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Monday, July 24, 2023

These Foods May Kill You

The evidence is in. Those highly processed foods we all love – think potato chips, hot dogs, soda, and many more – are killing us.

Recent research suggests a link between how much highly processed foods and red meat someone eats, and life expectancy. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that an estimated 57,000 Brazilians aged 30 to 69 who died in 2019 were due to their high consumption of processed food. That number equates to over a tenth of the total premature deaths in that age category.

Although a correlating study has not been performed in America, deaths here may be even higher. While a quarter of Brazil’s adults receive up to half of their daily calories from ultra-processed food, Americans get 57% of their calories that way on average

Which Foods Are Highly Processed?  

Often you can spot a highly processed food by reading the label. Be wary if you can’t recognize some of the ingredients, if the sugar and/or salt content is high, or if the food is made to be very convenient to eat. They are made to be highly appealing to our taste buds and lifestyle. Here’s a quick list of some common offenders:
  • Sugary beverages such as sweetened coffee and tea, energy drinks and soft drinks
  • Deli meats, hot dogs and sausages
  • Frozen pizza and frozen meals
  • Packaged snacks such as chips, cookies, crackers and baked goods
  • Most breakfast cereals
  • Canned or instant soups
  • Boxed instant pasta products
  • Sweetened yogurt
  • Bouillon cubes or paste

A plethora of studies have linked cognitive decline, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes to ultra-processed food. The UK study noted that there was a 2% increased risk of all cancers and a 19% increased chance of ovarian cancer for every 10% increase in highly processed foods making up a person’s diet. 

A Meaty Dilemma

One area of concern is processed meat, such as bacon, sausage, salami, and ham.

A recent British study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating about 3 ounces of processed meat daily corresponded to a 44% increased chance of developing dementia. Although the participants who got dementia were also more likely to smoke and generally less educated, less active and poorer than their counterparts, the findings upheld previous research. 

“Further confirmation is needed, but the direction of effect is linked to current healthy eating guidelines suggesting lower intakes of unprocessed red meat could be beneficial for health,” says lead researcher Huifeng Zhang.  “Our research adds to the growing body of evidence linking processed meat consumption to increased risk of a range of non-transmissible diseases.”

Go Mediterranean

So what foods should we eat instead? Sticking to the outer edges of your grocery store will give you an idea: fresh produce, fish, chicken, and unsweetened dairy products are a good place to start.

Scientists recommend staying closer to a Mediterranean diet. “A diet high in a diversity of fruits and vegetables, fish, legumes, whole grains and healthier fats such as nuts and olive oil, and low in processed and refined foods, added sugars, and red and processed meats,” is a much better option, says Doratha A. Byrd, a scientist researching the link between diet and cancer risk. She notes that ultra-processed food and red meat can affect the intestinal barrier, leading to inflammation and a greater chance of cancer developing.

Nearly half of all cancer deaths could be prevented. Diet is something each of us largely controls. Select healthy options at the grocery store to have a better chance of a long life.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Take These Out of Your Wallet

What do you need to carry in your purse or wallet these days? Very little, and cleaning it out will reduce the likelihood of theft. 

Life has gotten complicated. Instead of carrying a little cash and a driver’s license, many of us have wallets stuffed with credit cards, debit cards, personal ID cards, insurance cards, value club cards… the list is never-ending! But should we really be lugging around all that personal information? 

The short answer is no. Most people don’t need anything more than a driver’s license or identification card and one credit card or our old friend, greenbacks. Tucking in much more than that can leave you vulnerable to identity theft or outright financial thievery.

When to Use a Debit Card Instead of a Credit Card

Many of us will never need to use a debit card, or only in certain situations. Unlike a credit card, which loans you money that you have to pay back later, a debit card takes money out of your account at the time of purchase. When might you need to use one?

If you need to get cash fast, you can use a debit card to pull money from an account. If you are overseas, use it from a bank that won’t charge an overseas transaction fee. Here in the States, make sure the ATM is in your network or that your institution allows some free uses of out-of-network ATMs. You can also use your debit card at your bank to get cash.

Some local retailers and trades people may charge a transaction fee for purchases. Avoid paying extra by using a debit card instead of a credit card.

If you struggle to pay off your credit card every month, you’ll be better off foregoing rewards and avoiding steep interest fees by using a debit card instead. It’s crazy to get 2% cash back when you are paying 20% in fees to carry a balance.

The more cards that are in your wallet, the more damage a thief can do quickly, says Adam Levin, author of Swiped and founder of risk services company CyberScout. We’ll start with a list of what experts say you should leave at home.

Here is what should NOT be in your wallet:
  • Social Security Card. “Social Security cards and the number itself are one of the most valuable pieces of information in the hands of a thief,” says Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “With it, they can easily file taxes on your behalf, open a line of credit in your name, receive medical attention, or even commit crimes using your information.”
  • Passport. If you are not in the process of traveling abroad, your passport should stay in a safe or other secure place. Even when you travel, lock the original away in a hotel safe and carry a copy. Passports can be used by thieves to get a new Social Security card, open bank accounts and travel in your name.
  • Birth Certificate. Leave it at home, or criminals could impersonate you at banks or the Social Security office and more. 
  • Spare House Key. It’s too easy for thieves to find your name and address, then visit with the key you’ve so kindly provided. Leave a key with a friend or neighbor instead.
  • List of Passwords. Leave it at home, or in a safe deposit box or password manager.
  • Blank Checks. Thieves can copy your checks and write them all over town, or use your account number to make electronic withdrawals. 
  • Excessive Cash. If your purse or wallet gets stolen, the cash is gone for good. And it’s too easy to pay with a $100 bill instead of $10 when you are rushed. Finally, it’s always possible to pull out a roll of bills and drop a few without noticing.
  • Gift Cards. They’re just like cash; when they’re gone, there’s no way to get them back.
  • Membership Cards. Don’t help thieves get into Costco or your favorite gym.
  • Medicare Card. Instead of having all your information available, Levin recommends carrying a copy of your Medicare cards with the number of an emergency contact written on the back.
  • Receipts. Don’t get in the habit of keeping them stuffed in your purse; together, they help thieves figure out your shopping patterns. A phisher could pose as your favorite restaurant manager. “Why have a data point that, if someone could get their hands on that, would enable them to know just one more piece of the puzzle?” says Levin. “If I don’t need it, don’t throw it away—shred it.”

What To Do Instead

If you have a smartphone, having needed cards at your fingertips is easy. Your notes app will store gym, Social Security, and cost club membership cards, as well as birth certificates, death certificates and so much more. All you need to do is take a picture of the card or document. Scanning the barcode off your phone will work just as well as using the card itself at gyms, warehouses, and other venues. It’s simple to attach a document photo to emails or when requesting insurance benefits. 

The wallet app on your phone provides a place to store credit cards that is protected from thieves. Digital wallets replace your card number with one that is randomized, and your card information is never visible. “No one can steal your actual card number from that device if anyone were to get in,” reports Jordan Carr, program director at nonprofit Tthe Oasis Institute, which runs tech classes for older adults. Besides, wallets on Apple, Google, and Samsung devices all require a passcode, fingerprint scan or facial recognition to open.

Digital wallets are easy to set up and use. They work everywhere that you can use contactless payment, where you tap instead of inserting or swiping your card. If you get to checkout and are unsure how to proceed, just pull up the card you want to use in your phone’s wallet and ask the cashier for help. 

There are still places where there is nowhere to tap your card, such as many gas stations. You can use your main credit card for these situations, perhaps a cash back card. The rest of the time, bring up the card you want to use on your smartphone for maximum point rewards. 

So, thwart thieves by paring down what you’re carrying in your purse or wallet. Hopefully, it will never get stolen. But if it does, you only have a call or two to make to put a freeze on your main card and contact the motor vehicles office. It’s no fun, but it’s so much better than realizing that your list of passwords was in there along with eight credit cards and your Social Security number!


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

Sunday, July 16, 2023

How to Clean Out Your Parents’ House

Sooner or later, most of us will face cleaning out a parent’s home. Here’s how to make an enormous task easier and quicker.

You never realize how much stuff your parents have packed into their home until you have to clean it out. You may be looking at decades of acquisitions … newspaper clippings, clothing, holiday decorations, furniture, collections, tools. Many of those things will carry memories and emotions for your parents and perhaps you, too. 

The time will come when you have to face emptying the space. Maybe one parent has died and it’s time for Dad to go into assisted living. Perhaps the big family home has become too much work and they’re moving out to downsize. Or it could be that your parents were able to stay there until they both passed. Whatever the case, you’re looking at a massive job and wondering where to start. 

Family First

The first thing to do is check if anyone in the family can help you in this Herculean task. Then, check if a will specified who would get what. Are there any items that Mom or Dad promised to someone? As for divvying up desirable items, many siblings let the oldest pick first, then continue down the line in age and keep going until no one wants to lay claim to another item. Make sure you know how the items will be transported to their new homes, and who will pay for it.

Check for important papers, such as anything you’ll need to file tax returns. Anything you think you may possibly need can go in a box to be sorted later. Is there a will, power of attorney, medical directive or other important documents? This also goes for stray keys. 

Three Piles

Next, it’s time to sort. You’ll be making three piles: keep, donate, throw away. If you’re planning to have a garage or estate sale, put those items in a separate “sell” space. Pick one room to get done every day, or one corner. Think of doing the house bit by bit, and tackle manageable projects rather than thinking of the job as a whole.

Your “keep” pile will include photo albums, a treasured box of family recipes, and any other irreplaceable, sentimental items such as wedding rings. It will also include anything that a parent may need in their new living space, although you may pare down the quantity of towels, sheets, etc. 

The “donate” pile may have clothes, hobby items, linens, unwanted furniture and the like. You may be able to get rid of it by taking loads to Goodwill, ARC thrift stores or Salvation Army. Or you may have a veterans organization such as Vietnam Veterans of America that will pick up things by the truckload with advance notice. Salvation Army and Goodwill also have truck service available in some areas. Although it may not be free, in some areas they will send a crew out to remove furniture, boxes and other large items. 

The “throw away” pile may turn out to be your largest. Is there someone with a pickup to take loads to the dump? Or would it be easier to rent a dumpster to keep in the driveway and fill up gradually? Google “rent a dumpster” to find services in your area. Another option is to hire a junk team that will haul out large items for you. These companies often charge by the quarter truckload to the tune of about $250, but it may be worth it to have the manpower. Google “junk removal service” to find someone who does the work in your area.

Garage/Estate Sales

Holding a garage sale can be a great way to get a little cash for tools and some other items. You can do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Consider how much you will make, and if either option is worth the trouble of marketing, displaying items, getting change, and then disposing of unsold items. You may find it’s a good idea to follow your sale with a free day.

An estate seller may want a house full of antiques or other desirable items to auction off or sell. Google “estate sales” to find auctioneers/sellers near you. Look over their terms and ask questions about anything you don’t understand before agreeing to contract with a company.


If all this seems overwhelming, you’re right. Even jobs that aren’t exhausting physically can be overwhelming emotionally. You may be required to clean house upon the death of a parent, with a grieving widow or widower sadly examining every item leaving the house. Maybe you have taken time off work to get this done, or left your spouse with the kids. Stress can come from all sides, and that’s completely understandable.

Take time for yourself. Knock off every day at 4 pm. Take a bubble bath. Go for several short walks or one long one in a nearby park. You may also find that you and a parent can take a little time at the end of the day to record what your parent’s life was like growing up. Focusing on earlier memories can take your minds off the present and you’ll be left with a lasting account for family members to enjoy. You can use a recording app on your smartphone or write down the memories. Go here for the best recording apps to use with your iPhone or Android device.

Clean-Out Services

There are services that will help do all this for you and no one is going to judge you for using them! In many situations, it’s not only the best option, it is the only option. Try an option like Caring Transitions to declutter, downsize, help move a senior into a new living situation and even host your estate sale. This company truly does it all and will shepherd you through the process. 

If you have already gone through the home and removed everything you want to keep, you may want to hire a junk removal service to come in and take out everything else, then hire a cleaning service to get the home ready for sale. 

Selling the Home

You will likely want to hire a realtor to help sell the home. Call several and interview a minimum of three to five before making a choice. You may find that some want to fire sale the home to the first bidder, while others may be willing to work harder to get a better price. Ask questions. How many homes nearby has she sold in the past year? What kinds of unconventional financing might you be able to offer? Where will the home be marketed online? 

Once you’ve found a good realtor, listen to their recommendations. They may tell you to paint, or not to bother. Maybe you need to get those weeds in the front yard taken care of, or have someone mow. Let them guide you on how much needs to get done.

Moving a parent out and/or dealing with the death of a parent is a tough process. Cleaning out the home adds another load onto your shoulders. Try to get family and friends to help, or hire people to assist you. Take time if you can to process the situation, and to spend quality hours with a parent who may be grieving. Take care of yourself and know that your project is getting done day by day.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Could This Hypertension Drug Increase Lifespan?

Scientists find that a drug developed to treat hypertension may be able to add years to your life.

Scientists have recently discovered that rilmenidine, a drug used to treat hypertension, both extended lifespan and slowed aging in animals. The drug showed results in both younger and older mice in a study published in Aging Cell. What makes rilmenidine distinct from other drugs found to have similar benefits is that side effects are mild and few. 

"With a global aging population, the benefits of delaying aging, even if slightly, are immense,” says Professor João Pedro Magalhães, lead researcher in the study. “Repurposing drugs capable of extending lifespan and healthspan has a huge untapped potential in translational geroscience. For the first time, we have been able to show in animals that rilmenidine can increase lifespan. We are now keen to explore if rilmenidine may have other clinical applications."

Triathlete Aged 82 Follows This Health Guideline

Neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon has competed in eight Ironman Triathlons, nine marathons, and more than 70 Olympic triathlons after age 40. He shares his recommendations for extraordinary health:
  • Eat a Mediterranean diet. Maroon’s diet consists of mostly fruits and vegetables with chicken and fish occasionally. He rarely eats red meat.
  • Exercise regularly. Maroon dedicates an hour per day to his exercise routine, six days a week.
  • Abstain from smoking, drinking, and taking non-prescription drugs.
  • Keep your stress levels low. One way Maroon reduces stress is by balancing his values. He makes sure that he spends equal time on work, family/friends, spirituality, and physical activity each day.
  • Get adequate sleep. Maroon sleeps six and half to seven and half hours each night.
  • Take supplements like Omega 3 fatty acids which Maroon takes for brain health and reduced inflammation. He also takes magnesium to balance his workouts as well as glyteine, which he believes may reduce chances of developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. You should consult with your doctor and do extensive research before adding any supplements to your diet.

To this point, the gold standard of anti-aging has been a calorie-restriction diet, but those results are currently in question as scientists debate the validity of so-called biologic age, determined by aging biomarkers. (In a very non-scientific aside, we will note that we do not know anyone who wants to try to consume the approximately 14% less calories required to mimic the calorie restriction diet.)

“I just don’t see any evidence that any of the biologic clocks have meaning,” writes longevity scientist Dr. Peter Attia, host of “The Drive,” a podcast dedicated to explaining and applying longevity research to everyday life. “The only validation that matters — which to my knowledge has not been done, but hopefully will be — is to see if ‘biologic age’ can predict future life better than chronological age,” he said.

What is Your Biologic Age and How Can You Lower It?

Some scientists define “biologic” age as the rate at which you are aging physically. You can take an online test to see where you stand, although many researchers feel that epigenetic data provides a more accurate measurement. Try myDNAge to find your genetic results. It will take about two to six weeks to get results. 

Lowering your biologic age is accomplished by lifestyle changes, says Dr. Kara Fitzgerald, aging and epigenetics expert and the author of Younger You. Certain health conditions can prematurely add years to our biologic clock. 

“When you go back to thinking about hypertension and diabetes and that sort of thing, people who have these diseases are aging faster than their chronological age,” says Fitzgerald. “These diseases are pushing aging forward. But also, the journey of aging makes us vulnerable to getting these diseases—it’s kind of like a chicken and the egg. Ultimately, we sit in the driver’s seat of dictating how well we live by choosing how well we live.”

Fitzgerald developed a regimen for reversing biologic age:
  • A very specific diet consisting of a wide variety of colorful and cruciferous vegetables; low glycemic fruits; and some animal protein, particularly eggs and liver, which she describes as “a multivitamin mineral in a food matrix,” as well as foods dense in polyphenols, such as cumin, turmeric, green tea, and mushrooms
  • Adequate hydration
  • Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day five days a week at a perceived exertion of 60-80% of one’s maximum
  • Regular meditation, breathing exercises or other relaxation practices
  • At least seven hours of sleep per night
  • Two supplements: extra polyphenols, in this case, a greens powder, and a simple probiotic

While drugs like rilmenidine may soon be able to help extend lifespan, we can make lifestyle changes today.

“Aging is the biggest risk factor for chronic diseases and even acute ones, such as COVID or influenza,” says Fitzgerald. “If we rally our resources towards cracking the aging nut toward slowing and even reversing biological age, the possibility for humanity is just extraordinary.”

Friday, July 7, 2023

7 Tips for Wine Storage

Whether your tastes run to Trader Joe’s or the most expensive online offerings of Cabernet or champagne, how you store your wine matters.

“Wine is a living and breathing thing that is constantly evolving and changing. This is why caring for your bottles is so important.”
                       –  Marshall Tilden III, Wine Enthusiast’s chief revenue and education officer

Many of us enjoy trying different wines, sharing them with friends and giving a bottle as a gift. But what do we know about how to store them? Wine experts agree that you shouldn’t just keep a bottle on your countertop. While a wine refrigerator may be ideal, there are good places to keep wine in your home if you remember these seven tips for how to do it so your wine or champagne stays as delicious as the day you bought it.

Which Wines Keep Longest  

The folks at Fine Wine Concierge know their wine, and they’ve got a handy list of how long different varieties will last in storage before their flavor is affected. Check the vintage year and move wines that need to be drunk soon to the front of your storage area or mark the cap with a Sharpie or sticker.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: 7-10 years
  • Pinot Noir: 5 years
  • Merlot: 3-5 years
  • Zinfandel: 2-5 years
  • Chardonnay: 2-3 years. Better ones can keep for 5-7 years.
  • Riesling: 3-5 years
  • Sauvignon Blanc: 18 months to 2 years
  • Pinot Gris: 1-2 years

What to Do with Leftover Wine 

We know, you may be wondering who has leftover wine. But the gourmet staff at Bon Appetit knows you may want to use that Sauvignon Blanc in a fish sauce, or add the last cup of red wine to a marinade, pan sauce, or ragu.

If you prefer to store the wine for later, you can freeze it into ice cubes and then put those in a resealable plastic bag. Another tasty trick is to add three parts of wine to one part vinegar, store it for a month, and youve got your own delicious wine vinegar for salads and sauces. Finally, if you have wine that has gone bad for drinking, try using it on salads. It will retain much of the original flavor, and its a great alternative to pouring it down the drain!

  1. Temperature Matters. Wine is very sensitive to temperature, and this should be your top consideration for storage. Never keep wine near your furnace, an appliance that gives off heat or where it will get direct sunlight. The optimal temperature for your wine is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Most important is keeping your wine at a steady temperature, since fluctuations can cause the cork to expand or contract, potentially letting in air.
  2. Wine Needs to Lie Down. A wine rack  is a great way to store bottles at home. Lying horizontally will keep corks moist, preventing air from contaminating the bottle and prematurely aging the wine. Even for screw-top bottles and those with plastic corks that don’t need to lie on their side, storing your wine in a rack saves space and gives you easy access to every bottle.
  3. Find a Place That is Dark and Still. Your wine should be kept away from vibrations and light. Don’t put it next to your washer/dryer, exercise area, or stereo system. Vibrations can cause sediments in the wine to move, affecting the aging process. Wine bottles are often dark to keep light at bay, but they are no match for the sun. Find a dark corner, closet, basement, or interior room for your wines. 
  4. Moist, But Not Too Moist. Just like your skin, wine thrives in a humid environment. That’s to keep those corks from drying out and prematurely aging the precious liquid they are protecting. However, you don’t want humidity so high that the labels start to peel off, so keep your storage humidity between 60 to 68 percent
  5. Refrigerate Temporarily. It’s fine to keep bottles in the fridge for a month or two, so feel free to put the wines you’ll drink or give away shortly in your kitchen refrigerator. But never use it for long-term storage; it’s too cold and dry. On the other hand, a wine refrigerator will keep your bottles at the proper temperature and humidity, as well as isolating them from food odors that could permeate the cork. It should also have a cooler setting for champagne.
  6. Prepare to Serve. Before you open a bottle of wine, let it cool down (or warm up) to the ideal temperature for optimal aroma and flavor. Red wine does best slightly cooler than room temperature, at about 58 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Older wines and those with more tannins should be at the top of that range, while younger, lighter ones do best at the lower end. White wines thrive at a chillier range of 45 to 55 degrees, with lighter, sweeter wines near the bottom of that range. Champagne should be served colder yet, at 38 to 45 degrees. 
  7. Storing Open Bottles. Open wine is easy to store if you seal it well. The easiest way is to put a piece of waxed paper around the cork (to help ease the cork in and ensure no pieces fall in the wine) and reseat it in the bottle. This will give you about three to five days of storage. An upgrade is a vacuum pump, which removes air from the bottle and seals with a rubber stopper. 


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Monday, July 3, 2023

Famous & 65

Look who's turning 65 this month

Find out which celebrities are turning 65 this month!

Image Source: Wikipedia

July 8 - Kevin Bacon, actor 

The Guardian dubs Kevin Bacon among the best actors never to have been nominated for an Academy Award. The prolific New Yorker has, however, gotten a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, among many others, for his portrayals of leading men and character roles. 

Beginning with an appearance in National Lampoon’s Animal House (which didn’t lead to fame), Bacon has gone on to roles in A Few Good Men, Apollo 13, The Woodsman, Losing Chase, and countless other films. His television career has been just as prolific, including a starring and much-lauded role as Lt. Col. Michael Strobi in Taking Chance

Having left home at the age of 17 to begin an acting career, Bacon says  "The message I got was 'The arts are it. Business is the devil's work. Art and creative expression are next to godliness.' Combine that with an immense ego and you wind up with an actor." However, Bacon put in time waiting tables before finally getting noticed in the 1982 film Diner. By 1991, the actor realized that "the only way I was going to be able to work on 'A' projects with really 'A' directors was if I wasn't the guy who was starring," and he switched to largely character roles.

Bacon has long been into making music with brother Michael as The Bacon Brothers, a band that has produced seven albums. He has been married to actress Kyra Sedgwick since 1988, and they co-starred in Pyrates, Murder in the First, The Woodsman, and Loverboy. The couple has two children, Travis and Sosie Ruth. 

Image Source: Wikipedia

July 16 - Michael Flatley, dancer and choreographer

Whose feet were once insured for $57.6 million? That’s right, Riverdance creator and star Michael Flatley, the man who took Irish dancing mainstream, having played to more than 60 million people in 60 countries over his career.

Flatley was a gifted teen, being the first American to win, at age 17, a World Irish Dance title. (It’s true his parents were Irish immigrants, his mom loved to step dance, and her mom was a champion dancer.)  But then the same year he also walked away with first prize in the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil concert flute competition. And lest we forget, he nearly became a pro boxer in the 70s after winning the middleweight division of the Chicago Golden Gloves boxing tournament. Whew!

In the late 70s and throughout the 80s, Flatley toured as an Irish musician. His big break came when he was asked to come up with a performance for intermission at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. The contest was held in Ireland, and he performed a 7-minute show titled “Riverdance” that caused a sensation. However, his tenure with the touring show didn’t last a year. "I just wanted control over the work that I had created myself,” Flatley states. “That's all. I don't think that that's too much to ask. I felt like I built it, and they took it, and that's the end of it... and it hurt."

Undeterred, he went on to create and perform in Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames, both wildly successful. At one time, he held the Guinness World Record for tap dancing 35 times in a single second. His dancing incorporated moves from jazz and other dance traditions, adding upper body movements to intricate footwork. Unfortunately, the hard work took its toll on his feet and legs, and he was forced to limit his dancing from about 2016. 

Worth a cool €301 million in 2019, Flatley has branched out into filmmaking, painting, and business. He supports vulnerable children and the homeless, and advocates for cancer research. Recently, he has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Image Source: Wikipedia

July 27 - Christopher Dean, ice dancer

Who can forget the mesmerizing performance of Torvill and Dean at the 1984 Winter Olympics? The duo danced on ice to Ravel’s  "Boléro," starting down on their knees, swaying to the music. The free program became famous after the partners were awarded nine perfect 6.0 scores for artistic impression (and another three for technical merit); the only time the feat has ever been achieved. 

After taking home the gold medal, the pair turned professional. They needed the money after they had each quit their job, in Dean’s case as a policeman, to concentrate on skating. Rules at the time forbade them from further Olympic competition. When the same rules were changed in 1993, Torvill and Dean came back at the 1994 Olympics at rather ripe old ages for ice dancers and still were able to claim the bronze medal. 

A football player before switching to ice dancing, Dean became a savvy choreographer and worked as late as 2018 helping Savchenko and Massot claim the gold medal in pair skating at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. 

Image Source: Wikipedia

July 31 - Mark Cuban, businessman

Best known as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, Mark Cuban has also made his mark as a key investor on the hit ABC show “Shark Tank” which highlights up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Worth about $5.1 billion, Cuban is also a film producer, philanthropist, and writer.

Cuban is not Cuban, but Russian. His paternal grandfather simplified the family name upon entering the United States at Ellis Island. An early businessman, Cuban sold garbage bags to get some shoes he envied at age 12 and moved on to teaching disco and bartending in college. Cuban made his first millions selling a company he started, MicroSolutions. He has since gone on to invest in many startups both in and out of the tech world.

Famous for garnering large fines from the NBA for offensive speech regarding other teams and their players, Cuban says that he matches the fines with donations to charities. That’s an expensive policy, considering he was fined $600,000 in a 2018 incident and again $500,000 in 2020 for “public criticism and detrimental conduct regarding NBA officiating".


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors