to make your dreams real!

Connect with Keith and Tina

There’s Big Joy in Writing Memoirs: Episode140

Writing MemoirsWriting memoirs for loved ones: Expectations vs. Reality

Loved ones like our parents have a lot of stories to tell but don’t always get the opportunity to do so.

In this episode, Nicola Davidson tells us how to write autobiographies and memoirs for your loved one or for yourself.

Working as a journalist and editor for multiple newspapers in Australia and UK, Nicola has interviewed many people who had fascinating stories to tell.

But the format of the newspaper didn’t allow such elaborate memoirs. This gave the idea to Nicola about writing autobiographies for your loved ones and she came up with the website Forever Young Autobiographies.com. You can learn how to write a bio for yourself or a loved one’s memoir.

I feel that I should have written down the stories of my father before dementia and Parkinson’s made it impossible. You may also want to write down and pass on the stories of your loved ones before it is too late.

We don't need to be writers

Nicola tells us that we don’t need to be writers or someone famous to write down our memoirs. But we should come up with a “why”- the purpose of telling or writing your story. For many people, it can be an inter-family thing with parents passing down their stories to their children. Having a “why” gives you a head start and gives you the desire to write down your story.

You shouldn’t also worry about where to begin! Just get the energy going and start writing whatever you remember first. That way you can write down several memories or short stories and arrange them according to a timeline later.

Writing is a creative process and you shouldn’t let the inner critic prevent you from writing whatever you feel. The best thing to do is to leave your inner critic for the second draft, according to Nicola. You can write or type out everything you remember and go take a break. After some time, you can come back to it and scan it with a fresh mind and eyes. You will be amazed that you had done a great job and can edit or modify your writing.

Nicola also gives us helpful tips on writing memoirs for seniors.

You can help them write down their stories as Nicola is helping her 98-year-old grandmother to do so. Your loved ones can relate or speak out the stories and you can record the speech and transcribe it later.

Some people may find it difficult to remember their memories. Nicola advises us to start with long-term memories which are the richest. She also describes a few exercises to churn up all the memories- You can take a walk around the house and stumble on things which stir up some memories associated with them.

Others find it helpful to look through their photo albums or vinyl collection to get the memories going. You can even remember things from certain smells like food from childhood. Nicola suggests you write down everything- your childhood years, high school memories, marriage stories- anything and everything that can go towards making an interesting memoir.

Connect with Nicola:

BONUS! Click HERE to get Nicola's first few chapters of her book for FREE! Also includes a discount code if you buy the book.

An Expert Interview about Family Rejection: Episode 139

family rejectionDo You Struggle with Family Rejection?

Family rejection is a very common problem across the world. Many kids don’t talk to their parents and don’t even want to maintain any contact. Many of my listeners have the same problem and have estranged daughter or son living in other countries.

In this episode, our guest Tina Gilbertson provides helpful insights on how to deal with family rejection. She is a Colorado-based psychotherapist who helps repair estranged relationships between parents and their children. Gilbertson found the problem so common among her clients that she wrote three books and a ton of articles on the subject.

She will be giving out important tips on how to deal with family rejection and get talking with your estranged children.

Every relationship has a chance

Tina believes that every relationship has a potential to be repaired but for that, parents need to take both emotional and strategic steps.

The first thing to do is to understand that your children may not be hurting you or avoiding you intentionally – it is because they have been hurt by something and hurting you back in the process.

Develop compassion

You have to develop a sense of self-compassion along with compassion for your children. You have to accept your mistakes and understand the grievances of your kids.

Also, you may not always be at fault. Sometimes kids have a different experience because of their personality and perception without you having done anything wrong. Everybody has their temperament and you cannot do anything about it. Whatever be the case get over the parental shame and develop a mindset of compassion.

Only then you will be able to get to apologize to repair the relationship.

Give a good apology

An apology is a gift and best tool to mend broken relationships suggests Tina. She lists out several factors that make up a good apology and open the doors of communication.

To render a good and effective apology you must let all your guards down and become defenseless. Even if you are one percent defensive it will seep into your apology and make it ineffective.

Tina tells us three unique factors that make up a good apology

First, you need to be specific and say what you are sorry for; you should specifically speak out what you might have done wrong to hurt the person. If you are at fault, accept and clearly say you had done that.

The second factor is to understand and relay back why it was hurtful to the person. For example, you can say “I’m, sorry, you didn’t deserve that” or “I’m sorry that my tone was harsh,” instead of saying that you were just sorry!

The third factor is regret – you have to show that you are really sorry and regret the fact that your hurt them or did something wrong. You can add things like “if only I could take it back,” or “If I could change things..” to make your apology emotional and sincere.

A good apology will break the ice and can get your children talking to you.

Connect with Tina

Email: tina@tinagilbertson.com

Website: tinagilbertson.com


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