Traverse City Record-Eagle

May 14, 2013

Fred Goldenberg: Wednesday's expo a don't miss for seniors

Special to the Record-Eagle

---- — Many people ascribe to the belief that as the ball dropped in Times Square on Jan. 1, 1946, the first baby boomer was born and that 76 million births later, our lifestyle and ideas for the future have the country turned upside down.

We are healthier, we play harder and we continue to work well into what use to be retirement age. We are the generation who will not go quietly into that good night.

We grew up in the shadow of the “bomb” with fallout shelters in our backyards. We fell in love with rock and roll. In 1969, we watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. We wore our hair long and bell bottom pants. We marched and protested as we sang the songs of Bob Dylan.

We are a unique generation who through action and commitment changed the world we lived in. Yet, not everything went according to plan. For many of us, the future isn’t as rosy as we’d like it to be. Many find ourselves sitting across the breakfast table from an ailing parent and an adult child who has moved back home. Sandwiched between two generations, thoughts of retirement fade fast when economics come knocking at your door.

It takes planning — and lots of it — to make it in today’s financial environment. You need to plan for your parents’ future, your children’s well-being and your own as well. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting just thinking about it, let alone doing anything about it.

Enter the 2013 Traverse City Ideas for Life Senior Expo presented by Bay Area Senior Advocates on Wednesday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center in Traverse City. Since BASA was formed, its mission has been to educate and advocate for the needs of our aging community.

Twelve years ago, the first Ideas for Life Senior Expo was held and BASA’s mission was translated into a public forum. By drawing on resources from nonprofit agencies, for-profit business and governmental agencies, BASA has placed under one roof all that you and your family need to educate yourselves, become an advocate for the future and find those organizations who you can collaborate with to make your future better and attainable.

If you are 55 or older, the Expo is an opportunity to visit with the 100-plus exhibitors participating this year. And just because the word “senior” is attached to the name doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come. Remember, AARP sent you your first membership card at 50. That really ticked me off. But in hindsight, they were right.

Planning for the future means collecting ideas that make sense for you and your family as you age. Being an educated consumer give you an advantage. Understanding the cost of aging and how to best utilize programs available to your parents today and maybe you in the future isn’t a waste of time, it’s a smart move.

No one has the option of not getting older. It happens no matter how hard we fight to fend it off. But if you prepare for it in a methodical way, it really isn’t that hard.

The Ideas for Life Senior Expo gives you the ability to map out your future and plan with confidence. Where else can you find out everything there is to know about the life cycle of senior living in five hours — and get a free lunch?

See you there.

Fred L. Goldenberg is a certified senior advisor (CSA) and owner of Senior Benefit Solutions, LLC, a patient and consumer advocacy and financial services organization in Traverse City. If you have any questions or comments about this article or any other senior issue, he can be reached at 922-1010 or