The Veterans Budget This Holiday Season

7 BEST WAYS TO SAVE MONEY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

It’s November, and it’s beginning to look a lot like Holiday Season already, but we have got just the right holiday shopping tips for you.

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah and New Year, the holiday season is really long! And once it starts we get in a seemingly never-ending cycle of gift shopping, dinner hosting, house decorating, and whatnot.

After retiring from the military, you now have enough time to plan and participate in the festivities, and it is easy to go a little overboard. And if you ask us, we would say you deserve to go the extra mile and have MORE!

When we say MORE, we mean more family time, more scrumptious dinner, more love, and more fun. We, however, do not mean more money, more expenses, and more debts.

If you are planning for your shopping, these holiday spending tips for veterans will help you keep track of your expenses.

1. MAKE A DETAILED BUDGET:

Well, that’s a given. The first step to watch your expenses is to make a budget before you start spending. But what should your holiday budget look like?

Here are some budgeting tips you could use:

  • Think of everything, and add your essential monthly expenses to it. This includes your mortgage, utilities, groceries, memberships, subscriptions, health, and entertainment.
  • Now look at what you are left with, and set aside an amount that you will be spending this season.
  • Now make a rough plan, and divide the amount for certain special expenses like gifting, dinner, preparation, etc.
  • Once you have the basic layout, make a detailed plan and try to stay within budget.
  • Chances are you are going to need more. But give yourself a target and stay within it, add a few hundred bucks for extra Knick-knacks.

2. COUNT THE LITTLE EXTRAS:

Now, this is very important. So many people ask us why their budget fails. Even when you don’t spend a penny above your designated holiday budget, you still end up spending way more.

Why does that happen?

Well, a big mistake a lot of people make when planning a budget is that they forget the small, seemingly ‘harmless’ expenses. Therefore, think of everything, the postage stamps, the wrapping papers, the extra decorations, your new dress, haircut, and gas for your road trips. While you are at it, keep in mind the Starbucks coffee on each shopping trip, or the last-minute take out in case of a dinner disaster.

Budgeting can be boring, but you should focus on saving your financial resources for getting a stable life in your new house. These holiday shopping tips can end up putting a dent in your budget. So, include them when setting up your holiday budget.

3. STICK TO THE PLAN:

Now that you have set a budget, and smartly included even the smallest things, the new challenge is to stick to the budget. Trust us, it’s not easy! When you are in the shopping aisle deciding the gift you are going to get for a friend, you may feel tempted to go a little above your budget. Why not? It’s just one thing. And before you know, the whole thing is already out of your hands.

That’s why we stressed so much about setting the right budget. Because once you have made it, make it your Bible, and don’t let go! Look at the bigger budget. Especially as a retired veteran, you should be more focused on spending the money where it matters the most, your business or veteran retirement home.

4. SEND E-CARDS:

Enough talking about the budget, let’s get to some serious saving tips now. Sending cards is a tradition we love the most. We look forward to sending and receiving cards each year. But here’s the thing, you can save a lot of cost of buying cards, and posting them each year by sending e-cards. You may even find free e-cards online, or websites that allow you to make a customized card for free or very low cost.

5. REALISTIC ‘SANTA LIST’:

You set a budget for gifts, but your favorite grand-daughter wants the big dollhouse. We know how helpless we get around those little ones, but stay strong. There can be a lot of times when you can splurge on a toy. A holiday season may not be the right time to do that essentially.

Ask your kids or grand-kids to make a realistic wish list. This will teach them the value of money. And on Christmas morning, when they rip the wrapping paper, they will be as happy to receive a doll as they will be with the newest tech gadget.
You can also choose to do the ‘secret Santa’ thing, so everyone can pick one or two people to buy a gift for.

6. PLAN A POTLUCK:

Getting the whole family, and your loved friends on a dinner table are what we all live for. But preparing dinner, and throwing a party can be expensive. Plan a potluck instead. Tell your guests that you will be making the main dish, and let others pitch in.

You will feel a lot relaxed when someone else will be taking care of the side dish, appetizer, drinks, desserts, and maybe disposable plates and cutlery.
It will save you time, and money. You will enjoy the festivity more, and your guests will also feel like a part of the whole party.

7. MAKE NEW TRADITIONS:

Remember the whole idea of the holiday season is to give everyone a reason to be together. Focus more on that reason, than the season. Instead of spending too much on traditions, go with something basic and fun. Something you all can do together, and enjoy.

Set a projector outdoors, and snuggle together to watch a favorite family movie with popcorns and drinks.

Take a road trip to a beautiful place, and do a potluck picnic. Cook on the spot and enjoy little disasters.

Watch a season special play together. Book theatre seats ahead, sit together and enjoy.
Whatever you choose to do, make it special with love. And each year, you and your family will look forward to it.

Final Word:

We hope these holiday shopping tips will help you when shopping for the holiday season. In the end, always remember to give more value to effort, love, and togetherness that is the essence of the holiday season. Budgeting tips will not only help you avoid over-spending, but they will also keep you focused on your target whatever it is. Money is important for a convenient life, but in the festive season, it’s the love and affection that counts. A simple thing that is done together or a nice meal shared with the loved ones will make you look forward to holidays every year.

Veterans Benefits

10 VALUABLE VETERANS BENEFITS YOU SIMPLY CAN’T AFFORD TO MISS OUT ON

As a military member, you may already know about veteran benefits, but we are sure you aren’t familiar with some hidden perks that you could get as a veteran. After dedicating your life to the country, you deserve every benefit that comes your way.

You may know already that you are entitled to Tricare health, GI Bill educational benefits and VA home loans that are available to veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs. But there are a lot of other considerable benefits for the retired veteran. And when you have just retired, and are settling in a new routine, every bit counts.

We have skimmed some of the best military benefits to add some convenience to your lives and the lives of your loved ones.

1. Transferable GI Bill:

You may already know that servicemen and veterans are eligible to have higher educational benefits. A veteran can use these benefits until 15 years after his service. But in case you don’t use these military benefits for yourself, you can also transfer your unused credits to your spouses and dependents. Although, there might be some service limitations required to execute the transfer.

2. VA Mortgage Assistance:

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers repayment assistance to retired military members who are having trouble paying their mortgage. If you are having trouble to pay the mortgage for your veteran retirement home, stop worrying. This added assistance can be used to start a special repayment plan or allow loan leniency, and loan modification plans. There can be many plans to help you get resources and funds for buying your retirement house.
Also, you must know that you are eligible to receive a veteran retirement home. You can learn more about the financial details here.

3. Certification Programs

GI Bill offers financial assistance for achieving higher education, and a degree. But you can also do certification courses or take vocational training. The GI Bill will pay up to $2000 towards your training and certification. These days, when digital marketing and freelancing has opened new doors for everyone, you can take certification courses and start a new career easily.
This could be ideal for you if you want to start a career that doesn’t require a degree. You can also acquire new skills through training and start earning.

4. VA Foreclosures

If a house serviced by VA loans goes into foreclosure, the VA will add its details to a list. Anybody can have access to this list of VA acquired properties. But as a retired veteran, you can not only have access to the list, but you will also be eligible for substantial discounts. Moreover, a VA foreclosure property also qualifies for VA financing.

5. American Corporate Partners

After retirement, most veterans want to start a career. American Corporate Partners provides benefits for the retired veteran. It will connect you to the top-ranking companies in the US. Not only that, but you can also enjoy the added military benefits of professional mentoring and vocational training.

This can prove extremely useful for veterans since it can help you push-start your career.

6. Death and Burial Benefits

As a veteran, you have served your country with all your might. When a veteran dies, he should have a dignified funeral with the acknowledgment and admiration that he deserves. In the case of the unfortunate event of demise, the members of the veteran’s family will be eligible for some VA benefits.

The family of the deceased veteran can request a US flag and a Presidential Memorial Certificate to bury their heroes with the honor that they are worthy of. VA can also send free headstones on request.

7. Life insurance

If you sustained an injury during service, it may be difficult to get traditional life insurance. Some veterans benefits can help you receive a substantial amount for life insurance.
The Servicemembers’ and Veterans Group Life Insurance Program can pay up to $400,000 towards life insurance. When you choose life insurance that is specialized to assist military members, you can avoid a lot of troubles and complications to adjust a regular insurance plan to your unique situation.

8. Free Tax Preparation

Volunteer Income Assistance Programs allow veterans and their family members the military benefits of getting free help for preparing Tax. The offices of VIA are located on most military bases. The volunteers are highly skilled and capable to help retired veterans deal with complicated tax issues.

9. Long-Term Care

It can be very expensive to get long-term care, and most veterans cannot afford it with their regular insurance. The Aid and Attendance Program assists retired veterans to get coverage for long-term services, and nursing homes. The program facilitates veterans by providing extra VA benefits.
Overall, it pays about $25000 for veterans. Another great perk is that this money is tax-free. The program also pays to cover for long-term care costs of surviving spouses of veterans.

10. Small Benefits

  • You may be aware that Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of hearing aid. Therefore, to make your life easier, VA insurance provides fully-covered hearing aids for eligible veterans.
  • CHAMPVA, VA’s Civilian Health and Medical Program, provides health insurance for the spouses and dependents of disabled veterans. This doesn’t require any premiums.
  • Veteran-Directed Care Program offers special military benefits to veterans who may need assistance at home. You can receive up to $2000 a month to pay helpers and aides.

Final Word:

As a retired military member, you may be eligible for more veteran benefits than you realize. The best way to unlock the hidden perks is to research, we have found some of the best military benefits for both you and your family. Don’t hesitate to check your eligibility for these benefits. Remember, after years of service you deserve all the benefits that come your way.

Best Banks for Veterans

You and your family can benefit greatly by choosing the best banks for veterans. Military members have unique banking needs. They need to relocate frequently, work irregular hours, travel overseas, and work from multiple locations.

A regular bank cannot facilitate veterans as best as military banks.

Most commercial banks are now offering great packages to assist service members and veterans. But a military bank can offer more understanding and specialized services for military personnel and their families.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BANKS FOR VETERANS?

Both military banks and credit unions provide banking services for veterans. More than 200 financial institutions are serving the members of the military. Here are a few factors that can help you choose the one that is perfect for you.

    • Account options
    • Low fees
    • Competitive interest rates
    • Free ATMs
    • ATM refunds
    • Remote check deposits
    • Easy accessibility
    • Flexibility
    • Commitment to military duty
    • Additional Features

As a retired veteran, we recommend choosing a financial institution that is duly dedicated to serving military members and offers competitive interest rates, and insurance products. It is a great idea to look for one that can proffer great loans for veterans retirement home.

The ultimate goal of retiring veterans is to get good housing to call home. And after serving our country with your sweat and blood, you certainly derive that. A good military financial institution will help you in saving money with better interest rates, facilitate you with their investment tools, and ultimately help you in getting your retirement home.

Learn More about the Financial resources at the Armed Forces Retirement Homes.

BEST MILITARY FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS:

Based on these criteria, we have chosen the best banks for veterans for you.

1. USAA

USAA has been serving military members and their families for ages. USAA offers comprehensive financial products and services for active and retired members of the military. Veterans at home, and on the move can benefit from their online banking options and a network of more than 65000 ATMs.

USAA is one of the best banks for veterans as it has no fee for classic and savings accounts. The APY ranges from 0.09% to 0.15% for the savings account. In addition to access to free ATMs, you also get $15 towards monthly ATM reimbursement.

USAA has only four locations in the US. It is, therefore, better for those who prefer online banking. The military bank’s website has some effective online tools to let you learn about saving money, like Investment calculators, In-house mutual funds, and Money Manager, to help you make wise investments. USAA offers the most comprehensive insurance products including auto, home, rental property, renter, flood, small business, RV, boat, motorcycle, etc.

Final Word: USAA offers all-inclusive banking, insurance and investment solution for military members and their families. Their online website and mobile apps make it convenient for veterans on the move, to manage their accounts, and to playbills online.

2. NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

Navy Federal Credit Union is the most widely spread military bank in the US. It has more than 200 physical branches serving veterans and their families.

The military bank offers free checking with no minimum balance required. You can use their banking services conveniently through an online website, mobile app, and vastly spread ATMs. They also give free replacement checks and reimburse for $20 monthly for using non-network ATMs.

If you live near an NFCU branch, this could be the best military back for you. You can benefit from their financial advice and use their effective online tools. NFCU has competitive loan products that cover auto, home, personal and VA loans. Other added benefits are high rates for savings certificates. Also, NFCU offers 0.25% APY on basic savings.

Final Word: With over 8 million members, NFCU is certainly one of the best banks for veterans. Its goal is to serve those who serve the country. You can benefit from their no-fee checking, high profit for savings certificates, and great VA loan packages.

3. PENTAGON CREDIT UNION

Pentagon Federal Credit Union is a great military bank for veterans. They offer the most competitive interest rates. They have the largest network of ATMs among other financial institutions.

PenFed offers free checking. The APY is 0.05% on the basic savings account, and 2.00% on the online savings account. You can use the free ATMs with a basic account, however, this is not an option with an online account. There are no fees for both accounts, and you can open with as low as $5.

PenFed’s money market certificates have a competitive APY of 1.9%. This is great for those who are looking to enhance ways for saving money. PenFed also facilitates non-military members who are government agents or make a donation for non-profit groups serving military members.
A big drawback of PenFed is that it charges you $30 overdraft fees if your funds are insufficient at the time of a transaction. Also, you cannot know much you might end up paying as they can charge multiple times in a day.

You can use their online website to pay bills online. Their website also offers some free tools and calculators that can come handy when planning a financial investment.

Final Word: With 68000 free ATMs, PenFed is one of the best banks for veterans. It offers great savings and competitive APY rates for the online savings account and share certificates.

HEAD TO HEAD COMPARISON

CONCLUSION:

Military members and their families have unique banking needs, therefore it can be a little overwhelming to look at the best banks for veterans. Choose a bank that provides you with tools and resources to make wise financial investments.

Especially for veterans, it is important that you choose a military bank that is dedicated to serving both serving and retired members of the military.

We hope this article will help you in choosing the best military bank for you.

One Year Anniversary at the Gulfport AFRH

Recalling my anniversary date of July 19, 2018, I had risen from my bed in Pass Christian, MS in order to make breakfast for 7:00 a.m. in the AFRH cafeteria.

At 9:a.m. I met Smitty, one of the volunteer residents, who ushered me through the numerous tasks that had to be checked off during that day and the following days.
Health evaluation, Mail unit number, Room number, I.D. Card, Psychological test, then the Business office to determine my monthly fees.

Regarding my fee arrangement, I was completely surprised that for this year, I was only charged against my social security income and not my annuity. I surmise that will take place later.

Perhaps beginning next year.

The list of check offs lasted through the afternoon and then I returned to my home in Pass Christian. Since I was advised of my report-in-date just the previous month, the past several weeks were hectic while being devoted to giving away furniture, crafts, cookware, clothes, etc. I had found but few buyers interested in
purchasing from my rather large inventory.

I stayed the night in the Pass since the following day was my big move to the Veterans Retirement Home. Fortunately, I had the help of two good-hearted fellows at no cost to me.

I followed up with several trips back and forth in my auto in order to bring in my saved items. Now, I am almost completely settled in my suite. Furniture deployed, computer and accessories arranged, and most of my pictures were hung.

During chow time, for the first week, I sat at different tables in gaining acquaintance with members of my new society. I was to learn that some talked and some only mumbled and others were silent. A few even resented my presence at their table. No mind – I moved on to the next to introduce myself. “Hi, I’m Dan from Pass Christian!” Finally, I began sitting at one approachable table and learned their names: Ed, a 95-year-old golf player on 3-days-a-week, retired Naval Chief Petty Officer whom I refer to as the “Sage.” He knows about everything regarding the Military Retirement system – more so because he is the longest living resident of the Home, having more than twenty years. He is well read and well spoken and knows about everything else but maintains his quiet except with some outspoken
criticisms of the system. He is a good source of information. Card-playing Stan is the quiet Air Force Master Sergeant who became a truck driver after military retirement.

Chip, is the youth among the others, perhaps early 60s in age who volunteers in D Tower with the chair bound invalid residents. Ninety-six-year-old Pete, with a “rollater,” manages to work out for a half-hour every morning in the gym. He is proud of being a former Mardi Gras parade King for the Home.

Note: When I had arrived a year ago, there was strife in the air with grumblings and dissatisfactions with the system because rental increases had been announced. These guys don’t hold back on their grudges. About 70 Residents had left due to the higher rental rates, however, all seems to be well at this time.

Dan Ellis

Life After Retirement – Finding Joy and Fulfillment in The Journey

Life After Retirement – Finding Joy and Fulfillment in This New Journey

You’ve done it! Congratulations you’re retired! Now what? What does Life After Retirement look like?

So many people look forward to the promises of the golden age of retirement; no more work and all play.

But do we forget how to play after so many years of working?

The answer is more than likely YES!

In this article, we’re going to share with you how to get the most out of life after you’ve retired.

Whether you’re living in a Veterans Retirement Home like the AFRH or stilling living in your own home you can find joy and fulfillment in retirement anywhere.

Everyone has a different retirement goal and envisions their life after retirement completely different. Some people just want to enjoy the same lifestyle in the same home with their family. Others want to travel the world and still, others want to devote themselves to giving back to their community.

Whatever your retirement goals are enjoying retirement is the key to how to have a fulfilling retirement.

Mind Over Money

Most people, when they think of retirement, focus on retirement savings, retirement income, and Financial Security.

However, money in retirement is nothing but a tool. This tool can allow you free time, spending time with your family, happiness, health, and purpose.  Viewing money as a tool rather than a crutch is important for long-term retirement happiness. Your view and relationship with money will set the tone for your transition into retirement.

Be Like a Duck

Once you retire you’re going to find that you have a lot more free time than you ever did. This time can quickly be filled with requests, demands, and sometimes even nagging from your friends or family to do what they’d like you to do.

The biggest thing to know is that you’re not going to be able to make those people happy all the time.

Choose activities and how you spend your time in a way that’s right for you and that makes you happy. Choosing the things that are most important to you like hobbies, spending time with grandchildren, volunteering, or whatever is the closest to your heart will make you the happiest.

Focus on those things and don’t focus on the requests or demands of those around you.  Be like a duck and let all of those request and demands for your time roll off your back. Life is short be happy!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image align=”center” _builder_version=”3.23.3″ src=”https://enlistedlands.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/retirement-at-its-best.jpg”][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.23.3″]

Find what you Love

Finding what you love to do can be one of the first big steps (and often overlooked) to enjoying your retirement.

Right up there on the checklist for happiness and health is fulfillment. When you find an activity, whether it be volunteering, a part-time job,  traveling, or helping other people, your daily life will become more fulfilling and you’ll be grateful for every part of what happened in each day.

In order to find what you love start where you are.

Have you been an avid golfer?
Do you love gardening?

Engaging in all the things you’ve loved over the years even at a higher level will allow you to really see what sparks joy in the inside of you.  If you find that going back to activities you’ve done before but they aren’t fulfilling, start trying new activities. If you need to fill your time, consider volunteering, getting a part-time job or learning a new skill.

The internet is a great place to access information on different skills that you can use to help other people. SocialMedia4Beginners.com is a great resource of FREE online courses that you can use to learn about the most popular Social Media Sites online.

Enjoy Your Life in Retirement!

Our biggest piece of advice is to just enjoy each and every moment.  Even the ones that seem lonely or boring.

Once you find what you love, those moments may be few and far between!  

5 Things You Can Do To Overcome Loneliness as a Senior

Overcoming Loneliness as a Senior can be a challenge.  If your spouse has passed away and you are alone, or maybe your children are just grown up and living away from home, we at the Armed Forces Veterans Retirement Home understand. 

There are many situations in which you can find yourself lonely as a senior citizen.

No matter what situation you’re in there are ways to overcome this loneliness and reconnect with other people. In this article will share with you five things you can do to overcome loneliness as a senior.

5 Things to help you Overcome Loneliness as a Senior

1. Volunteering

Volunteering can be a great way to overcome loneliness.  When you volunteer, you will meet many other people. There is even the possibility of finding other Seniors that are in the same situation that you are.

Volunteering can be a great way to become involved in your community and give back. It can also connect you with people you may have never encountered in your daily routine. Interacting with all generations can be helpful to broaden your Social Circle.

Being a volunteer at an organization can also provide you with a sense of purpose and direction. Helping other people can also put your own situation into perspective and allow you to see the things you are grateful for in your own life.

    2. Get a Pet

Getting a pet can also be a great way to overcome loneliness. Pets are constant companions always with you, always happy to see you, ready to cheer you up at a moments notice.

Having a pet and taking care of them can greatly increase your sense of purpose and enjoyment in your life.

    3. Make New Friends

Making new friends is a great way to overcome loneliness.

While it may not be as easy as it sounds, there are great resources available for seniors in your community.  Use every opportunity you have when you meet someone to introduce yourself and let them know who you are.

Get to know them and don’t be too shy to invite them to join you for a cup of coffee.

Some suggestions of places you can meet other seniors colon

  • Your local Senior Center
  • Churches
  • Health clubs
  • Meetup.com
  • Service organizations
  • Your Area Agency on Aging
  • Social Media

4. Find a New Hobby

When you start anything new including hobbies, you’ll naturally make friends with people who also enjoy that hobby.

Let’s say you decide to take up gardening. If you go to your local Garden Center, you’re more than likely to interact with other gardeners. Starting a conversation about your new hobby can be a great way to find other people to interact with.

    5. Meet Your Neighbors

Making an effort to meet your neighbors can be a great way to fight loneliness. Take a walk around your neighborhood, clean up trash or plant some flowers.  Meeting neighbors on your walk will probably happen naturally.

Beautifying your neighborhood will not only make you feel good but can also be a natural conversation starter for anyone that sees what you’re up to.

It is very important to know that if you feel lonely, you are not alone. Many Seniors also report feeling lonely, and social isolation even when living with family members.

Whatever ways you feel most comfortable, just start trying to combat loneliness. Get started today! There is no better time than the present moment to start connecting with the people around you.

Taking good care of your mental health can help to fight loneliness and depression.

A Day in The Life of a Washington Resident

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

A Day in the Life of a Gulfport MS Resident

A Day in a Life at the AFRH-Gulfport 

With more than four hundred residents at the Gulfport Home, there are daily activities that most of us partake in – particularly the three meals per day. During my first weeks at meals I would sit at various tables in making my final decision for a “friendliest” table. It wasn’t long for me to find that many residents had their favorite table and seating arrangements.

Newbies can be frowned upon or may feel the cold shoulders that are offered them if they were not of the same military service or “social” order or whatever categorization seems to fit the mold. 

I tell friends and relatives that I am living in a large hotel similar to the ones in Las Vegas that has many sales outlets available to the patrons. Here we have a Post Office, Convenience Store, and Bank that are frequented almost daily by fellow residents. 

However, less used are the movie theater, Bingo afternoons, and Fiddlers Green tavern. Also available – large outdoor salt water pool, 2-hole golf course, walking path, horseshoes and shuffleboard, and numerous other assets. 

The Home has so many amenities to it that it takes time to eventually get to use them – if at all. Unfortunately the more infirmed residents have less means of access to some of the many offerings, but with staff and Resident Volunteers in addition to Community Volunteers they get their share of the action. 

If I were to write a diary for any given day—, after awakening each morning, I take an extended hot shower which braces my day with great feelings. If I arise early enough, I can spend a short stint in the fitness center for a workout on various devices. Otherwise, I go straight to the Canteen for several half-cups of coffee and join in the fray of several ongoing discussions. 

Beginning at 5:00a.m. I collect a couple of dry cereal packages and two glasses of skim milk with a banana to boot and idle chit chat with my table mates Ed, Pete and Stan and sometimes Chip and/or Mickey. 

I follow this usually with coffee in the Canteen where I read from my Kindle for 30 minutes or so before heading back to my apartment to scoop up a few medications and check my computer for emails and FaceBook comments. I would then decide whether to write a few pages for one of the several books that I would be in process, or lay back on my recliner to read a few chapters from my Kindle. 

Because the Home facility is so large with so many amenities, I don’t spend more than an hour in my quarters before grabbing my phone and my Kindle to head back downstairs where I might spend a little time outdoors facing the reflection pond and Freedom Fountain on one of the available rockers. The weather can be very nice with prevailing breezes to enhance the feeling of being out of doors. However, all of the Home apartments have outdoor galleries and being on the second level, my apartment opens to a large outer deck. 

With lunch being served at 11:30a.m., I am customarily one of the early birds to get a place in the sometimes long line depending on what is being served for the day. There are some very popular dishes such as fried chicken or Italian dishes, and my special is rice and beans. 

After another few half-cups of coffee, if it happens to be Wednesday, I take a refresher in my quarters and render myself down to the movie theater for a matinee complete with popcorn and a soda. As with many of the amenities, and the age of the “inmates” factored in, the movie attendance is usually limited to a dozen happy souls. While viewing and not liking a movie for one reason or another I will leave the cinema and occasionally chant, “I want a refund!” to the volunteers on duty. 

Supper is served at 5:30 p.m. Actually, I wish that it was later in the day or even beginning at 6:00 p.m. However, the Cafeteria employees have heavy duty work shifts so, I rationalize that the 5:30 p.m. start time is for their benefit. My body clock is plugged in to being early or on time, so even though I could hold off until 6:00 p.m. or later, I am in line at the start. 

Thus, unless it is Friday dance night, or if I like a particular evening movie, I remove myself to my abode to settle in for the day. 

In reporting on Resident Volunteers, the Home would be much less efficient without the many volunteers who offer up their time for the many duties. Volunteers are also offered a $10per hour of remunerations.

I chose to be a “Tour Guide” with the express duty of showing the building and its facilities and amenities to prospective residents and their families. I also show them my room so that they fully understand the transition to the Home.

Approximately a quarter of the Residents are Volunteers providing duty in the Administrative offices, Library, Shuttle busses, Sponsors, FedEx, Movie, Visitor Meal ticket sales, Tour Guides, and in support of those Residents who need aid due to Memory Loss or with other physical limitations. 

Connected with the movie theater is a Cinema/Hosting committee which selects the movies to be shown and who are resident volunteer host-projectionists in charge of setting up the projection, loading the cd or DVD, turning on the aisle lights and turning off the overhead lights and generally welcoming the viewing residents besides closing shop. 

One of the highlights of my day is frequenting the Spiro’s Canteen. I say frequenting because I am usually found there before and after each meal in addition to several other times of day, as I take flight from my apartment, abode, office where I have a selection from the largess of a variety of coffees, milks, juices, and pastries. 

Why make coffee in my room when I can get several hot half-cups in the Canteen one flight down from my habitat. 

Friday nights are special to me as I am able to continue performing social dances with a number of willing ladies from the gulf coast community who enjoy the seemingly lost art of dancing to the fox trot, rhumba, cha-cha, waltz, and country westerns. 

On occasion one of the residents will ask when and where I will be taking my vacation. I easily tell them “I am on my vacation.” There is so much to this Home that I don’t even have to leave except for doctor appointments. My car is so little used that when it comes time for me to render up my driver’s license, I won’t much miss my car at that time of life.

Dan Ellis

Retired Veterans Benefits You Didn’t Even Know About

You will learn insider secrets the VA doesn’t want you to know, learn how you can get tax free income to pay for private health care, and learn how to push your claim effectively through the system, and much more!

Aid & Attendance Benefit
Wartime veterans and their surviving spouses, 65 years and older, may be entitled to a tax-free benefit called Aid and Attendance
provided by he Department of Veteran Affairs. The Benefit is designed to provide financial aid to help offset the cost of long-term
care for those who need assistance with the daily activities of living such as bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring.
American Veterans Aid, a private company,is dedicated to helping war era veterans and their surviving spouses receive this Benefit
which they so deserve.

Enlisted Lands Retirement Homes

What is a BLOG? A blog  is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).  Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, and of a small group, and often covered a single subject.