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Remaining Active Is Your Aging Secret! Q. We retired just two months ago, and we are acting like teenagers with our newfound freedom. We feel fortunate in that we are in reasonably good health, believe we have enough money to get us through the balance of our lives, and have a wonderful …Read more. Retirees' Worst Fears! We moved into what we considered to be a happy and vibrant retirement community in 2013. We are enjoying being here, but have found that, underlying the Disneyland lifestyle attitude, many residents have a long list of fears that depress them. …Read more. Career Freedom Ahead! Q. I retired three weeks ago, but my husband plans to continue working for another two years. We have raised three children. Now I have put myself on a minor guilt trip because I have been unable to keep our home as well organized as I would like. …Read more. Shall we Marry? Q. I am a 75-year-old bachelor who never married. Currently, I am dating a lady who is four years younger. We are in love! She has never married either. We have been dating four months and believe we are a good match. However, we are hesitant to …Read more.
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Procrastinating Is not a Solution!

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Q. I envy individuals who have a positive outlook and appear to be happy. I am much less so, and often find myself in a negative mood. I have no living relatives, and most my lifelong friends are gone. I now believe much of my unhappiness is the result of buying too many things and keeping a house full of several inheritances, which I am reluctant to let go of because of sentiment and fond memories. In short, I have become a prisoner of my possessions. How can I talk myself into taking action, simplifying my life and becoming a happier person?

A. Not knowing about your health, assets, taxes and if you have a qualified estate attorney, I can only make suggestions. Begin by maintaining a daily log and writing down everything you do. Consider your log to be your to-do list and your counselor on duty. Edit and prioritize what you want to accomplish every day ... AND DO IT! When we were younger, many of us were indoctrinated with a strong work ethic approach to life. Do not put yourself on a guilt trip! Stop, rethink, relax and evaluate what actions make you happier. Free up time for yourself. Often, a 30-minute daily distraction from your routine, such as working in your garden, doing a crossword, volunteering at your library or another activity, generates a more positive outlook. Hire an estate planner for advice and appraisal of your stash. Choose your least favorites of your stuff and rid yourself of a least one item a week. As values, inflation or deflation kicks in, and other unexpected events occur, you may require more cash than you suspect to maintain your lifestyle.

Donating to charities, churches and other non-profits are rewarding and may help lower your taxes. As David Cassidy of Cassidy Stills and Nash fame wrote: "Time is the final currency, not money, not power. The time will come when you'll give anything for one more hour." Enjoy those hours!

Q. With the major holiday ahead, my lady and I are faced with making family commitments. We are widowed, in love, and both of our families invited us for the holiday. The problem is that we can only accept one family's invitation. We have thought about separating and celebrating with our own families, but that does not appeal to us. How can we work out a compromise?

A. In today's lifestyles, many families face similar problems. Currently, more than half of families experience loneliness, unhappiness, anger, divorce issues, do not have a job, are ill, are single parents or other factors which impact togetherness. Remember holidays do not necessarily need to be celebrated on the calendar dates. Would both families consider volunteering at a charity food kitchen and later enjoy a restaurant meal together? One family who did so learned how rewarding the experience was and it reportedly brought the families even closer. Would it be possible to schedule a trip, cruise or other event that would work out for both families? You have time for a compromise. Sharing and loving each other are your goals!

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California Retirement community. Contact him at deardoug@msn.com. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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