Apprise’s Five Favorite Reads for the Week of August 13, 2023

five favorite reads learn healthy recipes
Our five favorite reads from the past three weeks. Plus: "Learn Healthy New Recipes to Stay Young!"

Learn Healthy New Recipes to Stay Young

If you truly are what you eat, then what do your meals say about your life right now?

Same old, same old?






Then maybe it’s time to spice up your weekly meal rotation and improve your Return on Life in the process. Here are four reasons why you should embrace your inner foodie and make cooking a more important part of your life. Sometimes it’s hard to find time to cook while you are working or if you have lots of family activities. It can be easier to learn healthy new recipes in retirement, but starting earlier could be even better. For example, I do the cooking in my house. Over time, our kids’ tastes have changed. Or they’ve gotten tired of some of the meals I’ve made many times over the years. That leads to my looking for new recipes.

My family enjoys Mexican food. I wanted to add a new vegetarian dish to our menu. I found this one for vegetarian enchiladas. Some modifications based on my family’s tastes and preferences were made. It’s quickly become a family favorite.

Here are four good reasons to consider learning some new recipes.

1. Cooking is good for you.

You already know that a meal you cooked yourself is usually healthier than fast food. As you age, it’s going to become more and more important that you diversify your meals with a variety of fresh ingredients so that you’re getting the nutrition you need to stay active and keep enjoying your retirement.

But cooking also stimulates a range of cognitive processes, including planning, problem-solving, multitasking, measurement and math, hand-eye coordination, and memory. Cooking a meal you’ve never made before also provides the satisfaction of learning something new and the opportunity to revise and improve on subsequent tries. Plus, it brings back memories of the science classes with labs that I took in high school and college. I know that sounds a little nerdy, but I did start college as a pre-med. I used to enjoy those classes.

2. Cooking complements your budget.

No, skipping the proverbial $5 cup of coffee every day probably isn’t going to make anyone rich, or make your nest egg last longer. But when you start living on a fixed income – and, hopefully, spending more time away from home doing things you love – the cost of the convenience of carry-out and on-demand delivery could start to add up quickly. Planning your meals ahead of time can help you control your food costs. And if you skip a few trips through the drive-thru and stick to your weekly budget, you might enjoy a big weekend meal with your spouse even more.

3. Cooking provides purpose.

Many retirees feel lost without the structure and responsibilities of their old jobs. Becoming your household’s chef is a great way to fill in at least three big blocks of your daily retirement schedule. If cooking dinner sounds too intimidating, start with breakfast. Unless you have an early tee time or volunteer shift, you no longer must rush out the door every morning! Take it easy. Create a new, slower, more relaxing routine to ease yourself into the day, starting with a good cup of coffee you brewed yourself and a breakfast that you didn’t pour out of a cereal box.

4. Cooking makes connections.

Food brings people together. Taking a cooking class, shopping at a farmer’s market, and reaching out to other aspiring chefs on social media can broaden your social network and connect you to new people who share your interests. These peers and pros can offer some support and guidance as you continue to broaden your tastes and improve your skills.

Of course, the only thing more satisfying than enjoying a good meal you cooked yourself is sharing it with other people. Test out a few new recipes on your spouse or your adult children. When you’re feeling more confident in what you’re making and how you’re making it, invite your friends, family, and neighbors over for some special meals. You could also start a recipe swap or a rotating monthly potluck dinner to make your love of food a more meaningful part of your most important relationships.

And if you decide to invest more of your time and money into cooking, who knows where that passion could take you? Enrolling in a local culinary institute? Learning a new language? A big trip abroad to sample the authentic cuisine you want to bring into your kitchen?

We’d love to hear what’s on your menu for retirement and talk about how our Life-Centered Planning process can make every course more fulfilling.

This Week’s Favorite Reads

This week’s articles address topics such as the new rules for inherited IRAs. Once again, the IRS is not requiring RMDs for them in 2023. You may also want to pair the opening essay with the fifth article which names some foods you should consider buying in bulk.

Here are the links to this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:

1. New Rules for Inherited IRAs Could Leave Heirs With a Hefty Tax Bill.

The SECURE Act, which passed late in 2019, eliminated the stretch IRA. This means that, in many cases, beginning in 2020, if you inherited an IRA, you only have 10 years to withdraw the balance. The stretch IRA rules allowed you to withdraw the funds using IRS tables that covered your estimated life expectancy at the time you inherited the account. Initially, it was believed that under the new rules, while you had to deplete an inherited within 10 years, you would not be subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs) along the way. In other words, you could withdraw the money at any time, in any amount as long as you depleted the account within 10 years.

Then the IRS issued guidance in February 2022 stating that if the original IRA owner died after they started taking RMDs you had to take RMDs based on your life expectancy in years one through nine. Then you had to deplete the balance in year 10. This announcement confused many as it contrasted with what most originally believed. As a result, the IRS waived penalties for those who didn’t take RMDs in 2021 and 2022. In July, they extended this relief for the tax year 2023. But you may still be required to start taking distributions in 2024. There are pluses and minuses to the delayed implementation. If you withdraw the funds over fewer years, you may pay more taxes on these withdrawals.

The tax bomb that an inherited IRA can lead to is one of the reasons I wrote this blog discussing how Roth conversions can help you, your surviving spouse, and your heirs.

2. The Tail End.

When measuring our lives, we typically think in units of time. What if we measured it in activities or events instead? Some events happen with a similar frequency. For example, many major sporting events happen once a year. Presidential elections happen once every four years. Maybe you eat a certain favorite food a similar number of times each month. If you’re halfway through your life, you’ve experienced that event about half the number of times you will experience it overall.

But when it comes to relationships the picture changes. As kids, we spend a lot of time with our parents. Once you have a family of your own, how often do you see them? Maybe frequently if they live close by. But what if they move far away? This is something we may be confronting soon. Our son Daniel originally thought he had a job in Virginia – a couple of hours away. That changed. If he wants the job, he will have to move to Seattle. I’m not ready for that. I don’t know if he is either. I want him to make the decision that’s best for him. The article shares three key takeaways:

  • Living in the same place as the people you love matters.
  • Priorities matter.
  • Quality time matters.

3. This is the difference between surviving and thriving for women in retirement.

When it comes to saving and investing for retirement, women remain behind men. Time out of the workforce and the gender pay gap are two contributing factors. This blog discusses some others. It also offers some suggestions to help you overcome them. Given their longer lifespans, this could become an even larger challenge. The article provides some potential course corrections that can make the difference between thriving and struggling in retirement. Active, careful, consistent planning and adjustments before and during retirement can help you thrive. If you would like some help with your plan and determining what’s next, please schedule a free call.

4. How to Stop Saying “Um,” “Ah,” and “You Know”.

This article offers a solution for a personal pet peeve. Have you had conversations – or is your conversation – filled with filler words? When we get nervous, distracted, or rattled while speaking, we often use these filler words. Plus, silence makes us uncomfortable, so we often use words like these to fill the space. When we fill our speech with too many of them, it makes it harder to follow. They detract from our message. To eliminate them from your speech, replace them with pauses. I have an aunt who is a communication coach. In this book, she has a whole page without any punctuation. The periods and commas we use signify short and long pauses. We need to do the same in our speech. Remember that it’s okay to pause while you are speaking.

5. The Foods You Need to Buy in Bulk to Save Money.

If you decide to try some new recipes, you may also want to consider another secret to maintaining your food budget. This article talks about why you should buy in bulk. It also lists some of the best foods to buy in bulk. Some of these may surprise you as they are typically thought to have a short shelf life. You will find some suggestions to help them last longer as well.

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