ARCHIVES

by Mary Waller

In many cultures the tree is a symbol of life, of a fresh start, of good health or a bright future. For these reasons, the tree has become a central figure for Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) and its 22nd annual Celebrate Life event which honors cancer survivors for their personal triumphs over cancer, five years after first receiving treatment at the Tulsa hospital. To honor these survivors, the hospital plants a tree through the Arbor Day Foundation in their name.
This year, almost 50 cancer celebrants made the trip to Tulsa for event at CTCA in northeastern Oklahoma. The honorees journeyed from all over the country – from Colorado to Florida. Many brought friends with their relatives, surrounding themselves with the caregivers, prayer warriors, best friends, spouses, parents, children and grandchildren who had been with them each step of their treatment and recovery. During the uplifting event, CTCA nurses, doctors, administrators, staff, and of course family, cheered as each name was called and as white doves were released.
Reaching the five-year survival mark is a huge milestone for most patients who have experienced the cancer journey. And not just for the patients and family, but also for the hospital’s team members, especially the nurses. The special celebration is a time for many nurses to see patients once more for who they have cared, counseled, served and often come to know incredibly well.
“We are all always thrilled to share this special and uplifting day in our patients’ lives,” said Tammi Holden, chief nursing officer and vice president of oncology patient services at CTCA in Tulsa on behalf of the staff. “When a patient comes to our hospital, our entire team – from medical oncologists and registered nurses to physical therapists and licensed dietitians – works together with the individual and their caregivers toward the goal of not just surviving, but thriving.
“This event is an important tradition that commemorates their incredible story and every single new day they enjoy,” added Holden. And for every survivor, CTCA commits to planting a tree in their honor.
In addition to returning to Tulsa for the event, the Celebrate Life honorees are given the opportunity to add their names on brass leaves to the “Tree of Life” in the hospital’s entrance. In addition, an Interactive Survivor Tree, which includes a kiosk and large electronic wall screen near the lobby fireplace, allows visitors to select a specific person’s leaf and hear more about their cancer story. After participating in activities such as a group photo opportunity, “Camp Thrive Survivorship Fair,” and a luncheon, many survivors often seek out a beloved nurse, favorite doctor or special staff member for a hug or to introduce them to a family member.
This year CTCA celebrated 27 years in Tulsa serving, caring for, treating and helping patients. Over the years, the hospital has recognized more than 1,500 Celebrate Life five-year survivors and this year added a second “Tree of Life” in the hospital’s gallery to hold all of the honoree’s names.
Holden added, “The forest continues to grow, and that’s a good thing!”

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn t4z@aol.com

Colorado offers many tourist areas. Two are the college town of Ft Collins and the mountain town and gate way to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes park. Both offer a staggering amount of dining options and shopping experiences, sure to test your endurance.
For lunch in Ft Collins, the Mainline, 125 South College Avenue, is in an upscale modern renovated industrial building offering a diverse selection of food choices with courteous wait staff. Located in old town on its main street, is popular and validates its reputation.
The Perennial Gardener and Sense of Place, at 154 N College street, offers seasonal décor and specialty items. While the store is packed to the rafters with tempting objects, don’t miss the outdoors back yard with a choice of garden sculptures. Nature inspired gifts include scented candles, wall art, jewelry and even unique pajamas. In their own season, holiday items and ornaments abound. While strolling the town don’t miss the old town square and the candy store, Rocket Fizz.
When shopping on College, on Ft. Collin’s main street, be sure and drop into the Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company (www.RockyMountainOliveOil.com) where you can sample many different Olive Oil infusions, and a few hole olives. I was looking for gourmet blue cheese stuffed olives for Martinis.
I found my olive search at Flat Top Mountain Trading Company, (145 East Elkhorn, 970-480-1445) in Estes Park, Colorado. The Olives are very large and the cheese as pungent as you cold want. Of course you’ll need to visit Estes Park and its main street filled with a variety of gift and food shops.
While in Estes Park be sure and visit the tasting room at Dancing Pines Distillery (www.DancingPines Distillery.com). Their Colorado Crafted Vodka is distilled from grapes 6 times in a column still with snow melt water from the Rockies. The Vodka has a faint hint of grape and is a truly unique vodka, just the kind of specialty you seek as a delectable souvenir. For a tasting of 6 of their liquor concoctions you can get a cocktail made to your specifications. You can choose from the Campfire Mule, of Ginger Beer with a choice of spirits, Chai Manhattan, of Bourbon and Black Walnut with Cherry Orange, among others. The tasting room offers comfortable seating and an elevated view of the shops below a mountain backdrop.
Visitors are encourage to take the Elkhorn Express Trolley located a the Visitor Center, 691 N, St. Vrain Ave, conveniently located next to the new parking structure. The trolley can make stops at Bond Park, The Ore Cart Rock Shop, West Park Center, the Trading Post, Barlow Plaza and the Grubsteak Restaurant. For availability and times check out; www.estes.org/shuttles.
Twin Owls Steakhouse, near downtown Estes Park on MacGregor Avenue is a natural choice for a mountain log cabin environment. Of course the food selections are numerous and the quality top notch, from prime rib, seafood to trout. Musical entertainment might be engaged on your evening experience. Our wait staffer, Sergei, was Russian charming and efficient. Reservations recommended. (970-586-8113) For overnight lodgings you may want to investigate the nearby Black Canyon Inn.
A trip to this area would not be complete without a stay or short visit to the iconic and historic Stanley Hotel. This hillside white visage is credited with inspiring Steven Kings’, “The Shining,” and tours of the property are available even if you can’t book an overnight stay. As with many famous and upscale hotels, a visit to their restaurant or bar can satiate your need of your atmospheric hunger. The Whiskey Bar offers quality beverages as well as you can order food, as the restaurant proper has limited hours. In coming years a maze, just recently planted in front of the hotel, will grow and offer an old world experience.
This is just a small sampling of two cities which you can explore when visiting Colorado.
For more on Estes Park visit, www.EstesPark100.com
For more on Fort Collins visit, www.visitftcollins.com

Mr. Terry Zinn – Travel Editor
Past President: International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association
http://realtraveladventures.com/author/zin

Jeanne Kleinschmidt earned a featured space in a national art calendar competition hosted by Watermark Retirement Communities.
Jeanne Kleinschmidt’s oil painting titled ‘Serenity’ will be featured in the Expressions 2018 calendar for the month of May.

Jeanne Kleinschmidt, a resident at The Fountains at Canterbury in Oklahoma City, earned a featured space in a national art calendar competition hosted by Watermark Retirement Communities.
The Watermark Expressions art calendar, created by Watermark Retirement Communities which manages The Fountains at Canterbury, is designed to be a source of inspiration for all those who receive it. Pieces of art submitted for the competition included sculpture, needlepoint, oil and watercolor paintings and mixed-media. Each month features a beautiful work of art and a brief background story detailing the artist’s background, personal history, artistic training and inspiration. The calendar is distributed nationwide.
Kleinschmidt’s oil painting, ‘Serenity,’ was selected as one of 12 features for the 2018 Watermark Expressions art calendar out of entries from Watermark communities located coast to coast. The work was inspired by Colorado scenery.
“The annual Watermark Expressions calendar competition is an opportunity to showcase the abundant creativity being cultivated in our community, as well as the many exceptional artists residing at The Fountains at Canterbury,” said Becky Strong, director of community life at The Fountains at Canterbury. “Jeanne is a brilliant artist and we are excited to see her honored with national recognition for her skills and passion.”
The piece was first judged as part of a local competition among residents at The Fountains at Canterbury. Three local experts narrowed down the pieces and sent the five best on to the national competition. Final selections to be featured in the calendar were made at the Watermark Retirement Communities’ national resource center in Tucson, Arizona.
Please call (405) 381-8165 today to receive a 2018 calendar at no cost while supplies last.
The Fountains at Canterbury is dedicated to being the first choice in senior living, providing a continuum of care including independent living, assisted living, memory care, innovative rehabilitation therapies and skilled care. The Fountains at Canterbury is managed by Watermark Retirement Communities and is committed to creating an extraordinary community where people thrive. To learn more, please call (405) 381-8165 or go online to www.watermarkcommunities.com.

Virginia Norris Rogers is being recognized as a significant woman in Oklahoma agriculture.

story and photos by Betty Thompson

 

Pawnee – It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The framed photo of young Virginia Norris Rogers sitting horseback, dressed in her boots, jeans, button up and cowboy hat, is no exception. The photo is a mere glimpse of the woman she would become, strongly rooted in agriculture.
“I tell people my outfit never changed, I just buy bigger sizes,” laughs Rogers.
Rogers said she began working on the ranch at a very young age with her father and their long-time ranch hand Albert. She even had a horse before she was born, which she later named “Chicken,” because of his yellow color.
“I was out at the crack of dawn getting cattle in,” Rogers recalled. “We would work until noon or so, and then my dad would go off to auction.”
Her father, Cecil “Whitey” Norris, started trading cattle at the age of 16 and became an auctioneer at age 23. Rogers said he went to an auction just about everyday.
After marrying Avis, Rogers’ mother, in 1933, Cecil bought 160 acres of land and used every opportunity from trading and auctions to buy more land. Together, they built a ranch of nearly 5,000 acres with horses and Hereford cattle.
Rogers is proud to be a fourth-generation farmer in Pawnee County and deeply rooted in agriculture. Family photos and keepsakes fill her walls and shelves, including her parents’ spurs, which hang above the front door. Her grandfather’s brand was the first brand ever registered in the state of Oklahoma and is still used today by her cousin John Henry.
“I think it’s [agriculture] been more fulfilling than shaping,” said Rogers. “It’s hard to describe what’s in your blood. You don’t know anything else.”
Rogers was no stranger to the hardships that ranch life brought: drought, cattle prices, finding reliable help, and more, but her love for ranching never faltered. After marrying her husband Olin, she said “it was just natural” for them to start their own ranching operation, Rogers Ranches, LLC, and have been running the operation ever since.
Rogers and Olin have been married for 42 years and have been running their commercial Angus herd on the farm Olin grew up on since 1986.
“It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to keep us busy,” laughed Rogers.
Busy is an understatement.
Not long after marrying, they bought an insurance agency which they worked while running their cattle operation, and only just sold it in November 2011.
Rogers was also very active in Oklahoma Extension Homemakers, now known as Oklahoma Home and Community Educators, a service designed to provide homemakers with resources similar to the resources farmers receive from the extension service. Rogers served as the county secretary/treasurer under Martha Waters, who was the first woman to be a director of an Oklahoma county extension.
A few years later, she was appointed to serve on the Pawnee County Health Department Board.
Like her father, Rogers and Olin have always been active in the Pawnee County Cattlemen’s Association (PCCA). Olin served as PCCA president in the early 1970s, and Rogers served as president from 2009 to 2011. During Rogers’ time as PCCA president, PCCA became a unified county under the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA). Rogers went on to serve for three years as a district director for the OCA before being elected as the North Central District vice president, putting her on the Executive Board of Directors. She also makes it a priority to be involved in the Oklahoma Cattlewomen’s Association as well.
“It has been very rewarding,” Rogers said. “I love it. Olin and I both enjoy meeting other people and learning about ranches across Oklahoma.”
Rogers was recently appointed to serve as the president of the Pawnee County Economic Development Foundation by the chairman of the Pawnee County Commissioners. The Foundation is actively involved in trying to bring new businesses to the community, and recently awarded a $75,000 grant to the city of Pawnee to refurbish an old building.
In addition to her leadership positions, Rogers writes a column for the local newspaper addressing concerns for farmers and ranchers.
“I just had this wild hair idea one day to start writing about issues in the cattle industry,” Rogers said. “Every now and then I throw in a column about my upbringing, experiences on the ranch as a child, or encourage membership and participation in the OCA.”
If you think she cannot make time for any other commitments, think again.
Rogers also serves as Chairman of the Board for her church, as well as staying busy with four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She attributes this desire to give back to her upbringing.
“I learned early from my family that caring for people was important,” Rogers said. “You have to do what you can for others. I hope to relate to others that agriculture is vital to our state.”
Another important lesson she learned on the ranch is that you can be caring and giving, but also a tough fighter.
Rogers laughed recalling that she woke up to her father saying “Get up boys!” even though it was only her sister and her. Perhaps that oftentimes hard upbringing is what made her so strong when she was diagnosed four years ago with breast cancer.
However, cancer picked the wrong cowgirl. Today, she is cancer-free and proud to be called a survivor.
“I never had a ‘straight path’ in life,” Rogers said, “but I love doing what I am doing now—trying to be one of the best representatives for agriculture I can be.”

Darlene Franklin is both a resident of a nursing home in Moore, and a full-time writer.

By Darlene Franklin

God’s love never fails. At all. We can’t climb over, dig under or detour around His love. It fills every crook of the known and the unknown.  (Ephesians 3:19, Romans 8:39, NIV))God’s love never fails. At all. We can’t climb over, dig under or detour around His love. It fills every crook of the known and the unknown.  (Ephesians 3:19, Romans 8:39, NIV))However, our experience with His care works more like a magic trick. Imagine a heaven-sized jug filled with milk-colored love:An empty cup sits next to thefull container of God’s love.God’s no-matter-what love showers creation nature with times, seasons, and beauty. His written word shouts it in glorious prose. We read about babies held in the arms of barren women, of David dancing before the ark on the way to Jerusalem. The Living Word, Jesus, spelled it out in flesh, demonstrating how we should love one another.I feel more like Helen Keller, who lived in a void absent of sight, sound, or speech. She said, “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” I don’t recognize its abundance until I see someone in greater need. We refuse the provided cup but instead use a self-made cone, which fails.God protected the Israelites for forty years. He provided for every need, but they still didn’t believe in His faithfulness When a spring didn’t appear to quench their thirst, they begged for Moses’s help. He fashioned a drinking cup of his own design when he struck the rock with his staff. Because He didn’t speak to the rock as God had instructed, the Lord was greatly displeased. For reasons I confess I don’t completely understand, God denied him entrance into the promised land. My daughter had Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I described the experience as traveling through a black hole that ate my flesh and spat out dry bones. BPD couldn’t be healed, but a person with the illness could adapt, survive, and even thrive. Whether we suffer from some form of short-term mental illness, a disorder, or just the highs and lows of life, many people have experienced a dark place. We seek God, begging for His love, and instead it seems like He is hiding. (Isaiah 64:7)Push the magic another step in your imagination: Suppose both the cup and the jug appear empty.Like the milk in the magic trick, God’s love hasn’t disappeared. But sometimes it’s invisible to the human eye. Roman philosopher Seneca pointed out that every new beginning comes from other beginning’s end. Joseph understood that. He became Pharaoh’s second-in-command only after he had been both a slave and a prisoner. Only after I accept the fact that no amount of effort can make my sixty-year-old body do the work of a young adult does the murk that’s been hiding God’s glory wash away. God rubs His hands together. “I’ve been waiting for you to join Me. Let go and watch Me go to work.”Light-bulb inventor Thomas Edison is famous for saying he found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.  Failure to see God’s love doesn’t mean it’s not there.Back to the full jug and empty cup.Milk is poured into the glass so that milk appears in both the jug and the cup.Ebenezer Scrooge’s cup was worse than empty. Generations have celebrated the transformation of the king of “bah humbug” to the man who vowed to honor Christmas in his heart.During my Bible college years, I wrote a term paper on God’s love. I had no idea how necessary the verses, theories and patterns I uncovered would be throughout my life.My cup has appeared empty many times. * Studied piano for twelve years before being told I wasn’t good enough. * Married for life-divorced after twelve years.* Trained for missionary service-kicked out of two churches.I thought I reached rock bottom when my son was taken from the home as a teenager. Instead, God’s love pulsed within that my frozen core and kept me going when I felt hopeless. Those years trained me for my daughter’s death. I felt numb, but not unloved. Love poured over me through the gifts of countless friends from around the world. When I couldn’t see God’s care in my drinking cup, He kept me alive and healed me.The promise is no illusion. God’s love is real, and it will never fail.Even if it took me 10,000 tries for me to see His brilliance.

What do you hope the new year has in store for you? Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity

Health, health and more good health. Eileen Checorski

For Habitat I want us to build three houses and complete five mortgages. Tambra Gowin

That I don’t lose my sanity along the way. Susan Pearson

To deepen my relationship with Habitat through raising money to build more homes. Andrea Marler

Paced by the lowest smoking rate ever recorded, Oklahoma moved up three spots to 43rd in America’s Health Rankings, issued by the United Health Foundation. The improvement was the second highest among all states, trailing only Florida and Utah, which improved their ranking by four spots. America’s Health Rankings are based on four components or aspects of health – behaviors, community & environment, policy and clinical care. Health outcomes are also used to rank states.
“Despite the many challenges facing us, I am encouraged that our employees and our partners across the state continue to work toward improving the health of all Oklahomans and that their efforts are producing results,” said Interim OSDH Commissioner Preston Doerflinger. “We know where our focus must be in providing the core services that will make a difference in the lives of all our citizens going forward.”
In smoking rates, Oklahoma improved to 36th nationally – an improvement of nine spots. Oklahoma’s smoking rate has declined 25 percent in the past five years. That is the largest improvement for any state since 2012 but is still 2.5 percent higher than the national average of 17.1 percent.
An area in which Oklahoma is better than the national average, low birthweight, saw the state improve to 7.9 percent. Oklahoma has improved 11 spots to 22nd in the past five years, one of the best advances in the nation.
The best ratings for the state were in the low occurrence of excessive drinking (2nd), pertussis rates (2nd) and the number of mental health providers (5th). Oklahoma also had improvements in obesity rates, the number of people who are physically active, and drug deaths, but still ranks well below the national average.
Areas of concern include lack of health insurance, diabetes rates, and children’s immunization rates.
While Oklahoma’s uninsured rate has decreased the past three years to 13.9 percent, the national ranking dropped another two spots to 48th and the rate lags far behind the national rate of nine percent.
Following a national trend that saw an all-time high in diabetes rates of 10.5 percent nationally, Oklahoma is ranked 41st with a rate of 12 percent. The rate of immunization among children 19 to 35 months dropped significantly (75.4 percent to 67 percent) moving the state ranking to 42nd while overall adolescent immunization rates improved by six places (40th to 34th).
The complete rankings and summaries for Oklahoma and all states can be seen at https://www.americashealthrankings.org

For Karen McKeever, a lifetime of nursing goes far behind the confines of a doctor’s office or hospital - it’s making sure the patient and their family is whole, healthy and happy.

by Traci Chapman
Staff Writer

For Karen McKeever, nursing is about helping the most vulnerable, those who might struggle with getting the help they need.
It’s a philosophy that’s led her to treat thousands of patients and help spearhead an ever-expanding effort to lead patients having difficulty finding their to way discover the right path.
“It just seemed like the people who might need help the most are often overlooked – it’s the people without insurance or who are struggling not only with physical issues, but also mental health challenges,” McKeever said. “They need someone who can be there for them in their corner, to let them know they’re not facing this all alone.”
That kind of nurturing spirit comes easy to McKeever, a mother of six who now has nine grandchildren – and a nurse who worked in pediatrics and as a Yukon Public Schools nurse, concentrating on severely disabled students. Looking out not only for the young, but also the disabled and those who might not have an advocate became McKeever’s life work, a passion that led to an organization aimed at doing just that.
It was originally Canadian County Health Access Network, started in 2011 by McKeever and fellow nurse Rosemary Klepper.
“So many Sooner Care patients don’t know where to go or how to best address their health issues – you see many going to the emergency room when there are better avenues available, and you find families that are dealing with problems that go far beyond basic health or physical disease or distress,” McKeever said.
“There was just a huge gap in service, a real need for these patients and for their families, who were not being taken care of or served,” she said. “We knew how important it was for them to have someone they could turn to – as nurses, we needed to be there not only to treat them but to guide them and help with whatever challenges they were facing.”
It wasn’t long, however, before McKeever and Klepper’s philosophy caught on, and patients beyond El Reno, Yukon, Mustang and other area communities began to ask for assistance. That’s why CC-HAN’s “CC” soon transitioned from Canadian County to , Central Communities, with co-founder and care manager McKeever and fellow care manager Rhonda Chronister now available to SoonerCare patients and their families across south central Oklahoma, working to improve their health and healthcare options and much more.
“Rosemary (Klepper) decided it was time to retire, to explore other things, but my heart is here, I didn’t want to walk away,” McKeever said. “That’s when Rhonda came onboard, and it’s been a great arrangement.”
For her part, Chronister said she views McKeever not only as a co-worker, fellow care manager and nurse, but also as a mentor who has spurred on Chronister’s own love of nursing and helping patients far beyond regular nursing duties.
“Karen is an amazing person and an amazing nurse, and it’s a remarkable opportunity to work with her and learn from her,” Chronister said. “Her capacity for love and how she gives of herself is inspirational to everyone who knows her, particularly the people we serve.”
McKeever has always envisioned something bigger for CC-HAN, which led to the agency helping patients not only locate the right caregiver and treatment, but also issues that might aggravate physical ailments. That’s why CC-HAN provides care management to patients not only facing financial constraints that can limit their ability to get the medical treatment they might need, but also those who deal with complex health issues, as well as providing a proactive approach – guiding patients to the right resources for well child examinations and care, injury and accident prevention, diet and nutrition and accessible medical and dental care.
“What the patient might need at any particular moment might not be ‘nursing’ services, but rather they might not have gas money to get to an appointment or they might not have any food in the cupboards – and that disrupts the treatment they need,” McKeever said. “That’s the bottom line – making sure they are healthy and able to live their lives and do what they need to do, because someone who’s dealing with a mental health issue can have a ripple effect on their entire family, and that family might need guidance in how to help and to make sure it doesn’t negatively impact others, either mentally or physically.”
It’s a philosophy that’s not only challenging and fulfilling, but also always interesting, McKeever said. She never knows what she might face in any given day – whether it will be assisting patients with medical care options, educating families about CC-HAN’s resources or even delivering food to someone who is hungry and doesn’t know where to turn.
“What we do is everything that’s the best of nursing – helping people who truly need it and giving that care, that guidance – as a nurse, it’s so fulfilling and inspirational, and to me it’s what our profession is all about,” McKeever said. “To me, if you’re a nurse, you’re always a nurse – it’s not something you do, it’s something you are.”
For more information about Central Communities Health Access Network, its services or philosophy, look online at www.cc-han.com.

Dear Savvy Senior,

What are some financial factors to consider when retiring abroad? My husband and I will be retiring in a few years and are interested in living in a foreign country that’s cheaper than the U.S.

Frugal Couple

Dear Frugal,

Retiring abroad has become a growing trend for millions of U.S. retirees who are looking to stretch their retirement savings. Here are some tips and resources to consider that can help you prepare.
Researching Tools
For starters, you can find lots of information and articles on the countries and cities you’re interested in retiring to at websites like InternationalLiving.com and EscapeArtist.com.
Another good tip is to talk or network with some expatriates who have already made the move you’re thinking about making. They can give you tips and suggestions on many issues, as well as the advantages and disadvantages and day-to-day reality of living in a particular country. Some popular sites for finding expat resources are ExpatExchange.com and ExpatForum.com.
But before committing to location, most experts recommend that you visit multiple times during different seasons to see whether you can envision yourself living there and not just exploring the place as a tourist. Also, consider these financial factors:
Cost of living: Retiring abroad used to be seen as a surefire way to live beyond your means, and for some countries it still is. But the U.S. dollar isn’t what it used to be, so your money may not stretch as far as you think. See Numbeo.com for a country-by-country cost of living comparison.
Taxes: No matter what foreign country you decide to retire in, as long as you’re a U.S. citizen you must file an annual tax return reporting all income above certain minimums, not matter where it’s earned. For details see the IRS publication 54, “Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad” at IRS.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p54.pdf.
Health care: Most U.S. health insurance companies do not provide coverage outside the U.S., nor does Medicare. Check with the embassy (see USembassy.state.gov) of your destination country to see how you can be covered as a foreign resident. Many countries provide government-sponsored health care that’s inexpensive, accessible and just as good as what you get in the states, or you may want to buy a policy through Medibroker (Medibroker.com) or Bupa Global (BupaGlobal.com).
Also know that most people who retire abroad eventually return to the U.S., so you should consider paying your Medicare Part B premiums. If you drop and resume Part B, or delay initial enrollment, you’ll pay a 10 percent premium penalty for every 12-month period in which you could have been enrolled.
Banking: Opening or maintaining a bank account abroad has become more difficult because of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a U.S. law designed to prevent Americans from hiding assets abroad. So, you may have to establish a savings and checking account with an institution that has international reach like Citibank. And/or consider maintaining your U.S. bank account that you can access online, and get U.S. credit and debit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees.
Rent versus buy: Buying a home in a foreign country can be complicated, so it’s usually cheaper and simpler to rent, unless you know you’re going to live there for a long time.
Social Security: You can receive your monthly Social Security benefits almost anywhere you live around the world (see SSA.gov/international/payments.html). Your benefits can be deposited into your bank account either in the U.S. or in your new home country, but there are some exceptions.
The U.S. State Department offers a handy checklist that can help you think through all the issues on retiring abroad. To access it visit Travel.state.gov and search for “retirement abroad.”
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Wan Hee Yoon, Ph.D.

The Robert Glenn Rapp Foundation has awarded the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation a four-year, $400,000 grant.
The grant will help two new scientists establish laboratories at OMRF. In their labs, they will study the cellular processes that lead to cancer, as well as diseases of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
“Our family is pleased to play a small role in the important work underway in OMRF’s cancer research laboratories,” said Jilene Boghetich, managing trustee of the Rapp Foundation. “Cancer seems to strike almost every family in some way, and our goal is to help OMRF’s scientists discover new methods to detect and treat the disease.”
Founded in 1951, the Rapp Foundation distributes funds to a wide variety of charitable projects throughout the U.S. This new grant to OMRF represents the latest in a long line of gifts that have helped the Oklahoma City-based nonprofit strengthen its scientific infrastructure.
The new funds will help support the recruitment of a pair of new scientists, Wan Hee Yoon, Ph.D., and Jiang Li, Ph.D.
Yoon joins OMRF from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and his research uses fruit flies to understand the processes of cellular decline that lead to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Li also studies the basic cellular mechanisms underlying cancer and neurodegeneration, and he comes to OMRF from Northwestern University in Chicago.
The grant will provide funding for the purchase of sophisticated laboratory equipment and supplies for the new researchers. It will also help support salaries of personnel working in their labs.
“It’s hard to imagine OMRF as it is today without the enduring generosity of the Rapp Foundation through the years,” said OMRF Vice President of Development Penny Voss. “They’ve been true friends to OMRF and to medical research in Oklahoma, and they’ve invested in visionary projects that will benefit us all.”

Social