Other VanOrden Posts

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Retirement, Freedom, and Responsibility---not Mutually Exclusive


I just returned from a Doctors appointment with my primary care physician.  I have lost some weight, and all my tests look good so I am cleared to be a normal human for the next several months.  I was impressed with the idea that in reality it is not my doctor that makes me healthy, it actually is my responsibility. 

I have been going to the same primary care physician in Eagle River Alaska for the last 13 years.  I have also been using the services of the same chiropractic physician for all that time.  I used to go to doctors to have them tell me what to do, but one day woke up to the reality that they simply listen to my concerns and complaints and then suggest a course of treatment. 

I started to pay more attention to the medications they wanted me to take and studied the accompanying materials about potential side affects.  I researched my own ailments to become more adept at giving “input” to the doctor. 

I once laid on the floor of our bathroom for most of the night so sick I couldn't make it back to bed.  I thought I was having a heart attack, but in the morning my wife Jeannie googled my symptoms and determined I was having a gall stone attack. She took me to the emergency room and we told the doctor I was having a gall stone problem to which she responded, “Let me do the diagnosing”.  After confirming the gall problem, I was so sick they kept me in the hospital and pumped me full of an anti-biotic for a few days prior to removing my gall bladder. 

As I have accepted that I am no longer as young as I used to be, I’ve become more proactive and even aggressive in taking care of my health.  I no longer feel guilty for taking time to “work out”.  I protect my “energy” level to make sure I have the inclination to walk, hike, or do some other kind of aerobics almost daily (I take Sunday off).  I even walk when I golf so I get a 4-6 mile hike in while I frustrate myself trying to improve my golf game. 

I use a holistic approach to staying healthy.  Stretching daily to get my tendons and bones working has become one of the most important things I do every morning. I try to get to my chiropractor regularly for a tune up.  Deep tissue massage helps my arthritic body.  Jeannie uses a daily yoga routine for stretching.  We use a combination of medications and supplements to keep our bodies happy and useful.  Suppleness seems to be the elixir of life for my aging body.  My mind is more alert and creative when I have taken time to exercise early in the day.  

So I encourage everyone to be more in tune with their body.  My website has a link to a holistic approach to health from a doctor who is a modern-approach chiropractor. I know him personally and he is a very smart guy.  He is quickly becoming one of the frontrunner health practitioners in the country. He has a great weight loss and wellness program. He has learned how to use the internet and other modern  social media to help people.  His site is comprehensive and easy to navigate.  Here is the link. http://drbradycoach.com/  It will be worth your time.  

“Take good care of yourself so you can by happy and serve others” is one of my mantras. Join our email group by going to the link below.  Free exclusive bonus material goes out regularly to our growing email group. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Taking Charge of your Destiny---Boomers and Un-Employment

Very useful for those within 5 years of retirement.  This is one of the reasons I encourage Baby Boomers to develop a new career that make them the boss as they prepare for "retirement", so they can control time and income.  Click on the title to see the article.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Free Podcast "7 Pillars of Safe Retirement Freedom"

You can get access to my 12 minute Podcast "7 Pillars of Safe Retirement Freedom" by cyber-joining our group of like-minded people helping each other prepare for the future.  I am currently writing a new book with key principles about how we can make the future more secure. These principles will help anyone at any point during their career.

I guarantee you will benefit by spending a few minutes with us.  Join us and you will receive the link to my "7 Pillars of Safe Retirement Freedom" Podcast.

We protect your privacy and your email will never be shared with others.

The Online World of Communications---Don't be left Behind

My personality has a component of being duty bound.  I was raised in the home of a career military officer who took duty to God and Country very seriously. Therefore, I tend to take on new projects with gusto.  As I conclude my 34 year career as an educator I have been researching all aspects of retirement. 
Since another part of my personality loves the proverbial half-full glass approach to living, I usually see positive in situations, especially in life altering events, such as retirement.  As I listen to comments from friends, I sense concern for their future. 
A third component of my personality is my love of educational process.  It is a creative process for me, and creativity is akin to spiritual functions in my life.  It is invigorating and uplifting.  I have been creating an online community to share what I am learning with friends, students, and colleagues.  I have over 2500 friends on Facebook, and in just the past couple of weeks I have had over 1000 views of my Safe Retirement Freedom Blog.  
In addition to many friends who are closing in on retirement, I am sharing what I am learning with my younger friends, many of whom are former students and just starting careers.  Often I think, ‘I sure wish I had known this when I was young, I could be so much better prepared now.’
The online world has brought us into a whole new era of communication.  It has been changing the way the world goes round.  Social media was the key element in the overthrow of a dictator in Egypt.  Every month more people are shopping online.  Many businesses struggle if they do not have on online outlet. 
A major component of my Internet world is the commenting and interaction I am enjoying with friends.  Much of my research is driven by questions and comments.  When permission is given, I will share success stories submitted by followers and friends on my website and Blog.  I hope you will share, as you apply creative pro-activity in your life. 
              
This is Part #2---BELIEVE IN YOUR OWN CAPABILITIESDream great dreams and explore new territory.     

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jeannie's Cancer Saga---Survivor

Jeannie is home and resting on so many meds I can’t keep them straight.  This is how Cancer Survivors live, coping with the aftermath of bodies that have been ravished by chemo-therapy, radiations, and surgery.  It is said that if we live long enough cancer will eventually get us. I certainly hope medical science wins the battle to conquer it soon.

Jeannie has the additional complication of Rheumatoid Arthritis since 1995 and is on advanced medication (shots) to help with quality of life.  Her body has been about as resilient as it can be.  She doesn’t complain or blame anyone.  She lives day by day with a positive attitude trying to keep me in line as she cares for children and grandchildren.

In April 2007 Jeannie was diagnosed with Oral Cancer.  She has never used alcohol or tobacco and yet she got Oral Cancer---how weird is that.  Previously, in February, she contracted shingles, which often happens with an underling cancer. The explanation perhaps---her immune system was compromised for years by arthritis medications.

Just in case you are not aware of her story it is recorded in her online journal/blog at  http://www.embattledchristian.com/culturewar/?p=755.  She writes beautifully.  All her posts during those long months are her cancer journey. 

We recognize that we are all given our own challenges.  Many are far more intense than ours.  But since her struggle became a public event due to our visibility in the community, perhaps someone will be helped by reading Jeannie’s story.  Her words are full of honesty, humor and faith.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wealth is Within Our Grasp

For some years I had responsibility to help families in trouble financially.  They would come to me hoping the Church I represented could assist, and we usually did.  The first step was to look closely at their budget.  Frankly, most did not have a real budget.  They knew what they earned each month but didn’t have much of an idea how much they spent, nor the detail of what it was spent on.  

I would have them give me a few of their bills to get them by for the next month.  My first requirement was to keep copious track of all income and expenses for the next six weeks, and we would speak again at that point. 

Many never had to come back for more help because just the simple process of tracking their money helped them get their situation under control.     I would meet monthly with those in deeper financial trouble.  We would carefully go line-by-line through their expenses. 

Generally they were in deep trouble because their credit cards were maxed-out.  I would have them cut up their credit cards. Some months or years later, I would help them learn how to use the right credit-cards and never fail to pay off the balance every month. Credit cards are a financial tool, not a debt accumulation machine, as the companies would have you believe.  NEVER, NEVER, NEVER allow a credit card balance to move forward into the next month.  Pay it off on time EVERY TIME.    

As we reviewed their expenses, on every item I would ask questions.  Such as: is there a way to lower this expense?  Do you really need two cell phones?  Do you really need a data-package with your cell phone?  Do you need cable TV with all the bells and whistles?  Do you have to go out to dinner weekly?  Is there a way to cut your mortgage expense without destroying your credit or family well-being? 

My experience helping families with these challenges taught me that even those doing fine with their finances could save more each month if they would go line-by-line through their budget and ask themselves, how could I cut this expense. 
Our personal rule-of-thumb has been to factor in our budget 11% to charity, and at least 10% to retirement savings, 5% to an emergency fund, then live on the other 74%.  The interest you earn never stops working for you, day or night.  Your money works for you even when you sleep. 


After making the young-couple mistakes during early marriage we have followed this process for thirty years and thereby have managed to accumulate a nest-egg for our retirement years.  We look forward to the future with excitement even if Social Security never comes through.  Wealth is within our grasp by budgeting and simplifying our lifestyles.
Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality” John Tyler, 10th President of the United States.