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					BOOMER'S GUIDE                       VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                                  MAY 2009

                                THE BOOMER'S GUIDE TO PLANET
DR. MARILYN BRUNO                            VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                               MAY 2009
                      IN THIS ISSUE: Page 1: Internet Tools for Researching and Marketing Real Estate
                                     Page 2: Online Universities
                                     Page 3: Tips on How to Boost Savings
                                     Page 4: Develop Your High-Impact Resume
                                     Page 4: Social Security Retirement Estimator
                                     Page 4: The Seven-Year Pitch
                                     Page 6: Stretching your Food Budget
                                     Page 7: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
                                     Page 8: Airline Charges for Checked Bags, Seats, Food
                                     Page 10: UCLA Study on Friendship for Women

QUOTE OF THE MONTH: He who laughs most, learns best.
                             - John Cleese


Now that the real estate "bubble" has burst and is just a frail soapy film washing down the drain, this may be
the time to look at picking up rock-bottom investment properties, second homes, or the Shangri La where you
want to move to in your retirement. Generation X and Y-ers should not be the only ones using the Internet for
everything and anything, including researching and marketing real estate. According to the National
Association of Realtors, 87% of buyers in the U.S. surf the web for a new home. Certainly, with those stats,
anyone wishing to sell their house should make sure that their real estate agent is listing and marketing your
property on the web. If you are using an agent or listing your own property for rent or sale, here are some
strategies that you should be familiar with:

-- Online marketing: Real estate agents post your listing on the brokerage's Web site and on his or her
personal site. Look for agents who update their sites often. There are several advantages to Web listings:
color photos of your home, detailed property information, virtual tours, floor plans and school and community

BOOMER'S GUIDE                        VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                                 MAY 2009
-- SEO = Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of increasing quality web traffic to a site by way of
search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. Agents that frequently update their Web sites with pertinent
content and listings will have better SEO, which increases the number of views of your listing. This important
component of digital marketing is worth asking your agent about.

-- Permission-Based Email marketing: Qualified agents today stay connected with clients, family and friends
by sending them e-newsletters and e-cards. A friendly holiday wish accompanied with your home listing is a
great way to attract more potential buyers to your home.

-- Podcasts: Media files distributed over the Internet are called podcasts. Agents are now able to post
podcasts of your home that can be downloaded free from Web sites and viewed on computers and portable
devices. This new way of connecting with consumers helps provide more exposure for your home. With the
emergence of the Internet, podcasting and even wireless mobile Internet, the sky is the limit as to how many
potential buyers can view your listing.

And don't forget getting listings of foreclosed properties. Lots of auctions are organizing sales. I sent away for
an auction listing in my area and received a 200 page book with photos of thousands of houses and condos,
many with starting bids of $500! Amazing.

You need a competitive advantage in this job market, so look at ways of getting that edge. According to a
report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, college graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree earn an average of 39%
more than professionals who have only obtained a high school diploma or equivalent. Graduates with a
Master’s Degree earn 48% more than high school graduates.

Top Five Reasons to Advance Your Education

   1. Invest in Your Career. Your education should be approached like a business investment. Although it
      takes time and money up front to complete your courses and obtain a degree or credential, you will not
      only see an excellent return on investment in your career, but also in yourself.
   2. Enhance Your Skills. Keeping your knowledge and skills up-to-date with the trends affecting your
      industry is key so that employers will continue to view you as a valuable asset.
   3. Demonstrate Value to Employers. When you demonstrate a commitment to your career, you send
      a powerful message to employers that you are serious about improving your skills and applying them
      to your job. This increases your long-term value.
   4. Discover Your Dream Job. If you are considering switching careers, one of the best ways to learn
      more about a potential field is through a degree program or by taking related courses. You can better
      understand what the new career will entail and how to apply your current skill set in the new position.
   5. Increase Your Earning Potential. Don’t settle for a salary that is less than you deserve. Additional
      education will increase your marketability to employers, which may be the edge that gets you hired.

Choose a School That’s Best for You

There are many different educational programs available to fit any lifestyle, including online colleges which
offer flexibility, especially to professionals who plan to work full-time. I am sure that there are many more

BOOMER'S GUIDE                           VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                                    MAY 2009
choices out there, but here are a few of the online universities out there that are advertising their services to
Seniors and working adults. For starts, check out, which includes info on:

--KAPLAN UNIVERSITY: The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Management with a Human Resource Management
Emphasis program prepares students for HR positions in both the public and private sectors. Includes employment law,
current best-practices in personnel administration, employee recruiting and training, compensation and benefits.
Graduates are in demand for leadership positions in corporate human resources departments, recruitment agencies,
government agencies and labor organizations.
-- CAPELLA UNIVERSITY: Students in the Master of Science (MS) in Organization and Management, Human
Resource Management Specialization learn how to turn strategic plans into workplace practices that deliver results. PhD
candidates prepare to lead, consult or teach in a complex, global business environment. Students conduct and apply
research across a wide spectrum of HR topics. Capella's curriculum is mapped to the competencies identified by the
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM®).
--UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX: Two Master’s degrees in Human Resources are offered: MBA with a HR
Management specialization, and Master of Management/HR Management. Focus include development of human
capital, implementation of organizational initiatives, managing conflict, fostering innovation and managing in a cross-
cultural environment.
--SOUTH UNIVERSITY: Designed specifically for working adults, the online Bachelor of Science in Business
Administration builds upon your professional career to develop your management and leadership skills.
--ST. LEO UNIVERSITY: The MBA program prepares working professionals in the organizational, behavioral,
legal, economic and competitive challenges facing HR management.
--ELLIS COLLEGE: The HR Management major within the B.S. in Business Administration degree program
prepares students for careers in HR Management .

As kids, we were able to put some coins in the piggy bank and use the money for something special. Certainly
today, few seem to remember that saving precedes buying. Try reminding yourself of this important lesson
as your own "stress test." For the next week, keep your credit card in your wallet and try to apply the old
lessons of savings:
-- Makes a list of all your sources of income and separate out your expenditures. Yes, this is like sitting around
the kitchen table counting out the money in your pay envelope and making piles to spend on each section of
your budget -- just like in the old movies. You can keep track of your expenditures by saving all your receipts
and entering what you spent into your computer (using software, like Excel or Quicken), or by hand into a
notebook. This is time-consuming, but this should make you acutely aware of how much is coming in, and
where it is going. I have been doing this myself and my housemates since January 1, 2009 in a very
disciplined way and am, frankly, shocked to see how much of our hard-earned money is going out the window
unnecessarily and how many mistakes are being made by pension funds, insurance companies, etc. I have
also found more than a few mistakes in my shopping receipts credit card bills, and have been hustling to get
every refund for these "honest" mistakes.
-- If you are receiving a salary or pension check via direct deposit into your checking account, consider giving
instructions to have the money directly deposited into your savings account. This way, you will think twice

    BOOMER'S GUIDE                        VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                                 MAY 2009
    before transferring money out of your savings. Remember life's rule of thumb: Expect the Unexpected! If
    you have saved for a rainy day, keep something more aside for the rainier days that may come.
    -- Put some of your income aside for fun, even if it is just a few dollars per pay period. This will make
    spending it more of a 'special treat' and make the rest of this exercise more bearable. Eliminate all the other
    non-priority, non-productive and unnecessary expenditures.
    -- Pinch pennies. Walk, take public transportation, plan the timing and route of your trips to save gas, mow
    your own lawn, do your own hair and nails, comparison shop, wait for sales, and limit your splurges to buys at
    consignment and Thrift stores, cash in your loose change. Ask for discounts. Saving energy and water at
    home will be the topic of future newsletters. Saving on food costs are addressed below.
    -- Start using cash-back credit cards and pay your bill in full every month, trying to keep the balance at zero.
    Spend less than you make.
    -- While you pay down your debt, look for "deals" offered by credit card companies offering zero % APR for a
    limited time period. This can be tricky, so mark your calendar when the time period is lapsing and transfer
    your debt to a card with a lower interest rate or pay it off!
    -- If you are working, put as much money as you can every month into your retirement account, be it a 401K,
    IRA, SEP, etc. If you are not working, take as little as possible out. While collecting tax deferred income, you
    can sleep better knowing you are as prepared as possible for what the Fickle Finger of Fate has in store for us.
    -- Keep your portfolio as diversified as your tolerance for risk can stand. The investment markets are bound
    to recover eventually, so don't count them out completely, as you will need stocks and commodities to help
    you keep up with inflation.
    -- Review your savings plan every month, until you get a good idea of how much you really need to live on.
    -- If you need help, seek the advice of independent financial managers -- those not affiliated with a bank,
    brokerage company, or firm trying to sell you something. For example:
           National Foundation for Credit Counseling 1-800-388-2227    
            IRS : (Publication 3998: “Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business.”)
    -- Pick up those lucky pennies on the sidewalk. You can find extra income every day if you look for it!

    Develop Your High Impact Resume
    Experts agree that, on average, an employer spends 20 seconds reviewing a resume. This is a very
    small window to make a positive impression. Here are some quick tips to get your resume noticed
    and get you an interview:
          Rejigger your text according to the job description, highlighting why you are a good match for
      the job.
          Limit your resume to 1-2 pages.
         The layout should be clear and easy to read. Some experts recommend avoiding fonts,
      underlines, boldface, etc. that will not scan, as most resumes are converted to electronic media. If
      using a print version, be uniform and consistent in your use of fonts, etc.
          Start sentences with verbs: "Coordinated," "Developed," "Implemented," etc.

    BOOMER'S GUIDE                       VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                               MAY 2009
          Quantify your accomplishments: "Increased sales by X;" "Raised positive feedback by ___%."
         Avoid using terms and acronyms that are specific to past jobs that not everyone will
         List your experiences (with recent experiences first) before your educational background, unless
      you are a recent college graduate.
          Use the "key words" that an employer may search for. Research industry buzzwords for ideas.

    A recent poll conducted across the network indicated that close to 50% of
    business professionals said that their resume needs revision, so you are not alone. Job seekers should
    take a look at some of the many articles and books published on resume writing, or consider
    engaging a professional resume writing service. Remember, the resume is your print ad for marketing


    Remember that you can look up your expected levels of monthly Social Security income online. Log on to Enter your name, birth date, Social Security number, mother's maiden
    name, and place of birth. the system calculates your benefits based on your current earnings and retirement

    Now that tax time is over, you are probably wondering how long you need to keep all those tax returns,
    income and expense statements, etc. etc. , not to mention all the other paper that we drown in annually.
    There is no set rule of thumb on this. "It all depends" on the document and the circumstances that gave rise
    to it.

    If in doubt, the best approach is to save the records as long as a financial situation continues. If you have a
    pension plan, own a home, or invest in the stock market, you should keep these records for at least until three
    years after you dispose of the asset. The IRS audited my Mother (age 93) because they wanted to see proof
    of dividends and capital gains from her brokerage account three years ago! Fortunately, my accountant and I
    did not lose our cool while re-verifying and re-submitting the same brokerage end-year summary to the IRS
    three or four times until the kindly agent took Mom off the hot seat.

    Property records related to a home's value (settlement papers, receipts for improvements and additions)
    should be saved as long as you live in the house to determine the residence's basis. Home sellers can deduct
    capital gains from the sale price of their residency by $250,000 if single, and $500,000 for married couples.
    Old records may become critical if the current home was purchased before May 7, 1997, when taxpayers
    could defer tax on any gain by using the profit to purchase another home (and file IRS Form 2119).

BOOMER'S GUIDE                       VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                                   MAY 2009
Retirement savings accounts present particular headaches for people taking money out who have not kept
exhaustive records of their deposits. While contributions to traditional IRAs are often tax-deferred,
sometimes already-taxed "catch up" money is deposited into these accounts. This information may not be
known to IRA fund managers or tracked on formal financial reports. So, do keep your own records (and file
IRS Form 8606) to help track your retirement plan taxes for as long as you have your IRA, particularly if you
need to make your case to the IRS that a portion of your IRA withdrawals should not be double-taxed. This
chaos in itself justifies the rumored policy that all IRAs will be automatically converted to Roth IRAs sometime
in the future.
A lawyer will tell you that tax returns and any government reports affecting tax liability should be kept
permanently. Most back-up records documenting income, wages, and dividends, and receipts or cancelled
checks verifying deductible expenses should be kept for six to ten years. By statute, the Internal Revenue
Service has three years from the date you file your income tax return to audit your return. A six-year period
applies, however, when the IRS can prove there was an omission of at least 25% of income.

And I bet that, nowadays, the U.S. Government is looking for revenue, not to mention those juicy penalties
and interest payments. So, here is a sampling of suggested retention periods:

                7 YEARS                                            PERMANENT
-- Settled accident claims                          -- Audit reports of CPAs
-- Bank statements/reconciliations                  -- Cancelled checks for taxes, property purchases
-- Cancelled checks for standard transactions       -- Contracts and leases in effect
-- Invoices from vendors                            -- Capital stock and bond records
-- Time books                                       -- Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale
                                                    -- General and private ledgers
                3 YEARS                             -- Property records
-- Business correspondence                          -- Tax returns, worksheets and related documents
-- Employee personnel records                       -- Trademark registrations
-- Employment applications                          -- Business accounts and records
-- Insurance policies (expired)

Yes, good recordkeeping is critical to avoiding an IRS audit problem, so find your comfort level: making
payments online, working with a bank or brokerage that itemizes your checks by category, keeping paper in
well-marked boxes, or scanning documents into e-files. An auditor will forgive an honest mistake, but usually
has a low threshold for negligence. Keep the name and address of service providers and account numbers so
that duplicates can be acquired if your records are lost, tossed, or destroyed. And most importantly, once you
are ready to eliminate your paper, be sure to shred it!

BOOMER'S GUIDE                        VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                                 MAY 2009
It is not hard to eat well on a budget. During the days when my daughter was growing up and money was very
tight, I planned ahead, made a list, shopped once a week, prepared my own food and desserts, and ate left-
overs the next day. Times are tough again for many, and the food budget is usually an area where
economizing is easier than you think. You probably know all this, but here is a recap.

To get started, plan to clip coupons, buy generics, and look for bargains for the things that are on your list. If
you go to a shopping warehouse, buy in bulk but separate and store/freeze smaller portions. Label and date
everything so that you know what you have in stock. Sharing with your friends can help if you end up buying
too much for your own consumption. You can split items bought in bulk, swap coupons, and get recipe ideas.
Much of the world lives on less than $1/day. Cutting your food budget is very, very do-able.

Try the following for one week: shop once a week, buy only fresh meats, fresh vegetables, fruits, tofu, nuts,
pasta/rice/dried beans, eggs/egg substitute, and low- or non-fat dairy. Whole wheat bread and cereal should
be about the only things that you buy that someone else prepared. Don't pick up anything else that is
packaged or with a Nutrition Facts label. If you are a true purist, bake your own bread. If you don't have a
water purifier, buy one. Avoid buying any bottled beverages.

If you cut out the pricey coffee houses, and avoid vending machines, at the end of the week, you will find that
you saved money, lost weight because you avoided all those "empty calories," fat, sugar and sodium, feel
better because you were eating fresh fruits and veggies, and proud that you got the most nutrition for your food

The hardest part of all this is sticking to your shopping list. To make it easier, eat something substantial
before going to the supermarket so that you are not hungry as you cruise up and down the aisles. All the
supermarkets are tempting us to "buy one, get one free," etc. etc. This is okay if the offer is a real bargain and
you want to have something extravagant on hand for a party or rainy day, but try to avoid spending money on

Bringing your own breakfast and lunch to work is not a big deal either. I did it every day for several decades.
For breakfast, I would bring a home-made breakfast sandwich and bring my own coffee. For lunch, I would fill
a plastic container with salad and chunks of meat left over from the night before (chicken, beef, etc.), and throw
on some balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. Add some carrot sticks and pieces of fruit, and I was eating
two meals for about $3. After feeding my daughter a hot breakfast at home, she was off to school with a
sandwich made with left-over meats chopped into a salad (no cold cuts or prepared meats!), tuna, peanut
butter and jelly, etc.

I truly believe that, if I had not been disciplined with the food budget and food preparation, both my daughter
and I would be among America's morbidly obese.

If you don't drive, or have trouble walking or carrying groceries, ask your grocery store if they have home-
delivery services. If not, contact family, friends, community volunteer centers and places of worship for help.
Seniors with Senior Transportation Service (STS) or other assistance programs can arrange for a weekly ride.
Every State has an Area Agency on Aging, which might be able to tell you where to get help if you can't shop
or make your own meals. To contact your Area Agency on Aging, call the Eldercare Locator toll free at 1-800-

And, if you have a plot of land or even just some large planters, consider growing your own food. Why mow
the lawn when you can put the land into production?. Living in South Florida, this is a year-round option for me.
I invested a few dollars and have gorgeous tomatoes ripening on my vines, a lush herb planter, aloe, etc. I
planted trees and plants that bear fruit or nuts, so I expect bumper harvests in a year or two of papaya,
soursop, star fruit, mango, avocado, longan, coconut, pineapple, banana, and Bombax (Jamaican peanut).
BOOMER'S GUIDE                         VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                                 MAY 2009
Even the Obamas have a Victory Garden planted behind the White House. I plan to get mine started soon. I
wonder what the neighbors would say about a few chickens?

Stephen Covey wrote a runaway bestseller in the Self Improvement Industry, titled the 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People. This book has sold over 10 million copies worldwide! In the book, Covey lays out 7 proven
principles for success.

Number 1 – Be Proactive.
That’s almost self explanatory. It means you are taking the initiative. You are not living reactively, but are
taking a proactive stance in your life.

Number 2 – Begin with the End in Mind.
The End is really your goal or your goals. Effectiveness is not just a matter of reaching a goal but rather of
achieving the right goal. Imagine yourself sitting in the back of the room at your funeral, and what people could
honestly say about you based on the way you are now. Do you like what you hear? Is that how you want to be
remembered? If not, change it.

Number 3 – Do first things first.
This means to focus on your most important priorities, your top priorities. This doesn’t always mean urgent.
The phone is ringing, and picking it up might seem urgent, but the caller is not always important. It could be a
telemarketer. Focus on your top priorities.

Number 4 – Think Win Win
In personal, business or other relationships, exercise “interpersonal leadership” to make both parties winners.
Two wins make everyone better off; two losses hurts everyone. A win/lose relationship creates a victor and
leaves someone injured. Think Win Win.

Number 5 - “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood”
Communication is a two-way street. To develop win/win relationships, find out what the other parties want, and
what winning means to them. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

Number 6 - “Synergize”
Cooperation multiplies the power of one. In fact, “creative cooperation” may yield a force greater than the sum
of the parts. The buzzword to describe this kind of relationship is “synergy,” which means bringing together a
whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.

Number 7 - “Sharpen the Saw”
There’s an old story about a man sawing a log. The work is going slowly and the man is exhausted. The more
he saws, the less he cuts. A passerby watches for a while and suggests that the man take a break to sharpen
the saw. But the man says he can’t stop to sharpen the saw because he is too busy sawing! A dull saw makes
the work tiresome, tedious and unproductive. Highly effective people take the time they need to sharpen their
tools, which are, in fact, their bodies, souls, mind and hearts. It’s time for “self-renewal.”

Planning to Travel this Summer? Use this airline fee chart to find out who’s charging what.. And
since policy changes (and airline insolvency) are becoming more frequent, be sure to check back
each time you fly.

BOOMER'S GUIDE                                   VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                              MAY 2009
              U.S. Domestic            International

Carrier                       Checked      Checked     Preferred            Other
                              1st bag      2nd bag     seat selection

AirTran                       $15*         $25         $6–$20               • Beverage/Snack $6
View policy                                                                 • Oversize/Overweight bag $39–$79
                                                                            • Travel w/ pet $69
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $39–$59

Alaska Airlines               No fee       $25         No fee               • Beverage/Snack $5
View policy                                                                 • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$75
                                                                            • Travel w/ pet $100
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $75

American Airlines             $15          $25         No fee               • Beverage/Snack $3–$6
View policy                                                                 • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$150
                                                                            • Travel w/ pet $100–$150
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $100

Continental Airlines          $15          $25         No fee               • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$150
View policy                                                                 • Travel w/ pet $125
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $75–$100

Delta                         $15**        $25**       $5-$25               • Beverage/Snack $3–$8
View policy                                                                 • Oversize/Overweight bag $90–$175
                                                                            • Travel w/ pet $150
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $100

Frontier                      $15          $25         No fee               • Beverage/Snack $3–$7
View policy                                                                 • Oversize/Overweight bag $75
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $50

Hawaiian Airlines             $15          $25         No fee               • Oversize/Overweight bag $25–$100
View policy                                                                 • Travel w/ pet $60–$225
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $35–$100

jetBlue Airways               No fee       $20         $10–$20              • Beverage/Snack $3–$5
View policy                                                                 • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$100
                                                                            • Travel w/ pet $100
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $75

Midwest Airlines              $15          $25         No fee               • Beverage/Snack $6–$11
View policy                                                                 • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$80
                                                                            • Travel w/ pet $100
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $50–$100

Northwest Airlines            $15          $25         No fee               • Beverage/Snack $3–$10
View policy                                                                 • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$100
                                                                            • Travel w/ pet $80
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $75

Sun Country Airlines          $12          $25         No fee               • Beverage/Snack $1–$5
View policy                                                                 • Oversize/Overweight bag $75
                                                                            • Travel w/ pet $75
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $50

United Airlines               $15          $25         $14–$109             • Beverage/Snack $3–$9
View policy                                                                 • Oversize/Overweight bag $125–$175
                                                                            • Travel w/ pet $175
                                                                            • Unaccompanied minor $99–$150

BOOMER'S GUIDE                         VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                             MAY 2009
Carrier                Checked   Checked   Preferred             Other
                       1st bag   2nd bag   seat selection

US Airways             $15       $25       $5–$30                • Beverage/Snack $2–$7
View policy                                                      • Oversize/Overweight bag $100–$200
                                                                 • Travel w/ pet $100
                                                                 • Unaccompanied minor $100

Virgin America         No fee    $25       $15–$50               • Beverage/Snack $8
View policy                                                      • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$100
                                                                 • Travel w/ pet $100
                                                                 • Unaccompanied minor $75

Carrier                Checked   Checked   Preferred             Other
                       1st bag   2nd bag   seat selection

AeroMexico             No fee    $15       No fee                • Oversize/Overweight bag $100–$200
View policy                                                      • Travel w/ pet $75
                                                                 • Unaccompanied minor $60

Air Canada             No fee    No fee    $15–$22               • Beverage/Snack $2–$6
View policy                                                      • Oversize/Overweight bag $75–$100
                                                                 • Travel w/ pet $105–$270
                                                                 • Unaccompanied minor $100

Air France             No fee    No fee    No fee                • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$150
View policy

Alaska Airlines        No fee    $25       No fee                • Beverage/Snack $5
View policy                                                      • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$75
                                                                 • Travel w/ pet $100
                                                                 • Unaccompanied minor $75

American Airlines      No fee    No fee    No fee                • Beverage/Snack $3–$6
View policy                                                      • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$150
                                                                 • Travel w/ pet $100–$150
                                                                 • Unaccompanied minor $100

British Airways        No fee    No fee    No fee                • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$150
View policy                                                      • Unaccompanied minor $50

Continental Airlines   No fee    No fee    No fee                • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$150
View policy                                                      • Travel w/ pet $125
                                                                 • Unaccompanied minor $75–$100

Delta                  No fee    No fee    No fee                • Oversize/Overweight bag $90–$175
View policy                                                      • Travel w/ pet $150
                                                                 • Unaccompanied minor $100

Frontier               No fee    No fee    No fee                • Beverage/Snack $3–$7
View policy                                                      • Oversize/Overweight bag $75
                                                                 • Unaccompanied minor $50

jetBlue Airways        No fee    $20       $10–$20               • Beverage/Snack $3–$5
View policy                                                      • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$100
                                                                 • Travel w/ pet $100
                                                                 • Unaccompanied minor $75

Lufthansa              No fee    No fee    No fee                • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$200
View policy                                                      • Travel w/ pet $50–$200
                                                                 • Unaccompanied minor $50–$100

BOOMER'S GUIDE                                      VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                             MAY 2009
Carrier                          Checked      Checked   Preferred             Other
                                 1st bag      2nd bag   seat selection

Mexicana                        No fee        $15       No fee                • Oversize/Overweight bag $50+
View policy                                                                   • Travel w/ pet $90
                                                                              • Unaccompanied minor $95

Northwest Airlines              No fee        No fee    $5–$35                • Oversize/Overweight bag $50–$100
View policy                                                                   • Travel w/ pet $150
                                                                              • Unaccompanied minor $120

Sun Country Airlines            $12           $25       No fee                • Beverage/Snack $1–$5
View policy                                                                   • Oversize/Overweight bag $75
                                                                              • Travel w/ pet $75
                                                                              • Unaccompanied minor $50

United Airlines                 No Fee        No Fee    $89–$109              • Oversize/Overweight bag $125
View policy                                                                   • Travel w/ pet $100
                                                                              • Unaccompanied minor $99–$150

US Airways                      $15           $25       $5–$30                • Oversize/Overweight bag $65–$200
View policy                                                                   • Travel w/ pet $100
                                                                              • Unaccompanied minor $75

Fees are per flight unless otherwise noted.


I do not believe that friendships among men are less valuable, but this article by Gale Berkowitz
suggests that women's hormonal response to friendships can help reduce stress (always good) and
extend life expectancy (even better).

 A landmark UCLA study suggests friendships between women are special. They shape who we are and who we are yet to
be. They soothe our tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help us remember who we
really are. By the way, they may do even more.

 Scientists now suspect that spending time with our friends can actually counteract the kind of stomach-quivering stress
most of us experience on a daily basis. A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with a cascade of
brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. It's a stunning find that has turned
five decades of stress research, most of it on men, upside down.

 "Until this study was published, scientists generally believed that when people experience stress, they trigger a
hormonal cascade that revs the body to either stand and fight or flee as fast as possible," explains Laura Cousino Klein,
Ph.D., now an Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State University and one of the study's
 authors. "It's an ancient survival mechanism left over from the time we were chased across the planet by saber-toothed

 Now the researchers suspect that women have a larger behavioral repertoire than just "fight or flight."

 "In fact," says Dr. Klein, "it seems that when the hormone oxytocin is released as part of the stress responses in a
woman, it buffers the "fight or flight" response and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women
instead. When she actually engages in this tending or befriending, studies suggest that more oxytocin is released, which
further counters stress and produces a calming effect.

This calming response does not occur in men", says Dr. Klein, "because testosterone,which men produce in high levels
when they're under stress, seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen", she adds, "seems to enhance it."

BOOMER'S GUIDE                            VOLUME 2 ISSUE 5                                      MAY 2009

 The discovery that women respond to stress differently than men was made in a classic "aha!" moment shared by two
women scientists who were talking one day in a lab at UCLA. "There was this joke that when the women who worked in
the lab were stressed, they came in, cleaned the lab, had coffee, and bonded", says Dr. Klein." When the men were
 stressed, they holed up somewhere on their own.

 I commented one day to fellow researcher Shelley Taylor that nearly 90% of the stress research is on males. I showed her
the data from my lab, and the two of us knew instantly that we were onto something." The women cleared their
schedules and started meeting with one scientist after another from various research specialties. Very quickly, Drs. Klein
and Taylor discovered that by not including women in stress research, scientists had made a huge mistake: The fact that
 women respond to stress differently than men has significant implications for our health.

 It may take some time for new studies to reveal all the ways that oxytocin encourages us to care for children and hang
out with other women, but the "tend and befriend" notion developed by Drs. Klein and Taylor may explain why women
consistently outlive men.

 Study after study has found that social ties reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and
cholesterol. "There's no doubt," says Dr. Klein, "that friends are helping us live." In one study, for example, researchers
found that people who had no friends increased their risk of death over a 6-month period. In another study, those who
had the most friends over a 9-year period cut their risk of death by more than 60%.

 Friends are also helping us live better. The famed Nurses' Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the
more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they aged, and the more likely
they were to be leading a joyful life. In fact, the results were so significant, the researchers concluded, that not having
close friends or confidantes was as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight!

 And that's not all! When the researchers looked at how well the women functioned after the death of their spouse, they
found that even in the face of this biggest stressor of all, those women who had a close friend confidante were more likely
to survive the experience without any new physical impairments or permanent loss of vitality. Those without friends
were not always so fortunate.

 Yet if friends counter the stress that seems to swallow up so much of our life these days, if they keep us healthy and even
 add years to our life, why is it so hard to find time to be with them? That's a question that also troubles researcher
Ruthellen Josselson, Ph.D., co-author of Best Friends: The Pleasures and Perils of Girls and Women's Friendships
 (Three Rivers Press, 1998). "Every time we get overly busy with work and family, the first thing we do is let go of
 friendships with other women," explains Dr. Josselson. "We push them right to the back burner. That's really a mistake
because women are such a source of strength to each other. We nurture one another. And we need to have unpressured
space in which we can do the special kind of talk that women do when they're with other women. It's a very healing

Taylor, S. E., Klein, L.C., Lewis, B. P., Gruenewald, T.
L., Gurung, R. A. R., & Updegraff, J. A. Female Responses to Stress:
Tend and Befriend, Not Fight or Flight

Please let me know how what topics you would like covered in our next
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