Saturday, November 8, 2014

AARP at the Aquarium

OK, I admit it.  The only reason I signed up for the AARP Real Possibilities University event was because it was held at the Living Planet Aquarium.  Apparently I wasn't the only one.  When the director of Utah’s AARP chapter asked “how many of you came here tonight just for the classes,” only about ¼ of the audience raised their hands.  The rest of us chuckled a bit, and then settled in for the presentations.

The first speaker, a Director at the Utah Division of Securities, spoke about fraud prevention.  “Why are seniors so often the target for fraudsters,” he asked.  “We’re the ones with the money.”  He told us he could make us experts in recognizing scams with one sentence:  Risk and reward go together and can never be separated.  If someone tries to convince you otherwise, run away.  Run far away. 

The second speaker was a professor and researcher at the University of Utah Brain Institute.  First he gave us the bad news:  brain function does decrease with age.  He gave us several tips on keeping our brains healthy as we age.  There were about fifteen of them.  I’ll see how many I remember when I post on this later.  My favorite – people who dance are less likely to develop dementia than people who don’t dance. 

The event offered four breakout sessions.  We attended the one on estate planning and the one on Social Security.  The other two were on healthy eating and staying active.  Two of the speakers addressed annuities, which is a topic I have been researching and was glad to find some well-written information on.  I'll post more about annuities as well.

All in all, the AARP Real Possibilities University was well worth the 2 ½ hours we spent - not including the time spent touring the aquarium - free courtesy of AARP. The aquarium was awesome.  It is beautifully laid out and the exhibits are fabulous.  My only recommendation would be to go in the daytime.  Some of the exhibits were too dark to see well. The best part - the window to the shark tank at the front of the main conference room. There’s nothing like seeing sharks swim back and forth in a tank behind the keynote speaker to keep your eyes up front.  

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