healthy home tips, Retire Happy! information and distinguished member award recipients
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Calling all membership ambassadors! Tell your retiring colleagues why they should join RTO/ERO 

Retire Happy! Join RTO/ERO
If you have anyone in your circle of friends or colleagues, who are ready to retire, make sure you tell them about the great organization that you have joined — RTO/ERO.

We’ve prepared a Retire Happy! campaign
to help you reach out to prospective members that you know. Here is some messaging you can share to help them make a decision to join:

Retire happy! Join the #1 INSURANCE PLAN for the retired education community

We know that preparing for retirement can be challenging, and we’re here to help you. RTO/ERO is the obvious choice when thinking about your retirement health insurance coverage and membership benefits. 

Not only is RTO/ERO the LARGEST non-profit group insurance plan provider in Canada for education retirees. We include 93-days of travel coverage in our extended health plan. Our members save on their monthly health insurance premiums compared to competitors in the marketplace. Our coverage is national — you can live or work anywhere in Canada and take your RTO/ERO coverage with you. 

RTO/ERO members enjoy many membership benefits like: 
  • 1500+ MemberPerks discounts through Venngo
  • Joining of our 48 districts in Ontario and British Columbia
  • Renaissance, our award winning magazine
  • Discounts on home and auto insurance 
  • Exclusive healthy aging information and resources 
To sign up visit,

Additional resources:
Learn more: contact RTO/ERO's marketing and communications team,  

5 tips to stay healthy at home 

By McMaster Optimal Aging Portal 

Your home is your castle, so they say. But that doesn’t mean you can let down your guard when it comes to staying safe and well. So what can we do to prepare?

1. Prevent falls. Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults, but they can be prevented! Find out what the research shows really works to help keep you on your feet, including options for strength building and balance training.

2. Change your diet. A healthy diet can help prevent common health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. Try these 5 diet changes supported by research evidence to help you age well.

3. Get up and get moving! Regular exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy as you age. And don’t forget to sit less — as well as exercise more — to lower your risk of health problems. Find out which types of exercise work best for different conditions and tips to help you get moving!

4. Avoid isolation and depression by staying active and social. Many people feel lonely and lose social connections as they age. Isolation and depression go hand-in-hand and can lead to other health problems, even shorten your life. Staying social and engaged with other people is a good way to avoid isolation. Exercise and mindfulness are two ways to help ease and avoid depression.

5. Review your medications. A growing number of older adults have more than one medical condition and take multiple medications every day. It can be hard to keep track of it all! Some medications can interact with others, and some may be unnecessary… or even harmful to your health. Read more about the “Pitfalls of Polypharmacy” and when it might be wise to stop taking certain medications.

*This article has been edited for brevity. To read the full version visit

Source: McMaster Optimal Ageing Portal 

10 ways to maximize your RTO/ERO MemberPerks

MemberPerks helps RTO/ERO members save. Sign up for instant access to 1,500 discounts — we call them perks — that help you save money when you want to travel, shape up or just have fun.

Here are 10 ways for you to get the most from MemberPerks:

  1. Register for the program. You can’t start saving if you haven’t registered.
  2. Download the Venngo mobile app. Search for Venngo in your phone’s app store. It’s also an easy way to keep track of your savings.
  3. Suggest a Perk. Can’t find your favourite store or restaurant on Venngo? Go to the website and click on “Suggest a Perk” at the bottom of the page.
  4. Travel on the cheap. Save money on family vacations and weekend getaways when you use the hotel, car rental and flight perks.
  5. Refresh your wardrobe. Shop online or head to the mall after browsing the apparel category.
  6. Get comfortable and get active. Take 25% off your order at Adidas or Reebok.
  7. Look and feel your best. Find big discounts on haircuts, spa visits, massages, yoga, gyms and more.
  8. Having car troubles? Save on repairs, or save thousands on a new or used vehicle.
  9. Escape the kitchen. Whether at home or on the road, save at hundreds of restaurants.
  10. Have fun. Discount tickets to theme parks, shows and sporting events in Canada and the US.

Getting started is easy

MemberPerks is available to all RTO/ERO members and free to all members of the extended healthcare plan*.

  1. Visit
  2. Create an account. All you need is your RTO/ERO Membership number to get started.
  3. Start saving. Download the mobile app to get started.

*Non-EHC plan members pay only $24.99/year.

Need help? Call 1-866-383-6646 or email 

RTO/ERO names Mary Ellen Lawless, Helen Szydlowski as 2017 Distinguished Members

Helen Szdowski, Mary Ellen Lawless

At fall Senate in October, Mary Ellen Lawless (left) and Helen Szydlowski (right) will join an exclusive group, as they become the newest RTO/ERO Distinguished Members.

Lawless, a member of District 23 North York since 1995, has served in many leadership roles, including district president. 

For more than 10 years, Lawless has led district recruitment activities. She has organized and presented 25 retirement planning workshops to more than 2,000 attendees. 

In addition to her RTO/ERO volunteering, Lawless also contributes her time to the Toronto Catholic Principals and VPs Alumni Association and 
the Angel Foundation for Learning.

“There’s no one who works as hard as Mary Ellen,” says Valerie Mah, from District 16 Toronto, who has collaborated with Lawless on RPW organizing.

The same can be said for Helen Szydlowski, member of District 13 Hamilton-Wentworth Haldimand since 1999. Szydlowski served on the district executive from 2004 to 2016 in a wide variety of roles, including

In addition to editing and designing the district newsletter for 11 years, Szydlowski researched and compiled a history of District 13 for its 40th anniversary.

So it was natural for Szydlowski to answer RTO/ERO’s call to serve on the 50th Anniversary Committee. She has compiled a comprehensive history of the organization’s 50-year history that will be shared on the RTO/ERO website. 

Szydlowski is a volunteer Meals on Wheels driver. She also contributes her time to 
the Hamilton Good Shepherd Centre and the Dundas Valley School of Art.

Send us your war stories to commemorate Remembrance Day 

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.
 — John Maxwell Edmonds

November 11th is Remembrance Day. RTO/ERO wants to
honour those who served by sharing member's personal war stories.

Whether you or a loved one were in active service or in a supporting role either at home or abroad, send your stories, letters, and photos to Susannah Maxcy, by October 1st.

Johnson Insurance

Donations from RTO/ERO members address social isolation of seniors 

Thanks to generous donations from RTO/ERO members, seniors have access to more community programs that combat isolation. The RTO/ERO Foundation granted $100,000 in funding for four new projects that will enhance the quality of life of aging adults.

Donations are currently helping seniors in the following communities:
  • Guelph: Seniors and youth work together to harvest organic fruits and vegetables at the Guelph Youth-Senior Farm. This project aims to bridge the generational gap while building relationships in the community.
  • Prince Edward County: The police, fire, paramedics, rural mail couriers and library staff are all working together to identify isolated seniors in the community. These seniors are invited to workshops and social community events.
  • Ottawa: Community partners are producing a series of bilingual videos and workshops that focus on the life experiences of older adults who face social isolation due to their health and/or disabilities, sexual orientation and culture. 
  • London: High school and university students will work with community partners to connect with low-income seniors. This project will address social connections, engagement and inclusion of seniors. 
The RTO/ERO Foundation aims to enhance the quality of life for aging adults by investing in projects that address social isolation and through aging research and training.

Consider joining the Awesome Years Monthly Donor Club! Your monthly donation – of  $10, $20 or even $40 a month – will make a difference in the lives of seniors. 

For more information, visit, or contact us at 416-962-9463 or

Longstay vacations: Live like a local with the perks of a tourist!

Malaga, Spain
By Merit Travel
Once you experience a 
longstay vacation, you will never want to travel for any less time again. Here are our top picks. 
  1. Portugal. Enjoy uncrowded white sand beaches, beautiful caves, picturesque coastlines, traditional villages, and some of the best golf courses that Europe has to offer.
  2. Spain. Discover the luxurious ports, impeccable beaches, and Moorish ruins. It is a great base for nearby excursions to Seville, Cordoba, Nerja, Gibraltar, Malaga, and Rhonda. Enjoy the laid-back wine and tapas route, and visit the traditional food markets.
  3. Italy. The “dolce vita” can only be truly experienced with time… 24 nights at least.  Explore the quaint towns and country sides of Tuscany at your own pace. In Rome, take your time exploring the stunning Piazza Navona and visit St. Peter’s Basilica, a towering masterpiece of Renaissance architecture.
  4. France. Truly relax and enjoy comfortable temperatures on a glamourous vacation in France. Its museums house the richest collections of modern and contemporary art, and visits to the Marc Chagall and Matisse museums are not to be missed.
  5. Greece. Discover the magic of Greece. Take a walk around charming, old-style neighbourhoods and enjoy Greek culinary delights such as souvlaki, moussaka, and fresh grilled fish! Visit Athens, the Cradle of Western Civilization, steeped in mythology and breathtaking landmarks. 

Learn more: visit or call 1-877-872-3826.

Fall Retirement Planning Workshop schedule 

Retirement planning is hard work. Help your actively employed education friends plan for retirement the right way by telling them to sign up for one of our fall workshops.

At the workshops, they will learn about:
  • retirement income, 
  • lifestyle options,
  • and insurance.

For the full schedule visit,
RTO/ERO Retirement Planning Workshops
Jim Grieve
Follow Jim and RTO/ERO