Monthly Archives: January 2016

Why having cancer made me stop rushing

Author Mark Nepo says slowing down will lead us back to empathy

By Mark Nepo for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

The following is adapted from Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness by Mark Nepo. Published in November 2015 by Sounds True.

One of the great transforming passages in my life was having cancer in my mid-30s. This experience unraveled the way I see the world. It scoured my lens of perception, landing me in a deeper sense of living. There are certain experiences that reform us, as if God’s a tireless blacksmith who, against our pleading, forges the metal in us, though it takes years for our heart and mind to cool from the pounding. My journey with cancer was how I was forged. read more

How to travel alone and love it

Your parents’ advice doesn’t apply anymore

By Patricia Corrigan for Next Avenue


Credit: Courtesy of Patricia Corrigan

Soaking in a mineral spring pool at a spa, I started talking with another pool denizen. The woman, in her late 60s, asked if I were traveling with family or friends. I said I was alone. She said, “I would be too afraid.”

Timidity around this topic baffles me. For more than 30 years, I have traveled mostly on my own. I prefer solo travel, I told the woman, because I go where I want, see what I want and have the freedom to change my plans at any time.

Do I get lonely? No, because I talk to strangers. read more

The Boomers’ gnawing worry about social security

They’re growing fearful that their promised benefits will be cut

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue

Social Security-web

Credit: Thinkstock

When the Presidential candidates dare to talk about shoring up Social Security, they typically say that people in their 50s and older needn’t worry — their benefits won’t be reduced to keep the system solvent. But boomers (who are age 51 to 69) aren’t buying it.

In fact, based on two recent surveys I’ve seen (from the Hearts & Wallets financial services research firm and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies), workers in their 50s and 60s as well as retirees are increasingly worried that their Social Security retirement benefits might be cut — just when they’re counting on them. read more

How long-term care insurance policies backfire

What you or your parents can do so it doesn’t happen

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

Some people protect themselves from the exorbitant out-of-pocket cost of long-term care (median annual price of a private room in a nursing home: $91,250, according to Genworth Financial), by buying long-term care insurance policies. But here’s some stunning news during what the long-term care industry calls Long Term Care Awareness Month: More than a third of people with long-term care policies at age 65 lapse their coverage before they die, forfeiting all benefits, a new Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College analysis finds. read more

What to do when being the caregiver is not an option

Not everyone has the resources and stamina to take on the role, and it’s OK

By Phyllis Quinlan for Next Avenue


Credit: Thinkstock

There are 66 million unpaid adult family caregivers in America — 29 percent of the adult U.S. population — providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. Female caregivers outnumber their male counterparts two to one. In 2012, female family caregivers, on average, were 48 years old, lived alone,and provided about 25 hours of care per week.

As anyone who has done it knows, caregiving is rarely a sprint. It is most often a marathon of planning, adjusting, attending and doing. Not everyone is capable of staying in the race. read more