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Caregiving Support for Solo Agers: Finding Resources and Community - with Sara Zeff Geber
Episode 5019th April 2021 • Hey, Boomer • Wendy Green
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Welcome to Hey Boomer - a podcast for and about baby boomers. On this episode, Wendy Green speaks with retirement transition coach, Dr. Sara Zeff Geber. Sara specializes in working with people without adult children or close relatives, on how to plan for their future as they age. Dr. Geber has written a book called "Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers."

In this episode, they covered questions like, "Who will be there to help you if you are unable to help yourself? Who could speak on your behalf if you cannot speak for yourself? Who is capable of making decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself?"

Sara discusses the importance of financial and legal planning, choosing a proxy, and building a support network of nieces, nephews and other loved ones.

Sarah also talks about the benefits of joining a community as a senior, including cohousing, home sharing, and tiny home communities. She warns against the perils of aging in place without proper social connections and support, and shares some encouragement for baby boomers who are childless by choice.

Wendy and Sara's conversation also touches on important topics such as end-of-life planning, estate planning, social security, and long-term care.

Don't miss this insightful discussion on planning for the future as a solo ager, and more. Tune in to Hey Boomer with Wendy Green and join the conversation.

Thank you to our sponsors:

DJ Benson & Associates LLC: dave@securingsouls.com

ADHD Career Coaching: https://passiontocareer.com 

You can find more information about Solo Aging at https://sarazeffgeber.com 

If you want to support Hey, Boomer: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/HeyBoomer0413 



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Transcripts

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You. We hear a lot these days about the sandwich

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generation, adult children caring for

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aging parents. But what if you are aging

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and you don't have children to come and. Check on you and

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care for you? My guest on Hay Boomer

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today is Dr. Sarah south geber,

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and she's an expert in aging, and in fact, she's written a

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book specifically for solo agers called

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essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers.

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In this episode, we ask some really important questions,

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things like who will be there to help you if you can't care

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for yourself? Who could speak on your

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behalf if you are unable to speak for yourself?

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And who is capable of making decisions for you that

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you may be unable to make for yourself at that point?

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These and many other important questions are

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discussed in this episode of hey,

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Boomer. My name is Wendy Green,

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and I will be your host.

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You.

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Hello, hey Boomer listeners.

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It's another Monday. It's another hey Boomer, and I'm so glad that

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all of you are here with us. I have some important questions

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for you. Do you have a will your power of

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attorneys defined? You've got your medical directive in order?

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Have you started withdrawing from Social Security or

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from your retirement savings account?

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Have you made plans for your long

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term care? How you'd want to be cared for, where you'd want to be cared

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for? And have you had this discussion with your children

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or your spouse or your partner or your family?

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What if you don't have children or a spouse or a

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partner to talk this over with? Who's going to care for

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you if and when you need it? These are

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really difficult conversations to have in

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the best of times and when we have that

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family support that we feel we can depend on.

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But if you're a solo ager, these questions can become

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even trickier. Hi, Anne. So I'm glad

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that you all are joining us today for this important conversation.

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And the truth is, these questions that we're going to

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discuss today, they do apply in some ways

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differently for solo agers, but they also apply to all of

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us and they are important questions for all of us to think about.

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Before we get started today, I did want to thank a

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couple of our sponsors for

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the Hay Boomer Forest bathing event that's taking place on May the fourth.

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I wanted to thank DJ. Benson and Associates.

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They are a safety and security consultancy

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specializing in threat assessment,

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management and mitigation,

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workplace violence prevention and intervention training,

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organizational and personal security assessments.

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And their motto is securing souls

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one client at a time.

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If you would like to get in touch with my friend

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Dave Benson from DJ. Benson and Associates,

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you can email him at dave@securingsoles.com.

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Our other sponsor for today is Shell Mendelssohn.

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And Shell says many people with ADHD struggle

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in their careers. But what if the problem wasn't you?

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What if you're just in the wrong job.

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She says. People with ADHD are some of the brightest,

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most creative people in the world, but they have to play

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by their own rules. So using a

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shell can help you unlock your full

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potential and find a meaningful and satisfying

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career. And you can find out more about this@passiontocareer.com.

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And I can tell you that Shell is very passionate about the work that

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she does.

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Speaking about forest bathing.

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Doris, David, Scott, Beth,

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Gail, Kathy, Rob, Bunny and Lillian are all

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joining me on May 4 for forest bathing.

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And they're joining Angie Steagall, who is our forest bathing

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guide. That means there are just five spots

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left, and I posted the

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link to register for forest bathing in the chat

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on both Facebook and LinkedIn. So you can go

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right now and sign up while there's still a

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few spaces left. It's going to be a wonderful

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way to ease out of our COVID isolation, make some

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new friends, and relax into nature.

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I hope you'll join me. It's really going to be a special event,

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and I would love to get you all to join

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the email list so that you can get our Monday morning announcements

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and you can get access to the blog posts

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that I write or the guest blog posts that we have. There are

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two ways to get on the email list. You can drop me a quick email

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to my account at wendy at heyboomer biz.

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Or you can go to the Facebook page and subscribe

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to the blog post. It's that simple. And then you'll be

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in the know with everything that hey Boomer is doing.

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And with that, I'm going to bring on our guest

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today, sarah Zeff Gepper.

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Hi, Sarah. Hi, Wendy. So nice

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to have you. I really appreciate you joining me on the show today.

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Oh, I'm happy to be here. Now I just want to know more about forest

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bathing. I know, it's so cool.

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It's like this little meaningful three hour excursion

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into the woods. Mindfulness. Very cool.

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Yeah. Sounds very good. Yeah. So let me take

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a moment and tell people about you, Sarah.

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Dr. Sarah Zekebber. She is a 2018

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recipient of the Influencers in Aging designation by PBS

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Next Avenue. She's an author,

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a certified retirement coach, and a professional speaker on

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retirement and aging. Sarah has developed a

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niche specialty which we're going to talk about today about

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solo agers people who have no children or

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who are aging alone.

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Sarah is the author of The Essential Retirement

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Planning for Solo Agers a Retirement

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and Aging Roadmap for Single and Childless Adults.

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I read this book. I've marked it up. There's lots of worksheets in

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here. I am not a solo ager, but I

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found it incredibly useful.

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And with her speaking and writing, sarah has

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been raising awareness of solo agers for the past ten

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years. She believes that solo agers have a unique

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need in later life. That warrants greater foresight

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and a more robust approach to planning.

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And Sarah is married, but she still considers herself a solo ager

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because she doesn't have children. She has a puppy,

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and she and her husband live in Santa Rosa,

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California. Is there anything I left out,

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Sarah, that you'd like to add? That's pretty complete. Thank you.

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You are welcome. So before we jump right into

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all the things that we need to be thinking about, can you tell me kind

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of your career trajectory and how you got from

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where you started to your emphasis on solo aging?

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Sure. Let's get a little bit circuitous.

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I was for 25 years a management consultant,

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organizational consulting, team building, that kind of thing.

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Wonderful career. I enjoyed it a lot. It morphed

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into more executive and management coaching than anything

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else. And there was a time about,

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I don't know, twelve years ago, when I found myself

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coaching a lot of baby boomers, which I'm obviously a baby boomer

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too. And so I was coaching people who were my contemporaries,

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and they started wanting to talk more about their retirement

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plans than their strategic plans.

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So I found myself doing a lot of coaching

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with regard to what they were going to do next in

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their own life rather than in their company. And I thought, you know,

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I'm seeing a lot of this. I think there's something going

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on here. So the more I heard about,

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the more I got interested in actually doing retirement

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coaching, because that's clearly what many of these people wanted.

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Now, at the time it was, I must say, mostly men,

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because again, of the baby boom generation, it's mostly men

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that hold those top leadership positions. That's changing.

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But for our generation, it hadn't moved the needle very far.

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Typically, these men had not built any kind

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of a life for themselves outside of their work.

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So there was definitely a need for some coaching to

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get them from one place to the next because they didn't know what they wanted

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to do in their retirement. And when we started talking about how are you

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going to add meaning and purpose to your life after you leave here,

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they were clueless. So I looked into

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retirement coaching a little further and

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discovered that there was an organization who

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actually trained retirement coaches. And even

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though I have my doctorate in an organizational behavior, that didn't

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help me to understand anything about the retirement transition

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and kind of how people mature in their older

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years. So I went through the program

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and got a certificate in retirement coaching and kind

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of hung out my shingle. And I did retirement coaching for quite a long

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time. And then I had another Epiphany about three years

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into that. I was looking around my

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I don't know, the scenario around me, the people

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that I knew, the people I worked with, the people I hung out with as

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friends. And so many of them were spending a tremendous

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amount of time taking care of their aging parents.

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We were all in our 60s, early sixty s

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at the time. And so those of them doesn't

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include me, but those of them that had living parents,

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they were getting old, they were getting into their late 80s, early 90s,

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mid 90s, getting to a point in their lives where they

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weren't quite managing as well as they had been ten

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years ago on their own. So in some cases,

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my friends and colleagues were flying back and forth to the East Coast.

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If parents were local, sometimes they were spending a

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tremendous amount of their weekends making sure that there was

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food in the house for the week, taking them to doctors appointments,

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taking time off work to do these things and in many cases,

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getting them moved into a safer environment.

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And so I've watched a lot of this going on with people in

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my life. And I sat down to have a glass of wine

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with a friend of mine who also doesn't have children. And I

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said, Sandy, who's going to do that for us?

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Big question. Big question. Yeah. And when we

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looked at each other and went, oh,

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I don't know, I got

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very curious. And I started doing some research to uncover what

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the incidence of I'd like to call it child

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free rather than childless. At least

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among the people I knew. Most of us were childless by choice.

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We had made a decision somewhere back in the 70s that

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we were going to pursue a career. We were going to go it on our

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own, we were going to make our own path.

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If you remember, baby boomers were the first ones to have the pill.

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They were the recipients of all of the noise

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that the era folks were making.

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I marched in some of those protests

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about unequal opportunities for women, and it changed.

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We made that change. So doors

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were opening not only to universities and colleges for

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women, but they were also opening to careers that women had never really

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been invited into before. So the

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world was our oyster, so to speak. We could control our reproductive

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processes however we wanted, and we could get out there and make

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a living for ourselves such that we didn't need to get married

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and we could buck the tide

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and not have children and just pursue a

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career that was meaningful and important to us.

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So that's what I and many of my colleagues did.

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But here we are in our sixty s and seventy s,

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looking ahead and going, this is the choice

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we made. And now we have to do some planning,

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some really serious planning about how we're going to be

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taken care of or how we will take care

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of ourselves, which we may or may not be able to do

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for the entire length of our life without

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the help of adult children. Right? So you must have done

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an incredible amount of research then to try

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to answer some of these tough questions.

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And I think even if we have children, it may be a situation

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where your children are not in a position to help and take care

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of. So let's start down the path

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about some of the things that you need to think about.

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Sure. Well, one of the ways that I

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approached this kind of answer to so what,

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what do we need to think about? Is to really look around me

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and observe what adult

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children were doing for their parents

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who were in their eighty s and ninety s. And so I

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came up with kind of several buckets of things.

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First of all, we certainly need to be very robust

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in our financial planning and our legal

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planning. So you mentioned early on

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something about have you done your advanced directive, have you

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written your will? All of those kinds of things.

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This is where people who have been negligent and

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not do that well. It kind of falls to their kids and their kids grumble

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and grouse. But usually when push comes to shove,

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adult children come in and do what's necessary when their parents

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run into a crisis. In our case,

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those of us who don't have kids, there is

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no safety net. So we really have to think long and

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hard about who we want to

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be our proxy, who we want making decisions for us if we

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are unable. At some point,

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things happen. People have strokes, people have heart

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attacks, people get into accidents, people fall, people break hips and

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all kinds of things and end up in rehabilitation

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units of nursing homes that they never,

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ever planned to be in. So the

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more we can get around our

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resistance to looking at that potential future and make

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some plans for it and understand what our options are

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going to be at that time, find people that will be proxies

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for us. That's the way that we need

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to plan as we get older. Yeah. And Sarah,

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you talk about that some in the book. These conversations are

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difficult at best. Right. So finding a proxy,

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somebody who is not a blood relative,

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just to build on this question. My other question is maybe they're our

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same age. They could be in trouble before

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us. Right. So maybe you need more than one. And how

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do you build that trust and build that conversation?

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Well, first of all, let me address a couple of things that you said.

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Just because we don't have adult children doesn't mean that we

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don't have blood relatives that might fill that gap.

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Okay, good point. Those of us that are close emotionally,

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hopefully and or physically to

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our brothers and sisters who do have children,

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those nieces and nephews to me are kind of the first line

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of defense. That's who you would go to first.

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But they need to know you. You need

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to have been close to them as they were growing

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up, ideally been in their life somehow,

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or at this point in your life, can find a way to help

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them because in a way, enlisting the aid of nieces

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and nephews. We need to kind of pay it forward.

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I'll give you a couple of examples out of my life. I have

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helped two of my nieces get through college.

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Their parents, my brother and his wife, did not do as

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well financially, and so I stepped in and helped

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at many junctures. Even though I didn't live very close, I tried to

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visit as often as I could. So my nieces will

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be involved, but the person I'm closest to

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and who I know will be the

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closest physically, geographically, to me, is actually a

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cousin who's 15 years younger than me.

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Okay, so those kinds of possibilities

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work. Now, there are even

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technical solo agers that I don't even think of as solo

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agers. One woman I know is the

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fifth of five sisters, and the sisters are all

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fairly close in age within a couple of years of each other.

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And when my friend got out of

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college, she went on to get further education. She became

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a scientist, she traveled all over the world, but she never got married

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and had kids. However, 20 years ago,

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when she came home to California to

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stop all the traveling and whatnot, she resumed her

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relationship with all of her she must have ten or twelve nieces and

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nephews from those other sisters. She's very close to them.

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So my guidance to her was just, Linda, talk to them,

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talk to them. And that's the key that most of us have to use,

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is we need to not only kind

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of pay it forward with those nieces and nephews and mentor where we can

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help them understand from a different perspective than their

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parents, maybe what they're going through. Because people

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go through things at every stage of life. And if you have nieces and

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nephews in their thirty s and forty s, they're still needing help.

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They're probably raising kids now or trying to build a career.

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So be in their life. Yeah. And I can tell you, as mom,

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they'd rather talk to their aunt than to their mom.

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They want my advice. Yeah, that's right.

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But these are difficult conversations. Sarah, do you have

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guidance or tools that you use to be able to start

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these conversations? You won't find a

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lot of that specific thing in my book. I do mention it,

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but there are some wonderful resources out there. Ellen Goodman,

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a journalist that has also written a lot

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of books, has headed up

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something that I think started about ten years ago called The Conversation Project.

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I've heard of that. Yes. So check that

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out. That's great guidance. There's an

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organization called Compassion and Choices.

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They have some good guidance. Remember,

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all of these things are leading up to the topic that nobody wants to

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discuss, which is death and one

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of my crusades is to get people to talk more

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about death. It's not like anybody's going to

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avoid it. We're all going to get there one of these days.

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And so how much better a

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life we could lead, how much more peaceful a life we

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could lead if we just understand that death is part of life and help people

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to talk about it. There's something that's been going

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around the world, actually for about the past twelve or 15 years

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called Death Cafe, where people get together and just

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talk about death, any aspect of death. But the

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more you can talk about it, the more you can incorporate

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it into your thinking about what this life is all about and

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what is some people are terming a good death.

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What is that? So talk to

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your proxies, your nieces, your nephews,

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your younger friends. By the way, I don't mean to say that you

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always have to choose a blood relative. Some people really have no blood relatives

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to choose from. And then my

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next suggestion is look to the organizations you belong to.

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And if you don't belong to any organizations, start thinking about joining

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some.

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Everything from book clubs to hiking

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clubs, running groups,

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organizations, service organizations, the people you volunteer

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with, the places of worship.

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Every place of worship I've ever seen, whether it's a synagogue,

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a mosque, a church, they all have

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groups that cater to people's special

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interests. They have new mothers groups, and they

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have singles groups, and they have bereavement

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groups. That their job is to help people through the stages

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of life. So if you

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belong to a religious organization, that's a great way

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to find people that share your interests

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that you might strike up new friendships with that are a little bit younger than

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you. A colleague of mine

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recently approached a woman that she's been

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somehow putting it off for years and years and years,

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talking to a friend that was 15 years younger than she,

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that they had been very close at one point. Then they worked together and

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they kind of lost touch. But she made a point of getting

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back together and finally got up the courage to say,

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can I put you on my advanced directive?

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I just really have nobody else in this area. And she

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was absolutely honored. Yeah, and most people

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will be they'll be honored that you would trust them like that.

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Yeah, that's a good point. It can be frightening, but you can be surprised

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at the response.

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I want to switch a little bit from talking about the death, although that

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is important, and we do need to be able to have those conversations to

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talking about the living. So one of the things that you spend a lot

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of time with in this book is where to live.

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So aging at home or retirement communities,

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active adult communities, villages, all these different options which

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we all have to consider. But what makes

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that a different consideration if you're a solo ager.

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It'S a matter of degree.

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I've had people say to me things like,

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well, I'm going into my 70s now. I live 10

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miles out in the woods. I've always liked it that way. I like

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my animals more than people.

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Why should I move into town?

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Why should I develop these friendships you're talking about? I don't

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even really like people.

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And they'll say, so what's a solution for me? And I have

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to look and I'm going to say, it's your choice.

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You can live however you want to live and know that

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you are actually, by default, making choices about what might

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happen in an emergency. So it

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is my belief that we are social creatures and I

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encourage living in community, whatever that

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means to you. And we can define community in so

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many different ways, but it doesn't necessarily

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mean moving into a senior living facility,

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continuing care. Senior living facilities

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are very expensive. They're kind of the creme

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de la creme. About 6% of the population can afford those

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elite living situations. But there's everything

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and anything beyond

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that. I'm a big fan of home

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sharing. I'm a big fan of cohousing.

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I'm a big fan of tiny home communities. I'm a really

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big fan. Now, you have to understand, I live in California where

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the weather is conducive to this, but all over the Southwest

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we have thousands of mobile home parks.

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And I'm a huge fan of mobile home parks for people that

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are downsizing and want to live in a

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one level unit where they have

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only to walk out their door to find somebody

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to talk to. Now, that's true, and that can be true in a condominium

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or an apartment building. Sometimes we

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have these sort of I call them default retirement

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communities of people that have just been living in the same complex for

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30, 40 years and they've gotten to know each other and they support one

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another, and that's good. But what I don't

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like to see, what I think is very dangerous is

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this whole concept of aging in place.

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If aging in place means to you that you're going to

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stay in your two or three story suburban home

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out on a cul de sac somewhere where there's no public transportation,

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you don't know your neighbors because they're at different stages of

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their life or whatever, and there you are.

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You've been in that house for 30, 40 years. Maybe if you

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have raised kids, maybe you've even raised kids in that house, and your

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kids maybe are saying, oh, don't sell the family home, mom. We love

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coming home for Thanksgiving. Well, you know,

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it's probably time to get rid of that family home. Are you

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going to be able to do those stairs safely

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when you're in your late seventy s? Eighty s. Ninety s.

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And yes, I included know people who

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have done that. However,

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most of the people that I see doing that successfully do

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have kids that come over and kind of fill

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in the blanks. They live close by so they help with transportation,

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they help with groceries, they help with

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the chores around the house. Because one

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of the biggest reasons that people do move into some kind of

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senior living environment is that they just don't

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have the energy and the strength to

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take care of that home anymore.

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Yeah. And the scary thing is you hear these stories about

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someone that has fallen in their home and they

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don't live with anybody and they're lying there for days

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before somebody happens to come in and check on them.

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The repercussions of doing that, the downside

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of staying like that is they're pretty dire,

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I think. But again,

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it's a matter of figuring out what kind of community

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you would be happy in. And a community can be too,

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however, not your spouse.

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I'd like to also encourage people who are married to get

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out beyond your spouse and find relationships.

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Find friendships, join a book club, join a

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walking group, join a golf group, do something

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that gets you communicating

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and hanging out with people other than your spouse. That's why

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I include married people in my definition of solo

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ager. Which by the way, has expanded tremendously.

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I really used to think of solo agers as just people who

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didn't have kids, period. But I had so many people come up to

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me and say, well I'm a solo ager, I have kids but they live 6000

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miles away. Or I have kids but we're estranged. Or they kind of

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failed to launch or in any kinds of any

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kind of situation. Right. And you never know

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what can happen. Even if you're married, you could still end up

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being a solo agent. And the thing about it is,

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especially if you don't have kids unless you get hit by the same

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bus on the same day, you and your spouse

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both need to plan to be solo agers because one of you is going to

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be a true solo age or someday.

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So you list a bunch of categories.

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I think there are six that you say are super important

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to be thinking about as you're aging and in

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our seventy s. Eighty s. But what would you say are like the top two

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or three that we all need to focus on and

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really start spending time thinking about?

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Yeah, I liken it to that old

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three legged stool. It seems like everybody has a three legged stool for something.

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And my three legged stool is legal,

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financial and social.

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Okay? We all need to have our legal act together.

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You need to get that will done, get the

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advanced directives, choose your proxies,

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get those signed, talk to the people that you're

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naming as proxies, do all of that.

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Set up a trust if your attorney thinks

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you need to. The second is financial.

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Make sure that you can maintain the lifestyle

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that you are enjoying now until you're

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100 or however long you think you'll live. I know a

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lot of financial planners now are running their

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spreadsheets for people out to 103 because it's not unusual for

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people to live to 100 anymore. So take

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a look at how you're living right now and get

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the help of a financial planner. Even if you just pay for an hour or

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two of his or her time, say, am I going to be able to sustain

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this with the income I have? Whatever that income is

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from however long you're going to work, factor some

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of those things in, because even if you're still happily

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working now, the day may come and

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like many people, you're saying, I'm just going to work till I drop.

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Well, drop can be defined in a lot of different ways.

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Yeah, true. Everybody thinks that they're going to

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just have a fatal heart attack one day at their desk or out on

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the golf course. But that's not how most people spend their

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eighty s and ninety s.

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That's a scary question. Too, though, because if you don't

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have a big source of income and you're in your 70s,

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then you have some other really important decisions, like downsizing.

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Downsizing. Living here

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in the outskirts of the Bay Area of California,

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I often say to people not tongue

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in cheek, there is life outside of California,

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and life is a lot less expensive outside of

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California. Now, lots of younger people

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are very much discovering that we've had a huge exodus of

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people to Texas and Oklahoma and Arkansas

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and places that our generation would just never have

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considered. But young people are going, they're going for the jobs, they're going

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for the to be able to afford their lifestyle.

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So think about where you're living. I even encourage some people,

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especially people who

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are looking at really low income

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levels and saying, I just can't afford to get old. What am I going to

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do? And of course, if you've seen nomad land,

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you know what can happen. And you

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want to join the brigade of people who live out of their RVs

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and vans and whatnot. Think about living outside

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the confines of the US. There are lovely places

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to retire. There's a great organization called International

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Living, which their whole business. They have a magazine,

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they have a big online presence.

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They have people that live in all kinds of countries all over the world that

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write about and talk about what it's like to retire there and what it cost

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to retire there. So if that's something that really

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pushes a button for you, check out International.

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Living and they talk about the health. Care options

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out there, but they cover it all.

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They choose the ten best countries to retire to or

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ten best locations to retire to. Every year,

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I always write an article for my I write a regular

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column for Forbes.com, and I always

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cover that every year. What are the top ten this year?

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And you'd be surprised. And they cover everything

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from what's the health care like? How welcoming is it

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for expats?

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Can you get a work visa if you want to work down there?

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What is the health care situation like?

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You name it, they have researched it.

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So that could be an interesting option. It's an option.

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And then finally the social. What a

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lot of people let slide as they get older is they they

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lose their their friendships. They lose their relationships with people.

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And and I think we after we're out of the workplace,

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we have to work a little harder, a little differently to

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make sure that we do continue to be social, that we

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have people in our lives, whether they come from our

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volunteer work or some civic organization or

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maybe from our place of worship,

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our neighborhood. It can be anywhere. But be careful

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of not cocooning too far. We've all

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had a taste of cocooning this last year in the pandemic.

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Fortunately most boomers now have

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had vaccine so at least that's pretty

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true in California and other states where friends of

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ours live. And we're getting out and resuming those

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relationships which I think is really important.

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Yeah, I think it's really important too. And I

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think we have had that cocooning thing but

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I think there are limitations.

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Like if you're not really mobile,

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if you don't drive after dark,

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just reaching out and making new friends.

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Those are all great reasons for getting out of that suburban

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home and into some

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kind of community where you'll be near people,

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some of whom do drive. I know a

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lot of the mobile home parks.

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They have community rooms and they use those community

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rooms for potlucks and they usually have a swimming pool and people gather around

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there. It's like a club.

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Anytime you have a club like atmosphere you're going

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to form relationships if you get out there and

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at least have the intent of doing so. So here's where it gets

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tricky though, right? So we have this mindset. We've been working,

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we've been living in this nice house. We have this nice yard and flowers and

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all this little stuff and then to think about

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giving all that up and it's

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my bias, I know that. But to think about moving

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into a mobile home park I'm like oh what a step down.

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That would feel bad. But maybe somehow

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coach me on how would I shift that mindset. You know

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what the biggest thing I tell people? And you know what?

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It might not be a mobile home park. It might be a really lovely condominium

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complex somewhere closer to a downtown center.

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I have a number of colleagues who have kind of decamped

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out of the suburbs into a more urban environment where there's

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transportation and again where there are people right next door.

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Go visit some of these places. Just go

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walk around. If it's

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somewhere that you have to get special permission to enter, especially now with

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COVID Get that permission. I tell people to

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do that. With regard to senior living communities too,

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go look at what an active adult community

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looks like. Active adult communities are the old

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del web of the kind

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of revamped for a more

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modern day. Some of the latest ones that I get a kick

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out of were built in Florida on Jimmy

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Buffett's model.

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It's for parrot heads. It's for people that are Jimmy Buffett fans

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called Latitude Margaritaville. Those are active

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adult communities. You have to be 55 to move in

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there, and boy, people can't move into them fast enough.

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That's great. So there are those kind of communities

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all over the country, predominantly in the Southwest,

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but you'll find those kinds of communities that look more

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like a condominium structure than a cluster of a

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couple of thousand homes around a lake or something. But they're

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just urban home. They'll have to pull you out of their feet first. I've had

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that enough times. And Daras

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mentions tiny homes. You also mentioned cohousing. What is

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that? Cohousing is a grassroots

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effort by usually one

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person or a small group of people who want

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to develop what usually looks like

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a condominium set up, where they and their friends

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and people that they that also are interested and

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that they invite in live together. It's not a commune.

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Everybody has their own unit, like their own condominium unit,

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but it's

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for people who want to build community. So they always eat

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at least two or three meals together every week.

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They have meetings about what

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they need to do in the community. They take care of the community.

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They usually have elaborate gardens,

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and it's driven by the residents,

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the people who live there, the homeowners. And it's a homeowner

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homeownership model, generally not a rental

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model, although I know some cohousing communities

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have a couple of units that are rented out.

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But it comes under the umbrella of

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intentional community. The old intentional communities

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used to be mostly religious or guided

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by some lifestyle choice. Now many

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of them are just simply cohousing. There are several architects in

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the country that do nothing but build cohousing developments.

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Easy. To find more information online, go to cohousing.org

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or cohousing.com.

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You'll find just everything you ever want to know.

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You'll see a map of where they all are in the country. There's several hundred

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of them and what stage of development they're in.

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To me, it's a wonderful concept now, by the way.

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They are multigenerational, most of them. There are some that are being

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built to be elder cohousing, but the vast

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majority of cohousing communities are multigenerational.

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People raise kids there. Nice.

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So we are getting close to time, Sarah, and there's so much

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to still talk about. So could you give us like two or three

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what you would say are the most important things people should do

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today, right now, to start planning for Aging

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and Solo Aging. Well, I would think about that three legged

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stool. How far

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along are you in your planning? Have you done your

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legal planning, your estate planning?

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Set up a dance directive? Set up powers of attorney?

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Written a will? If you're thinking, oh, I don't want to do

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that. Those attorneys are so expensive.

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You can find legal advice in

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a less expensive way. One way of doing that is

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going through your county office

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on aging. They usually have attorneys, not on staff, but attorneys

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that they know work at a lesser rate for

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people that really can't afford their services any other way.

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So there's that, and there's seeing

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a financial planner, getting that person to run that spreadsheet for

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you to see how you're going to do financially for the rest of your life

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and then assessing your

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social situation.

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Do I have a handful, at least of friends, people I can

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call? You have two or three people you

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could call at 02:00 a.m. In the morning if you somehow needed them.

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Yeah. Hopefully my sister will answer

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the phone if I call her. I hope so.

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I know I wanted to share how people can get in

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touch with you. Sarah has a website.

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Sarahzepgeber.com and you also have

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other things that you are involved

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with. I've seen you post on some of them. So if people are

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interested in some of those, will they find the links on your website?

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Yes, you'll certainly find links for how to buy the book.

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You can also find me and a lot of contact information

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and a lot of videos

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of me speaking. I do a lot of speaking engagements. So if

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you have an organization that you think could you

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find this information useful, call on me to do that. Look me up on

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LinkedIn. That's a really good source of information on me and on what

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I do. So I think both the website and LinkedIn are

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the two best places. Okay. I highly recommend your

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book. It's one

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thing to get it, it's another thing to really do some of the

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things that Sarah recommends. And like you said, visit those

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places. That's my hardest one. I've got to do

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that. All right. So I wanted to

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also remind people that hey Boomer is

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supported by you and occasionally

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by sponsors, but mostly by you and your participation

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in events and also by your support

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by buying me a cup of coffee. So this is a

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website where you can go, you can contribute anywhere from ten dollars to seventy

Speaker:

five dollars. And it just helps keep Hay Boomer going.

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So please go in and buymeacoffee.com

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at Hayboomer four one three.

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And now I would like to tell you all about our guests

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for next week. And I say guests because we're actually having two.

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It's Eva Houseman and Kim

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Athen, and they are a mother daughter duo

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who started something called the Mother's Day Movement.

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They read a book called Half the sky by

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Nicholas Christophe and Cheryl Wudon.

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You're shaking your head. You've read it? I haven't read it. I've heard about

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it, though. Good things about it. It is a powerful book about

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the oppression and exploitation of women around the world.

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Not comfortable to read at all,

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but opened your eyes, and as they read it,

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they thought we spend so much money,

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billions every year on cards and flowers and

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chocolates for our mothers. That what if

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we took some of that money to help these women?

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Not just around the world, but the charity they're working with?

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This year is in our country, in Navajo Nation. Who doesn't have

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any clean running water? So it's going to be a fascinating

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conversation. They are very passionate

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about what they're doing and how they're doing it.

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So join us for that. And I always

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like to end with a quote from C. S.

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Lewis where he says, you are never too old to

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set another goal or dream a new dream.

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Thank you, Sarah, for joining us today. This has really been informative

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and important conversation. Thank you so much for having me,

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Wendy. My pleasure. And thank you all for

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joining us. You are the reason that hey Boomer

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is here. I love you. I hope to see you all next