23. October 2013 09:30
If you are looking for a change of scenery and are thinking about moving somewhere a dollar can go further than where you are now, the Cape Girardeau - Jackson area is a place you should give some attention. The "Wall Street Cheat Sheet" (Summer 2013) says this area is ranks fifth in the nation in terms of least expensive places to live in America. The Cape Girardeau - Jackson metropolitan area is split by both the Missouri-Illinois state line and Interstate 55.
Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that average prices paid by consumers for the mix of goods and services consumed in the area are about 17.1 percent below the national average. Sperling’s data show that the overall cost of living in the area is 92 percent of the national average. Median home cost is 76.6 percent the average, and property tax is well below average.
The living wage calculator puts the living wage in Cape Girardeau County for one adult at just $7.35 per hour, a rate that is flirting with the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. For two adults and one child, the living wage is $15.26 per hour. This compares against a living wage of $8.17 per hour for one adult and $16.05 for two adults and one child in Missouri at large. Required after-tax income to meet cost of living expenses in Cape Girardeau County is $1,112 per month.
5. June 2013 14:40
Cape Girardeau, a small town between St. Louis and Memphis, packs a punch culturally - due mainly to the presence of a major state university, Southeast Missouri State. The new 960-seat Bedell Performance Hall hosts national and international acts such as the Moscow Ballet. On the first Friday of each month there is an art gallery stroll in old town Cape and from late spring to early fall, the city hosts "Tunes at Twilight," a free concert series overlooking the Mississippi River. Cape Girardeau, the regional hub of southeast Missouri, boastsm more than 37,000 permanent residents but the number swells to more than 100,000 on weekdays as people come to work and attend classes. There are three hospitals in the city and Dalhousie Golf Club has been ranked the #1 rated course in Missouri. The population has grown by 16% since 2000, twice the national average for grwoth. Cost of living and housing affordability is lower than the U.S. average, unemployment is 6.1% (compared to 8.6% nationally). Cape Girardeau is also easy to get around - with an average commute time of 18 minutes.
(Picture - Emerson Memorial Bridge linking Cape Girardeau to southern Illinois)
(Content sources: Marketwatch.com and Sperling's Best Places)
25. September 2012 17:25
Have you downloaded an app for exercise or weight loss? What about to monitor heart rate or blood pressure? About half of us Boomers have, according to the American Medical Association. But I’m more curious as to whether you found it on your own or followed your physician’s urging.
Granted, we Midwesterners tend to run a bit behind the times, but I have yet to go to a medical professional who encouraged me to download an app or even mentioned one. I’m wondering if my experience is normal or is it a byproduct of my insulated geography. Regardless, here are a few apps—medically related and not—my friends have recommended (all free, of course!):
Do you have some apps to share?
18. September 2012 07:00
In Cape Girardeau we have four seasons. Some might say we have three—cold, hot and %!$# hot! However, since my return nearly six years ago we have enjoyed crisp, colorful Autumns and flowering, open-window Springs. So this year in addition to a summer garden, I hope to bring in a winter harvest.
Although I am a novice gardener, Cape has many professional resources. Paul Schnare of Sunny Hill Gardens writes a regular column in our paper about every type of plant, tree, grass, vegetable and bird or insect living in and off of them. Master Gardeners abound and hold regular meetings and workshops in addition to occasionally offering their heirloom foliage and seeds for sale to the public.
Recently, a neighbor who normally distributes pounds of tomatoes to the whole neighborhood took a soil sample from this year’s pitiful plot to have it analyzed by the Missouri Conservation Center. Alas, despite the rocky ground on which our homes were built (rumor is it was once a quarry), her dirt needs lime!
If you enjoy gardening, you will find this climate to be ideal for many seasons and varieties. If your thumb is black, you will find delicious seasonal produce at the many orchards and farmers’ markets that abound here in the Heartland. You will find me at the latter in line for melt-in-your-mouth Amish doughnuts fried on the spot. Having moved back from Atlanta, I used to miss Krispy Kremes, but now I found an even more delicious cure for my craving right here in my own backyard. “Hot Now” indeed--yum!
11. September 2012 06:00
With our -g-g-g-generation spanning nearly 20 years, some of us are well into retirement, while others are finally starting a retirement plan (terrifyingly late, yes). One family member and spouse grabbed the golden parachute, traded in the whole kit ‘n caboodle for a tiny RV, and now troll the U.S. in search of adventure. At the other end of the spectrum, a dear friend was just downsized, lost her health insurance, and realizes her chances of finding another job at age 63 are slim to none. (Age discrimination is hard to prove when several younger victims were given an earlier ax.) While I finally am embracing my graying hair and no longer lying about my age, I still defy it by doing things like securing a spot on the local roller derby team, rockin’ and rollin’ with gals half my age and twice my bone density.
Although retirement may be a distant dream for some, it floats among the brain folds of nearly every Baby Boomer and, true to our generation, we are redefining it. I recently canceled a subscription to a magazine that kept running articles on reinventing yourself. Yawn. Haven’t we been promoting that since we embraced Tonto’s transformation from stereotypical bad guy to esteemed partner?
This blog hopes to feature how we Baby Boomers continue to push the envelope as we retire, reinvent, reform and rejuvenate ourselves and our world. We welcome your ideas and will regularly feature those of guest bloggers. Until then, how are YOU spending your ‘golden’ years? (Or as my hair clearly states, your ‘silver’ years!)