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November 16, 2021


Hi there, 

My least favorite day of the year has rolled around again. No, it’s not the first day of winter, it’s the end of daylight saving time, when it starts getting dark at some ungodly hour. I’m a night owl, and the end of the day is my swimming time—and my happy hour time. 

Every year pundits complain about the switch, and every year we hear about how eventually Congress will stop this twice-yearly ritual. Studies show springing forward and falling back is linked to an increase in heart attacks, depression, and even car accidents.

Change won’t be easy. There’s a political war brewing between advocates of each approach to time. I’m solidly behind keeping daylight saving time year-round. I live in the Sunshine State, after all. 

Which side are you on? I hope you’re on the side of sunsets at 7. I’m Erica Manfred, a 70+ Geezer Geek, Snarky Senior, and Florida divorcee who has been writing about aging with attitude since before I signed up for Medicare. I’m writing this newsletter as part of Life Experienced, an event platform for seniors. Each week, I’ll be exploring what matters to us later in life, from making new friends, to learning new things, to helping others. Know someone we should feature? Email us at or join us on Facebook.   

When staying connected requires a phone upgrade

Like just about everyone else over the age of 13, I am glued to my smartphone. My trusty Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is always with me, providing reassuring updates about the weather, notifying me of appointments, showing texts from friends, photographing sunsets, and so, so much more.  

But all of a sudden, I’ve noticed it’s not the trusty companion it has always been. The battery dies much faster, apps sometimes don’t work, and occasionally it’s glacially slow to load. After just two short years owning this phone (I bought it used), Samsung won’t send me the latest version of Android and has stopped sending out monthly updates. The writing is on the wall—or the screen. My beloved Note 9 is destined for obsolescence, like every other gadget.

Unlike young people who lust after the newest version of electronic gadgets, we older folks get attached to our old technology, which took us forever to figure out. We don’t want to start all over, not to speak of paying a fortune. But sometimes we must in order to stay connected to the rest of the world. 

Here’s how to know when that time has come and how to save money on your new phone.

You still use a flip phone. At this point, flip phones are for spies who need disposable burner phones or old people who are just stubborn. A friend who visited me this summer absolutely reveled in her thriftiness, insisting her flip phone was perfectly adequate. It wasn’t. Especially for someone like her who texts and takes photos. She finally succumbed and got a smartphone last month and loves it. She’s busy posting great pics on Facebook.

The manufacturer has stopped updating the phone. This can vary from sending updates less frequently to forcing you to use an obsolete version of Android or iOS. Android phones become obsolete every three years, iPhones every five or six. My phone will not get the latest Android update, Android 11. <sob> There is some kind of techie workaround, but it’s beyond my job description. Here’s what Samsung currently supports. Here is what Android currently supports for all phones. Here’s what Apple currently supports.

You are getting frustrated with how buggy or slow the phone is. Maybe your apps crash, you can’t get new ones to load, or you’ve simply run out of memory. 

Your phone is broken. Maybe the battery dies midday or the screen has a spider web in one corner. Research whether it’s worth repairing the device. Replacing a battery costs about $50 to $70, and a new screen from an independent fix-it shop usually costs around $100. That’s far cheaper than buying a new smartphone. But the repair may be more extensive. Rule of thumb: Don’t pay more than half the cost of a new phone for the repair of an old one.

Before forking over for an expensive repair, look up the problem on YouTube. Sometimes your phone just needs to be cleaned. I used a safety pin to clean the microphone hole on my last phone by following a YouTube video. 

If you do decide to replace your phone, see if you can trade in your current phone. If it’s relatively recent, there may be a good deal out there.

If you’re having trouble acclimating to your new phone, I strongly suggest visiting your carrier’s store. A salesman at my local T-Mobile store walked me through all the bells and whistles on my Note 9 even though I bought it on Ebay. You’re paying them for the service, so don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.  

Featured event

Whether you’re a beginner knitter or an accomplished crocheter, all are welcome at Off the Hook Knit and Crochet. Grab a cozy drink and meet on Zoom in a casual social environment to work on your project and get advice from fellow knitters from the comfort of your home. The group meets monthly, organized by the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire, IL. Zoom link provided when you RSVP. The next meeting is on Monday, November 22, at 8:00 p.m. EST.


What's in the news

Don’t try this at home, but an 82-year-old pole vaulter has set a new record. At the Texas Express gym near Dallas, Don Isett set a record in his age group for the pole vault at nine feet, one inch. (He’s the only pole vaulter in his age group.) He took the sport up again at age 66 after pole vaulting in high school. He wasn’t spectacular then, but he sure is now.

Watching him vault over a barrier and crash land made me wince. I can’t imagine any surface soft enough for 82-year-old bones, but he jumped up smiling and uninjured.

Why does he do it? He says, “It's fun. It's like going to high school again with nothing to study.” 

Partner spotlight

Lifelong Recreation programs focus on physical activity, social engagement, education, arts, creativity, and healthy lifestyles. Recreational programs are designed to serve adults of all abilities—those who are physically active, those who are just becoming active, and those who have age-related limitations. Lifelong Recreation programs are aimed at increasing individual health and wellness while fostering a stronger, healthier community. Join the fun if you're 50+!

Become a partner

Does your organization reach a community of older adults? Get in touch with us for information on amplifying your events and activities on the platform and expanding the Life Experienced service to your network. There is no cost to partnering. Get in touch with us here:

That’s it! Thanks for reading. And if you want to chime in with your two cents on what this newsletter should include, email us at

Happy almost Thanksgiving! We’re taking next week off to celebrate, so we hope you have a restful, delicious holiday.

Until next time, 
Events are more fun with friends

Life Experienced is a new service powered by Kaiser Permanente. Whether you're a dancer, a reader, or a gardener, we can help you find local events and activities that you'll love.

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