Living to 100

Faster walkers live longer. University of Pittsburgh researchers crunched numbers from nine different studies including almost 35,000 subjects ages 65 or older. The result: For each gait speed increase of 0.1 meters per second came a corresponding 12 percent decrease in the risk of death.

The average speed was 3 feet per second (about two miles an hour). Those who walked slower than 2 feet per second (1.36 miles per hour) had an increased risk of dying. Those who walked faster than 3.3 feet per second (2.25 miles per hour) or faster survived longer than would be predicted simply by age or gender.

A 2006 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that among adults ages 70 to 79, those who couldn’t walk a quarter-mile were less likely to be alive six years later. They were also more likely to suffer illness and disability before death. An earlier study of men ages 71 to 93 found that those who could walk two miles a day had half the risk of heart attack of those who could walk only a quarter-mile or less.

Frugality

To live to 100 is a long shot but it might happen.

Here are some tips regarding poor spending habits:

1. Buying new instead of checking out thrift stores, yard sales, eBay .

2. Quickly accepting initial offers.

3. Always buying brand names.

4. Living in a bigger home than you need.

5. Paying interest on credit cards.

6. Eating out too much.

7. Not Trading your time for money.

8. Paying too much for insurance.

9. Not fixing your own stuff.

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Cheap Family Fun Ideas

  • Go for a bike ride.
  • Hike through nature.
  • Go on a picnic and fly kites.
  • Run through the sprinklers – grownups included!
  • Have a family garage sale and make a little money.
  • Plant flower seeds.
  • Go camping in your backyard.
  • Go to a public library. Check out a book on constellations and go star-gazing.
  • Go window-shopping, but leave your wallet at home.
  • Go to a thrift store, play dress up, and take photos.
  • Make a family album or book, including stories written by each member.
  • Keep on the lookout for free museums and festivals.
  • Tour a factory. Visit http://factorytoursusa.com/ for ideas.
  • Build a snowman.
  • Feed bread to the ducks at a local pond.
  • Put together a puzzle.
  • Wash the car and be sure to get in a water fight.
  • Throw a ball around.
  • Have a fashion show using unlikely objects from around the house.
  • Go bird watching.
  • Go somewhere with free live music – farmers markets are great places for this.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt.
  • Write and perform a play.
  • Sing karaoke.

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A couple takes the bull by the horns, reduces their retirement expenses and prepare for anything!

Oasis in the Desert on the Cheap

Andre and Beth, a recently retired couple, ultimately decided to retrofit their current home outside Phoenix, Arizona. Trying the RV lifestyle while both still worked full-time turned out to be a blessing. They discovered they really didn’t like the RV lifestyle after all. Their two-year practice run prior to retirement revealed what retirees all too often discover: creating the life they want for themselves is not as straightforward as one would think. Getting from here to there and being content may involve some trial and error.

Finding another couple to take over their RV lease and eliminating their RV-related costs was a load off their shoulders financially. Ironically, their home was paid off but the RV was not. Consequently, being on the road was much more expensive compared to being at home.

One day Andre was looking at his water bill and his manicured yard of just under an acre. Over the years he and Beth had collected lots of toys, including several ATVs and a large expensive speedboat. They decided to sell these items and their oldest gas guzzler and use the money to drill a well and tear down some walls. They created an indoor greenhouse, which is a great reading room in the early morning and allows Beth to grow vegetables all year-long. Andre also built a recreation room complete with pool table, bar, and pinball machines.

They tore out their expansive lawn in favor of a large organic garden, a root cellar, a small pond, a wading pool for the grandkids, a putting green, fruit and nut trees, and a chicken coop. Andre now uses his riding mower to mow many of the neighbors’ yards, which brings in a little extra money every month.

They both got electric bikes that reduce much of their driving, and traded in their luxury automobile for one that gets 40-50 miles to the gallon. After watching a video, they learned how to make solar panels themselves for $200.00 each. Andre’s goal is to eventually sell extra energy he produces back to his current energy provider.

Beth and Andre enjoy weekly visits from several of their children’s friends who perform the lion’s share of the gardening work in return for food, lunch, and the learning experience. This couple is focused on freeze drying, canning fruits and vegetables, and making their home more energy-efficient. They’ve begun selling some of their crops at the farmers market on weekends. Beth is looking into growing tropical plants and kiwi as a cash crop.

In order to satisfy any lingering camping itch and ensure they have a place to go in the unlikely event they ever need to evacuate their home for any reason, they rented a storage locker. This locker is located less than a half of a tank of gas away from their home and 10 to 30 minutes away from several campgrounds; some with all the amenities and others that are just free open sites, all situated along a river. In their storage locker they have everything they need to spend several weeks camping comfortably, even in winter.

They decided on the storage locker approach because they wanted to be able to grab their important documents and go at a moment’s notice in their fuel-efficient vehicle. It also freed up much-needed space at home for their many new projects. Every four to six months they swap out the gasoline they have stored in their locker to ensure they always have enough gas to cover several trips back and forth to their home. They keep their gas tank near half full most of the time and feel confident that they are prepared for most anything.

Beth is taking classes on sustainable living, cooking, and Pilates. Andre is working on his golf game, learning to play racquetball, and wants to make rustic furniture to sell someday. Both enjoy reading and playing cards with friends.

They’ve always liked where they live; they wanted to be close to family, and have cost-containment options for their long-term food and energy needs. They actually feel fortunate to be saving so much money every month. They are busy generating new long-term income streams just in case something happens to their social security checks. They have eliminated much of their overhead and discovered how they can keep their living costs in check. They’ve even started looking into inexpensive junkets to Vegas and timeshare presentations in California and Hawaii providing accommodations for cheap getaways. They are committed as couple not to buy a timeshare under any circumstances.

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About Roger O'Keefe

My background is in education and finance. I'm a published author and photographer, former radio talk show host, and creative retirement planning expert. My work is a love of labor, I do not sell any products of any kind. I've appeared as a guest on more than 50 national and local television and radio shows. With a Masters in education, I'm a licensed educator and author of the “Future Bright Program” and the California State Department of Education “Teacher Appreciation Program.” I'm a member of the American Association of Retired Persons and the National Care Planning Council NCPC. I'm currently writing my second book and reside in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. My mission is to reshape retirement planning one person at a time. Please visit my website www.creativeretirementplanning.net and take advantage of the many complimentary online seminars, resources, and retirement planning tools.
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