Issue 88 July 2022
Featured Stories
In This Issue

Who Needs A Hug?
We all do. Hugs improve our health, reduce stress and increase our well-being and pleasure. Author Marcia Byalick reveals why hugs are so important in our lives.

What Is CBDa?
Stacy Cason, founder of Planetarie, developed a breakthrough in hemp processing with major therapeutic benefits for users. Read
what drove this former nurse to launch a CBDa company more effective than CBD.

Why Couples Fight?
"Money" is the number one topic most couples fight over. Even
long marrieds. Retirement brings a new set of money problems and possibilities. Money Lady Evelyn (Evie) Preston offers some practical solutions.

Are Annual Wellness Exams Necessary?
Read why yearly wellness exams are extremely important to help
keep you healthy and out of the hospital. Read more.

What Is a 55+ Senior Community?
Most folks have never heard of The Villages. A secluded, 55+ senior living community in the foothills of San Jose. Read why it is rated one of the top 20 adult communities in the U.S.

Where Is San Juan Island?
Not in the Caribbean but off Washington State. Award-winning travel writer Don Mankin visits this serene island just an hour's ferry ride from Seattle. Discover why he loves San Juan.

Time To Exit The Stock Market?
The stock market is way, way down this year but should you bail?
Ask Larry offers some historical perspective.

What's New With Reverse Mortgages?
Not for everyone but recent new rules make a reverse mortgage
worth looking into. Read why.

Looking For Independent Senior Living?
Check out Chateau-Cupertino for independent living starting at
$3,000 per month. Meals included.

Keep Smiling!
And let me know what kind of stories you prefer to read in this monthly publication. Feel free to forward The Scoop to your family, friends
and associates.

--Larry Hayes, A050 CEO/Publisher. Email: Larry@activeover50.com. Visit ActiveOver50.com.


"Who Needs A Hug?"


Hugs can be like an infusion of emotional medicine when we're sad and a burst of celebration when we're happy

I've shaken hands hundreds of times in my life, but I've given thousands of hugs. Never having the kind of work life that demanded suits and high heeIs, hugging has always been my go-to greeting.

And lately I've been dreaming about them. Hello hugs. Goodbye hugs. Making-up hugs. Congratulatory hugs. Gratitude hugs. And no-reason-at-all hugs.

Joni Mitchell had it right when she sang, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone?"

In these disorienting times, I feel like I'm holding all this emotion in my body with nowhere to put it. There was actually a study where healthy adults were monitored for how often they hugged.

Then they were quarantined and intentionally infected with a cold virus. Those who received more hugs had less severe disease. Counterintuitive, no? That those who receive more hugs are somehow more protected from infection?

Wholehearted hugs are like the opposite of drinking too much
coffee. They turn down anxiety and melt away uncertainty.
Maybe if CVS dispensed comforting hugs through the years along
with flu shots and shingle shots and vaccines and COVID tests, we'd all be better fortified to handle these challenging times. 

Oxytocin levels peak in dog owners whenever they hug their pets.
And hugs are the centerpiece of every Hallmark commercial, especially the ones of returning soldiers surprising their families.

I remember stories of the damage done to the hardly touched babies in Romanian orphanages. And the touch-deprived elderly in hospitals and nursing homes over these last two years.

I think about Ukraine which barred most men between 18 and 60 from leaving. And millions of their mothers and wives and children struggling to survive these hard times, unhugged. We walk around knowing that physical affection feels good; we tend to forget its true value can be priceless.

Reprinted with permission from Next Avenue.
 

How a Woman's Unique Background Gave Rise To a Powerful Pain Management Product

Every day for 15 years, Stacy Cason treated patients suffering from various medical issues, many of whom dealt with chronic pain. “They were hurting, and often, the end result of that was turning to opioids,” Stacy said.

As an anesthesiology nurse practitioner, Stacy witnessed firsthand
the rise of the opioid pandemic in the United States. The U.S. makes up just 4.4% of the world’s population but consumes more than 80% of the world’s opioids. 

And it was witnessing that crisis and the devastating impacts on patients and their families that ultimately led Stacy to found her company. It focuses on providing products that support pain management in a natural, organic way without the dangerous side effects of opioids and even common over-the-counter NSAIDs like ibuprofen. 

“I saw firsthand what opioids did to people and the chronic pain that leads to depression and lost quality of life,” Stacy said. In 2018, Stacy founded Planetarie, the world’s first-ever USDA-Certified Organic CBDa manufacturer and distributor. Planetarie produces soft gels, muscle rubs, infusions, drink additives, salves and more that leverage CBDa, the raw acidic cannabinoid derived directly from the hemp plant in its purest form.

Teachers, family and friends identified Stacy from the start as a gifted and talented child. She started working at an office at just 12 years old and quickly learned she had a natural business sense. But growing up in a rural part of northern Louisiana with patriarchal norms deeply embedded in the culture put a college-bound Stacy on one of the only two culturally accepted paths: nursing or teaching.

“I remember having a discussion with one of my teachers about how I should attend Harvard,” Stacy said. “But, I didn’t know that I could. I didn’t believe that I could. I didn’t see it as a viable option. It was a very small, close-minded area.”
 
Stacy opted for nursing school instead, working in an intensive care unit before eventually moving to Miami. She married a U.S. Air Force officer and obtained a master’s degree in anesthesia from Florida International University. Stacy moved to Denver in 2012 and, in 2013, started attending classes at the University of Denver (DU) to earn her MBA while continuing to work in health care.

She graduated from DU in 2015. During that time, the constant influx of patients struggling with pain and opioid addiction wore on her, and, in 2017, Stacy let her medical license expire.

“I was getting tired — tired of watching people in pain and not being able to help them in a productive way, in a way that wouldn’t result in other conditions or addiction,” she said. Stacy went on to earn a degree in Real Estate Management from Harvard University in 2018, ultimately going into commercial real estate development. 

Stacy purchased a ranch in May 2018 and started growing hemp in
an effort to make it economically viable.


"Why Couples Fight?"

Mostly Over Money

By Evelyn (Evie) Preston, The Money Lady

Friends of mine who first married in their mid-sixties kept their personal assets separate and split all other expenses equally. A bit disconcerting when they closely calculated the restaurant bill after treating me for dinner, this financial compromise worked for them.
 
As new gender issues dominate the news, from hormones to pronouns, when it comes to finances, the old male/female divide has long been with us. Most seniors—married, partners, friends—have devised workable systems, but money mistakes still exist between couples. And new skirmishes may lie ahead
as we age.
 
Q: Aren’t more people open about financial issues
in today’s world?
 Not always! In spite of “pillow talk” when partners confess indiscretions, admit bad habits or lowbrow TV bingeing, financial surveys show that money is the number one topic most couples—even long marrieds—fight about.
 
At any age, money can become a substitute for love and affection. Financial planners and marriage counselors bump into overdrawn bank accounts and out of control credit splurges along the road to bankruptcy, divorce and breakups, even with housemates.
 
Q: Don’t we gain more financial confidence as we
get older?
 Even as we move into later phases of life, financial concerns follow. Women mostly, but men, too, suffer the old psychological barriers from home and society, often a hand-me-down cultural insecurity. “I was never very good at math; Could I really make it on my own?
 
My wife/husband always took care of finances!” Studies show that even women who bring in the bacon still feel vaguely guilty earning more than their spouses. And the new money mantra that feeds into our self-worth as seniors… “No one will hire me at my age!”
 
Q: Shouldn’t we be financially set by retirement?
 Retirement brings a whole new set of money problems and possibilities. Seniors are living longer and must grapple with unique issues that change money dynamics. Caregiving for a family member or spouse may upend who controls finances; health setbacks may suddenly reconfigure financial decisions.
 
“Helping” adult children and underwriting our grandchildren’s educations may not be positive planning—proof being the recent market losses that aren’t as easily recouped just as we may need our funds the most.
 
Even second marriages stall over ingrained financial practices and money personalities that don’t mesh—just traveling together with a friend for companionship often causes financial friction. A “prenup” style of setting standards for money matters should be part of any itinerary, be it a trip abroad or to the altar. Beyond the legal “leaving one’s home or assets to the kids,” many seniors’ second commitments encounter the same money traps as before.
 
Q: What’s the main barrier?
 A personal M.O. often learned as early as potty training! People develop a money style along with other personality aspects as they grow up. How we were raised can seldom be erased from our DNA.
 
Our culture used money to punish, reward or control. Did Dad pay the mortgage and mom control the monthly bills? Did one partner tighten the purse strings while another couldn’t stop shopping?
 
What about a hangover from grandparents’ Depression Era mentality or insolvency fears from past job losses? Some families continually bicker about expenses or like Scarlett O’Hara, think about all that money stuff tomorrow. Did the kids work, enjoy a generous allowance or beg for spending money? Family money dynamics continue to color lifelong attitudes.
 
Q: How can couples best secure financial serenity
in old age?
Dependency and power are major issues that couples must settle to succeed. Learn to avoid power plays so both partners win. Retirement is a good time to reset shared goals but allow wiggle room for separate needs and wants.
 
Like the towels, always consider “his, hers or ours” bank accounts. Even if you keep control of your funds, a designated driver can help guide or navigate financial decisions. Work with a trusted, impartial advisor if needed. Handle home finances like a small business with fixed expenses, contingency funds and future needs. Find a comfortable cruising speed to balance savings and spending. Continue to learn, always listen and be patient integrating inevitable changes and challenges.

Evelyn (Evie) Preston is a financial columnist for A050 and worked as a financial advisor for over 25 years. Reach her at Evierp100@yahoo.com.
Penny For Your Thoughts?
Funny comics for folks over 50 by John Donaghue

John Donaghue is an award winning creative art director and creator of Under Cardiac Comics appearing in The Scoop.

For comic humor depicting the follies of older adults, go to: undercardiacarrest.com
Why Are They So Important?

It’s time for your Annual Wellness Exam….How important is this, anyway? Very! Your Medicare Annual Wellness Exam is actually a little different from the standard physical.

A physical will include a series of standard blood tests and a thorough physical exam. An annual wellness visit can be many things, however, for a Medicare beneficiary, it is defined as yearly visit which focuses on preventing you from becoming ill as well as keeping you healthy and out of the hospital.
 
Here are a few reasons why your Annual Wellness Exam is so important:
 
You get to talk to your doctor
A wellness exam gives you the opportunity to have extended time with your doctor. You can talk about any health issues you’ve noticed lately and ask how to handle health issues that may crop up due to lifestyle changes.
 
You can get needed referrals
If your doctor notices any changes or issues during your wellness exam, they can refer you to whatever specialists are necessary for further testing or treatments.
 
You can build a healthier lifestyle
You can talk to your doctor about your lifestyle habits and choices, including your diet and eating habits, activity levels, stress levels
and sleep habits.
 
How should you prepare for your
Annual Wellness Exam?
Before you go to the doctor for your Annual Wellness Exam, put together a list of any medications you take regularly and write down any pain or other symptoms you’re experiencing that you want to ask the doctor about. In addition, bring any recent test results and be ready to list your full medical and surgical history.

Physicians Medical Group of San Jose is the largest independent physician’s association in Santa Clara County. We have been part of the community for 40 years with more than 1,000 doctors in 460 offices plus we speak 30+ languages. Call 888-988-8682 or visit pmgmd.com for more information.

Chateau-Cupertino
Senior Independent Living Community With a Flair

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Housekeeping and laundry services, all basic utilities, great activity programs, game rooms and transportation--all included starting at $3,000 per month.

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Cupertino is one of the best places to live in CA--home to world famous Apple company.

Come and see for yourself. Schedule a Tour Today! Call 408.446.4300. Or email: MarieLouise@chateau-cupertino.com
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Carla is a resident and specializes in The Villages--a 55+ senior living community located in the Evergreen foothills of San Jose, CA.
A Serene Sojourn
On San Juan Island

By Don Mankin, The Adventure Geezer

I sat motionless in my kayak, quietly gazing at the subdued land and seascape. The sky was grey, the water was flat, the wind was absent. Heaven. The heavy skies and occasional drizzle didn’t bother me. It was all just part of the moody ambience of the Pacific Northwest.
 
I was midway through a three-day visit to San Juan Island in Washington State. The San Juan Islands — which include San Juan, Orcas and Lopez Islands, among others — are an archipelago just
an hour and half drive plus an hour’s ferry ride from Seattle.
 
There are few destinations where getting there is part of the attraction. You drive onto the ferry, leave your car, walk up to one of the decks and plop down on a plush banquette to watch the scenery glide by as the ferry wends its way among tree-covered islands to your destination.
 
If you are particularly hardy, you can stand on a wind-swept outer deck, immersed in the slowly changing scenery flowing through your field of vision, fully experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of the San Juan Islands.


ASK LARRY
 --Larry Hayes, A050 CEO/Publisher

“The Market’s Killing Me. Time To Get Out?”

--Jim, San Jose, CA

The old adage “what goes up, comes down” holds true for the stock market. During the 2008 Great Recession, the Dow dropped to 6,469 and the Nasdaq to 1,299.
 
Fast forward to July 22, 2022--the Dow closed at 32,005; Nasdaq--11,866 so, if you had stayed in the market in 2008, you would have made out like a bandit today.
 
If you’re in the market now, my wife’s advice is to ride it out. She’s
a former stockbroker so, I listen to her advice.
 
• Don’t be afraid of a bear market

• Stay in the market but diversify

• Never put all your eggs in one basket

• Always keep some money in CDs and savings

• Think long term. The market always rebounds
 
“My House Value Just Dropped $200,000 In One Month! What’s Going On?”

--Marilyn, Palo Alto, CA
 
Some of you may remember the housing bubble of 2008. The then “red hot” housing market burst and home values declined up to 60%.
 
For the past two years, the housing market in the SF Bay Area has been insane so, a sharp drop in prices is not that surprising. A "correction" was overdue fueled by today's high inflation, high prices, the Ukraine/Russia war and recession fears.
 
How crazy? My friend’s home increased $800,000 in value in one year. Then dropped $500,000 in June.
 
What to do? Your home is your best, long term investment so, why move unless you have to. Owning a home is how most Americans build wealth over time. Keep the faith.
 
Got a Question? Ask me anything. If I don't know the answer, I'll ask someone who does. ASK LARRY is written by Larry Hayes, CEO/Publisher of A050. Email: larry@activeover50.com. Visit: ActiveOver50.com

Your Local
Reverse
Mortgage
Professional
With over 15 years experience right here in
Silicon Valley, I can help answer your questions

Q: Will the bank own my home?
The bank does not take ownership of your home; they simply extend
a loan to you. You continue to own and live in your home and are responsible for payment of property taxes, required insurance and if applicable, HOA fees.

Q: Do my children/family members lose their inheritance?
No, a borrower may designate an heir of their choosing.The heir(s) will inherit the home after the last surviving borrower passes away
and may then choose to keep (by paying off the amount of reverse mortgage balance) or sell the home. Should they choose to sell, any remaining equity after paying off the loan (minus interest and fees) would be theirs.

Q: What is the lending limit of the HECM reverse mortgage?
As of January 1, 2021, it increased to $822,375. Which means it's very likely you can qualify for more money.

To learn more, call me today: 408.722.0010 

Marilyn Brown Ross Branch Manager & Reverse Mortgage Professional


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The Scoop is a free, monthly publication for boomers and seniors in the San Francisco Bay Area reaching over 100,000 across multiple platforms including the A050 website and social media. For editorial and advertising opportunities, email: larry@activeover50.com.