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Remembering the 4Th of July of Years Past: A Time of Innocence

Time of Innocence Growing up in a SMALL TOWN in NJ, the 4th of July was a huge celebration for families and friends just like it was in so many other small towns across the country. We could hardly wait for that day into the night, MID-SUMMER EXTRAVAGANZA which included a local beauty pageant, parade and fireworks display. However, what made the 4th so exciting was seeing friends we had not been with since school let out the month before. I remember at the time, feeling like it had been months since we had been together, but in actuality, no more than 3 or 4 weeks had passed since the end of the previous school year. The 4th of JULY SPECTACLE (how my 8 year old brain remembers the day), represents the innocence of those times and really calls out the difference between the lazy days of summer when my friends and I grew up compared to how my own children and friends' kids were raised. We were the “home when the street lights come on” generation. There were no play dates but rather, you went out in the morning and made it as far as your bike would take you (always with someone on the handle bars), as long as you were home by dinner. After we all ate, we then met back outside for night time competitions in the streets. Many parents in our age group have probably told our children that we played outside all day long..and that is no exaggeration. We explored in the woods, built forts and competed with one another. There were endless games of kickball, manhunt, kick the can, baseball and this went on day and night throughout the summer. Kids of all ages mingled because you needed the numbers for your teams. The next day, this started all over again. Sure, we all had that week's family vacation - oh, when your best friend from down the street (Dawn) was on her vacation, it was the longest week of the summer. Your friend was missed but the games of the day went on, just a man down for the week. Simpler Times There is something about the 4th of July that shines a light on the simplicity of that time period. Our neighborhood friends met up with schoolmates from other neighborhoods at the Berlin Parade and that was so exciting. We all bragged about what we had been doing over the summer. We attended this local 4th event every year when we were in grade school even into our early high school years so although the stories changed throughout the decade, the sentiment was the same. There of course were no social media updates to alert one another prior to the 4th as to what we had done or even how we already changed so seeing one another in person was just amazing. Parents were not driving us all over the place to see one another during the summer, there were no summer sporting tournaments, or camps, so literally, you entertained yourself with the kids outside your front door. We truly looked forward to this one, simple, day with the excitement that our children growing up would have looked forward to a Disney Cruise! It was just a different time! Reuniting with School Friends When we met up with these friends, we talked about getting together later in the summer and sometimes we did, more often we didn’t. For the most part, we went back to our daily games outside with our same old friends and looked forward to returning to school to see the whole crew again. Since becoming an adult and thinking back to the different life experiences my (now grown) kids had during the summer, I often reflect on my old town’s 4th of July event. Our children were a bit more indulged and certainly had so many more experiences during their summer break than I ever had - and no regrets for sharing those experiences with them. But, despite a more active summer as kids, I can’t help to wonder if my children missed out on appreciating such a simple pleasure like we did that one, thrilling day of the summer. As an adult watching fireworks, I am taken back in time - the smells of the crackling sparkles in the sky and the feeling of the warm air rushing over my body. However, for those 30 minutes as the sky illuminates, I am that 8 year old just so happy to see my school friends that I hadn’t seen in such a "long time." It wasn't extravagant but to us, on that one day of the year, it didn't get any better than that. What are your simple pleasure summer memories?

What Advice Would You Give Your 21 Year Old Self

Would your life be any different if at 21, you listened to the advice the OLDER YOU would have given to the YOUNGER YOU? Many of us have heard statements like  "My dad has always told me..." Maybe it is less about words and more about behavior that leaves an impression on children or grandchildren.  When I think of my mother, it is not so much what she said in terms of words of wisdom but more how she lived and carried herself through life.  The message she conveyed to me is treat people with kindness, don't sweat the small stuff and you are never too old to reinvent yourself. Most of us strive to be better over time in terms of how we treat ourselves, the degree to which we mature over time, and the impact we make on others. We all want to learn from our mistakes so history doesn't repeat itself but at the same time, our mistakes are also part of our journey to who we are now as a person. I would have cautioned myself NOT to marry some guy I met in Italy who I barely knew just because I thought I was I in love. Yet, however stressful that time was in my life, I did grow from that unfortunate decision. Changes that we make come from personal growth or the normal evolution as we mature over time. Often, this growth only happens after either going to therapy, experiencing a life changing event or having a spiritual or religious awakening.  When we become of age, many of us have a lot to unpack from our earlier years. We might lack a healthy self-esteem, direction, or self-awareness. Take a moment to congratulate yourself as you reflect on who you are today versus who you were as a young adult. Of course we can’t go back in time, however, as we reflect on our personal growth, think about advice you would give your younger self. Hello50 wanted to know, based on YOUR life now, what you would tell your 21 year old self?  The question asked on a survey completed by the Hello50 community is really asking us to dig deep, look at our lives now, and think about what we know now that we wish we knew when we were just starting our adult life. Here is a sampling of results that were shared with is from the hundreds of women who completed the survey and answered this question: Concentrate on your goals, career, education and well being, drink rarely and place relationships on the back burner. Save money and travel more. You look AMAZING!! Make better choices. Remember to take care of yourself first. Put everything in perspective (don't sweat the small stuff), time will go by much quicker than you think...enjoy every minute of the journey, and save your pennies! Go get therapy! Don’t try to tackle adulthood until you deal with your childhood. Moisturize! Don’t be so quick to make life altering decisions. Wait until you are 30 to get married. By then, you will know what you really want. Work hard and enjoy what you do. Find your supportive people and go for it, never look back. Love yourself just the way you are. Start saving money and don’t do stupid things to impress people you won’t see in 5 years. Love your body.  It really is pretty amazing. Instead of falling in love, study abroad and travel as much as you can. Do what you’re passionate about, the money will come. Slow down. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.  You will succeed but there is more to life than career pursuits. Learn how to balance your head and your heart. Be authentic. Ask Grandma more questions. Share your thoughts.  Does any of this resonate with you? Thinking about YOU at 21, what would you tell yourself?  Would you have even listened to the advice had it been given to you? As we continue building our Hello50 community, we want to hear from women and the journey taken to become the person you are today. It is never too late to learn, grow, inspire others and reach new heights.  Sometimes just taking a moment to travel down memory lane and remember your path to who you are today is a trip worth taking.

KOMBUCHA: WHAT IS IT? HOW DO YOU MAKE IT AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Are you looking for a healing elixir? Try Kombucha! As we research the newest remedy to counteract our ailments, take a look at a source that may offer some  benefits. Many women look to supplement their conventional medicine and currently trending, Kombucha is a great option that is an ancient, yet effective option. Kombucha, pronounced Kom-boo-cha, dates back to some 2,000 years and is still used today as a wellness drink. First brewed in China, the fermented tea quickly spread to Japan and then Russia. Legends say that the drink took its name from Dr. Kombu, a physician who made the drink for Japan's Emperor Ingyō to help him cure his ailments. It is also said that the drink was carried by Japanese Samurai warriors in their wineskins as it helped them stay headstrong for battles! Since the drink has been in the wellness world for quite a long while, we are sure that you might have heard the name once or twice. But there are lots of questions that might have popped in your head too. We will answer them all, one by one, leaving for you to decide whether you never want to swallow another mouthful again or become an aficionado! Let’s start with the most obvious question: WHAT IS KOMBUCHA? Simply put, Kombucha is a fermented drink. Generally, the ‘booch’ begins with green or black tea, which is then fermented with a symbiotic culture, referred to as SCOBY. SCOBY is an abbreviation for ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts.’ The SCOBY converts the sugar into acetic acid and ethanol. This helps in giving the drink a fizzy, sour and sweet taste. LET’S MAKE SOME ‘BOOCH’ For making Kombucha, you need the following ingredients: Sugar Black or green tea (loose-leaf or bags) Cold filtered water SCOBY (can be purchased online) Seep the tea and sugar in boiled water and leave it to cool for a while before you add the SCOBY. After that, cover the mixture and leave it for fermentation for up to a week. Once that’s done, pour the mixture in an airtight container, add some sugar, and leave it for a few more days. Remember, the longer you leave it, the fizzier it will be! You can also add some other ingredients such as spices or fruits for added flavor! BENEFITS OF KOMBUCHA Did you know that the dietitian Maxine Smith, RD, LD, says Kombucha is a “worthy” addition to your health arsenal, and there are many benefits to this drink. Let’s delve into it! ANTI AGING With aging come saggy skin and wrinkles. As per the words of Amy Driscoll, the co-founder of Bear’s Fruit, Kombucha tea comprises powerful antioxidants that are known as EGCGS. These antioxidants are 20 times more effective than Vitamin C in attacking radicals. Studies have shown that they help in decreasing wrinkles and give you better skin texture. GUT HEALTH Since the tea is made from fermentation, Kombucha is rich in probiotics. These probiotics are similar to bacteria that live in our gut. With Kombucha, the overall gut health is said to improve, alongside treating diarrhea. Some studies also suggest its benefits associated with irritable bowel syndrome. CANCER Over time, studies have suggested an essential role of Kombucha in preventing or treating cancer. A study conducted in 2008 showed that Kombucha aided the prevention of the growth of cancer cells, supported by another study in 2013 that showed the decrease in survival of cancer cells due to Kombucha. Please consult your doctor before drinking Kombucha to to ensure it does not have a negative impact based on your risk factors. TYPE 2 DIABETES Research in 2012 showed that Kombucha helped in managing blood sugar levels in rats with type 2 diabetes, suggesting that Kombucha might be effective in controlling the disease. There are plenty of other benefits that come with Kombucha, including immunity-boosting, treating liver diseases, better nails and hair, and improving memory. But it is also recommended that you take a look at the risks too given! RISK FACTORS Given the brewing process, this could create a trace amount of alcohol so if you are trying to avoid alcohol, small traces of alcohol could exist. Sugar could also be a negative factor for you so monitor your intake. Finally, probiotics could have a positive impact on your gut but not everyone. Like any natural process you would make yourself, consult your physician to ensure it is appropriate for you to drink. Tell us how your Kombucha turned out!

Starting a Business After 50: What Do You Need to Know

So you want to launch a business! Starting a new company is exciting at any age but it can be pretty scary as you get older. Here are some things to consider before jumping into the self-employment arena: Do I have the pulse on what products and services sell today? Social media drives business so are you savvy to keep up with the world of technology? Financing a new business is a huge concern.  Let’s face it, you are much closer to retirement age than you are to your first job out of college. You don’t have as many working years in front of you to financially recover IF the business is not as lucrative as you had hoped. Are you diverting retirement funds to the new business and if the answer is YES, can you afford to do so. Finally, do you have the stamina to keep up with the around the clock demands of a new business? With so many CHALLENGES to consider, it is easy to forget some of the great ADVANTAGES one has when starting a new business at 50, 55 or 60 years old. Here are some great PERKS when thinking about jumping in when you are older: Chances are, you are not competing with the demands of raising a family so you might have more time in a day than when you were younger. Your expenses personal budget might not be as big as when you were raising your family or paying for your kids’ colleges. You may have even downsized and have a smaller mortgage or even no mortgage at all, so your financial needs have declined. Technology got you reconsidering starting a business? There are so many online tutorials and lest we forget, your children, nieces and nephews will love a shot in the driving seat by showing you around instagram, FaceBook and Twitter! Finally, raising a family or climbing the corporate ladder is mentally and physically draining so you might find that your energy source is actually recharged over 50! Let’s look at some tips to consider when planning your new business. 1) Passion and Expertise:  Now is the time to identify a business based on your passion.  Do you have a hobby that you can turn into a business? Consider your expertise and perhaps there is an opportunity in consulting, writing, public speaking or independant contracting of your services. Remember though, when identifying the business you want to start, make sure you can answer one of these questions: does your business solve a need or cure a problem. 2) Two Heads are better than one:  Working with a partner gives you the opportunity to leverage each other’s strengths, balance your opportunities, share in the time commitments and divide the costs associated with a new business. 3) Confident in what you know:  You have a lifetime of experience; leverage those experiences and knowledge.  At the same time, feel comfortable with what you don’t know. Start by Identifying your strengths and "opportunities." 4) Social Media: Whether you are a small mom and pop cafe or a mid-size service platform, the success of your business might depend on your social media game. Check out a variety of social media training  courses you may want to take. Some are even free! You might also want to take a look at the Instagram Expert.  This training is great for all levels! 5) Search Engine Optimization and Google Analytics:  Driving business to your website might be key to your success.  Be sure you KNOW your business and KNOW your market.  Identify KEYWORDS, which are words your perspective client will search on google or other search engines when looking for your product or service. Those keywords will need to POP on your website. 6) Website: If you don’t want to pay a web designer, save money by using a website builder such as WordPress, network solutions, SQUARE SPACE or Wix. They are pretty user friendly and it is a great way to get started with your new business. 7) Ask…Ask…Ask..  We are so accustomed to having answers for everything that it could be uncomfortable needing to ask others for their expertise.  It is ok to have friends and family support you by sharing their knowledge.  It won’t cost you anything and they want to help. 8) Request Feedback: Remember, there is so much emotion wrapped up in your business but you have to be open to not only praise but critical feedback as well.  It could be hard to hear, but it will help you in the long run. It is never too late to follow your dreams of starting a new business.  Prepare a business plan, check a name search engine to see if your business name is taken and don't forget to follow your state's filing requirements for your business.  Take advantage of the online coaching and training options to learn more about how social media will boost your business.  No one will ever tell you starting a business is easy but you will have satisfaction in knowing it is yours!

Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements for Women Over 50

A Balanced Diet and Nutrients are Key to Healthy Living We all know the importance of a balanced diet. It contains the seven classes of food: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, water, and dietary fiber, with the appropriate proportions, of course. Very often, we tend to focus on getting the right quantities of all these carbohydrates, fats and proteins, while not realizing the importance of consuming enough vitamins and minerals. It is more important than ever to that women over 50’s daily diet includes these micronutrients in the right quantities. This is because, as you age, you become more prone to nutrient deficiencies. The Importance of Vitamins and Minerals Vitamins are crucial for maintaining healthy functioning of your body, and for its growth. The 13 vitamins are vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (B6, B12, biotin, riboflavin, thiamine, folate, and pantothenic acid). Vitamins play several roles in your body. They help your body obtain energy from food and resist infection. Vitamins also help your blood clot and maintain nerve health, among other functions. Minerals are also important for maintaining normal body function. Some minerals are required in large quantities, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, while others like fluoride and iodine are required in very small amounts. Minerals and vitamins are measured in several ways, the most common ones being: mcg – microgram mg – milligram IU – international unit Women Over 50, And Their Needs Aging is a meaningful experience, but it can come with some side effects. You may be familiar with the common side effects of aging, but one thing that you might not be aware of is that as you get older, the acid in your stomach decreases. This decrease may reduce your body’s ability to absorb nutrients the way it used to. This, along with a reduced need for calories, can mean that you may experience nutritional deficiencies. Consuming a balanced diet, rich with vegetables, fruits, and whole foods, is key to getting the required quantities of vitamins and minerals. However, your healthcare provider may suggest that you may need a little extra of some vitamins, and the mineral calcium through supplements. Experts recommend that as opposed to taking a pill, it is preferable to get your nutrients from nutrient-rich foods because they have other things that are beneficial for your body. Choose food that is fortified with minerals and vitamins like vitamin D, calcium, and some B vitamins. ‘Fortified’ means that specific nutrients are added to the food so that you can meet your needs. The Best Vitamins and Minerals for Women Over 50 Vitamin D Our bodies can absorb vitamin D when we are exposed to sunshine. However, this is not the most reliable source because our skin needs sunscreens for sun protection, and many people live in areas that have very scarce sunlight, particularly during the winter months. You can get vitamin D from foods like fatty fish, egg yolk, and fortified foods, including fortified milk. Nevertheless, research has shown that only about 10 percent of women aged above 50 are able to get the recommended amount of vitamin D through food. For this reason, you may need to take a supplement like Metagenics Vitamin D3. Getting the required quantities of vitamin D can help reduce your risk of developing breast, esophageal, and colon cancers by as much as 50 percent. The recommended intake for the 50-70 age group is 15 mcg (600 IU) daily, while for those over 70, it is 20 mcg (800 IU) daily. B Vitamins Many studies have demonstrated how adequate vitamin B intake can help you enjoy a higher quality of life during your menopause. Deficiencies of vitamin B have been linked to health consequences like stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and cognitive declines that lead to Alzheimer’s and dementia, according to a study published in 2018 by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Moreover, due to decreased stomach acid, between 10-30 percent of older Americans cannot absorb vitamin B12 from food. Therefore, you may take a supplement like Nature Made Super B-Complex. A recommended multivitamin combination is B6, B12, and folic acid. Vitamin C Vitamin C has many well-known benefits. It boosts your immunity, reduces wrinkles and inflammation, and decreases the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means that your body absorbs the amount it needs and gets rid of the excess amount through urine. Adults need 75-90 milligrams of vitamin C each day, although some experts have argued that up to 500 milligrams are needed. Activated C Complex is a good vitamin C supplement that you may take in addition to fruits and vegetables. Calcium As you age, your bone tissue gets broken down faster than a new one is made. This can significantly hamper your daily life and makes it vital for you to maintain a steady intake of this mineral. It is essential for the normal functioning of your nerves and muscles. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis causes above two million bones to be broken in the US alone. This is greater than the risk of stroke, heart attack, and breast cancer combined in women. You can get a good supply of calcium from cheese, yogurt, tofu, almonds, and green leafy vegetables. However, you may still need a supplement, like Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D3, that provides an additional 500 milligrams twice a day. Remember, there’s no need to take an additional supplement of vitamin D if your calcium supplement already contains it. Magnesium As you grow older, your body gradually loses its ability to absurd magnesium from food. The National Health and Nutrition Examination reports that this is why magnesium deficiency is more common in older adults as compared to younger ones. The common signs of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, leg cramps, sleep issues, migraines, high blood pressures, and anxiety. You can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by taking a multivitamin having up to 350 milligrams of magnesium. Magnesium Glycinate supplement may be a good choice for you. Omega-3s Omega-3s are essential for protecting aging women against cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis. Adequate supplies of omega-3s help prevent plaque buildup in your arteries, irregular heartbeats, high blood sugar, and inflammation. Flaxseed oil, walnuts, salmon and edamame, are good food sources of omega-3s. The recommended dose is 1,000 milligrams of EPA and DHA omega-3s per day. You can ensure that you get an adequate supply by including a supplement like Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega in your daily diet. Collagen Collagen is one of the primary building blocks of your body. It makes up 75 percent of your skin and about 30 percent of your total body protein. Collagen keeps your skin firm and supple by supporting skin elasticity. It is also responsible for making your nails shiny and strong. As you age, the natural process of producing collagen slows down. By the time a woman turns 50, she may have lost as much as half of the total collagen in her skin. However, taking collagen supplements can not only slow down this process but can also stop the loss of further collagen. There are two types of collagen supplements: Hydrolyzed collagen – RDA: 10 grams per day Undenatured type II collagen – RDA: 10 milligrams per day You can also get collagen in the powder form, which could be added to beverages and other food items. A recommended supplement is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. Tips for Choosing Your Supplements Many women over 50 may need to take supplements. If you decide to do so, here are some tips for you: 1) Most people find taking a single pill better than taking different ones, so choose a multivitamin. 2) Do your research before taking a multivitamin. Different brands may have different combinations and quantities, so make sure that you make an informed choice. The brand you choose must be reliable and FDA-approved. 3) Remember, overdosing is also a thing, and taking too much of a nutrient can do more harm than good. Also, overdosing means that you will be paying for supplements that you don’t need. So, check the labels to ensure that the doses are not too large. 4) Consult your doctor before starting a supplement. They may interact with a medication your are taking that is prescribed by your physician. In the end, make sure your body gets what it needs to thrive as you age. The right combination of vitamins and minerals will contribute to a healthier lifestyle!

Fashion Tip #3 for Women Over 50: Learn to Love Your Shapewear

By Cindy Lovas We are continuing our travels down the Fashion Tips for the Road for women over 50. Let’s put Tip #3, Learning to LOVE Shapewear, into focus. Before taking any long road trip, it is wise to check under the car hood to make sure the engine is working at its very best. Dressing our bodies is no different. Before you can look chic and stylish, you have to look under those fabulous clothes to the undergarments and ask if your body looks its very best! Ignoring proper undergarments can completely ruin your appearance. Bras, panties and shapewear are tools in our tool belt to look fabulous no matter our size or shape! This tool is even more needed as we age and our bodies change. Remember, undergarments are used to help our clothing drape over our silhouette not be a second skin. Go for that sexy black dress but be sure to pay as much attention to the underpinnings as much as the outfit. BRAS: The right bra enhances your curves, holds in extra bounce and isn’t so tight that is creates lumps. Take the extra time and a little more expense and be properly fitted for a bra. Nordstrom and Von Maur are just a couple retailers that offer this service at no charge. You might have to try on quite a few styles but once you find the one that fits, you are going to look marvelous in all your summer tees! PANTIES: Time to refresh your lingerie drawer with tummy vanishing and invisible line styles. The right panty should cover your bottom and not be so tight they create bulges. I’m totally in love with the Soma brand. They hold in my “menopause middle” and create a streamlined look for my pants, skirts and shorts. If bikini or thong styles suit you, great….be sure to check for invisible panty line styles. Hint: look at your booty in the mirror and check for panty lines. You might be surprised! Summer is here and we are wearing lots of white essentials. Be sure to stock up on white and nude colored panties for your pants and shorts. Nothing takes away from a chic look like seeing your floral panty pattern through your shorts…yikes! SHAPEWEAR: Today’s shapewear is NOT your mother’s corset. Spandex, nylon and Lycra have given us lots of comfortable options. The right shapewear smoothes out flabby spots without just shifting the weight to another part of the body. Shapewear allows us to cover our liabilities! There is shapewear to trim legs, smooth bustlines, trim the tummy, create a streamlined look through the torso and even cover our “back fat.” Yippee! I will agree, shapewear is not the sexiest look but I promise if you focus on the underpinnings first, YOU will look the sexiest and best ever! You can find shapewear at most retailers and even affordable brands at Target. My “go-to” shaper are spandex camisoles that help fabrics gently flow over my middle. Find the right one for you! Ladies, learn to LOVE Shapewear. We can Cinch, Slim, Smooth and Boost by wearing proper undergarments. Why not use a little help to enhance Beautiful YOU! Cindy Lovas Fashion Consultant Cindy is accepting clients virtually! SensationalStylewithCindy@gmail.com

Is an Affair From the Past Still Affecting Your Marriage?

What to do when a previous affair continues to be an issue in a relationship? What do you recommend to someone who made the decision to stay in a marriage after an affair, yet years later, they still can’t completely get over their spouse’s infidelity? We asked Tracey Ashcraft, MA, LPC, a therapist specializing in relationships, what she recommends. She gave us some insight as to ways to move forward when an infidelity from years ago, is keeping you rooted in the past: Let’s face it, you may not ever completely “get over it." Surviving an affair can be traumatic to some, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if the cheated on spouse was blindsided by learning of the indiscretion, it could set up a cycle of hypervigilance. Insecurity, a need to control one’s world, and chronic anxiety are just some symptoms that can emerge from being blindsided. Still, there can be hope for the relationship. Here are some tips for moving in that direction: Decide to be “all-in” in the marriage. If you are finding yourself waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop so that you can have a reason to leave, you are unlikely to get over the affair. If you are all-in, you are 100 percent committing to the relationship, flaws and all. Adopt the attitude of complete trust. This one can be challenging if you havenot fully processed the betrayal. If you have decided to continue in the marriage,this step can really free you of suffering. It is a kind of “fake-it-til-you-make-it” process. Act as if you completely trust your spouse. Coming from a place of trust can foster a deeper connection between the two of you. Assess your triggers. It is normal to have emotional triggers even years after an affair. If you have committed to staying married, assess if the triggers indicate a real threat of new infidelity or if they are triggering old hurts. If you suspect there is no real threat, then it becomes your job to process the emotions by self-soothing emotionally. One way to self-sooth emotionally is to notice the feelings that are triggered and write out what you are feeling. It can be helpful to process these feelings with a therapist that specializes in relationships. Listen to your intuition. If you are noticing things that don't add up, pay attention. If you do suspect your spouse is cheating again then it is time to make a plan. Before confronting your parter, it could be helpful to speak with a relationship counselor. Get clear on how you would like to proceed if you do learn of another betrayal. Forgive yourself. Forgiving your spouse is implied in the steps above. If you decided to stay in the marriage, you have most likely done some forgiving of your partner. What you may not realize is that you may be “beating yourself up” or blaming yourself for the affair. No one is perfect in a relationship. A lot of learning and growing happens over the years spent in a marriage. If you have concerns that you were not good enough in certain ways or that you may have caused your spouse to stray, it is time to let yourself off the hook. If your spouse has chosen to be in the marriage for the long haul, that is where they are choosing to be. Forgive yourself for times you were not at your best and continue to show up as your best self in the marriage from today forward. To learn more about how Tracey Ashcraft, MA, LPC has been helping people have more fulfilling relationships and live happier lives since 2004, check out: https://bestlifetherapy.com/ Return next week for additional advice when recovering from a past infidelity in the relationship.

Breaking Free From Barriers as Plus Size Women

By Linda Peavy, Cultured Curves To live the life we deserve, the path to breaking free from barriers as plus women is a mountain worth climbing. Having lived in this plus size body since I was about nine, there have been times when I felt trapped. Not so much by how I felt about me, but rather the cages that others placed around me. Being plus size in America is one of the last forms of legal discrimination in this country. We are too often viewed as "less than"and unworthy of many of the same freedoms afforded to others. We are stared at in restaurants because we certainly are not supposed to eat…ever. After all, we are fat, therefore, what do you need food for, right? Sounds ridiculous, right? As an avid traveler who has flown to 40 of the 50 states as well as international destinations, I have been invisible on airplanes. There have been too many times when flight attendants have not wanted to acknowledge my very existence. When it happens once, you think maybe she/he didn't see or hear me. When it happens on different airlines by different flight attendants, you realize that it is a pattern. To have a fighting chance at living the rest of our lives in a happy place, we must begin the process of breaking free from barriers as plus size women that society place on us and we also place on ourselves. Society's Limitations There are such strange limitations that the culture places on even the level of our accomplishments due to our size. We cannot ascend to the highest heights in our profession because we are deemed "too big." Remember the discussions about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's weight in his bid for the presidency? There is also the assumption that as big women, we are lazy and must be on some form of government assistance. Wrong again. I know many extremely accomplished women who are plus size. Even if we are on government assistance eating bonbons every day, are we not STILL worthy of respect and love? I think those false perceptions is one of the reasons why I always dressed up (even to this day) whenever I went shopping, even to the grocery store. I never wanted that perception of being looked at in ways they made me feel like I didn't belong. What are Your Barriers? What barriers have you experienced? Which ones are self-inflicted and which ones are put upon you by others? We have to be careful not to begin believing the perception (deception). As a plus size woman over 50, you are beautiful, as is. You have EVERY right to move through life freely without judgments based solely upon your size. However, it is a process. I am still working on it too. You are not alone. Self-Inflicted Barriers What have you allowed your size to steal from you? Is it going to the swimming pool, traveling, dancing or something more substantial like marriage? Are you waiting to lose those first or last twenty pounds first? What if you never do? Should your life remain suspended because of the number on a scale? THIS is why living in the present is important. It is not just a buzz phrase. You are a certain weight RIGHT NOW, TODAY. It should have no bearing on relishing today and loving yourself today. Even if you are going to start a weight loss plan, it will take some time to lose weight healthily. What happens in the interim? Your weight loss in the future cannot determine your happiness in the present. Breaking Free To live the life that we are destined and exist in our purpose, breaking free from barriers as plus size women are paramount. Too often, we live with them for so long that they become undetectable. We can be so accustomed to their grip on us that the restraints become comfortable. Right now, at this moment in the universe, you are as worthy of as much love as someone who weighs what you consider to be the ideal size. Embrace you. Love all of the flaws, lumps, bumps, and cellulite. All of it. You are not your thighs. You are not your hips. Every inch of your body has a purpose. Several years ago, I was in a car accident and totaled my vehicle. My knees hit beneath the dashboard so hard that they left knee prints in the plastic. If it weren't for the extra cushioning that I have on each knee, both knee caps would have been broken. Who knows if I would have been able to walk normally ever again. You are Worthy of Love Now, whenever I leave my house, I hold my head up high. There is an invisibility shield around me called self-worth. When I turned fifty years old six years ago, my self-esteemed turned up a notch. Not everyone makes it to fifty years old. No day is guaranteed. Not all days are easy, and sometimes we have to encourage ourselves and CONTROL how we let others' deeds, words, and actions affect us. One of my favorite sayings is, "don't let people rent space in you head." I keep this phrase close to me wherever I go. I am a very spiritual person and pray daily. God has given me the strength to overcome the negative voices that sometimes still enter my head. I remind myself that no matter my size, I am worthy of love and respect, and so are you. Are You Living Your Best Life Now Ask yourself, "Am I living my best life?"If not, at over 50 years old, what are you waiting for? What barrier is holding you back? No one can break your chains but you. The will must come within. And you can start with one step in one area of your life at a time. Make your life better in the next fifty than it has been in the past fifty years. It is time to live free. About Linda Peavy Cultured Curves: Sophisticated Style, Fashion, and Beauty for Curvy Women over 50 Linda Peavy is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and founder of Cultured Curves: Sophisticated Style, Fashion, and Beauty for Curvy Women over 50 blog. As a plus size girl since the second grade, she has been passionate about beauty and fashion for several years. However, after an epiphany of her true calling when she reached the mid-50s, she felt the need to empower mature curvy women through motivational messaging, fashion, and style advice. Thus, Cultured Curves began officially in June 2019. The goal of the blog is to encourage, inspire, and motivate plus size women over 50 to live their best life..now…in the present. Says Linda, “In this current ‘plus-size boom,’ women over 50 have not been equally embraced as part of the market. We are vibrant, intelligent, sexy, and should be acknowledged.” Linda is dedicated to bringing awareness of their unique needs to the forefront of plus size fashion and beauty markets. Cultured Curves has been named “One of the best blogs on the planet for women over 50.” by Feedspot. Itsrosy.com states Culturedcurves.com as one of “The Best Bloggers Over 50.” They further share, “Here’s a classy, sophisticated site for all the curvy ladies out there. We’d actually recommend this blog for curvy ladies of all ages, because the positive reinforcement is so necessary. Peavy’s message is to keep improving but accept and appreciate yourself at all stages. Dressing in a flattering, fun way is your right!” Linda is the owner of LiPav Consulting, a marketing, grant writing, and communications firm. Clients have included the Miss America Organization, At the Well Young Women’s Leadership Academy, American Baptist Churches, and other organizations. Linda earned a B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing and an M.B.A. in Management from the University of Akron. Her motto is, “never let mediocrity be your measuring tool.” She is single and resides in Willoughby Hills, OH. An avid traveler, her favorite destinations include Paris, London, and Honolulu. Linda can be reached at Linda@culturedcurves.com.

Love, Equality and Justice: Our Commitment to the Hello50 Community

About a year ago, April and I began developing our website, Hello50, as a platform for women as we age into our 50’s, 60’s and older. As we stated in our inaugural article, Hello50: What Now, the idea we had was to build a community for other curious, kind, and strong women over 50, 60 and beyond. Our goal is to SUPPORT one another as we navigate through these amazing years. After many months of preparation, we launched in March of 2020. Prior to the launch, we asked women to complete a survey and share which topics were of interest to them. Women from all over the country told us they were interested in fashion, beauty, relationships, health and well-being, elder care and many more great topics. Our website is already chock full of content covering these areas of interest and many of which, written by experts in those respective fields. We made the decision that if Hello50 were to embrace all women, we would not provide political content or engage in political discussions as that would be divisive rather than INCLUSIVE. Given the events of the past few months, we want to be clear where we stand as a website dedicated to supporting and empowering women over 50.  Although we are an apolitical platform that provides VALUE to our age group by discussing a variety of topics, we are not tone deaf to what is happening in our country, nor are we void of political opinions as individuals.  As far as what our platform represents, Hello50 takes a hard stance AGAINST racism, FOR human rights, AGAINST hate and FOR equality. To that end, we have outlined our commitment to the Hello50 community. Ultimately, we believe we can best serve the Hello50 community by: providing a safe and supportive environment; identifying what we share in common and call out where we must find agreement. We want to be open with our community as we recognize this is a such a difficult time for many of you.  We will continue to support you and we are always here to listen. What we should all agree upon: NO ONE should be discriminated against because of their race, religion, national origin, age or sexual orientation. Love, respect, JUSTICE and equality are basic human rights that everyone deserves. If you sit down and talk, regardless of where you live and what you believe, you will discover we want the same things out of life. Happiness, safety, security and opportunity for ourselves and our families are goals shared by all women over 50. You learn more from listening than talking. It is important to keep conversation OPEN AND RESPECTFUL to find a way forward with one another. We will continue to provide content based on topics that impact women as we age. We will also promote values that align with human rights, embraces our diverse community, and respects and loves for one another. Let’s work together as a unified, aging population by being part of the solution, not the problem. If we are committed to finding common ground, supporting equality and promoting respect for each other, we then can lead others by example.

Entertaining Yourself Over 50 - The Best New Hobbies to Start at Any Age

Want to have a fun lifestyle? It’s easier than you think! As you approach your fifties and sixties, it is more important than ever to take care of your mental and physical health. Amidst the daily rat race, between work, caring for others and daily errands, time quickly gets away from us. It is easy to end stuck in a vicious cycle of getting up, going to work, returning from work to do handle more work and errands, and going to bed with the same plan for the next day. COVID-19 has further impacted or daily routine that often can feel more like a rut. It is essential to have hobbies that give us a nice break, help us maintain good mental and physical health and gives us something to look forward to as we begin opening back up around the country. Research has shown that individuals with hobbies reap several mental and physical benefits, including lowering body mass index and blood pressure, as well as improved physical health. According to research by Matthew Zawadzki, a health psychologist from the University of California, leisure activities can offer immediate stress relief, as well as lower depression and stress in the longer term. So, if you hadn’t done it already, this is the best time to take up a new hobby. Grab your partner, invite a friend, or play solo – just make sure that you allow yourself to improve your health and outlook on the world by starting an activity that you enjoy. Are you having trouble finding a hobby? Here’s a list of some hobbies you might want to pursue: 1. It’s Time to Move! Get moving. It could be dancing lessons, a Zumba class at the nearby gym, or dance nights held at the local community center. Local dance studios offer classes for women of all ages and just wait until it is recital time! The ladies over 30, 40, 50 and 60 are always a fan favorite when the curtain opens. Check out some YouTube video tutorials or a live session on a social media website – go for whatever works for you. Physical activities like dancing pump up your endorphins and other substances, which makes you feel happier, active, and healthier. curtain opens. Check out some YouTube video tutorials or a live session on a social media website – go for whatever works for you. Physical activities like dancing pump up your endorphins and make you feel happier, active, and healthier. 2. Never Too Old to Play Playing games does not only allow you to enjoy a good time but also sharpens your mental abilities. Try chess, puzzles, online games, or video games (who said that they are only for the kids?). Grab some energetic partners for this, or make new friends and double the fun! Want to find new ways to connect with your grandkids, nieces or nephews? They will love the effort and have a great time enjoying quality time with you! 3. Cultivate and Nurture Greenery Gardening is one of the most relaxing hobbies, particularly for 50+ individuals. If you have a backyard or garden, you can plant a range of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that you can use for cooking later (double the fun!). Don’t have an ample space? No worries; many houseplants can be grown by apartment dwellers, those who don’t have outdoor space, and even those who live in very cold climates. If gardening is new to you, start with low maintenance plants. _______________ 4. Read Your Worries Away As the saying goes, “Reading is traveling without moving your feet.” Reading is a great way to escape your world and get lost in a more interesting and exciting one. From autobiographies, memoirs, fiction, fantasy to real stories, there is a wide variety of genres that you can explore. Not only will you find it relaxing, but reading can also be informative and can help you broaden your horizons. Reading does not have to be a solo activity. Jump into a local book club or join one of these virtual book clubs and start today! 5. Take Up a Sport When it comes to sports, it is never too late to start playing one! You don’t have to be an athlete to be interested in a sport. You are competing against yourself more than anybody else, so no need to feel any unnecessary pressure. Pickleball has been all the rage for men and women of all ages! It is a fun, fast past game that will be sure to give you the adrenaline boost that you need! You can also start swimming as it is an enjoyable, low-impact activity, even for people with mobility or joint problems. 6. Relax with Yoga Yoga is a great way to increase your flexibility, build your strength, and focus your mind on practicing mindfulness. Learn the basics in a class, and if you find it difficult to continue, there are always apps or online videos that can allow you to do yoga at home. Be sure to learn how to do your poses safely before you start doing them on your own. 7. Write Your Own Book or Submit an Article to a Website or Blog If you have always dreamt of writing your own book or submitting an article to a blog or website, now’s the time! Some of the greatest writers started writing in their free time, and you can follow the same path. Self-publishing is not a difficult task anymore, so you can easily put together your dream book and put it up on Amazon. If you love writing but a book is too overwhelming, pick a topic of interest, passion or expertise and submit your content to a website or blog. They might just publish it! 8. Cook it Up! Cooking is perhaps one of the most beloved activities of all time. It is fun; it is useful, and (if it turns our well) you also get the reward of enjoying some great food. Try out new cuisines, exotic recipes, and fresh tools and techniques. Join a cooking or wine tasting class. Share your family history through recipes with your children, nieces, nephews or grandkids. Let your family history be told by cooking together! 9. Adopt a Pet A pet is like a new family member and a constant friend who never leaves your side. Consider rescuing and adopting an animal that needs a home. This will provide you with both companionship and happiness. If your busy life style doesn't make sense for a pet to join the family permanently, consider fostering a pet. Fostering is a great way to help a furry friend in need, enjoy time with a pet but without the same level of a long term commitment. 10. Indulge in Art Art is wonderfully relaxing and exciting, so treat your senses with any of the forms that you like. Make it a habit to visit your local museums. You can attend discount days, free events, or enjoy exclusive events after paying for an annual membership. Take adventure of virtual museum tours all over the world offered because of COVID-19. Maybe you could also get inspired and try creating something on your own, too! You might have a hidden talent you never even knew you had! Sign up for a wine and paint night to follow along with an instructor. You may also indulge in music and maybe learn singing or an instrument like the guitar. Imagine the fun you will have when you entertain your friends and family with your new skills! There are many other interesting hobbies that you can pick up to spice up your 50s. Try one of our suggestions, or look for other great ideas. Whatever you choose, just remember to have a great time! Which hobbies do you enjoy? Share your experiences in the comment section below or on your FaceBook page.

What You Need to Know About Menopause

Understanding this natural process will give you more control than you think was possible. As you near your midlife, you may have experienced some uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, including mood swings, weight gain, brain fog, and hot flashes. However, you don’t have to suffer through these because, unlike other hormonally turbulent times like pregnancy and puberty, you actually have more control over menopause than you might think. A study reported that as many as 65% of women say that they feel they are not prepared for menopause. Knowing the following tips and facts will help you be more informed, empowered, and ready for whatever accompanies menopause. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t know and apply this knowledge and make these years some of your best yet! 1. Your symptoms can last for more than 7 years Officially, you reach your menopause when you go twelve months without getting your period. Most women hit this milestone around age 51. However, it is more of a gradual stop instead of a sudden halt. Research has suggested that menopause symptoms can last as long as 7.4  years. Before you reach menopause, you may experience lighter or heavier periods, your cycles become erratic, and you can have symptoms like sleep problems, hot flashes, mood swings, and brain fog. These symptoms may linger on even after menopause because your body takes time to adjust. 2. Consider alternative approaches like herbal remedies The good news is that you can use a few herbal supplements and home remedies to manage your symptoms. For instance, apart from maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet, you can use CBD oil, soy isoflavones, Maca Root Powder, and Black Cohosh. CBD Oil Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the active chemicals present in cannabis plants like marijuana and hemp. It has medicinal properties and does not lead to the “high “associated with marijuana. It has shown to have a positive effect on our body’s hormonal balance. Evidence from some research has suggested that it can help in treating the symptoms of menopause, including mood changes, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, and bone density loss. The most common way to benefit from CBD is through using CBD oil. Isoflavones Isoflavones are a type of plant-based chemicals that act like a weaker form of estrogen hormone in your body. This causes them to play a role in reducing menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. Isoflavones are found in soy, so you can include foods from this group in your diet. 3. Sex doesn’t have to be off limits Many women are afraid that sex will lose its charm or become painful after menopause. Yes, your waning hormones may cause loss of vaginal elasticity and dryness. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that this has to be the end of your sex life. Try lubricants, vaginal estrogen inserts or therapy for the physical changes, and thus a fulfilling sex life. Up to 50% of menopausal women experience painful sex and vaginal dryness. Unfortunately, 90% of these women don’t reach out for help, according to Harvard Women’s Health Watch. Make sure that you are from the remaining 10% - seek help because your body deserves the best! 4. There are ways to deal with hot flashes If there was a trademark symptom for menopause, it would be hot flashes. Around 80% of premenopausal women and 65% of post-menopausal women experience them. You may not be able to prevent hot flashes completely, but you can minimize their effect. Be aware of what triggers these hot flashes including stress, spicy foods, hot drinks, caffeine, sleep deprivation, tight clothing, and hot rooms. So, make sure that you get plenty of sleep, exercise, and nutritious foods. Of course, herbal remedies will help, too. 5. Pregnancy is still possible Don’t give up on your birth control just yet! Many women become casual about birth control once they reach their 40s because there is a common misconception that they can’t become pregnant anymore. Surprise, surprise! You can still get pregnant albeit a little less likely than your earlier years. This is why it is a good idea to continue your hormonal birth control. Also, the pill can help the menopause experience. When you get a steady dose of hormones through your pills and IUDs, your body will not be fully impacted by the drop in levels of progesterone and natural estrogen. Many women have experienced that progesterone-releasing IUDs help with erratic or severely heavy periods in menopause. Doctor’s will often suggest trying an IUD before a hysterectomy to see if it will decrease severe bleeding. 6. Menopause can affect more than just your reproductive system The estrogen hormone has several functions apart from its role in your reproductive system. It is vital for metabolic homeostasis (balance) and function. During menopause, as its levels drop, there can be an impact on several things, including appetite hormones, fat production and distribution, thyroid function, inflammation, mood, sleep, and energy levels. This is one reason why as many as 90% of women gain weight after they hit menopause. It could also be the reason behind your increased hunger and feelings of fatigue. A critical function that estrogen has is that it contributes to the management of cholesterol levels and maintains the health and flexibility of your blood vessels and artery walls. Consequently, as estrogen levels drop, the risk of heart disease increases. But, there’s no need to panic because there will only be a problem if you don’t take care of yourself. Keep stress under control, eat healthy foods, get adequate exercise, and maintain good sleep hygiene (have a gadget-free sleep routine). This will prevent risk factors from piling on dangerously. 7. Your mental health may suffer, but it doesn’t have to The bad news is that women have twice the risk of anxiety and depression as men. These mental health issues can be more impactful during your menopause, and the symptoms may cause additional stress. And the good news? You can get through this phase without taking a toll on your mental health. Make your mental health a top priority by talking with your doctor to determine the best approach to addressing mental health challenges once menopause begins. Your doctor may prescribe medicine for stress, anxiety, or depression or you might discuss an alternative approach. Herbal remedies, yoga, mediation, or engagement with friends and family may all help your mental well-being. Research shows that positive social support can enhance longevity in individuals, particularly post-menopausal women. So, vent to a friend, have a few laughs, engage in more activities or see your doctor.  No need to emotionally suffer alone and quietly. Finally, the key message is that menopause is like any other natural phase that your beautiful female body goes through. You have made it until now, and you can get through this phase too! Just remember to take good care of yourself, reach out to friends, family and even your doctor for help and you will be fine! How are you dealing with menopause? Share your experiences on FaceBoook or select the Ask Hello50 tab to comment.

Top Tips for Women Over 50 to Stay Fit and Healthy

Have you reached your 50s and don’t feel the same anymore? Maybe you feel sluggish, have symptoms of menopause, or no longer have the stamina for your old life style. Thinking about age, many women look at the 50’s as a health and fitness milestone. Wherever you are in terms of your health and fitness, you might want to take inventory and even consider raising your game. Perhaps your body has served you well for five plus decades. A fit and healthy body will allow you to lead a more fulfilling and happy life. If you give your body the attention it needs, you can stay younger longer and enjoy an increase in energy through the decades ahead of you. Finding it hard to stay fit in your 50s? No problem! Here are great tips you can use to set a healthy life style at any age Keep Moving! ‘Move it or lose it’ – we have heard it a million times and for good reason. It’s true! Your body loses muscle faster than it gains it, so a lack of physical activity will make you weaker and weaker, especially now that you have reached your 50s. Here is the good news! You don’t have to become a hardcore gym enthusiast to see life changing results. Any activity that gives you enough physical exercise will do the trick. The best thing you can do is choose any activity that you enjoy! Salsa dancing, pilates, walking your dog, yoga – choose whatever you want. If you have painful joints, you may opt for swimming as it can help reduce the pain. Exercises like Tai Chi can have added advantages like improving your balance, so you can also incorporate them in your daily or weekly exercise regimes and help in every day health. Interestingly, research has shown that dancing can also reduce the risk of dementia. Check out some apps that will help get you on your way to a more active lifestyle. Map My Walk measures your distance, pace and even will give you new routes you can walk. Try the Pocket yoga app if you want to learn how to strike those perfect poses and improve flexibility. Set a timer and do some planks. They are a great total body exercise that won’t take up much time and can be done anywhere! You always want to consult your doctor before starting any new work out routine. Working Your Brain is As Important As Working Your Body Nope, you don’t have to turn into Einstein! All you have to do is consider your brain as a muscle like any other muscle in your body. This means that it also needs exercise to stay at its best. Play games like chess, scrabble, solves crossword puzzles, or learn a new language. Even remembering dance routines will make you exercise your mind, so learning that can work as both a physical and mental exercise. Take a look at some apps that will help keep your brain engaged and challenged. Download the CogniFit App if you are looking for a great way to improve your cognitive skills. The Brain HQ app helps develop memory, brain speed and improve your attention span. You Are What You Eat After 50, you need to be mindful of your diet more than ever. First, take a look at the 2015-2020 dietary guideline and check out caloric intake guidelines based on age and sex. Make sure that you eat a proper, balanced diet that includes all the nutrients that benefit your changing body. Experts suggest at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium to build and maintain bone strength. Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium, Most doctors recommend 600 milligrams daily for healthy bones. Don’t forget to measure your B12 intake for healthy nerve and blood cells. Protein is an important nutrient since it is the essential building block for muscles and is helpful for the healing process. Reach for supplements for women and manage a diet that includes leafy greens, poultry, dairy, beans and nuts to help meat most of your daily requirements. As always, drink plenty of water to maintain proper hydration. If you are looking for an app to help keep you on track, there are lots of great options depending on your dietary needs. Keep Track of Your Health Any healthy lifestyle certainly includes regular screenings and monitoring of potential risk factors. Don’t ignore any uncomfortable symptoms, and when doctors request a follow-up, make sure to make that appointment. You can identify risk factors early on through regular screening like skin checks, blood sugar level checks, blood pressure checks, cholesterol checks, mammograms, pap smears and dental hygiene. Are you looking for some easy ways to help manage your health and well-being? There’s an app for that! Download Gevity which is a health monitoring app that empowers people through tools and technology to monitor your health factors. If you need to reach out to a health provider 24/7, Health Tap can be used with any device and helps with the entire process from diagnosis through treatment and follow up. Ultimately, health, fitness, and wellbeing mean nothing without happiness. As we age into our older years, happiness is a huge indicator driving health and wellness. Take inventory of what makes you inspired, smile, laugh and fulfilled in life. Hello50 is committed to supporting the unique needs of ALL women. Remember, “It’s My Time.” Talk to friends, ask the experts, and find out how you can steer yourself in the direction where you find your inner peace. Use these tips to stay fit and healthy, and lead a happier and more fulfilled life as you progress into the later decades of your life. We are all in this together! Share your health and wellness tips. Submit your suggestions to Ask Hello50 or post on our Hello50 FB page.

Debunking Myths About Dating After 50

Dating after 50 can seem overwhelming because of the myths, so let’s debunk them together! Have you entered your 50s and would like to find the perfect life partner? If yes, then you may have come across some discouraging MYTHS such as “you won’t find the right partner because of your age.” Should you believe any of these? Absolutely not! Let us talk about why. Dating after 50 is not at all hopeless. A recent survey of 2000 singles (with about half of them being over 50 years of age) revealed that as many as 72% of those surveyed over 50 said that they were open to finding love in their future. Interestingly, 50% of these older adults reported that the most common misconception about them was that they were not interested in sex. So, is dating a no-no for you? Not at all. What are those dating after 50 myths and what are our responses to those myths? Older Adults Are Less Interested in Sex Let’s face it. Most everybody would like to enjoy a healthy sex at any age. Experts say that 63% of people between the ages of 50-80 still enjoy an active sex life. The frequency and sex drive may decrease with each age group, however, people continue to enjoy intimacy. Other rumors say that 50-Plus singles don’t have good health for an active sex life. Nope, not at all true. Given medical options, anti-aging procedures and more awareness about fitness means that many people in their 50s and beyond are feeling younger. Yes, men and women over 50 still experience the natural changes that come with age, like wrinkles, impotence, and menopause, but this is not stopping them from being open and willing to finding love and having a heppy sex life. Older Singles Are Not Open Minded When it Comes to Dating That is also not true!. The OurTime survey found that 25% of people over age 50 view life in a more positive light and 63% of them report that they are much more confident as compared to in their 20s. This suggests that older adults are more accepting of the highs and lows of life and relationships, and are more ready to face them optimistically. Interestingly, people in this age bracket are also open to different types of relationships, including 45% interested in “friends with benefits” and 20% are dating more than one person at a time. 50-Plus Singles Are Not Looking for Long-Term Commitment When they are dating, they are looking for one or more of these three things: companionship, casual fun, or marriage. Believe it or not, the survey revealed that up to 50% of these adults want to date because they want to get married. Even experiences like reaching midlife, divorce, or having kids do not discourage them from seeking deeper, meaningful connections. About 72% of 50-plus singles admit that they are ready to find love in the future. 76% of men are hopeful about finding love as compared to 69% of women. Older Men Are Women-Chasers Just Like Younger Men Good news is this myth also seems to NOT be true. Men over 50 and beyond have more responsibilities and mature with age so what they want in a partner changes. Yes, some men choose to 'chase' young women but many men are actively seeking the company of women in their age group. Their expectations change with age and you might find the over 50 dating pool to look or shall we say act different than those younger years. Older men are looking for a deeper connection and they are finding that connection with women in their age group. If this is something you are interested in, as well, then it can work out for the best! All the Good Guys Are Taken It is true that the number of available men to women over 50 does continually drop with the progression of age. However, that does not mean there are not available, single men for women interested in pursuing a relationship. Take a look at the top 10 dating sites for singles over 50 and it is obvious men and women are seeking partners in their age group. Mid-Lifers Are Not Picky About Their Partners Not at all. In fact, surveys have found that most 50+ singles are pickier than they were in their earlier years. As we age, both men and women know which traits are important to them in a partner. Do you want to know what this age group deems as the most attractive trait in a partner? Well, it is optimism. And the most common deal-breakers are pessimism, smoking, and a messy financial status. So, remember – finding love at age 50 and beyond is totally possible. Just stay positive (it could be a huge turn-on) and be ready. You will find love (or it will find you!). Good luck! Want to share any myths that you have come across about dating at 50 or beyond? Let us know in the comments section below!

Are Your Adult Children Still On Your Payroll? How Old is too Old?

Question submitted to Ask Hello50 It is graduation season all over the country.  That would normally mean kitchen table talks between parents and recent college grads discussing jobs, bills and future plans. Julie from Virginia submitted an Ask Hello50 question looking for advice when it comes to paying for her daughter's bills. She writes: I have 3 kids, a 24 year old college graduate who has a good job, a junior in college and a sophomore in high school. We can afford to pay for our 24 year old daughter's cell phone and car insurance but do you think we should? We reached out to our Hello50 community and turned to experts to respond to Julie’s question. Before we dig in, we know for right now, all bets are off.  Because of COVID- 19, many families have made adjustments when it comes to both living arrangements and paying bills. Suggestions and statistics provided are based on “normal times" and at this moment, many parents are making decisions due to the impact of CODID-19 on their families. Let’s take a look at some numbers when we consider paying our kids’ bills. In a 2019 Merrill Lynch and Age Wave Survey, 2700 young adults between the ages of 18-34 were interviewed and 70% said they received financial support from their parents. In terms of making it on their own, 58% said they couldn't afford their lifestyle without parental support. Furthermore, 75% of those surveyed said that financial independence is a key indicator of being an adult. What is really astonishing from the survey is that parents are paying 500 billion dollars a year for their adult children from cell phones to groceries, car payments and weddings. This is DOUBLE what they are paying towards their own retirement (Richard Eisenberg, "Parents Support to Adult Kids: A Stunning 500 Billion a Year”). If parents are to pay their kids’ bills, some factors need to be considered: 1) Does it make sense based on your current plans? Car insurance companies provide multi car benefits while phone plans provide family plan discounts. If you can afford to keep your kid on those plans, the Hello50 consensus is to pay them, assuming your adult children are making responsible, financial choices. (More on that in the next bullet point). It probably isn’t that much more for you to continue to pay the cell phone and car insurance compared with your child establishing new plans.  On average, the Hello50 women we spoke with said they would continue to pay cell phone bills, car insurance, and help out with other incidentals until their child son is 26 years old. This will give them a chance to get established in their new careers and even save some money. 2) What is your son or daughter doing with the savings? Assuming your financial health and retirement is not impacted and your child is making good choices, there is nothing wrong with helping them to financially launch. The question is, what is your son or daughter doing with their money as you pay their bills? If your kid is running up credit cards, taking vacations they can’t afford and single handedly supporting the shoe industry, then you are not doing them any favors by paying any of their bills. In fact, in these cases, you are ENABLING them to be fiscally irresponsible. If they are not demonstrating fiscal responsibility, the best way to help your son or daughter is to get them to take OWNERSHIP of their bills so they can learn how to budget and live within their means. 3) Goals, timelines and expectations: The goal is to provide financial assistance to your adult kids to help them get started in life. There needs to be a plan in place so your son or daughter becomes 100% financially independant. One way to help them, is to assist with goal setting such as paying off college debt, buying a car or saving for their first home. Work with your son or daughter to establish a budget and a timeframe for you to stop paying their bills. Check out 6 Financial Management Apps and Tools for Young Adults to share with them. 4) Parents can't let go: The problem with financial dependency often is created by a parent and not their child. This can end up having an adverse effect on our kid’s transition into adulthood. Psychiatrist Dr. Laura F. Dabney, MD says “I've had a few patients that have difficulty putting up financial boundaries with their children. This is usually caused by the parents having a difficult time letting go of their child. When we refuse to let go, we prevent our children from learning the skills needed to be successful in life. We are hurting, not helping.When we refuse to let go, we prevent our children from learning the skills needed to be successful in life. We are hurting, not helping.” (Nicole Spector “How to Stop Supporting Your Kids Financially - and Feel Good About It”). 5) Are you impacting your retirement plans? The Merrill Lynch and Age Wave Survey tells us that boomers are directing a lot of money every year from retirement to our adult kids. It is one thing to have a plan in place with your son or daughter when paying for a cell phone bill or weekly groceries. However, it is another thing if paying their bills affects your financial well-being. Millennial and Gen Z have 40 working years ahead of them but our working years are limited. Financial experts say when helping our children, it should not be to the detriment of our financial health and retirement plan. 6) Financial literacy courses will give them the skills they need: Tell them to keep that college learning cap on just a little bit longer. 8 Fun and Free eLearning Courses that Teach Financial Literacy to Young Adults is a great site for them to check out courses to gain financial management skills. Parents support their kids from birth to adulthood so knowing when it is time to financially cut them off could be difficult. Take advantage of the great budget apps and financial literacy courses available for young adults. Help your kid get started if you can afford it, but have a plan in place for them to be the independant, adult you raised them to be!

Gravity is Taking Over - What Can I do About My Sagging Facial Skin?

Question submitted to Ask Hello50 Many women over 50 look at their saggy, facial skin and search for a non-surgical solution. We received a great question from a New Jersey woman in the Hello50 community who asked: Gravity has taken over my face! Help! I’ve been keeping myself healthy and fit but day by day I have noticed that my face is sagging. I am not one for cosmetic surgery so I was wondering if anyone had any products that they have used with success.  I’d like to turn my gravity induced frown upside down. Although surgical options are available, there are a lot of reasons why women don’t want to go under the knife to combat saggy skin. We turned to our newest Hello50 contributor, health, wellness and holistic esthetician JP Ozambela, for her expert advice.  Let’s first talk about what is happening to our skin as we age. We experience muscle depletion, similar to what happens in any other part of our body, and a loss of collagen which is what gives our skin its elasticity. Jo explains how non-surgical methods can both build up facial muscles and add back collagen. 1) Facial Exercises: You can strengthen your muscles with facial yoga and facial exercises.  Danielle Collins is one expert leader in offering facial yoga training.  Work out the 50 plus muscles in your face, neck and scalp with facial yoga.  You will see improvements but it does take time and commitment.  This is not a quick and easy fix, however, if you stick to it, you will see improvements over time. 2) Mechanical Devices: ANOTHER WAY to strengthen and lift your skin is with a micro-current machine. NuFACE is one of many FDA approved home devices that help to stimulate muscle and cell growth. If you are looking for a more potent response, visit an esthetician and get a stronger, micro-current treatment. Micro needling is a minimally invasive treatment that can help rejuvenate the skin. Fine needles create tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin. This will trigger the body to create new collagen which helps with elasticity.  Depending on the state, this service is provided by a board-certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, cosmetic surgeon or esthetician. Derma-rolling, a form of micro needling, uses a mini wheel covered with tiny needles to gently prick the face. This creates divots in the skin so the body has to heal itself which causes the tightening of the skin. 3) Skin Care Products: BioSil will help by boosting your body’s own production of collagen which will improve skin elasticity. You can find it at any health product store. Chemical exfoliation should be used a few times a week, such as alfa- hydroxy Acids (AHA). This will exfoliate upper layers of skin which will reveal a fresher layer of skin that will appear smoother and more firm. RESIST and Alpha Skin Care are 2 great AHA products. Another chemical option are those containing a retinoid. This will help your skin create more collegian so you could will see an improvement to sagging skin with the retinal products. JP also suggests using products that are phthalate, paraben and parfum free. She also prefers purchasing chemical products from a professional distributor because they have a higher chemical concentration than an over the counter products. Use a mechanical exfoliator with scrubs, sugars and salts to get rid of dead skin. This forces your body to regenerate quicker and improve saggy skin. As we age, skin rejuvenates slower so this helps speed up the process. JP also reminds us that getting plenty of sleep and keeping yourself hydrated will always benefit your skin. If you are looking to get a lift to your saggy skin, try one of these non-surgical methods and see the difference they could make.  From facial yoga, to micro needles and mechanical scrubs, you might just find the solution you have been looking to find. Thank you JP Ozambela for your expert advice. Learn more about Jo at jpspearls.com We are excited about hearing more contributions from JP in the future.

Fabulous Makeup Routine for Women Over 50

TIME FOR SOME ME TIME! YOU, as a woman, have experienced so much. You have been taking care of everybody around you for as long as you can remember. You probably spent years with hardly any time for yourself! Look how far you have come! Be proud of the life you have built. Take time to reflect on what you have accomplished and focus on yourself! We all know if you LOOK GOOD, you FEEL GOOD. Taking care of your skin is essential. It builds self-confidence. An effective routine can help prevent issues like acne and wrinkles. Makeup enhances our looks and adds glamor to life. As we know, our makeup routines change as we age. You deserve some ME TIME more than ever. Plus, investing time in yourself is NEVER a waste. Buckle up, we're going on a ride to discover our makeup routine after 50 and ways to keep our healthy skin forever young? Keep reading to know quick and easy ways to get a bright and youthful glow. EAT HEALTHY It’s Good for Your Skin What you eat is a crucial part of having healthy skin that can make you look younger and fresh. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E. These molecules can curb the damage caused by unstable molecules that harm the skin cells and cause aging. MAKEUP TIPS While eating healthy can help your skin, a perfect soft eye makeup adds a graceful touch. For your eye crease, go with any light shade of gray. Don't take your eye shadow and take it down. It should always be upwards and keep going with the stroke. Eyeliner is the most challenging process of makeup, especially when you are doing it on yourself. So, continue reading if you want to find out an eyeliner trick!! CLEANSE REGULARLY Keep Your Skin Clean Think of your skin as a CANVAS. So, it needs to be cleansed before you begin your art work. The key to luminous skin is to get rid of debris like dirt, pollution particles, and oil. You may use any facial cleanser or lotion and use cotton to help you scrub. Cleansing Before Applying Makeup For women over 50, there is a balance that will help you look younger. Before applying any makeup product, always start with a cleansed skin and a naturally rich moisturizer for a nourishing look. HYDRATE IT’S GREAT FOR YOUR SKIN Three most essential ingredients that can help you clear your skin, WATER, WATER, and last but not least, WATER. Hydrating has to be your top priority. Lack of hydration makes your skill DULL and welcomes wrinkles. HELP YOUR MAKEUP ROUTINE It is of course normal to have dry skin over 50 so make sure your skin is exceptionally hydrated before you apply makeup. Use a natural creamy lotion and let it soak in. Women over 50 should stick to a more natural look when selecting shades of your color. But again, this applies for an everyday routine, if you want to go full glam on a special event, go for it! BOOST YOUR GLOW LET YOUR SKIN GLOW Boost your glow by using shimmery lotion. Use creams and formulas that include humectant ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid that help draw moisture into your skin that instantly gives a plump and smooth GLOW. LET YOUR MAKEUP SHINE Choose a lightweight foundation that has the perfect color for your skin. A lot of women go for light foundations because they worry about getting a fake orange type look, but if you go too bright, it may have the adverse effect. It’s best to apply foundation with your hands because it melts the product in your skin pretty well. But don't go too hard, or it may wipe all the makeup away. Apply concealer on your eyelids as well. If you have transparent skin, your veins become prominent. Notice how your eye makeup will just pop and make you look so awake with just that one trick. TRICK FOR APPLYING EYELINER Start with a gel eyeliner in black, and then soften it with shadow for density to get a full and fruitful result. Stick as close to your lash line as possible and use a skipping motion, then open your eye look in the mirror. Take your brush or pencil and go the opposite direction and create an upturn and don't yank it from the edge to the forehead. Finally, take a gray shadow and buff it over the line that you made. Use the same color for you under eye but don't go too hard or else it will look like you have a black eye. MAKE YOUR VERY OWN FORMULA DIY Anti-aging Face Mask. WHAT YOU WILL NEED 1 teaspoon of HONEY 2 teaspoon of MILK 1 teaspoon of COCOA POWDER Cocoa powder helps soften and detoxify your skin. Raw cocoa powder increases the elasticity of your skin which helps with fine lines and reduces scars. Mixing Instructions Start by mixing honey and milk. Gradually, add cocoa powder to get the right consistency. Make sure it is not too thick and not too runny. Mix everything well and VOILA, your mask is ready! Apply the mask to a clean face and leave it for 20 minutes. After washing your face, you can apply anti-ageing cream too! Add turmeric and almond oil to further reduce wrinkles and fine lines. When applying make-up over 50, it’s all about getting that natural, youthful glow and emphasizing your AMAZING features. Take the time to invest in your skin and don’t be afraid to experiment with a new approach to applying make-up. Changing skin is all part of the aging process but it doesn’t mean we can’t continue to look and feel beautiful at any age. Continue to invest in yourself as part of your happy and healthy lifestyle!

Fashion Tip #2 for Women Over 50: Play Up Assets, Cover Liabilities

Repeat after me….”I shall not force my shape into every style” “I SHALL ignore clothing size tags.” Yea…feel that freedom! As we continue our exterior decorating adventure, we have come to Tip #2, how to play-up our assets and how to camouflage our liabilities. You read our previous article Fashion Tips for the Road Part 2: Be You and learned to embrace your body shape so now it’s time to dress it. Think of your clothes as employees. Each garment has a specific job. If it is not working, fire it. If you don’t wear it, get rid of it even if you purchased it on super sale! According to Carrie Trieschman, an image consultant, pick a style that looks good on you and then stick with it...forever. When you play-up your assets and camouflage your liabilities, your confidence soars! Most women are visual learners therefore let’s peek at some before and after photos to help us update our garment choices. Remember your body shape? Whether inverted triangle, rectangle, triangle or hourglass, there are tricks in creating new body lines that you will love. Dressing well doesn’t just happen. Intentionality is key. Our garment choices either make us look 10 pounds thinner or 10 pounds heavier…you pick! 1. Inverted Triangle: Remember visual balance is our goal. Women with an inverted triangle body shape have shoulders that are out of balance with her hips. In the “before” photo, the model is wearing a sleeveless top and mock neckline that actuates the broadness of the shoulders and darker skinny jeggings which visually slim the hips even more. To camouflage, a white blouse breaks up the upper body showcasing the neck, while the longer cardigan creates a long slim body line. The cuffed stovepipe jean adds visual weight to the lower part of her body and heels create long legs. See the difference? 2. Rectangle Shape: In the before photo, a non-descript dropped-shoulder sweater just seems to hang on her figure without any indication of a waistline. The all gray color scheme adds to this unbalanced outfit. Creating a visual waistline is the goal of rectangles. Well done...by adding a hip length white v-neck tee and sleeveless vest, this model creates interest and the illusion of smallness at the waist. Patterned leggings and black booties balance out the vest. Note: if you wear leggings, it is advisable to wear a top that covers your booty! 3. Triangle Body Shape: Are you getting the hang of this? Take a look at the before and after photos. A clingy horizontal-striped top is not the best look. The boat neck is good to widen the shoulders yet not enough to visually balance the hipline. Hint: darker colors recede and lighter colors add weight. When you need to slim an area, wear darker colors, when you want to balance and need to add visually, choose lighter colors or patterns. In this example, the model chooses a draped, turquoise top that falls over her hipline to camouflage. Then, a white jacket is added to further balance out her hips. Darker jeans recede the legs creating a slimmer silhouette. LOVE IT! 4. Hourglass Shape: Okay hourglass ladies. Even though you are the envy of all, you still have areas to address. It is easy to underdress your naturally balanced body. Over-sized tees, puffy tops and boyfriend jeans do nothing to showcase your shape and leads you to look unbalanced. Skin-tight garments are not the answer but body skimming ones are. This model wears a body contoured sheath, lace dress that shows her curves and actuates her waist with a bolero-styled lapel jacket in a contrasting color. The above knee length shows off her legs as do the pointed toes pumps, creating a slimming long line. KUDOS! Are you feeling empowered? More confident heading to your closet? As you embrace these visual tools, you will become more self-assured in your appearance, looking the BEST version of beautiful YOU! By Cindy Lovas Fashion Stylist and Hello50 contributor Cindy offers virtual style consultations SensationalStylewithCindy@gmail.com

Taking a Leap to Change Careers Over 50

Last week, we talked about great tips to follow when looking to return to the work force after staying home to care for the family. This week, we want to explore what to do when making a job change or overall change in career. Many women over 50 told us they feel stuck in their current position. What scares them the most is changing health care and competing for a new job with a younger, more tech savvy applicants. Some women also told us there is a perception that hiring managers do not want to hire older applicants because they require a higher pay scale or they don’t have the skills to thrive in today’s work environment. Let’s take a look at what we can do to ensure we are marketable and sought after at any age when looking for a job or career change: 1) Network:  There it is again, that word.  Yes, we know, network.  When it comes to networking, use social media to get the message out you are looking for a career change, tell your friends and family your goals. Don’t keep it a secret – you never know who can be of help to you. 2) Emphasize both technical and soft skills: Hiring managers want to see that you have both the technical skills and soft skills needed to do the job. Technical skills include both your technology systems and application expertise in addition to your job specific expertise. You might want to take a system’s training class prior to your search if you don’t have expertise in a required application. Soft skills include communication, organizational and problem-solving skills. 3) It’s ok to brag: Too often, older applicants, especially women, can be a bit more modest and less willing to “brag” about accomplishments. Your resume, cover letter and interview is truly the time to highlight not only your skills but your accomplishments.  Be bold, loud and proud about how you have influenced, impacted and left your mark on your current or previous positions. 4) Highlight results: Speak to your skills and responsibilities but highlight results.  Employers want to a list of what you can do but more importantly, they want to know OUTCOMES associated with the work you have done.  Emphasize results in your resume and talk about them in your interview. 5) Focus on a 10-15 year span: Your resume does not need to include your first job selling ad copies for a magazine that no longer exists.  Speak to the more recent 10-15 years of experience and how those skills, experience and results transfer to the position you want. 6) Review the job posting:  If you are reading a job posting, look at the key words in the listing and incorporate those words where appropriate in your cover letter and resume.  Very often, getting that first interview depends on a scan of your resume including key words relevant to the job you are applying to do. Based on your work experiences, make sure those words POP in your resume. 7) Stay current in your job search:  Make sure you have multiple resumes highlighting your skills and targeted to a particular job application.  Keep your Linkedin profile current for all of those potential employers researching your professional experiences. Your years of experience is an attribute so make sure you “brag” about your accomplishments and results. Based on your experience, highlight in your resume the key words you find in the job posting. Be patient. If you truly want to make a career change, it needs to be the right move for you!

Tips for Returning to the Workplace After Raising Your Family

Are you looking to re-enter the workforce after being home to care for your family? It is difficult at any age to initiate a new career but when you are over 50 or 60, there are particular challenges. Resumes are not our grandma's resume, technology feels like it is moving at lightning speed and 3'rd graders can often run circles around many of us on a tablet or computer! Here are some best practices to transfer your experience as CEO at home to the workplace. 1) Focus on your skill set:
You have been running the household, implementing processes and ensuring your home
runs as smoothly as any fortune 500 business. Are you organized and always the one
helping friends with their homes? Did you plan every social outing or volunteer for every
event? Do you manage the family budget and know how to get the best deals when
planning a vacation, shopping, phone and cable plans? Include in your resume the skills
you use to run your household and focus on how those skills ADD VALUE to the position
you are seeking.  Make sure you speak to the IMPACT of those skills.  Remember, your
skills as a stay at home mom translates well at the office. You just need to explain HOW
they benefit the business! 2) It’s all about who you know:
We have all heard NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!! That might seem obvious but you really need to tell EVERYONE you are looking to re-start your career outside of the
home.  Whether you are meeting with your social group, at the store or having your car
serviced, everyone should know your intention. Travel “resume ready” so you are
prepared to hand it out on moment’s notice! Don’t be afraid to go deep into your social
media contacts. Even if you haven’t talked to someone in years, if they work in a field of
interest to you, reach out to them. People feel good about helping others and if an old
friend can help make that connection, they might feel more self-satisfaction than you
realize. 3) Certifications, Training Seminars and Webinars:
You may not want to take the time or money to finish that undergrad or graduate
degree, however, you will find that certifications can provide you with a wealth of knowledge and qualify you for many of positions. Include on your resume training
seminar or technology web programs you completed to demonstrate your desire to
learn and willingness to take action. 4) Your cover letter gives your introduction and your resume explains your skills:
A powerful cover letter is concise, grabs the reader’s attention and clearly states your
goal such as requesting an interview. Your resume, however, explains your experiences, skills, education and certifications but EMPHASIZE your accomplishments. 

5) Intern at any age:
Interning is a great way to get experience in a field that interests you. This allows you to
get your foot in the door and boost your resume. You might have to work unpaid
initially but there is no better way to truly learn a job than to work in that position. If
there is not an internship position open for a particular company, reach out to them and
propose one to the employer. 6) Informational Interview:
Request an informational interview with companies you have an interest in
pursuing. You can potentially make a connection with someone or they might find you
to be a perfect fit for someone else. The more opportunities you have to meet with
hiring managers, the more exposure you get. It’s also a great way to practice your
interview skills! Identify what you have contributed to your household, kids’ schools and the community to
write a powerful cover letter and compelling resume. Fine tune your skills by taking classes or completing certification programs and be sure to leverage your network to land that perfect job for this new phase of your life!

We Can’t Invite everyone to our Son’s Wedding! What Do I Tell My Friends?

Question submitted to Ask Hello50 One of the most exciting times in our lives is when our children get engaged! Planning for the wedding can be so gratifying, however, there can also be a lot of stress when making the arrangements. One area that often causes conflict is narrowing down the guest list. Between the two families and friends, the list can explode in no time! This week, we received a great Ask Hello50 question from Rochelle from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She wants advice about how to communicate with close friends who are not on the guest list to their
son’s wedding. “My son is getting married next April and I have had some good friends assume they are invited to the wedding. I wish we could invite everyone but we can’t. Do I tell my friends ahead of time they will not be invited or just wait for the invitations to be sent out? How do you think I should handle this?” Women from the Hello50 community shared their thoughts regarding how difficult it can be to finalize the wedding list and what to tell their friends who are not invited. Here are just a few good reasons why families limit the wedding guest invites: 1) Cost and Budget: The average cost of a wedding is close to $40,000 which can include $100 or more per guest. Some families have limited funds and need to consider the additional expense for each guest. 2) Venue: The bride and groom fall in love with a particular venue but it only holds up to 100
guests. This is their day and as a couple, they decide the venue is more important than inviting distant family members and/or all of their parents’ friends. 3) Experience: The bride and groom do not want to meet new people on their wedding day. Just because you have a tight friend group does not mean they are significant in your son or daughter’s life. As a couple, they want an intimate experience with friends and family who have had an impact on their lives and that might not include your friend group.
4) Wedding or home down payment: Some parents offer to give their sons or daughters money to use for a wedding and funds not used can go towards a home down payment. As a couple, they decide to minimize the cost of wedding so more money is available for a new home. This option can really make an impact on the invites. As far as communicating with your friends, the consensus is if your friend thinks she will be invited, it is best to gently let them know before the invitations are sent out that she is not on the guest list. Tell her you wish you could invite all of your closest friends, but both families had to come together and make difficult decisions when it came to the wedding list. Ensure her it is not a reflection of how you feel about your friendship but rather due to wedding limitations. It is best to not assign blame or give every criteria that went into making the final list but rather emphasize that they needed to restrict the final wedding guest list. Your friend might have had a similar situation with a wedding or event in the past so she might understand how difficult it is for you to not invite her. You might also discover that by having this open conversation with your friends, you will relieve unwarranted stress. You can always share details and pictures with them throughout the planning and after the wedding so they feel included in the experience. At the end of the day, your good friend wants you to be happy and will respect decisions that went into your son or daughter’s wedding planning. Thank you Rochelle for submitting your question. If you are looking for advice, go to the top tab and select Ask Hello50 to submit your question.

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