Mistake or Inadvertent Act of Creativity?

Decades ago when I was about 17, I decided to make myself a three-piece bell-bottomed pantsuit.

Remember those?

I loved to sew and had made myself a spring coat earlier in the year, so I felt confident that I could handle making the suit.

The project begins

I bought myself the pattern, and on the back of the packet it told me how many yards of cloth to purchase, and how much lining, interfacing, thread, buttons and zippers I needed.

Following the instructions, I loosely cut out the pattern and laid it like a jigsaw puzzle on my fabric. Smaller bits and pieces fit into the spaces left by longer pieces like sleeves and the back of the jacket.

I had about 5 yards of fabric. I had no cutting table so placed the 15 feet of folded fabric on the tile flooring of my renovated basement “apartment” that my Father had constructed for me to live. Pieces A and B were laid together as were L and O.

To conserve space and to move along, I cut out all the jacket pieces, the lining, the interfacing and so on, and piled these pieces neatly to the side. Then I began on the vest and onwards to the pants.

I was so excited.


When I got to the part where I laid out the pattern for the pants… something was terribly wrong.

I didn’t have enough fabric!

Oh No!

The pants part of the pattern was hanging about 9 inches onto the tile flooring with no fabric underneath it.

At this point I went from excitement to panic as I didn’t know what to do. The style was “pantsuit” not “capri-suit…”

What am I going to do about it NOW?

I had my hard-earned money into this project, and my time and dreams as well. I didn’t want to fail at this!

My cousin, who was having trouble at home with her wicked step-mother, was living with us at the time. Today she would be called a textile artist – and I asked her if she would crochet a “bottom” to my bell bottom pantsuit.

No problem!

So, the next day I had my crocheted pieces of a contrasting darker version of the color of my suit, and I sewed them onto the bottom of the pants.

Well, I thought that this was ingenious. I had saved my pantsuit.

The real test…!

But the real test was when I wore it to work the following week. I was employed in the downtown department store in the upscale Ladies’ Clothing section. A single blouse or even a scarf was far more than what I had paid to make my own pantsuit and the complete outfits were far out of my reach.

But I was able to help these ladies-living-in-mansions with their selections, get their sizing correct, and bring them alternate pieces or colors to their outfits while they stayed in the dressing room. They enjoyed my service, and I enjoyed being able to help.

Curiously, one after the other said to me, “Honey, I really like your pantsuit. Where can I buy that one?”

Well, I told them it was an original, that I made it myself, and it wasn’t available in the shop.


Can you imagine my surprise?

So, the lesson I took away from this experience, is that a “mistake” isn’t always a mistake.

Sometimes it’s an inadvertent act of creativity and I needn’t be afraid to move forward if I had painted myself into a corner. I could perhaps paint myself a door as well and walk through.

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How to Choose the Right Mattress As You Age

Matthew Ross

A full night’s sleep might be few and far between if you don’t own a quality mattress, and this is especially true if you’re an older adult who already struggles with sleeping throughout the night without disruptions. In fact, insomnia is one of the most common issues older folks consult their doctor about and is a major contributor to one’s mental and physical health. That’s why it’s important as ever for us to make sure we’re investing in our sleep as we age. Here are a few tips to help you in your quest to find the best mattress for you.

Tip 1: Stay Within Budget

Often times, money is a major factor when seniors are shopping for a new mattress. Whether it’s due to a fixed income or less hours at work, it’s not as easy to pull together the funds for a nice mattress. With that being said, it becomes increasingly important to invest in your beauty rest as you get older, after changes in your sleep patterns and different health issues wind up taking a toll on the quality of your sleep.

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get a full night’s sleep, as there is a large selection of quality beds that go for under $1,000.

Tip 2: Consider A Mail Order Mattress

Shopping for a new bed used to be somewhat grueling, especially if you didn’t have a truck to haul it to your house from the mattress store. Now that online shopping has taken over the consumer market, the mattress industry has wanted a piece of the pie and has introduced mail order mattresses like bed-in-a-box brands and brands who are exclusive to online.

Buying a mattress over the internet certainly has its perks. First and foremost, you don’t have to deal with having to transport it to your home because it’ll be shipped to your front door for free. You can even find brands who offer free white glove delivery, which means they’ll carry your mattress inside and set up your bed for you. This is especially helpful for older individuals who struggle with heavy lifting due to joint pain or other disabilities that make heavy lifting nearly unbearable.

You can also find some great incentives online like a risk-free trial period and warranty policy. Some are more generous than others, but they’re usually better than the standard 30-day return policy and other perks you get when you buy in-store.

Tip 3: Buy A Bed with Coils

Have you ever noticed that you wake up feeling well rested after sleeping in a hotel bed? That’s because a lot of the luxury hotels use mattresses with innerspring units or coils. A standard all-foam bed should last you about 8 years or so, but you can usually get a few more years out of a hybrid mattress. A hybrid mattress is a bed that utilizes two or more types of materials — like a hybrid car which uses both gas and electricity to run. If you’re going to spend good money on a mattress, you don’t want something that’s going to show heavy impression marks after year 5. Beds constructed with foam and an innerspring system tend to be more durable, more supportive, and longer lasting. Accordingly, if you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, you may want to consider buying a hybrid bed.

Tip 4: Take Your Specific Needs into Account

Regardless of age, you should always take your sleeper type into consideration when you’re searching for a new mattress. If you spend most of the night on your side, you’ll want a mattress on the soft side of the spectrum so it can relieve the pressure points along the side of your body. For those of you who sleep on your back or stomach, firmer mattresses are more ideal because they provide support for your spine and keep your back in neutral alignment.

Older adults with specific health conditions should also look for a mattress that caters to their specific needs. This is when we suggest you talk to your primary health care physician, as they can recommend the most accommodating beds that fit your circumstances. For example, those who suffer from back pain or fibromyalgia may want something on the firmer side of the spectrum to keep their back properly supported. If you have tender joints or an injured hip, however, you might benefit from a mattress on the softer side for extra pressure relief.

Whatever the issue is, just make sure you consult your doctor before you make any final decisions on a new mattress.

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Questions from a Reader on sorting out access to health care after retirement

Q&A from a Reader

First, thank you so much for your blog.

The first time I contacted you, I was asking for advice on how to convince my husband to pick up our stakes and move to Mexico. I think it was about two years ago. In fact, you used my emailed question in a blog article soon after.

Well guess what- we have been living in Tijuana for almost 6 months!  There have been many changes and hurdles that we are overcoming, and right now I think I could use some of your wisdom.

My husband is disabled and on Medicare, so he is covered as far as health insurance is concerned. I work remotely for an American company and pay insurance premiums for insurance I can’t use- it is an HMO that covers the Virginia area, where we were located before. During open enrollment next February I can switch to a very expensive PPO plan.

I have been researching other options and am just getting more confused and frustrated. I am reading your blog right now regarding insurance, but still at a loss.

I could surely use some guidance and focus and direction in this. I hope you can at least help me narrow down the possibilities that would work for me.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Again, thank you both for all that you have shared over the years- it has been so helpful!



Hi Rachel,

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Congratulations on your move to Tijuana! I hope you are enjoying your new location…

First, let me say that the access-to and paying-for health care topic is complex. Not only that, but it is very personal and each one of us has to decide which approach works best for us.

I have a couple of questions for you that might get your ideas rolling —

You mention that you are living in Mexico — but your husband is on Medicare. You did know that Medicare is only useful to you if you are living in the States? Of course, I could be wrong, since Tijuana is so close, perhaps that city takes Medicare payment or they have an agreement with the US.  Or perhaps you thought in order to obtain health care service, you would simply cross the border into the US.

You might consider applying for Mexican residency (you don’t have to give up your American citizenship, and you would still keep your American passport). In this way, you would be eligible for the Mexican National Insurance Program (Seguro Popular). You don’t mention your age, but if you are fairly healthy (no pre-existing conditions) Mexico also has IMSS which is a higher quality health care for residents. You could apply for that also – but you can only be on one of the systems, not both.

You could perhaps develop a personal HSA and instead of paying for US-based insurance — put your insurance premiums into an account, and then draw from that. Then you could take advantage of Mexico’s hospitals and clinics, paying out of pocket. — For instance, if you pay $10,000 yearly for your US-based health insurance you would simply “Go Naked” and place that previously-used-money-for-premiums into an account earmarked for health care. There is a lot of medical care you can get in Mexico for $10-$20 thousand dollars.

At some point you would qualify for Medicare yourself, and the years you have placed that money into an account for care would accumulate until you qualify and have Medicare take over. And you would still have that money, instead of paying an insurance company for coverage. (See Buying Medical Care vs Buying Medical Insurance )

You didn’t mention if you are healthy or have health issues, but in either case, you must have already seen the price differences between prescriptions and office visits in Tijuana versus the States.

Of course, you could take a look at our Medical Health Insurance Page and look for a policy that is world-wide. And I would suggest taking a look at these articles below for insight, as well as taking a look at our Medical Tourism Page.

Rachel, I think it’s a matter at looking at your options, and then deciding what your risk tolerance is, and how much you want to pay to access medical care.

Let us know if you have any other questions. I hope you find the information that I have given to you to be useful.

Thanks again for taking the time to write.



What are you guys doing for health insurance?

Going Naked

Comments on Going Naked

Top 10 Q&A on Medical Tourism

Cancer Treatment in Guatemala

Buying Medical Care vs Buying Medical Insurance

Stem Cell Therapy

Orthopedic Care in Guatemala

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Power of Words – How Language Generates Your World

Keeping on the same theme of how important language is to our experience, this TED talk with Chalmers Brothers is one of the best I have heard in a long time.

He is to the point, engaging, accessible, and CLEAR in his explanations of how we speak ourselves into the world. We are creating all the time, whether we know it or not. Worth a listen.

Open to a useful perspective!


Posted in Adding Pizzazz to Your Life, The Power of Words | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Cool Things to Do in Ybor City, Tampa


This post is no longer available. Thank you for your interest in our site! 

For more information on Financial Independence, World Travel and Medical Tourism, Please visit our website at RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

Thank you!



Posted in Adding Pizzazz to Your Life, Guest Blog Posts, Heart Song, Travel Tips and Insight | Tagged , | Leave a comment

3 ways an Electric Wheelchair can reduce falling risk

Scott Zabriskie

Over the years, there is no denying that there has been a lot of great aids that have been designed to help people when it comes to mobility. There is no denying that mobility issues can be very difficult to come to terms with. Sufferers can feel like they are the only person in the world with the problem and that they are never going to have a normal life again.

However, from power chairs to mobility scooters that have been designed to help people  to ensure that your quality of life does not suffer. One of the classic mobility aids is the electric wheelchair. In this blog post, we are going to take a look at the benefits of electric wheelchairs in relation to reducing the fall risk. So, continue reading to discover everything you need to know…

  1. You’re more secure in a wheelchair – A wheelchair is much steadier and it can handle different terrains, and this reason alone will lower the fall risk considerably. However, there are still risks associated with wheelchairs, although they are fewer. Still, it is important to be aware of some of the different things that you should do in order to reduce the chances of experiencing a fall while in your wheelchair. This involves avoiding sliding or positioning yourself too far forward in your seat. You also need to make sure that you do not overreach for an object. Plus, make sure you lock the breaks before you get out of the wheelchair, move the footrests out of the way so that you do not trip on them while transferring, and do not lean forward, as you could tip your wheelchair over. 
  2. Access to higher levels – Wheelchairs today come with a whole host of useful features. Seat elevation is one of these. This useful feature means you can reach higher levels. There is a much greater chance of you being able to grab something you need with ease if your wheelchair can elevate. Trying to reach something without this sort of aid could easily result in a fall and injury.
  3. More stable than a manual wheelchair – he fact that the wheelchair is electronic also makes a massive difference. With a manual wheelchair, you need to make sure you can move around. If you get stuck on a difficult part of the road, you may find yourself moving about more to try and get the wheelchair to move, and this could easily result in a fall injury. This is something you do not need to worry about if you go down the electric route.  As you can see, there are many different benefits that are associated with using an electric wheelchair. There has been research that has shown that the risk of falling and injuring yourself is going to be a lot lower if you use an electric wheelchair. Nevertheless, you still need to make an effort to ensure you use the wheelchair properly, so do not ignore the tips that have been provided.
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What are you guys doing for health insurance?

Q&A with a Reader 


My husband and I were listening to the Mad Fientist podcast and enjoyed your story.

We are in the process of planning our early retirement. Our retirement date is Jan 2025.  We plan on selling everything and traveling the world, indefinitely.  The plan is to live in various countries for about 1-3 months at a time.

I have been doing a lot of research regarding Worldwide Health Insurance and was curious what you guys were doing.

Both my husband and I are healthy and we will be 50 in 2025. We would appreciate any insight that you may have.

Thank you,


Hi Anna,

Thank you for taking the time to write, and Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!

When we first left the working world in 1991, it was inconceivable to us to live without health insurance. We always had it in one form or another either employer sponsored, or when we were self-employed, we purchased our  own policy.

When we retired, we did Cobra for a while, then we continued our own high deductible US-based health insurance policy for a long time — maybe a decade or more. Since we were world travelers (we were called perpetual travelers at that time) we seemed to always find ourselves in another country when we needed service (emergencies, stitches, colonoscopy, executive physicals, eye exams, MRIs, annual check ups, x-rays, dental work, new glasses, etc.).

At some point, we decided that instead of spending thousands of dollars a year for an insurance policy we weren’t using, we’d bank that money (like our own HSA account) and pull from it whenever we needed it.

This has worked great for us.

We now qualify for medicare so that is our back up emergency plan. When we visit the States we have medicare – but before that we took out a traveler’s health insurance policy and that is what worked for us.

We continue to utilize Medical Tourism wherever we go, and instead of paying for a policy that medi-vacs us back to the States, we simply get local service.

This works in most places unless you are traveling off the grid for a length of time. A temporary policy might be best at that time to get you where you want to go.

A couple of things — You might want to take a look at our Health Insurance Page, our Medical Tourism Page and read the following few articles which explain in depth what our position is — or what has worked for us.

We realize that health care is a very personal matter and everyone must choose for themselves what they feel comfortable with. I wanted to also mention, that Billy and  I do alternative care often (acupuncture, massage, homeopathy, yoga, TENS unit, juicing, supplements, etc.) and our health policy did not cover anything of this sort.

That being said, when I almost lost my finger, of course I utilized Western care, and the same with Billy here. We paid out of pocket each time. Costs are listed on the previous linked articles.

Let us know if you have any other questions… Thanks for writing and the articles I recommend to you are below.

Sending our best regards, and again, Congratulations!

Akaisha and Billy

Going Naked

Comments on Going Naked

Top 10 Q&A on Medical Tourism

Cancer Treatment in Guatemala

Buying Medical Care vs Buying Medical Insurance

Stem Cell Therapy

Orthopedic Care in Guatemala

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Ways How Home Care Can Help You In Retirement


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For more information on Financial Independence, World Travel and Medical Tourism, Please visit our website at RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

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How Can Senior Citizens benefit from Smartphones?


This post is no longer available. Thank you for your interest in our site! 

For more information on Financial Independence, World Travel and Medical Tourism, Please visit our website at RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

Thank you!


Posted in Adding Pizzazz to Your Life, Guest Blog Posts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is the Importance of Home Care when Retiring


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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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