Search our Blog

Search our Blog

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Famous and 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

April 4 - David Kelley, writer and producer

You may never have heard of David Kelley, but you know the shows this prolific writer has created: Doogie Howser, M.D., Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Boston Legal, Harry’s Law, Big Little Lies, Mr. Mercedes and Big Sky. His shows have been on all four major networks, earning the screenwriter a slew of Emmys. He is also the longtime husband of actress Michelle Pfeiffer.

Born and raised near Boston, Mass. where many of his shows are set, Kelley’s father Jack is a member of the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame and coached the Boston Whalers. David went on to captain the men’s team at Princeton, where he graduated with a political science degree. He then earned a law degree from Boston University School of Law, where he penned skits for the Legal Follies, a sketch comedy group.

Shortly afterward, while working for a Boston firm, Kelley wrote a screenplay for fun. The legal thriller turned into the film From the Hip in 1987. Although not a very successful movie, the script earned Kelley a writing job for L.A. Law and he quickly ascended through the ranks to become executive producer while creating other shows. The rest, as they say, is history.

Kelly met Michelle Pfeiffer on a blind date in January of 1993, and they were married in November. Pfeiffer was in the process of adopting a newborn girl when they met, and the two christened her the day they were wed. The couple have a son who was born in August of 1994.

Image Source: Wikipedia

April 4 - William Burns, diplomat and CIA director

Described as “the secret diplomatic weapon” aimed at “some of the thorniest foreign policy challenges of the U.S.” by international diplomat Nicholas Kralev, William Burns topped a long career as a diplomat and ambassador with his confirmation as director of the Central Intelligence Agency in March this year. 

Born at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Burns grew up steeped in military tradition. His father was a U.S. Army Major General with an impressive resumé of high-level positions including director of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency under Ronald Reagan. Burns earned a degree in history, and then a pair of philosophy degrees from St. John’s College, Oxford where he was a Marshall Scholar. 

His career in the Foreign Service is both varied and distinguished. Burns has held positions as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Executive Secretary of the State Department, and Special Assistant to two Secretaries of State. President George W. Bush nominated Burns for the rank of Career Ambassador (the equivalent to a four-star general in the U.S. Armed Forces) in 2008, and he was confirmed by the Senate. 

President Joe Biden nominated him for his current position, which is historically apolitical. To learn more about Burns, read his book The Black Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal, published in 2019.

Image Source: Wikipedia

April 15 - Michael Cooper, basketball player and coach

No one thought Michael Cooper would become a star athlete. When he was three, a severe cut on one of his knees needed 100 sutures to close and the doctor said the boy would never be able to walk. Instead, Cooper became a star guard with the legendary Los Angeles Lakers during their Showtime years, playing with greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson. 

Cooper’s play earned him the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1987, one of five years in the 80s that he was on a Lakers championship team. At 6’5” and thin as a stick, Cooper took advantage of the team’s quick style of play. Larry Bird proclaimed him the best defender he ever faced. The Lakers developed a special alley-oop play just for him, dubbed the “Coop-a-loop.” Cooper left the club in 1990, holding a spot in its all-time top 10 in nine categories. 

After a year playing ball in Italy, Cooper transitioned to roles off the court. Starting as assistant to general manager Jerry West, he joined the coaching staff under Magic Johnson and then Del  Harris. He went on to become the WNBA Coach of the Year in 2000 and led the Sparks to championships two years in a row. Cooper hopped to an assistant coaching position with the Denver Nuggets, then head coach with the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. He has been the boys varsity coach at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, California since 2019.


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The 10 Aches and Pains You Shouldn’t Ignore

Have you ever wondered which aches and pains you should ignore, and which ones should trigger a visit to your doctor or the ER? Here’s how to tell the difference.

Signs You’re Having a Heart Attack

Women and men often experience a heart attack quite differently, which can lead to under-diagnosis in female victims. It’s important to know all of the symptoms for men and women so that you don’t accidentally ignore important warning signs of an impending attack.

Men and women both often experience discomfort in the center of the chest that may feel like squeezing, fullness, pressure or pain. This feeling may go away and then return. Other areas of the upper body can also become painful, such as one or both arms, the neck, back jaw or stomach. Shortness of breath can occur with or without chest pain. The victim may break out in a cold sweat, feel nauseous or become lightheaded.

Women’s most common symptom, just like men, is chest pain. But they are much more likely to also experience shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and pain in the jaw or neck.

Anyone who is getting older knows that aging brings a variety of little hurts that weren’t there when we were younger. Perhaps it’s a touch of arthritis in your hands, or knees that tell you they don’t like climbing stairs anymore. You might get more headaches, and activities that you used to do without a care now result in a sore back. 

"Boomers, especially, are very stoic,” says Dr. Edwin Leap, an emergency physician in South Carolina. “They're used to things hurting. So they put off chest pain for a day or two, and by the time they come to hospital they've completed a heart attack. Or they fall off a ladder, get up and say they're fine. Then it turns out they have an intracranial hemorrhage — a life-threatening situation.”

Usually, these symptoms can be treated at home. But how can you tell if the pain you’re experiencing needs a closer look from a medical professional? As a general rule, pain that comes on suddenly and/or severely should be checked out, according to Dr. Sonia Sehgal, an internist who specializes in geriatric medicine at University of California’s Irvine Medical Center. Symptoms that linger also warrant a trip to a health care specialist, she says.

The following are 10 symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore:

  • Chest pain. A heart attack can come on as a dull pressure or heaviness, according to Dr. Diane Ryan, an internal medicine specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. 
  • Sudden eye pain. It could indicate that you’re getting shingles, a painful viral condition, or that you have a blocked blood vessel, internal bleeding or acute glaucoma. 
  • Severe abdominal pain. Acute appendicitis, a serious infection or diverticulitis may be the cause. “You know your body,” says Leap. “If you’ve had this pain on and off for years, that’s one thing. But if it’s new and it doesn’t let up or it keeps getting worse, I want to see you.”
  • A terrible headache. A serious headache, especially if you also have neck stiffness, weakness or vision change, or after you hit your head, is concerning enough to have it checked out.
  • Prolonged pain from a minor cut or wound. If a small wound turns red or swells, or if it gets worse rather than better, it may be dangerously infected. “Organic material causes infections that spread wildly,” Leap says. “I’ve seen a splinter that got up under a fingernail. A few days later, they’ve got red streaks up their arm and a raging infection.”
  • Pain in your calf, especially after surgery. Calf pain can signal deep vein thrombosis, a dangerous type of blood clot that often occurs in patients recovering from knee or hip surgery. 
  • Pain accompanied by a loss of function. If you hurt your leg but you can still walk around, it may just be a sprained ankle. “But if you can’t move it and you’re having pain,” Leap says, “that should be investigated immediately.” You may have a fracture, nerve injury or loss of blood flow.
  • Nerve pain. Tingling or numbness in your hands or feet can be a sign of nerve damage, particularly if you have diabetes. Lab work can help determine the cause, says Sehgal.
  • Extreme fatigue. Contact your doctor if you feel profound fatigue after easy tasks like washing the dishes or taking out the garbage. It may signal heart disease or problems with thyroid function.
  • Difficulty breathing. If you take a walk every day and suddenly feel like you’re struggling for breath, visit a health care professional to see if it’s related to asthma, emphysema or heart disease.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Women’s Financial Insecurity

Women have financial issues for good reason. Here’s why, what to do about it, and how to make the most of what you have.

The wealth gap between men and women starts early; boys get twice as much allowance as girls, on average, according to recent studies. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Women hold 71% of their assets in cash, versus 60% for men, so women are less likely to invest than men. Women also need more money in retirement since they usually live longer than men and are more likely to need long-term care. 

Women also fare worse than men after a divorce and struggle more financially when they are single. They are more often the caretakers of children or older family members and get paid less than men when they do work. They are less likely than men to make investment decisions when they are married. 

All of these women have one thing in common: they are risk-averse and often afraid to put their money to work (even though the real risk is to avoid investing and watch that cash lose money every year as inflation lowers its value). As a recent study found, lower levels of earnings and workforce attachment could not explain the extent of the wealth differential; a contributing factor seemed to be “a lack of adequate financial literacy.”

So ladies, what can we do about it? Plenty, as it turns out.

Increasing Pay and Financial Literacy

Women in the workforce can ask for raises more often or switch to another employer (where they will likely get increased wages). They can advocate for payment for caregiving within their family, and/or take advantage of the law. For example, they can live with the parent they care for in order to eventually inherit the house (instead of having to sell it) when Mom or Dad runs out of money (check with Medicaid or see an attorney first). They can buy long-term care insurance (which covers a portion of non-medical care) when they are healthier and more likely to qualify.

Women can educate themselves about personal finance. Expert Suze Orman wrote a book entitled Women & Money, or check out finance guru Dave Ramsey for his plan on paying off debt and getting back control of your money. 

Myriad financial bloggers and podcasters in the financial independence (FI) community offer great tips for frugality, debt payoff and saving. Start with the iconic Mr. Money Mustache or try one of dozens of female bloggers in the space. The FI community may be generally much younger than many of us, but tips for great money management (paying off debt, saving and investing) do not change much with age. 

If You Have Money To Invest ($5 Is Enough)

If you don’t know anything about stocks, well, you don’t really have to. Invest in an exchange traded index fund (an index ETF) that follows the S&P. To learn what an ETF is and what stocks make up the S&P, read the free J. Collins Stock Series online, where he uses layman’s terms fit for beginners, or read his book, The Simple Path to Wealth. 

Most 401(k)s have some target date funds that gradually change over the portfolio from a heavier weighting of stocks to a heavier weighting in bonds as the account holder nears retirement. This gives many women peace of mind since they can invest and never think about rebalancing.

If you work in the gig economy and don’t have a savings plan, most brokerages (such as Vanguard, Fidelity, Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade) offer free services, including buying and selling stock, and all of them offer online services. Choose one that has an office in your community and make an appointment to talk to a representative, or call if it’s more convenient. Ask for a woman if it makes you more comfortable. You are the client, and you’re in charge. 

You may be starting with a very small amount of money, and that’s OK. All of the major brokerages offer stock slices, so if the stock you want costs more than what you have (and you can literally start with $5), you get as much of a share as your money will buy. Feel proud of your decision to invest, whether it is $5 or $5,000. 

New York Times bestselling author Jean Chatzky has spent much of her life covering money issues. Her book, Women With Money, answers “questions women should be asking about their money at every age.” You could even bring a group of friends together to play Chatzky's HerMoney Happy Hour game that is a discussion about money for women only.

Older Women Making Financial Decisions

Many women in or near retirement find that it is too late to course correct; there is no time to increase savings. But they don’t have to live every day afraid that their money will run out.  While some very conservative planners suggest a 2% to 3% withdrawal rate, the 4% rule is a time-tested formula for safe withdrawal from a retirement fund. Historically, a person could withdraw 4% of their nest egg each year and allow for about 2% inflation annually, and expect the account to last at least 33 years, even in the worst of times. 

Women shouldn’t fear putting their money in the market, especially when today’s low interest rates mean bonds are very low yielders. Even if you only earn 5% annually (while nothing is guaranteed, stocks generally go up an average of 7% to 10% per year), you are beating inflation and getting a much better return than having your money sit in the bank. 

Women in the Silent Generation may be better off financially than younger cohorts but struggle with finances after the death of a spouse. These women will often opt to leave money for their children, even to their own detriment. They may have a large, expensive house to maintain and risk having health care eat up their remaining nest egg. One female financial adviser noted wryly that her women clients “just won’t spend money on themselves as they age;” she never sees that problem in men.

Another issue women are more likely to encounter is dementia. Both sexes drop in financial literacy after age 60 (take the financial literacy quiz here to see how you’re doing). But women should have someone designated to take over their finances when they are no longer able to call the shots. It’s better to have chosen someone to act with a durable power of attorney (POA) ahead of time than to have to make the decision in an emergency, or after cognition has slowed.

Tax and Estate Planning

For women fortunate enough to need tax and estate planning — and that may well mean you, because taxes eat more of our budget than anything except housing — consider someone who charges a flat fee and acts as a fiduciary. The XY Planning Network one such group that guarantees “no commissions, no sales, no minimums” and has a huge network of planners to pick from. You may want to talk to planner Ellen who specializes in divorced women, women in transition, and widow/widowers, “assisting you through cumbersome paperwork and educating you without the industry jargon. The nuances, rules and types of accounts are explained by how they fit your needs, risks, tax structure and earning capabilities.” Or, call planner Breanna who “decided to build a firm in order to create an inviting environment where women are encouraged to discuss their money without judgment, to learn about their investments in a way they enjoy, and to become more comfortable managing their money with confidence.” Their credentials are clearly listed on the site, and in today’s world, a planner based on the other side of your state can serve you just as easily as one in your hometown. 

Even people who went to school for this stuff have often struggled with debt and doubt. Women who reach out for guidance will find others who are happy to help, or who will point them to someone who can. The first step is both the hardest and the most important. 


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Add a Decade To Your Life With These Five Habits

A study from Harvard uncovered five habits that could help you live 10 years longer and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by half.

It’s possible to extend your life substantially by adopting five simple habits. Even more important, perhaps, is that these habits will give you a better shot at avoiding cancer, heart disease, dementia and more. And who doesn’t want more quality years to watch grandchildren grow into adulthood, actively participate in their community and enjoy life?

How This Man Lived Past 100

Japanese physician Shigeaki Hinohara lived a full and happy life to the age of 105. The longevity expert freely dispensed advice on what he did to stay healthy and strong for more than a century. He recommended continuing to work well past the common retirement age of 65. The good doctor maintained a five-year appointment calendar and saw patients for up to 18 hours a day, volunteering his time as he got older. 

Hinohara avoided elevators and said he took the stairs “two at a time, to get my muscles moving.” He carried his own bags, and gave an average of 150 lectures a year — standing up, “to stay strong.” He ate a modest diet: Coffee, a glass of milk and orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil were enough at breakfast. “Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat,” he said “I never get hungry because I focus on my work. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat.”

Perhaps his greatest secret was to stay busy contributing to his community. “It’s wonderful to live long,” Hinohara said. “Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one’s family and to achieve one’s goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.”

Advances in science and medicine should give us all a healthier life, and Americans can expect to live an average of about 76 years (that age is dropping due to COVID-19 deaths). But in fact, the U.S. ranks only 43rd out of 195 countries in terms of lifespan. Residents of Monaco hold the No. 1 position, with the Japanese close behind.

Five Healthy Habits

Research scientists gathered 34 years of data on 73,196 women and 28 years of data from 38,366 men to arrive at their conclusions. They found that starting the habits by your fifties led to the most extended lifespan, but following the recommendations at any time had a positive effect. The five healthy habits are:

  1. Don’t use tobacco. Smoking, vaping, chewing and dipping tobacco all had negative health effects.
  2. Drink in moderation. Limit alcohol to one glass of wine for women, and two for men daily.
  3. Exercise daily. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate to hard exercise per day.
  4. Eat well. Heavy on the vegetables, light on red meat and fried food. 
  5. Stay slim. A body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 25 was ideal.

“Previous studies have found that following a healthy lifestyle improves overall life expectancy and reduces risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, but few studies have looked at the effects of lifestyle factors on life expectancy free from such diseases,” said first author Yanping Li, senior research scientist in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. “This study provides strong evidence that following a healthy lifestyle can substantially extend the years a person lives disease-free.”

Compared to those who didn’t engage in any of the healthy habits, women upped their life expectancy from 79 to 93.1 years, while men increased theirs from an average 75.5 to 87.6 years.

Steer Clear of Alzheimer’s

The recommendations for avoiding Alzheimer’s are nearly identical, with the addition of one habit and the elimination of the body mass limit (although eating well and exercising regularly should help keep BMI in check):

1. Don’t smoke.
2. Drink in moderation.
3. Exercise at least 150 minutes each week.
4. Eat a diet that supports brain health (similar to a Mediterranean diet).
5. Engage in late-life cognitive activities.

It’s important to note that it’s never too late to start one or more of the habits. Additionally, it’s okay to skip a day or two of exercise once in a while, just as you can exceed the limit on alcohol from time to time. Use the habits as guidelines, and they’ll help you extend not only the quantity of your life, but also the quality.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Gerontechnology: The Boom in Tech for Older Adults

The massive market of older Americans is fueling an explosion of technology to serve them, and they are embracing the new products.

Gerontechnology, or “age tech” as it is sometimes called, comprises tech that is designed for use by older adults themselves, or by caregivers and other professionals who serve them. The International Society for Gerontechnology defines it as “designing technology and environment for independent living and social participation of older persons in good health, comfort and safety.”

Gerontechnology in Many Fields

Blogger (find her at The Gerontechnologist) and aging expert Keren Etkin has mapped out the gerontechnology landscape into fields and the companies that are developing products in each space. According to Etkin, gerontechnology can be grouped into:

  • Health
  • Wellness
  • Independence
  • Social and Communication
  • Cognitive Care
  • Tech-Enabled Home Care
  • End-of-Life Planning
  • Legacy
  • Retirement 2.0
  • InsureTech
  • Independence
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Caregivers 
  • Home Care Providers
  • Senior Living Communities

Easiest Way To Order Uber or Lyft

Studies show that depression and a loss of social engagement are often the result of an older adult’s decision to quit driving. It not ideal to depend on family and friends to drive you to appointments, bingo and social events. However, some older adults struggle to use a smartphone app to call for a car and driver. 

Enter GoGo Grandparent, a service that relieves the burden of transportation from friends and relatives, and hands back independence to someone who can no longer drive. The older adult calls GoGo Grandparent, then pushes a button to get an Uber or Lyft. When the senior needs to return home, pushing another button requests a ride back. They can also request an operator for help, get groceries or restaurant meals delivered, or speak to someone to schedule future needs. Meanwhile, family members can keep track of your movements. 

Physical and cognitive limitations can make it difficult or impossible to use a phone. What then? GoGo Grandparent has partnered with Google so services can be requested by voice via its Amazon Alexa voice assistant. Just download the Lyft or Uber app and add it to Alexa’s skills. It’s free to enable. GoGo Grandparent currently runs $9.99 a month and 27 cents per minute for operator services. 

Etkin added two new categories for 2020 alone as the market broadens. The U.S. Task Force on Research and Development for Technology to Support Aging Adults noted six major categories in its 2019 report, which serves to highlight the need for technological innovation in areas from public transportation to cognitive training. 

Older Adults Increasingly Online

You may be surprised to hear that the fastest-growing age group online is adults aged 50 and up, and 65% of that demographic is active on social media. That’s right, the vast majority of older adults are not technically illiterate. They are, rather, looking for products that help them take advantage of the technical revolution. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for such products as social isolation has hit older adults particularly hard.

"Older adults think the benefits of social technology greatly outweigh the costs and challenges of technology," says William Chopik, assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University. "And the use of this technology could benefit their mental and physical health over time.”

Add to that the pocket power of older adults. “The longevity economy is older adults, which starts at age 50 for most of us, and makes up a $7 trillion to $9 trillion economy,” says Joseph Coughlin, the director of the MIT AgeLab. “The 50-plus group is responsible for 70% of disposable income in the U.S. and the 60-plus group is responsible for 30% of wealth around the world.” That’s a lot of incentive to develop products aimed at older generations.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

22 Quotes for Embracing and Celebrating Our Old Selves

There is plenty to lament about getting old. Our bodies are not what they used to be. Our health may have failed, we have regrets, the time ahead is short. That’s one way of thinking about it. 

But what if we opened our hearts to a different way of thinking, even for the space of a moment? What if we turned the coin over to examine the other side, the one where our mind, our mature and wonderful mind, triumphs? The following quotations come from a wide variety of people, but they all contain a joie de vivre; they all embrace and celebrate our old selves. Read one every day and take it to heart, live it, embrace it, think of how it applies to you. Tell someone you love them, and love yourself. 

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” –Henry Ford
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” –C.S. Lewis
“Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” –Carroll Bryant
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” - George Bernard Shaw
“I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don’t have to.” - Albert Einstein
“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” - Frank Lloyd Wright
"Ageing is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength." - Betty Friedan 
“Don’t waste so much time worrying about your skin or your weight. Develop what you do, what you put your hands on in the world.” - Meryl Streep
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” - Sophia Loren
“To keep the heart unwrinkled — to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent — that is to triumph over old age.” – Thomas Bailey Aldrich
“Almost all my middle-aged and elderly acquaintances, including me, feel about 25 — unless we haven’t had our coffee, in which case we feel 107.” – Martha Beck
“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” – David Bowie
“ … (S)he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition, youth and age are equally a burden.” – Cephalus
“Old age … is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.” – Confucius
“You don’t have a future when you refuse to accept the former generation. Simple.” – Petra Hermans
“Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.” – Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
“It’s not the specter of aging that haunts me. Rather, it’s the far greater fear of having aged and having nothing to show for the aging.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough
“The great thing about getting older is that you get a chance to tell the people in your life who matter what they mean to you.” – Mike Love
“Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” – Theodore Roosevelt
“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” – Mark Twain
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” – Samuel Ullman


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Famous and 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

March 7 - Bryan Cranston, Actor

You probably know Bryan Cranston for his phenomenally successful portrayal of character Walter White, the terminally ill chemistry teacher who finds a way to provide for his family’s future by making methamphetamine in Breaking Bad. The role earned him four Emmys, and the show itself garnered a pair of Outstanding Drama Series awards twice after Cranston took over production. Cranston also earned praises as Hal in Malcolm in the Middle, Tim Whatley the dentist in Seinfeld, and a slew of other roles on stage and screen.

Born in the fabled town of Hollywood, CA, Cranston had a radio actress mother and actor father. But life wasn’t sweet; Cranston has called his parents “broken people” who were “incapacitated as far as parenting.” His father left when Cranston was 11, and he was raised in part by his maternal grandparents on their poultry ranch. Nevertheless, he had a strong desire to act and began honing his craft in local and regional theaters, holding such jobs as truck loader, security guard and waiter to make ends meet. He even became a minister in the Universal Life Church, where he could earn $150 per wedding. By the 1980s, acting brought in enough money to support him.

Breaking Bad ran from 2008 to 2013, its success allowing Cranston the freedom to experiment with producing and developing TV products. He starred in a television adaptation of his own acclaimed play, All the Way, which led to eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a Television Critics Choice Award nomination. His production company, Moonshot Entertainment, inked a deal with Warner Bros. Television in 2019.

Cranston has been married to his second wife since 1989; they have a daughter. He is a lifelong Los Angeles Dodgers fan. Cranston and his Breaking Bad costar, Aaron Paul, released their signature tequila, Dos Hombres, in 2019.

Image Source: Wikipedia

March 13 - Jamie Dimon, CEO

How do you amass a billion dollars? JPMorgan Chase chief executive officer and chairman Jamie Dimon has done it, earning anywhere from 11 million to to 29.5 million per year to head one of the Big Four American banks while being put on the Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world five times along the way. 

Born in the Big Apple, Dimon’s father and grandfather were stockbrokers. Dimon attended Harvard Business School and worked summers at Goldman Sachs. After graduation, he went to American Express, where his father was an executive vice president. In 1985 at the age of 30, Dimon left to become CEO of Commercial Credit, which he turned into financial services conglomerate Citigroup. He then departed to become CEO of Bank One, which JPMorgan Chase bought in 2004, when Dimon became head of the combined company.

But money can’t buy you health. Dimon was treated for throat cancer in 2014 and underwent emergency heart surgery in March 2020. He has been working from home throughout the COVID pandemic, where he lives with his wife of 37 years. The couple has three daughters.

Image Source: Wikipedia

March 17 - Patrick McDonnell, Cartoonist

Creator of the comic strip Mutts, Patrick McDonnell is also a prolific illustrator, author and playwright. His picture book, Me… Jane, about the childhood years of Jane Goodall won a Caldecott Honor in 2012. McDonnell’s work on Mutts earned him the Harvey Award for Best Comic Strip eight times. He is also the creator of Bad Baby, a monthly comic strip that appeared in Parents Magazine and were collected and published in book form by Ballantine. 

Peanut’s creator Charles M. Schulz was one of McDonnell’s early heroes. He has always been an animal lover, so perhaps Snoopy and Woodstock were part of the attraction. The cartoonist often placed a small dog in the background of his early illustrations. He is a vegan and serves on the board of directors for the Humane Society of the United States, the Fund for Animals and the Charles M. Schulz Museum. 

Mutts was syndicated in over 700 newspapers in more than 20 countries. The Jack Russell Terrier, Earl, that was the series’ inspiration spent 18 years with McDonnell before passing away in 2007. McDonnell and his longtime wife Karen O’Connell live in New Jersey with their dog Amelie and a cat named Willie Lebowsky.


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Friday, February 26, 2021

Nine Ways the Coronavirus Is Speeding Change in Health Care

The pandemic has forced rapid change and altered opinions regarding health care in the U.S., and we’re not going back.

COVID-19 has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of job in America alone, while initiating some deep introspection within the health care industry. Deeply held beliefs about how health care should be provided and paid for have been shaken, and experts say we will never go back to the way it used to be. 

Pepsi Launches Nighttime Drink

The pandemic is affecting much more than just health care. Not surprisingly, stress is up, and Pepsi may have found the perfect opening to launch its first beverage to help consumers relax before bed. Each blue can of Driftwell contains 200 milligrams of L-theanine and 10% of the daily value of magnesium. 

“I think we’re launching this at a time when there’s more consumer interest than there previously was, given everything that’s going on from a macro perspective,” says Emily Silver, vice president of innovation and capabilities at Pepsi’s North American beverages unit.

The enhanced water drink contains an amino acid, L-theanine, that’s found in green and black teas, as well as certain mushrooms. The 7.5-ounce mini cans in blackberry lavender flavor are, according to Silver, just the right size to offer hydration without making you get up in the middle of the night. 

Millions of unemployed people have suddenly lost health insurance, and others have been forced to delay noncritical treatment as hospitals were overwhelmed with pandemic patients. Telemedicine, considered a novelty in pre-pandemic times, has leapt in to fill gaps and maintain social distancing for services ranging from checkups to addiction counseling. 

One of the biggest changes that may occur is an end to the distinctly American custom that has bound health care coverage to employment. It could also force a reluctant nation to examine why Black people and other historically marginalized minorities have been disproportionately susceptible, not just to the coronavirus, but to many common health conditions. And it could foretell the end of the era for nursing homes and assisted living facilities as older adults have been forced into isolation.

Here are nine ways the pandemic is changing U.S. health care:

  1. Telemedicine. Virtual doctor visits have been possible for years, but prior to the pandemic, services were little used. Now, the health care community has embraced telemedicine as being safer, quicker and easier than in-person visits. Medicare has even signed on as it saw cost reductions. Patients like the convenience and affordability, too. Primary care visits were the first to go virtual, but more and more specialists have realized they can operate over a video feed as well. As one former health care adviser to two presidential administrations put it: The technology “has probably been accelerated by a decade.”
  2. Health Insurance. Typically, health care coverage has been tied to employment in this country. The Affordable Care Act sought to make coverage available whether someone was working or not, but it has been under attack. Some think the time is now right for universal coverage, or Medicare for all. Others are pushing health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), which allow employers to reimburse workers for a set dollar amount per year, while the workers are responsible for finding coverage. HRAs allow employers to have control over cost. 
  3. Group Homes for Seniors. Older Americans in nursing homes and assisted living facilities account for over one-third of pandemic deaths in some states as the disease passed like wildfire in the close living conditions. Older adults “don’t want to be in what’s basically a nursing-home prison, as some have called it,” says Grace Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a conservative health policy research group. This may lead to a wave of need for home health aides as seniors stay at home. 
  4. Racial Reckoning. COVID-19 kills people of color, in particular Black people, at much higher rates. For example, although Black people represent a mere 6% of the Wisconsin population, they represent nearly half of the state’s coronavirus deaths. “The stark disparities in COVID-19 infection rates and outcomes among different populations and different parts of the country has been hard to ignore,” says Risa Lavizzo-Mouraey, professor of health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. “While there’s a rich body of work that has demonstrated this in the past, it’s a unique moment where it’s happening all at once, and you can see it in real time.” Georges Benjamin, executive director for the American Public Health Association, agrees, noting “We need a plan now to make sure that those existing disparities are not exacerbated by inadequate access to treatment or access to vaccines.” 
  5. Big Pharma. Are pharmaceutical companies saviors or villains? For years, they’ve been reviled for profiting off of sick Americans, but they’ve ridden white horses into the pandemic fray with surprisingly effective vaccines delivered more quickly than anyone thought possible. Will lawmakers and the public still have an appetite for assaulting them over drug pricing? Only time will tell.
  6. American Manufacturing. Pandemic drug and vaccine manufacturing has found a home in the U.S., and that’s fine with former Rep. Donna Shalala, who was, until recently, a congresswoman from Florida and former health secretary. “We have to look at the supply chain,” she says. “It doesn’t mean that we don’t believe in a global market, but it does mean that we have to be able to ramp up production here quickly.” 
  7. Preparation. The public watched as governors and frontline health care workers begged for personal protective equipment and ventilators at the start of the crisis, and they waited for testing and contact tracing. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for emergency preparedness, infrastructure, supplies and health care professionals. Some have proposed networks of retired doctors and/or medical students to be at the ready: the medical counterpart of a National Guard. 
  8. Non-physician Health Care Workers. Massive pressure was exerted on emergency rooms and intensive care units while many health care workers were out with the virus or in quarantine. More care to more patients at a lower cost could be provided by nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants already on the payroll, particularly in rural hospitals and clinics. Shalala says, “Frankly, 70% of primary care could be handled by advanced practice nurses.” Billy Tauzin, former Republican congressman from Louisiana and former president of PhRMA, adds that skilled nursing demand will increase because there will be “a major shift to decentralize health care, and toward preventive care and home care.”
  9. Money. Doctors’ and hospitals’ revenue has been hit hard because demand for services outside of COVID-19 treatment has nearly dried up. The fee-for-service medicine model may die, in favor of lump-sum payment for caring for a group of patients or compensation for keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital. “We’ve seen physician offices that live off fee-for-service just get freakin’ killed,” says Chris Jennings, policy consultant. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Does Your Money Need To Last ’Til You’re 100?

Some financial advisers say your nest egg should be large enough to last until you’re 100, but is that realistic?

You know that Americans are living longer. In fact, they expect to live longer than their parents by a 4-to-1 ratio, according to a report by the Longevity Project, formed by the Stanford Center on Longevity. The group interviewed 2,200 adults in preparation for its new report, “Planning for the 30+ Year Retirement.” One finding is that the move from defined-benefit (pension) plans to defined-contribution (401(k)) plans has left older adults wondering how much they need to save before they can retire. Adding years to their lifespan only increases their worry, especially when financial planners are often plugging in 95, and even 100, as common default end-of-life ages.

That’s not going to be the reality for most people. The typical man in the U.S. who is 65 can expect to live 18 more years. The typical woman, about 20. But many financial planners feel they need to cover their bases by making every client save as though we’ll all wind up centenarians. 

Professionals React

When adviser Carolyn McClanahan heard the 100-years-old number mentioned at a financial planning conference, she reacted with disbelief. “Even when you have a 350-pound guy
 who smokes?” she asked the speaker. McClanahan has cred: she is a medical doctor as well as a certified financial planner, and she contends that medical advances “aren’t happening that fast.” 

“You come into the emergency room and you die, or I’m telling you that you have cancer,” says McClanahan, who has worked both in emergency rooms and pathology labs. “That makes it really hard for me to tell people to save, save, save.”

Of course, brokerages want as much of our money as they can get, so they are complicit in the idea that we should aim high and save the maximum possible. And financial advisers have a real fear of getting sued by older clients or their children when the retirement money river has run dry.

"I definitely have concerns that many advisers are being way too conservative," says Michael Kitces, a certified financial planner and well respected blogger. “Most of our improvements in life expectancy are coming from the decline in child mortality. The actual survival rate of people in their 80s and 90s is not increasing very fast.”  He points out that actuarial tables reveal there is a 70% chance of one or both members of a married couple making it to 85, but the odds are only 20% either of them will see 95, and less that they may live to 100.

The 4% Rule

Another factor is the safe withdrawal rate that is often used to forecast how long a nest egg will last. Research shows that the 4% rule works well over past markets, but some advisers warn that economic growth is slowing and we should only count on 3.5%, or perhaps even 3%. But financial planning industry consultant Bob Veres says that even the 4% number may be too conservative in most market situations. And most of us will spend less as we age, so we might want to take out a bit more in early retirement, when we can still travel, indulge hobbies and otherwise kick up our heels.

“I think only the client knows whether the inconvenience of spending less in retirement is more or less painful than the risk of cutting back drastically later in retirement if the markets don’t cooperate,” Veres says.

Will You Have Enough?

But if you are one of the few who outlive your fellow men (or women), how much do you need to retire? With all of this uncertainty, it can help to run the numbers. A retirement calculator can help you estimate what amount you’re comfortable with. Try the retirement calculator at NewRetirement or use the FIRECalc retirement calculator to see how your money would have fared historically. 

If you are beginning to wonder whether you’ll ever be able to retire, check out these strategies:
  • Wait to claim Social Security until you reach 70. Sure, you can claim as early as age 62, but if you wait until your full retirement age (depending on when you were born) your check will grow by 30%. Put off claiming until the top age of 70, and your benefits will be 75% more. 
  • Continue to work. You can either push back your retirement date, or quit the job you’re doing now and get a retirement job so you can delay using as much of your retirement savings. 
  • Consider an annuity. Carefully evaluate this option, which will give you lifetime income (like a pension) for a lump sum.
  • Consider a reverse mortgage. If you own a home, it may be able to fund a portion of your retirement. A reverse mortgage pays you while reducing your equity. 
  • Decrease expenses. You may be able to downsize or move to a state with lower taxes and/or home prices. 

Most Americans are not saving enough for retirement, according to many studies. While that is certainly true in many cases, you need to examine your situation closely to see if you may be sacrificing unnecessarily. We all want a comfortable retirement, but there is a balance in enjoying our early retirement years and sacrificing for the future. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Pets in the Pandemic

Pets are helping people cope during one of the most isolating events mankind has ever known.

Fallout from the coronavirus has led to loss of routine, loss of socialization, and for some, the loss of a dear friend or family member. There’s never been a time when we needed a buddy more. For many of us, a pet has filled that void. Adoptions have soared as the demand for dogs has skyrocketed. “Within my circle of friends, there are at least five people who have gotten a puppy,” says Tess Karaskevicus, a schoolteacher. She got a boxer pup in late May and has been inviting friends over to play with her new canine while staying socially distant. “They’re getting a puppy dosage of happiness,” she says. “It’s been really amazing.”

Neighbors are making dates to walk their dogs. It’s an opportunity to get together safely outside on a regular basis. Everybody gets fresh air and exercise along with some human (and doggy) interaction.

Pets Bring Health Benefits

Interacting with our pets during the pandemic has benefits rooted in science, according to Megan Mueller, co-director of Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction and a senior fellow at Tisch College. She says that studies show “contact with pets helps reduce stress and anxiety, particularly when you are experiencing a stressful situation.”

Older adults are particularly vulnerable to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Often, they’ve lost friends and/or a spouse, and they no longer have co-workers. They may also be isolated due to transportation limitations or health issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list the following benefits pets can provide:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Lowered cholesterol levels
  • Reduced levels of triglycerides, a type of body fat
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness
  • Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
  • Improved opportunities for social connection

“Pets can motivate you to do things that are good for your own mental health,” said Mueller. “And activities with animals that you enjoy or that are part of your routine help bring back some degree of normalcy.”

Survey Confirms Positive Interactions

A recent survey by the British Kennel Club confirms the benefits of a canine companion during the pandemic. Strikingly, almost two-thirds of the 2,622 owners surveyed said their pet was a “lifeline” during the nation’s lockdown, while nearly half said their pet helped them feel less lonely. Having a dog reduced the anxiety of more than one-third of respondents. 

Pets don’t judge, so perhaps it’s not surprising that 61% of owners found more comfort in their dog than in their fellow human beings. Nearly one in three said their dog was there for them when no one else was. Survey respondent Tracey Ison credits her dog, Scout, with pulling her through a breakdown. “Scout has been a great support to me during lockdown. He gives me a reason to get up every morning and stick to a routine whilst I am furloughed from work,” she says. “He really is the best buddy I could have asked for.”


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Is It Time To Get an Electric Car?

Electric vehicles have enough advantages over their gas-powered counterparts that it may be time to make the switch.

A former BMW owner, Ed Adler, recently bought a Tesla Model 3. “I think the world of the car,” he says, although the center-mounted screen and lack of gauges in front of the driver took some getting used to. The electric vehicle (EV) won him over for its low maintenance costs, but there are many other advantages. “I don’t think I’ll ever get another combustion engine car,” he says.

If you thought that EVs were only for environmentalists or early adopters, consider that GMC is putting out an all-electric version of its military-inspired Hummer. Or that Tesla has its own futuristic version of the pickup for sale. Let’s dig in to why so many people are making the switch.

  • Variety. As we noted above, pickups are part of today’s EV fleet. But so are compacts, sports cars and SUVs. Toyota, Kia and Ford are making EVs, but so are Porsche, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz. It’s not just a Tesla world anymore, although the company puts out a great sedan in a variety of price points. 
  • Low maintenance. Say goodbye to oil changes. EVs have fewer moving parts and require less servicing overall than gas cars.
  • Performance. EVs have immediate response and great acceleration, particularly where you need it most, in the 0-30 mph range. Handling is improved because the heavy battery sits low, improving the center of gravity. There’s no “shift-shock” from a transmission. There’s almost no noise except for the wind and the tires. 
  • Lower cost. The initial outlay is a bit higher, but government programs (see below) and lower maintenance and “fueling” charges improve the bottom line. 
  • Range. As batteries improve and more charging stations are added, EVs are going from the around-the-town car to true long-distance vehicles. Currently, most can travel over 200 miles on a single charge, and even the low-cost Chevrolet Bolt can go 259 miles before running out of juice. 
  • Perks. Many states offer incentives to own EVs, such as access to a carpool lane, free parking or other advantages. 
  • No guilt. Electric cars reduce emissions by an average of 70% depending on where you live, according to a recent study. And you can charge at night, when most electricity would otherwise go unused. 

VW Bus Reborn as EV

If you get nostalgic thinking about the iconic Volkswagen Microbus, you’re not alone. Starting in 2022, you’ll be able to get an electric version called the ID.Buzz. Aging hippies can relive their glory days, while others can enjoy one of the best road-tripping cars ever for the first time. And although the gas-powered Bus suffered from a legendary lack of power, the new EV model boasts twin electric motors that put out 369 horsepower with an all-wheel-drive powertrain. Sporting 300 miles of range and a recharge to 80% of storage in about half an hour, the new Bus is a viable RV alternative. “We want to reignite America’s love for VW,” says Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of management for the brand. Peace, everyone!

Electric Batteries Go 2 Million Miles

Tesla battery researcher and developer Jeff Dahn has developed and tested a lithium-ion battery that the scientist believes is capable of lasting 2 million miles in EVs. The batteries show little to no degradation when discharged between a quarter and a half of their capacity - exactly how most people use their cars. The question is, does anyone need a battery that will outlast the rest of their car? Actually, the answer is yes. Here are some reasons:
  • Vehicle to grid. Developers expect that soon, you’ll be able to sell extra capacity back to your electric company. While your car is parked in your garage, you can be earning energy credit.
  • Avoid waste. No more dead batteries going into landfills every few years. Put your old battery in your new car.
  • Special uses. Ferries and hybrid aircraft (large drones) need to be able to work all day, for years. 
  • Grid energy storage. Electric companies will be able to store energy for decades in a single battery.


The number of public charging stations varies across the country, with more along the coasts. Drivers can choose from 112,000 gas stations, but currently are limited to about 28,000 charging stations. However, most EV owners have a charging station at home.

You can use a 120v outlet, although it will take longer to charge. Most homeowners have a 250v outlet installed for between $200 and $800, then plug in a home charging station that will work with virtually every EV (even Tesla, for the cost of a $95 adapter) for about $600. Many utilities offer price breaks for the equipment, and the federal government may extend the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit that bestows a federal tax credit of up to $1,000 to property owners who install a home charging station. You can even tell Alexa to charge your car in the middle of the night when costs are lower.

Cost of Gas vs. Electric Fuel and Maintenance

The cost per mile is less in an EV than a traditional gas-powered vehicle. Rates for electricity and gas vary depending on where you live, but in general you can expect to spend half of what it would cost for gas to keep your EV going, studies say. While it will set you back about $1,117 to keep your gas-guzzling vehicle on the road for a year, its electric equivalent will only require $485 on average. 

Due to their low-maintenance electric motors, EVs don’t need to be serviced as often as vehicles with combustion engines. They will never need an oil change, and the shop won’t be able to upcharge you if you’re not there. Consumer Reports estimates average savings of $4,600 over the life of the car. 

Rebates and Incentives

There are a slew of rebates and incentives for buying (not leasing) a new EV. The biggest is the federal tax credit of up to $7,500, which offsets tax liability for that year. If your tax liability is only $5,000, for example, your credit will only be $5,000 and the remainder cannot be carried forward. 

Not all EVs qualify for the credit, which phases out when a company has sold 200,000 qualifying vehicles. GM and Tesla have met this limit for EVs. Also, most vehicles don’t qualify for the full $7,500, which is based on the power storage capability of the battery. For a full list of eligible electric vehicles, go here.  For a list of eligible hybrids and EVs with the maximum credit for each, go here

Many states also offer tax credits, incentives and rebates. You may find charging station installation incentives, vehicle tax credits, electricity discounts or even driving perks. To find out what your state is offering, go here.
Is it time for you to go electric? It may well be, considering that electric cars drive farther, charge faster and come in more models and price ranges than ever before. If you’re looking for a new car, make sure to consider the array of EVs offered by a host of companies getting in on this growing trend.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Turning Back Time

After centuries of searching, the Fountain of Youth may have been discovered at last by a Harvard researcher.

Ponce de Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth and wound up discovering Florida, ironically the place where older people often spend their final years. The human race has never quit hoping for an elixir that would turn back the clock. It’s possible that one scientist is finally getting close.

Regenerating Youthful Tissue

David Sinclair, professor in the Department of Genetics and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School, is the senior author of a recent study which reprogrammed the expression of a trio of genes to induce mature nerve cells in mouse eyes to revert to a youthful state. The treatment not only reversed glaucoma in the animals, but also reversed age-related sight loss in elderly rodents. Further studies will be needed to prove the concept, but there is a possibility the therapy could be used to repair age-related damage and diseases in other organs, including those of humans.

“Our study demonstrates that it's possible to safely reverse the age of complex tissues such as the retina and restore its youthful biological function,” Sinclair said. If affirmed through further studies, these findings could be transformative for the care of age-related vision diseases like glaucoma and to the fields of biology and medical therapeutics for disease at large.”

Potential to Combat Many Diseases

In essence, Sinclair is working to reverse genetic changes, specifically DNA methylation and demethylation, that are the hallmarks of aging. Methylation can be seen on cells as a sort of crust, according to Sinclair, and scientists can tell how old you are biologically within a few years by observing the degree of methylation on your cells. 

The biggest risk factor for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and many other ailments is aging. Medicine is generally focused on treating each disease separately; but Sinclair hypothesizes that by reversing the effects of aging, all of the diseases could be reduced or eliminated. Others agree.

“We are on the verge of a public health breakthrough of the kind we have never seen before,” says S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health who studies demographics and aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It is not trivial. This is bigtime.”

Sinclair is the author of Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To, which took just over a week to reach number 11 on the New York Times bestseller list last September. He has also started 17 companies, had countless discoveries documented in prestigious scientific journals and has been awarded a plethora of scientific honors and prizes. 


The smooth-talking native Australian is also a controversial figure. “He’s a superb scientist, as well as a superb salesman,” says his friend Steven Austad, a professor of biology who studies aging at the University of Alabama. “You talk to him about science and you won’t find many more knowledgeable, incisive experimentalists as David. And then you can listen to the stuff he says on TV and be like, What the hell is he talking about? ”

Even fellow scientists have their doubts. “He does do research and he gets it published in peer-reviewed journals, and if he just did that, it’d be fine,” says a Harvard Medical School professor who asked to remain anonymous. “But then he speaks out about how he makes himself young and says stuff that would be embarrassing for any normal scientist to say.”

Sinclair claims to have turned back his own biological clock a full decade, from his true age 50 to a more youthful 40. To do this, he restricts calories and doesn’t eat until the afternoon, exercises, and takes a handful of pills, some of which are formulated based on his own research.

Many years ago, Sinclair published papers documenting groundbreaking discoveries on the life-prolonging (for yeast) properties of resveratrol, a component of red wine. His company, Sirtris, went public in 2007 then got bought out for an astounding $720 million by GlaxoSmithKline. Then the research got debunked by scientists at Pfizer. In response, Sinclair claimed the researchers “don’t know how to make a molecule right” and published more of his own research. In the end, GlaxoSmithKline shuttered Sirtris a mere five years after buying it.

When his book came out, some colleagues were offended by its title. “What is wrong with the guy that he is compelled to do this?” asks the unnamed Harvard Medical School professor. “Seen in the best possible way, he is totally convinced that he is the savior of mankind developing the fountain of youth. But you don’t have to hype to do that. Just let the facts play out.”

How Sinclair Stays Young

Whatever the results of his recent research, Sinclair maintains some practices that he believes help him stay young. He practices calorie restriction, rarely eats meat, and avoids sugar and carbohydrates. Weekends find him at the gym. He follows his workout with a hot sauna and then a plunge into a freezing cold pool — he says that temperature extremes ignite survival instincts in our cells. Sinclair takes vitamin D, vitamin K2, and aspirin. He also consumes resveratrol, NMN and metformin, a diabetes drug being studied for its anti-aging properties. 

The scientist is not a medical doctor and does not recommend that anyone follow his regimen. However, many people try. “I like David a lot. We’re very good friends. However, I don’t think that what he’s doing is right,” says Felipe Sierra, the director of the aging biology division at the National Institute of Aging. “I don’t think that people should try it on themselves. And if they do, they shouldn’t publicize it. Researchers do have a responsibility toward the public, and we should be careful about what we tell the public.”

The jury is out on Sinclair’s regime for youth. But he’s definitely someone to watch as the medical community continues to discover ways in which we may all one day be able to turn back time.