As you gather with family and friends over the holidays, you’ll likely reminisce about 2018 and share your hopes and dreams for what 2019 will hold. It’s a time to celebrate past achievements and make plans for the future milestones that are sure to change your life. So whether it’s retirement, taking that bucket list trip, finding love again or becoming a grandparent, read below for tips to be better prepared.
Life-Changing Milestones to Welcome in 2019
1. Crossing the Threshold to Retirement Is this the year you finally retire, or will you take intentional steps as you move toward retiring in the next year or two? Either way, congratulations, it’s a time to celebrate…though it may seem a little scary too. Here are some important financial tips to keep in mind:
- Keep tabs on your budget: A solid financial plan starts with monitoring the money you’re bringing in and how it’s being spent. This will keep you honest about where your money is going each month and help you control spending. Try a smartphone app to monitor your finances or pick one day a month to do a deeper dive. While working on a budget can be challenging, the rewards of a workable financial future are worth it.
- Become a savvy shopper: One of the benefits of retirement is having access to special discounts and savings programs. Take advantage, you’ve earned it! Don’t be afraid to ask for a “senior” discount even if it’s not advertised. You may be surprised to find out how many stores and museums offer discounts. And since you’ve got time on your side, you can travel anytime to get lower rates on airfare and hotels or take in that special discounted Wednesday matinee.
2. Embarking on Your Dream Vacation What’s on your bucket list? An exotic African safari, a cruise around the world or the great American road trip? Your time is finally your own, so make it happen. How do you turn your travel dreams into a reality? Do what you can, when you can. For example, take a smaller trip this year to save up for the big one next year.
Pack your bags and maximize your time away with these travel tips:
- Plan ahead: Whatever’s on your “want to do” list, whether it’s a trip for a few days or a few weeks, planning is key. Put aside some time to sit down with a calendar and set up some goals and timelines for where you’ll go and what you’ll do in the 365 days ahead (and beyond). Create a vision board to collect ideas, information and inspiration for the future. Revisit it regularly to stay motivated and check your progress.
- Change your thinking: You may be surprised to learn that joining the local community center can help make your trip dreams come true. Group travel has many advantages. Often times the trip price includes airfare, accommodations, excursions and some meals. And one of the best benefits is that the travel company the community center coordinates with, does all the planning. You just pack your passport and bags and open yourself up to a whole new world.
3. Welcoming a New Grandchild: An empty nest often means your children are preparing their own nests to grow their families. Both you and your kids are charting new territory. As someone with experience, you’re in the perfect position to offer a helping hand and a little advice (only if asked!). Plus you can enjoy the benefits of little ones — without the stress and sleepless nights of raising them.
Here are some tips on how to fully engage in the role of new grandparent:
- Make mealtime easier: Remember how overwhelming having a newborn can be? New parents often welcome having a few ready-made meals available. Cook up some of their favorite foods, and make sure there’s enough to freeze for later. If you’re not nearby, consider ordering a few meals from the new parents’ favorite restaurants or local grocery store.
- Offer to babysit: New parents need support. The stress and strain of a new baby can leave them feeling exhausted and disconnected. Let them know that when they’re ready to leave their bundle of joy, you’re there ready to help. They get a break and you get to enjoy some precious one on one time!
While You Make These Milestones Happen – Be Proactive About Your Health
Today’s science has brought new technologies that help to identify many diseases, and there are recommended screening tests that adults 50 and over should consider.
- Be in the know: Of cancers that affect both men and women, colon cancer* is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.i After age 50, your risk for colon cancer increases significantly, and your doctor will recommend regular screenings at this time for those at average-risk.ii The good news? When caught in the early stages, colon cancer has a 90% survival rate,† and screening is now easier than ever.iii
- Make screening easy: Cologuard is the only stool DNA screening option approved by the FDA for people 50 years and older who are at average risk for colorectal cancer.iv Developed with Mayo Clinic, Cologuard’s proprietary stool DNA technology can analyze and detect 11 distinct biomarkers that identify cancer and precancer. And it finds 92% of cancer in stages I-IV with 87% specificity.‡v Plus it fits easily into your life because there’s no prep, no diet or medication changes, you use it in the privacy of your own home, and it is covered by most major medical insurance for eligible patients and by Medicare as well.
Pledge today that you and your loved ones will get screened for colon cancer. Early detection of colon cancer means catching it when it is most treatable.
Take care of yourself and think of your loved ones. Download the Cologuard Discussion Guide and take it with you to your next healthcare provider visit. Cologuard is available by prescription only.
Cologuard is intended for the qualitative detection of colorectal neoplasia associated DNA markers and for the presence of occult hemoglobin in human stool. A positive result may indicate the presence of colorectal cancer (CRC) or advanced adenoma (AA) and should be followed by diagnostic colonoscopy.
Cologuard is indicated to screen adults of either sex, 50 years or older, who are at typical average-risk for CRC. Cologuard is not for everyone; not for high risk individuals, including those with a family history of colorectal cancer, a personal history of colorectal cancer or advanced adenoma, IBD and certain hereditary syndromes. Positive Cologuard results should be referred to diagnostic colonoscopy. A negative Cologuard test result does not guarantee absence of cancer or advanced adenoma. Following a negative result, patients should continue participating in a screening program at an interval and with a method appropriate for the individual patient. Cologuard performance when used for repeat testing has not been evaluated or established. Rx only.
i American Cancer Society. Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2017-2019. (PDF) Accessed October 3, 2018.
† 5-year survival rate
ii Noone AM, Howlader N, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2015, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, based on November 2017 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2018. Accessed July 24, 2018.
iii The Sensitivity Of Stool DNA (sDNA) Screening For Colorectal Cancer. Cologuardtestcom 2018. Accessed October 3, 2018.
‡ Both false positive and false negative results occur. In a clinical study of Cologuard, 13% of people with a positive Cologuard had a diagnostic colonoscopy that did not detect cancer or precancer. A negative Cologuard test result does not guarantee absence of cancer or advanced adenoma. Following a negative result, patients should continue participating in a screening program at an interval and with a method appropriate for the individual patient.
4 Imperiale TF, Ransohoff DF, Itzkowitz, et al. Multitarget stool DNA testing for colorectal-cancer screening. N Engl J Med. 2014;370(14):1287-1297.