Hooking Up: A True Tale about Ed and Emily

Surrogates for Ed and Emily; a young couple at Niagara Falls in Jan. 2010.

Surrogates for Ed and Emily; a young couple at Niagara Falls in Jan. 2010.

About a week ago I went to breakfast at a local restaurant and was seated near a group of six young women. They were enjoying themselves: laughing and trading racy stories. 

They worked together and talked about that—and about “hooking up.” The hook up culture is new to me, so I decided to listen. Never too old to learn, I thought. I settled into my booth, ordered pancakes and tuned my left ear to the women. Continue reading

Later Living Encores: Ola’s Quilt Shop

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When retirees get to their middle 80s, most don’t want to or can’t stay physically active. Instead they relax, take up hobbies or devote full-time to television. Their conversations often concern their health problems. But there are exceptions, like Ms. Ola Coombs.

Ola had always wanted to have her own quilt shop and she got her chance at age 79. Ola’s Quilt Shop in Lavonia, Georgia opened in May, 2006. This year Ola will turn 87. Continue reading

What Do You Do When You’re Ready to Retire, but She’s Not?

What Do You Do When You’re Ready to Retire, but She’s Not?

Some of you may have seen the Wall Street Journal special report on retirement earlier this week. Several topics were covered, and while we definitely plan to discuss a few of them, one article in particular grabbed my attention. A lot is written about where and how to retire, but this piece talked about a decision many of us take for granted… when to retire.  Continue reading

The Oldest Generation—Income, Location, Disabilities, and Health Insurance

Last time we introduced a Census Bureau report that describes some characteristics of the oldest segment of our population—those 90 years old or older (90+). The group is small, mostly women, and mostly widowed. Still, about three-quarters of them live in households. Less than one quarter are institutionalized.

The median income in the group was $14,760 (2008 dollars)—that’s annual, per person, personal income. For men, it was $20,133, and for women, it was $13,580. Social Security has become nearly universal among this group: 92.3% of them receive it, and it is about 48%, or almost half, of the median personal income. The rest comes from investments, public assistance, other retirement income, or other sources.

During the same time, the median annual per person income in the US was about $27,500. The 90+ group has a per person income of about half the overall population.

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The Oldest Generation

All of us living in the last half can benefit from a portrait of the oldest among us. We can’t foresee an individual life, but we can guide ourselves more clearly if we know some averages or trends that describe our oldest brothers and sisters.

In November, 2011, the Census Bureau published a new report entitled: “90+ in the United States: 2006-2008,” in which it characterizes this oldest segment of the U.S. population. (PDF here)

The generation 90 and over is small. There were about 1.8 million (mm) people 90 and over during 2006-2008, which was about 0.6% of the total US population. About 1.55mm (88%) are white. Women far outnumber men: there are about 1.3mm women, and about 0.46mm men—almost a 3 to 1 ratio.

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