What We’re About

A man and a woman performing a modern dance.
A man and a woman performing a modern dance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why this site?

I had a friend who was once a professional dancer, and later on had a career as a nurse. Due to an injury, she now cleans houses and works for far too many hours for far too little money. She is still talented, bright and is a  wonderful human being. She wonders what’s next.

Another sexagenarian is starting a new career she always wanted but thought she couldn’t have. Her life-long friend operates an assisted care facility in Mexico.

5- 10 % of people 55 and over know what they will do during retirement years because they saved and planned. Others now plan to work until they die.  Some just don’t know, and hope to make it to the end of the day.

What this site’s about: Exploring creativity, adaptation, invention, endurance, principle and people flourishing in their 50’s and after.

We share people’s stories. Have a laugh. Learn something. Share something.

We hope you will find answers, help and comfort here. By the way, leave the site a little richer than you found it. Feel free to leave comments an any page or post.

You might hold the key to resolving another person’s struggle. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Tell your story. Remember the good times. Learn from the bad. And keep moving.

Like my friend Gary once said: “My life doesn’t have rear-view mirrors. I’m going full speed!”

Onward!

What You Must Consider When you Stop Working for Money

Retirement
Retirement (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may be in trouble down the road if your image of retirement is one of unbridled freedom of time and money, especially if you’re living on savings. If your principal income is a pension (guaranteed for life), social security, and/or annuity distribution (guaranteed life income) you will have built in a a modicum of safety.

However, if you have built most of your portfolio on stocks, bonds, and mutual funds (including your 401(k)), you must be diligent to see that they are retaining or increasing their value over time. No one has a crystal ball, but you don’t need one if you learn to read signs – in this case, market reports, statements, and pay attention to trends around you.

Please read this article form CNBC to inform your opinion of next steps: 5 Crucial Retirement Years for Your Money.

And learn to take the guesswork out of your retirement as much as you can. That small change you make today could make all the difference tomorrow.

 

Need Care – ?

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Me...
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (Medicaid administrator) logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My widowed mother became legally blind in her late 60s. She was sharp as a tack, but blind as a bat, and needed help at home. That was her reward after she had given a lot of years to my father, who had been bed-ridden by rheumatoid arthritis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome and other degenerative factors. I was at home as a care-giver for part of that experience. I now want to share some thoughts and resources to help anyone, who needs or is giving care right now.

Consider:

  1. We’re all getting older. Either our bodies will work tolerably well into old age or something will break down along the way. It only takes two of six essential skills for a person to officially require care.
  2. Despite our best efforts, we can not predict what will happen in the future. Although most of my school chums and I are reasonably healthy and well, I have lost friends and family to brain cancer, ALS, degenerative diseases, and suicide.
  3. You can never assume that “help is around the corner,” or “my kids will take care of me.” Although volunteers (including family) may be willing to help, they have lives as well…and changing your diapers, cooking three squares per day, and helping you find your remote 24/7 may not be possible for them for an extended period.

Where to begin? Try these points to start:

Relationships –  A recent article in The Ensign magazine entitled “When One Needs Care, 2 Need Help” by Nancy Madsen-Wilkerson describes the challenges faced by family caregivers. The author experienced the trials of providing care to family members, and spent a week herself in the hospital recovering from complete exhaustion. The article touches on several vital points:

  • Preparation – like any hazard, forewarned is forearmed.
  • Advance Directive – your written, legal decision about your care, used when you are no longer able to say how you want it.
  • Durable Power of Attorney – you name the person(s) you trust to make decisions when you are no longer able to do so.
  • Coordinated care – plans for who can help, when, and under what conditions.

The article is a good read and will plant some seeds of preparation in your own mind and spark discussion in your family.

Insurance and Professional Help – If you have assets and want to preserve them for your survivors, consult your planner about Long Term Care (LTC) insurance. LTC insurance is designed to do two things: 1) pay a professional to take care of you  in your home or a facility of choice (you pay pennies on the dollar for care-related fees when needed), and 2) preserve your assets. If you die on Medicaid, most states require that your estates pays back the expenses after you die (the government LTC site explains this). The pool of care money created by LTC insurance alters that equation.

Admittedly, there are many considerations to discuss in this very personal decision, it is essential for you to consult an expert in the field. AND – this is a BIG AND –  don’t wait until you need it to buy it. You must be physically and financially healthy in order to purchase LTC insurance.

Choosing Care – Visit facilities in your area. Good ones should be forthcoming about the services they offer, including pricing, levels of care, etc. They are businesses, and are in competition for your trade. It will pay you in the long run to understand when you or your loved one can say at home and when it is time to move.

My Experience – My mother was very aware of the importance of planning. When I moved back home to take care of her, she was very specific. “Jim,” she said, “Here is my will. Here is the key to my safety deposit box. You’ll find all of my documents, my life insurance and everything else you’ll need. And here is the attorney that you will consult when I go.” When she passed, every instruction was as good as gold. I was spared the burden of guessing. I cannot tell you how tremendous her last gift was to me and what a difference it made when it was time to exercise it.

If there is a moral to this story it’s this: if you think planning is tough, imagine life without it. Then get to work.

Resources:

White House Conference on Aging

Administration for Community Living

Alzheimer’s Association

Long Term Care (info)

Future of US Jobs?

According to an article published this week on Pymnts.com, the U.S. added 48,000 retail jobs in March of this year – good news for job seekers and the economy in general (more earners put more money into circulation).

However, during the same period, 29,000 manufacturing jobs were lost. Statistics reviewed over several years indicate that this adverse trend is increasing – retail positions (largely less-skilled workers at minimum wage) continue to grow while skilled production jobs decrease. The net result for large corporations is more profits, as sales increase and production coasts go down.

Although this trend may be of interest to those with money to speculate, it makes me wonder what is in store for U.S. jobs in the future and how workers should plan to position themselves as the job market changes over time.

Read the whole story here. I’d love to see comments below.

10 Reasons To Start Earning An Extra Income

Home based business and other alternative earning methods have become widely accepted all over the world. In a world of uncertainty, it makes sense to create income not subject to potential downsizing, office politics, and arbitrary decisions by superiors. Imagine how it would feel to get up and not hurry to the office in heavy traffic, listening to your inspiration for the day and working with clients and activities you choose. If you are willing to do extra work or travel for your boss, you should be more than willing to do that for yourself, especially if it would improve the quality of life for you and your loved ones.

More options exist now than have ever existed, due to the internet and miracles of technology. Here is a short list of possibilities:

  • Retail Arbitrage (Ebay, Amazon Marketplace, etc.)
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Digital Products
  • Service
  • Writing and Publishing
  • Network Marketing
  • Write online courses

Consider the benefits:

1. Be your own boss. Freedom of time, travel, goals, finances: everything left to you.

2. Work according to your own schedule. Flexibility is key to enjoying the important things in life. Some things only come once. Be there for them.

3. Keep your existing job until you make twice as much part-time as you do full time. You need the momentum and confidence that comes with longevity in your work. Sometimes, you need the friction of the daily grind to anchor you to your dream.

4. Eliminate job insecurity and fear of unemployment. How much is having increased confidence for the future worth to you?

5. Self confidence increases. This factor will help you face most hurdles in life with less heartache and stress.

6. Limitations of earning do not exist. You can earn as much as you want by outsourcing, duplication, or scaling up.

7. You may enjoy tax benefits since some of your activities and purchases will be deductible. Check with your tax accountant.

8. You can retire on your own timetable. Work with a planner to see what it will take to do that.

9. Many of us work for others because of the sociability, sense of accomplishment, or praise. You can replicate that elsewhere, and make more income as well.

10. You create an asset – a vehicle that pays you money, or that you can sell or leave to your survivors.

Outside income does not come for free. It involves hard work, but is a joy, especially when you are able to exercise your strengths and passions. Listen to podcasts, read books, and most of all, find your fit and go to work.

Resources: