Bonnie Raitt

It’s Almost My Birthday: Reflections on Aging and Insurance

“Dear Ms. Green:

In September, you’ll turn 63, an age when many life insurance companies will begin to look at you differently. From now on, when you need financial protection for your family, you may find the health questions will be a lot tougher… Getting accepted a lot more difficult … the coverage offered to you of lesser quality… In fact, rates are already set to go higher for you the moment you turn 63 in September. That’s only days from now.  Time may be running out on good life insurance offers available to you.”
 
OMG. Time is running out? Rates will go higher THE MOMENT I turn 63?

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I didn’t feel so “fabulous” as I read this unsolicited letter that arrived in the mail yesterday.  I wasn’t looking forward to turning 63 … but I wasn’t dreading it either.  In fact, I didn’t think there was anything especially problematic about that age. I had a hard time when I turned 60 … and was looking ahead to the probability of having a hard time at 65 … and an even worse time at 70. But 63?
 
I needed some perspective, so I googled famous people who are 63 in an effort to feel better about myself. The good news is that the list of famous 63 year-olds who are still alive is longer than the list of those who checked out at that age. Among the women, there’s Twiggy, Morgan Fairchild, Victoria Principal, Bonnie Raitt, Natalie Cole, Sigourney Weaver and Cybill Shepherd – all of them looking pretty good and doing fine as far as I can tell. On the male side, there’s Richard Gere, Bruce Springsteen, Richard Branson, and Gene Simmons. Gene looks a little worse for the wear, but the others are looking pretty good and hanging in there, right?
 
Just for fun (and because I was pissed off at the life insurance company for making me feel old) I googled life expectancy in the US. What I learned is that just by making it to age 50, I have given myself a couple more possible years. Here are the numbers from the web site of the Social Security Administration:

SS table

So, it looks like I have a shot at living another 18.5 years beyond this birthday. The downside is that if I make it, I’ll have to deal with turning 75 and 80. Hopefully, no one will care by then about surprising me with birthday parties.
 
The thought of living to 81, however, made me think that it actually might be worthwhile to lose some weight and get a face lift. I’ll just skip the insurance and apply the money I would have spent on premiums to a personal trainer and a plastic surgeon instead.
 
Cathy Green

Keeping Music in My Life……

I attended two concerts this past week in my newly adopted home town of Asheville – one bluegrass and one rock. I also bought tickets for four live music events coming up in July and August. It made me think about music and its place in my life.

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When I was young, my dad sang with a barbershop quartet and with the church choir. He had a wonderful, deep bass voice. My mother played the piano and sang with a lovely Johnny Mathis “trill”. My brother played guitar and sang during high school and became a professional musician for many years. (At 56, he still does gigs with several groups around Cincinnati). When we were in our early teens, Dad and Mom would take us to hear the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra a few times a year and to occasional musical theater productions like my favorite, West Side Story. I loved these outings.

I sang with the church choir, I played the accordion, I was the band director in grade school, I sang in several high school plays, I learned to strum the guitar in college, and I even sang with a trio at an early 70’s company talent show.

Then, I lost music for awhile in my 20’s and 30’s. I was very busy with a career and I “didn’t have time”. I also didn’t have someone in my life who shared my musical interests.

When I met Ray, our romance began with a dance. Soon after, we were sharing music on “tapes” (remember those?) We painstakingly compiled favorite song tapes (not easy 25 years ago!) and sent them to one another. We went to jazz clubs and local beach bars. We saw as many live performances as possible … local musicians as well as nationally known artists. We watched concerts on tape and later on DVD. We hired local musicians for company parties and for our own parties. We always entertained with music in the background.

Over the years, I’ve been able to see James Taylor, Elton John, Lyle Lovett, Steely Dan, Billy Joel, Phil Collins, The Steve Miller Band, Joe Sample, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Willie Nelson, Kenny G, Diane Schuur, Patti Austin, Ray Charles, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Sanborn ….. and many, many more. Next month, I’ll see Sheryl Crow and Boz Scaggs in North Carolina. In December, it will be jazz (Fourplay) in the Big Apple.

I admit it – Ray and I are probably a little over the top when it comes to listening to music and attending concerts. Hearing loss issues – both our own and some of our other “mature” friends – keep us from turning up the volume too much during cocktail parties. But we still crank it up when we’re alone.

I believe that music helps keep us young. It definitely keeps our brains active. Who knows, it may even be helping to slow down Alzheimer’s!!!!

Here’s a wonderful quote that I like:
“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without” – Confucius

But here’s the one Ray likes:
“Play it f***in’ loud!” -Bob Dylan

Cathy Green
P.S. Does music play a big part in your life these days? If so, let us know about it.

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