45 Forward-logo

45 Forward

Education Podcasts

Thanks to advances in medicine and health, most of us are just at half-life when we reach our mid-40s, with many potentially productive years ahead. But there’s no road map to prepare us for this period. That’s where 45 Forward comes in. My show provides you with strategies to shift the traditional waiting-for-retirement model to a journey of compelling life chapters. Each show tackles an aspect of health, finance, family and friends, housing, work and personal pursuits as part of an integrated plan. Experts discuss topics like revitalizing relationships, creating mini-retirements, managing the maze of technology, finding your next homestead and caring for aging parents. The show instills confidence, and hopefully some comfort, amid the stresses permeating today’s society. Fear of the future is not knowing how to prepare for it. 45 Forward does not proffer prefabricated answers, but helps you shape your life amid the daily anxieties of our time.


United States


Thanks to advances in medicine and health, most of us are just at half-life when we reach our mid-40s, with many potentially productive years ahead. But there’s no road map to prepare us for this period. That’s where 45 Forward comes in. My show provides you with strategies to shift the traditional waiting-for-retirement model to a journey of compelling life chapters. Each show tackles an aspect of health, finance, family and friends, housing, work and personal pursuits as part of an integrated plan. Experts discuss topics like revitalizing relationships, creating mini-retirements, managing the maze of technology, finding your next homestead and caring for aging parents. The show instills confidence, and hopefully some comfort, amid the stresses permeating today’s society. Fear of the future is not knowing how to prepare for it. 45 Forward does not proffer prefabricated answers, but helps you shape your life amid the daily anxieties of our time.




How Innovative Home Technology Can Support Family Caregivers

Whenever Americans are asked where they’d like to live as they get older, a vast majority say they’d like to remain in their homes for as long as possible. They prize the independence, comfort, and dignity that come with the ability to “age in place.” But many older homeowners also face major challenges, such as the risk of falling, health problems, overwhelming household tasks, and isolation—a constant worry for their adult children, who often find themselves in the role of family caregivers. In today’s episode, Ryan Herd, the founder of Caregiver Smart Solutions, talks about his own struggles to care for his dad, who had been diagnosed with cancer, which led to the creation of an innovative technology company designed for caregivers just like him. Ryan will describe how the company’s products—small, sensors, about the size of a quarter—help caregivers keep track of the health and well-being of their loved ones while respecting their privacy, without the use of cameras or other intrusive methods. In addition to his work with Caregiver Smart Solutions, Ryan will talk about his broader vision as a technology entrepreneur, focusing his efforts on developing tools that make homes and communities safer and more enjoyable. A sought-after speaker, author and consultant, he has worked with clients such as Google, Coldwell Banker, and Home Advisor, and presents a unique ability to humanize technology and explain it in terms that everyone can understand.


Encore Exploring the Third Dimension to Our Well-Being: “Social Health”

Everywhere we look these days we’re bombarded by talk: social media, TV news and opinion shows, podcasts, blogs, emails, texts. And yet, we’re living in an age where social isolation and loneliness are on the rise, leading many to call this an epidemic. More than one-third of Americans over the age of 45 report feeling lonely, with prevalence especially high among those under 25 and over 65 years old. While this alarming trend has grown, so has the understanding and evidence of its impact: Social connection significantly affects the health of all of us. In today’s episode, Kasley Killam, a leading expert in social isolation and loneliness, talks about the need to go beyond our traditional thinking that physical and mental health are all that matter. There’s a third dimension to well-being, Kasley points out, that is related to social health—the dimension to well-being that comes from our relationships, our connection and community. Kasley, the Founder of Social Health Labs, will explain how over a decade of studying, sharing and applying the science of human connection has led her to elevate the idea of social health to help individuals, organizations and communities become more socially healthy. She’ll describe the evolution of many key components of social health, such as the role of healthy community design in significantly addressing major societal problems, including health disparities and climate change. Kasley will describe an array of compelling programs and initiatives, such Connect+Conversations, an event series created by Social Health Labs and the Foundation for Social Connection that convened 26 experts and over 2,500 community members from 55 countries to discuss how to reduce and prevent loneliness. And not only will Kasley explain why all this matters, she’ll offer steps each of us can take to strengthen our social health in our day-to-day life.


How a Veteran’s Mother Honors the Heroes Among Us

Six years ago, Virginia Cervasio decided to dedicate her life to helping veterans. The mother of a young Iraq War vet who died by suicide, she learned that veterans have an unspoken bond that “no one could break—a mutual understanding and a trust that they are going to support one another and help each other out.” So, Virginia founded Heroes Among Us, a nonprofit whose mission is to help veterans and their families readjust to life after war. In today’s episode, Virginia recounts her journey that led to the creation of this inspiring organization, which supports many vets who are coping with emotional struggles and trying to find their footing when they return home. She’ll describe the wide-ranging work of the nonprofit, from helping veterans pay their bills to finding therapists and organizing school supplies drives for their families. Virginia will also discuss her continuing advocacy focusing on suicide prevention support and education. She’ll talk about her organization’s participation in various national events, such as the hosting of the traveling Vietnam Memorial, known as “The Wall That Heals,” which, along with an education center, moves from state to state each month. And Virginia will explain how people can get involved and contribute to Heroes Among Us, finding meaningful ways every day to thank our veterans for their service.


Learning about the Benefits—and Myths—of Reverse Mortgages

Many older homeowners say they want to age in place for as long as possible, but as the years go by, they aren’t sure if they’ll have enough money to cover their daily expenses. They may have substantial equity in their homes: but find themselves “house-rich and cash-poor.” One financial tool to generate more cash flow, retirement experts say, is a reverse mortgage. These instruments have been around for decades but are still misunderstood by many consumers. In today’s episode, Tim Kennedy, a Certified Reverse Mortgage Specialist, explains how homeowners can use reverse mortgages as a tax-efficient retirement income tool, while he dispels the myths about these products. The host of a weekly radio show, “It's Just A Mortgage,” Tim will describe the various types of reverse mortgages, how these loans work, and how consumers can use them for different needs, including monthly expenses, renovations, or purchase of another property. And he’ll offer an update on the latest events affecting the housing and financial markets, what they mean for consumers right now— and what their impact might be on our retirement years.


How to Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Pain with EFT Tapping

Last month, Diane Jacobowitz, the founder of the Dancewave Company in New York, spoke to 45 Forward about her life teaching “Creative Movement,” focusing on healing, self-care, and a functional fitness approach called Essentrics. In today’s episode, Diane returns to the show to explain another kind of healing therapy—an alternative treatment known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Tapping. EFT is a mind-body method of tapping acupuncture points on the hands, face, and body with your fingertips while focusing on an issue or feeling you're hoping to resolve. This method has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve performance, lessen cravings, and help resolve fears. Diane will go through several tapping sequences with the listening audience, explain how it works, and how people can use it to take charge of their emotional state any time they want to move out of a painful feeling. This is Part 2 of a unique two-part series.


SALSA: San Antonio’s “Secret Sauce” to Promoting Successful Aging

Most of us are well acquainted with salsa—the spicy mixture of tomato and chili sauce we enjoy with tortilla chips at Mexican restaurants and at parties with friends. But now we can learn about another kind of SALSA—no, not the Latin dance, but a zesty Texas-based initiative known as Successful Aging and Living in San Antonio—SALSA, for short. In today’s episode, we talk with Jane Paccione, the Managing Director of Collective Impact for the San Antonio Area Foundation, which created SALSA with the mission of transforming the community by advancing practices that improve the quality of life of older adults. A passionate and insightful advocate, Jane will explain how SALSA “brings everyone to the table”—connecting businesses, nonprofits, and government entities—thus creating a movement that turns collaboration into “collective impact,” an approach that is more likely to solve complex problems. She’ll describe the work of SALSA partners on issues such as housing, transportation, social engagement, health, and caregiver support. She’ll also talk about “Reframing Aging,” a key national initiative designed to change the narrative about what aging means, combat ageist stereotypes and language, and improve the public’s understanding of the many ways that older people contribute to our society.


An Ex-Football Player’s Story of the Healing Power of Poetry

April is National Poetry Month, launched more than 25 years ago by the Academy of American Poets to recognize poets’ integral role in our culture. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, and in today’s episode, we talk to an unusual poet who came to this craft later in life—and through the most unimaginable of experiences. Hank Bjorklund, a former professional football player for the New York Jets, became a business lawyer in New York City after retiring from football, then an educator and coach. Then, on one otherwise ordinary day, Hank found himself suddenly hospitalized due to dysautonomia, a severe disruption of his autonomic nervous system possibly caused by the repetitive head hits he received during years of tackle football. An idyllic, healthy life in retirement with his wife was unalterably changed. In his newly published book, “Head Hits I Remember,” Hank recounts his daily struggles to cope with this baffling, life-altering illness, and how he eventually turned to poetry as a way to connect with his thoughts and feelings and deal more gracefully with the profound realities of life previously unseen. He’ll recite a selection of poems from his book, some of which he’s turned into songs and performed with musicians who heard his poems and decided to put his words to music. Hank will talk about how poetry and music have helped him heal and brought meaning back into his life—and hopefully will inspire others seeking the strength to persevere through difficult and debilitating challenges.


Encore: A Bold Prescription to End a Silent Pandemic—Parkinson’s Disease

We are in the midst of a Parkison’s pandemic—and yet, this pandemic is a relatively silent one. Parkinson’s is the world’s fastest growing neurological disorder, increasing in virtually every region in the world. In the U.S. alone, the economic cost of the diseases exceeds $50 billion a year—a staggering $50,000 per person with the disease. In today’s episode, we talk with Dr. Ray Dorsey, Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and co-author of a thought-provoking new book, “Ending Parkinson’s Disease: A Prescription for Action.” As one of four leading physicians who co-author this book, Dr. Dorsey calls for a bold, comprehensive approach to help end Parkinson’s called PACT, which stands for Prevent. Advocate for, Care, and Treat the disease. He will talk about the most promising treatments on the horizon, from immune therapies to vaccines, surgical treatments, and new developments in nutrition and microbiome research. He’ll discuss the troubling use of pesticides and toxic chemicals linked to the disease, which particularly affect farmers, veterans, and high-tech manufacturing workers, as well as the rest of us. Dr. Dorsey will also outline some of the latest advances in care, including the dramatic increase in the use of telemedicine to treat Parkinson's patients. And he will examine the lessons learned from other health crises, from polio to AIDS and COVID-19—and how we might apply them to this pandemic. And finally, he will give us an action plan for what the average citizen can do right now to help end Parkinson’s. “Parkinson’s disease is not an inevitable disease that happens with age,” he notes. “It is a preventable disease, and we need to get around to preventing people from developing it in the first place.”


Wild Yoga: How to Connect our “Wilder” Selves with Nature

Every year on April 22, we look forward to Earth Day, the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970, when some 20 million people attended inaugural events across the country. This year’s theme is “Invest in Our Planet”—and there’s certainly much investment needed as we face an increasing number of extreme weather patterns, natural disasters and rising global temperatures. At the same time, beyond environmental activism, it’s important to explore more deeply, more personally and spiritually our relationship with nature. In today’s episode, we talk with Rebecca Wildbear, the creator of a yoga practice called Wild Yoga, which empowers individuals to tune in to the mysteries that live within the earth community, dreams, and their own wild nature so they may live a life of creative service. Rebecca, the author of Author of Wild Yoga: A Practice of Initiation, Veneration, & Advocacy for the Earth, empowers individuals to create a personal practice that stretches their awareness and awakens their connection to the place we all most deeply belong to: the Earth.


“You Are What You Move”: A Dancer’s Path to Fitness & Healing

“Movement is Life.” Such is the mantra of Diane Jacobowitz, who founded the Dancewave Company more than 25 years ago with the mission of developing programs to capture the talents and imagination of young dancers. In today’s episode, Diane talks about her singular journey, from her own dance and choreography company; to connecting with young artists early to teach them the rigors of high-level performance; to now focusing her teaching on healing, fitness and self-care, including “Creative Movement” workshops for elders. Diane will describe the concept of Essentrics fitness, how we can be fit at every age and stage of life—a physical state not calculated in miles, muscle mass or speed, but rather measured by one’s ability to move freely, live actively and without pain. She’ll break out the elements of rebalancing our body; how movement patterns affect body type; the healing of scar tissue; and strategies to increase our energy. And Diane will talk about the special role dance plays in how our culture moves and the opportunity it offers to change our one-dimensional world of computer screens. This is Part 1 of a unique two-part series on creative aging through dance, healing, wellness and how to stay young through movement.


Commonsense Strategies to Reboot an Uncertain Retirement

Americans approaching retirement—however they plan to spend their next chapters—have experienced some frightening economic waves in recently years. During the Great Recession in 2009 and the COVID-19 pandemic of the early 2020s, older workers experienced higher rates of job loss than younger ones, and many have not fully recovered. Spiking inflation and the possibility of another recession have led to stressful economic circumstances for millions who have been thrown off course and are still struggling to envision a secure future. In today’s episode, Mark Miller, a veteran journalist, author and podcaster who is a nationally recognized expert on trends in retirement and aging, walks us through a short course of decisions we can make to improve your financial security in retirement —even if it’s just a few years away. Mark, the author of the recently published book, “Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track,” outlines the steps we need to remake a retirement plan – and the critical importance of managing the risk of longevity by optimizing Social Security and Medicare benefits. He’ll also talk about how to build savings—even late in the game. And he’ll provide some refreshing insights from conversations with his own children, answering their questions about retirement and discovering some unexpected conclusions about the next generation’s preparedness for their later years.


For Love, Money & Real Estate:The Unique Journey of Ilyce Glink

When Ilyce Glink set out on a career path years ago, she wanted to be a screenwriter—she even wrote more than a half dozen scripts and was represented in Hollywood for a time. Then she realized had to support herself. So she started writing articles about real estate, and discovered she loved being a freelance writer, selling hundreds of stories a year to newspapers, magazines and trade publications. Soon she became a syndicated newspaper columnist—for $15 a week. And now, Ilyce Glink is CEO of Think Glink, the creator of four Chicago-based companies, a best-selling financial journalist, author, radio and TV personality. In today’s conversation, Ilyce will take us through her extraordinary, evolving journey “Rethinking Glink” across a series of innovative projects and ventures, extending her brand into personal finance, consumer advice and even as a creator of digital content and media strategies. Of course, she’ll give us her latest insights about the real estate market as we head into the spring housing season, as well as the confluence of “Great Reconfigurations” in housing, finance and careers for much of America. And Ilyce will explain her latest ground-breaking project, “Best Money Moves,” a mobile-first employee benefit designed to help organizations measure and dial down financial stress among their workers—and promote the principles of financial wellness.


Providing Critical Education for Seniors on Fraud & Other Issues

As we get older, it becomes increasingly clear that one of the most important resources we need to thrive in our later years is information: clear, accurate, comprehensive information that helps us live safely, with dignity and security—especially as many of us age in place. In today’s episode, Judy Serino, a Community Service Representative and Home Care Consultant for Home Instead, talks about her wide-ranging role providing critical information and education for seniors and their families—particularly about fraud prevention, but also about topics like immunity and disease prevention and dementia care. Fraud and scams have been a stubbornly persistent problem affecting seniors, and the damage they inflict seems to have gotten worse during the pandemic and its aftermath. Judy will identify some of the most prevalent scams and schemes—everything from romance fraud and gift card scams, “spoofing” phone calls, phishing and imposter scams. She’ll talk about ways seniors and their families can protect themselves from becoming victims of scams and resources that can help. A passionate senior advocate, Judy will also talk about other educational programs she provides to help people maintain a healthy lifestyle, as well as managing difficult tasks, such as dementia care for older parents.


A Remarkable Journey: From “Couch Potato” to Triathlete

Two years shy of her 50th birthday, Hilary Topper, a highly successful entrepreneur and mother of two, knew she needed a change. She was fully absorbed in her work, but it wasn’t making her happy anymore. She was sick and tired of the ups and downs of the business world. So she decided to run. In today’s episode, Hilary talks about how her foray into running grew into a remarkable journey as a triathlete, which she chronicles in her newly published book, “From Couch Potato to Endurance Athlete: A Portrait of a Non-Athletic Triathlete.” Hilary is now an established presence in the sport of triathlon—she is even a certified triathlon coach who oversees a team of endurance athletes, from beginners to experienced Ironmen. But it has not been as easy transformation for a former coach potato—she did not even know how to swim when she started. In today’s conversation, Hilary share her deeply personal story, detailing her memorable races and achievements but also how she overcame unexpected challenges, setbacks and failures along the way. Hilary, an insightful blogger who has journaled since she was a young girl, will offer an array of lessons learned at each juncture of her journey. And if you think you’re too out of shape, too old, too heavy or too…anything…to become a triathlete, Hilary will change your mind.


Why Old Age May Be Your Prime Time for Creative Productivity

For many decades, we’ve held an conventional assumption that our “peak ages” of creativity are between 39 and 42. It ain’t necessarily so, says poet, writer and teacher Priscilla Long in her recently published book, “Dancing with the Muse in Old Age.” In fact, she says, our older years are a prime time to flourish in creative productivity—even a prime time to BEGIN creative work. In today’s episode, Priscilla reflects on new ways of to look at old age as a potentially dynamic time, full of connections to others and deeply satisfying work. Her book provides examples of hundreds prominent people who grew very old while living remarkably creative lives—many of them in the arts, but others in a wide range of fields and endeavors. Yes, Priscilla acknowledges, ageism can poison creativity. But she challenges these deep and often unconscious prejudices, affirming that in old age, creative work can truly thrive. And these opportunities are not merely for the brilliant, exceptional elders. They’re for all of us, Priscilla affirms. She offers a series of questions we should ask ourselves as we strive to shape an old age of flourishing well-being, learning and engagement in creative work—while we also help reshape the future of the middle-aged, the young, and the generations to come.


‘Whealthspan’: A New Investment Strategy Linking Health & Wealth

As we plan for the later chapters of life, many of us have two major concerns: Will we have enough savings to last through our later years? And will we be healthy enough to enjoy the increased longevity afforded to older adults these days? In today’s episode, renowned longevity authority and proactive aging educator Scott Fulton offers an innovative strategy to linking wealth and health, an approach he calls “Whealthspan.” Scott points out that as we age, our health is really the ultimate wealth—that which enables us to extend our longevity. Quality time is what we seek as we age, and time is also what we must invest in our earlier years to plan for healthy longevity. Today’s episode is the third of a series of 45 Forward conversations with Scott, which he calls “Extending Your Best Before Date,” aimed at exploring lifestyle choices, strategies and changes we can make to extend a healthier lifespan. Scott will talk about how we can leverage proven financial principles into our mindset of personal health and longevity. He’ll examine an array of established financial strategies, such as investing for the long term, understanding your risk tolerance, diversifying your assets, and reviewing rebalancing your portfolio—and demonstrate how we can apply these principles to invest in healthy longevity. Scott is passionate around the tremendous opportunity to increase life expectancy through the power of public education, and his unique investment approach to health is something we wish we had learned in school.


A Relentless Advocate Relates her Lifelong Fight Against Ageism

Many experts who study aging in America today come away with one inescapable conclusion: We live in a mostly ageist society. We make pronouncements about the perspective and wisdom we gain as we age, and it’s true. The larger truth, however, is that our culture simply values its young people over older folks. We’re profoundly afraid of getting old. But in today’s episode, Ann Monroe offers a powerful antidote to society’s negative stereotypes about getting older. For more than 40 years, Ann has been a passionate advocate for all of us who strive to age with safety, dignity and grace. She has led public and private sector programs in mental health, community health, managed care, and philanthropy, sparking lasting improvements for vulnerable older people and young children. She has vigorously fought against the misperception that younger people are “givers,” while older people are “takers.” Ann will talk about her how her many experiences have informed her personal mission to change our public policies to invest in the future of all generations, and support productive lives in our later years, despite the hardships and losses we often face. She’ll share some of the personal lessons she’s learned along the way—issues of long-term care, the challenges of aging in rural versus urban communities—and, oh yes, the unforgettable story of how she decided to create her own “Grateful Live Tour” as a testament to those who made a difference in her life.


An Elder’s Gift: Helping Transform the Lives of Young Girls

Patricia King has had a long, extraordinary career —and she continues to evolve with new projects and pursuits, even into her 80s. Pat spent 25 years as an international management consultant, working with Fortune 50 companies like PepsiCo, Chase Bank, and Pfizer, and writing five nonfiction business books, including the bestseller, “Never Work for a Jerk,” which landed her on the Oprah Winfrey show. In her sixties, Pat launched another successful career as a historical mystery writer—with the pen name, Annamaria Alfieri. Her early mysteries, set in South America, were followed by another series set in British East Africa, now Kenya. While working on her last novel, “The Blasphemers,” Pat came across accounts of British missionaries who sought, over 100 years ago, to end the practice of female genital mutilation, or FGM, imposed on young girls, between the ages of 11 and 14. Just as her book was launched, she made another startling discovery: FGM is still practiced in Kenya, as well as several other African countries. In today’s episode, Pat talks about the latest chapter in her life—how she met a proud Massai woman met named Sarah Lesiamito, who founded the Sidai Resource Center, a nonprofit whose mission is to save Kenyan girls from forced marriages, female genital mutilation and other regressive practices. Pat will describe her own efforts to support Sarah’s mission, raising awareness abroad and funds needed of continue the work of the Sidai Resource Center. Such efforts not only help young girls become full-fledged members of society, but they transform the lives of everyone in their communities.


Here’s What You Need to Know about Long-term Care Insurance

As we get older, many of us are going to need long-term care. In fact, someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care service and support in their remaining years. And yet, many families have little idea how they’re going to pay for long-term care—which won’t be covered by Medicare and may cost as much as $1.2 million per person by the time they need these services. In today’s episode, long-term care experts Natalie Karp and Rona Loshak talk about the many facets of long-term care insurance, a critical option for a growing number of vulnerable seniors who are aging alone or not physically able to take care of their spouse—or simply unable to pay for the care they need, especially as they face potential cutbacks in Medicaid. Rona and Natalie, who are independent brokers and co-founding partners of Karp Loshak LTC Insurance Solutions, are dedicated to helping clients navigate the sometimes-dizzying array of long-term care insurance options. They’ve become a leading resource for consumers, professional advisers and the news media, and in today’s conversation they offer an incisive overview of traditional long term care insurance, as well as alternatives like hybrid life/long-term care plans and life insurance with long-term care benefits. Their goal is to guide families from “conversation to contract,” with expertise and independence. As adult children of widowed mothers, they represent the sandwich generation, those who found themselves caring for children and aging parents. And they saw first-hand the importance of planning—well before families are faced with a health crisis and few viable options.


A Pragmatic (and Light-Hearted) View of Turning Shades of Gray

As we get older, it’s important to find ways to embrace aging with grace, dignity and positivity. And yes, a little humor, too. In today’s episode, Barbara Paskoff and Carol Pack, two long-time friends and former award-winning journalists, offer a host of observations from the latest of their “Over-Sixty: Shades of Gray” series, the “Book of Lists.” The duo explains their latest venture—a collection of lists offering practical tips about appearance, relationships, entertainment, health (and a lot more)—but noting that as they entered the second half of life, they realized that time seems to fly really fast, “so getting to the point is more important than ever.” We don’t want to have to read everything that goes around to support aging, they joke—just give us a list of what to do.” Thus, the book of lists was born. In their litany of lists, Barbara and Carol do not shy away from serious subjects, like loneliness, changing relationships and dementia. But they also integrate the lighter side of graying, reassuring us all that we’re not alone in the trials that come. And sometimes, they may offer up answers to questions you never knew you had.