8 Steps to a Secure Future

Well, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve completely transitioned into summer. It’s really hot! And for those of us living in Florida and other warm climates, that means trying to plan our outdoor activities for morning and evening hours and making sure that we hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. As transitions go, I’d say that this is probably one of the easier transitions that we make. Big life transitions on the other hand, aren’t quite so simple. Especially as we age. So what can we do to make the transition to retirement and beyond easier, where do you even begin? And if you’re already retired, is it too late to make a plan?

This Week on Sage Aging

In this episode of Sage Aging I spent some time with TL Johnson, a retiree and elder adovocate who shared his 8-step plan for readying yourself for life’s big transition into retirement and beyond. His simple, no-nonsense strategy is something that anyone can tackle. Having been a family caregiver himself, TL knows his way around the issues older adults and caregivers face and, along with his wife Sherrie, he has made it his mission to help others as they walk that part of their journey. I know you’ll find TL inspirational and engaging and I’m so thankful to have had him on as my guest!

My Biggest Takeaway

To choose one takeaway from this episode is not easy! It provides a lot of food for thought and so many actionable tips. But one thing does stand out a bit for me. As TL and I  discussed planning for the future, I thought about how many people simply don’t do it. Some because they don’t know where to start and others who just procrastinate or decide to leave it to loved ones to handle. With our recent 5 episode Elder Law series, this has been a topic that I have given much thought to. As it relates to planning ahead. TL had this to say: “Planning is not just an option, it’s a responsibility. And every choice you make today will have long term implications. And some may even be life changing. It takes a moment to make a decision, but the consequences last a lifetime. And they’ll change you forever.”  Let’s hit replay on that: “It takes a moment to make a decision, but the consequences last a lifetime.”

To heare the whole conversation, click here or keep scrolling down the page for the full transcript.

TL’s 8 Steps to a Secure Retirement
  1. Make a commitment to successful aging
  2. Have a conversation with your spouse/partner – being on the same page is an important component of your life plan
  3. Define Your Passions – both as individuals and as a couple
  4. Do A Financial Assessment – where are you and where do you need to be
  5. Plan for Good Health – adopt a healthy lifestyle and make decisions now possible needs in your later years
  6. Develop Your Plan – consider what you want each stage of your life to look like and who will help you make that a reality
  7. Take Action and Get Started – Set specific goals and tell the important people in your life
  8. Remain Flexible – be open to growth and development in new areas and change lanes when needed
Show Notes

There is much to consider when planning for the later years of life and it feels overwhelming to some, but it doesn’t have to be! In this episode, TL Johnson shares his 8 step plan. Bookmark this episode – there are a lot of easy and practical steps you will want to apply to your own life plan!

Links and Resources We Mentioned
Related Episodes
Thank you!

Thanks for listening. If you found value in today’s conversation, I’d really appreciate it if you would leave a positive review and share the sage aging podcast with a friend. If you have topic ideas you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at info@Sageaging.us

Closed Captioning

Sage Aging Episode 18

8 Steps to a Secure Future

Host: Liz Craven

Guest: TL Johnson

Recorded July 2020



Liz Craven  00:00

Thank you for listening to the Sage Aging podcast. This episode is brought to you by Polk ElderCare Guide, your guide to all things senior care and resources. Available in both English and Spanish, you can find the guide at PolkElderCare.com


Liz Craven  00:30

Hi everyone and welcome back to the Sage Aging podcast. I’m your host Liz Craven. If you’re joining us for the first time, welcome. I’m really glad you’re here and hope you’ll join me weekly for conversations with experts in the field of aging, about topics that are important to you. As a publisher of a senior resource guide and a family caregiver. I understand how hard it is to come by good information and I know that sometimes You just need to hear that everything will be okay. My mission is to leave you feeling confident that you’re not alone and empowered to celebrate and enjoy the aging and caregiving journey. Are you ready? Hit subscribe now. And let’s get started.


Liz Craven  01:18

Hello, and welcome to Episode 18 of the Sage Aging podcast. I’m so glad you’re here. Well, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve completely transitioned into summer. It’s really hot. And for those of us living in Florida and other warm climates, that means trying to plan our outdoor activities for morning and evening hours and making sure that we hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. And as transitions go, I’d say that this is probably one of the easier transitions that we make. Big life transitions, on the other hand aren’t quite so simple, especially as we age. So what can we do To make the transition to retirement and beyond easier, where do you even begin? And if you’re already retired, is it too late to make a plan? We’ll answer those questions and more for you today. My guest today is TL Johnson. TL is currently a consultant helping businesses maximize their potential by empowering teams to dare to be remarkable through Creative Leadership. TL has a wealth of experience in the senior adult community management realm. And he’s no stranger to the issues that older adults face as he and his wife Sherry have both been family caregivers multiple times. I’m honored to have TL here today as a guest, and I know that you’ll enjoy his time with us as well. Welcome to the show, TL and thank you so much for joining me today.


TL Johnson  02:51

Thank you, Liz. I’m excited to be with you and talking about a topic that’s dear to my heart. So I’m looking forward to this


Liz Craven  03:00

Very good. Well, gosh, where do we begin? Isn’t that a common question that we always hear when it comes to any topic of aging? And we’ll get to answering that in a moment. But first, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself TL.


TL Johnson  03:16

Um, we don’t have enough time, Liz. But, no, my background is primarily in sales, marketing and advertising with some major corporations. I’ve started up several private companies and partnerships, but most of my professional career has been in the area of sales, marketing and advertising. So as a consequence, we’ve always looked at long range planning, initiating those elements of leadership that are necessary to achieve goals, and really future prognostications. In other words, I think one of the most impactful things that occurred to me was with BlueCross and BlueShield when I was the regional director with them years ago, we began a design group and that design group was given the responsibility of setting the tone for the Corporation for the ensuing five to 10 year period. But there we talked about, what are the steps that we need to implement to get us to step five, Step six, step seven, whatever that next level was going to be to grow the corporation. So a lot of my professional career has been wrapped around what I learned as a member of that design group.


Liz Craven  04:37

That’s really incredible because those same principles applied to your personal life can make all the difference in the world.


TL Johnson  04:45

Absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s another part of the exciting opportunities that I’ve had in building with people. My wife and I both have been involved in caregiving personally. for members of our own families, but also as a consequence of that, others have reached out to us and we’ve reached out to others to assist them in that same process. And what we’ve discovered is that most of what we’ve confronted is the fact that most caregivers have not planned for their future. As a consequence, when something catastrophic has occurred in their life. It’s been a complete surprise. It’s taken them by surprise, and they’re having to struggle to get through this phase of their life, when actually it’s not that difficult to sit down with your spouse, or with someone that special person in your life and draw out a long term map for your life. In other words, planning for life’s transitions because you absolutely are guaranteed to encounter transition in your life. So what I’m trying to do is to help you plan for those transitions. Some are inevitable, some are going to be a complete surprise. But regardless, you need to have a plan for encountering all of those transition opportunities.


Liz Craven  06:17

That is so so true. I can’t even express how true those words are. I have, myself, been a caregiver multiple times and the caregiving experience with the parent who did have a plan in place, and who did have all of those Plan A, B and C, had taken into account things that might happen that caregiving experience was very different than the one who had no plan in place. Then you’re scrambling and you’re stressed and and you wish that your time was being spent just loving on your person. But instead you’re scrambling and trying to fix things and trying to put things in place to To make sure that they’re well cared for. So it is very important. And you’re right, it really doesn’t take a whole lot to do that. So where should we begin? There’s that question again.


TL Johnson  07:11

Yeah. And something that I want to point out is that I think you’d agree, Liz, that most people spend more time planning a one week vacation than they do, identifying what outcomes they want to see in the major areas of their lives. In other words, most people wander aimlessly with no clear destination in mind, and they’re surprised and usually unprepared when life doesn’t turn out the way they had hoped. So I’ve put together some ideas that I think will help be beneficial to everyone. And certainly it was even beneficial to me in my own quest. Many folks find that detailed planning is boring, it’s unnecessary, but then that thing happens. In fact, it always does. So planning is not just an option, it’s a responsibility. And every choice you make today will have long term implications. And some may even be life changing. It takes a moment to make a decision, but the consequences last a lifetime. And they’ll change you forever. And so I’ve put together some some ideas here. I call them seven reasons why it’s so important to plan. But they’ll help you understand that this is not an option. It absolutely is an essential part of our lives.


Liz Craven  08:33

Yes, it really is. So tell me about that. Give us some more detail. Where do people start?


TL Johnson  08:40

Yeah, I think you start by understanding the planning process itself. I’ve got seven steps here that will help you understand the necessity of it. One is it’ll help you clarify the most important priorities and if you’re married, it’ll even help you and your spouse get on the same page regarding Your life aspirations. And number two, it’ll help you maintain balance. My point here is that some people sacrifice their marriage for their career or for their health or relationship with their children. But it’s actually possible to have all three and to have them robustly. Number three, it’ll help you say yes to what matters most, which puts you in a better position to say no to activities and people that matter less. So in other words, you manage your opportunities, rather than being managed by them. Number four, it’ll help you better understand where you are, and a lot of folks don’t know where they are, especially financially. And then consequently, it’ll help you understand where you need to be. Number five, it’ll help you envision a better future, a more confident future. What do you want in each of the major categories of your life and this is where the fun begins. With you taking charge of your life number six, it will serve as a roadmap for accomplishing what matters most. You’ll never take a long trip without a map or understanding how you’re going to get there. Well, one of the longest trips you’ll ever take is the trip of life. So map out what you intend to do with your life and very few people do that. And then finally, number seven, it’ll, it’ll help you ensure that you don’t finish life with regrets. Plan, especially one in writing helps dramatically improve your chances of ending up at a destination of your choosing, not just happenstance, not just coincidence, it’s of your choosing.


Liz Craven  10:46

That is just the pure definition of owning life instead of letting life own you. Well, that is just terrific. So how do you broach that conversation with your spouse especially If you know life has been kind of clipping along and you find yourself getting close to retirement, or perhaps you’re already retired and haven’t had this conversation yet, how do you start that conversation?


TL Johnson  11:14

One of the largest causes of divorce is finance. And let me just give a little statistic, the fourth bullet that I’m going to share with you talks about finance, but something people don’t know is did you know that out of all 50 states, and here I’m going to talk about Florida because that’s where we reside. But out of all 50 states, the cost of living for Florida residents, falls at number 26. In other words, almost in the dead middle for determining how long $500,000 will last. Now just pick that at random, but the study analyzed average spending data which includes groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, Healthcare for people aged 65 and older. Did you know that $500,000 will last 10 years, two months and three days in Florida for a person that’s aged 65 or older?


Liz Craven  12:14

Wow, that’s a little bit disturbing. Because if you think about it, you’re probably going to live beyond 75. Absolutely.


TL Johnson  12:24

So as you can see, you’re probably going to be broke when you get to that point, if you haven’t planned properly and, and so the reason that I mentioned the importance of finance in a marriage one is important in the relationship. But number two, one of the most confrontational areas that you’ll encounter in your relationship is going to be in areas of Finance. So let’s go ahead and address it right up front. So how do you discuss this with your spouse? Number one, I think both of you have to make a commitment. You have to make a commitment to successful aging. And what I’m talking about there, we’re going to age no matter what some of us are going to age better Some of us are going to age worse. It depends on how we plan our lives as to how we’re going to age. So, step one is making a commitment to successful aging. And step two is having a conversation, that conversation that you just mentioned with your spouse or with your, your partner, your two people with very different interest, different ideas on who, what, when, where, how and how much and face it accepted. It’s normal. So you need to prepare by reading, talking, getting into the right mindset, you need to schedule some time just for the two of you. You need to set the tone and the tone is we are committed to a win win. This is not an adversarial conversation. This is a conversation where we’re putting together a plan For us both to not only survive, but to have a vibrant life. And something I really like about my wife, so many things, but one thing in particular is she’s a real research nut. So when there’s a like the current pandemic, there are issues that we need to address long term regarding our finances. So what are the anticipated ramifications associated with this pandemic, as far as the stock market is concerned, as far as banking is concerned, so we’re trying to address and learn as much as we can about those areas so that we can make wise investment decisions. Something else in reference to the conversation with your wife, you know, listen, learn, swap places, accept, affirm, and then you can easily move forward to step three which is defining your passions. You can ask each other, what engages you what gives you energy, what invigorates you what makes you happy? What your talents and your gifts. And some people get to the end of their lives. And they still don’t know what those special gifts are that their spouse had, that they never had a chance to iterate during their relationship. What excites you the most? Take an opinion poll, ask your friends, what are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What are those areas that you need to grow in? I like to consider people that I like to be with because people you like to be with, that’s kind of a reflection of who you are. So be very careful in determining who your friends are. And then I like to learn by example, I’ll tell you one of the most important things anyone can do in their lives. And this is something that I stress with my children. The most important figure in your life is going to be that person that you select to be your mentor. You may not knowingly do it. You may not be looking for a quote, mentor, but you’re looking to someone Who is going to be your closest friend, and they’re going to be one of the biggest influences in your life. So select a good positive role model, a mentor that you’d love to pat in your life after. And then finally, there’s a great, wonderful number of good tools on the internet that will help define your passions. And I would highly suggest that you take a look at those. Step Four out of those eight steps is do a financial assessment. In other words, where are you currently? How much do you need for housing, food, clothing, taxes, insurance, health care, and then how much do you have in savings and pensions, in Social Security, other entitlements that you may have your home equity, what’s your your current compensation? So you kind of put this on a balance with how much you need on on one side And on the other side of the balances, how much do I have? And you’ve got to remember, savings and investments is an integral part of this little exercise. So if there’s a gap between the two, keep working, but only work at a job you love, move to a lower cost Homer city and spend less. The key is don’t compromise doing what you love.


Liz Craven  17:25

That’s really good advice. Because going back to the defining your passion and purpose, as a person who is driven by her passion and purpose, I cannot imagine living any other way. If you can’t wake up every day and look forward to what the day will bring. I don’t know how you walk through life feeling fulfilled.


TL Johnson  17:49

Boy, good point. Very good point.


Liz Craven  17:52

Right. And the pieces that we’re talking about putting together here today, you know, I’m 53 in a couple of weeks and myself husband is 55. And so we’re starting to look at those life transitions and say, What do we want that to look like? And are we prepared for it to look like that? Here’s what we need to do to make sure that when we get to that place, I’m doing the things that I’d like to do.


TL Johnson  18:17

And you know, Liz, one of the most overlooked areas is step five. And this is an area that every one of us can control, because Step five is planned for good health. There’s a great article on the internet. And I think it’s entitled epigenetics does our DNA equal our destiny? And it’s a major study that has shown that more than 90% of our longevity is determined by the choices we make, not our genetics. So a lot of people feel that they’re predisposed to certain things in their lives. The fact is, they’re only predisposed to about 10% of what their DNA reference Since the other 90%, we can control so take charge of your health. In other words where you stand now, where do you need to be? What’s your plan to get there who’s going to help you, your doctor, your buddy, your spouse, your partner 70% of your health is directly in your control. Only 10% of your health is pre determined by your DNA. So if 70% of your health is in your control, and actually it can go up to 90% depending on how serious you are about about addressing it, my gosh, you ought to be doing those important things that are necessary, such as proper diet and exercise. I have a smoothie every day a half gallon smoothie every morning after my workout. I’m 74 and if I did not eat properly, if I did not exercise if I did not do my walking and running, if I did not keep myself healthy. I can tell you right now, I would probably be m mobile as a consequence of my lifestyle in the past. So, get regular physical exams, exercise regularly eat wisely and manage your stress. It’s interesting that there was a survey done regarding today’s Boomer retirees, and they said that the most important aspect of maintaining health in retirement is 80% of them said it was diet and exercise. Almost 80% said it was having interest that keep you active, not sitting in a recliner in front of the TV all day. 59% say staying connected to friends and family. And then finally 54% said staying productive or working in some form. When you retire doesn’t mean you have moved to the recliner. It simply means that you are now interested in deeply involved in those things that bring value to your life.


Liz Craven  21:04

There’s that passion and purpose again, isn’t it?


TL Johnson  21:07

Absolutely. I love those two words.


Liz Craven  21:10

Mm hmm. I do too. Those are so important. And I think everybody should have those defined for themselves.


TL Johnson  21:18

A statistic here that helps with the financial side of the planning process. Did you know that the estimated out of pocket health care costs now we’re talking about staying in shape? We’re talking about proper diet and exercise? Did you know that the estimated out of pocket healthcare costs during retirement is $318,000 per person, so it doesn’t make sense to take care of yourself? You’re putting that $318,000 in the bank if you do,


Liz Craven  21:51

Wow, that’s a big number. That’s a statistic I’ve never heard.


TL Johnson  21:55

You know that overwhelmingly, people have almost, let me just say that the scariest disabling condition in later life is something you and I are very familiar with. And I love the publication you have regarding elder care resources. It has been my go to Bible. And my and my wife’s helping so many people through these scary times when they have a spouse, who has all of a sudden began to show symptoms of and here I’m talking specifically about some form of dementia, primarily Alzheimer’s or Lewy Body disease, and that’s what my wife and I are most closely associated with. But did you know that people of all ages say the scariest disabling condition in later life is Alzheimers. In fact, they’re more worried about Alzheimer’s than they are cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis combined, and that the worries that they have about Alzheimers and dementia since it’s so prolific In our society is 78% of them say being a burden on their family? Yeah. 56% is losing dignity. 45% is becoming more isolated from their friends and family 44% not being able to do the things they enjoy 40% the healthcare cost and related expenses and I just shared that number with you. And being in pain or discomfort and dying 6% are concerned about that. So, the point is, we need to plan to take charge of our health and that’s through exercise, eating a nutritious diet, maintaining a healthy weight, staying connected socially, which is critically important, and then maintaining a healthy lifestyle, lifestyle habits. Let me tell you one, one scary note here. Did you know that today, there is one trained pediatrician for every 1200 children age 15 or younger Compared to just one, geriatrician for every 9400 adults age 65 plus. So the point is, who’s going to be caring for you when you reach, you know, 65 7075, etc.


Liz Craven  24:17

Right? And that isn’t going to get any better given the fact that the baby boomer generation is now aging into that demographic.


TL Johnson  24:25

Absolutely. So that’s why you have to develop your plan. In other words, where are you now? Where do you need to be? What’s your plan to get there, and who’s going to help you get there. and here if you have a partner, if you have a spouse, that’s the best person in the world to help both of you achieve your desired objectives for your lives. And step seven out of these eight steps that I’m giving you is take action, get started. That’s the most difficult step that everyone faces. You set specific goals, you list your action items, what do I need to do to get there And then commit to dates and timeframes. And that’s one thing that I would say is absolutely critical set time frames for all of your action plans, and then commit to them. And then inform your employer, inform your friends, inform your specially now this is when I say inform I’m talking about you and your wife collectively inform people of what your plans are and then began because taking action. Getting started sharing your commitment to that plan is critically important. And then I’ll just go ahead and hit step number eight remain flexible. And here I’m talking about being open to your growth and development in new areas, you’re going to find that you may be a totally different person in retirement than you ever thought you were during your employment years. And this is a chance to truly discover your passions. If you needed to change lanes, change lanes. You know, the fact is the world is changing. And more specifically, we seniors are facing a daunting array of challenges without having to likewise worry about housing, finance, healthcare, and wondering who’s going to be there to help us transition through these later stages of our lives. So that’s all the more reason why it’s so critically important to have a plan.


Liz Craven  26:26

That is terrific. And those eight steps, I’m going to make sure that I put those all into a document so people can see those visually, that will also be available on my website, and we’ll provide a link for that. Thank you. This is really great advice and a lot of what I hear feedback from people, you know, we can talk about topics all day long and educate people but the practical steps from one to eight that really makes this something that is surmountable something that someone can grow Grab a hold of and actually walk in a positive direction with so thank you for breaking that down.


TL Johnson  27:06

And can I just give you kind of a bottom line summary?  Planning for these transitions that are going to occur in your life. I think there’s probably maybe four or five bottom line points here. But the most important number one is take charge of your life. And your health is a major part of that number to avail yourself of all the resources that are available. Many of them are free, most are affordable, and a local professional geriatric care manager, he can share with you all the resources that are available in this particular area. But still, the resource like you and your company provide the Elder Care Resource Guide, my gosh, that is such a Bible, of all of the opportunities that are out there to help you transition through this phase of your life.


Liz Craven  28:00

Thank you. And just by the way, if I can interject the care manager, you can also call that a life care manager. And if you go back to episode eight, you will learn all about what a life care manager is and what they do. And TL is absolutely right. That is somebody that if you have the opportunity to connect with would be a really smart move.


TL Johnson  28:22

Absolutely. Number three, you want to move but can’t sell your home. And a lot of people here are looking, I even have an uncle right now that’s looking at this, I have helped maybe six or seven different families transition into a life care facility, in particular, the continuing care retirement communities. But there is so much involved in the decision as to which one of those is most conducive to meeting your needs and your goals. And there are great resources on the on the internet for determining what are the key questions you need to ask. Before you sign on the dotted line to enter into a retirement facility or a continuing care, retirement community, but number three, you want to sell but you can’t sell your home. A good realtor can sell your home even in this environment. Number four, I’ve shared several statistics with you that are significant reminders that you need to protect your finances. So you need a good estate attorney, you need a good financial planner. Don’t leave the liquidation of your estate up to the government or someone that’s not designated by you for that specific purpose. I want to say something about that in just a moment. But finally, number five, keep things in perspective. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, there is hope. It’s just up to you and what initiatives you decide to take. Now while you can and then if you Ready for some resources? I’d be glad to share some lives.


Liz Craven  30:03

Yes, absolutely, please do. And for our listeners, if you will go to the blog post for Episode 18, at Sage aging.us. Everything that TL has mentioned here as it relates to resources and links, and what he’s about to talk to us about all of that will be available and easily accessible to you. And also accessible in the show notes. So if you would prefer to access those resources and information via your favorite podcast app, just look for the show notes for Episode 18 of sage aging, and that will all be right there for you.


TL Johnson  30:37

Great, great. I think one resource that is so important is kind of a visual. Everyone is going to encounter this at some point in their life. And it’s a resource that I found on the internet, and the title of it is the long term care decision journey. It says well, in the middle it says this is your life. But on the left side, it says, you get old, you stay healthy, you die suddenly. Well, that’s our dream. But on the right side, it says, you get old, you get sick, you need care. And that takes you through a completely different process. It’s eye opening. It’s a visual that you absolutely need to embed in the front of your mind. That visual resource right there alone will really open your eyes to the inevitable depending on whether you decide to take charge of your life, or you decide to spend the rest of your life in that recliner. So some of the resources one if you happen to be in the Lakeland Polk County area, the Rath SR connection Center, a great resource for those resources that are available to you in this area. And I’ve remarked about it here several times. Honestly, Liz, I’m not saying this just because we’re doing this podcast together. But I think that Poke eldercare senior resource guide is a wealth of information related to senior services that almost no one is aware that even exist and your website poke eldercare.com is my number one go to when we’re trying to help folks in need something else. A point that a lot of people don’t know is when you’re trying to qualify to get into ccrcs are assisted living facilities or skilled nursing facilities. nursing homes in Florida are required to meet certain Medicaid occupancy requirements to be granted a certificate of need. And as a consequence, even those facilities and I’m talking about some of your top ccrcs here in Polk County. They will take you if you cannot afford to pay them privately. And they will take the Medicaid payment As the sole proceeds to allow you to stay in their skilled nursing facility.


Liz Craven  33:07

That’s interesting. I was not aware.


TL Johnson  33:08

So there’s Geriatric Care Management there. Again, some of those entities are listed in your elder care guide. Now I’m going to share one, one resource here. That is absolutely fabulous. I can’t praise it enough, but Cornerstone, a hospice entity and I think they’re nationwide. But Cornerstone has a little brochure called Five Wishes. This little Five Wishes brochure I have used in numerous situations, because you fill out the following information and then you sign it and it is a legal document. One it asks who I want to make care decisions for me when I cannot to the kind of medical treatment that I want. Don’t want how comfortable I want to be how I want people to treat me and what I want my loved ones to know that they probably don’t know already. And those five things are in there and it talks about you know, prolonging of life of whether or not you want your life prolonged, etc, etc. So, those five wishes that legal little brochure is well worth a call to cornerstone. If you have someone that you are caring for on a long term basis, and you have questions regarding wills, advanced directives, and here we’re talking about a living will healthcare surrogate designations, durable power of attorneys DNR, Do Not Resuscitate financial considerations, social security information, veteran’s benefits, a little Bible of all of this information and these resources is included in cornerstones Patient and Family handbook. It’s a great little tutorial. To answer a lot of those questions that you may have, and then there’s a one page life plan, some people think that a creating a life plan for you and your spouse has to be a multiple page document. It doesn’t own the internet. You can go to walkingandtalking.com. It’ll take you to a one page creating a one page life plan. And it is absolutely excellent. It’s just a one page you can look at every day and try to determine, hey, where am I on my or where are we on our life plan? So creating a life plan, Michael Hyatt also has a website on creating a life plan. In closing, you know, I’m not as fortunate as many of the people in our audience, because a lot of my DNA is not in my favor. But the fact is, I have been able to do that those things taking the initiative, if you will, that are necessary such that when I die, I want to die having used up every ounce of me and getting the most out of this life that I can squeeze out of it. My wife and I want to make a difference. That’s our mantra. And we can do it by utilizing the appropriate resources by making a plan. And by initiating taking action on that plan and living our lives so that it benefits not only us, but society as well.


Liz Craven  36:34

Oh, gosh, TL That is great. And I can vouch for the fact that you are doing that you are so present for so many people. And well, your presence here today is just an extension of that. So thank you so much for coming to share today. And I’m so excited about all of this information. So those listeners who’ve been saying give me something actionable. Here you go. You have your marching orders. We’re going to put all of this great information also in the blog post for you so that you have a guide to go by. But make your life plan, follow TLS lead and make the later years of your life the best years of your life. Thank you so much, TL.


TL Johnson  37:19

Liz, thank you so much for this opportunity.


Liz Craven  37:22

And thank all of you so much for listening. I hope you’ll join us again next week. We’ve got a great episode planned for you. We’re going to be talking all about Parkinson’s with Ginny Wolfe of Senior Helpers. I hope that you’re finding value in the conversations that we’re bringing to you each week. If you are enjoying the podcast, I’ve got a favorite ask. I’d really appreciate if you would subscribe to the show. leave us a review on Apple or Facebook so we can reach more people who will benefit from the same information that you’re getting. And if you have topic ideas, let us know. We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line At info@SageAging.us. Until next week, have a good one.

Liz Craven

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As I’ve been preparing to launch this podcast I’ve enjoyed revisiting stages of my own life and reflecting on how this topic became such a passion for me. While I’ve built my career on helping older adults and their families connect to needed education and resources, my connection to the aging and care process goes much deeper.

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of my own multi-generational family living together in one home. I was 4 or 5 when my grandmother moved into our home to help care for my sisters and I while our parents worked. Soon after, her father and grandfather moved in as well. We had 5 generations living under one roof! That was a beautifully chaotic adventure and knowing what I know now, I have so much respect for what my parents and grandmother did.

Fast forward to age 24. Newly married and pregnant with our first child, I spent several months with my in-laws to help care for my husband’s grandmother who had Alzheimer’s. Fast forward again to about 2009 – Wes and I have two teenagers about to head to college and his mother is diagnosed with cancer. Several years later, my mother is diagnosed with cancer. Several years after that Wes’ stepdad is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and his father is suffering from severe dementia. You can see where this is going right? For the better part of the last 10 years we have been the caregivers. We see it as an honor and privilege to have been able to do that for our parents.

The key to navigating our later years is being proactive about gathering information before we get there and staying engaged once we do. To be sage is to be wise. There is wisdom in taking the time to ask questions, seek solutions and know your options before the need arises.

Each week we will discuss relevant topics of aging with experts who can help us to understand and be better prepared for aging. We’ll also introduce you to some Sage Agers who are totally owning their journeys through life. No topic will be off limits and we will deliver open and honest conversation meant to educate and empower our listeners. Each episode will also be available in video and blog formats.

Whether you are proactively seeking to broaden your own knowledge, a caregiver for a loved one or a professional working in the aging care industry, this podcast is for you. We hope you will join us as we explore and celebrate Sage Aging.