Ah, retirement. Despite concerns among policy wonks that spendthrift baby boomers aren't salting away enough income for their golden years, the popular image remains that of a life of leisure: pursuing hobbies, visiting family and friends, and traveling to far-flung places. Maybe more people should heed the worriers.
Financial stress is the dominant theme of a Putnam Investments (PEYAX) survey of 2,000 people who retired between 1998 and 2002. Some 70% said they wished they had saved more, and 59% regretted they didn't start investing earlier to meet their higher-than-anticipated expenses. Recent retirees also fretted about the stability of Social Security and Medicare. Maybe that's why a poll by insurance company Allstate of some 1,600 retirees and workers born between 1946 and 1978 found that three quarters of those still in the workforce say it's "somewhat likely" they will work for pay in their post-retirement years. Still, despite the money pressures, retirees from both surveys were largely satisfied with the quality of their lives.
For time-pressed home chefs with high standards, it's almost too good to be true: dried herbs and spices that when rehydrated in cooking taste remarkably close to fresh-picked. Thank the Spice Hunter of San Luis Obispo, Calif. It recently began marketing 12 Garden Harvest herbs, spices, and blends that have been flash-frozen and vacuum-dried at harvest, preserving their essential oils. Basil, dill, chives, garlic, and other ingredients, grown in the San Joaquin Valley, run $4 for a half-ounce jar. You can find them at gourmet and natural foods stores or at spicehunter.com.
The 300 objects on display at a new Art Institute of Chicago exhibit attest to the sophistication of Native American culture in the Midwest and South between 5000 B.C. and 1600 A.D. "Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand" includes masterpieces in stone, ceramic, wood, shell, copper, silver, and gold gathered from other museums and private lenders. Among the pieces are embellished bowls, items used in native rituals, and depictions of people, fantastical animals, and abstract shapes. The exhibition runs through Jan. 30 (www.artic.edu), moves to the St. Louis Art Museum, then goes on to the Smithsonian.