Senior Housing Rent Or Buy

The general advice today for retirees is to sell your house and rent. The advantages seem to be foolproof. But there are important downsides to selling a home that is paid for, and has been well-maintained.

Let’s look at the pros and cons. For those of you already retired, or planning to do so soon, housing is a critical issue.


The Family Home


Memories abound in the place you call “home”. Your dream home may be the first one you bought, or the one you finally said, “This is it. We’ll live here forever”.

Children grew up here, some extended family were close by, your neighbors were “family”, and your livelihood was secure.

Why would you ever leave?

Unless the house isn’t in the greatest shape.

Plumbing and wiring need updates every few years. The roof starts to leak and the shingles are shot. Porches take a beating from the weather and need repair, and then there’s that coat of paint.

Keep Or Sell

If you are nearing retirement, look at the condition of the house. Whether you stay or sell, it should be in tiptop condition. Do it while you’re still getting a paycheck.

Professionals should be hired to do the evaluation. Discuss and take notes with each person. Get quotes for repairs and go over your finances.

It’s crucial for your house to be completely safe and well maintained, whether you live in it, or someone else does. Then go over your budget.

Single Women

If you are retired, or nearing retirement and live alone, your money situation is especially critical. You may not have enough income to completely renovate a house. Or you might be thinking of turning it into an AirB&B for a cash flow. Talk to professionals and get insightful advice. Your home shouldn’t be a liability. Whether you want to keep it, for any reason, or sell it, take your time.

Resources

Good, sound advice is at your fingertips. Start by reading articles on senior websites. Then, do research to find professionals in your area.

Here are a few good resources.

https://www.seniorly.com/resources/articles/7-home-selling-tips-for-seniors

This website has broad, general information on many things senior.

https://www.seniorcitizensguide.com/articles/services/7costlymistakes.htm

Emphasizes mistakes commonly made.

https://www.aarp.org/home-family/your-home/info-2018/sell-family-home.html

As always, good resources. I especially like the recommendation to find your next home before selling.

Whether you are single or a couple, a home to call your own is a priority. The retirement years can be wonderful or stressful. Do your homework, then start living!

Single women, especially, have to make careful decisions. We’re more likely to be short of cash flow, we need to emphasize security, and we often function in a couples-dominated world. Don’t hesitate to get professional advice.

Thank you for reading my blog. I love to hear from everyone.

Judy

The #1 Threat To Your Retirement Income The High Cost of Housing

If the money crunch is keeping you awake nights, you’re not alone.

The biggest worry for retiring seniors is MONEY. Whether you’ll outlive your assets is an ongoing concern. You may have a lot of money, or a little, but maintaining the lifestyle you enjoy becomes a struggle when you’re on a fixed income.

Today in America housing is the largest expense. It threatens to derail your financial portfolio and trash your budget. Look at this report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/spending-patterns-of-older-americans.htm

The text, charts and graphs give a clear picture of exactly what seniors face today. That roof over your head can take a huge bite out of your cash flow. This threat to your retirement funds can change the way you spend the rest of your retirement years. Your plans and your money may be threatened, but knowing the options will give you the advantage.

You can safeguard your finances, while enjoying the home and lifestyle you prefer.

My Experience

I’ve been working my way through this maze for several years, and I’ve seen the benefits and the pitfalls. Living in different types of senior housing has given me valuable information about what’s out there, and what I really want.

A Resort Style Living for Seniors property showed me that I really like having my own place. The small but comfortable homes provided space for my interests – quilting, writing and gardening – with privacy when I wanted it. The clubhouse a ballroom, library and business room, crafts, billiards, and offices. Outdoors we had a pool and patio, tennis courts and shuffleboard. When management and structure changed, I moved. But I remember fondly the wonderful time I had living there.

Next was a large senior community. I rented a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom house. The size was ideal and the amenities were too numerous to count. I loved that it was a gated community and had its own shopping and professional businesses. However, there was very little governing in place, and when I encountered rodents under the hood of my car, no one had the authority to take action. It took months to get a solution in place, and by then, I was ready to move on.

Today I live in a 55+Active Living community, in an apartment building. The people are wonderful, amenities are great, but I have come to realize that I want a place of my own.

Keep It Simple And Honest

The term, “Know Thyself” is attributed to several well known philosophers. Included are Socrates, Aristotle and Plato. Whichever is correct, the meaning is clear and compelling.

It is the beginning of wisdom. Decisions will affect the rest of your life, and should be based on who you really are.

Start with knowing yourself. Be totally honest. What do you like? What do you dislike? What dreams have you had over the years, as you neared retirement?

Wishing is great, plans have structure.

Be realistic. Plans have to turn into actions. What can you manage?

Make A Living Plan

This is a time to relax and enjoy your best life ever. Imagine a day of leisure.

When you think about “retirement”, what do you picture? Sunshine, a golf course, a community that offers activities and socializing? Or maybe you want a condo in a metropolitan area, with museums, art galleries and concerts.

Picture this. Blue skies, palm trees, sparkling water and you in a boat.

There are thousands of living options out there. Here’s a general breakdown of what they’re called, and what they provide.

  • Independent living – can be just for those who are very able-bodied and self-sufficient, or part of a larger care facility that may include Assisted Living and/or Memory Care. Cost: About $1500 – $10,000/month. Charges will be itemized for your evaluation. Meals, activities and social events available. Amenities vary.
  • 55+ Active Living – apartments with a Clubhouse or Commons Area, and a variety of offerings that may include a pool, fitness center, library, craft rooms, meeting rooms, theater, ballroom, games and excursions out and about. The price here also varies and may be around $1500 to several thousand/month. There may also be a charge for garage space, and residents may pay part of the utilities for the building, as well as for their own apartment.
  • Assisted Living – this facility would be for those needing help with daily needs, such as bathing, dressing and medication. Three meals a day, on-site staff 24/7 and programs and activities are available. Price may start at $3,628 and go up, depending on needs.
  • Nursing homes- memory care and Alzheimer/dementia may cost $233/day.

This general outline shows a wide parameter of facilities for seniors. If one appeals, or seems suitable to you, start by comparing online. Everyone worth considering has a website, a phone number and a place to request a tour. Don’t make a snap decision.

Retirement was meant to be enjoyed, not endured. The solution to the housing threat is to take your time, do research, ask questions and talk to your financial advisor.

Your retirement living plan begins with you, writing about you. Get a notebook amd talk about yourself. Make a numbered list, bullets or write in paragraphs. Start with all the things you like about yourself. Then switch to stuff you’re not so crazy about.

  • What makes you happy?
  • What spells contentment for you?
  • What agitates you?
  • What’s been a dream for a long time?
  • What worries do you want eliminated from your life?

This is just a beginnng. Your housing situation shouldn’t break the bank.

Here are some exceptional websites for further reference.

https://www.boomercafe.com

https://www.retiredbrains.com/index.html

http://www.newretirement.com

http://www.seniorliving.org

Thank you for letting me help you today. I hope you found valuable information that keeps the wolves at bay.

Remember to keep it simple.

Seniors are resourceful and resilient.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me. I love hearing from all of you.

Judy

The High Cost of Poor Nutrition

Delicious and Nutritious

Getting well, staying well and prioritizing nutritional value in your meals can mean the difference between chronic sickness and wellness. It can also determine your health care costs, and how your finances are impacted. If you think insurance is expensive, consider the actual cost of chronic illness and disability.

There’s a saying, “you are what you eat“, and it seems to be self-explanatory. However, the way that food affects your body, your metabolism, and your taste buds is entirely personal and unique.

What Exactly is Wellness?

Disease and poor health can stem from a number of factors. Illness strikes, sometimes without warning. A disability or handicap may be the result of a disease, an accident or a congenital condition.

Our diet and nutritional input greatly affects how our body works. It also affects the mind and emotions. It’s critical to know and understand the nutritional requirements of your body, and how to get them.

As children, you ate whatever was served at the table. In the days when families ate three square meals a day, and snacks were limited, your food intake was carefully monitored. Mothers often adhered to the prescribed standards for what you needed for good health.

Today meals are more casual. Some families almost never sit down together for a meal. Unless there are babies or small children, food is available and everyone takes what they like. This may or may not lead to wellness. Our society can be vague on what constitutes good nutrition. The fact is, whatever you select usually becomes a lifelong habit that results in regular health habits. Some good. Some bad.

Knowing what your body needs for wellness can steer you away from the bad habits. There are good foods that are quick and easy to grab. Fruit, veggie sticks, nuts, yogurt or energy bars can be kept within arms reach, before you rip open that bag of chips.

Eating foods that nourish, rather than just fill you up has enormous benefits.

  1. Your body is getting what it needs to function properly.
  2. You feel well and satisfied.
  3. You have more energy.
  4. Your medical picture is good.
  5. You’ll save money.

That last one may come as a surprise, but good food usually doesn’t cost as much as junk.

Foods that lack nutritional value are expensive. Treats, snacks, fast foods and packaged items such as chips, candy bars and sweets, usually have a higher price tag than fresh or simple foods. There are exceptions of course, but buying oranges, for example, is usually cheaper than buying orange juice. When you’re carefully watching your budget, groceries can take a large chunk out of your weekly allowance. Anyone living within a tight budget will recognize the significance.

Senior women on a budget may see their grocery bills taking a hefty chunk out of their resources. Add in your insurance premiums, medications and out-of-pocket expenses and that nest egg looks mighty small.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to eat poorly. Neither my health picture or my budget allow it.

Guidelines For Nutrition And Wellness

Which is your dinner plate? On the first plate, we have meat, a green vegetable and a fruit. Some scientists claim tomatoes are both fruit and vegetable. Regardless, this is a balanced meal. There is protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals.

On the second plate is a pizza, a popular and delicious choice for family or company. This pizza appears to be vegetarian, and this meal is also nutritious, as well as colorful.

The trick is to find foods that you like, and also meet food requirements. In general, start with a few good and favorite foods, carefully add to your list, and plan your meals accordingly.

Nutrition. You Eat It. It Nourishes You.

The most important list you should make, before your shopping list, is about foods that you like and that are also nutritious. There are hundreds of opinions regarding “proper nutrition”. However, certain foods make all the lists.

  • Fruits – This includes berries and fruits that grow on trees. Fruits are perennials.
  • Vegetables – You may eat the root, stem, leaves, flowers, seeds, tubers or pods. Vegetables are annuals because they are planted every year, from seeds or small plants.
  • Meat and fish – Protein sources are numerous and also include dairy, peanut butter, vegetables and eggs.
  • Dairy – This food group is the subject of controversy, however, it includes milk and milk products, such as cheese, yogurt, butter and cream.

Though I research for accuracy, information regarding food and nutrition are variable. I’m here to give you practical ideas for eating right, feeling good and maintaining wellness. Everyone eats junk food occasionally, but if it’s making you tired, overweight or feeling unwell, find a substitute. Fruits and berries tend to be sweet, nuts generally taste good and veggies dipped in your favorite dressing satisfies a craving. These are staples.

Results

The advantages of eating for wellness are many, but let’s talk about three for now.

  1. Mental and physical health
  2. Energy
  3. Economical

Mental and physical health

For optimum functionality, the body needs to be fully nurtured. Deficiencies result in sluggish, impaired mental and physical activity. You’re feeding multiple parts of the body, that have specific jobs to do. And they work together, to give you optimum abilities, from your head down to your toes.

Energy

Energy is more than wanting to run. Every part of your body has to have fuel. When you’re running on an empty tank, collapse is just around the corner. Here’s a definition of how the body runs.

Metabolism noun. The definition of metabolism is the organic and chemical processes inside of organisms that are necessary to maintain life, or how quickly you burn calories or fat. The chemical processes that let you stay alive are an example of metabolism.

Doctors will tell you that by the time you’re 30 years old, your metabolism has been gradually decreasing. By the time you are 65, you really need to rev up your metabolism with exercise and carefully planned nutrition.

Economical

I mentioned earlier that good foods cost less than junk. I have a nutritional guide that I use for grocery shopping and meal planning.

The Simple Superfoods list, by Sarah Short, is a complete guide to nutritional foods and delicious eating. It lists 30 key superfoods that have the vitamins and minerals we need for optimum health and wellbeing.

The foods are familiar to all of us, and we probably eat some of them each day, and throughout the week. By maximizing our consumption of the foods on this list, we can  feel and look better, and increase our health and fitness.

I choose a number of foods each time I grocery shop, including fruits, vegetables, fish, oils, grains and nuts. I’m not concerned about perfect matches; I eat what I like and vary it according to taste and what’s available.

What could be simpler? The affiliate link is below. I hope you find a few things you like that may be added to your shopping list.

https://97cd0b698p3mxdslobzfmergtd.hop.clickbank.net/

Poor nutrition takes its toll on body, mind and wallet. You can maximize your everyday health picture and your weekly budget simply by jotting down your favorite food items and including them when you go to the market.

Here’s to your health!

Look well. Feel great! Save money.

What could be better?

I love hearing your ideas, comments or questions.

Judy

WORKING SENIORS

For a long time, I’ve been saying I’m retired but still working. That doesn’t make sense. I’m really a working senior so that’s what I’ll call myself from now on. In reality, I’ll probably never retire completely, because I work for two reasons:

  1. I need money to live on.
  2. I like working.

The fact that seniors are living longer, and many are living below the poverty line is daunting. The statistics: 1 in 7 seniors lives in poverty, and 1 in 4 older single women live below the poverty line.

Did we actually never work? Did we never save? The answer to both those questions is decidedly NO.

We’re a hard-working generation. I grew up in a family business and had saving pounded into my head.

The fact is, we are healthier, live longer, and simply got caught up in economics. When wage growth lags behind the cost of living, you can’t keep up. It’s been going on for decades, and is just now leveling off.

Working Seniors

There are thousands of us who never stopped working, or we took a break and then got back in the work force.

I began writing before I applied for Social Security. Having a cash flow was important to me, and necessary. I was widowed fairly young (age 50), and managed my money very frugally. However, all things considered – the economy, family expenses and the cost of living- indicated that I should be earning. So I started writing, published a couple of books and lots of articles, marketed and gave seminars. Now I write blogs and research information about all things senior. I also do affiliate marketing.

Jobs for Working Seniors

References that turned up when I did a keyword search for Working Seniors includes: Home based, jobs, best jobs, part-time and careers. There are many options today for seniors to make extra money. Most of them have been mentioned in some of my previous blog pots. They bear being repeated here.

Internet business – this may be anything, from selling products to information to reviews of places and interests.

Franchises – there are many well-suited for the older generation. (Ask me about references)

Hobbies/Crafts turned into businesses.

Services you can offer for a fee in your community. Such as dog walking, childcare, driving, personal assistant, tutoring.

Counseling others on something you know well.

Teaching community classes, such as cooking, painting, foreign language, really anything you know well.

Affiliate marketing – monetizing on a website by reviewing and advertising products you have tried and like. The last part is important. Make sure you try the product or service it and are happy with it.

A link to a blog post of mine on this subject.https://seniorwomenandmoney.com/best-money-advice-for-stressed-seniors

Here’s my personal choice for learning and earning about affiliate marketing:

https://www.wealthyaffiliate.com?a_aid=bbef2943

Good business knowledge is important, even if your business is small. Here’s good information.

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4686-how-to-start-a-business.html

Taxes

Yup, it’s tax time again. Whether you work or not, or are currently taking social security, you should be receiving some documents to file with your taxes.

When your regular income is below the poverty line, you don’t need to file taxes. Be sure you check with a tax person, to be certain of the numbers. You can make an appointment with a tax specialist or company, like H&R Block, or you may be able to set up a phone call and talk to a tax specialist. Have your paperwork handy. This includes anything you receive that is marked Taxes.

Working seniors is the norm today, and this will continue for many years. The number of seniors in the population is increasing by the millions, and many older adults either continue to stay in their jobs, or plan a second job before quitting the first. Women have always struggled financially, earning less than men, and taking time off for child and family concerns. Those facts have impacted how we manage today.  Here is an interesting article that looks at aspects of senior life, particularly money, for both men and women.

https://www.dol.gov/wb/resources/older_women_economic_security.pdf

As the population grows and seniors continue to work and live healthy lives, nearly every industry will be competing to keep up. Housing, health insurance and care, transportation, travel, food, investments, clothing and leisure and entertainment will include the needs and interests of the older generation.

What to do with the money you have and what you may earn is an important consideration. Older people, in general, don’t always ask the hard questions. We’re known for being “nice and trusting” folks. Here’s where scamming comes in. I have written articles about scams that appear on my other websites. Here are links.

https://www.seniorslivingwell.blog

https://www.survive-strong.com

I found this excellent, in-depth article that addresses investing issues for seniors.

https://www.sec.gov/investor/seniors/guideforseniors.pdf

I’m so happy you read my blog post. The links I include are to expand on my information, and give you food for thought, as you navigate senior living.

I love to hear your views and comments. Please write with any quesstions, ideas or stories you may want to share.

Judy

Senior Living Knowing When It Feels Like Home

Retirement brings about change -a change in your daily schedule, a change of activities and often a change of location. How do you know you have found your new home? What does it look like…and feel like?

Retiring seniors have a multitude of choices today for living options. There are 55+ Active Living Communities, Independent Living, Apartments – for just seniors or not, Low Income and Sharing your home. This means renting to others and sharing all or part of the whole house.

You may also be looking at Assisted Living that may or may not have a Memory Care Center. So many choices. How will you know it’s Home?

Starting the thought process.

We are a generation of homeowners. Most Baby Boomers + have owned at least one home. Furnishing and personalizing your home makes it your go-to place. A sense of comfort and security give it that warm, homey feeling.

Do you know where you want to live when you retire? This decision may be harder than you think. An initial evaluation may help you sort out the pros and cons. The best place to start is NOT with what’s wrong with where you live now, or how much you hated that vacation condo last winter. It takes thought, research and especially visiting a few choices. The visits should last longer than a couple days. Check out the area – shopping, ease of transportation, medical facilities and residential neighborhoods are what you will be living with, maybe for years. Some questions to ask:

  • How does it feel?
  • Will it be reasonably easy to adjust and get around?
  • Are the prices right for your needs and preferences?
  • Can you see yourself settling in and staying for several years?

How to find your home

I decided to retire when I reached 62. I lived in a cold climate, my kids were out of the house, and I wanted a warm, relaxed environment.

Arizona interested me. And it was easy to check it out. My brother and sister-in-law had been coming to Arizona for a few winters, so I booked a ticket to have a look. I visited about 8 places, walked the grounds and checked out the clubhouse, talked with residents and staff and took notes. I got a “feel” for each community.
I found the perfect place. A 55+ community, still being built, and I chose a lot and floor plan. The clubhouse offered a library and business center, craft rooms, ballroom for large events, a kitchen, meeting rooms and a beautiful pool and patio. I lived there for 11 years and loved it.

The time came when family concerns prompted me to sell the house and move to another well-known senior community in Arizona. I didn’t give it a thorough enough evaluation, and it wasn’t a good fit. I learned that renting is very different than home ownership. I also learned that it’s critical to know and understand the governing process in the community.

Problems

Here’s an example of what may happen. This happened to me.

I moved into a year around rental house in a large and popular community in the West Valley in Arizona. Spacious, located on a cul-de-sac with nicely landscaped houses, the place I rented had multiple problems. Cockroaches in nearly every room, water coming up through the floorboards, a broken sprinkler system that gushed water into the street, and sticky dirt on the tops of kitchen cabinets.

I had walked through the house and talked with the homeowner. I read the lease several times before signing. I should have taken it to a lawyer. A little time and money could have saved everyone a lot of grief.

What surprised me most was when management seemed not to know how to remedy the problem, or was indifferent to the situation. Sometimes the “governing board” really doesn’t have the authority to do anything. It’s basically a bylaws and discussion group.

What I failed to realize is that landlords aren’t required to submit a completion list. Regular repairs, pest control, landscape watering system and professional cleaning is all required each time a new tenant moves in. A simple itemized sheet with company name, date and phone number would have clarified everything. A Review Board could handle it, make a few calls for authenticity and give it the go-ahead.

Solutions

Here’s where the management system – and the people running the office – become center stage. How will problems be resolved? Who do you talk to? What does your lease say? What do staff members tell you? Did you get a Welcome Packet that re-states when you have been verbally told?
It’s wonderful when you talk to a knowledgeable and considerate person, and the problem is solved promptly. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. What if your maintenance request is ignored. Or your blll is incorrect?

Knowing what you can do, and what your rights are is critical. In my own experience, I’ve had things go wrong several times. It’s going to happen. Problems will arise. So look carefully into the management style and ask some questions. Ask residents, staff and whoever shows you around.

Check list

“What kind of maintenance problems have you experienced in the last 6 months?

How long did it take to get them resolved?” Don’t accept vague answers like, “Oh, we try to get issues settled promptly.” How long is “promptly”?

“What kinds of activities and amenities are verbally promised to prospective residents and then not delivered?”

“Are there fees that we’ll be expected to pay that haven’t been mentioned?”


“When problems arise with outsourced business aspects, how is this handled?” Ex. Billing companies, food services, cleaning, repairs, etc.
“How long does it take to resolve issues with outsourced businesses?”

“What happens if you need to move out?”


“What are the rules for family members and visitors regarding pool hours, use of equipment, overnight stays, bringing pets?”


“When I’m away for periods of time – options for paying bills, checking on my house/apartment, getting my mail?”


There’s no place like home.

There is a tremendous sense of belonging when you finally decide you’re found your retirement home. Perhaps you’ll travel for part of each year. Or maybe you’ll acclimate to your new surroundings, make friends and settle in.

Let’s see how retirees are filling their days.


The Retired Life What It Looks Like

My life is semi-retired. I’ve been writing since before I took my social security, but have maximized my efforts to generate a cash flow. My resources are varied and include both writing and marketing. Here are my websites and what I do.

My books, articles and grief and loss resources
Information and resources about senior issues and change

A blog for seniors and affiliates

https://www.wealthyaffiliate.com?a_aid=bbef2943

Right now, home is Texas. I have a nice place to live and many new and wonderful friends.

My office is basically a computer, and I can write anywhere. So I’m planning to travel.

Please check out my information. It’s to help you evaluate where you make your home, and what your retirement will look like. Your Retired Life should be just what you want.

I’m so glad you read my post. I would love to hear from you. Questions, comments, stories or suggestions are always welcome.

Judy

Working Seniors How To Launch A Business After Retirement

Aha! That day has arrived when you are officially retired. No more getting up to the alarm clock, commuting, or planning your summer vacation. You’re free to do whatever you like with your time.

You may have anticipated this day for a while. Hopefully, you’ve made plans. Leisure activities, golfing and gardening, finding a winter home – the possibilities are endless.

Launching a business may not be on that list, but there’s a possibility that it will cross your mind sooner or later. Statistics say 72% of seniors expect to work after retiring. Many need the cash, and having a sense of purpose persuades others. Whatever the reason, let’s take a look at the whole aspect of working online.

Reasons

  • Personal needs

Food, clothing and shelter don’t go away because your financial picture has changed. The basics remain but the real cost may be very different. Whether to stay in your home or move will impact your finances. Are you selling your house and buying elsewhere? Or buying a vacation home for part of the year? That makes two places to keep up.

In the early days of retirement, it’s easy to overspend. The cash flow seems endless, and you’ve waited a long time for this. But the cost of living rises, and a glance at the bottom line may suggest you need to slow down.

  • Extras

Big-ticket items put a large dent in the budget. Fun stuff is what makes this time in life “golden”. But that chunk of money leaves a gaping hole in the financial portfolio.

If you find yourself thinking you need a cash flow, or if you’ve already decided it’s time, here are important points to consider.

Points To Consider

  1. What skills do you bring to the table? Can they be applied to jobs today?
  2. Computer proficiency- good enough to run a small business?
  3. What type of business should you pursue?
  4. Fear of the unknown – little business knowledge. Getting a loan.
  5. How to network.
  6. Keeping records.

Set aside time to carefully consider each of these points. Make notes for yourself. Be honest about each point and come up with a thorough assessment of your needs, abilities, and what you are willing to do long term. Be as detailed as possible, because whatever you choose, it should be manageable, sustainable and profitable.

Once you have your personal evaluation, you can begin to put together the final, results-oriented plan for your business.

Resources abound on the internet. From senior bloggers, websites and magazines that offer ideas, the sky’s the limit. A good one to check out is the blog site, retired brains.

https://www.retiredbrains.com/index.html

There’s an enormous amount of information. I would recommend keeping your personal evaluation sheet handy, and search first for additional facts about your specific interests. You can browse all day, but for now, focus on the results you want to achieve.

Launching a business in retirement should yield what you really need. It shouldn’t drive you nuts. The big question is what will I love doing for a few hours a week and also put some cold cash in the bank account?

Job and computer skills

How can you turn your previous job skills into a business? With a google search and a little imagination, you can figure out how to monetize them on the internet.

Tutorials abound for learning how to build a website, write content, get a following, add a shopping cart and all the other things that a business needs.

A short list:
WordPress – videos, tutorials and the community forum will give you a lot of information and answer questions.

YouTube – thousands of videos on every aspect of computer savvy. Detailed instruction with examples that show you exactly what to do. Usually short and to the point.

Programs, webinars, reports etc. abound, many free or for a small fee. Social media is a great place to look.

Google what you need to learn and check out the presenter’s website. It should indicate how many classes and students, with testimonies about quality. A good reputation is necessary to stay in business. Wherever or however you learn, take notes.

Business types

Today, there are many options to consider. Almost any business can be run on a computer.

  • Selling products and/or information
  • Franchises
  • Craft stores
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Instructional videos on many subjects
  • Teaching
  • Coaching – the choices are endless.

Here are a few outstanding resources to check out. This website presents a broad source of ideas for seniors, about seniors. https://seniorservicebusiness.com

A top magazine with stories and articles on all things business: https://www.entrepreneur.com

An affiliate marketing website where you learn and do: https://www.wealthyaffiliate.com?a_aid=bbef2943

Best business ideas – Nov. 2018 https://www.thebalancesmb.com/the-best-business-ideas-for-working-for-or-with-seniors-2947979

Choose from your list of skills and interests, and give thought to how to turn it into a business. Imagine yourself looking for a product, information, or ideas about a facet of your life (travel, housing). Then consider:

Is it helpful? Is it appealing? Credible? Useful to many? How would you monetize it? Reliable?

Get feedback from friends and family members. They often see things you don’t, and can make suggestions. Remember, you have the final word.

Fear of the unknown/Networking/Loans

If you have little to no experience running a business, panic may set in. The Small Business Administration is a wonderful organization that helps you every step of the way. There are counselors, mentors, tools galore for helping you get started, and followups for maintaining your business.

Webinars and tutorials are also abundant on the internet, as well as Meetup groups for ideas and information. A support group is worth its weight in gold.

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Recently, the Small Business Administration increased their lending budget by $128 million for women-owned businesses.

This is great news because women are often denied loans.

The SBA helps everyone – men and women – to get their business up and running, and maintain it. Before you cash in your entire savings, remember that a small loan can give you a cushion so you have a good start.

Keeping records

This is imperative. For yourself, for taxes and for building your business, have a system for record keeping. Ideally, you will set it up on the computer. Some people keep records in ledgers with pencil and paper. What matters is that you are consistent and accurate. Speak to a tax specialist, to make sure you are compliant with the law. And have a backup if it’s just on the computer. An external thumb drive is ideal. Separate bank accounts for personal and business are important.

Working from your home may give you some tax breaks, if you designate specific space for running the business. Here’s where you get professional advice.

Sound like it’s getting complicated? It needn’t be. Once it’s up and running, you can get into maintenance mode and watch that cash flow rise.

I’m a retiree who has never stopped working. I can help you brainstorm, research, evaluate choices and manage that fear. Been there…Done it.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns. I’d love to hear from you.

Judy

A “New” Year What Do You Really Want?

January 1st is either a day for new beginnings, or one of recuperation, depending on your New Year’s Eve celebration.

At any rate, it’s time to write your New Year’s Resolutions. Or is it? Do you always do this? Do you carry them out?

There’s some truth in wanting and hoping the next year will be better than the last. The big question is “What do you really want?”

What Matters

The New Year can be a bright, shiny object, something you’re attracted to because it appears to be life-changing. But a date on the calendar won’t change anything. YOU have to change, and that’s where the action starts. A resolution can and should only be made after considerable thought, soul-searching and evaluating.

Reflection is a good place to start. What were your goals for the past year? Did you make progress, accomplish everything or see it slip away? First, focus on the major issues. If you accomplished everything, pat yourself on the back. Think about how you did it.

  • Were you working on something you really loved?
  • Were you more focused?
  • Did you get help with the difficult parts?
  • Was your day better organized?
  • Your work space more conducive to production?

If you fell short of a few tasks, what happened? Here’s where you can analyze your everyday habits. Often, things don’t get done because of interruptions, lack of focus or low interest in what you’re doing. Busy work lacks commitment. Where is it going? What’s the end result?

Moving Forward

Results are the real goals, not lists of tasks to be performed. The tasks may be necessary, but they are a starting point, not an end result. In other words, don’t write down “take webinars, buy ecourses, connect on social media.” Those are regular items you schedule on a daily or weekly planner.

The goal is to increase followers, make a certain income, write a 5-part informational ebook. These are the landmarks that move you forward and build a sustainable business.

As you evaluate the year past, give some thought to the empty spaces in your life. What did you intend to do that got scrapped or just forgotten? Is it something you want to revive? The gaps may be a good place to start as you write new goals. Those landmarks give muscle to your work ethic, so choose carefully. If in doubt, leave it out. A few compelling goals should keep you busy most of the year, and you can always add one or two if you run out of things to do!

A Positive Approach To A New Year

Now that you have a good handle on what you really want, set up a schedule to pursue your chosen goals. The first item on the list of accomplishments asked, “Were you working on something you really loved?” If the big picture doesn’t reflect a true, heartfelt subject-endeavor-issue, you may never move forward enough to feel real satisfaction. What you do in life should bring joy, while meeting the practical needs of money, security and industry.

I’ve learned most of these solid priorities by making mistakes. Experience is the best teacher. When I find I’m bored, restless or can’t write a decent paragraph, I stop and reflect. What do I really love to do? How can I do it and earn at the same time? It’s not a perfect system, but it’s sustainable.

What are your plans for the New Year?

I’d love to hear about your past achievements and any goals or resolutions you’ve made for 2019.

Startup Businesses And Loans

 

 

For women wishing to increase their cash flow after retirement, an internet business may be just the thing. Opportunities abound for home-based businesses, and seniors – men and women – are getting into the game by the thousands. A keyword search for “internet business” turned up the following searches from people looking for information.

  1. Make money online
  2. Internet opportunities make money
  3. Work from home
  4. Best business opportunities online
  5. Best home businesses
  6. New ideas for home businesses

These are just a few of the popular searches, and they include all ages and come from both men and women.

The Startup

For women who are retired and looking for opportunities, an internet business is the ideal place to start. A business may be based on skills you already have, a hobby or something new that offers a learning curve that interests you.

That said, by far, the biggest deterrent for women starting a business is getting a loan. Expenses for a new business go beyond a domain name and a website. Building a website is not for the fainthearted. If it gives you nightmares (me), you may decide to hire a good website designer. Prices here have a wide range, and some very effective sites are fairly simple. However, a good website has many pages of content, and you will probably want images. Then, there are affiliates.

The Daily Maintenance

Building and maintaining your business site takes daily attention.

Marketing is a given. Social media, posting on various sites, reviewing others’ information and keeping your name/brand out there takes time and some expertise. If content writing isn’t your best thing, or you need more than you can comfortably handle, you may hire a freelance writer. Hiring help when you need it is essential to maintain a good business.

The Money Pit

That help often starts with a business loan. Often, women are simply turned down for a loan because they lack experience in running a business. However, many women currently running a profitable business have been denied loans because they’re not considered a “good risk”.

The good news is that recently, the SBA (Small Business Association) increased their lending budget by 128 million for women-owned businesses. This is a huge step forward in supporting women business owners. According to the US Department of Labor Blog, women own close to 10 million businesses. The SBA will also help you with other questions and ideas about starting a business. Here is the link to view more information about women in the work force.

https://blog.dol.gov/2017/03/01/12-stats-about-working-women

When women are able to get a loan to start a business, they contribute to the household income, and can become financially independent. Seventy percent of mothers with children under 18 are in the labor force. If the jobs are secure, they may stay. However, having your own business gives you more than independence; it allows you to determine your own work hours and location, and sets an example of self-reliance.

Retired women have experience and job skills that can be repositioned into an internet business. Hobbies you’re had all your life may also become good startup ideas.

The Picture Today

The fact is, more women than men have college and graduate degrees. However, women still earn 20% less than men. By starting and maintaining a business, you put the ball in your court. That startup fund can make a huge difference in your lifetime achievements.

In a previous blog post, Women Startup Business Solutions, I included a link to a site for finding a good loan for your business.

www.lendingtree.com/Business-Loans/Women

Freelancing and home based businesses are becoming number one choices for earning and making a living. Many people have been able to quit their regular job within a couple years, and live comfortably on the business they started in the living room. Being your own boss is an attractive alternative to working for someone else, who invariably takes home more than you do.

Need a loan? Research the links in this, and my other blog posts, and write a provisional business plan. Putting that ball in your court could be the start of financial independence and lots of personal satisfaction.

If you liked this article, and have a story to tell, please send me a comment. Any questions, just ask. Let’s get a dialogue going. We can learn from one another.

Judy

 

Best Retirement Spots Healthy Safe Affordable

Thinking about retiring? Wondering where to locate? I’ve been in working/retired mode for several years now, and I regularly search for Best Places to Retire. It needs to be affordable, for sure, but I also have my list of amenities that are important. Everyone’s criteria is personal to them, but there are some items that are generally in demand.

Six amenities jump out at me, and they apply to locations here and abroad. Finding your ideal spot on the planet takes some research and a lot of thought. Let’s take a look at the six amenities I found that are priorities.

 

 

 

  1. Affordable – Wonderful spots can be found on nearly every continent, that offer comfortable living at a price you can afford. Google keywords like “retirement spots in the US” or “top ten places abroad”. Choose a few places to investigate, do the math, and start your list. If you will need to increase your cash flow, figure out how you’ll do that and get started before you move, if possible.
  2. Quality of life – This is highly subjective, of course, so give it a great deal of thought. Culture, outdoor adventures, arts and theater, heritage, food and restaurants, shopping, learning opportunities – are only a few of the amenities you may be seeking.
  3. Health – Are you healthy? Is there above average health care in this locality? Are the people who live there generally healthy? Find out about regional health issues and alerts.
  4. Social/Family – Getting acquainted with natives and ex- pats should be reasonably easy. Unless you choose to live in a remote area (your choice), meeting people can be done wherever folks gather. If you have family you want or need to visit often, this is a priority on your list. Accessibility/transportation should be close and relatively easy. An airport, train, good roads or whatever is required should be as hassle-free as possible.
  5. Weather/Climate – Do you want sunshine 300 days a year? I lived in Arizona for fifteen years and loved it. Summer heat had to be dealt with, but you’ll likely have to make some concessions wherever you land. Do you want change of seasons, winter sports, beach, woods, a garden, dry climate or lots of rain? Then there are tornadoes, hurricanes, monsoons and droughts. Aha! The plot thickens.
  6. Safe – The crime rate will be listed in good reports about retirement spots. The kind of crimes, what parts of the country, which cities and the safest places to live. Make careful notes.


Beaches Books History  Sunshine  Bicycles

This is the time to explore, visit some spots, ideally during different seasons, and soak up the flavor of everyday life.

Ask locals about health care and crime. Imagine settling down, seeing the sites and enjoying the amenities. Everyday life is different from a vacation, although it may take a while to realize it.

Do you need a car? How does everyone get around? How much living space do you need?

Picture yourself in various parts of the environment, downtown, off the beaten path, or in a beach house. Now imagine going grocery shopping.

The best retirement spot for you is where you can finally say, “This feels like home”. Whether you’ve chosen a place near or far, you can always change your mind. If you have a side hustle you can do anywhere, just pick up and go.

Remember to do your homework first. Hit the latest reviews on retirement spots around the world.

Job Growth For Women

 

The status of women, work and income is an ongoing and constantly changing theme in how America lives.

Previous to the start of WWII, only18-20% of women worked outside their home. Those who did work were mostly single women who worked as seamstresses, clerks, housekeepers and teachers.

However, the beginning of the 1900’s saw a growth surge of women taking jobs. Many women were seeking employment, fostering the establishment of the Women’s Trade Union League in 1903. It’s primary responsibility was to oversee working conditions. During WWI, women worked as mechanics, police officers and truck drivers.

Background

Workplace conditions continued to be a major concern, and on June 5, 1920, the US Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau was established.

In the early part of World War II, 143 women went to work in seven airplane factories. Eighteen months later, 65,000 women worked in those same factories. Yes, 65,000. During that war, women left jobs as clerks, seamstresses and teachers to find better paying jobs in factories. Women not only built airplanes and other war materials, they drove trucks and felled trees in the Northwest, becoming female lumberjacks.

Today

Today women comprise 47% of America’s workforce, according to Women and Work Current Facts and Reports from US Department of Labor Women’s Bureau Director Dr. Patricia Greene.

Changes in circumstances and opportunities reflect the attitudes toward and the value placed on women and work. Traditionally, women dominated certain industries and types of work, usually with lower pay. Today, that picture has changed considerably.

Advancements in opportunities for women have been hard won. A recent opportunity is an upswing in apprenticeships. The President’s Task Force on Apprenticeships in America is partnering with industries to expand the numbers of apprenticeship opportunities for women to Learn and Earn, giving them the background and skills to compete for these jobs. You can read all about it here. https://blog.dol.gov/2018/11/16/more-apprenticeships-more-opportunity

What Else Is New?

Affordable Day Care: To help mothers and fathers thrive in these and other opportunities, they must have access to quality, affordable childcare options. The President recently signed a federal budget to increase funding for the Childcare and Development Block Grants from $2.8 billion to $5.2 billion – the largest increase yet.

Business loans: Women entrepreneurs often have a difficult time obtaining a business loan. Recently, the Small Business Association increased their lending budget by $128 million for women-owned businesses.

Statistics: 70% of mothers with children under 18 are in the US labor force.

Mothers provide at least half of a family’s income in households with children under the age of 18.

Summary

Job growth takes time, and is an ongoing endeavor for women in America. The unemployment rate is at an all-time low, and training and education is opening up to prepare women to compete. Women still get paid about 20% less than men, things being equal. There are important issues that need to be addressed regarding the workplace, and the definition and value of “women’s work.”