In Thailand, Retirement Is Not Always a Choice

Pa’ Noi manages the neighborhood restaurant that my boyfriend, Joe, and I love here in Thailand, where I’m doing part of my master’s program in gerontology. When we arrive, she greets and seats us, and patiently waits as we, the farangs (Thai for “foreigners”), fumble through our orders. When we finish, she brings us our check and our change, and she inevitably beats the busboys to a first swipe at our table. Pa’ Noi is 71, and she’s great at …

A New Washington Memorial Just for Disabled Vets

In June 1969, Dennis Joyner was a 20-year-old soldier on patrol in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta when he encountered a land mine that ripped off his legs and an arm. He had only been in the war-torn country 32 days. Now 66, Joyner has learned to navigate life over the years from a wheelchair and is one of the nation’s more than 3 million disabled vets. He will also be among the crowds at the dedication of the American Veterans Disabled …

When Grandma’s Called to Take Over

Calling all grandmas, calling all grandmas, they’re after you again, the people who have babies but don’t or can’t actually raise them. You are being tested once more on your ability to care for the children of your children in an age that is altering the dynamics of family at the speed of a thunderclap. It is a warning gleaned from reports indicating that more and more grandparents are going to be called upon to raise their grandchildren, stirring the …

Being There to Say the Final Goodbye

Two years ago this month, I sat beside my Pop Pop as he died. I can’t help but cry as I type that, but this isn’t a sad story. Pop Pop was 96 years old. He was born in 1916. By Sept. 13, 2012, the day he passed, he’d been my mom’s dad for almost exactly 60 years. He’d been my grandfather for 30. Running the numbers didn’t comfort me that day, though. It didn’t compute. My friend was taking …

News Flash: Great-grandpa on the Way

We were sitting around the dinner table on a warm Topanga evening looking very much like the family of cops on TV’s Blue Bloods, digging into the best Irish stew ever served in America, when suddenly Nicole, still chewing, said, “Guess what? I’m pregnant.” Everyone gulped down their food simultaneously except for Nicole, our granddaughter, who seemed to float in a space of serene detachment. The moment was still-life for a tick in time. No one knew how to react. …

Jean Chatzky: Our Relationship With Money Is a ‘Hot Mess’

Jean Chatzky has a few choice words for how most folks describe their relationship with money: Confusing. Frightening. Chaotic. Stressful. Precarious. “For two decades now, I’ve been watching how we make our money, save it, spend it, borrow it, invest it and protect it,” Chatzky told an audience today at the AARP Ideas@50+ conference underway in San Diego. “And I can tell you that, overall, our relationship with money is a hot mess.” Chatzky, AARP’s financial ambassador, is a best-selling author and …