Monthly Archives: February 2018

When Your Best Friend Dies

How to grieve and minimize the feeling of loss (Photo credit: Adobe Stock)

By Gary M. Stern for Next Avenue

Josh Koplovitz, an attorney based in Woodstock, N.Y., communicated with his best friend Lester Fensterheim nearly every day. They first met in 1999 and connected over their love of tennis. The two played tennis together and occasionally poker, socialized with their spouses and developed a strong bond. On Aug. 1, 2017, 74-year-old Fensterheim felt a pain in his face, suffered a minor stroke and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died three months later on Nov. 4.

Koplovitz misses Fensterheim terribly and feels a void over his death and the loss of their friendship. “I was drawn to Lester, and he was drawn to me and the friendship developed,” Koplovitz said. Fensterheim was a “magnetic personality,” said Koplovitz., adding: “When you came into his presence, you felt an unmistakable connectivity, as if he was saying to you, ‘You are a special person.’ He taught me to be more accepting of people than I otherwise would have been. He had a basic love of humanity.” read more

The Best Way to Spend Money Safely in Retirement

The Stanford Center on Longevity and Society of Actuaries ran the numbers. (Photo credit: Adobe Stock)

By Steve Vernon, F.S.A. for Next Avenue

How do you know if you’ve saved enough money to afford to retire? And what’s the best way to draw down your hard-earned retirement savings to last the rest of your life?

These are tough questions that can stump trained actuaries and investment advisers, let alone ordinary workers who are approaching their retirement years. I’ve thought about these questions often as a consulting actuary, financial writer and researcher who has studied the topic of retirement for more than 40 years. Now that I’m in my mid-60s, I need to answer these questions for myself. read more

How to Bounce Back From a Health Crisis

It’s not the cards you’re dealt, but how you play them. (Photo credit: Adobe Stock)

By Claire Zulkey for Next Avenue

After a major injury or illness, your own participation and perspective can make the difference between moving past a health crisis and letting it define the rest of your life.

Psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo cites two reasons why. First, the right attitude corresponds with a stronger commitment to physical therapy or rehabilitation. Plus, happiness is healing. “When we experience chronic stress, when we’re upset or depressed, that actually impedes our immune system,” says Lombardo. “Our body does not heal as well.” read more

How and Why to Teach Your Grandchildren About Gratitude

The way that you live your life can offer the best lesson (Photo credit: Adobe Stock)

By Lisa Fields for Next Avenue

One of the best gifts you can give your grandchild isn’t something physical to wrap up and offer as a birthday present. Rather, you can help to instill a strong sense of gratitude in your grandchild with your words and actions, which can help the child see how much good is in his or her life.

“Gratitude is our positive connection to the past,” said Nansook Park, professor of psychology at Michigan State University, who studies the effects of gratitude on children. “It gives us the sense that there are good things around us, and those good things in our life are the result of contributions by others.” read more

Neil Diamond and Coping with Parkinson’s Disease

Medication and surgery can help, but symptoms impact basic abilities (Photo credit: neildiamond.com)

By Emily Gurnon for Next Avenue

Fans of Neil Diamond grieved last month to learn that the longtime pop singer has canceled the remainder of his 50th anniversary tour following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

“Very sad news,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “My brother and I listened to Neil Diamond in the back of the family station wagon growing up. So many wonderful memories with his music. Need a cure for Parkinson’s.”

The creator of such classics as Sweet Caroline, Song Sung Blue and Cracklin’ Rosie said in a statement on his website that his doctor recommended the move. read more

How to Be Supportive to Friends Experiencing Loss

A “support” crash course to guide you through difficult times (Photo credit: Adobe Stock)

By Ken Druck for Next Avenue

(Editor’s note: This essay is the latest in a series from author and speaker Ken Druck, based on work in his book Courageous Aging, which is about how all people can make peace with, and find joy in, every stage of life.)

Loss is an inescapable part of life. Whether we’ve lost someone to death, or are going through a living loss such as divorce, retirement, a life-threatening illness, a debilitating injury or a life-altering condition like dementia or addiction, support can make all the difference in helping us summon the strength, faith and courage to fight our way back into life. read more