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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Household Chores May Increase Brain Health

Doing chores around the house — inside and out — is linked to bigger brain size, an indication of cognitive health.

Mopping the floor, mowing the lawn … household chores can seem like fairly mindless duties. But a new study shows a link between the frequency you perform those chores and the size of your brain.

"Scientists already know that exercise has a positive impact on the brain, but our study is the first to show that the same may be true for household chores," says Noah Koblinsky, lead author of the study, and exercise physiologist and project coordinator at Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute (RRI). "Understanding how different forms of physical activity contribute to brain health is crucial for developing strategies to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults."

Kickstarting Your Brain After COVID-19

Chronic stress changes the brain, and 2020 was tough on everyone. If you are in a funk after the anxiety and loneliness brought by the pandemic, we have six ways to start getting better. People with severe symptoms should speak with a mental health professional about talk treatment or medication. 

  • Exercise. People who exercise live longer, so get out for a walk or hop on a bike.
  • Watch what you eat. Nutrition provides the building blocks for neural connections.
  • Be kind. Kindness, altruism and empathy give life meaning and make us happy.
  • Rest up. Sleep recharges the brain and removes toxic waste byproducts.
  • Learn a new skill. Brain function and structure change when you learn a new skill. 
  • Be social. Staying connected with others decreases mortality and the likelihood of illness. 

Research Study

The study evaluated 66 adults with normal cognition ranging in age from 67 to 75 living in Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care in Canada. Participants had an overall health evaluation, structural brain imaging, and a cognition assessment. They were asked about how much time they engaged in household chores like tidying up, making meals, shopping, yard work, home repairs, caregiving, and other housework. 

It turned out that participants who said they spent the most time doing chores also had greater brain volume, regardless of how much exercise they got. Specifically, research found that gray matter volume increased in both the hippocampus and frontal lobe. The hippocampus has a major role in memory and learning, while the frontal lobe is involved with cognition. 

How It Works

It is possible that the study shows that people with bigger brains have a tendency to do the brunt of chores at home. However, it is well known that heart health and brain health are closely linked. Doing housework is similar to low-intensity aerobic exercise, which has positive effects on the heart and blood vessels. 

Neural connections may be stimulated by the planning  and organization essential to carrying out chores, even when we get older. It could also be that those adults who spend more time on chores around the house sat around less. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with poor brain health, among other negative health outcomes. 

“Besides helping to guide physical activity recommendations for older adults, these findings may also motivate them to be more active, since household chores are a natural and often necessary aspect of many people’s daily lives, and therefore appear more attainable,” says Dr. Nicole Anderson, senior scientist at the RRI, Director of the Ben and Hilda Katz Interprofessional Research Program in Geriatric and Dementia Care, and senior author of the study.

Next Steps

Researchers hope to use wearables to track actual household physical activity in future studies. They would also like to see if increasing an individual’s household activity would change brain size or function over time. 

In the meantime, maybe we can all think about chores a little differently. Instead of grousing about taking out the garbage or doing the laundry, take pride in growing your brain. 


This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical decisions before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Talking About Long-Term Care Insurance

It's important to use the correct terms and understand the available options when talking about long-term care insurance.

By Mickey Batsell, CLU, CASL, MBA, FLMI, CLTC, CSA

When someone hears or sees the words “long-term care,” the first thing that often comes to mind is a nursing home. This association has negative connotations for most of us, who assume that: (1) the only place for long-term care is a nursing home; (2) we never want to go there; and (3) we certainly do not want to talk about it. In order to have an open and honest discussion about the subject, we need to have a better understanding of its scope, and to phrase the conversation in a manner that creates a more positive reaction. It is helpful to educate your audience with some basics.

Using the Right Words

The first suggestion is to use the term “extended care” instead of “long-term care”. Extended care is assistance that a person needs because he or she has a long-term impairment.  The care can be provided in different settings, including at home, an adult day care center, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home.

The two types of impairments that require extended care are acute and chronic. An acute impairment is a sudden event that requires immediate medical attention under a plan of care created by a physician and executed by skilled medical and nursing staff. The expectation is that some degree of recovery is possible and, if treated in time, a full recovery is expected.

A chronic impairment is a condition that cannot be cured but can be managed.  Most extended care events are driven by a chronic impairment or a combination of chronic impairments. The chronic impairments that relate to someone needing extended care are either physical or cognitive. As these chronic conditions progress, they compromise an individual’s ability to get through the most basic daily routines, called activities of daily living (ADLs).

The six ADLs are: 
  • Mobility/Transferring 
  • Toileting
  • Bathing 
  • Dressing 
  • Eating 
  • Continence
A cognitive impairment is the deterioration or loss of intellectual capacity, as certified by a licensed health care practitioner.  It is measured by clinical evidence and standardized tests that reveal memory or reasoning loss. The biggest concern for those with cognitive impairment is for their safety.

The two levels of care that an impairment may require are skilled or custodial.  Skilled care is provided by a licensed physician, a nurse, or some other licensed professional under a plan of care created by a physician. Custodial care is provided by non-skilled personnel. This custodial care can fall into the category of informal or formal.  Informal care is provided by family, friends, or volunteers and is not paid.  Formal care means those performing the care are receiving compensation and are employed by a home care company or are licensed independently.

The Next Step

“I have Medicare, so I don’t have to worry about extended-care costs,” is something that many people have erroneously stated. Medicare is health insurance, and it pays for skilled care that is provided by licensed medical personnel, occupational and physical therapists, and other related medical costs.  It does not pay for custodial care of any type. In addition, it may pay for approved medical devices. This same response would apply to those younger individuals who do not yet have Medicare but are covered by an individual or group health insurance plan.

As we learned above, custodial care is either informal or formal. The cost of formal custodial care is paid for from private funds (usually by the patient) or out of a long-term care insurance policy, or a combination of the two.  The informal care is provided by friends, family, and volunteers. Although there may or may not be a monetary cost for informal care, there is certainly a physical and psychological cost that cannot be ignored.

Cost of Custodial Care

The cost of care varies by the geographic location of the person needing care and the setting in which the care is provided. It also varies by the length of time someone requires extended care.

Formal home care from an agency can cost between $18 and $30 per hour. Most agencies require a minimum of four hours per day. Many times, home care will begin with two or three days per week.  The primary motivation is for the informal caregiver to be relieved of duty to take care of other responsibilities or just get a short respite break.

If the need for formal care increases to a point where around-the-clock care is needed, then the cost can be over $20,000 per month. By contrast, the monthly cost of an assisted living facility is typically between $4300 and $6000. A nursing home typically costs twice as much as assisted living.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging (AOA), around 70% of people over the age of 65 will require some form of extended care during their lifetime. The average woman will need 3.7 years and the average man 2.2 years.  There is no mention of where the care will be provided, but a large portion is at-home care.

The AOA further states that if care is provided in an assisted living facility, the average stay is 28 months.  The average stay in a nursing home is 485 days. The AOA reports that 43% of the residents of nursing homes were there for less than 100 days, leaving 57% with a stay of more than 100 days.


There is no doubt that an extended care event can be not only emotionally draining, but also financially draining.  The key to being prepared for the possibility of experiencing an extended care event is to plan. Older adults should find a professional who can assist in preparing a customized plan that fits their unique circumstances.
Look for members of the financial services community that hold the following designations: CLTC (Certified in Long-Term Care); CASL (Certified Advisor for Senior Living); or CSA (Certified Senior Advisor).

Seniors can also ask friends and associates if they have a relationship with a financial professional who is competent in the extended care arena. Their financial services professional can also recommend a competent professional.

Guest author Mickey Batsell is an experienced industry professional who specializes in long-term care and retirement planning. He is also an instructor for SCSA’s Working with Older Adults course. Over 40 years of professional and personal experience have given him an in-depth understanding of the challenges his clients face. Mickey can be contacted at or call him at 512-260-0051.


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional financial advice from a qualified financial advisor. 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Gray Divorce Is on the Rise

Couples over 50 divorce at a lower rate than their younger counterparts, but splitting up is on the rise in this age group.

Expect more marital splits now, say lawyers, as adults who stuck out the pandemic together decide to part ways after a year of soul searching. “The pandemic made them think differently about their own mortality and goals in life, what they are willing to accept and not accept,” says Susan Brown, a professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University. “People are less willing to stay in these empty-shell marriages that are not conflictual, but also not happy.”

The divorce rate for Americans aged 50 and up has doubled since 1990, and it is rising. There are many reasons for the change: the stigma around divorce has changed, both spouses may work and be financially independent, people are living longer and see a long retirement as a chance at a new chapter in life. 

Chicago psychologist John Duffy says that older couples he sees are not “drifting apart.” Instead, one or both partners are making a choice to find a more fulfilling life. They are reevaluating their relationships and are more willing to talk to a therapist about dissatisfaction in their relationships. 

What about Social Security?

Many divorcing couples wonder what will happen to Social Security benefits. Divorced beneficiaries can receive either retired-worker benefits based on their own work history, auxiliary benefits based on a former spouse’s earning history, or a combination of both. The rules can be complicated, so check online and also with the Social Security Administration. In general, if a marriage lasted at least 10 years and the spouse was fully insured for Social Security benefits, the ex-spouse can receive an amount equal to half of the spouse’s benefit. This does not reduce the ex-spouse’s benefit.

Create an account and research your own Social Security benefits at My Social Security.

Differences Between Men and Women

Duffy finds that older men tend to leave to pursue a new relationship or enrich one they are already involved in. They often say they have “fallen out of love” with their wife. Women, on the other hand, are looking for new experiences that may not involve a partner; they are searching out new adventures and opportunities. They may report that their husband is less energetic, while they still feel young and vibrant. 

Women may face more difficulties financially with a divorce, while men are more likely to suffer socially. Women generally earn less than men, start retirement with less saved than men their age, and live longer than men. Post-divorce, the average woman’s income falls by more than a fifth and may never recover. According to research conducted by the Social Security Administration, about a fifth of divorced women 65 and older live in poverty, and divorced women are less financially secure than married or widowed women.

Women are more likely to have stayed at home with the kids while an executive spouse earned a big salary. But “the court system is not kind when it comes to alimony and maintenance,” says Lisa Zeiderman, a matrimonial attorney. “Women may find themselves forced to scramble for low-paying positions and build a career as they head toward age 60 or more.”  

What can women do post-divorce? They need to understand their financial position: their expenses, assets and income, and how to make sound decisions. “The best way to get the needed information is to work with a fee-only, fiduciary financial adviser,” says Avani Ramnani, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®. “Financial advisers can help with post-divorce retirement planning and craft income strategies to help you maintain your financial security.”

Splitting the Assets

Late-in-life divorces can be more complicated than those earlier on. After all, they often include retirement benefits, changing beneficiaries, how to handle health insurance Medicare benefits, healthcare expenses, and possibly multiple support obligations. The dependent spouse may stress over a lack of ability to get a job late in life, while the supporting spouse may worry about his or her ability to maintain support in a slowing career or at retirement. Nicole Sodoma is the founder of a family and separation law firm. She underlines the need for separating couples to understand their retirement benefits and how they can be distributed. 

According to Sodoma, often a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is one way to divide certain retirement plans. It may be necessary, depending on the type of plan being split. She also highlights the need to check beneficiaries on remaining accounts. The spouse is often the default benefactor on accounts but is seldom the preferred person to inherit after a divorce. 

Making It Easier

Divorce can be accomplished through mediation, says Elliot Green, a family law attorney in New York City. “The benefit is that you’re in court but you can see a trained mediator who can help you with things that are sticking points: child support, spousal support, a division of an asset. They’re trained and they’re employed by the court.”

Of course, mediation is not an option in cases of domestic violence due to the imbalance of power present in the relationship. But in most cases, mediation is a useful tool for resolving sticking points and moving cases through the courts faster. As Green notes, “The longer you fight, the more the attorneys make and the less you keep for yourself.”

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

What About Cryptocurrencies?

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Coinbase, crypto mining: a quick guide to what it is and what it may become. 

You’ve been hearing a lot about digital currencies lately. A tweet by Elon Musk can make the price of Dogecoin skyrocket, or send Bitcoin plummeting. You feel like you should know more about it, but the results are confusing. Let’s shed a little light on cryptocurrency.

What is Ethereum?

According to Wikipedia, Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality. Ether (sometimes also referred to as Ethereum) is the native cryptocurrency of the platform. After Bitcoin, it is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Ethereum is the most actively used blockchain, while Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency.

Does Crypto Belong in Your 401(k)?

Crypto may be coming soon to your retirement account. In July, one small provider covering 70,000 employees began offering the option to invest up to 5% of each account in cryptocurrencies. A plus for long-term holders is the opportunity to invest pretax money. Another positive may the 5% limit, so workers cannot go all-in and potentially lose the lot. It’s expected to be particularly attractive to millennials.

“It’s almost a better option for the at-home investor who’s not going to be watching the market every day,” says Leanna Haakons, founder of Black Hawk Financial. “Give them the exposure, give them the opportunity to have some of those potentially incredible gains, but give them guide rails they can’t go outside of.”

Blockgeeks is a good place to start. Here are a few basics from the site, along with some additional explanation: 
What is cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrency is an internet-based medium of exchange that uses cryptographic functions (written codes) to conduct financial transactions. Cryptocurrencies leverage blockchain technology to gain decentralization, transparency and immutability (transactions cannot be changed over time). At its simplest, it is digital money created from code.

How is cryptocurrency sent and received? It can be sent directly between two parties via the use of private and public keys. These transfers require minimal processing, potentially avoiding the fees charged by traditional financial institutions. 

What is cryptocurrency mining? When a computer is used to solve cryptographic puzzles in order to build blocks, miners are rewarded with cryptocurrency. Blocks are generated about every 10 minutes by the user who guesses closest to a very large, random number. Rewards trend toward zero, ensuring there is a limit on the amount of currency. For example. The maximum amount of Bitcoin is 21 million. 

Will Crypto Replace Cash?

Cryptocurrency was created to buy goods and services, and many companies now take the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, in payment. Electric vehicle maker Tesla famously accepted payment in Bitcoin, then didn’t, then did again. Other cryptos in the news are Dogecoin and Ethereum. Here’s a complete list and prices of cryptocurrencies

One of crypto’s advantages is that it grants users anonymity. But that can be a disadvantage when it comes to criminal activity. A 2019 study found that about 46% of all Bitcoin transactions involved illegal actions such as money laundering, buying drugs, and blackmail and extortion schemes. Recently, the Justice Department was able to recover $2.3 million of a ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline Co. in Bitcoin. A special agent tracked the money on a publicly visible ledger to a virtual address, where the FBI was able to gain access to the crypto. Whether this bodes ill for criminals in the future is a closely guarded secret of the new Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force. 

Regardless, the argument over whether crypto will replace cash is a complicated one involving the three roles currency plays: a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of account. Opinions differ on this complicated theoretical projection. For a detailed analysis, look here

Trading Crypto

Many (if not most) people are not interested in these unregulated, volatile currencies as payment. They want to speculate by buying a currency and hoping that the price will go higher. But what can go up can also go down. For example, Bitcoin reached a new high of almost $65,000 in April, but then lost almost half that value by May. 

For those who want to trade Bitcoin, the easiest method is through an online exchange such as Binance, Coinbase, Gemini or Kraken. You can even use a credit card for the purchase! There is usually a fee for each transaction, and the price will fluctuate over time and vary between companies, much like when you had to pay to exchange money while traveling between countries with different currencies back in the days when everyone used travelers checks and cash. 

These exchange platforms create a digital wallet for you. Your digital wallet is where you keep your public and private keys for your crypto. The public key can be shared with others so they can send you currency (think Venmo). But your private key should be guarded with care; it’s what allows you to send crypto out to others. Secure it on a thumb drive or write it down somewhere only you can find it. 

Coinbase and other companies that accept crypto (such as, ticker symbol OSTK) are publicly traded. Buying stock in one of these entities is a way to bet on crypto indirectly. Robinhood Crypto is an exchange platform where you buy and sell a number of cryptocurrencies 24/7. 

Should You Buy Crypto?

More important than if you can or how you should buy cryptocurrencies is IF you should. Investments carry inherent risk, and cryptocurrencies have more than their share. As an example, China has recently and suddenly cracked down on crypto in an effort to keep control of the country’s financial engines, causing the price to drop worldwide. The price of crypto is incredibly volatile. It is not money. It has no value, unlike gold. You should not invest more in crypto than you can afford to lose. For a deeper look at the risks, read this Forbes article on crypto.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

10 Best Activities to Try

It’s time to shake it up with a new activity. Make friends, learn something, laugh!

We can all get stuck in a rut, especially with winter around the corner. It’s easy to keep doing the same old things we’ve always done, with the same people. But research shows it’s good for the brain to learn something new. Learning stimulates neurons to form pathways, and the more pathways that are formed, the faster information can travel. 

On top of boosting cognitive skills, taking on a new pastime can boost mental well-being and self-confidence. Whether it’s birdwatching, an art class, or reading up on the Civil War, learning increases your sense of purpose and triggers release of the feel-good chemical dopamine. Taking a class in kayaking or learning how to code can lessen stress and build self-esteem. 

Joining a class or group can also boost social skills that may be rusty after the pandemic. Meeting new people, participating in conversations and discussions can all work to keep social skills at their best. Who knows, it may lead to a new friendship or even a job.

So, no excuses! Here are 10 great activities to get you learning.

  1. Life Story Groups. Take a class in putting down your life story via writing, a video or an oral history. Join a Facebook group or start one of your own at your local library or writer’s group. Collect photographs or old film clips and create a history that your family can share through the generations. 
  2. Play Picasso. Whether you join a local artists’ group or study one of the Masters, it’s fun to get creative. Check out offerings at your local arts and craft store, look for a group of plein air (outdoor) painters, search out instruction in watercolor, or find a pottery class. You could even order a tray of watercolors and some paper and then YouTube the hundreds of instructional videos available online. Invite a friend over and paint together, or start a local group of painters, potters or multimedia artists.
  3. Walking Club. Find a local venue or venues to stroll for better health and to make new friends. Maybe it’s the same local park, or you could rotate spots on a weekly basis. Any area with a sidewalk or walking trail can work. Your local cemetery can be a perfect spot to walk and learn some history by researching graves. Consider creating a carpool or providing transportation for members who can’t drive. 
  4. Dancing. Anyone, even those with two left feet, can have fun learning to dance. You may choose to take classes in a studio or go to a local honky tonk for line dancing. Beginners can brush up by practicing with YouTube. Ballet, tap, ballroom … dance will get you moving and engage your mind. And older gentlemen are always in demand as partners!
  5. Take a Class. There’s no excuse not to follow your interests in the classroom now that many universities offer free classes. For the business-minded older adult who may be interested in gaining career skills, Coursera partners with more than 200 universities and leading companies to offer studies in everything from business to cloud engineering. Coursera even offers quizzes so you can see if you’re absorbing the information, and you can earn professional certificates. If you’re more interested in botany or art, simply google “free university class (subject)” to find online offerings. You can also find wonderful classes on a wide variety of subjects via the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. There are no tests or grades, and classes are specifically for adults aged 50 and above. 
  6. Stretch. Anyone can increase mobility, flexibility and endurance by regular stretching. Even better, you can throw in a stretch or two anytime during the day: when you wake up in the morning (that’s right, you can stretch in bed!), during a commercial break, after lunch, after bathing — it doesn’t matter. You can start with these stretches for flexibility, but feel free to search for specific stretches, such as those for the lower back. Another way to stretch is through yoga, which will also improve balance and concentration. There are literally thousands of free classes online, or you can search for local classes to add the element of human connection.
  7. Volunteer. How about walking dogs at the local shelter, or sitting with lonely cats? You can lead museum tours, hand out literature, guide nature walks, distribute food donations or help out with hundreds of other tasks. Find your passion at Volunteer Match and get started making friends and sharing your gifts. 
  8. Work Out. Even if you’ve never set foot in a gym, today’s recreation centers welcome older adults. There may be discounted pricing or even free membership if your health insurance includes Silver Sneakers. Rec centers usually offer a wide variety of classes in addition to weight and equipment areas. Employees will show novices how to use machines, and group classes offer the possibility of new friends along with aerobic exercise. Self-conscious individuals can hang out at the back of the class to start, but inclusion is the name of the game nowadays. You will find people with a wide range of body types and athletic interests.
  9. Join a Club. Do you like to quilt, collect stamps, play Monopoly or picnic? Check out your local MeetUp groups to find one (or more!) that matches your interests. Have you always wanted to use a metal detector? Hike? Travel to great birdwatching spots? Go to gourmet restaurants? There’s a wide variety of free groups just waiting to welcome you into their midst. 
  10. Learn a Language. It’s so easy to spend five or ten minutes a day with a free app like Duolingo that will even send you reminders to study. You will learn simple, practical phrases that are useful whether you are traveling or engaging locally with other speakers. Lessons are short and entertaining … not like the ones you may have endured in high school! 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Famous & 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

August 3 - Todd Christensen, NFL player and sportscaster

A fantastic athlete from his youth, Todd Christensen had an outstanding career as tight end for the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders. After signing with them in 1979 he became a key player on special teams, finally agreeing to play tight end. After three so-so seasons, he shined in 1982 when he caught 42 passes for 510 yards and four touchdowns in a season cut short by a strike. The next year, he caught 92 passes for 1247 yards and twelve touchdowns and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, the first of five. 

Christensen was an athletically talented kid, setting world records in track and field events when he was nine years old. He got selected in the 1974 draft for Major League Baseball, but instead headed to Brigham Young University to play football. He started all four years at fullback and was an All-Western Athletic Conference selection his last year. His degree was in social work, and Christensen enjoyed scholarly works and a broad vocabulary. He was known to quote famous authors and even recite poems he’d written, a skill that helped him fit in after he was signed by the Raiders.

After several strong seasons, Christensen missed more than half of his last year due to injuries. Catching 349 receptions from 1983 to the end of 1986, he set an NFL record. After his career on the gridiron, Christensen turned to his old love, track and field, where he set age-group world records in the Heptathlon at the Master’s level and was the top decathlete in the world for ages 45 and above. He also made a second career as a sportscaster, working for NBC Sports, ESPN and CBS Sports Network for both professional and collegiate games. 

Christensen was married with four sons. He passed away on November 13, 2013 due to complications from liver transplant surgery after suffering from liver disease for two years, the result of a botched gallbladder surgery 25 years earlier. 

Image Source: Wikipedia

August 5 - Maureen McCormick, actress

“And that’s the way they all became the Brady Bunch!”
Every baby boomer will recognize the song lyrics above from the popular television show, The Brady Bunch, that ran from 1969 to 1974, and for countless years of reruns after that where Maureen McCormick played Marcia Brady. 

McCormick spent years after the show struggling with drug abuse, depression and an eating disorder. She did appear in a large number of Brady spin-offs and revivals, and even released a country music album. 

McCormick married in 1985 and began to work at sobering up. She appeared in small roles in film and television products, but her struggles with addiction and depression often left her out of the running on bigger projects. Since 2007, she found some footing in reality shows, and was an individual winner of the 2007 Celebrity Fit Club. She lost 34 pounds that she’d put on after her mother died of cancer and she had to move her disabled brother into an assisted living facility. 


Image Source: Wikipedia

August 21 - Kim Cattrall, actress

Best known for her role as Samantha in Sex and the City, Kim Cattrall is a veteran of a vast number of films and television productions. Her first movie role was in 1975’s action thriller Rosebud. Most recently, she returned to TV in Filthy Rich to play Margaret Monreaux, the mother of a Southern family that has created a fortune via a Christian television network. Cattrall also produces the series, for which she won the Icon Award at the 2020 Atlanta TV festival.

Cattrall was raised alternately in Liverpool and Canada. She left home at 16 for New York City and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. The rest, as they say, is history. Most of us know her via Sex and the City, which ran from 1998 to 2004. Cosmopolitan, anyone? She garnered five nominations for an Emmy Award and four for a Golden Globe Award for her work on the show and won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in 2002. 

Cattrall has been married three times, and has been dating Russell Thomas since 2016. 

Image Source: Wikipedia

August 31 - Tsai Ing-wen, 7th president of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

The first female president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen grew up in Taipei and was a student of law and international trade. She earned a Ph.D. in law from the University of London. Her policies support a strong and stable relationship with the United States. 

Tsai supports “freedom and democracy” for Taiwanese citizens apropos to “cross-strait” relations with mainland China. When a Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate died in government custody, Tsai urged China to “show confidence in engaging in political reform so that the Chinese can enjoy the God-given rights of freedom and democracy.” And when the General secretary of the Communist Party of China proposed a “one country, two systems” approach for eventual unification of China and Taiwan, Tsai stood solidly behind Hong Kong protesters and stated she would never accept such a policy.

Tsai is also supportive of disadvantaged social groups including the poor, women, and children. Tsai herself is descended in part from Hakka people and native aborigines. She has adopted a plurality of national languages and supports LGBTQ rights. 

Tsai wants to transition the country toward high-tech industries including semiconductors, cybersecurity, biotechnology, and healthcare. She also champions a strong defense sector and military spending has risen each year under her administration. In 2020, the country produced its first rapid mine-laying ship and began work on a diesel submarine. The first amphibious transport dock produced in Taiwan came out in April 2021. 


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors