3 Nifty New Year’s Resolutions for Retirees in 2019
Can you believe 2019 is here? I’m certainly looking forward to a happy and healthy New Year for my family, friends, and myself. Seeing how this is the time for New Year’s resolutions and hopes for the New Year, here are 3 nifty New Year’s resolutions for retirees in 2019.
1.) Finalize a Financial Plan: Whether you’re drawing social security, working part-time, or making investments, having a strong financial plan is key to fully enjoying retired living. Creating a budget plan and actively tracking your spending habits can also help you create a budget to live within your means. Since you basically have two options; make more money or spend less money here’s what to do. To make more, consider when annuitizing your savings to guarantee an income stream or manage your own money in the market. To spend less, consider downsizing to an area where the cost of living is lower and mortgage payments are reduced.
2.) Healthy Aging: In 2019, focus on making your health a top priority so you can enjoy your retirement to the fullest. Make sure to get an annual physical exam from your doctor and create a health plan to maintain your health. Enjoy nutritious eating by preparing healthy meals with fresh ingredients from your local Arizona farmers markets. Stay active and seek out senior-friendly exercise programs that help improve vitality such as swimming, walking, qigong, and yoga. And keep your brain sharp with memory improving exercises like Sudoku puzzles or consider becoming more tech savvy and take a free computer class in your area.
3.) Master Your SSN Benefits: For many Arizona retirees, Social Security retirement benefits are an important income source. Nine out of ten people age sixty-five and over claim Social Security benefits and they average nearly forty percent of total income of people in this age bracket. And how you claim Social Security and greatly impact your benefit amount. Your Social Security increase by eight percent per year, so the longer you wait to claim the more you’ll be able to claim. To find out the best option for you, speak to a financial advisor.
Which of these 3 nifty New Year’s resolutions are you planning for? What other goals do you have for the New Year to better enjoy retirement? If selling or buying a home in an Arizona retirement community is on your list of resolutions, please contact Sharon Mason today! Here’s to a healthy, happy, and financially abundant New Year for you all in 2019!
Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
Sharon Mason - Associate Broker
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3 Perfect and Practical Holiday Gifts for Older Adults
Now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing, many of you may be wondering what the perfect gifts are for the older adults on your list. To give you some ideas, here are there perfect and practical holiday gifts for older adults so good, you’ll want to keep them for yourself!
1.) Pain Relief: For some Arizona retirees and active adults, the cooler temperatures of winter bring with it more aches, strains, and arthritic pains. So why not give the gift of pain relief to someone you love? TheraPearl produces a line of different cold/heat relief products to chill in freezer for analgesic cold or pop in the microwave for penetrating heat. You can find TheraPearl products at Walmart, Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods as well as on their website.
2. Senior Smartphone: Want the active adult in your life to stay more connected? Consider the gift of a smartphone. The Jitterbug phone, made by GreatCall, has a new smartphone designed with older adults in mind. The Touch3 phone by Samsung features an easy-to-see touch screen, simplified menu with large, legible letters and a full-size onscreen keyboard. Besides traditional cell phone capability to talk and take pictures, the Touch3 can access GreatCall’s 5-Star service to summon emergency help by using the phone’s GPS. Touch3’s Urgent Care app enables users to speak with nurses and doctors without traveling to a medical office or making a copayment. Shoppers can find this little gem at Walmart, Sears, Radio Shack, Fry’s Electronics and other retailers or on their website.
3.) Floor Cleaning Robots: Have a neat freak in your life that loves to clean, but suffers from knee pain, back pain, arthritis, or other ailments that keep them from enjoying tidying their floors? A Roomba vacuuming robot makes a wonderful gift! Designed to clean carpet and as well as hard surface flooring, the Roomba vacuuming robot has sensors on the bottom enabling it to maneuver around furniture, objects, people or pets. This powerful battery-operated vacuum pulls out dirt, dust and pet hair. You can pick up one of these amazing gadgets at Kohls, Fry’s Electronics, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Target, Best Buy, and online here.
Here’s hoping you find the perfect gifts for the Arizona retirees and active adults in your life. And if you or someone you know is in the market to buy a home in one of our many Arizona retirement communities this holiday season, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Top 5 Ranked Arizona Retirement Locales
Looking for a place to retire? According to the U.S. census, 15.4 percent of people living in Arizona are 65 years or older, a proportion slightly larger than the national average. It’s no surprise Arizona would be one of the top places to retire, especially since Arizona as a whole is one of the 10 most tax-friendly states for retirees, according to Kiplinger, a Washington, D.C.-based business and finance-advice publication. A survey on WallHub, a financial-planning website for consumers and small-business owners, ranked the top-50 best places to retire in the country. Not surprisingly, sunny Arizona made the list multiple times!
AARP projects that by 2040, the state will see a 300 percent increase in residents ages 85 or older. The group also found seniors in Arizona have lower rates of high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and diabetes than the nation's average rates. Below are the top 5 Arizona retirement locales according to Wallhub:
These Arizona retirement locations feature recreational centers, golf courses and bowling alleys as well as local grocery stores, banks and restaurants clustered throughout the communities. As the number of retirees climbs nationwide, people beginning a new stage of life are seeking out the best places in Arizona to retire. Whole communities already cater to retirees and other active adults throughout the state. If you’re looking for an Arizona retirement community to call home, please contact Sharon Mason today.
Save the Date for ’56 Rock N Roll Concert at the Sun Bowl
If you’re a lover of classic rock and roll then you’ll definitely want to save the date for ’56 Rock n Roll at the Sun Bowl 10220 N. 107th Ave. Sun City, AZ on Sunday, November 4th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Four amazing musicians, individually accomplished in other genres, come together to ask this question: What if all those legends from Sun Records and the Louisiana Hayride never went to Hollywood, never made TV shows and movies but, were still just playing’? What if Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins and even Elvis were going to be playing’ this Saturday night downtown at the civic auditorium in your town?
’56 brings back to life one of the purest forms of American Roots music and lays it down with style. From blues-tinged, hip-shakin’ rockers like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Shake, Rattle & Roll” to the sultry, starlight ballads of “Fever” or “Love Me”, Bret’s silky-smooth, powerful vocals make every female swoon and the fellas want to run out and race with their buddies for pinks! The ethereal twang of Tom’s Gretsch Falcon on tunes like “Sleepwalk” and “Honey Don’t” are reminiscent of Carl Perkins/Brian Setzer/Duane Eddy while Austins’ wing-tipped acrobatics on the stand-up bass have to be seen to be believed! And with Jeff laying down the beat on the drums – wait ‘til you see both of them simultaneously duel it out on “Mystery Train” – unbelievable!
So, put your glad-rags on and grab your best gal or guy – ’56 is Rock & Roll that's here to stay and they’re gonna blow the roof off the joint! This event is free for Recreation Centers of Sun City (RCSC) cardholders and their escorted guests only! Gourmet food vendors arrive 1-1/2 hours prior to show time for your dining pleasure. Don’t Forget! Bring your lawn chair or blanket! The long awaited return of '56 to the Sun Bowl is a definite do not miss event! Click here for more event details.
For more fun things to do in Sun City, if you’re ready to sell your Sun City home or seeking to buy a home in one of the many Arizona retirement communities, please contact Sharon Mason today! As your local retirement expert, I have my finger on the pulse of what’s happening around the Valley for Arizona retirees and active adults and will go above and beyond to help you meet your real estate goals!
Glendale Libraries Planning How to Spend Grant Money
The City of Glendale’s library system was awarded three grants federally funded through the Arizona Secretary of State’s office that they will use to provide new programming for seniors, backpacks filled with educational hiking materials that residents can check out and a heroes-themed book collection for the new Heroes Regional Park Branch Library, which will open in the spring of 2019.
“It’s rare that a library will get two awards, and we went three for three,” shared Chief librarian, Michael Beck at the September Advisory Board meeting. Here’s how the staff is planning to use the $56,000 grant money:
Hiking Backpacks: The largest grant, for $24,500, was for Discovery and Exploration Backpacks containing trails and educational books and tools meant to be taken on hiking trails. The grant will fund forty waterproof backpacks across the city’s four libraries as well as some programming related to the backpacks. Each library will have 10 backpacks with five different themes — two to each theme. Two of the five themes will be geared toward children while three are geared toward adults. They will not be available until January or February. Each pack will have trail guides supplied by Glendale’s Parks and Recreation department.
Programming for Seniors: Glendale received $12,900 in grant funds toward programming for seniors, ages 55 and older. This program will bring in professional artists and educators to teach craft classes. Ms. Fletcher-Spear said she would often look on Pinterest to learn crafts she felt confident she can teach to a class. One popular craft among Glendale libraries that the grant will fund is canvas painting, which Ms. Fletcher-Spear noted is expensive. At least 38 programs are planned across the city’s four libraries. Classes will be spread across daytime, evenings and weekends.
‘Heroes’ collection: Glendale’s newest library is receiving a unique book collection, thanks to an $18,600 grant awarded to the city. The theme of the “Heroes” collection for the Heroes Branch Library, at the corner of 83rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road, is “Find a hero, be your own hero.” The first two parts of the three-part collection will be geared toward the first half of the theme: a graphic novel collection, filled largely with tales of super heroes, and a biography collection will aim to help readers of all ages discover heroes real and fictional. The third part of the collection will be a collection of vocational books, aimed to help readers “be their own heroes” by working toward the career they want. The collection will also feature an online database called JobNow. It is a new service from Brainfuse, a website that provides HelpNow, an online tutoring service that is currently available at Glendale libraries.
For more things to do in Glendale or if you’re looking to sell or buy a home in one of the many Arizona retirement communities, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Beware Package Delivery Notification Scam
Jae Herron, a Valley homeowner says she recently found a notice on her front door, implying she had missed a delivery. Like a lot of consumers, Herron likes to shop and buy online. She says getting packages dropped off at her home happens fairly frequently. So, when she came out of her front door and found a notice saying, "Sorry we missed you" from a company called "Valley Delivery," it got her attention.
But when she called the number on the notice and that's when felt something wasn't quite right. They proceeded to ask her for her date of birth and she said no. Herron says she then grew even more suspicious as the representative kept asking more personal questions, so she hung up and reported the fraud. According to the Better Business Bureau, a company by a similar name, Nu Home Promotions, was told to "modify misleading advertising practices.” Herron says she’s not surprised and wants others to be aware.
This isn’t the first time this package delivery notification scam has happened in the Valley. Earlier this year, Dave Sollis, a homeowner in Surprise said fake delivery people had been hounding him from the same company that's not actually delivering packages, but rather delivery notices aimed at data mining, according to the company's fine print. Sollis said a fake delivery man visited his home at around 5 a.m. one day, leaving a fake delivery notice. Sollis looked up Valley Delivery online and decided it wasn't a legitimate delivery company.
Valley Delivery has done business under several different names. They have a bad record with the Better Business Bureau and have been the target of past investigations looking into their shady marketing practices.
The Better Business Bureau warns that scammers often impersonate well-known shippers or steal the identities of popular retailers to appear more legitimate. If you really did miss a delivery, the driver will leave a ticket at your door to arrange for a later delivery or for you to pick up the package. If you or someone you know has been a victim of delivery notice fraud please report the incident to the Attorney General, Better Business Bureau or contact the local, state or Federal regulators most likely to have answers to your questions here.
And as always, never give your personal information or credit card information to anyone over the phone unless you are certain you know that you are dealing with a legit business. As always, shop smart and be safe!
New Library in Glendale Coming in Spring 2019
New builds in the Valley of the Sun are always exciting, because they bring new employment, new revenue and new services and amenities to the community. That’s just one of the many reasons so many residents are excited that construction for the new library in Glendale that’s coming in spring 2019!
The Heroes Regional Park Library in Glendale recently broke ground and will be part of the Heroes Regional Park, at 83rd Avenue Bethany Home Road, which has been a work in progress for two decades. The park is currently a mix of play structures and ramadas and vacant land. After long last, part of that vacant land will be used for Glendale’s fourth library branch. A ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony for the the new library was held last month and construction officially began a few weeks ago. The library is scheduled to open in Spring 2019.
“The Heroes Regional Park Library, while long overdue, is such an exciting opportunity to provide free and equitable access to information, technology and cultural and educational materials to our citizens,” said Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers. “I want to thank our City Council, especially Yucca District Council member Joyce Clark, for their support. Our Library Board, our city staff — it takes everyone working together to make it happen.”
The new 7,500 square-foot library will serve an estimated 80,000 visitors annually and bring an array of library programs, services and the latest innovations in library technologies to Glendale’s west side. It will eventually have a collection of about 25,000 books. Facility amenities will include dedicated children’s and “teen’s only” patio areas. A large glass window will bring the park inside.
Staffing the new branch will be fifteen employees, adding up to seven and a half full-time equivalent salaries. The new library will also likely offer volunteer positions which are a great activity for active adults and Arizona retirees looking to give back to the community and stay active.
For more information about what’s happening in your West Valley community or if you’re seeking to sell your home or buy a home in an Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
Sharon Mason, Associate Broker
3 Senior Housing Trends for 2018
Now more than ever, Arizona retirees, active adults and baby boomers are reinventing the idea of retirement, taking control of their quality of life, and making their own choices for their personalized retirement experience. The aging population is more active, more empowered about their health care choices, and wanting different living accommodations to better suit their retirement needs. These changes have contributed to these 3 senior housing trends for 2018.
1.) Amenities: Today’s seniors aren’t sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch anymore. They’re playing pickle ball, hiking, going back to school and staying more active than ever before. Due to this, many facilities are considering the area’s appeal to active adults. Arizona retirement communities are offering more amenities and more senior-friendly activities for those early retirement years.
2.) Independence: More Arizona retirement communities are embracing baby boomers and retirees who can live comfortably on their own. The housing market for older adults is gradually adapting to the need of younger retirees by providing self-governing living facilities that encourage and celebrate independence.
3.) Aging in Place: A recent AARP study estimates that nearly ninety percent of people over age sixty-five want to stay in their home for as long as possible. Because of this senior housing trend, there has been a development of more affordable-in-home care programs. There has also been an increase in health technology from wearable medical alert bracelets to health apps for smart phones to help make home care more viable and manageable for Arizona seniors.
If you are an active adult looking for an Arizona retirement community to enjoy your golden years or are looking to downsize or sell your Sun City home, please contact Sharon Mason today!
3 Ways to Enjoy a Fun Retirement Staycation
Now’s the fun time of year where many Arizona retirees begin taking their summer vacations. From taking adult cruises to the Bahamas to snorkeling off the Cayman Islands and hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro. But these days, more and more active adults are opting to stay close to home and enjoy all the amenities their community has to offer. This has aptly been called taking a “staycation” which is a slang term for frugal vacation without leaving your hometown. Whether you’re saving up or just don’t feel like traveling this year, here are 3 ways to enjoy a fun retirement staycation.
1.) Create a Staycation Schedule: Can you believe there are Arizona retirees who have lived in Arizona their entire life and have not seen the Grand Canyon? If you’re one of those, create a staycation itinerary of some fun places to visit or local things to do. Pick up the paper or check out a local even page online to see what’s happening that you’d be interested in. Visit local art exhibits, craft shows, free live entertainment venues, museums, or try out that new restaurant you’ve been hearing about. The possibilities are endless when you stay in town so why not explore them?
2.) Homeward Bound: Who says you can’t have fun in your own home? It’s easy to get into a daily routine rut that has you yawning long after you’ve started your day. So breaking the bonds of your normal home routines can be a great way to enjoy your staycation. Indulge in some new hobbies like planting a garden, taking a recreational online class, or trying a new recipe in the kitchen. If you’re feeling more social than solitary, you can host a weekly book club or host a wine tasting party at home. Fire up the grill and have a dinner party to remember right in your own backyard!
3.) Get Outside: Early mornings and evenings are still great times to discover the hidden gem bike riding trails, join a hiking club, or even indulge in some camping near a lake. Stargazing on a night hike away from the city is a great way to appreciate and connect with nature. Not into trekking and sweating? The many outdoor spring festivals, farmers markets, and public barbeques happening valley wide can help give you a healthy dose of vitamin D and a shot of retail therapy too.
Having fun doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and staying in doesn’t have to be a bore. If you’re interested in finding more retirement activities for a staycation in your area or if you’re an active adult seeking the perfect home in Sun City, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Get Your Arizona Home Summer Ready
July is usually our hottest month in Arizona and if you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare your air conditioner and home to ensure the lowest energy bills and maximum efficiency. And with the temperatures expected to reach 110 degrees this weekend, you definitely want to make sure you and your home are staying cool. Here’s what you need to do to get your Arizona home summer ready.
Keep Your Filter Clean: Arizona’s 300 days of sunshine contributes to the dry, dusty climate that can quickly clog your air filter and reduce its efficiency. Clogged air filters can lead to higher energy bills and more frequent air conditioning repairs. So be sure to clean or replace your filter every month. If it’s easier, set the same date every month on your calendar or in your phone to change your filters. You and your A/C will be much happier.
Set It and Forget It: If you’re constantly changing your thermostat, you won’t conserve energy in your home. It’s best to set it at the highest comfortable temperature and leave it. Or if you can, use a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust for times you are away from home or sleeping. Also, thermostats can pick up heat from lamps, TVs and appliances so be sure to keep them away.
Get Cool: Using your air conditioner isn’t the only way to cool down your Arizona home. Use ceiling fans and oscillating fans when you can to move and cool the air around your home. Change the direction of your ceiling fan to have it blowing downwards for a cool breeze effect. Just remember to shut your fans off when you’re not in the room or away from home to save energy. You can also invest in room darkening window coverings like sunscreens to help keep the heat out.
During Arizona summers, our homes demand extra care and attention to stay cool and comfortable. The good news is with a small amount of effort, you can sit back and make the most of your home. If you’d like more tips on keeping your home cool this summer or if you’re looking to buy a home in an Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Top 5 Tips for Safe Summer Hiking in Arizona
Summer is nearly hear but the temperatures are already on the rise in Arizona. And for active adults who love to hike outdoors, taking safety precautions to avoid heat stroke and stay protected is especially important this time of year. Trails can turn deadly for even the most avid hikers if they’re not prepared, especially during the summer months. If you’re ready to brave the trails, please don’t forget these top 5 tips for safe summer hiking in Arizona.
For more tips on safe summer hiking in Arizona or if you’re an Arizona retiree looking for a luxury Arizona retirement community to call home this summer, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Looking for Volunteer Work? Northwest Valley Connect Needs Drivers
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. Volunteering and helping others can help older adults reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.
If you’re an active adult or Arizona retiree looking for a volunteer work then you’ll be happy to know that Northwest Valley Connect is currently looking for drivers! The nonprofit agency helps Northwest Valley residents with transportation challenges find alternatives. One of those is Northwest Valley Connect’s volunteer driver program, in which volunteers use their own vehicles to provide rides for residents for doctor and other medical appointments, grocery shopping and other trips within the area.
NVC officials aim to educate the population it serves on existing transportation resources as well as provide new senior transportation options to service unmet needs. NVC serves as the one-click, one-call resource aimed to keeping older adults in the Valley active and connected to the community. From doctors appointments and errands to grocery store trips and visits with friends, getting Valley residents to the places they need to be easily and efficiently is the agencies primary mission.
Northwest Valley Connect is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, the agency responded to more than 10,500 requests for transportation referrals and rides during the past year, according to Kathy Chandler, the executive director of Northwest Valley Connect. Most calls are from residents 55 or older with physical limitations, she added. In the past three months inquiries from Sun City, Sun City West and Surprise residents doubled figures at this same time last year.
NVC’s area of service has also seen growth and now includes Litchfield Park, Goodyear and Avondale and the projection for 2018 response to inquiries is 14,000 or more shared Chandler. If you’d like more information about volunteering for Northwest Valley Connect call 623-282-9304 or visit northwestvalleyconnect.org. If you’d like more information about volunteer activities in Sun City or if you’re looking to downsize to a home in an Arizona retirement community, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Generations ago retirement looked like adult children checking their aging parents into quiet assisted living facilities. However, over the last decade, the view of retirement has considerably changed. Now more and more baby boomers and Arizona retirees are reinventing the idea of retirement. The aging population is more active, more empowered about their health care choices, and wanting different living accommodations to better suit their retirement needs. These changes have contributed to these top 3 senior housing trends for 2016.
2.) More Independence: More Arizona retirement
communities are embracing baby
boomers and retirees who can live
comfortably on their own. The housing market for older adults is gradually adapting to the need of younger retirees by providing self-governing living
facilities that encourage and celebrate independence.
3.) More Care: A recent AARP
study estimates that nearly ninety percent of people over age sixty-five want to stay in
their home for as long as possible. Because of this senior housing trend, there has been a development of more affordable-in-home care programs. There
has also been an increase in health technology from wearable medical alert
bracelets to health apps for smart phones to help make home care more viable
and manageable for Arizona seniors.
Some believe the older we get, the less influence we have but the senior housing trend among older Americans proves the opposite. Now more than ever, Arizona retirees, active adults and baby boomers are taking control of their quality of life and making their own choices for their retirement. If you are looking for an Arizona retirement community or looking to buy a home to enjoy your golden years, please contact Sharon Mason today!Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
Sharon Mason, Associate BrokerRE/MAX Professionals623-810-9988
Envoy America now providing transportation for West Valley Arizona Seniors
In the next twenty years the number of elderly drivers is predicted to triple in the United States. Unfortunately we don't all retain the ability to drive a car throughout our lifetime. Physical disabilities, mental illness, medications, loss of vision, or frailty can end anyone's driving career prematurely. Thankfully Envoy America, a local Scottsdale business that provides transportation for Arizona seniors, has just recently expanded its service to the West Valley!
Envoy America started in the metro area by co-owners K.C. Kanaan and Andy Beran in May 2015 and has now grown to serve the entire Valley. The service is for seniors sixty-five years of age and older who no longer drive or do not want to drive and need more personal assistance than a taxi cab can offer. Here’s what you need to know about this fantastic transportation service that serves older adults in the community.
For more information about this valuable transportation service to active adults and Arizona retirees, visit envoyamerica.com. And for more local community services for older adults in Arizona or to locate an Arizona retirement community to call home, please contact Sharon Mason today.
Sun City West Golf Pass Program
Have some family in town that you want to take out to the greens? You’re in luck! Sun City West has a golf pass program available to all Recreation Center of Sun City West (RCSCW) resident members. The program is designed to assist residents in obtaining tee times when family members or friends visit from out of town. The benefit of the Sun City West golf pass program is the ability to reserve advanced tee times from eight to thirty days prior to the day of play. This would assure that there is a confirmed tee time for the family, and would be of benefit in scheduling activities during family visits.
The Sun City West golf pass program is available through the Golf Operations office only and is not available at the golf courses. The RCSCW resident member can come to the Golf Operations office located at 19803 N R H Johnson Blvd, Sun City West, AZ Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm to complete a request form. The resident member can make a Family 18-Hole Golf Pass tee time request and will be accepted from thirty days down to eight days prior to day of play. For additional details, contact the Golf Operations office at 623-544-6037 or visit scwaz.com.
The Recreation Centers of Sun City West is a not-for-profit 501c4 private golf community located in the Northwest Valley of Phoenix, Arizona. If you’d like more information about living in this Arizona retirement community or if you’d like to stay abreast of things to do in Sun City West for active adults, please contact Sharon Mason today.
Why seniors are going back to school
Spring is the perfect time for rejuvenating and renewing your life. That’s why so many baby boomers and Arizona retirees choose to go back to school around this time. In fact, a growing number of active adults are opting out of traditional retirement communities, lush with golf courses and nearby shopping, for university-based retirement communities. Many seniors even choose buy homes near their alma mater or near a favorite local community college to start or continue their education long into retirement.
Wondering why seniors are going back to school? In retirement, it’s not uncommon for older Americans to find themselves isolated from their communities. As a result, many are trading the leisure circuit for the continuing education circuit to keep their minds sharp and stay on top of the technological trends that help keep them connected with society and their families.
Retirement communities with ties to universities are a growing trend. Catering to the college-educated baby-boomer generation, nearly one hundred schools have revived relationships with former students and others who live in nearby senior communities. There are approximately seventy retirement communities across the U.S. that has ties to nearby universities in the hopes of attracting older adults to enroll. Currently Arizona has one university-based retirement community at the University of Arizona in Tucson called the Arizona Senior Academy of Life Long Learning- Academy Village.
Most local colleges and universities offer opportunities to continue learning for seniors, from auditing college courses to attending lectures and classes held at a retirement center. There are even some programs that allow Arizona retirees to go back to school for free. If you’re interested in learning more about going back to school in retirement, one great resource is OASIS, a non-profit educational organization that promotes healthy aging through lifelong learning, healthy living and community service for adults aged fifty and up. If you’d like more information about going back to school in retirement or if you’re interested in buying an Arizona home near a college, please contact Sharon Mason today!
Out West Balloon Fest takes off this weekend
The nearly spring Arizona weather is perfect to enjoy outdoors. And if you love colorful air balloons, yummy food and the energy of outdoor festivities, then you’ll definitely want to visit the Outwest Balloon Fest this weekend. This Friday March 4th, 5th, and 6th kicks off the second edition of the balloon festival at the University of Phoenix Stadium located at 1 Cardinals Dr, Glendale, AZ.
There is something for everyone at this family fun event including music, vendors, food, Kidszone for the grandkids and, of course tons of breathtaking, colorful hot air balloons. Participants have the chance to get a taste of the balloon ride experience on site with a tethered ride each evening of the festival or go for the full experience of a passenger balloon ride on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning.
And if you want to get some exercise while supporting a great cause, then you can register for the G1GABLAST 5k Fun Run on Saturday, March 5th at 7:00am on the University of Phoenix Stadium property. The family friendly 5k fun run benefits Cox Charities with one lucky random race registrant will be dran to win an iPad Pro. The fun begins March 4th and 5th from 5:30am to 9:00pm and ends March 6th at 4:00pm. Visit outwestballoonfest.com for ticket pricing and schedule details.
For more Sun City events for active adults and Arizona retirees, please contact Sharon Mason.
Sun City West Free Concert in the Park
With Arizona’s sweet spring-like temperatures sweeping the Valley, it’s no surprise that Sun City West is hosting a free concert in the park. Music lovers and veterans alike can bond as the US Air Force Band of the Golden West presents a concert in Sun City West by The Concert Band. This family-friendly event is open to the public and will take place on Saturday, March 5th at 7:00 p.m. at Beardsley Park, 12755 Beardsley Road, Sun City West.
The Concert Band is comprised of nearly fifty musicians and is the largest performing ensemble within the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West. It has performed for thousands of listeners in live concert appearances and for millions worldwide via its numerous recordings and television and radio broadcasts. The Concert Band performs a wide variety of music and is an excellent choice for family entertainment.
This Sun City West free concert in the park is their way of saying thank you for the continued support to the men and women of the Armed Forces, at home and abroad. For more information about the show, please call 623-544-6093. For more Sun City events for active adults and Arizona retirees, please contact Sharon Mason.
3 reasons why NOW is the best time to retire in Arizona
There’s a reason why retirees from all over come to Arizona this time of year. Though snowbird season is usually from mid-October to mid-April, the peak season for traveling retirees usually lasts from January through March. Approximately 200,000 winter visitors arrive into the valley each year pumping more than $1 billion into our local economy, according to republicmedia.com. Here are 3 reasons why now is the best time to retire in Arizona.
1.) Active Adult Amenities
Whether you’re a snowbird enjoying your Sun City vacation home or a permanent retired resident living it up, there’s no denying the charming pull of the southwest. There are over 300 days of sunshine in the valley, and this is the time of year when active adults from all over can really enjoy themselves. There’s a variety activities available at the local retirement communities as well as ample opportunity for dining out, golf, visiting casinos, going to movies, visiting sporting events, and so much more.
2.) The Call of Nature
Nature lovers can appreciate the revered desert sunsets and absolutely fall in love with the brilliant, clear night skies. An evening stroll or a candlelight dinner on the patio with friends is an especially celebrated treat this time of year. Also, the beautiful weather welcomes more outdoor events such as the Phoenix Open and countless other Arizona outdoor festivals for baby boomers and Arizona retirees to enjoy with family and friends.
3.) All Sun, No Snow
Still need convincing as to why now is the best time to retire in Arizona? While most of us are taking quiet mountain hikes, having weekend pool parties, and basking in the warm desert climate, most of the country is surviving eight inches of snow and blizzards strong enough to close down whole cities. It’s really a no brainer why Arizona is the place to be! Is it any wonder why so many retirees make Arizona their permanent home?
If you’re looking to retire in Arizona please contact Sharon Mason today for all your retirement needs. I not only offer a relocation guide, but as your Arizona retirement expert I can also help negotiate the best possible deal and stay with you every step of the way until you find a retirement community or home to call your own. Get ready to explore all the wonderful delights living in Arizona has to offer!
Sun City West brings a taste of Hawaii to the holidays
Looking to enjoy the holiday season with a little twist? How about with a little hula? Sun City West brings a taste of Hawaii to the holidays in Arizona! The Nani Komohana Tutus, Sun City West’s hula dancing group, will feature both Hawaiian and Christmas numbers at its “Best of the Best” holiday show this Friday December 4th and Saturday, December 5th at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, December 6th at 2:00 p.m. in the Stardust Theatre, 14401 R.H. Johnson Blvd., in the Kuentz Recreation Center in Sun City West.
This fun holiday program starts with Tahitian hip jerks, poi balls flying through the air, and numbers using traditional Hawaiian instruments. Then the troupe, which celebrates thirty-five years of dancing, will delight the audience with the sounds of Christmas, dancing to songs like Jingle Bell Rock and Santa Claus is Coming to Town and ending with all-time favorites like Little Drummer Boy, O Holy Night, and Mary Did You Know. Guest performers will include Jim Blexrud, Don Marine, Jan Rittmaster, Jim Allen, and members of the Dancing Arts Club.
Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased online at www.dancingarts.scwclubs.com or directly in the Stardust Theatre. For more information contact Helen at 623-584-1227 or Paulette at 623-546-2617.
For more local Sun City West events for Arizona retirees and active adults, contact Sharon Mason. Mele Kalikimaka! (That’s Hawaiian for Merry Christmas!)
3 Healthy Thanksgiving Day tips for Seniors
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for seniors and Arizona retirees to spend time relaxing and enjoying the company of their family and friends. However for some older adults, Thanksgiving can be emotionally or physically challenging. Here are 3 Healthy Thanksgiving Day tips for seniors to truly enjoy this terrific holiday.
1.) Eat smart for your heart
With all the Thanksgiving goodies on the table, it can be tempting to go a little crazy on the calories. But senior citizens are more prone to holiday-related health issues so be mindful of what you put on your plate and how much of it you put on there. Overeating can lead to everything from indigestion and heart burn to a heart attack. It’s best to limit gravies, butter and other high-fat choices with plenty of vegetables and lean white meat. And if you want to kick it up a notch and enjoy this beautiful Arizona weather, why not take a walk after enjoying a hearty Thanksgiving meal?
2.) Enjoy some company
When Thanksgiving and the holiday season rolls around, it can spark depression in older adults. It’s common for seasonal depression to make you want to be alone, but don’t isolate yourself on this day. If you are unable to be with your family, spend the day with your friends for a “Friendsgiving” style Thanksgiving celebration. In an Arizona retirement home? Enjoy a meal with the company of the other residents. Thanksgiving is also a great day to volunteer to help prepare the feast at a local food shelter or community home. Giving your time altruistically is a great way to lift your spirits and enjoy the day.
3.) Watch your health
With the cooler temperatures, seniors are more susceptible to cold and flu season. Try to keep your stress levels down as everything from depression and traveling to food prep can weaken your immune system. If you feel under the weather - physically or mentally - during the holidays, don't wait to visit your doctor. Be sure to have an up-to-date list of medications you are taking. If you do face a health emergency during the holidays, it's important for your doctor to know your current medical conditions and have a list of your medications.
Thanksgiving can be a fun and festive joyous start to the holiday season, so it’s especially important that seniors take care of themselves during this time. Try to implement these 3 healthy Thanksgiving day tips for seniors and have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! – Sharon
Sun Health prepping Seniors for better wellness
Seems like only yesterday we were making New Year’s resolutions to be healthier and now here we are nearly at the end of the year! If making healthier choices was on your to-do list but you didn’t quite cross it off, don’t despair. It’s never too late to start making better wellness choices as an aging adult and thankfully Sun Health is prepping seniors for better wellness opportunities with two upcoming workshops.
Memory Disorders: Next Wednesday, November 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. the Banner Sun Health Research Institute will host a free community lecture on methods to identify memory disorders. The free event takes place in the Morin Auditorium at Banner Boswell Medical Center, 10515 W. Santa Fe Dr., Sun City. Guest speaker will be Dr. Edward Zamrini, a neurologist with expertise in cognitive and geriatric neurology. He will discuss why Alzheimer’s disease is not part of normal changes in memory and how to tell the difference between the two. Seating is limited. To RSVP, call 623-832-3248 or visit www.bannershri.org to learn more.
Diabetes Awareness: The Sun Health Center for Health and Wellbeing will host a Diabetes Awareness Open House from 8:30 am to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 19th located at 14719 W. Grand Ave., Surprise. This free community event will offer health screenings, healthy cooking demonstrations and samples, exercise tips and raffle prizes, along with educational materials and community resources, for people with diabetes, pre-diabetics and their family members. Call 623-832-9355 or visit www.sunhealthwellbeing.org to learn more.
Preventive self-care and health management is an essential part of retired living. So why wait until next year to start making resolutions to living healthier? Start now and make better living your goal in retirement now and for the future! For more Sun City events for Arizona retirees, please contact Sharon Mason.
Take the fear out of retirement planning this Halloween
Think the ghost, goblins, and ghouls of Halloween are scary? Try planning for retirement! When many older adults think about retirement planning, they are both scared and overwhelmed at the process. Is now the right time to retire? Do I have enough money? Am I truly ready to stop working? It’s time to take the fear out of retirement planning this Halloween with these three tips.
Don’t be a skeleton. Have the guts to save now! It’s tempting to put off saving for retirement, especially with things like children’s college funds, saving for a home, weddings, and more of life’s major events to financially plan for. But there’s rarely anything scarier than facing retirement without enough money to live on during your golden years. Regardless of your obligations, put your retirement savings first and start contributing as early as possible. Contribute towards a work or personal 401(k) or an IRA putting contributions on automatic and gradually increasing the amount as you’re able. The more you save now, the less you’ll need to save later.
Make like candy and stick to your budget! What’s scarier than not having enough for retirement? How about living beyond your means! It’s nice to have all the things you want as an active adult, but if you overspend and don’t stick to a realistic budget now, you won’t have everything you need to stay out of debt when you’re ready to retire. Start eliminating the “wants” from the needs and continue to stay on top of debts such as credit card expenses and student loans.
BOO! Don’t be scared of the unexpected. When it comes to retirement, it’s great to have a plan but unexpected expenses can arise and throw a wrench into your planning. To protect yourself, set aside enough money to cover at least three months of essential expenses should you run into illness, job loss, or any other unexpected scares. Arizona retirees should continue to try to increase this amount as often as possible even planning to cover six months to a year’s worth of expenses.
Halloween can be scary, but planning for retirement doesn’t have to be. Start using these tips to take the fear out of retirement planning this Halloween so you can start enjoying this holiday and many more to come. Because nothing is sweeter than enjoying the treats of a happy retirement. Happy Halloween! – Sharon
Sun City Healthy Habits for a Healthier You Workshop
Whether you’re an Arizona retiree or an active adult who’s always out and about, you know the importance of how health impacts the quality of your life. In fact, according to a 2014 study in the journal Health Affairs, those 65 and older spent about $18,424 per person on personal health care, “about three times more than the average working-age adult and about five times more than the average child.” And with the number of senior citizens on the rise (they make up over 13 percent of the overall population) healthy living has become even more important standard of living for the aging population.
Thankfully, at any age, there are lifestyle habits we can adopt to help maintain or even potentially improve our health. These habits may also help to keep our brains healthy as we age and possibly delay the onset of cognitive decline. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about the Sun City Healthy Habits for a Healthier You Workshop on Wednesday, October 28th at 10:00 a.m. at the Sun City Branch Library located at 16828 N. 99th Ave; Sun City.
This free workshop covers four areas of lifestyle habits that are associated with healthy aging: Cognitive activity; Physical health and exercise; Diet and nutrition; Social engagement. RSVP is required at 602.528.0545 and more information can be found here. The Healthy Habits for a Healthier You Workshop is recommended for anyone interested in looking for information on ways to age as well as possible so spread the word and bring a friend or two. Because the best way to enjoy retired living is when you’re at your absolute healthiest!
For more information about local events in Sun City, AZ or to locate the perfect Sun City retirement community to best enjoy healthy living, please contact Sharon Mason today.
Welcome back, Snowbirds!
Fall is here and with Arizona temperatures dipping back into the 80’s, you may have noticed the migration of winter snowbirds returning to the Valley of the Sun. For those who don’t know, snowbirds are seasonal residents who visit warmer climates to escape the harsh winters of their main hometowns. Most hail from the Midwest, Western states, Pacific coast and Canada. Snowbird season is usually from October through May and with it, locals see an influx of retirees, Baby Boomers, and active adults soaking up the sun and enjoying all the amenities Arizona has to offer.
Local snowbirds are often retirees, having no attachments or obligations, and having the freedom to do what they want. Snowbirds move in the same general migratory pattern, but they take very different paths to their winter havens and spend their time differently. Baby Boomers in their 50s are a newer breed of Snowbird often choosing to purchase property in favorable markets and gradually spend more time in the state as they near retirement. From vacation rentals and condos to Arizona homes, some snowbirds are choosing to become permanent residents by their late senior years.
Various well-to-do snowbird retirees land in Sun City and other popular Arizona retirement communities to buy second homes, play tennis or hike, attend the theater and check out art galleries and shopping malls. Developments like Sun City Grand in Surprise and Trilogy at Vistancia in Peoria are catering to middle and upper-middle income snowbirds. And with so much to do from swimming laps in the pool to enjoying a round of golf, it’s no wonder so many visitors choose to make Arizona their second home. Either way, they’re enriching Arizona’s culture, community and economy and we extend them a welcome as warm as the weather. Welcome back, snowbirds!
So whether you’re seeking a seasonal get-a-way or searching to buy a home in an Arizona retirement community, contact Sharon Mason, your retirement expert, for all your living and retirement needs!
Fall Festival Country Fair in Sun City
The fall season is here and now is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy all the fun fall events in Sun City. There are lots of things to do this month for Arizona retirees, snowbirds, and Sun City residents alike. I’m especially looking forward to the upcoming Fall Festival Country Fair in Sun City.
The Recreation Centers of Sun City are hosting the Fall Festival of Fun – Country Fair at the Sun Bowl located at 10220 N 107th Ave, Sun City, AZ. The festivities take place on Saturday, October 17th from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm and are free for RCSC Cardholders and their escorted guests. Bring friends, grandkids, and other family and enjoy carnival games and prizes, live DJ music, fun and yummy fair food will be available for purchase including hot dogs, cotton candy, kettle korn, ice cream and so much more. Beer, wine, and bloody marys will also be available.
Special guests at the country fair include the Sun City Fire Department as well as Sun City’s very own Kahkneeta and Laney – the infamous llamas that brought Sun City AZ international fame. So bring your lawn chair and blanket and your inner child and enjoy the RCSC Fall Festival of Fun! Click here for more details. Want to know about more local events in Sun City for active adults or seeking a premier retirement community in Sun City? Contact Sharon Mason today!