The Bemidji Senior Center, located at 216 3rd St NW, is holding a rummage and bake sale fundraiser on Saturday, June 19th from 8 AM to 3 PM.  There will be homemade baked goods, tons of craft supplies, household items, books and so much more!  Sale proceeds will be used to support Bemidji Senior Center programs.  Contact 751-8836 for more information.

The Senior Creations gift shop will be open as well from 8 AM to 3PM.

How Seniors Can Plan for a Retirement Lived Partially Abroad

How Seniors Can Plan for a Retirement Lived Partially Abroad

Written by Andrea Needham

Seniors seeking community engagement and access to additional services in the Bemidji area can find plenty of resources and opportunities at the Bemidji Senior Center.

Have you considered spending some of your retirement years abroad? Establishing legal residency in a foreign country is one way to do this. Depending on your obligations, and residency requirements, you may be able to split your time between two different locations. It requires some careful planning, as well as adequate income, but if this option is available to you, there are many benefits to retiring in this way.

Why split your residence?

There are many reasons why you might want to move back and forth between the U.S. and another country. If you are considering permanently relocating to a different country, a trial period with part-time residency can help you decide whether this is the choice for you. If you have health issues that are exacerbated by climate, moving back and forth with the seasons can help you live more comfortably. Plus, your overall wellness may benefit from traveling, experiencing new things, and staying engaged with the world around you.

If you have family members spread out across different countries, you may want to establish living space near more than one loved one — both to enjoy their company and if you need a little extra assistance. The cost of living may be lower in some nations than in others, too.

What do you need to know before you set up a second residence?

Different countries have different regulations regarding residency. For those hoping to attain residency status in the United States, several different options are available. If you intend to work during your retirement, you might qualify for an employment-based green card. Other ways to get residency include marriage to a citizen and sponsorship.

As well as applying to reside legally in a different country, you should read up on tax laws to find out if you will need to pay taxes in both countries of residence. Research health care, as well, so you know whether your plan will cover you internationally or if you need to acquire a separate plan in India, for instance. Finally, research the customs of the new country where you hope to live and evaluate whether you feel you could acclimatize and be comfortable there.

What are some resources that can help you?

If you intend to travel back and forth between dual residences, learn how to bank online through well-known institutions like Charles Schwab and Discover Bank. Have a bank account in each country so you can access funds wherever you are and easily move money between accounts. If you need to transfer money to loved ones, services like Remitly let you wire money securely and cost effectively. For example, if you’re sending funds to friends or family in India, your transfers won’t be subject to a fee if you’re sending over $1,000.

Also, find out what kind of organizations and services exist for seniors in the communities where you intend to reside. For instance, the Lutheran Social Services’s Meals on Wheels program offers nutritious, delicious, and low-cost meals for seniors.

What do you need to include in your retirement budget?

Budgeting for retirement is important, no matter how you intend to spend your time. If you plan on traveling and residing in more than one location, you will need to budget with great care. Be meticulous when detailing future expenses, taking into account such extras as travel costs and added health care expenses. Calculate what you expect your income to be and how much you can reasonably spend per year. Don’t forget to consider whether your financial situation may change as you age. Keep in mind, too, that health care expenses may rise if your needs increase.

Residing abroad for part of the year may be the perfect option for the retiree who wants a little extra adventure, but also enjoys the security of a familiar place. It allows you to travel and explore without undue uncertainty. It can be a great way to maintain valued connections with loved ones, too

Image via Pixabay


A wonderful program in our area is Let’s Go Fishing with Seniors. They have been around for quite a few years and have helped thousands of seniors get back out on the lake to fish or even just take a cruise on the pontoon.

This year the Senior Center was lucky enough to get on the schedule and we have our own dates to take advantage of this free service.

The excursions will be Wednesdays from 10 am to 12 pm the months of June, July, and August.  The pontoon meets at the dock near Paul Bunyan and Babe.

The volunteer guide takes care of everything. Fishing rods, bait, and life jackets are all on board when you get there. You only need your fishing license, sun protection and maybe a snack.  The pontoon is handicap accessible.

We ask that you sign up for just one trip per month.  You can put yourself on the waiting list for other trips during that month in case someone cancels.

Sign up sheets are at the hostess desk.  If you are interested, please call the Center at 751-8836 or stop in at the front desk to sign up.  There is a limited number of spaces available.


The Bemidji Senior Center will have a plant sale and collectible plate/figurine sale on Saturday, June 5th from 10 am to 2 pm at the Senior Center.

There will be a variety of perennial plants for sale and the collectible plates and figurines include:  Norman Rockwell, Hummel, Donald Zolan, Gerda Neubacher and many others.

Volunteers are needed to help set up on Friday, June 4th from 1 pm to 4 pm.  Volunteers are also needed to help the day of the sale from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.  Call the Center at 751-8836 or stop in at the front desk to sign up.

The fundraiser proceeds will be used to support Bemidji Senior Center programs. 


The weekly Thursday afternoon music jam session is back beginning Thursday, June 3rd from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

If you are interested in performing, stop in the Senior Center and visit with Randy, the event’s lead volunteer or call 751-8836. 

Everyone is welcome to attend this much loved event.  There is space to sit and listen to the music or dance if you wish.  Coffee will be available.


Have you ever wanted to learn how to play Mahjong or are you looking for a group to play with?  Beginning Monday, June 7th, Mahjong Mondays are back at the Senior Center! 

Every Monday at 12:30 pm, friends gather together to play this tile based puzzle game. The objective of the game is to collect tiles to form a Mahjong hand.  Players take turns picking one tile from the wall and discarding one tile. When a player picks up a tile that gives a valid Mahjong hand, the player wins.  Not only is the game fun, but research studies have shown that playing Mahjong has a positive impact on memory!

The group has several Mahjong sets and extra cards, so you don’t need to bring anything to start out.  However, if you are interested in playing regularly with the group, you will need to purchase your own card.


The Bemidji Senior Center and Senior Creations Gift Shop will expand our hours of operation to Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm, beginning June 1st.  Large group music events will resume June 1st as well.  Every Thursday from 1:00pm-3:00pm local musicians have a music jam session and the second Wednesday of every month from 1:00pm-3:0pm Classic Country Band performs a free concert.  There is space for people to dance or sit and listen to the music.  All are welcome.  The Senior Center is located at 216 3rd St NW, Bemidji.  Stop in or call 751-8836 for more information.

The Best Online Tools for Downsizing Your House the Easy Way

Image via Pexels

Written by Andrea Needham

Are you planning a move? Whether you’re moving to a retirement community or downsizing to an age-friendly home, moving is different in your senior years than when you were younger. Not only is calling friends for moving help no longer an option, but older adults have different needs when buying a home.

That’s no reason to shy away from downsizing! While some aspects of moving may be harder this time around, there are lots of digital tools to help along the way. Bemidji Senior Center shares the online resources every downsizing senior needs.

Shopping for a House — at Home!

Moving used to require a lot of legwork. These days, homeowners do most of the work online. Here’s how you can start your house hunt from the comfort of home.

  • Searching real estate listings online is easier than ever with websites like these.
  • Some real estate sites even include virtual house shopping extras like 3D walkthroughs and live video open houses.
  • Neighborhood apps like NeighborhoodScout and AreaVibes help senior homebuyers find safe, livable neighborhoods.
  • Older adults can also start their senior living search online with the use of review sites and other tools.

Hiring Downsizing Help Online

When you’re ready to sell your house and downsize, where do you turn for help? You don’t have to go far with online resources like these.

  • Older homeowners benefit from working with a Realtor who specializes in seniors. Search for a local Senior Real Estate Specialist online.
  • A Senior Move Manager, meanwhile, helps older adults with the logistics of decluttering, organizing, and downsizing.
  • How do you choose a reputable moving company? After finding movers in your city online, read reviews and verify credentials before making a final decision.

Online Tools for Planning Your Move

The hardest part of downsizing is deciding where to start. These checklists take the effort out of downsizing your home.

  • The best thing you can do when downsizing is to start early. The second best thing is to use this downsizing checklist to guide the process.
  • Homeowners also need to prepare their houses to sell. From setting the price to making repairs, don’t skip these steps for sellers.
  • If you’re buying a home to age in place, put these design features high on your priority list.
  • What should you bring when moving to assisted living? Every community is different, but this packing list covers the basics.

Your back isn’t what it used to be, but that doesn’t mean downsizing has to be a burden. From digital house hunting tools to real estate professionals, there are plenty of resources to make your downsize a breeze!


The Bemidji Senior Center‘s handcrafted greeting cards will increase from $.75 per card to $1.00 per card beginning Monday, May 3rd.  The price increase is due to the rising cost of craft supplies.

Our greeting card recycling program/fundraiser consists of a dedicated group of senior citizen volunteers that devote many hours each week to sort through donated greeting cards, then craft them into something very beautiful and unique. The money raised from the greeting card sales goes back to the Senior Center to support our mission of enriching the lives of our Bemidji area senior citizens.

The handcrafted greeting cards are available for purchase Monday-Friday from 10:00am-2:00PM at the Senior Center, located at 216 3rd St NW.