What Retirees Value

The Youngsters


What?!! I’m 65?

You’re aware of it, and at the same time, it creeps up on you. Retirement is a general word that implies “Stop Working. Start Relaxing”. That seems simple enough, except that 65 is no longer a magic number that allows you to do just that.

People retire at all ages, and for all different reasons. For example, a couple who publish a popular retirement newsletter were 38 when they retired. And then there are companies that don’t just retain older workers, they cultivate them. To many employers, seniors are wise, experienced, insightful, innovative and willing to learn. And they show up.

Retirement isn’t a time in life; it’s an idea that has more to do with change than activity. A sense of stopping one kind of activity and starting another is about values.

  • What’s on your bucket list?
  • How satisfying is the job you have?
  • How’s your health?
  • Money picture?
  • What’s on your vision board – real or mind’s eye? (Do you have one?)

Facing Retirement

The good thing is that you can stop going to work every day. Leisure activities can be scheduled in, travel and sight-seeing may be on the agenda, and you can sleep in every day if you want. The first few months are usually foot loose and fancy free. But change has its downside.

Too much time on your hands makes you restless. The paycheck stops coming. Finances change, and a new budget has to be written. Social groups are sometimes drastically altered when one person, or a couple are retired, and everyone else is still working.

Those who have written a retirement plan, or at least started one, may have smoother sailing as they transition into a new life. Think carefully about what you really want. Studies find that seniors generally have a positive outlook on life. We also tend to be flexible.

As you ponder about your retirement plan, what jumps out at you? Or if you’re already living it, what surprised you?

What surprised me was the real need to be productive. When my job ended, I began substitute teaching. I was already widowed, my children were either working or still in college, and I missed having a routine and a time frame. Being productive seems to be a common thread among retirees. It’s more than a time filler. It gives meaning and purpose to your life.

How do you address this? Transitions should be carefully thought out and slowly implemented.

Focusing on your true values is the heart of the matter, and the jumping off point in your plan.

The Necessities Of Life

What sustains you? Warmth, food, clothing/covering, housing. And company. For most people, being alone too much is detrimental. A little alone time, of course, is great. These basics keep us alive, but to keep well, we need a few personal items.

What interests you? Excites you? Gives you a sense of purpose? Adds meaning and brings joy to your life? These are the personal necessities that must be factored into your retirement plan. These are your real values.



The heart of the matter: Your retirement is personal.

What are you retiring from?

What are you retiring to?

Ask yourself those two questions and write a paragraph – or page – or two about the answer to each.

“Retirement is a work in progress.” A quote from Billy and Akaisha Kaderli, the authors of the newsletter I’ve linked below.

It’s in the 20 questions section.

https://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/20questions.htm

If the necessities of life aren’t met, the plans for leisure, socializing, travel, and relaxation will fall short. A survey by The Holiday Retirement Options East Coast reported that seniors emphasize three issues that trouble them the most.

  1. No longer feeling productive
  2. Loneliness
  3. Staying active

There’s a strong sense of loss in that list. Most of us spend years being too productive. The responsibilities never seem to end. Choose how to spend your leisure hours.

Loneliness can happen at any time in life. But when seniors make major changes, they’re likely to uproot their support system. New address, new bank, doctors, dentists, grocery store and new friends. Settling in takes time.

An active life is really very personal and specific. What’s active to one is boring to another. Learning something new is important at any age. Sports, creative crafts, needlework, woodworking, volunteering – the list is endless.

What’s the secret to living your best life? Let’s start with your core values.

Things Worth Keeping

To me, the things worth keeping are those that trigger a memory and make me smile. A note to Santa from my son, a hand-made gift from a relative, stuffed animals that just hung around. These are the things that can’t be replaced or bought at Target. I need those memories and the smiles. So they stay.

If you have irreplaceables, how are they kept? Do they go with you when you move, or are they photo memories you can enjoy whenever you wish?

Downsize careully. I’m of the mind it can be overdone.

At The End Of The Day

Senior women contemplating – or already enjoying retirement have to be mindful about money. Your values list should give you critical information regarding spending and saving. Seniors are the fastest growing demographic in America. Women outnumber men, and single women top the list.

I’ve said this before,but it bears repeating. One in four older single women lives below the poverty line. In America. The causes are numerous. What’s crucial is how to deal with it. In general, there are practical ways to manage your money, and preserve your nestegg.

A few ideas:

  • Buy carefully. Once that dollar’s gone, it’s gone.
  • Get good financial advice. Your advisor should listen to you, and make personal recommendations. Not sell you the popular item.
  • Check your values list before making decisions.
  • Enjoy! It’s your retirement.

Here are a couple good websites for all things senior.

https://www.suddenlysenior.com/senior-facts-and-figures/

https://www.seniorliving.org/research/

Conclusion

Regardless of our age, we are generally a healthier generation than those previous. We tend to have more assets that our parents or grandparents. We’re involved in many activities, and move about the country and the planet more than any other generation.

Share your story, or any concerns or questions you may have. I love to hear from you, and others may laugh or cry with you.

Are you retired?

Are you approaching retirement?

Please stay tuned. This is my area of expertise. I’ll share every bit of information I find -I love research – because my retirement is also a work in progress.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Judy


How To Live Cheaply Overseas


According to www.WeExpats.com, Americans are leaving the country in record-breaking numbers. So – What’s been happening? Where are they going? and Why?

It began in 2016-2017, when it was estimated that 9 million people had exited America to seek residency elsewhere. AARO (Association American Residents Overseas) states that people search among 160 countries to find their new home. The reason? FINANCES People have discovered that they can live more cheaply overseas.

Interestingly, in the USA women are leading the exodus. Thirteen percent of men and twenty percent of women seek affordable, comfortable housing in various parts of the world. Those are fairly high numbers.

https://www.weexpats.com Largely, an insurance site. You’ll need some overseas.

What’s Out There

There’s an abundance of information about living overseas, moving to another country, retiring early (or late), being a digital nomad, following the seasons for the best weather, and just wanting to travel. I’ve had my eye on Europe for a long time. My paternal grandfather was born in Vienna, Austria, and it’s a place I want to explore. I am German on my mother’s side, so that’s another place to visit.

First, think about what you’re looking for. People who have made the move, or who travel extensively, are generous with the ins and outs of travel, regardless of your particular reasons. Finding affordable, comfortable housing is not difficult. Whether you’re staying for a few weeks or a few months, the choices are numerous.

Cost Of Living

I can vouch for the fact that the cost of living is impacting my basic budget needs. Earning while retired is big for the senior community. Starting a portable business of some sort is an excellent way to earn extra cash. The internet provides a perfect opportunity for setting up a business that you can take with you, wherever you go. Need help with the digital world? This link has an abundance of information.

https://www.rightathome.net/blog/technology-for-seniors

The following links are my websites with posts about women, work and money.

https://seniorwomenandmoney.com

https://seniorslivingwell.blog

Tackling the short cash situation gives you a leg up, but if you’re just counting on your monthly cash flow (social security, pension, IRA, etc.) living abroad can be managed.

Finding The Gems

It isn’t hard to locate places that are comfortable, interesting and affordable. Let’s start in Europe. There’s more to a country than its large, popular cities. There are beach communities, mountains, rural/small town areas – just about anything to suit your heart’s desire.

Portugal has become the go to place to check out for a visit, long or short, or to relocate permanently.

The Algarve area, in the southern part of the country, offers excellent health care, a mild (54-74 degrees) year around temperature, low food and housing costs ($870 rent), and English-speaking citizens.

Spain and France’s living costs are higher in well-populated areas, but still affordable. All the European countries I’ve researched have excellent/superb health care. Temperatures depend on where you live in the country, and the euro is the main currency in most. Some countries, like France and Italy require that you learn to converse a little in their language. Italy’s cost of living is very reasonable.

My resources for most of this information is from the link below. It’s my major source for learning about other countries.

https://www.liveandinvestoverseas.com

Use keywords to Google other resources for information about living overseas. Some keywords:

living abroad

living overseas

retirees moving overseas

best places to retire

retiring in Central America or South America

retire to Asia You can surf around and find good resources.

The Picture At Home

When looking for data and statistics, I turn first to government websites. They are up-to-date, easy to navigate, and offer content in several media options – text, charts, pictures. The Department of Labor – www.dol.gov – is a major resource for me. You can navigate a bit to become familiar with the layout. For more data on necessities, click on the link below for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This gives specific numbers as to Cost of Living facts.

https://www.bls.gov/charts/consumer-price-index/consumer-price-index-by-category.htm

The truth is, the cost of living just keeps going up, and though our economy is strong, it’s hard to keep up on a fixed income.

What I’m Doing

I began to look into living alternatives a couple of years ago. The housing crash created an enormous need for rentals, of all sizes and costs. My house was paid for, but had started to need repairs and replacements. I lived in a retirement community in Arizona, a place I loved, but I decided to return to Minnesota to re-connect with family and roots.

I sold my house in Arizona and moved back to Minnesota. I also sold my furniture and my car. The place I rented was in an area in which I could walk or take a bus for everyday needs. It was a good choice. I loved seeing friends and family, grandchildren, and old neighbors I hadn’t seen in years. However, the cold winters reminded me why I moved to Arizona in the first place. I moved back to Arizona after a couple of years.

Today I’m in Austin Texas. I’ll be here until the week before Christmas, when I fly to Calgary, Ca.where I have family. In April I plan to join a conference in The Algarve, Portugal to see what it’s about. After that, I’m not sure where I’ll go, but will probably return to Arizona. I love the state, and I know my way around.

Here’s another newsletter I read regularly.

https://www.retireearlylifestyle.com Newsletter, ebooks, everyday living

Thank you for reading my post. Conecting with one another enriches the dialogue of retiring well and living your best life. Please do leave comments, questions, and stories about your retirement journey.

I love hearing from you,

Judy

Retirees Living Abroad

The idea of Grandma moving to another country is a little scary. Even unthinkable. Once upon a time, women never traveled alone. Well, it’s a brand new day.

Today, both men and women of all ages choose to live abroad. Women travel alone or with a group, and feel perfectly free to move about the planet. Information is just a click away, and groups abound for short trips or excursions that can last for weeks or months.

Women who are experiencing the pains of “dollar stretching”, may find that living in a more affordable country is both a pleasure and a relief.

First Things First

Choosing the country you wish to explore starts with a short list. What appeals to you? Are you interested in your ancestry? Looking for art galleries and museums? Or picture yourself lying on the beach?

By using keywords, you can come up with a list in a short time. Write down the pros and cons and then finalize it to two or three places.

Europe, Asia, Central and South America are good places to start. After you choose the country you wish to consider, and before you pack your bags, find out all you can about the rules, habits, everyday goings-on, and legal issues of becoming a resident. Research carefully.

1. What is the area like? A large, busy city? A beach town? College town? Fishing or farming?

2. What are the people like? Open and friendly to visitors/newcomers? Cosmopolitan? Down to earth? Skeptical?

3. What are the housing options? Apartment, house, hotel. Costs are often cheaper overseas than in the states. Know what you are getting.

4. Legal and financial concerns. What’s required of you for visiting, moving. How to do banking/money exchange. Where is the nearest office for information and legal documents?

Moving Along

  • Visit the area more than once. Go at different times of the year. If there is a “tourist” season, watch for changes during the season and “off”. Observe what’s happening – what are citizens doing. This may include traffic, entertainment, food, rent, sociability of citizen.
  • Connect with a group or organization that specializes in visiting and/or living in another country. You can find them online.  Their body of information can help you make critical decisions, and may save you a lot of grief.
  • Research the legal and practical issues of living in the country on its government website. Cost of living is important, along with cultural and social practices.
  • Talk with family and friends. Explain what you’re doing and why. Answer questions politely. Even though this is your decision, others may be concerned. But at the end of the day, it’s your choice.
  • Access your present situation and make careful decisions. Don’t be in a rush. There will be many changes and patience makes for a smoother move. Anything you’re not taking needs to be sold or re-homed. That list could be very long. Have no regrets.

Senior Women On A Budget

The cost of living abroad is often cheaper than living in the US. It depends on where you want to go, and what you prefer. Comparison shopping is the way to go here. The websites that write about living abroad can give you facts and figures that are current. Make sure you understand social security, Medicare, other forms of insurance – health, travel – and all costs involved. Rent usually doesn’t include utilities. It may not include repairs. Will you have a car? Public transportation is readily available and cheap.

My own journey has been interesting, informative, and often puzzling. I plan to travel over the next couple of years, living in one or more countries outside the United States. I get newsletters from more than one organization that specialize in living and traveling abroad. I also attend conferences. They cost a little, but are chock-full of current, relevant information. The last thing I want are snafu’s.

I love Canada, especially Calgary, Banff and Lake Louise, and visit there every year. I have family in Calgary and have made new friends in the area. Go where you are comfortable.

Thank you for visiting my website. Please leave a comment if you have questions, ideas or want to share your experiences.

Judy

Senior Housing Rent Or Buy

It’s well known that 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day, and this will continue to happen for many years. The plans they have made will include leisure activities, vacations and travel, and may include starting an internet business or finding part-time work. They will also need to decide where they want to live. 

Today there are many housing choices for retirees. Retirement communities, 55+Active Adult apartments and house sharing, to name a few. Buying a vacation home, usually in a warm climate, has been the choice of many for years. Think snowbirds in Arizona and Florida.

The fact is, today’s retiree may be younger, have less money saved, and prioritize a cash flow, rather than a second home to live in. The primary house may become a rental property, at least part of the year. The option to sell later is on the table.  They then begin a search for rental property for themselves, something smaller than their home. 

The advantages seem to be foolproof. But there are important downsides to selling a home that is paid for, and has been well-maintained. While it is a rental property, it has to be managed, repaired, taxed and kept filled. Meanwhile, the housing you now have for yourself can be perfect, or less than ideal. It takes careful research to find that roof over your head. 

Let’s look at a few options to consider. 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.

If you determine that the house is in good shape and you wish to remain in it, build your retirement plans around that fact. 

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. Take short vacations to places that sound interesting and check out the quality of living, surroundings, points of interest, and ease of everyday living. Don’t buy or rent long term until you’re sure you’ll love it.

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.

I

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.”

 

 

 

 

The Money Tree How To Plant And Grow The Seed

We’ve all heard the statement, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” It was conveniently used to warn us, or admonish us, about our spending habits. Parents were especially good at throwing it out when the kids wanted something frivolous, like designer jeans or a TV in their room.

The truth is, there is no money tree. But there are ways to grow more dollars for your retirement fund, before or after you quit your job. Let’s face it. The fixed income most people have doesn’t keep up with inflation. And seniors are the fastest growing demographic. We need to plant that tree sooner, rather than later.

A simple but exact plan will give you an accurate picture of what you need. Today there are numerous ways for seniors to add cash to their wallets. The first step is to calculate your situation, so you can determine what options are right for you.

Steps to planting the seed.

You have to know all the facts.Financial picture

Get out your calculator, papers, statements, tax records, budgets, financial records, social security information, pensions – anything with information regarding your finances.

First, determine your assets. Exactly what do you have now and what comes in monthly? You can do this on your computer or use paper and pencil, but be diligent. This is tedious, so do it in steps – every evening for an hour, or whatever works. If you find yourself starting to guess at numbers, set it aside. This needs to be accurate.

Write down monthly income from every source. If numbers change from month to month, figure an average. Add totals, then multiply by 12. Enter in two columns – monthly and yearly. This is your basic work sheet.

Figure your expenses and list them in categories. These may be insurance, food, rent/mortgage, entertainment, travel, car expenses, etc. Decide on your own categories, but include everything. I go through my checkbook and credit card and bank statements. If I use cash, I jot down what I bought and include it. I know this sounds picky, but when you see at a glance where your money goes, you’ll have a better idea where you can save or tweak it.

The big picture. Go over your results carefully, and get a feel for what your interests and skills tell you.

 

 

Time To Plant The Seed

Outline several options for growing more money. In fact, take your time, and make notes. This is a huge, life-changing decision, so give your money tree the best possible start.

I know I hammered away at being very diligent, but there’s always room for tweaking and revising. The point is that you’ll devote a lot of time, energy and some money into your cash flow plans. The smoother it goes, the better.

Single women have issues to overcome that can derail them or hold them back. Many senior women are living on very limited budgets, and have less work/credit credentials than men. Getting a loan can be daunting. Here’s a link to a resource for you.

https://www.fundera.com/business-loans/guides/small-business-loans-for-women

You can begin your search for options right here on my website. Check out a couple of my other blog posts that give information and links to women’s issues and earning money. Here is the link to the website.

https://seniorwomenandmoney.com

Posts:

Women Startup Business Solutions – resources for getting money

Best Money Advice For Stressed Seniors – options for a cash flow

Best Part-Time Internet Job After Retirement – the many ways seniors can utilize their skills and interests

There are more. Just click on the above link and surf around.

When I realized I needed an income, I chose writing and affiliate marketing. I began by writing two books about grief and loss. Now I concentrate on blogging and copywriting. I concentrate on issues confronting seniors, as we retire and learn to embrace change. I love doing research and sharing it with everyone.

Affiliate marketing is a new learning curve. My training is with Wealthy Affiliate, a business that teaches, supports and connects people with businesses and with one another. I did a lot of research before I signed on, and find it to be positive, trustworthy and really excellent training. Lessons are on video, with hands-on assignments. The best way to learn and retain. Here’s a logo. If this business idea interests you, check it out. If you want a link, please contact me.

Growing the seed, once it’s planted, is all about being attentive and nurturing. Millions of retirees are in various stages of building businesses and adding cash to their retirement funds. It takes time, but the journey is worth it. You’re worth it!

If you found this post to be informative, give you ideas, encourage you, or if you have questions, please leave a note. I would love to hear from you.

Judy

Nutrition And You Do You Know What You Need?

Staying healthy is a serious concern for everyone, not just senior citizens. The amount of information on the subject is daunting. The list of concerns covers practically everything you do. For example:

  • What do you eat?
  • Do you exercise?
  • Do you get enough sleep?
  • Is there too much stress in your life?
  • Do you socialize?
  • Do you smoke? Drink Alcohol, coffee, sweetened drinks?
  • How many fruits and vegetables do you eat?
  • Do you eat red meat? Foods containing hormones, nitrites, or excessive salt?

Just the worry alone is bad for your health. Where do you go for factual information, not hype or advertising? The gradual changeover in grocery stores is a good example of giving people choices about what they consume. Categories of produce and meat and fish products abound, such as organic foods, whole foods, farmer’s markets, hormone-free, gluten-free, low salt, no sugar, no artificial color – the list goes on.

I love to shop at a farmer’s market or fresh foods store. The price is certainly right and I trust that it’s nutritious. By that, I mean that it still retains the vitamins and minerals and has no extra additives. And I drink a lot of water.

I also take a multivitamin every day. Have for years. I’m healthy. As I’ve said, I eat well, but I consider my vitamin pill as essential as brushing my teeth. Some people take oodles of supplements, and others take none. Both may be equally healthy or not. I take it because it’s extra insurance. Once in a while, I eat junk. And staying healthy is a priority. Wellness is 100% better than illness, so I pop my pill and start my day.

Whether to take supplementary nutrition is a very personal choice, based on your values and preferences. Eating good food is, by far, the best choice of all. I say this because the cost of groceries – like everything else – goes up. Getting the most bang for the buck means meeting your daily nutritional needs. Here are a few resources to check out.

https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/benefits/food-and-nutrition/senior-nutrition/

https://www.nutrition.gov/subject/life-stages/seniors

https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/nutrition-for-seniors#1

http://www.ascseniorcare.com/nutrition-for-seniors/

Talking to your doctor may give you nutritional guidelines for your age, activity level, weight and overall health picture. You can surf around the internet and come up with websites in addition to the ones I have linked here. There are hundreds of recipe websites that encourage good eating.

I hope this post has given you ideas that you can use. I would love for you to share any “good eating” ideas or stories you have. Please use the comments box to connect.

 

How Women Travel Today

Women are traveling today in record numbers. They globe-trot, sight-see their own country, or they may just venture to the county next door. Some women go it alone, others like a group. Whatever the particulars, traveling light and, at the same time, having everything you need, takes some strategizing before you ever leave home.

After you’ve decided on the destination, booked the tickets and outlined your itinerary, the most important thing is to determine what to take and how to get it there. Once upon a time, people who traveled took large suitcases and trunks. Of course, many of these people were wealthy and had help. Today’s traveler is on their own. Even if you are with a group, your stuff is your responsibility.

Personally, I’ve had a backpack for years. The first time I strapped it on and walked through the airport, carrying only a purse, I knew it was a winner. While walking or standing, it freed up both hands to dig in my purse for paperwork, or money for a purchase. Sitting at the gate, it rests at my feet, and I can easily grab my computer, a book or a sweater.

What do you require?

No matter where you’re going or for how long, there are a few imperatives regarding your belongings.

  1. Safety – Anti-theft locks and closures are a must.
  2. Comfort and convenience – A backpack is easier to carry than a hand-held bag. There’s support from larger muscles. It’s also more convenient because it not only frees up your hands, you won’t set it down and forget it.
  3. Economy – Buy exactly what you need. No more, no less. Frills are a waste of money.
  4. Quality – Any kind of travel/mobility is hard on luggage and carry items. Lightweight and tough as nails is ideal for longevity.

How to get your money’s worth.

There are hundreds of types of backpacks, with numerous functions for the user. An item that started its life as a durable piece of cloth with straps, the backpack has taken center stage. There are packs for hiking, weekend trips and 2+month excursions around the planet. It’s important to do a little research to make sure you purchase exactly what you want and need. Today, packs are made to last forever. The saying, “You get what you pay for” is 100% true here.

Women, in particular, need to be fitted for a good travel backpack. Height, frame and condition are priorities for choosing your backpack. It may be on your back nearly every day of your trip. A pack that has a removable day pack here is ideal.

How active are you in your daily life? Do you exercise – in a gym, at home, walk around the neighborhood? Actually, being active doesn’t mean 3 hours of cardios. But too much sitting isn’t good. Readiness for any kind of activity means get in shape early.

If you are an experienced traveler, you probably know the drill for sight-seeing all day, or hiking the trails. I’d love to hear your stories – good, bad, funny, scary.

If you’re new to traveling, check out the websites I’ve listed in my previous post, Senior Women Traveling Alone, on this website. And leave comments or questions, please. We’ll find someone with the answers.


Women Startup Business Solutions

Women as entrepreneurs are making impressive strides in their endeavor to earn, gain independence and compete for recognition in the business world. According to the US Department of Labor blog (March 1, 2017), there are 74.6 million women in the civilian labor force. Women own close to 10 million businesses.

The reasons for these statistics are well-known. The movement, known as Feminism, revved up to full gear in the middle of the 20th century. Groups and organizations formed to educate, support and give legal counsel to women, as a means to end discrimination and inequality.

Today, more women than men have a college education and earn graduate degrees. And they still earn about 20% less than men. A featured article by Kerry Hannon, Entrepreneurship Expert, on Next Avenue (October 5, 2017) states that women over 50 have distinct advantages as business owners. Let’s take a look at the problems and issues women face, and see what the real picture looks like.

Can I Run A Business?

Many women have worked in business jobs for years, often in decision-making and management positions. Understanding how things work, organizing a department, assigning work loads and dealing with people yield skills and experience that are essential to running a business. These same skills are acquired in numerous work areas. Education, creative workplaces, volunteer jobs, military and managing a home and family challenge women to learn, grow and accomplish. Applying those skills has given enormous opportunities to women who use what they know and ask when they’re stumped.

Where Do I Get Cash?

Women who have acquired funds through a 401k, IRA, or other retirement funds have some money to start a business. Keeping it running is the issue. Women find it much harder to get a loan than men. The Small Business Administration will guide you through the application process and help you get a loan. Having a solid business plan, evidence of profit, and determination are core requirements for success. This is only a general overview, but the list of lenders and resources is long. Check these out and do a little more research if you need to.

 

www.lendingtree.com/Business-Loans/Women

https://www.forbes.com/sites/.

https://www.sba.com/funding-a-business/small-business-loans-for-women/

https://us.accion.org/resource/free-online-resources-women-owned-businesses/

www.ewomennetwork.com

https://www.womanowned.com/

Networking

Possibly the best thing you can do is to join a few organizations. This can be online or in person. Check out Meetups in the library, or ask other business owners about support groups. The local Chamber of Commerce is loaded with ideas and suggestions for business owners. They also put on events for all aspects of business and marketing.

A startup needs tending like a newborn baby. There are solutions both on and off the internet. Older women have experience and persistence on their side.

Go for it.

 

 

 

Solutions to Health Issues Good Habits

As we age, health issues for men and women are similar. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis to name a few. As a matter of fact, heart disease now affects as many women as men. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for women around the globe. At the same time, reproductive health for American women is lower than that of nearly every other high-income country. Two to three women die of pregnancy complications every day in America. Being mindful of wellness measures is the best solution to maintaining good health.

Maintaining Health Habits

In a previous blog post, Women’s Health: The Cost of Wellness, I mention that the best solution to maintaining good health is to follow a few personal habits. That, along with regular appointments with your doctor, will allow you to feel and be well. There’s a consensus on those habits that are necessary for wellness and a long life.

The Women and Health Initiative of the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health has offered this suggestion for a healthy and long life. Studies reveal that it’s wise to follow these five habits.

  1. Eat a healthy diet.
  2. Exercise regularly.
  3. Maintain a healthy body weight.
  4. Limit alcohol consumption.
  5. Do not smoke.

The Harvard Healthy Eating Plate is an excellent resource to remind us of what healthy eating is really all about. I cannot include a link without getting written permission. However, it is easily found using Google, and I recommend it highly. After decades of unhealthy eating – too much salt, sugar, red meat, desserts and saturated fats – our society is returning to common sense good – and good for you – food. You really are what you eat.

Relevant Questions

  1. What do I actually eat? Your favorites go on your permanent shopping list. You don’t have to force-feed foods you hate.
  2. How much am I spending for groceries? Do you shop once a week? Every few days? Run to the store because “there’s nothing to eat”? Meaning nothing I like?
  3. Do I look and feel well? Item # 3 above fits right into this pattern. Maintaining a healthy weight is difficult. If you don’t like the way you look or feel, make some changes.

The best diet is the one that keeps you well. I don’t count calories or beat myself up if I have a gooey dessert once in a while. But I strive for balance. I eat more for breakfast and lunch, then keep dinner simple.

Where you take meals is also important. Eating at home, eating out, cooking for yourself or for others weighs in and usually changes what’s on your dinner plate and how much. Writing down what you eat is recommended by many. I don’t keep a food journal, but I give some thought to these facts.

Supplements have been a huge topic for decades, and it has pros and cons. I take a daily vitamin. Even though I eat well, sometimes I skip a meal, don’t feel well, or know my fuel is running low. My Reviews and Recommendations page has information about the vitamin I take. If you’re curious, take a look. The most important fact here is that you should get almost all of your nutrition from food.

I’m always open to ideas, questions,comments or stories from readers. Nutrition is a worthy topic for an open diaogue. Would love to hear from you.

Judy

Best Part Time Internet Job After Retirement

The good news is that you can find a great part-time job just by looking on the internet. The not so good news is that there are thousands of sites and types of jobs from which to choose. It takes some researching and probably note-taking before you decide which is best for you. Actually, it depends on why you are looking for a job. Though 72% of seniors plan and expect to work in retirement, some really need the money and others are looking for something meaningful to do.

According to an article in Nation – Part-time internet jobs for seniors (3/16/2018), there are many reasons why retirees are job-seeking. Money is only one of them. Others include feeling productive, interacting with people, and learning new things. Each individual has his/her own reasons for wanting to work.

All the studies and statistics I’ve seen confirm the fact that this generation’s retirement isn’t like any other. People are healthier, living longer and have more options for leisure and activities. Unfortunately, that old question, “Will you outlive your money”? is likely to come true. There are many ways to earn extra cash today, but if you want to find the best one for you, whether it be full or part-time, some research is necessary.

Part Time Jobs You Can Start Now

The internet has an infinite number of possibilities for making money. A home-based business can be set up in a matter of days or weeks. A website, a blog or newsletter, a product(s) and you’re good to go. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Millions of people do it every day. The catch is that it isn’t really the slam dunk some want you to think. It does take time, thought and some computer know-how. Depending on your final choice, there’s usually a certain amount of old-fashioned work before it’s profitable.

The choices break down into several categories. Generally, you can sign on with a company that researches and publishes lists of jobs you do from home, or possibly commute occasionally. The hour and pay are spelled out – 35 hours or less is considered part-time. A Google search turned up a long list, including Flexjobs, Indeed, Surejob, Dreamhomebasedwork and Moneyconnexion, and there are more. The number of jobs was plentiful and the navigation on the websites fairly easy. There was a wide range of jobs from which to choose, with education and experience stated.

On the other hand, there are an unlimited number of businesses you can start on the internet, using your skills, interests and experience. Information as a product is extremely popular right now. If you are an expert on something, you can write about it, teach, coach, make audio books, ebooks or video tutorials. And if sales is your thing, Ebay, Etsy, Shopify, Amazon, Upwork or 99Designs have programs. The list is endless and simply requires you to start searching on the internet to find your best job.

Programs – Time and Money

As retirees, we have experience, time and (hopefully) patience. Look very carefully at any programs that offer to help you make money. Though many are sincere, it’s also important to look at the actual lessons and format by which you learn. It should be specific enough that there’s no guesswork. Also, don’t buy a tutorial unless you can see samples for free and give it a try. It depends on your learning curve, computer skills and how you follow up on the instructions. There should also be a way to ask questions and request help when you need it.

Write a business plan for yourself, contact the Chamber of Commerce where you live, and find good resources. Take your time in making a decision. You’re retired.

Retired And Cash Strapped? Best Ways To Earn Money

Once upon a time, people retired with a gold watch, a party and thoughts of leisure activities dancing in their heads. But the truth is, most retirees today find that they have underfunded this time of life. What does the older generation do when they’re strapped for cash?

Perhaps a cruise was in the works, and golf games penciled in on the calendar. Plenty of time for all those books waiting to be read. Visits to grandchildren and leisure travel anticipated. How many people include Ways to Earn Money on their retirement wish lists?

An article by Susan Ward (12/27/2017, Best Business Opportunities for Retirees – the Balance), states what many seniors discover, “Retirement is expensive”.

Options for Earning –  Home-Based Businesses

Hobbies, interests and experience fall into this category. Is there something you love to do? Something you’re good at? Crafts, needle art, woodworking, painting – pictures or walls, fixing cars and/or appliances, cooking/baking are all skills that can be turned into home businesses. The list goes on:

  • Chauffeur – drive people who no longer can or wish to drive a car.
  • Child care – a few hours or all day.
  • Pet walking/sitting – your house or theirs. You and the dog both get some exercise.
  • Tax and budget services – you may need training and you could work for an established company instead of starting your own business.
  • Tutoring – some credentials may be required, but you could decide what subjects you wish to teach.
  • Teaching – there are many opportunities for adult education. Foreign languages, English as a second lnguage, any subject in which you have considerable knowledge. Sports – golf, tennis, etc., speciality foods, quilting, embroidery, needlepoint – and the list goes on.

As a matter of fact, retirees have an edge on creating streams of income. We have experience. Every one of us probably could set up more than one small business and start the cash flowing. The internet is loaded with websites and ideas for throwing your hat in the ring.

Getting Started

Write a business plan. You need to have goals. Join the Chamber of Commerce for information and support.

Check the market. What are people talking about? Find a need and fill it.

Do what you like and what you’re good at. This should be pure joy, not drudgery.