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

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

 

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.”

 

 

 

 

Best Money Advice for Stressed Seniors

Will I outlive my resources?

The biggest worry for seniors today is whether they’ll outlive their money. It’s a reasonable concern. The options for retirement are numerous and varied. Retire early. Retire later. Delay social security. Move to a retirement community. Stay where you are and divide your time in several places. A winter home somewhere. A rental overseas. No wonder seniors are stressed. How does money fit into this picture?

The US Department of Labor Blog offers considerable advice on the subject of retirement. One relevant link states “it pays to understand how your savings and benefits work”. In fact, the www.dol.gov is one of the best resources for all things “money”. The website allows you to surf around and get information that includes charts, graphs and checklists for your own calculations. Tweaking the numbers and making critical changes to your saving and spending habits could give you considerable peace of mind, and allow choices you thought were closed.

Financial tips for women

Senior women have less money and more to worry about than men. When couples retire, they usually have joint investments, along with social security checks and possibly a pension. It’s likely that the pension is a benefit from the husband’s job.

It’s important to understand that pensions are retirement benefits – not death benefits. If the husband dies first, his pension usually stops. It’s also important to consider that health issues or other unexpected expenses may have diminished the savings meant for both of them.

One in four older senior women lives below the poverty line. Ten thousand Baby Boomers turn 65 every day. This will continue for 20 years. And only one-third of women 65 + years old is married. That’s a lot of older, single women!

Getting good, reliable and personal financial advice takes some research. Women usually were not given good – if any – advice about saving, investing and retirement planning. It was assumed that someone else – husband, father, brother or uncle – would “see to it that she was allright”. Today, companies are waking up. Women are earning, saving and handling their money. But it’ only a beginning. Much more needs to be done. Women need to know what men know.

A good way to find a professional financial planner who will teach you, not just “take care of it”, is to ask women for references. Women in business or friends who have their own accounts can give you some tips and a few names. In your initial conversation, stress that you want to learn the basics.

Websites are also excellent resources. Business sites, money blogs and Baby Boomer newsletters have current articles concerning the cost of living and your piggy bank.

Learning and Earning

Here’s the good news. There are many ways to increase your monthly income. The days when retirement meant NO MORE WORKING are over. Seventy-two percent of older people intend to work during retirement. Quit one job – start another. Often, that second job is already in place when the retiree actually quits.

Turning a hobby or craft skill into a business is a top choice for many seniors. Anything you make by hand can be sold on a website. Computer skills not so great? Youtube is the biggest and most versatile classroom around. There are literally thousands of videos, easy to follow, that will teach you enough to get started. Local colleges, organizations and businesses teach skills for computers, phones and ipads.

Skills you used on the job for many years may be converted into a teaching or coaching career. Pass along what you know to others, online or in a classroom situation. Libraries, community centers and local colleges are great places to look for opportunities to put together a learning experience. Usually, there are categories, from baking cupcakes to painting to carpentry. Choose the number of classes it will require for completion, what to charge and sign on.

There are franchises just for seniors to help other seniors. They are usually affordable to buy into, and the parent company is hands-on for long-term help. These may include moving advice, home health assistants (not medical), or businesses offering a variety of services. If you have some skills and/or an interest in learning, you can design your own business venue. Online or in person, just use your imagination. Pet walking/sitting, house cleaning, running errands or shopping may be exactly what you want.

Stress and anxiety

People who have had a regular paycheck their whole lives can find it extremely difficult to worry about money matters. Many individuals and couples do considerable planning before retiring, making sure they have all the bases covered. Despite that fact, things can go wrong. The economy can take a huge dip, health issues may arise, or family situations may throw a monkey wrench into the best of plans.

Losing sleep, getting headaches or ulcers or becoming depressed is not uncommon. Sometimes a little tweaking isn’t enough. It may be time to call in the professionals. Financial planners, counselors or legal advice may be necessary. Ask for help when you need it. There are pro bono people who can give you good advice. Professionals can also throw you a lifeline, and start you on the road to recovery. There are millions of older citizens today who are struggling to carve out a lifestyle that delivers enjoyment.

Resources at hand

Organizations you may already belong to are often packed with fun and affordable things to do. Take a look at the fine print or the offerings on their websites to see what’s going on. Travel, hobby/interest groups, sports, leisure and day trips abound. Get involved, get acquainted and get going. Socializing is a key component to your new life.

Seniors are living longer and healthier lives. It’s not just golfing and grandchildren anymore. Many people become expats and live abroad at least half of every year. Paris anyone? Today, you can live without a car (I did for 2 years), and get your walking quota in with no problem. Shopping online is becoming the norm, and a bicycle is considered a necessity for many folks.

Hey, this is something we look forward to for years. Embrace change and live your best life.

 

 

 

Please ask a question or leave a comment.

Financial Help For Women Crunching Numbers

The financial picture for women today has changed significantly since 1950. Women’s participation in the labor force rose from 33.9 percent in 1950 to 57 percent in 2014. And the number of women 55+ who are working has seen a particularly large increase, starting in the year 2000. Many women work because they wish to, and plan to pursue careers their whole lives. But for older women, the picture is different. When a woman loses her spouse or partner, she also loses much of her resources.

The need for help with finances is especially critical for older women. When a senior woman becomes single through death or divorce, her expenses aren’t cut in half. Actually, they are only decreased by about one-fourth to one-third. At the same time, when you crunch the numbers, her resources decrease by 37 to over fifty percent. The big ticket items are still there – housing, car expenses, insurance and taxes, but the cash flow is severely compromised. Where does she turn for help?

 Main reasons for problem

These facts usually come as a surprise to the newly single female. Her understanding of money matters is probably small. Older women have very little financial information. Earning and saving was something men managed. They were the primary bread winners and her work patterns were considerably less. Here are some facts to consider:

  • Women took time out to care for children or family members needing help.
  • Women’s pay was – and still is – less than men’s.
  • Women rarely had jobs with pensions.
  • Women’s savings were considerably less.

When a couple both retire, there are usually two social security checks and possibly a husband’s pension. Investment funds provide a foundation for a secure future. That may be jeopardized if there are health expenses not covered by insurance, or they don’t watch their budget. If the husband predeceases his wife, she will have less going forward than anticipated. If his pension stops with his death, which is usually the case, her finances are severely compromised. Pensions are retirement benefits, not death benefits.

The result of these disparities is that today, one in four older single women lives below the poverty line. Where does she go for help?

What the experts say

Today in America, only one-third of women sixty-five or older is married. So there are millions of single women needing help. Fortunately, the financial world is gradually becoming aware of the facts. Magazines, articles and studies address the subject regularly, often as a warning, and sometimes with concrete suggestions for fixing it. Government publications and websites are informing readers that this problem will only get worse if no changes are made.

The time to help women, of course, is before they retire. Ideally young boys and girls would both be taught about money matters. Children should grow up understanding the basic facts of earning and saving. The increase of females in the job market is only going to grow, and her financial plan should be individualized to her needs and goals. Joint plans can co-exist alongside a couple’s individual investments.

Fixing your money crunch

If you are nearing retirement, carefully go over all your assets. This doesn’t just mean your checking account and an IRA or 401k. Take a little time and determine the value of everything you own. Most likely there are items you no longer need or want. Pieces of furniture, pottery, glassware, or sports equipment can be sold online or by household sale. It may not seem like much, but you can increase your cash flow this way until you figure out a more permanent solution.

If a couple has a financial planner, that person should see to the needs and goals of each person individually, as well as a couple. Women need to know how much they will have, where it is (what kind of investment), and how it should be handled. According to the Department of Labor US government, “44 percent of people who tried to figure out their financial futures ended up changing their retirement plans.”

Today there are classes and tutorials on every aspect of planning and investing. Community classes, online webinars or e-books and informational investment gatherings will educate you on finance. You also may be able to get help for personal questions and situations. The best option is to ask knowledgeable people, and keep asking until you get the information you need. This includes asking your spouse, who may want to simply assure you that everything is in order. Women need to know the specifics.

After retirement

Let’s say you planned for your retirement, with or without a partner. Funds were adequate for you to live the way you wanted at this time of life. But life can throw a monkey wrench into the best of plans. Your finances begin to dwindle too rapidly, you find yourself single and you don’t trust anyone. HELP!

If you know someone who seems to have a good grasp of their own finances, have a talk. Get a reference or two from friends who are pleased with their investment planners. Research ways to bring in some money. There are many options available and the internet is loaded with ideas. Really think carefully about what you would be comfortable doing and make a chart or keep clear notes.

At the end of the day

The numbers can be crunched again and again. See what makes sense for you. Financial firms have tests you can take to calculate your needs and possibilities. It should be a beginning, not a final decision, but you can compile information and look for common ground. You may want to try something and see how it works for you. It’s ok to be an explorer. The good thing about being in the older generation is that we can lean on our years of experience. Experts consider this a clear asset for seniors starting businesses.

Only you can make your golden years “golden.” It’s your time in life to kick up your heels and just enjoy. Don’t forget to have fun.

Share your story or leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.