Retiring Off the Grid

Thinking About Retiring Off the Grid?

Sometimes city life can get a little claustrophobic. Whether you’re dealing with nosy neighbors, obstructed views, or a strict HOA, the desire for more elbow room and the freedom to roam has many empty nesters and retirees retreating to where the grass is greener – off the grid. To most people, the idea of living off the grid means hunkering down in the middle of nowhere with nothing more than a crackling campfire, but in reality, many have found it a surprisingly sustainable way to live. If you’re someone with a spirit of ingenuity, with the desire to break free from the constraints of city municipalities, this lifestyle could be the retirement you’ve always dreamed of.

What is life beyond city limits? Think of saying goodbye to your monthly utility bills, and learning to rely on alternate sources of power, water, and heat. If you’ve imagined building a home without hassling building codes, and you love wide open spaces, this could be your perfect match. As freeing as the concept of skipping town can be, becoming your own contractor requires some thorough research and careful planning. Is your nest egg prepared for the startup costs needed to get your home up, and running? It won’t be as easy to call a handyman for maintenance, and repairs, so get ready to make friends with elbow grease, and DIY. Unless you have a corner market nearby, shops and services will typically be further than what you’re used to, so budgeting for regular stock-up trips will be important.

Feeling Puzzled May Boost Your Brain Power

If you though the therapeutic effect of crossword, and jigsaw puzzles was all in your head, you’re absolutely right. Carefully strategizing the answer to 35 across or lining up your edge pieces is like calisthenics for your brain, and something you should be doing more often. Working on a puzzle reduces stress in a way that hours spent watching mindless television can’t do, and according to researchers may also improve your long term cognitive health. Need a lift? Instead of looking for the remote, give your brain a good workout instead.

The Happiness Effect

The feeling you get when you’ve found that missing piece is the mood enhancing chemical dopamine. It makes you feel accomplished, and good about yourself, so if you’ve just completed a 1,000 piece masterpiece, your brain is likely running on all of its feel good cylinders. If you’re looking to spice up your social life, puzzles make for a fun group activity to do with family, and friends, so why not reschedule your next poker game, and brainstorm over a puzzle instead?

senior couple at ski resort

Winter Sports To Challenge Your Inner Olympian

All eyes are on the 2018 winter games, and as we watch global talent compete for the medal, it’s inspiring many of us to get out on the snow, and ice, to try it out ourselves. While quadruple toe loops, and freestyle ski acrobatics are probably best left to the pros, there are still plenty of high intensity winter sports that older adults can get in on. Boomers love a fitness challenge, and it’s not surprising that gyms, and ski resorts are finding the majority of their clientele to be 55 or better, so if you’re needing a reprieve from your stationary bike routine, these Olympic inspired activities will have you going for the gold.

Skiing
Boomers are still hitting the slopes with the same vitality as did decades before, and they’re not losing momentum. Driving through fresh powder is exhilarating and challenging even for the seasoned ski enthusiast, but if you’re thinking of trying it out, it’s never too late to start. Programs like Bumps For Boomers in Aspen Colorado are designed by fellow boomers to offer ski instruction, and physical conditioning for older adults either new to the sport, or wanting to get back into shape, and improve their stamina. As an added incentive, Seniorsskiing.com lists more than 100 ski resorts that offer free, or heavily discounted ski passes to 50+ folks ready to push their edge.

Discover California’s Farm-to-Table Capital

California’s capital is fast-paced and progressive, but no matter how much “city” goes into it, nothing can take away from its deep agricultural roots. For the baby boomer or retiree who can’t decide between going urban or spending the weekend whitewater rafting, Sacramento, otherwise known as The River City, is a harmonious blend of modern meets country. What started out as the birthplace of the 1848 Gold Rush has turned into a thriving epicenter for education, business development, and a farm-to-table way of life.

Sacramento has been dubbed the Farm-to-Fork capital and the diversified city that sits where the American meets the Sacramento River. Home to the grand State Capitol Building, and historic attractions including Old Sacramento, and Gold Country, this isn’t a city to just drive through, it’s one to be explored. Named one of the best cities to live by Sunset Magazine, and Niche.com, Sacramento boasts nearly 300 days of sun, infinite amenities, and a growing 55+ demographic attracted to the city’s affordable active adult housing market, and age-friendly lifestyle.

Minneapolis. image of Minneapolis downtown at twilight

This Dynamic Duo Rated #1 For Healthy Living

The new year has just about everyone looking to give their lifestyle a healthy facelift from 30-day diets to starting a workout regimen. Depending on where you live, some cities seem to naturally cater to the wellness world giving health enthusiasts access to plenty of bike trails, fitness studios, and healthy food options. Places like L.A and South Beach may be synonymous for their beach bodies, and juice bars, but for one metro area, the pursuit of wellness made it the nation’s healthiest destination according to the American Fitness Index. Welcome to the heart pumping, smoothie loving hotspot of MinneapolisSt. Paul where whether you’re a runner or yogi, healthy living is just how the folks in the Twin Cities roll.

Despite arctic winters locals don’t bat an eye. Rain or snow, getting up and heading outdoors is what people here do to take advantage of all this metro hub has to offer. Home to more than seventy parks, five pro sports teams, and the Minneapolis farmers market established in 1937, a focus on health and wellness is woven into its tapestry. Cycling is to the Twin Cities as the subway is to New York as the main mode of transportation whether commuting to the office or doing some sightseeing. Named the number one bike city by Bicycling.com with over eighty miles of bike paths, and an extensive infrastructure of bike lanes, residents in this area are logging more Fitbit steps, than putting miles on their cars.

Ways to Share the Love This Valentine’s Day

Ways to Share the Love This Valentine’s Day

While the lines at See’s Candy are wrapped around the block, and local florists are in a frenzy of ribbon, and rose petals, this very loving time of year could be spent giving back, and spending time with friends. You don’t have to be hitched to celebrate Valentine’s Day, in fact not being committed to a dinner reservation gives you the freedom to use your talents, and connect with those around you. Get creative this year with some heartfelt ways to show you care.

Start a Singles Group

Live in a 55+ neighborhood? With all the social clubs many offer, why not start a group for singles? It’s an amazing way to meet new people, and share exciting activities. Mix it up once and a while and get together for a dance class, wine tasting, or try a new restaurant. Even if sparks don’t fly, socializing with fellow singles is the perfect opportunity to make lifelong friends, and share something in common.

group of senior friends enjoying meal in outdoor restaurant

CoHousing: Seniors Find Independence Aging in Community

Remember the days when asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar, or ride to the market was a day in the life? The support of neighbors especially as we age is priceless particularly for those without family nearby, or who live alone. For the residents of Glacier Circle in Davis, California, the concept of senior co-housing has created a commune of active adults living independent lives, with fellow age peers nearby to lend a helping hand. As the country’s first “aging in community” neighborhood, the value of knowing someone is there when you need them has led to the development of numerous co-housing communities across the nation.

Retirement Communities Give Back to Their Hometowns

Housing designed for baby boomers and empty nesters takes the term “senior” out of the equation, focusing on promoting an active lifestyle, and offering amenity-rich neighborhoods. While 55+ communities continue to enhance the lives of residents, they have an even greater impact on the surrounding city. Many don’t realize how valuable these communities are, and how they influence the social, and economic infrastructure of the town they’re established in. From supporting the local art scene to providing volunteer services, retirees aren’t the only ones benefiting from their communities.

State of the art healthcare facilities are important to seniors, and most active lifestyle communities are within close proximity to reputable hospitals and medical centers. The upside to having top-rated facilities nearby is boosting the employment rate within a city, also providing job opportunities to baby boomers still in the workforce.