Blog Archives

The dreaded RMDs; doctors for us

If you are lucky enough to have retirement savings in an IRA, a 401(k) or 403(b) (these are the same kind of thing, the latter being the one you’d have if you worked for nonprofits) and you’ve turned 72 this year, you must take a distribution from your savings, i.e., money, before the end of the year. The amount is calculated according to how much is in your account(s).

Here is a general guide to this process but most of us will need expert advice on how to do it safely (to avoid penalties) and sensibly (to maximize the benefit to you).

In completely unrelated news, we happened to see on Twitter today that this week is when doctors finishing their residencies learn whether the fellowships (extra training in a subspecialty, like hematology-oncology for example, which is a subspecialty of internal medicine) they’ve applied for have accepted them. Some fellowship programs fill: cardiology matched 100% of its places with applicants.

The one at the very bottom of the list? That only matched 33% of its places?

Geriatrics, my friends. Geriatrics. With an ever-increasing share of our US population being people > 65, there aren’t now, and are not going to be, enough docs with expertise in the health problems of aging folks to go around. We’d better hope that nurse practitioners can pick up the slack.

Let’s smash ageism!

Everybody forgets things from time to time. It’s true your recall may not be as good as it once was. But as this writer tells us, that’s a normal part of aging, and it’s different to the cognitive impairment that can herald the onset of dementia.

Ageism may be the one remaining socially acceptable bias. We know that language makes a difference, so stop calling your lapses of memory ‘senior moments’. Stay involved, stay connected, help a neighbor or friend, get outside and move for a half-hour most days, and nourish your body and soul.

Take a moment to reflect on how you can make a difference in this world. And happy Thanksgiving, however/if you celebrate it!

A perspective on aging with a disability

Continuing the use of this blog as a sub for not-yet-imploded Twitter (and hoping perhaps to reach more readers), we found this perspective from a senior with schizophrenia worthy of sharing. For some of us, including your editor here, it’s one or more physical ailments that threaten our feeling of well-being, and to our mind the writer’s observations apply equally well. Please enjoy this brief read, and leave us a comment if you’re so moved.

Pick up the pace!

Evidence continues to mount that staying active is protective during aging. Here’s a report on a study of 72 people between the ages of 60 and 80 observed for a year. They were randomly assigned to a program of aerobic exercise or stretching and toning activities. At year’s end, the brains of the aerobic exercisers had better blood flow than did those of the stretchers and toners. This is not a ‘hard’ outcome but suggests the exercisers would also have better brain FUNCTION, which is the important thing.

Maybe your thing is swimming, or biking, or you need a stick or two to help with balance and movement. That’s ok. Mix it up a bit. See if your Medicare plan gives you gym access. March in place in front of your TV. Whatever works for you. Moving > not moving!

Ageism: it’s real, and it’s bad for you!

Because Twitter is in the midst of imploding and we haven’t reverted back to Facebook communication, we’re now using the blog to bring important issues to your attention. This is one that affects ALL of us. Enjoy the relatively short read. – Ed.