Scamming the elderly out of their money is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. In an effort to make people – parents, children, grandchildren, siblings – more aware of the devious attempts by strangers, friends and relatives to prey on the elderly, I plan to post all of the scams I become aware of.
Craigslist Ad Started Out Innocently
A woman places an ad on Craigslist trying to sell her mother’s vintage bedroom set. A person replies by email and tells the woman she really wants the set because she is going to ship it down south to another home. Overnight, the seller gets a check in the mail for the price of the bedroom set plus shipping costs. The buyer emails the seller and tells her to cash the check, pay the shipper, ship the bedroom set, and keep the extra money. No phone numbers or phone calls were ever exchanged. The seller, feeling a bit leery, takes the check to the police station. The police tell her that the check is phony. Well, if the seller had deposited the check and shipped the bedroom set, by the time the check bounced, the seller would have been out the cost of the bedroom set and the shipping costs. Fortunately, the seller had the wherewithal to suspect something was fishy. However, if it had been her elderly mother that was selling the bedroom set, the outcome may have been quite different.
Family members need to be cautious and stay informed of what their elderly relatives are doing. We live in an age where trusting a stranger or trying to help out a stranger on blind faith no longer provides the “feel good” rewards that it once did. Unfortunately, the “do good” outlook that many of the elderly grew up with has been corrupted by charlatans and swindlers.
Do what you like and follow your dreams. This is exactly what is happening to my husband. An early retiree from a Fortune 500 company, his passion is music. Not pop music, rap, country, or any of those “putrid” (as he describes it) sounds, but Rock and Roll. And when I say rock and roll, I’m talking from the 1960’s and 1970’s, particularly the British Invasion. He knows concert dates, band members, love interests and just about everything else you need to know about music from the 1960’s and 1970’s. He is a virtual encyclopedia of Rock and Roll. He is the “go to” person when someone has a question about Rock and Roll.
Opportunities for the Retirees are What you Make of Them
So, an opportunity came to him last year. If he would sell advertising for a local radio station, and in return, he would get his own radio show. He would become a disc jockey. Something he always wanted to do but never had the chance. He could have very easily said “No thank you, I’m retired” or “I do not have the experience to be a disc jockey,” but he didn’t. He followed his passion and in a couple of weeks he will be starting a new career promoting what he loves – music. A new career after 50? Not so bad!
New Careers are an Adventure for Baby Boomers
It’s never too late to try something different, to start a new life or to take on a new endeavor, as long as it is something you get excited about and look forward to every day. Although when you are younger it is scarier and riskier to take a hard right turn in your career, being over 50 gives you the life experience, patience, financial means and guts to begin a new chapter. So, I say – Sally forth Baby Boomers!
Caregiving is a tough task, both physically and emotionally. There are many emotions that can arise while one is a caregiver, and many are not pleasant. However, it is important to recognize, acknowledge and process these feelings. Caring.com offers an excellent article, The 7 Deadly Emotions of Caregiving: How to Cope. The 7 emotions the article […]The Memories Project
via Coping with the difficult emotions of caregiving — The Memories Project
Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, the one dress style that I hated the most was when my dad or his male friends, or even our male neighbors, would mow the lawn or do yard work wearing shorts, black socks and black dress shoes. I could never understand the fashion statement and I would cringe when I saw my dad wearing such an outfit. He wasn’t a nerd or anything, but boy when I saw him dressed like that, I just wanted to hide from the embarrassment of it all. Well, fast forward to 2018. A few months ago, my husband comes out of the bedroom because he’s going to mow the lawn and do some yard work. What is he wearing? You guessed it. Shorts, black socks and black shoes. My first thought was “I married my dad.” I of course shrieked with disdain and said “You’re not going out in public dressed like that are you?” He said “Of course I am.” I was just as embarrassed a few months ago as I was years ago.
I’m sure everyone has that one fashion combination that, when seen, causes cringes. One only hopes that it is just a fad and it will go away. For me, what my father started, my husband carried forward. I’m doomed to either learn to like the style, ignore it or cherish it as a worthy characteristic in the two loves of my life.
I Don’t Have the Creativity Gene and Pinterest Helps
Pinterest is information overload and it intimidated me at first. But it is the greatest thing in the world if you can’t visualize, like me. If you know what you want, but can’t describe it or can’t draw it, Pinterest is wonderful. The best of the best ideas are on this website and it helps me find exactly what I am looking for. For instance, I had yellow in one of the bathrooms that couldn’t be changed. I didn’t know what colors worked with yellow, so I got onto Pinterest and searched yellow bathrooms. Low and behold, there were a ton of other colors that went well with the yellow, but when I saw the pictures of yellow and gray bathrooms, that was it! I was consumed by all the pictures and ideas by putting yellow and gray together. Those were the bathroom colors I wanted. Yes, I could have gone through 10 or 12 magazines to find the right colors and ideas for the bathroom. But Pinterest made it so easy and there was so many more choices. Now, I’m not getting paid for saying this, and no one asked me to give a good rating to the website. I honestly wanted to let people know that this is a great website for ideas, especially if you don’t quite know what you want, or can’t see what you want in your own mind.
Moving to a Smaller Home
Downsizing is not the easiest decision to make. Many people consider the financial aspects of a smaller home. Not me. My motivation was that I just got tired of cleaning a big house where only two people lived.
Sorting Through Years of Storage
When we reached semi-retirement, we found a house about five hours away. The house was about half the size of our then-current house. I was responsible for packing everything up and sending it off to our new two bedroom house. What I realized when I was packing was that our house had turned into one giant storage facility. Every room was filled with furniture, clothes, paperwork, toys and dishes that we had not used in several years. Every closet was filled. Every cupboard was loaded to the max (I mean, why did I need 10 plastic beverage containers?) Everything was in “storage.” There was no need to hang onto those items, except for the sentimental value some of the items brought me when I looked at them and thought about the memories. But I had no choice. I was moving to a much smaller house which required less cleaning. (My biggest pet peeve is spending one day every weekend dusting and vacuuming and washing floors. When I was younger, this only took a couple of hours each week, but as I have gotten older, over time the couple of hours lengthened to a full day.
Half of Half is All You Need
In cleaning out the old house, I figured I could only take half my stuff to the new house. So, I muddled through and began pitching things, giving stuff to the neighbors and holding a couple of garage sales. I unloaded about half our old house and packed up the rest for the big move. Little did I know that I packed too much. The moving boxes filled our new basement from floor to ceiling. We didn’t have enough room to even begin unpacking. So, again, I had to throw things away, give stuff to the neighbors and hold garage sales. The expense of moving boxes only to have to give away the contents drove me crazy. But we did it and finally found the balance between our household items and our “storage.”
In the end, my recommendation when moving to a home half the size of your old home, you can only take about 1/4 of your stuff. So, downsize in the old home while you can. I will admit that we had about a dozen boxes that we put in the basement at the new house. Eight years later – we still haven’t looked in those boxes. That tells me that we really didn’t need all that stuff from our old house. We are just fine with what we have.
Number 9 Number 9 Number 9 – Before the Internet
The Beatles, or the Fab Four as I so affectionately remember them, has their entire remastered catalog out in the public and it went on sale in 2009. I remember playing Revolution 9 when the whole “Paul is dead” theory was rampant throughout the US. We played the song backward at “Number 9 Number 9 Number 9” and absolutely and positively thought we heard “turn me on dead man” and that this was a clue to Paul McCartney’s premature death. We sleuths were putting two and two together and were convinced between the Number 9 clue and the Abbey Road album, where Paul is walking across the street barefoot, that our idol was truly dead, and that an imposter was playing Paul. Conspiracy theories ran rampant back then. My friends and I would sit around camp fires, sit in our pajamas in each other’s basements at pj parties and just debate about the whole death theory (Why would someone make it up? How could they get the album to play backward? What about the license plate on Abbey Road? Didn’t you hear the car crash on that song?)
Wondering How We Would Debate it Now
That was before the internet. Face-to-face discussions about issues that affected our lives. I just wonder what it would be like if the whole “Paul McCartney is dead” theory happened now, with the internet, rather than back in the 1960’s.