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Midlife Wisdom for Men Issue #003, February 3, 2004
February 04, 2004
Written by Noel McNaughton
Midlife-Men.com
(c) copyright 2004 midlife-men.com

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If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

February 3, 2004 Issue #003

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

· A Word from the Editor

· When Should You Start Collecting Your Government Pension?

· The Skinny on the Nine-Day Cleansing and Weight Loss Program I Tested

· Two ‘Magic Words’ That Will Power Up Your Inner Life

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A WORD FROM THE EDITOR

Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men. A special welcome to the 28 new subscribers since last issue.

Being a midlife man, you are approaching retirement age. The question arises: when should I start collecting my government pension? We talk about that in this issue.

Health is a big issue as we age (it is throughout life, but we begin to notice the effects of NOT living a healthy lifestyle as we get older). You have probably noticed it is easier to gain weight now, and harder to take it off. I mentioned in the last newsletter that I was going to do a 9-day cleanse and weight-loss program a friend had told me about. The results surprised me, and I will tell you how it went.

Last issue I talked about ‘three magic words’ that would help in your relationships. If you tried them, you know they work! This issue I will tell you about ‘two magic words’ that will help you in your spiritual life.

A week or so ago a friend told me about a neat little program that is a combination file cleaner, media (internet ad) manager and fire wall. I was a little sceptical, but decided to check out the free trial. I was impressed. More below.

Ok, let’s get started.

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WHEN SHOULD YOU START TAKING YOUR GOVERNMENT RETIREMENT PLAN? (In Canada, read Canada Pension Plan, In USA read Social Security.)

There are two ways to think about this. One is two read up on all the ‘ifs, ands and whereas’s’ in the laws about what happens if you start cashing in at various times; look at your genetic history and personal health habits to try to figure out how long you’ll live, consider the tax implications, and after many cups of coffee, much figuring and frustration, and still suffering the agony of not knowing for SURE, try to make a decision.

The other is to figure a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and start collecting as soon as you can. In Canada that means age 60, in the US age 62, and I don’t know the age in other countries, but you can easily find out.

In both Canada and the US, there is a penalty for taking your CPP or Social Security early, to the tune of a maximum of 30% of what you could have received if you had waited till you were 65. If you wait even longer than age 65, you get more, up to age 70, after which there is no advantage to waiting longer.

Whichever you decide, make sure you learn the details of what will happen if you decide to start collecting early. In Canada, for example, if you want to start collecting before age 65, you are not eligible if you earn more than the monthly maximum in the month before and the month during which your CPP pension begins. If you had requested your pension to begin in August, 2003, for instance, you would have had to earn less than $801.25 (the monthly equivalent of annual maximum in 2003) in both July and August.

In the US, there is a penalty for taking early Social Security: a loss of $1 of benefit for every $2 above a ceiling on what early retirees can earn – which was $11,280 for 2002.

There are other implications as well: if you make over a certain limit in Canada ($56,968 in 2002), your Old Age Security will be clawed back. If waiting till you are 65 to start collecting CPP puts you over the limit when combined with your other income, you will lose in that situation.

My wife Elizabeth is now 60, and we had to figure out for ourselves whether she should start collecting CPP now, or wait till she is 65. We decided now was a better choice for a few reasons:

- She is now retired, and is not making much income, so her CPP eligible income is very low. If she waited till she was 65 before starting to collect she would get less money because of the five years of low earnings being figured into her pension calculation.

- taking the money now means she will get 60 payments that she would not otherwise get. Theoretically, if you live past age 79, you would have collected more if you waited till age 65. But we are both old enough to know much can happen between now and then, so why take the chance?

- the money is coming in handy now. Later, if we don’t need it, she can put it into her RRSP (401k in the US), which will give a far greater return than anything she might have lost by waiting till age 65.

- it is not a sure bet that CPP will even be available in a few years. I read Boomernomics a few years back, and if the authors of that book are right, all the boomers retiring and taking their government pensions will bankrupt the system.

- if by chance she should die before age 65, any income she would have had would be lost.

Here’s How To Figure Out How Long You Will Live…

Perhaps you are wondering how long you will live. Here is a questionnaire that will help you figure that out (I calculated I will live to 110!). Just go to: Life Expectancy Quiz

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WEIGHT. ITS EASIER TO PUT ON THAN TAKE OFF AT MIDDLE AGE, BUT THIS WORKED FOR ME…

As everyone knows by now, obesity is a serious health problem in North America. Here are some statistics:

- A study of 900,000 followed over 16 years showed that being overweight contributes to 20% of cancer deaths in women and 14% in men.

- 65% of high blood pressure in women and 78% in men can be attributed directly to obesity. High blood pressure leads to strokes and Alzheimer’s.

- Colon cancer risk is up to 70% greater in overweight men.

- More than twenty million North Americans have obesity-related, adult-onset diabetes, and more than one-third do not know it.

- Obese smokers die 13.5 years sooner than normal-weight non-smokers.

- Obese Americans spend 36% more on health-care than Americans of normal weight. (The figure is the same in Canada, but it is not as noticeable because Health Care picks up most of the tab.)

I mentioned last issue that I was going to try a nine-day cleansing (detoxifying) and weight loss program, and tell you what happened.

Before I did this program I researched it as thoroughly as I could. I have never done a program like this before, and wanted to make sure it did not use any of the harmful ingredients, such as Ma Huang, ephedrine, or caffeine, that some other programs use. I also sat in on a conference call with John Anderson, who developed the products, and has been formulating health products for other companies for more than twenty years. Anderson answered all kinds of questions about the products, and health in general, and I was impressed with his knowledge.

I also searched on the internet for negative comments about the company or its products and found none! That also impressed me, because no matter what a company is offering, or how good it appears to be, there always seems to be somebody who has a website that knocks it.

Elizabeth got some books out of the library, including John Gray’s book Mars & Venus Diet & Exercise Solution on healthy eating, hormones that affect weight and mood, and so forth. She found Gray’s book to be well researched and very thorough, and he recommends the program I took, as well as the company’s maintenance program, and gives good scientific reasons why. He also uses the company’s products on a regular basis. Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) also recommends the products.

That was enough to convince me to try it.

The results: I lost 13 pounds (5.9 Kilograms) and trimmed a total of 8.75 inches off my body (combined measurement of neck, arms, chest, waist, abdomen and thighs. Most of it came off my waist and abdomen), and lowered my body fat by 6% (from 25% down to 19%). I also have more energy, more stamina, and don’t desire sweets as much as I did a couple of weeks ago.

I find I don’t feel as much like eating as I did before the program either. Usually in winter I feel like eating more than I need, and for years I have put a few pounds on in the winter, and taken them off again during summer. Over the past few years I have lost less weight in the summer, and have slowly put on a pound or two a year that stayed. I think our bodies intuitively want to put on weight in cold weather, as a defence mechanism. That was probably a good strategy until modern times. Now all it does is make us overweight.

I asked my sister to take before and after pictures of me with her digital camera.
If you are interested in more information about this company or its products, go here: www.comfort.isagenix.com.

This company has a Associate Program. It costs $49 to become an associate, and if you are buying more than one “Fast Start Pak” (say one for yourself and one for your wife), that is the cheapest way to go. An added bonus is if you like how the program works for you, and you tell friends about it, and they want to do it too, you can make some commission money.

You can order products through my website www.comfort.isagenix.com , but as I am a Canadian, and because of some sort of government regulations (I think having to do with import/export regulations, but I am not sure), people cannot buy retail product through my site. They must become Associates, and buy wholesale. (As an Associate you are not required to make any sales to others.) The company is working with the Canadian government to deal with the issue.

That being said, if you do want to buy retail product, let me know, and I can order it myself and have the company ship it to you. You can pay me through my Pay Pal account.

Now That You Lost It, How Do You Keep It Off?

As everyone knows, it's one thing to lose weight, and quite another to keep it off. So far, I have had no cravings that make me want to over-eat and gain the weight back. That is one reason I think this is a good program.

I believe there are two keys that will help me keep the weight off:
- I exercise for an hour three times a week, doing a combination of cardio and weights.
- I will continue to eat ‘In the Zone’

I mentioned before that Elizabeth and I have been eating in the ‘Zone’ for several years, and when I first started I lost 20 pounds in five months, and dropped my cholesterol level by 50%. I did this without feeling any hunger, and eating normal food.

Over the years I got a bit lax, and gained about ten pounds back, but this program has given me the desire to be more aware of the amount I eat, and I know if I stay in the Zone, I will not get hungry.

The basic concept of eating in the Zone is to balance your caloric intake of carbohydrates, fats and protein in the ratio of 40%-30%-30%. And to determine, through charts in the book, how much food you should eat, as measured by ‘exchanges’ of food. Dr. Sears has published a number of books. The one we use is The Zone ============================================

TWO ‘MAGIC WORDS’ THAT WILL POWER UP YOUR INNER (AND OUTER) LIFE

In her book The Dynamic Laws of Healing , Catherine Ponder talks about the hidden or secret power of the phrase “I AM”. She writes, “There are strange powers lying dormant within that name. All that you dream of as desirable can be released through the redeeming words ‘I AM’, because these words stir up the divine nature within you. ‘I AM’ is the name of God within you.”

If you are familiar with the Old Testament, you will recall that when Moses went up the mountain and received the Ten Commandments, he asked who he should say he had been talking to. God said to tell them it was I AM.

I have a friend who works with groups of all kinds to reduce conflict and reach consensus on important issues. He says when you are suffering a trauma, such as a separation, it is a useful idea to start off with a statement that describes why you are sad, or angry, or whatever.

For example, “I am hurt because (Jenny) left me.” Then take off the reason you are hurt: “I am hurt.” Then take off the feeling, and you are left with “I am”, and it gives you a feeling of wholeness, that makes the hurt less hurtful.

Here is a 'meditation' I suggest you try.

For five minutes each day, quiet your mind, and repeat 'I AM' either out loud, or to yourself. Do this every day for a week, and see how you feel.

I have been doing this for a while now and am impressed with the results. I feel more energized, focussed, and more positive. Of course you do not need to stop this exercise after a week! It’s just that you should do it regularly for a week in order to begin feeling the benefits.

After five minutes of repeating I AM, you can add things such as 'I am healthy', 'I am prosperous', 'I am peaceful' or whatever else you want to add that you desire in your life.

Do not add negative statements, such as 'I am lonely' or 'I am angry', as these statements also have power.
Pay attention to the words you inadvertently attach to the I AM handle of power. If you find yourself saying ‘I AM always too busy”, try changing it to “I am filled with energy and joy to accomplish my work quickly and easily”.

If you try the “I AM” meditation for five minutes a day for a week, let me know how it goes for you.

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IS YOUR COMPUTER SLOWER THAN WHEN YOU GOT IT?

A few days ago a friend told me about a neat little program that cleans files out (ones that windows file cleaner seems to miss), erases them so they cannot be recovered by anyone snooping in your computer; speeds up surfing by blocking unwanted pop-ups and in-site ads, plus acts as a firewall.

I sent the link to my daughter-in-law, who maintains the computer network at the Faculty of Medicine here at the University of Alberta, and asked her to check it out. She said it looked pretty good, so I took the free trial and tested it… cleaned out my files, which sped up my machine, and then went online, where even though I have a high-speed hook-up, things went faster.

I have a router, which is a piece of hardware that acts as a firewall, so didn’t need the firewall that came with the program, but I decided to test it anyway. I went to Shields Up! where you can test the security of your machine for free, and found that NOTHING could get into my computer.

So, I bought the program, which is called Performance Pro. If you want to check it out, go to IA Revolution , and download the free trial.

If you do that, here is what I suggest:
- before you install Performance Pro, clean the spyware out of your system. This is easy to do by downloading a free program called Spy-Bot
. If you have never cleaned spyware from your machine, I guarantee you have some of the sneaky little programs running, and they will try to prevent Performance Pro from working.
. Go to Shields Up Shields Up! and do the free probes of your machine that are available on that site. It might surprise you to find out how vulnerable you are to attack!
- Install Performance Pro, then test your machine at Shields Up again, to see the difference.
- Run Clean System on Performance Pro (click on Analyze first, to see how much disc space you will free up).

Use your computer and see how fast it is. If you like the result, buy the program. IA Revolution
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I NEED YOUR QUESTIONS AND FEEDBACK!

My intention with Midlife Wisdom for Men is to focus on the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical aspects of midlife transitions.

That being said, there are SO MANY THINGS one could talk about in a newsletter such as this, (after all we humans are very complex beings), that I need to hear from you. In order to cover the kinds of topics and issues you are most interested in, I would REALLY appreciate your questions, comments and suggestions.

So… let me know. Do you want stuff about health? Sex? Emotional life? Spirituality? How to build an extra income through the internet? Legal advice? (For example many of us will become executors of our parents' estates in the next few years.) Financial planning? Retirement planning? How to communicate with your wife? You get the idea.

Or… send me a question, and if I don't know the answer, I promise I will find the person who does.

Also… how about the length? Too long? Too short? About right?

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to noel@midlife-men.com. I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to noel@midlife-men.com . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.

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Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

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