The Pros and Cons of Cruises: Episode 137

pros and cons of cruisesLes and Kathe talk about the pros and cons of cruises

In this episode, Les and I talk about our experience of going on a two-week long cruise abroad the Celebrity Millennium ship. The 18-year-old ship took us on a cruise to different Asian countries including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and mainland China.

We decided to record an episode discussing what we liked about the cruise (and what we disliked).

Both of us have been going on cruises for a long time and here are our thoughts on the pros and cons of cruises:

The Pros of Cruising:

We booked the tickets for the spa level class, which was the higher class on the cruise. Les and I got a top floor room, and it came with a nice balcony. We just loved the open skies and endless ocean on view!

The upper-class service was as expected. Les and I got our food in a separate blue restaurant, which the cruise said had healthier food to offer. We were even given a personal waiter who ensured that he knew our preferences from before and set our menu accordingly.

What I personally loved the most was that the staff at the restaurant even accommodated our diet choices, making protein shakes for me each morning. We also had a waiter, who always welcomed us by name each time he saw us. A personal touch is always lovely.

All classes in the ship are also given a personal room attendant, and I did find it to be convenient. While the personal attention that we got from the staff was because of the tickets we had booked, I had been to other places which didn’t really meet up to the same standard.

What did I and Les like the most? It’s perhaps being able to meet new people and make friends with others. Both Les and I now think that cruises have an older population, and our travel was a wonderful way to meet people who are our age and of the same mindset.

Did I forget to mention about the captain? He always had a joke up his sleeves, no matter what! If I compare the pros and cons of cruises, I think you cannot argue that the value a cruise experience has to offer.

The Cons of Cruising

Les is prone to seasickness and staying on the 11th floor did not help him! So pro tip: if you stay on an upper floor you will be most affected by rough seas. If you get sick easily, we suggest you book a lower floor room.

Les feels that cruising, in general, robs the chance to explore the culture and habits of the local people. I agree with him. If you want to explore local cultures cruising may not be the best route to go. If you want to immerse yourself in local culture and people, home sharing is what you should be looking for, as it helps you to experience all of that closely at an affordable price.

Sometimes, I did feel our room to be a tad bit warm, but it was probably because of an HVAC problem, which the staff fixed later after I called them.

The only significant problem I had on the entire trip though, was when we were trying to board the ship. The staff, for some reason, misled us to another port. We had to pay extra to our cab to get to the right port and catch the ship! Talk about a stressful beginning!


So, there you have our pro's and cons of cruises. Overall this was a good cruise and the service was great. We may be doing more land vacations for a while but I think since cruising has become more affordable, everyone should try it at least once.


Resilience in Retirement: Episode 132

Veronica Mitchell talks about resilience in retirement I brought Veronica Mitchell on the show to talk about resilience in retirement

Veronica is an advocate for seniors, women, and caregivers. She writes her own blog and is a sought-after public speaker. Veronica has an approach that combines her excellent verbal, emotional and social intelligence with her funny sense of humor and curiosity for life.

She wanted to talk about building resilience in your life so you can move forward through life transitions and stay positive, even thrive after trauma, loss, and death.

Learn more about Veronica’s personal experiences and advice for resilience in this episode.

What is resilience?

  • The ability to adapt yourself to diversity.
  • To be able to cope and recover from trauma and stress.
  • Being able to get through tough times and being able to thrive afterward.
  • To be able to continue and grow.

Veronica shared her experience with us

She had a traumatic brain injury years ago in a car accident. Veronica had a concussive syndrome for a very long time. She had to cancel her speaking and writing engagements. Learning resilience is one of the things she has to do. Veronica had to come up with a game plan. Her sister caught her one day not knowing how to put a recipe together. This also became a chance for her to have time to think a lot. She got the right doctor and therapist because of this. And she's back to her speaking and writing engagements!

Key Topics:

Learn how acceptance of the present moment builds resilience.

Learn why Resilience enables someone to be positive through life transitions.

How to recover and grow after trauma and loss

On Today’s Show we discuss:
  • Is resilience born or learned?
  • Resources and healthy coping skills
  • Being open
  • Gratitude
  • Learning acceptance
  • Maintaining calm
  • Being around positive people, loving yourself and volunteering
  • Pillar 5 of the Six Pillars of Retirement Lifestyle

Veronica's Tips

  1. Stay around positive people – The people in your inner circle should be encouraging
  2. Volunteer – Helping others will help you
  3. Love yourself

Veronica Mitchell has been the founder of several corporations and has been employed by US/International Corporations. Veronica is a caregiver for her aging parents. She writes and speaks on Resilient Aging, Preventing Elder Abuse, Caregiver Issues, and making the most of life at any age.  Veronica writes her own blog featured on www.veronicamitchell.com

Contact Veronica: 


Twitter: @Veronicamitch1


Finding the love of your Life: Episode 126

love of your lifeFinding the love of your life as an older adult can be an elusive proposition

Alan told his friend that he's going to be in our podcast and he will be talking about love. His friend's reaction was “You?! A love doctor? That's a real laugh. You've never been any good at love. The only luck you ever have is love with your novels.” She knows Alan very well that's why she had that opinion. Alan had some long-term relationships that didn't work out.

Alan easily finds love but struggles to maintain relationships. In this episode, Alan shares his past dating experiences, why he thinks they didn’t work out and how he plans to navigate romance going forward. Alan isn’t on dating sites and he doesn’t go on blind dates but he puts himself out there in various ways, such as dancing.

On Today’s Show we discuss:

  • 6 pillars of retirement
  • Selfishness in relationships
  • Getting and Keeping love
  • The difficulty of connecting as you get olderfinding your love

 What Alan Has Learned from Past Experiences That Will Help in Future Love Endeavors?

“I think I’ve been selfish in my relationships. I vowed to be less selfish, more flexible and less rigid.”

 The Irony of Relationships Among Older People

Many older people don’t feel they need to be in a relationship. At the same time, studies show if you are married, you are more likely to live a longer and healthier life.

Learn from Alan
  • Don’t try to sell your book on a first date
  • Put your phone down on dates and when you’re with loved ones
  • Be present in the moment
  • It’s never too late, the love of your life could be right around the corner.
  • Don't look for someone faults and why a relationship won't work. Focus on the positive

 Alan’s advice 

“Be flexible and open”

Alan Mindell is a prior podcast guest, bestselling author, guide at Friendly Excursions and multiple gold winner of the San Diego version of the Senior Olympics.

Connect with Alan


Alan’s Books
The B Team

The Closer: A Baseball Love Story





Aging Consciously: Episode 124

aging consciouslyAging Consciously what does it mean?

Aging consciously is aging with intention, aging with a sense of purpose and aging with a with a real commitment to grow into becoming one of the very best in this third stage or third chapter of life that Ron often calls “elderhood”. Ron thinks you could contrast aging consciously with this kind of drifting into getting old. Believing that with retirement or with retirement age, the best years are behind you. Your years of contribution and making a difference are behind you. Believing that it's kind of a matter of hanging on as best one can and hope for the best.

It's incredibly enlivening. Aging consciously is supportive of the health of body, mind and spirit. If you have a real sense of purpose in aging and is intentional about moving toward that.

Ron believes that baby boomers are going to be the driving force in creating an empowering vision for aging. He thinks baby boomers are playing the lead role in helping our society see that our third chapter can be an incredible time for us as individuals.

Many of us speak about conscious aging or conscious elders but in a lot of different ways and from a lot of different quarters empowered, vision is emerging. Most of us think that people become irrelevant or marginalized after they passed retirement age. We need the wisdom and the gift of wise elders. Ron is doing his best to promote that kind of understanding. In Ron's perfect world, there would be a societal understanding that older adults have a lifetime a wealth of experience and wisdom that they can contribute. There would be an understanding that there's a responsibility that comes with getting older. And that responsibility is to continue to grow and to develop themselves so that they can serve as a model for younger people. This is for the younger people to see that growing old can be something wonderful and not something to dread.

What would a perfect world look like to Ron in regards to aging consciously and supporting our elders?

There would be a societal understanding that older adults have a lifetime a wealth of experience and wisdom that they can contribute. There would be an understanding that there's a responsibility that comes with getting older and that responsibility is to continue to grow. It would be great if younger can see that growing old can be something wonderful. It's not something to dread. It's a stage of life that can be full of fulfillment and meaning. In Ron's ideal world the role of elder is going to be reestablished.

Traditional elders around the world have made a commitment to grow and to serve. He said they make a difference until their dying day. Today, more and more people are claiming that role. In Ron's ideal world, the elder is going to be an honored role and all of us as a society is going to honor that role. When people retire, they will not see it as an opportunity to play around but they're going to see it as a chance to grow and make a difference. It might also be about developing parts of ourselves that maybe we haven't had a chance to develop prior to retirement age.

Isolation is absolutely deadly. Emotionally, physically and spiritually

Just about a year ago AARP and several other aging organizations released the results of a major study. They interviewed thousands of Americans over age 50. They found that the majority of Americans view aging as primarily defined by loss, decline, diminishment, marginalization, and isolation.

If that is the image that we're surrounded with and that we live in, then it's inevitable that many of us to some extent or other are going to have internalized a lot of those kind of beliefs.

I asked Ron what are some actionable items we can take to change this view?

  1. Take a look at the beliefs we carry about our aging
  2. We must have a sense of purpose and look for a reason to get up every day that is bigger than ourselves
  3. The vital importance of Community. It is really important for us to find meaning in our community.

Aging consciously oftentimes that requires stretching beyond our comfort zones. aging consciously

 A little background about Ron Pevny:

Ron Pevny, M.A., has for forty years been dedicated to assisting people in negotiating life transitions as they create lives of purpose and passion. He is Founding Director of the Center for Conscious Eldering, based in Durango, Colorado. It is dedicated to supporting the development of conscious elders by offering Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats and introductory workshops at retreat centers across North America. It is for those in and approaching that period of life, sometimes called “The Third Age,” who hear the call to age consciously.

Ron is the author of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging: embrace and savor your next chapterpublished in 2014 by Beyond Words/Atria Books. He is also a Certified Sage-ing® Leader and was the creator and administrator of the former twelve-organization Conscious Aging Alliance. He has served as the host/interviewer for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Transforming Aging Summits presented by The Shift Network.

The Center for Conscious Eldering

Forced Retirement: Episode 122

forced retirement

Let's talk about Forced Retirement

Marianne Oehser is our guest for today's podcast episode. She came on our show to discuss forced retirements and how to cope if it happens to you.

One example of Forced Retirement that Marianne gave us is “Rich” one of her clients. Here's his story:

Rich worked for the government and handled one of the largest and most important departments. All of a sudden, that department was eliminated. Now when this happened, it created a lot of challenges for him. Like many, he is facing a forced retirement. When Marianne and Rich started working together, it became really clear how depressed he was. He had trouble getting up in the morning and by mid-afternoon, he barely had the energy to read the paper.

When Marianne talked to him, it seemed like he had lost his sense of purpose in his life. “This happens when you're not ready to retire,” Marianne said.

A forced retirement can bring up a lot of emotions

One of the first few emotions you might feel is anger then resentment. What Rich did after acknowledging what he was feeling is forgive the person that made it happen.  Together he and Marianne worked on letting go of the resentment and pain until he was able to start on focusing on the present.

They worked on building his “happiness”  portfolio. Rich needed to figure what he wanted the 8 important areas in his life to look like and be like. During this process, Rich awakened his desire to write. He took some creative writing classes and thought about doing his memoir. Then he uncovered a short story he wrote in the past.  He published it and now being reviewed as a script for a movie.

Rich now writes screenplays and books. This man no longer tries to figure out how to get out of bed every morning. He no longer has to think about what he wants to do at 3 in the afternoon. Rich now gets out of bed with gust, vigor, and enthusiasm and has lots of things going on. He was able to tap back into his sense of purpose.

8 Areas of Happiness

  • Self-development – Continuing to grow and understand that you can be excited about wherever you are in this in your life and embracing what is now and continuing to be a better person as a result of the things that you choose.
  • Health and Well-being – If you don't have your health, nothing else matters.
  • Primary Relationship – Relationships are central to who we are as human beings. Having a strong primary relationship is important. Examples, marriage relationship, long-term life partner relationship, strong friend relationship, family relationship.
  • Social Networks – As we move further along in our lives, our social connections become more and more important. When you move out of retirement, it may change. Not the same people we used to work with. It's all about building relationships. building new relationships.
  • Spirituality and Religion – As we progress in our life, we become aware of the fact that at some point, our physical body isn't gonna work anymore.
  • Leisure – About being balanced.
  • Community – What are you doing for the people around you? How are you giving back
  • Vocation or Profession – more of us are either having to work or choosing to work

How does all of this fit into the balance? How do these 8 work together? Marianne says that we need to have balance so at the end of the day you can say that this is the life that you will be living.

You may reach Marianne Oehser through her website Retire and be Happy or via email: Marianne@RetireAndBeHappy.com

She is a retirement consultant, a Certified Retirement Coach, and founder of Retire & Be Happy. She is a seasoned expert committed to helping people create a happy, fulfilling “post-career” phase of their lives through her workshops, seminars, public speaking, and individual coaching. Marianne also works with singles and couples to successfully build and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships – after all, having a solid relationship is central to creating a happy, fulfilling life.

Marianne has retired twice after spending over 40 years in the corporate world. She is a certified Retirement and Relationship Coach. Marianne also holds a Master of Management from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in Chicago. She received her training and certifications from Relationship Coaching Institute and Retirement Options.