Burglaries in the 90s Compared to the 00s

August 5th, 2012  |  Published in General  |  1 Comment

Burglary is a crime which is always likely to be a part of life, whether you live in one of the big urban centres or in a rural location, making it equally likely that people will always need the financial security provided by home insurance cover. Home insurance policies from companies like, whether they are for home and contents or for just one of these areas, are what guarantee that we will not be left out of pocket should we suffer the loss of valuable items, or damage to our property, as a result of a burglary. However, although we will never stop burglaries entirely, has the rate for this crime risen or fallen since the 1990s?

Most people asked this question would probably answer that the rate of burglaries in the UK has risen since then, as we are regularly informed that Britain is becoming a more dangerous, crime-ridden place to live. However the actual evidence for the majority of the period between the 90s and the 00s demonstrates that the levels of burglary have been falling – indeed the burglary rates for 2010 were the lowest they have been for thirty years. This does not fit the picture of Britain portrayed in much of the mainstream media throughout the same period – suggesting that a certain amount of scaremongering has been taking place. While it is highly advisable for anyone to have a home insurance policy, for their home, contents, or both – there does not seem to be much evidence that people should be gripped by a continuous terror of crime.

It should be noted however that the burglary rate rose in the UK – by 14 percent – last year; the first such rise in a long time. In part this can perhaps be attributed to the effects of the recession, which is leaving many parts of the UK very short of money. If this is a significant factor in the rise, it may be the beginning of a reversal in the trend of falling burglary rates, because the country is likely to be in recession for some time. If nothing else this again emphasises that no-one with either a property or possessions that they value can afford to do without home insurance.

Seniors Participate in University’s Healthy Aging Study

June 28th, 2012  |  Published in General  |  2 Comments

Residents of La Costa Glen, a continuing care retirement community in Carlsbad, Calif., are participating in a UC San Diego School of Medicine study to test how walking and staying physically active can help older adults age successfully.

Known as the “MIPARC – Multilevel Intervention for Physical Activity in Retirement Communities” study, the School of Medicine program is being funded by the National Institutes of Health with a $2 million grant. Five years of research went into the development of the study which measures the benefits of physical activity for older adults. The study was developed by Jacqueline Kerr, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, and is being implemented at La Costa Glen by department health educator Khalisa Bolling and program coordinator Katie Crist.

The UC San Diego study uses a “peer leader” system at La Costa Glen in which seven specially-trained residents serve as on-site peer leaders for the other residents participating in the program. According to Joy Wiker, one of the peer leaders, more than 80 residents participate in weekly group educational sessions, walk in events led by the resident leaders and record their steps using pedometers provided by the program. The UC San Diego researchers visit the participants at La Costa Glen two to three times a month to assess the participants’ progress and answer any questions about the program. Every three months the researchers measure the participants’ progress and other health outcomes.

“The UC San Diego staff helped us define our personal walking goals and then worked with us to design our walks and activities to reach those goals,” Wiker said. “We will be participating in the program for about one year, during which they will measure physical functioning, cognitive functioning, blood pressure, and emotional and social well-being. The goal is to learn to what extent walking contributes to improving the physical and mental health of older adults.”

According to Katie Crist, MIPARC project coordinator, the program focuses on increasing the participants’ individual walking levels.

“Physical activity has numerous positive effects on seniors,” Crist said. “It can reduce the risk of heart attack, diabetes and other diseases, improve mental health, reduce the risk of falling, maintain healthy blood pressure, and enhance cognitive functioning.

“Unfortunately, less than three percent of older adults meet activity guidelines, which recommend 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week,” Crist said. “This test group at La Costa Glen has been incredible. Some people are in their eighties and nineties and are walking 10 to 12 miles a day. The changes in their physical stamina and balance have been very inspiring to watch.”

The La Costa Glen arm of the study will conclude in February 2013. The results of UC San Diego’s overall study – which will eventually encompass 16 senior communities – should be available by April 2014.


Free Ebooks for Seniors

June 25th, 2012  |  Published in General  |  Comments Off on Free Ebooks for Seniors

There is a new program offering free ebooks for seniors. Once a month FREE ebooks will be donated to seniors through There are no gimmicks, fees, or hidden costs. We promise. And participating is simple. Just go to and sign up for the newsletter which simply highlights the upcoming books. Once you’re on the newsletter list, you’ll receive the ebooks for free.

And it gets better than that. You may not be limited just one book. For every book you claim, you may be sent another. Plus, there will be giveaways of $25 Amazon gift cards and a Kindle. Every book claimed within the first hour of the giveaway earns 5 chances to win a $25 gift card, plus 5 chances to win the grand prize of a Kindle. (Example: Claim five books and you get 25 chances to win a gift card and 25 chances to win the KINDLE.)

Don’t have a Kindle? No worries. There is a free Kindle app for just about any electronic device.
Their next Free Give Away will be quickly approaching in July, so sign up for the NOVEL SENIORS newsletter.

You can also always get free ebooks by visiting the Kindle Top 100 Free or a site like Hundred Zeros. There are lots of free ebooks for the Kindle out there.

‘Chronologically Endowed’ Learn the Lighter Side of Aging

June 9th, 2012  |  Published in General  |  Comments Off on ‘Chronologically Endowed’ Learn the Lighter Side of Aging

“There’s only one way to live a long life, and that is to age. And there’s only one way to age – with a smile. If you can laugh at yourself, you’ll never cease to be amused. After all, you’re only old once.”

So began a special presentation at Morningside of Fullerton, a continuing care retirement community in Fullerton, Calif., on the importance of humor as we grow older by best-selling author and humorist Dr. Richard Lederer. Lederer spoke recently to more than 150 residents and guests at the community.

During his “Laugh for Your Life – The Gift of Age” presentation, Lederer shared tips on how to accept the aging process and even how to laugh at it. Author of more than 40 books about humor, language and history, Lederer contributes to numerous newspapers and has appeared in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest , People, “Larry King Show,” “The Osgood Files,” Today Show” and “CNN Primetime.”

Lederer’s presentation was based on his newest book “The Gift of Age” which includes such topics as “Why It’s Great to be Chronologically Endowed,” “Distinguished But Not Extinguished,” “Grandkids Say the Darnedest Things” and “Jest for the Health of It.” The presentation also included a sprinkling of facts such as one out of eight people currently living in the United States is 65 or older and that Americans grow happier as they age. Most people are happiest in their sixties on through their eighties, Lederer said.

“Studies show that being with your peers and having that human interaction on a daily basis contribute substantially to your overall sense of well-being,” Lederer said. “When you live in a community with people your own age, you have shared experiences. You enjoy the same music, movies, activities and other aspects of a healthy social life. Plus, you’re all going through the aging process together and it really helps if you can laugh about it with others who can relate.”

According to Bob Niemann, a resident of Morningside, who attended the presentation with his wife, Doris, the presentation was uplifting and entertaining.

“Richard’s use of puns and trivia to illustrate the lighter side of getting older was something I hadn’t heard before,” Bob Niemann said. “As an expert on the English language, he was able to string words and phrases together in a totally new way that made light of the aging process, yet was inspiring as well. You really had to pay attention to grasp everything he had to say.”

Lederer shared numerous words of wisdom and witticisms on how to look at life with a twinkle in your eye, including “It’s better to be over the hill than under the hill,” “It’s not til you’re going downhill that you really pick up speed” and “Keep your regrets to a minimum and your joyful memories to a maximum.”

Good advice for anyone at any age.

My Retirement Blog $5 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

May 3rd, 2012  |  Published in General  |  12 Comments

To thank those of you who are reading and commenting on this blog I am giving away a $5 Amazon e-gift card. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below. One entry per person please. I will draw the winner at random on Thursday May 10.

My Retirement Blog was included in the Carnival of Retirement this week at Young Cheap Living.

I’m also having a $5 Amazon gift card giveaway at Investorz Blog. You can enter both giveaways.

Cheaper Flights – The Spirited Way

March 23rd, 2012  |  Published in General  |  3 Comments

Many people like to travel during retirement but the cost can be prohibitive. There are many ideas out there in the ethernet on how to save on plane tickets, including:

*Buy them ahead of time. At least six weeks early, if you can do it.

*Use discount sites like Kayak, CheapoAir and Cheap Tickets. (Add .com to each of these to access their site.)

*Deal directly with the airline. Some, like Southwest and Air Tran, don’t list their fares on discount sites. Others feature website specials. Look before you book.

*Use an airline that gives you more for your ticket. Want to check bags for free? Southwest is the spot to do it. Looking for a heftier snack? Frontier’s been more generous than others — and offers fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies on some flights. (Their coffee’s not bad, either.)

But if you’re looking for the best rock-bottom price on plane tickets, consider a Spirited approach.

Spirit Airlines began in 1980 as a charter airline to vacation spots — and half its destinations are still to places like the Bahamas, the Caribbean and Latin American countries like Mexico. But it also flies to Denver (starting May 3), Los Angeles, Montreal, Portland, New York City…and at stunningly low prices. An April ticket from Boston to Chicago, for example, will set you back about $50 each way. It’s about the same price for Detroit to New York City — or Las Vegas. There’s no doubt about it; flying this airline will save you money.

There are drawbacks, of course, and the primary one is extra fees. (Spirit calls them “optional.”) Not only does Spirit charge for checked bags (a common approach now, sadly) — but it also charges for carryons. (It does allow one ‘personal item:’ carry a large tote bag and pack it full to minimize the sting.) The ‘overweight’ fees start at 41 pounds, instead of 50, like many other airlines.

Spirit charges to book your flight online. (Go to an airport counter to do it for free.) It charges if you choose your own seat. It hits you for a $125-150 in ticket changes or cancellations. (Ouch.)

And it charges for drinks and goodies. (Buy them on the concourse before you board. Snacks, too.)

That being said, Spirit offers an even more tempting way to save: the $9 Fare Club. Members of this program ($59.95 fee yearly) not only get price breaks on bags and carryons, but also on flights. To top that off, Spirit also offers $9 one-way fares a few days a month. Think of it — Peru (or your grandma’s) for $9! And yes, you can also book these ahead of time.

If you’re planning more than a few flights this year, or have to make a last-minute reservation because of a funeral, wedding or family event, the $9 Fare Club could save you big bucks. In any case, Spirit Airlines is a worthy addition to your suitcase of low-cost travel tips.

This is a post by staff writer Cindy Brick. You can visit her at or her personal blog.

Carnival Roundup – 3-4-12

March 4th, 2012  |  Published in General  |  Comments Off on Carnival Roundup – 3-4-12

My Retirement Blog recently participated in the following carnivals.

Yakezie Carnival at Not Made of Money
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money
Festival of Frugality at Debt Free by Thirty
Canadian Finance Carnival at Canadian Finance Blog
Carnival of Financial Planning at Skilled Investor
Carnival of Retirement at Money Reasons
Financial Carnival for Young Adults at 20’s Finances

Carnival Roundup – Feb 26,2012

February 26th, 2012  |  Published in General  |  Comments Off on Carnival Roundup – Feb 26,2012

My Retirement Blog was included in the following carnivals in the past week. Thanks to all for including my post.

Yakezie Carnival at Financial Success for Young Adults
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at Thirty Six Months
Totally Money at Control Your Cash
Festival of Frugality at Penniless Parenting
Canadian Finance Carnival at Canadian Finance Blog
Carnival of Financial Planning at Aaron Hung
Carnival of Retirement at My Personal Finance Journey

Retirement Links Roundup – President’s Day Edition

February 19th, 2012  |  Published in General  |  1 Comment

I was privileged to host the Carnival of Retirement this week. I also participated in the following carnivals.

Yakezie Carnival at 101 Centavos
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money
Totally Money at Faith Money Values
Carnival of Financial Planning at 20’s Finances
Carnival of Retirement at My Retirement Blog