Many who are old may wish they were young again.
Then again, others would rather not either relive their past, or be young in this day and age.
Reporter Kerry Hannon wrote an article on aging in the June 29, 2014, edition of USA Today.
Paul Irving, president of the Milken Institute, has a collection of essays on aging from experts across America, titled “The Upside of Aging: Long Life Is Changing the World of Health, Work, Innovation, Policy and Purpose.” Hannon used these essays to source the article.
“The common spine of their discussions is finding creative solutions to a range of issues from age-friendly housing alternatives and transportation systems to lifelong learning and socially focused encore careers,” Hannon writes.
Let’s start our discussion by paraphrasing baseball great Satchel Paige: “how old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”
Would you want to be 30 again? How about 20? If you are in those age groups, you’ll think about this later in life. Prepare now to live a good, long life and be healthy, wealthy and wise.
If you are somewhat older, closer to retirement, how do you feel about your job? Does it give you any pleasure? Are you counting the days when you could retire?
“Every person will have the opportunity to be ‘right’ for his or her personalized aging,” writes Pinchas Cohen, dean of the USC-Davis School of Gerontology. In other words, we won’t all age the same way. Some of us will have different health challenges. Some of us will work until we die – here’s hoping that you love your work that much. Still, others will struggle financially and others will struggle to find enough to do when they stop working.
Many will feel forced into a situation that they had no control over, i.e. their employer “retires” them before they wanted to go. Though we can’t control those situations, we can control how we proceed after something happens.
The one advantage to being young today is having the time to plan to get older. We can’t anticipate every curve ball someone will throw, but we can have the ability to either catch it, or hit it out of the park when it comes our way. Everyone should presume to be thrown curve balls at inconvenient times.
Those with less time to plan may have to start from scratch at an age at which one should relax. There are many ways out there in which one can start from scratch, no matter what age he is now. To check out one of the best, visit You may see a good financial future, that can also give you time to enjoy what you love.
So don’t dread aging – embrace it. Don’t waste time and energy thinking how good life was years ago. Anticipate how good life will be years from now.
We all have different views of the past, and have different ideas for the future. Remember your past fondly, but look with great optimism to the future.
Most of us will live a good, long life. Prepare now for how you will pay for it, how you want to feel as you live it and, most importantly, how you want to enjoy it.


The country group Alabama’s song, “Cheap Seats,” is an anthem to average.
It talks about middle-sized towns, minor league baseball and a local band that is, “not that bad, and not that good.” But, the average guys love to dance after watching their minor-league game so the average band is just fine.
How great the “average” life is.
Many people look for politicians who are “average” people, but usually can’t find them.
You see, “average” people can’t afford to give up their average jobs that support their average lifestyles, on the chance that enough “average” people will vote them in.
So, as a substitute, the “average” folks look for politicians who can RELATE to “average” people.
This begs two questions: how do we define “average,” and why is it desirable to be “average?”
The definition of “average” is fluid. In our smarter, technologically advancing world, it changes by the second. We often desire to be average because it’s safe, comfortable and we’ve been told by our elders that “average” is good. It grounds us. It gives us security. It tells us not to take chances or risks. And, by the way, all the people we want as our friends are all “average.”
“Average” people raise good children. Hopefully, those children will become good, yet “average,” adults. Average people mind their own business and, if they are lucky, maintain a good, average life in old age.
With the fluid definition of “average,” might there come a day when we won’t want to be “average” anymore?
When might the day come that we become better than average, even “great,” without becoming different people?
We all want what the above-average people have, but the essence of our “averageness” makes us not want to jump out of our comfort zone to go for it. Those who do are no longer considered “average,” and may even be resented by most “average” people.
But, in most cases, as we elevate out of “averageness,” we become different people in the process. This begs a final question: is that a bad thing?
Perhaps we don’t want to elevate because our friends will resent us. Perhaps we don’t want to elevate because doing so will require us to do “uncomfortable” things. Perhaps we don’t want to elevate out of fear of disappointing those we love.
Make no mistake: those who elevate from average will become different people. That difference may be resented by some friends. But, in the elevation process, one may make many new friends. The discomfort one may have felt in the elevation process will not only subside, but also eventually become very comfortable. Confidence in achievement greatly mitigates discomfort.
If you want to elevate, but see yourself currently as “average,” there are many vehicles available to help you rise above “averageness.” For one of the best, visit You’ll see lots of “average” people who have indeed elevated.
It was said of the late Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, that he was like the Tennessee River: right down the middle in his political viewpoint. Sometimes, being right down the middle can accomplish more than being an “average” person.


When you hear the term “power play,” you think of something evil.
But a power play can mean lots of things.
In hockey, a team is on a power play when it is on the ice with a man advantage, after a player on the other team is penalized. The penalized player must sit out for a period of time. The team keeps the power play until the penalty is over, or it scores, whichever comes first.
The power plays we most often think of are when a person gains a slight advantage, and exploits it to the detriment of others. Perhaps you may have known someone who, say, got a promotion and becomes your boss. He or she then has a different relationship with you, and may use it to your disadvantage.
In May 2014, Russia made a power play by disrupting neighboring Ukraine. It used the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine to attempt to take over parts, or, eventually, all of the country. Much of the world has condemned the action and is helping Ukraine fight off this Russian power play.
But what if power plays were gentle, and hurt no one. In fact, what if power plays helped all that witnessed them?
As we’ve discussed before, what if we could use power to empower?
When that occurs, we have to learn not to fear the power play. Once we get past the fear of the power play, we can then embrace it. Once we embrace it, we can perform it on others, who could then ultimately embrace it and do the same.
Everyone would like to have power. The challenge becomes once gaining power, how one uses it. Will it be used for the good, or for evil?
The fear of power often discourages people from seeking it. Therefore, they can become victims of those who gain it.
No matter how much good one can do with power, he may always have naysayers and others who will criticize him because of his power. The benevolent dictator is rare.
We, as individuals, have to learn NOT to fear power. We have to learn how to gain power, even in small ways. We have to learn, once gaining power, how to use it to help others.
Though we talk of power plays, power is not play. It is used for good and evil. It must be used responsibly. It must be used for the benefit of others, not to the detriment of others.
Want to gain power to help others? Visit If you like what you see, you will learn the art of the gentle power play. You will learn that helping others IS power.
Though evil power is feared, don’t fear gaining power. Power, in the hands of good people, is good for the world. Therefore, when you invited to empower yourself, don’t RSVP with regret. Go for it with enthusiasm.
Seek the gentle, benevolent power play. Let others do it to you, so you can do it to others. It will put an entirely new spin on the Golden Rule. And, ultimately, you, and those who follow you, will rule!


“Main Street” is dumping stocks.
Professional investors keep investing, as the market, as of June 2014, was hitting new highs. The Dow since has passed the 17,000 mark.
Adam Shell, in an article June 12, 2014 in USA Today, writes that average investors in mutual funds are getting out of the funds heavily weighted toward stocks and moving into bonds and bond funds. That obviously hasn’t stopped the stock market from hitting records.
Shell’s article theorizes that the average investor, after going through the downturn starting in 2008, believes that the stock market can’t keep going up forever. On average, Shell writes, the stock market goes through a correction every 18 months. So far, it’s been 32 months since the last correction.
Yet, professional investors pumped $5.5 billion into U.S.-based exchange-traded stock funds.
It’s true that professional investors are accustomed to the ups and downs of the market, and have plenty of money to lose. Average investors could lose everything, and are more cautious.
But perhaps it’s more than that. Average investors are probably having to dip into their nest eggs sooner than they had planned. Perhaps they’ve lost a job, and can’t find another that pays as well. Perhaps they were forced to retire early – before they could build a sufficient nest egg.
If you consider yourself an average investor, it’s certainly OK to be cautious. It’s certainly OK to take your profits if you are not comfortable with the risk. Still, it may be unwise to let fear govern your decisions.
Sure, your investment adviser may be a “professional.” But if you trust your adviser, let him or her guide you through this time. Interest rates and inflation are still low. The hyper inflation that the naysayers predicted a few years ago has not come to pass.
Make no mistake. Interest rates and inflation can’t stay this low forever. The Federal Reserve has stopped pumping as much money into the system as it has been, which may signal rising interest rates. Rising interest rates are not all bad. If you are not borrowing money, but have cash on the sidelines, rising interest rates will help you.
In short, if your trusted adviser is telling you to stay put, it’s probably OK. If he’s recommending that you move your money, he may have an inkling that something is coming, and may be exercising caution with your precious dollars.
If you are among those who is going through an economic pitfall, visit You certainly won’t get investment advice, but you may find a great way to put more money in your pocket.
Obviously, the more money you have, the more risk you can tolerate. But try not to take what you believe is desperate action. Desperate action can just make a bad situation worse. Make sure you are making decisions rationally, rather than emotionally. Let your trusted adviser guide you.
No one wishes for another stock market crash. Still, they happen. But most advisers say that timing the market is unwise. It might be best to find investments you are comfortable with, and roll with the ups and downs. If it goes down, put more money in. If it goes up, let it keep growing. Most of all, follow your adviser’s guidance.
Investors operate on fear and greed. Make sure your fear is justified and rational. Try not to get too giddy with greed.