Should I Manage My Own Portfolio or Hire a Professional?

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Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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Beauty and Skincare- Tips for Healthy and Glowing Skin

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Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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Do You Need a Reverse Mortgage Set-Aside?

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Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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Getting out of Debt- Paying off Loans after Retirement

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Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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The Best Merchant Account for Your eBay Business

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Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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Life Changing, Changing Lives

Lynn McClenahan

As I get organized here in Portland, Oregon to return to Guatemala for the fourth year in a row, I’m thinking back on how this “love affair” began with this country.

For many years I have been involved with an amazing organization called Dining for Women.  With over 450 chapters now in the United States, this educational giving circle has raised nearly $6  million donated to grassroots projects around the world that empower women and girls.

In 2013 I went with a DFW group and visited five of the programs we had donated money to in prior years.  We visited MayaWorks, Starfish One by One, Mercado Global, Friendship Bridge and 13 Threads.  While I had done a great deal of traveling before this trip, this was the first time I had the opportunity to see behind-the-scenes extreme poverty.  It was eye-opening and life-changing for me.

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These beautiful women and children were living in various conditions, often with lots of family members in one room, many times without a flushing toilet, predictably with chickens, and a cow out back, and usually their small villages were far from grocery stores or medical help.

We were greeted with such warmth and smiles of appreciation.  With Friendship Bridge we were able to see examples of their micro-finance small business transactions. We participated in the teen mentoring team building training at Starfish One by One.  We had a four directions fire ceremony with 13 Threads.  We tried a back strap loom at Mercado Global.  Mi corazon estaba lleno. My heart was full.

I stayed an extra ten days after this first trip and got connected with yet another wonderful organization, Mayan Families.  This social service program with several preschools in the highlands of Lake Atitlan also does amazing work with children’s education and nutrition, medical help for families, ancianos (elderly), and artisan support and training.

After that first year of infatuation, I’ve returned to Guatemala every year to study Spanish, visit some of the programs and projects that Dining for Women still helps support, and do some volunteering with Mayan Families including visiting our sponsored preschool children and their families.

I am now hooked on this country and this way of traveling.  I no longer can be just a tourist (though there is certainly some of that on my trips). Guatemala is an amazing country and Lake Atitlan is simply stunning. The indigenous culture still exists including the native dress in many villages with women and men wearing hand woven fabrics. The physical beauty of the natives themselves is remarkable.

Yes, there is extreme poverty.  Most visitors may never see this side of Guatemala with so many people who struggle to survive.  My love affair will continue as will my efforts including monetary donations to worthy programs to make a difference. My connection to Guatemala has been life-changing for me, and hopefully, in even a small way, also for them.

For more information on Volunteering in your retirement, click here and here.

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Giving Back in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Observations from a resident living in SMA

Hey Akaisha and Billy,

Happy December in the tropics. Were headed to Zihua soon for some warm weather and beach. It gets nippy at 6500 ft in the winter. We also like Caleta de Campos, a true cartel town that you turned us on to where we now have friends.

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I always appreciate how you inspire and give folks the tools for a more satisfying life. You certainly did us. Now, seven years after retiring at 58, we haven’t touched our investments and are able to save money from our Social Security. We’re living better than we ever could in the US or Canada and loving the weather and our volunteer work.

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You guys didn’t talk much about San Miguel de Allende Mexico even when you spent more time in MX. There’s an estimated 18,000 expats here in the high season and nearly 8,000 year round. Also low (visible) cartel action. But we still found a super-cheap apartment in 2013 which we remodeled and leased long-term. There is affordable housing in SMA still. I know folks who pay less than  $300usd/mo for reasonable housing in good neighborhoods tho $4-500usd is more common. Also SMA is a compact walking town so no need for a car (not to mention $2usd taxis or 25c busses).

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But besides world-class art, music and culture, there are over 100 non-profits doing incredible things for the less-affluent here in the 4th poorest state in Mexico. Which makes Mexicans see us as something other than a cash machine. Literally thousands of volunteers from both cultures make it all work.

Our local Rotary club recognize a SMA “Citizen of the Year” every year. These average people are doing extraordinary things and loving their meaningful lives. Many of them with no savings and $700/mo Social Security checks. Others are Mexicans making $100usd/wk and still others are generous 1%-ers. Check: www.nonprofitsma.net

Being around a community that values helping others so much is what has made ex-pat life so good for me. Thanks for your example.

Your old high school buddy,

Tom S.

Rotary San Miguel de Allende Midday

VP Programs and Peace

For more information on Volunteering, click here

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Understanding Your Health Insurance: 15 Definitions to Know

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Thank God for Humor: Garret’s Prostate Removal Surgery

In the summer of 2016, Garret Mathews (see his legacy website) learned that his PSA (an enzyme produced by the prostate) was dangerously high. The best course of action, the family concluded, was a radical prostatectomy to remove the organ as well as surrounding lymph nodes. This was done in the (very) early morning hours of Nov. 1 at a hospital in Carmel, California. The 67-year-old Mathews penned this essay during the recovery period.

Garet MathewsThe idea hit: Hundreds (thousands?) of men around my age visit the several on-line sites I’ve written for since retirement. No doubt, many are staring at surgeries similar to the one I underwent. Perhaps, I reasoned, some might appreciate a bit of counsel from one who is still oozing from the procedure.

So here goes.

You should allow as much time as possible between diagnosis and surgery. This is in case you are not married. Post-operation, you will smell like the toilet at the bus station. It is imperative that you find a partner willing to have, to hold and to change your catheter bag.

The first time you go out to a restaurant you will eschew the smaller leg container in favor of the full-sized urinary catheter. You will think you have fashioned a purse-like sack that will hide the offending two-foot tube. A woman at the next table will notice and start to gag. You will duck out before the waiter arrives. Lesson learned. Attach the leg bag.

Let’s talk pain. You will experience bladder spasms. It will feel like someone – or something – has issued the order to squeeze to kill. If you even think about doing 3 percent of a sit-up, your lower abdomen will seize up and surrender to the other side.

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Let’s talk discomfort. The surgeon will install a drainage tube in your side. It looks like a plastic grenade, dangles by the side of your leg and is designed to fill up with vile-looking yellow and red matter that otherwise would have its way with your body. My Ooze-O-Meter, as I call it, often collected as many as 450 milliliters (way too much) over a 24-hour period. As you can imagine, the area was very tender and swollen. It’s better now, but if someone touches it, understand in very certain terms, I will take you out.

You will brag. A man watched me walk up and down some hills at a park not far from where we live. “Bravo, sir. You are truly a credit for a fellow your age,” he gushed. “Thanks, mister,” I replied, “but imagine my heightened performance WHEN I RECOVER FROM HAVING A BROWN SPACE WHERE MY PROSTATE USED TO BE.”

Your urologist will say you can’t drive for at least a week following the cut job. This is bogus. I was southbound and down on Day 5. Your urologist will say you shouldn’t approach your previous aerobic regimen for at least two weeks. Bull. I walked my usual four miles – albeit, in increments – on Day 6.

Like me, you can run five miles in under 48 minutes. Like me, you can do 75 push-ups and 75 squat thrusts in less than 20 minutes. Like me, you are scared to death you will fall off the fitness bus during this prostate thing and morph into the fat man on the TLC channel who can’t get out of his bedroom.

Your urologist will say you can’t go to the gym for a month. You will think, hey, this fool was wrong about driving and walking. What’s the harm of doing 15 minutes worth of light bending and stretching to make sure I stay off TLC?

Plenty. Your Ooze-O-Meter will spike. You will be dizzy. When you return to your car, you will not so much climb in the front seat as fall in.

I’ll take your questions.

Will my catheter leak? Yes. See earlier reference to toilet at bus station.

As we speak, are your sheets soiled? I don’t want to talk about it.

Will my stomach make strange noises? Yes. You will sound like a caldron.

How many days did you have to wear the catheter and the Ooze-O-Meter? Twenty. We are becoming old friends.

How have you adjusted to wearing Depends? The only way possible. I get to experience being 88 years old without actually being 88.

How many times a day do you tell your willing wife that you love her? I try not to get below a dozen, 15 if she’s having trouble with the catheter.

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Turmeric Benefits for Lungs

Maggie Martin is currently completing her Ph.D. in Cell Biology. When she is not busy at the university, she takes interest in a variety of things such as lifestyle, food, health, herbal medicine, and the benefits of turmeric. Follow her on Twitter @Maggiemartink

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Fibrotic lungs are a serious problem to date with the most recent modes of treatments eluding the satisfaction of patients. Processes like cyclophosphamide chemotherapy for the treatments of scleroderma will cause more problems leading to increased lung fibrosis. The treatments have a mortality rate of 50% making it a risky affair. Other treatments of the lungs include using immunosuppressant corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory remedies. The benefits are minimal which is still disappointing for most people.

Tumeric is one of the safest ways to deal with lung fibrosis not only for the reason that it is a natural herb but also because it is readily available. This makes it very cheap compared to all the methods of treatment mentioned above.

Loosen your grip on routine

Turmeric contains curcumin which is a potent ingredient that acts to reduce inflammation and swellings in the body cells. The compound does not interfere with antibacterial treatments which make it safer than most.

Turmeric enhances treatments

Some scientists believe that the benefit of turmeric along with some of these treatments makes them safer. It has also been discovered that the ingredient makes the methods more efficient. Curcumin acts by suppressing inflammatory proteins and neutralizing free radicals thereby boosting antioxidant levels in the body. The bio-agent also prevents any further damage to the cells while replacing those that are already damaged.

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Other respiratory issues

The herb also goes a long way to deal with more respiratory issues including asthma, pneumonia and acute bronchitis as well as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. Turmeric also relieves parquet lung, heart arrhythmia and pleurisy.

Lung fibrosis happens when lungs develop more immune cells than is necessary. It is a standard procedure that could go wrong if the protein cells overgrow or swell. This can cause a series of issues in the respiratory system that may at times take the time to detect.

How to use turmeric

Using turmeric in meals all the time is one of the best ways to ensure that you are safe from diseases involving the liver, lungs and the heart. There are many forms in which turmeric can be used; which also makes it one of the most versatile treatment options. This includes using it in its raw form without mixing anything with it.

It is recommended that one sees a doctor for more advice on the use of turmeric as a treatment option. There are side effects of using turmeric in high dosages including nausea and diarrhea.

For more information on uses of tumeric, see Tumeric: The Definitive Guide.

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