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Deborah Gaines
Deborah Gaines is a writer and single mom who recently realized that all the interesting people are over 50. She began her career as a travel writer for the New York Post, and has written more than 300 articles for publications and websites including Salon, Ladies’ Home Journal,, and, as well as a Nancy Drew mystery, Scent of Danger. She is currently working on a memoir. Follow her on Twitter @deborahgaines.

Entries by Deborah Gaines

Why I'm Starting A New Business Instead Of 'Winding Down'

(8) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 7:32 AM

Last month, at the age of 54, I left my full-time job to start a communications consulting firm. Why now? For me, there were four compelling reasons:

1. Retirement is not around the corner. Unlike my parents, who retired in their early 60s, I will be working as...

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How To Grow More Beautiful With Age

(0) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 11:17 AM

Lately I find myself reflecting on the Brown sisters. As HuffPo reported last year, documentary photographer Nicholas Nixon has created an image of these four women, side by side, every year since 1975. The fortieth annual photograph recently appeared in the New York Times; the sisters are now...

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My Teenage Daughter's In Israel, And I'm A Bundle Of Nerves

(46) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 11:33 AM

My daughter is in Israel on Birthright this week, along with 3,500 other Jewish kids who thought it would be cool to get a free 10-day trip to a place where you can ride camels and swim in the Mediterranean Sea. They didn't plan to be the target of more...

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Why I've Been Consumed By Wanderlust Since Turning 50

(5) Comments | Posted June 14, 2014 | 7:44 AM

Since I turned 50, I've been consumed by wanderlust. And not the kind that can be appeased by a week at the beach. I want to live in a way that is outside my current experience -- to literally expand my horizons. I want to wake to the sound of...

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Getting Ready To Join The Old And Poor

(85) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 8:55 AM

I'm 53 and have virtually no retirement savings. According to popular wisdom, I am destined to spend my golden years in a box under the nearest railway trestle. The money I've been paying into Social Security since 1982 will barely cover my skyrocketing medical costs. The only good news is...

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More Or Less

(13) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 6:48 AM

I am a fan of More magazine. Although I cringe at its mixed messages -- women who celebrate themselves at any age don't need advice on how to appear younger, and "This is what 50 looks like" shouldn't always be thin and chic -- I love the idea...

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Letting Go, Kicking And Screaming

(23) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 7:13 AM

I released my daughter into the wild this weekend -- or at least, dropped her at a big-city college dorm with only a rice cooker, a credit card and nine suitemates to sustain her. She was nervous and excited, ready to fly but unsure of her ability to remain aloft....

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The Weight of My Past

(6) Comments | Posted June 18, 2013 | 2:31 PM

I am moving. Since I hate the word downsizing, with its implications of reduction and loss, let's say I am consolidating two households into one -- a very charming one that doesn't need bedrooms for as many people.

As I sort through 15 years of accumulation, I see how...

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Moving on

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 5:45 PM

After months of angst (mine) and wailing and gnashing of teeth (the kids'), I made the decision to sell our house and move to a neighboring town. I signed a contract with a high-powered realtor; seconds later, or so it seemed, all hell broke loose.

A horde of painters,...

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Are We Getting Dumber With Age?

(131) Comments | Posted January 14, 2013 | 8:02 AM

If you're like me, you've already experienced some of the difficulties associated with aging: weird moles, sagging everything, the death of people you love. While I haven't taken any of these developments with good grace, I've been comforted by the fact that, any day now, I will wake up bathed...

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Why I Need a Life Coach -- And You Might, Too

(68) Comments | Posted November 27, 2012 | 7:30 AM

I have a life coach. Among people I know, this is about as embarrassing as saying, "my nine-year-old isn't toilet trained" or "I have an STD," so you may be wondering why I am coming out with it.

The reason is, in the 10 years I have been working...

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Ten Things I Learned From Sandy

(3) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 4:12 PM

The destruction left in Hurricane Sandy's wake includes the loss of more than 100 lives and estimated damage upwards of $60 billion. But people affected by Sandy have also expressed gratitude for lessons learned after the storm. Here, Huff/Post50 blogger Deborah Gaines shares the 10 things...

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I Am Woman, Hear Me Whimper

(5) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 6:01 PM

Like most single mothers, I am self-sufficient. Independence is in my blood: I come from a long line of matriarchal Jewish women who sold chickens or worked in the fields while their husbands sat around and studied. Except I study, too. I write, I do research, and lately I've been...

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5 Things Nobody Tells You About Divorce

(227) Comments | Posted August 20, 2012 | 8:09 AM

There are four things everyone will tell you about divorce: 1) It's a descent into hell; 2) it's better than a bad marriage; 3) you need to put the kids first, and 4) it's less costly if you use a mediator.

But here are five things no one mentions:

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A Bucket of Ashes

(7) Comments | Posted July 26, 2012 | 10:19 AM

"I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes, so live not in your yesterdays." --Carl Sandburg

I recently got custody of my father's remains. They'd been residing with my stepmother for the past 20 years, mostly on the mantelpiece, although occasionally buckled into the front seat of...

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Drowning 25 Yards from Shore

(6) Comments | Posted July 2, 2012 | 4:17 PM

An article has been making the rounds on how to tell when people are drowning. According to Navy sea survival expert Mario Vittone, "Drowning is a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing and yelling that television prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life."

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Revenge is Wet

(158) Comments | Posted June 16, 2012 | 1:36 PM

I'm not a (terribly) vindictive person, but some opportunities are too good to resist. Which is why I volunteered my ex-husband for the dunk tank at the school fair.

It started with an email addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Married Name. Five years after the divorce, the school continues to...

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Retired Teachers Give Life Lessons

(2) Comments | Posted June 3, 2012 | 12:22 PM

I was recently invited to a 50th reunion luncheon at a local university. The majority of attendees were retired elementary and high school teachers. Many were the first generation in their family to go to college; virtually all had what would be considered "average" lives. There were no heads of...

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Going in a Different Direction

(52) Comments | Posted April 30, 2012 | 3:12 PM

I've been following the travails of the law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf. For those whose minds have been elsewhere, D&L is teetering toward what promises to be the largest law firm bankruptcy on record. The firm and its former chairman, Steve Davis, are also said to be the...

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The 5 Stages of Household-Repair Acceptance

(6) Comments | Posted April 13, 2012 | 11:34 AM

I over-filled the boiler the other day, causing water to burst out of the release valve and flood the entire basement. It's going to cost a thousand bucks to clean everything out and replace the carpeting with something more idiot-proof, like tile.

For the first few days after it...

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