Newest Blog Entries


Recommendations: Are you sure you want to offer advice?

June 14, 2019 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

We trade recommendations back and forth like baseball cards from our childhood. “Do you have a great dentist?” “Could you recommend the person who colors your hair?” “Have you been to Portugal and, if so, would you recommend going there? We’ve heard Lisbon is gorgeous. Where should we stay?” In fact, these days it seems that everyone has become a professional critic whether through conversation or online. Consider all the sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor where you can leave your comments for strangers and businesses to read. It’s so easy to ask someone for a suggestion or an opinion,...


Single? What is your Social Responsibility to Couples?

June 07, 2019 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

We both found ourselves suddenly single after many years of being part of a couple. And as singles, there were many times that we felt shut out from the vast protective umbrella that used to be our social lives.  But once alone, we were surprised that several couples inadvertently excluded us from evenings out and in their homes and clubs. It’s not because they are uncaring or malevolent. Some just don’t think to do so because they don’t know what it’s like to walk in “single-only shoes.” At the basis of this might be the struggle with how to fit...


Selling Precious Collections

May 31, 2019 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Collections are defined as a similar group of things, often more than three. Most of us equate them not in terms of the number but as objects that we really don’t need, and which have made our everyday lives more beautiful, fulfilling and interesting. They reflect our personal taste and style. They also require great time, effort and money spent learning and hunting for something that catches our attention and becomes a passion worth pursuing.   Margaret’s mother collected paperweights, and her husband amassed more than 5,000-vinyl records and many bottles of fine wine. And then there was all the...


Reunions, Small, Big. Dread Them? Love Them? Whatever and Whenever

May 24, 2019 Barbara Ballinger & Margaret Crane

Unlike other friends whose families moved frequently, we both grew up in one suburban community where we lived for decades. We went through one public school system, walked to school or stood at the bus stop with the same kids, made friends early on—some from kindergarten--and our parents continued to live in those places long after we graduated from our high schools. Margaret’s parents changed homes in St. Louis but stayed in the same school system and community. Barbara’s parents in Westchester County, New York, stayed in the same house for four decades. Her mother only moved to New York...


Long-Term Care Health Insurance: The Pros & Cons

May 17, 2019 Guest Blogger

By Judy Rubin* Baby boomers are transitioning from the active workforce into active retirement. Most have part-time jobs, hobbies or family to focus on.  There is a lot to divert their attention from un-pleasantries like planning if they reach very old age and need assistance in daily lives.  Research modeling suggests that more than half of people who are 65 years old today will need some custodial care during their lifetimes. That means some help with the activities of daily living, including eating, bathing, toileting, dressing, transferring and help due to cognitive decline. Every boomer should take a few minutes...