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Worried That You May Actually Have Sleep Apnea? Realization Often Comes Slowly.

October 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Health & Fitness, Sleep Apnea, Steve Holmes

Worried That You May Actually Have Sleep Apnea?

Part 1 of this series discussed how men rationalize their denial about having “Sleep Apnea“.

Today, in Part 2, the discussion revolves around starting to recognize that you might actually have sleep apnea, and the transition from denial to accepting the possibility.

Two new factors took me from absolute denial to grudging acknowledgement of the possibility:

  • Meeting a new doctor at age 50
  • Discovering that all my siblings either had or suspected they had Sleep Apnea

Meeting a New Doctor at Age 50

For a doctor-phobic, middle-aged, suddenly less-healthy man to be forced to select a new doctor, you begin to have visions of midlife crisis and a sudden need to buy a Ferrari. After all, new car pride should make any man feel better.

Fortunately, my wife was insistent on me having a new doctor, and the Ferrari wasn’t really in the budget.

So, the easiest solution was to call the most convenient doctor’s office and find out whether any of their three physicians was accepting new patients. They all were, but there was more:

  • The first was a distinguished-looking man who was also the owner of the clinic. While he was certainly qualified, it was also evident that he would merely be a temporary solution, and another change would be needed in a few years.
  • Next was friendly woman with good credentials and references, but not many middle-aged men feel comfortable being examined by a woman doctor, and that was the case with me.
  • The last choice was a man in his late thirties or early forties and that was perfect. He was old enough to be experienced, and young enough to work with me long-term.

So, I had a new doctor. Unfortunately, even after I transferred my medical records from the last doctor, and swore that I’d been healthy enough to pass a life insurance exam two years prior, the new doctor insisted on a full checkup. He used words like “turning 50“, “baseline EKG” and “elevated blood pressure.

The higher blood pressure was the most worrisome: After more than a decade of proudly testing at “120 over 80,” this test showed about “150 over 105.” Because of the higher numbers, the new doctor started asking questions about every aspect of my life, and zeroing in on any recent changes.

Grudgingly, I admitted that recently I was always feeling exhausted, but I pointed to an expanded workload and added stress due to a number of situations.

Then it happened: He asked if anyone ever said that I stopped breathing while sleeping, or whether I had ever been been tested for Sleep Apnea.

Time stood still for awhile as my potential responses passed through my mind:

  1. Take the easy way out by denying that anyone ever suggested that I stopped breathing. After all, he had never met my wife. What would it hurt?
  2. Tell him that I have been tested numerous times by nosy doctors who also misdiagnosed this condition.
  3. Bolt for the door and find yet another new doctor who might not be as thorough.

Suddenly, my lips failed me as I heard my own voice saying, “Yes, my wife has complained for years about me stopping breathing throughout the night.”

WHAT!!! – WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?

He next asked, “Do you fall asleep during the day?” GULP! Well, not unless you count waking up face down on your keyboard. So I admitted to finding it harder and harder to stay awake throughout the day.

That was it! He scheduled me for an overnight test at a local sleep lab. DOOMED!

After the rest of my exam, the blood pressure dropped some, and the doctor explained that he was prescribing immediate blood pressure medicine – instead of sending me to the hospital. That got my attention!

All in the Family

During the time between the doctor’s examination and my appointment at the sleep lab, I traveled to a family gathering back in my hometown.

Naturally, my wife pipes up that I am going to be tested at a sleep lab for Sleep Apnea.

To my surprise, one sister admits that she and her husband have Sleep Apnea and sleep with breathing machines. My other sister and our brother chimed in that they have always suspected that they had Sleep Apnea too, but had never been tested.

Could it be true?

There it was! – The Indisputable possibility that I actually could have Sleep Apnea.

Okay, MAYBE I could have Sleep Apnea, but that doesn’t mean that anyone will ever convince me to use a breathing machine with a mask at night.

In the Part 3 of this series, you’ll learn what a sleep lab is like, and what kinds of data is revealed by the test results.

For faster information, read “The Perils of Sleep Apnea–An Undiagnosed Epidemic: A Layman’s Perspective“.

Good Gravy! If Comfort Foods Can Make the Most Nerve-Wracked Day Seem Happier, Should You Learn to Make Healthier Versions? Or Does That Defeat the Purpose?

October 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Food & Recipes

Do Comfort Foods Really Reduce Stress?

Given the Major Tension and Trauma In the World Lately, You’ve a Lot Of “Heavy Stuff”  Weighing You Down. Perhaps You’re Stressing Over Your:

  • Decimated stock portfolio, recently failed 401(K) and the uncertain economy  
  • Impression that the war has been going on forever and is costing our nation too much
  • Frustration with the lying attacks in this interminably long presidential campaign 
  • Worries over skyrocketing food and energy costs – high gas costs this summer, but now there’s your next unknown: the expense of heating your home this winter – and/or even how you’ll be affording the big holiday meal
  • Concern over how you’re going to get through the coming holidays – financially, emotionally – or both
  • Real fear that you really ought to have that lump (or sore spot) checked out… you worry that it might be really BAD NEWS
  • Trepidation over your parents’ failing health and your suspicion that you’ll soon be approaching the time where current arrangements must change
  •  Parental concern over the fact that your daughter just lost her job and her husband’s serving overseas – you’re worrying over whether she and the kids will have to move in with you? 

That’s A Lot of Stress You’re Carrying Around With You! Especially Since You Can’t Immediately Resolve Most of Those Problems! 

No wonder you’re looking for some way to ease your feelings of frustration, and make yourself feel better. 

  • After all, you can make a plan for:
    • How you’re going to approach rebuilding your challenged finances and retirement plan 
    • How to get along with the squabbling relatives over the holidays
    • How much to spend on all those holiday gifts
    • Seeing your health care provider to be tested or get the worrisome lump/sore spot examined
  • And you can even come up with an effective strategy to allow you to afford your utility bills this winter, though it may involve wearing layers and setting up a long term payment plan
  • With regard to your worries over your parents, your children and grandchildren, you don’t have to solve those problems alone. You’ll have to work that out together – perhaps with some outside assistance
  • As for the election, well, it will be over soon. Then you’ll just have to wait out the time until the new regime takes over

But All of This Strategizing Takes Time & Effort – And You Pay With a Toll on Your Soul.

Beyond that, you have to realize that you are never totally in control.

This is no doubt why, in challenging times all humans seek outlets for stress… We’re looking for comfort AND something we have the ability to control:

  • Some people turn to drink
  • Some to sex (think David Duchovny and this “sex addict” thing)
  • There are those who find solace in just sitting there doing nothing (or maybe watching way too much television?)
  • Others immerse themselves in solitary games, like online Scrabble, or hide out from the world for awhile (My grandfather would confine himself to the basement, where he slept away whole days on an uncomfortable army cot. But when he emerged, he was ready to take on the world again!)
  • A lot of people become workout or exercise fanatics
  • Some people try gambling
  • But the number one choice for dealing with your stress: eating your favorite comfort foods

Mmmmm. Comfort Foods.

Sometimes Just Saying the Names of Your Favorite Comfort Foods – or Just Thinking About How Wonderful They Would Taste – Can Be All the Soul-soothing You Need. Other Times, You Really Need to Chew and Taste the Food… 

With regard to the comfort you can derive from imagining comfort foods, here’s a story you might relate to: Back when I was in high school, I and a group of friends spent the tumultuous “Summer of 69” (also known as the “Summer of Love” and the summer man first walked on the moon) far away from home, studying in Europe.

  • We enjoyed the trip and the cultural experiences, and gamely ate the meals we were served – both at the school cafeteria and in the local bistros. But we often found ourselves intensely hungry for the comfort foods of our homeland.  
  • We’d get a bunch of us together in someone’s dorm room, and do a round-robin, where we talked about what we most missed and took turns reverently saying the names of the favorite comfort foods we were most looking forward to diving into on our return home. Maybe you did a similar thing when you were away at camp, college, or the serving with the military. I suspect we weren’t unique in our lust for the familiar in the midst of uncertainty.
  • Anyway, we discovered that just reverently saying the names of our favorite foods and fantasizing about which one we would eat first, once we got back home, was actually very soothing.

The ever-evolving list we came up with looked something like the one below. So if you’re questioning the benefits of dining via your imagination, feel free to run through the list below and try out the “fantasizing method” for yourself. It’s quick – and very low-calorie:

  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Spaghetti and meatballs
  • Chicken and dumplings
  • Tuna noodle casserole
  • Rice pudding
  • Chicken a la King
  • Pot roast with plenty of rich fragrant homemade gravy to ladle over cooked carrots, potatoes and other vegetables
  • Bacon cheeseburgers
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Lasagna
  • Beef stroganoff served with noodles
  • Cream of tomato soup with gooey grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Meatloaf and baked potatoes
  • Chocolate cake with thick fudge frosting
  • Scalloped potatoes and ham
  • Warm, melty chocolate chip cookies and milk
  • Hot fudge sundaes made with rich French vanilla ice cream, plenty of thick, rich fudge and toasted pecans
  • Warm apple pie with cinnamon ice cream

Feeling Better Now? If Not, Then It’s Time to Get Cooking for Real…

Pick Out Your Favorite Comfort Food and Make It Right Now. How About Putting a Really Good Gravy Onto Something?

After all, gravy’s not only soul satisfying, it’s quick and easy to make, and can be made with virtually combination of liquid, fat, flavorings and a thickening agent.
That’s right: you can make gravy using liquids like meat stock or broth (go with low-sodium if you’re buying it pre-packaged), cream, milk, water, juices, wine — even beer. And your fat can come from pan any sort of pan drippings – even those you get from grilling hamburgers!

  • With regard to the liquid: I’ve made a fabulous and soul-satisfying “beer-based gravy for a wonderful pork roast. And think what a wine-enhanced gravy does for your best chicken casserole — suddenly you’re making your own personal version of “coq au vin!”
  • As for the fat: If you don’t have pan drippings, you can also use reserved bacon grease, butter, margarine – even heart-healthy olive oil!
  • If you don’t want to thicken your gravy with flour,you can also make your roux (that’s the official name for your “pre-gravy” mixture of hot fat and flour) with cornstarch, potato starch or arrowroot
  • For flavorings, your imagination is the only limitation! Some flavor will come from your choice of liquid and fat of course, but you can also make liberal use of fresh or dried herbs, spices, salts and peppers, packaged sauces like Worchestershire, salsas, fruits, onions, mushrooms – even oddities like mustards, ketchup, tomato paste, lemon or lime juice, instant coffee granules and peanut butter have a place in flavoring gravies… Just hold off on the MSG and Kitchen Bouquet, please!

Now, If You’re Still Feeling “Gravy Challenged”…Here’s More Help  

That is, you’ve never yet been able to make gravy that’s thin or thick enough, or perhaps lump-free – relax. This can be easily resolved with  simple lessons and a bit of practice… No need to resort to bottled gravies for creating gravies for your best comfort foods.

Actually, once you know the secrets of making great gravy, you can also put those culinary tricks to good use making similar sauces: Think of a wonderful, homemade three-cheese sauce for your mac and cheese, for example.

Not to mention that the same lump-free sauce tricks apply to chicken a la king, stroganoff, chicken and dumplings, and even homemade tuna noodle casserole.

Aren’t You Feeling More “Comfortably” Empowered Now?

One final comment: Should you try making healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods?  Since you know that proper nutrition and exercise are so important to your ongoing health, this may be a good idea.

On the other hand, sometimes, you just have to have your comfort foods “just like Mom used to make.”

So in that case, you’re going to have to learn to exercise portion control. For example, I love a good grilled Reuben sandwich. I mean I really exault over the otherworldly combination of corned beef,  Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing on dark rye bread.  

But I know there’s too much fat and salt in a traditional Reuben for my own good.

So, aside from learning to make a healthier version, using turkey instead of corned beef; which is an excellent substitution, I also have a personal rule not to allow myself to eat more than a half of a Reuben, and then only once or twice a year…

But if you want to know how to make healthy comfort foods, help is here…

Yes, You Can Make Your Own Versions of Healthy Comfort Foods

If you’re interested in learning how to make your favorite comfort foods using healthier methods, you’ll want to check out these great cookbooks I just discovered:

So bring on the challenges. You’re empowered to handle them now, with the help of your favorite comfort foods, right?

Yummy Recipe for Stress Management: With All the Trauma in the World, Why Not Take Action to Relieve Your Stress by Baking Something Healthy & Delicious – Sharing With Friends?

October 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Anne Holmes, Blog, Diabetes, Food & Recipes, Wellness

Looking For Stress Reduction? Have Some Fun With Friends!

With All the Economic Drama of Recent Days, You Know We’re All in Need of Some Good Stress Management Techniques.

Hopefully you’ve been able to find an opportunity for a big belly laugh every day, since you know laughter’s a proven stress reliever. No need to head to a comedy club, there have been some great opportunities offered by the presidential campaign:

  • Tina Fey’s impressions of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live have really had the world laughing
  • The real Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live this past weekend was another good chance to laugh, especially Amy’s the end of show rap  
  • Not to mention the ably delivered standup comedy of both McCain and Obama at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner

Read more

“Joe the Plumber” Isn’t the Only Entrepreneurial Wannabe: Haven’t You Wondered Whether You Could Successfully Fund Your Retirement by Starting Your Own Small Business?

Small Business Owner Wannabe? Yes You Can!

If you watched the third and final presidential debate earlier this week, you heard both candidates talking abut how their economic development and tax plans would benefit Joe Wurzelbacher, aka “Joe the Plumber,” a Toledo, Ohio man who’s considering buying the plumbing business where he currently works – for somewhere between $250,000 and $280,000.

Both candidates attempted to make the case that their plans for taxation and business development would benefit more Americans. Who won the debate – and the hearts and minds of Americans – will be determined in mere weeks now. But that isn’t the main point of this post: Helping you decide whether or not to buy or start your own small business is.

See, “Joe the Plumber” Is Not the Only Baby Boomer Considering the Entrepreneurial American Dream of Business Ownership. Likely You Are, Too!

For many Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, the concept of retirement has a very different meaning than it did a generation ago. Many of you are looking into starting your own business to support your retirement – or semi-retirement. Actually what some people are starting to refer to as “unretirement.” And why not?

After all, several recent studies indicate that roughly 63% of non-retired adults in the United States plan to work into the time periond that used to be called retirement. Why? Your reasons may be different, but here are some popular ones:

  • Two-thirds of you say your key reason is that you enjoy your work and you want to stay mentally engaged
  • About half of you have a concern over not having enough money to cover your basic living expenses once you are old enough to collect Social Security
  • The current economy has left many of you with decimated home values, mountains of bills, and vanishing 401(K)’s
  • Only 28% of you report confidence in your ability to pay for projected medical costs – especially since many of you won’t have health insurance after you retire -and you can easily expect to live another 20 to 30 years

On the Plus Side You Can’t Ignore the Very Real Benefits Of:

  • Your years of valuable work experience
  • Your maturity and judgement
  • Your health and vitality

Actually, There Are as Many Reasons for Starting a Small Business as There are Americans Reaching Retirement Age

At the very least you have to consider:

  • Corporate layoffs
  • The need to supplement your current income
  • Your desire for a more flexible lifestyle
  • Your recognition that advancing technology has leveled the playing field for many small businesses
  • The very real opportunity to realize your personal ambition to be the boss and reap the rewards

It All Adds Up: More and More Boomers Find Financial and Personal Fulfillment in Running Your Own Small Business.

“[Boomers] stand at the portal of advancing age more driven by their desire to stay engaged with achievements and family relationships than by the value of their portfolio,” says Carol Orsborn, an author and expert on marketing to Baby Boomers. Here are some other relevant facts:

  • A study by Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive found that 45% of Americans approaching retirement never plan to completely stop working
  • You can often deduct some of your health insurance premiums from taxes if you’re self employed and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) offer more savings.
  • Americans over the age of 50 make up a disproportionate share of the self-employed workforce, about 40 percent compared to 25 percent of the overall workforce according to a 2002 AARP study
  • Americans in their 40s and 50s expect to “retire” at age 61 but will continue to work until around age 70 according to Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive. During these 9 years, many of you believe the ideal work arrangement is to “cycle” between periods of work and leisure (42%). And only 17% of you hope to never work for pay again
  • The top-10 most popular franchising industries according to a report in USA Today are: fast food, service, restaurants, building and construction, business services, retail, automotive, maintenance, food retail, and lodging
  • A new franchised business opens up in the United States every 8 minutes, according to Price Waterhouse Coopers.  Average initial investment is $250,000
  • Only 37% of the Boomer generation indicated that earning money was an important reason to keep working according to Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive.  67% thought challenge and mental stimulation would motivate them to continue to work. The same study found that of Boomers who plan to continue work, nearly two-thirds want to pursue a different line of work.
  • The number of franchised business in the US has grown to 850,000 from 760,000 in the past six years according to an International Franchise Association report. The number of “franchise concepts” has grown to 2,500 from 900 in 3 years
  • 75 industries use franchising to distribute goods and services according to Price Waterhouse Coopers

Undoubtedly it’s facts like these that led the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to unveil a new section of their web site earlier this month, aimed directly at you, the country’s most rapidly expanding group of entrepreneurs.

The new Small Business oriented site is designed for you if you are a 50-plus entrepreneur seeking information on starting, growing and expanding a small business.

“The SBA is working hard to increase opportunities for small businesses of the Baby Boomer generation at every stage of their business development through better technology tools and effective services through the agency’s district offices and resource partners,” said SBA Acting Administrator Sandy Baruah in a statement. “We believe 50-plus entrepreneurs will drive significant new business growth in the coming years.”

The new site has been designed to help you evaluate the pros and cons of business ownership after age 50 and provides advice on how to treat different phases of business growth. It includes a series of free online course on topics like:

  • Small Business Primer: Guide to Starting a Business
  • How to Prepare a Business Plan
  • How to Start a Business on a Shoestring Budget (Trump University)
  • Franchising Basics
  • Technology 101: A Small Business Guide

In addition you’ll find:

  • A tool to you measure your business readiness
  • Information on borrowing and credit
  • Encouraging success stories from other Baby Boomer small business owners

There’s Also a Section Called “Bootstrapping Basics” That Offers Training Tools Such As “Traits of the Successful Entrepreneur”

Here, you learn that:

  • Just as not every idea is well suited for a shoestring start-up, not every person is well suited to be a bootstrapping entrepreneur
  • “When it comes to starting a business on a shoestring budget, two of these traits are especially important. An entrepreneur must be passionate about his start-up business. It can be long time before you really start reaping the rewards of your business, and it can be easy to let other endeavors distract you. Your passion is what will keep you focused on moving your idea forward
  • “Too much caution can stand in the way of a successful start-up.”
  • A bootstrapping entrepreneur must also be something of a risk taker. You must be willing to experiment. If the first thing you try isn’t working, you have to be able redirect your efforts and try another approach.”
  • “Successful entrepreneurs share some common traits that help them meet the particular challenges starting a business puts before them. They include:
    • Passion
    • Tenacity
    • Persistence
    • Self-reliance
    • Risk-taking
    • Focus
    • Curiousity

The SBA’s Self-Paced Training for 50-Plus Entrepreneurs Is A Good Idea, But It Lacks Passion – and a Mechanism to Keep Your Focused and Moving Forward.

If you’re serious about building as business to support your retirement there is no time to waste. You need to get started now, and you need to get training from a reliable resource which will keep you focused and moving forward with passion.

In my opinion, you’ll be much farther along in your business development efforts one month from now if you work with Gina Gaudio-Grave’s program, The 30-day IM Challenge instead of using the SBA’s self-paced training.

What Have You Got to Lose? It’s Priced Right, and A Stronger Program

In the past I’ve recommended Gina Gaudio-Graves free 30-Day IM Challenge program and I stand behind that recommendation. Also free, it gives you all the knowledge you need to succeed with your own business, whether you decide to go home-based or not.

In Addition to the 750+ Pages of Training, Plus Recordings and Videos, the 30 Day IM Challenge Gives You Weekly Group Phone Calls and an In-depth Forum, Where You Can Ask Questions of Gina’s Apprentices, Who Are All Successful Graduates of the 30-Day IM Challenge.

So, if you’re considering starting a small business to supplement your retirement income,  the only questions still left for you to answer are:

  • Do you want to succeed?
  • Do you have what it takes to own your own successful business?
  • If not, are you willing to work hard to acquire it?
  • Are you ready to launch yourself into prosperity despite the gloomy economy?
  • Or would you rather stick your head in the sand and wait until things are “easier.”

If you opt for the last option, keep in mind that while you wait your chances for enjoying a comfortable retirement will be steadily shrinking…

“Joe the Plumber” is not waiting. Don’t you hold off either!

Forget Economic Meltdown. The Far More Important Worry: “Is Your Life What You Hoped It Would Be?” Why Haven’t You Added “Recareering” to the Top of Your Dance Card?

October 13, 2008 by  
Filed under Anne Holmes, Blog, Relationships & Family, Spirit & Faith

Not Dancing Through Life - Try Recareering

You’ve probably received your share of those sappy email forwards people pass around to remind themselves that we still care about each other. I just got one that ended with a comment worthy of sharing with you:

‘Life may not be the party we hoped for… but while we are here we might as well dance!’

Hmmm. A Bit of Upbeat Advice to Live Life with Passion Amidst All the Teeth-gnashing Financial Angst in My Mailbox Lately.

It Immediately Reminds Me Of Another Great Dance Aphorism: “Dance with the one what brung ya,”

Combined, the two concepts offer great advice. Especially in these challenging times where you’re probably worried about the potential of economic meltdown.

Not sure how the old Southern cliche and the new “dancing/live life with passion” philosophy apply you at this point in your life? Here’s a story to illustrate it for you:

My friend Bob is frustrated with his current employment situation as a pressman for a major newspaper organization, and rightfully worried that he might lose his job in the next round of layoffs.

In thinking about his employment alternatives, he’s realized that the entire newspaper industry is in rough shape, so finding a new job as a pressman is going to be tough.

Meanwhile, in casting about for alternative employment opportunity options, he’s considering what many Baby Boomer-aged workers are dreaming about: changing careers. In his case, Bob doesn’t want to make as drastic a change as some people you may know. For example:

  • He doesn’t want to convert himself from CPA to restaurateur
  • Or from public relations account executive to blues guitarist
  • Nor does he dream of making a transition from office administrator to yoga or Pilates instructor
  • He’s not even thinking of making a switch from lawyering to growing and selling organic vegetables

All passion-oriented career changes others have tried…

No, Bob’s inspiration is a switch that will still involve him using his mechanical skills. He just wants to take them in a new direction. He’s been talking with his brother-in-law about a new, “green” technology in the construction industry that they both feel sure is about to take off – installing geothermal pumps.

A change that will have him working outdoors instead of inside, which he will enjoy. And one that will require extensive re-training.

It’s That Last Part That is Concerning Him.

As he explained his dilemma, he outlined the opportunity: “Geothermal heat pumps are similar to your regular heat pumps, except they use the ground instead of outside air to give you your heating, your air conditioning, even hot water. Since they use the earth’s own heat, they are among the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies around. Damn cool engineering.”

In other words, this is a “green” technology, and these days, just about everything green is good.

As Bob talked further, his zeal and enthusiasm – or passion – for the new technology became apparent. “These pumps are so energy efficient, I know there’s gonna be a TON of guys like you and me – homeowners looking to save money and energy – who are going to want to install them. Especially since it seems like our home energy costs are going to just keep going through the roof.”

Bottom line as Bob sees it:

  • If he earns this new certification, he believes his employment future will be secure
  • Instead of plying his superb mechanical skills working with an aging technology – where future employment is iffy – he’ll be positioned on the leading edge of a new one
  • He’s feeling huge enthusiasm, or passion, for learning more about the potential new work, which excites him, and makes it worth getting up in the morning
  • And he’s sure he’d be making some real good (and reliable) money going forward…

There’s just one thing troubling him: He’d have to become trained and certified for the new work, and the certification will take him four years to achieve.

His Biggest Questions as He Contemplates This Transition: Can His Family Financially Handle His Time in School, AND Is the Significant Investment of His Time and Money – At This Time in His Life – Likely to be Worth It?

  • If he went back to school to learn this promising new trade, he would be 50 years old when he finished.
  • My answer: “How old will you be in four years if you don’t go to school?”
  • Of course Bob got the point: He’d still be 50 years old
  • And, he realizes that if he doesn’t grab the opportunity to get new training now, there’s a big chance he’ll be even closer to unemployment in the future

In Other Words: Bob Would be Wise to Consider the Possibilities; Not Just Go for a “Knee-Jerk” Reaction Which Lets Age Keep Him From Investing Into An Enjoyable New Work Opportunity.

Especially since, if Bob gets into doing something he really loves and has a passion for, there are major life benefits.

First, instead of constantly running an employment treadmill, staying in a job in which he’s continually stressed out over the looming potential for unemployment, he’ll have developed new and desirable skills. Not to mention that everything else about his life will be so much more enjoyable once he’s spending his working hours doing something he enjoys!

  • He’ll have a passion for his work, which is really important.
  • He’ll benefit from a much stronger opportunity to be successful in his work
  • Not to mention that his stress levels will be lower, making for a much more enjoyable homelife, too

Second, fifty just isn’t that old anymore. At age 50, Bob – or you, if you were in his shoes –  still has 15 years of work/employment ahead of him before he reaches the traditional retirement age of 65 – plenty of time to make it worthwhile to change his career.

Besides which, the reality is, most Baby Boomers are going to work long past the old traditional retirement age of 65, so at 50 you’re realistically talking about having MORE than 15 working years ahead of you.

Third, despite an economy in recession, and Bob’s very real concern for personal economic meltdown if he leaves his current job, the opportunities for a midlife career change have never been better. In fact, a variety of factors currently work in favor of midlife career change, including:

  • Changing attitudes toward older workers
  • Rising demand for workplace experience
  • More powerful job-search resources
  • Employers’ pending recognition that they can’t afford to lose older workers. This is especially apparent in fields the fields of nursing, hospitality and utilities. Bob’s career change would factor into the latter arena.

So How Can Bob Make This Work? Especially Because He Wants to Avoid Financial Hardship While He Gets Things Going?

Despite all the opportunity, “recareering” – changing careers in midlife – can involve difficult and potentially life-altering decisions. Especially if going back to  school forces an overhaul of your lifestyle or your family’s standard of living.

Bob clearly realizes that unless he comes up with a corrective plan in advance, in the short-term, his opportunity has the potential to:

  • Damage his family life and maybe even cost him his friends
  • Generate a lot of internal stress
  • Significantly reduce the amount of time he has to relax and socialize
  • Negatively impact his finances – in the short term

A Career Coach or Counselor Can Show You How, With Planning, All of These Negatives Can be Controlled.

For example, a career counselor would help Bob:

  • Figure out his passion, if we weren’t yet sure of it; so he could be sure he was moving in the right direction.
  • Advise Bob that he needs to make sure his family supports his decision
  • Help him work out a strategy to make sure he can pay his bills while he’s getting refocused. (For example, Bob might have an option to take a buyout from his newspaper job, and live off some of his 401K savings for the short-term)
  • Make sure his motivation to change is properly focused

Bottom Line: Since You’re Going to Be Working A Couple More Decades Anyway, Why Shouldn’t You Do Work You Enjoy – Something That Gives You the Opportunity to “Dance” a Bit Every Day?

And in terms of recareering and the concept of dancing with the one “what brung ya,” I believe that means you need to look into how you can:

  • Develop work from a hobby
  • Create income from something for which you have passion.*
  • Incorporate skills you have, enjoy and in which you excel

In Bob’s case, those are his mechanical skills and his passion for helping people save money through use of a “green” technology.

What Are YOU Passionate About? What Makes YOU Dance? (And Are You Dancing Enough?)

*Not sure whether or not you actually have a passion for anything? Join the crowd. A lot of people are confused right now about how to live a life with passion. Yet making time to dance is so important.

This book, The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose, will really help you figure it out.  The book is by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood. Here are a few great quotes that explain how powerful it is:

  • “The simplest, clearest way to get started on knowing what you want—by getting clear on who you are.”
    —T. Harv Eker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
  • “It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s profound.”
    —Jack Canfield, cocreator of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, Chicken Soup for the Soul
  • “[A] clear, simple, and effective method to help you identify your core passions so you can create the fulfilling life you deserve.”
    —John Gray, Ph.D., #1 New York Times bestselling author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

Now, go forth and dance with passion!

Got the Latest Lingo Down? Raise Your Hand If You Know What This Question Means: “Are You a Cougar Who’s Craigslisting Because You’re About to Become A Co-Ho?”

October 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Anne Holmes, Blog, Living, Relationships & Family

Want Bigger House and Companionship? Consider Co-Ho: Buying With a Friend

“Whatchutalkinabout!” Where Did You Come Up With Those Strange Words?

Don’t worry, there’s no need to run for a bar of soap to wash out your friend’s mouth when you hear words like:

Likewise, when you see or hear these odd-looking words, there’s no need to furrow your forehead in confusion, as did the young Gary Coleman in that classic 70s sitcom, “Diff’rent Strokes.” (Remember, he became famous for his “straight man” line repeatedly delivered to his older brother, Whatchutalkinbout Willis?

Instead, we have one simple (known) word for you, “relax.” Help for understanding these odd words – most generated as a result of new technology – is here…

No Need to Send Out For a Fresh Supply of Botox to Smooth Your Wrinkled Brow!

Of course, you know your challenges with strangely-used words happen because English is a living language, and that means that new words – or new usages for terms you know – evolve regularly.  Sometimes the liveliness of the language also means Boomers end up feeling out of touch. 

For example, perhaps you know that a “cougar” is an attractive older woman who dates younger men, and you can guess that the reference to “Craigslisting” means attempting to sell your personal possessions on the popular, geographically-oriented classified advertising website.

But the usage of “co-ho” may have you stumped. Nothing “fishy” about it, by the way, but that’ll be explained in a second…

Meanwhile, Perhaps You’ve Also Run Into Other New Terms Under Situations Like These:

  • A friend commented that since you’ve been spending so much time hanging out in theblogosphere,” you might know why he’d received an email request from a peer suggesting that he “friend” him
  • Or,  you’ve been puzzled hearing people blithely discuss the relative merits of “Digging” a web site versus “Stumbling” it
  • Maybe you decided to nod knowingly and act like you understood what was being discussed when a your niece told you that her “bff” had just “twitted” her with a link to a fantastic new “mash up”
  • Then again, perhaps your “Huh? What’s That? Meter” blinked when you heard a recent Tonight show guest tell Leno how much her husband likes her “tramp stamp while another guest spoke knowingly about being all “tatted out

If all of these terms have your head spinning, the good news is that you can check out the definition of “co-ho” and all the other new terms mentioned right here, in our helpful glossary.

OK, Now That You Know That the “Co-Ho” in The Headline Refers to the Relatively New Concept of “Communal Home-ownership,” and Has Nothing to Do With Migrating Salmon… Let’s Talk About It In More Detail 

Perhaps you’ve already started to consider the merits of a decision  to “go the co-ho route,” and “craigslist” your extra furniture…

Let’s take a look at longer look at the concept than we’d done with the other new words, as this is a significant phenomenon which may grow to trend-like proportions. And, though similar, it is distinctly different than the concept of co-housing, which you may have heard of, as it’s often associated with the creation of neighborhoods where people can safely “age-in-place.”

A Co-Ho Arrangement Is Different Than A Co-housing Agreement

Co-housing is a concept that originated in Denmark in the 1960s.

It’s sort of like getting all your friends together to live in separate units of one apartment building, similar to the arrangement on TV show, “Friends” except that you’d more likely all be living in your own homes on the same block. 

The goal of co-housing’s members is to intentionally create a community where residents are consciously committed to living together as a (planned) community. In other words, in a co-housing arrangement:

  • The members actively participate in the design and operation of their neighborhood, which is designed primarily to encourage social interaction and often the overall goal, as mentioned above, is to facilitate “aging-in-place”
  • Social interaction is key. Think of it as a return to the days of your childhood, when people knew and were close to their neighbors
  • In co-housing communities, the physical design is meant to encourage both social contact and individual space
  • Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes, but residents share extensive common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground and a common building or social hall 
  • The common building usually features a large kitchen and dining area as well as a living area and game area
  • Often, residents attend a number of group meals per week, and community events are regularly planned
  • The housing itself is usually clustered with parking on the perimeter and walking paths designed to encourage interaction in the middle
  • It is designed to create many opportunities for casual meetings between neighbors, as well as for deliberate gatherings such as celebrations, clubs and business meetings

On the Other Hand, the “Co-Ho” Arrangement is Much More Unique, Individual and Small Scale. Much Less of a Planned Community Than it is a Personal Conract Between Two – Or Rarely as Many as Three or Four – People.

  • For a quick dose of clarity,  you can check out the recent TIME magazine story entitled “Should You Become a Co-Ho?” (You probably overlooked that story when it first came out… that’s when you still associated the term “co-ho” with the spectacular west coast sport fish…right?)
  • “Co-hos” are people who have made the decision to live together in a relationship which is more permanent than if they were merely roommates, but does not incorporate any romantic involvement.
  • Think in terms of the movie “The Odd Couple,” or maybe the TV show “Will and Grace,” – though neither of those scenarios dealt with the residential ownership issue.  

The co-ho arrangement – friends co-owning houses – though first adopted by 20-somethings who were looking to be able to afford a larger house, really makes sense for Baby Boomers.

Co-owning Homes Makes Sense for Boomers, Since Almost One-Third of all Boomers Are Single, or Spouseless

In Case You’re Wondering, That’s Some 25 Million Single Boomers Who Aren’t Likely to Marry, With the Breakdown Working Out Like This:

  • 12 percent never married, about twice the percentage of the previous generation
  • 16 percent are divorced or separated
  • 4 percent are widowed

Beyond That, As the News Media – or Your Parents – Like to Remind Boomer Women:

  • Women over 40 have a far harder time finding mates than men
  • Boomer males – those who don’t live in cardboard houses or under the highway overpass – remarry at higher rates
  • Men die sooner, which means the pool of available – and desirable spouses – is smaller for women
  • So unless you’re a Boomer woman who still subscribes to that 70s-era women power manta – “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” – the sad fact is many Boomer women find themselves living alone, spouseless and childless

Bottom Line: Due to Scattered Family and Sheer Numbers, Many Boomers – Men and Women – Will Need to Find a Way to Create Their Own Support Systems as They Grow Older: Living in a Traditional Family Unit – With Spouse, Children or Even Siblings – Just Isn’t Possible 

Which makes the concept of living with friends a lot more palatable than living alone, without a built-in support system.

You can read an example of Boomer women “going co-ho,” in this story from The Richmond (Virginia) Times. 

Here, the partners are longtime friends and empty-nesters: Susan Grady, 68 and Sharon McAbee, 52.  Both work full-time. Grady is a human-resources generalist with Virginia Blood Services, while McAbee is self-employed.

Before they decided to buy a home together, they’d been close friends for 30 years. In fact, Grady is godmother to McAbee’s daughter, a college senior: 

  • They had spent many years talking on the phone week after week, lamenting their loneliness
  • “Finally, we said, ‘We’re so stupid,’” Grady recalled
  • Even so, their decision to join forces and stop living alone wasn’t undertaken without care

Getting Their Arrangement Underway Wasn’t Done Quickly, They Took Time and Due Diligence

The friends say it took them a year to find the perfect house — but they’re delighted with their spacious home on a golf course.

To assure their individual needs were protected, they ironed out the legal details with an attorney, got a mortgage together, and have been more than satisfied with the results since moving more than a year ago.

The two share cooking duties and other household chores. They live with three dogs and a one-eyed cat in a five-bedroom, 3,800-square-foot house that provides plenty of space for privacy and for welcoming visiting children, mothers and other relatives. They even hosted both of their extended families last Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  • “We’ve been really happy here,” said Grady, a mother, grandmother and widow 
  • McAbee, a divorcee , had been renting a home since her divorce but liked the idea of “paying into something I’m going to get equity out of.”
  • The both agree that it’s been a great decision: “We like the location, we like the house, and our neighbors are great.”

A Way for Empty Nesters to Fight Off Loneliness…

Ben Winters, their Realtor, notes that for older homebuyers, the advantages of co-owning a home are largely financial – shared expenses and home maintenance, more buying power – but it also can help stave off loneliness for those living alone.

  • “The other thing is companionship,” said McAbee, “When my daughter went to college, I was miserable.”
  • Said Grady, “It’s nice to have someone to cook for.”

Apparently Grady and McAbee are still working on merging their furniture, so maybe someone ought to tell them about the power of Craigslisting the surplus

Nest Eggs Shrinking, Home Prices Falling, Financial Anxieties Blooming: Should You Put the Brakes On Retirement Planning and Power Up Those Dreams For a Business of Your Own?

Is The Economy Choking Your Retirement Plans?

Are You Worried About the Economy?

Who isn’t? After all, if you haven’t already experienced major losses, you’ve been hearing from a host of respected financial experts – like Brett Arends who writes the “ROI” column in the Wall Street Journal – who are wringing their hands, while telling everyone to “bite the bullet,” and “stash your cash” as they frighten you with stories of a pending depression, should our economy continue spinning into freefall.

Meanwhile, as the news flows, the Dow pumps up and down erratically, sort of like your blood pressure.

In case you missed today’s column, Arends wrote:

Cut everything.

Drop your cable package and TiVo. Say goodbye to Applebee’s and Starbucks. Cancel the ski trip.

Slash every single penny you possibly can from your household budgets and start building up cash.

Yes, I’m serious. The shocking collapse of the rescue package on Capitol Hill threatens a disaster on Main Street. Unless this gets reversed almost immediately, it could turn a slowdown into a slump, and a slump into a depression.

It’s hardly possible to make any sensible recommendations about investments or other financial matters until we get a better sense of what will happen next.

Ordinarily in a panic like this I’d be urging people to invest. My usual approach is that the worse people are panicking, the more aggressively you should buy. And that might still be the right thing to do.

But the political and financial situations right now are chaotic.

So you need to get an iron grip at least on one thing you can actually control: Your own personal budget. 

Whether or Not Everything Will Actually Sort Itself Out Without Further Disaster is Small Potatoes for Baby Boomers.

You’re not so much concerned about having to slash your Starbucks budget as you are terrified over the impact this economy will have on your retirement planning. Worse, you realize there’s the potential that you’re going to have to forget about retirement entirely.

Perhaps you’re even mentally trying on the smock of a  megastore greeter or a burger flipper and contemplating the prospect of standing on your feet and smiling at strangers for the next two or three decades – just so you can qualify for group health insurance.  Slaving away day after day, year after year, until you keel over dead. Not a pretty image, right?

Getting back to present day reality, certainly the numbers are not good. Bear markets are particularly tough on people who are close to retirement. Especially if that nest egg you spent years building up has suddenly lost a good part of its value – or vanished entirely.

But as discouraging as it is to think about having to rebuild your portfolio via working a few more decades, these are thoughts Baby Boomers need to consider, according to financial planners and researchers.

They point out that even if the real estate market hadn’t tanked, and the banks hadn’t failed, many Boomers had already been jeopardizing their futures by  ignoring the retirement planning process and as a result, grossly underestimating how much money will be needed to fund two or three decades of retirement. Because of these major miscalculations, many Boomers were already leaving the work force carrying nest eggs with premature expiration dates.

Consider this: Even before the current financial meltdown, less than one-quarter of workers age 55 and older — just 23% — have savings and investments totaling $250,000 or more, according to a study published in April by the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington. About 60% have less than $100,000.

So the most important economic point Baby Boomers must be thinking about RIGHT NOW is this:

At This Time In Your Life, There’s Only One Economy That Matters: YOURS

The bottom line is, our global financial system is in rough shape and the final consequences are still a murky mystery. But that is largely out of your control. Even though you may have already  experienced significant financial repercussions, you must let this point guide you at all times:

“At the end of the day, it DOESN’T MATTER what “the economy” does, all that matters is what YOU do.”

When the headlines are blaring doom and gloom, it takes a strong mind to stay focused on what matters most: The reality is, it doesn’t matter what “the economy” does: All that matters is what YOUR personal economy does.

With that in mind, right now is the best time to take charge of your financial life, and take on the challenge of retirement planning like never before. When you do that, according to Loral Langemeier, you’ll find that it’s not only possible to survive in this economy, you’ll actually be able to thrive.

Now, considering that the stock market had the biggest one day dollar decline in its history just a few days ago, the concept of thriving instead of just barely making end meet, is a truly wonderful. After all, it was that shock that might have had you swallowing hard and considering what it might be like to have to stay in the workplace a few more years, just to bring your personal financial base back to where it was… 

Now, if you decide you want to continue working for an employer, that’s OK, as long as you stay in the workplace on your terms. After all…

Many Financial Experts Have Suggested That Our Country’s Pending Economic Woes Could Be Overcome if Baby Boomers Would Choose to Work Longer – Especially When Considering the Challenges Related To: 

  • Supporting Social Security and Medicare
  • Overcoming the workforce brain-drain and labor gap anticipated by 77 million Baby Boomers retiring in a short period of time  
  • Alleviating the need to draw down on federal benefits, or liquidate investments, home equity and savings to fund two of three more decades of living, and as a result leaving more money for your children’s inheritance
  • Putting an end to intergenerational warfare and the now-popular sport of “Boomer bashing“
  • Potentially injecting $3 trillion into the economy each year, resulting in a 9% increase on Gross Domestic Product by 2045

On the other hand, the best way to get out of debt and be financially free is to create new money and build wealth. And you’ll never do that as an employee. Short of investing your earnings in the market, that means finding some way to generate income on your own, even if you start small, simply by selling items you own but no longer need on eBay or Craig’s List.

Once you get comfortable with the concept of finding ways to create more money, you can thumb your nose at Mr. Arends, and the other financial experts who’ve been advising you that you’ll have to give up your Starbucks, TiVo, that upcoming ski trip — or date night with your spouse or friends.

Meanwhile, Guess What? The World Didn’t End When the “Great Financial Bailout” Failed to Materialize On September 29th. No, the World Continued On, and People STILL Need to:

  • Eat…food on the table continues to be a constant requirement for everyone
  • Enjoy solid roofs over their heads…
  • Look after their kids…
  • Advance their careers…
  • IN fact, they still need to pursue any one of the million-and-one things we human beings need to do *regardless* of the financial weather outside.

In Other Words, Day-to-Day Business Goes On, Even When Wall Street’s Business Goes Down the Drain.

Don’t let the headlines pull your attention away from that major reality:

The world goes on and people still need businesses and organizations to support their endeavors.  So perhaps now’s actually the perfect time to dust off those long dormant dreams of starting your own business.

After all, if you start a “third act” or retirement business as a cash machine to fund your retirement planning, you – and no one else – are in charge of your wealth building efforts. You call the shots with regard to your hours and your involvement.

  • If you choose your business niche properly, there’ll be an ongoing need for your product or service, no matter what happens on Wall Street.
  • In other words, once your business is set up, the money keeps generating, while you work or play as you please.
  • You can even give the business to your kids, or use it to fund charitable work in your name.

Worried About Starting Up a Business In A Down Economy?

Here are some facts that will help you keep your head together and focused on the real financial opportunities awaiting you in the days ahead:

First: The Speed of Our Economy May Have Declined, But It Won’t “Flat-line”

Few people realize that many of the successful companies of our time were started in the depths of the Great Depression. There are thousands of them large or small. (You can prove this to yourself with your own Google search.)

In fact, “Down Times” are great times to start businesses if you do it the smart way. Why? Several reasons:

  • Costs are lower
  • Skilled help is easier to find…and
  • A lot of your potential competition disappears from the marketplace

Second: There Will ALWAYS Be People Who Have Money to Spend. The Real Concern Is, Will Your Business Know How to Find Them? 

For example, looking to the Great Depression of the past as a worst case scenario, if you were wandering the Dust Bowl in the depths of the 1930s, you probably would have been wise to move somewhere else.

  • And it’s true that there was massive, brutal unemployment during the Great Depression 
  • Twenty-five percent of all American households were without a breadwinner
  • (You probably know that, you’ve heard the stories from your parents. No one has to tell you what a scarring experience the Great Depression was for millions)

But here’s the reality…

  • 75% of the country was employed
  • These people were cautious with their money and they demanded real value, but they spent money every day on all kinds of things, even movies
  • Whole new industries like broadcasting, automobiles and Hollywood reached their financial critical mass during the Depression
  • Thousands of successful new businesses were started. Others grew massively

Third: Smart Business Owners Thrived During the Great Depression – And If Another One Comes, They Will Do So Again.

Here’s another amazing fact:

FEWER businesses failed in 1929 than failed in 1928 and 1927. 1929 was, of course, “D Day” for the Depression. That’s when the sky fell for “the economy.” And yet, on the micro-level – where we all live – there were *fewer* business failures.

Why?

  • Smart business people are flexible, can adapt to the times, and find today’s opportunities.
  • Owning a smart business (or better yet, several smart businesses) is the greatest financial security there is.
  • It’s also the only reliable source of true wealth financial experts recognize.
  • But owning your own business is serious. It’s not something to play at. Nor, realistically, is business ownership something that will effortlessly bring you riches overnight.

So let’s get real: 

Here’s Your Bottom Line: Whether You’re Running Your Own Business Now, Or You’re Currently An Employee Who’s Seriously Thinking it’s Time to Start Your Own Business, Will You Be Smart Enough to Survive the Coming Days?

If you’re smart about business, there’s someone – and something huge – you need to know: Gina Gaudio-Graves and her fantastic, FREE business development coaching program, the 30-Day IM Challenge.

Gina Gaudio Graves kicked off her third 30–Day IM Challenge this past Tuesday, September 23rd. But it’s not too late for you to get some FREE business startup help from one of the best business development coaching programs around.

What, you haven’t yet heard of Gina Gaudio-Graves and Her 30-Day IM Challenge?

Here’s a Little Bit About Gina:

  • Prior to a disabling car accident, she enjoyed an extremely busy legal career as a litigator. But an accident left her unable to get out of a hospital bed and wheelchair for almost 10 years. During that time, she turned to the internet as a way to spend her time and afford her medical bills
  • Eventually she experienced a miracle cure which allowed her to get out of bed and walk without aid. Doctors can’t explain it and she still has no feeling in her legs
  • On her feet again, Gina spent the next 4-1/2 years organizing Joint Ventures for some of the most successful people on the internet. People like Shawn Casey, Willie Crawford, Henry Gold, David Garfinkel, and many others
  • As a Joint Venture Broker, she earned the reputation of “The JV Queen” because her promotions were so hugely successful!
  • Today she is a coach and mentor to entrepreneurs looking to build a business using the power of the internet.
  • Whether the internet is the business owner’s only presence or their secondary presence, her information products and coaching programs show them how to get bigger results, faster
  • Gina’s areas of expertise include:
    Mindset
    Strategic Planning for your Online Business Presence
    – Product Creation and Planning
    – Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances
    – Strategic Traffic Generation
    – Strategic List Building
    – Web 2.0
    Blogging
    – and many other aspects of building a business using the power of the internet
  • These days her mission is to help 1,000,000 entrepreneurs learn to live the life of their dreams through owning their own business, by the year 2013.
  • That’s why she came up with the idea of offering a free 30-Day Challenge, conducted online, allowing her to teach entrepreneurs EXACTLY how to build a business that will be a success!
  • Beyond that, she has a variety of paid information products and an Apprentice program, which is hugely successful 12-month long group coaching program.
  • Further, she also provides one-on-one coaching to a very a limited number of highly qualified students
  • Perhaps the thing that is the most impressive about Gina is the success percentages her students achieve. They are off the charts!

The most important thing you need to know right now is the success rate of Gina’s students: It’s doubtful any of the “big name” experts can point to as many real student success stories as she’s helped create in just a few years.

The 30-Day IM Challenge Gives You the Knowledge You Need to Succeed With Your Own Home Business.

So the only questions still left to answer are:

  • Do you want to succeed?
  • Do you have what it takes to own your own successful business?
  • If not, are you willing to work hard to acquire it?
  • Are you ready to launch yourself into prosperity despite the gloomy economy?
  • Or would you rather stick your head in the sand and wait until things are “easier.”

If you opt for the last option, keep in mind that while you wait your chances for enjoying a comfortable retirement will be steadily shrinking…

Remember: There’s never an easy time to make money – and there’s never a hard time to make money…

There’s only the right time which is always NOW

You can still register for the 30-Day IM Challenge RIGHT NOW, for FREE and learn to live the life of your dreams through building a business using the power of the internet. You’ll find all the details at: 

www.BoomerLifestyle.com/go/30day

The 30–Day IM Challenge will walk you through every step of the process, one small step at a time.

The 18+ Lessons – Totaling More Than 750+ Pages – Covers A Variety of Topics Hugely Critical to Your Success, Including:

  1. Time Management, Mindset, Goal Setting & Strategic Planning (You MUST have these foundations in place before you start anything else!! Gina explains why.)
  2. Choosing Your Target Market and Your Products (i.e. What is your niche?)
  3. Your Profit Funnel (i.e. What products will you sell?)
  4. Your Web Presence (i.e. Setting up Your Blog, why she recommends you use WordPress, and how to do it!)
  5. Resources for Creating Your Web Presence
  6. Increasing Your Traffic (it’s all about having a traffic generation SYSTEM that you repeat every day)
  7. Building Your Business on a Solid Foundation (without a solid foundation, your business is going to fail!)
  8. Avoiding the “Price Wars” Game (Find out why competing on price will not only decrease your profits, it will also decrease the demand for your products! Gina shows you why you MUST avoid this at all costs or your business will NEVER succeed!)
  9. Developing Your USP (That’s Unique Selling Proposition, and she explains the why and how)
  10. Building Strategic Relationships (With the development of Web 2.0, the internet is all about relationships. Build them strategically and you’ll totally DOMINATE your market every time!)
  11. Copywriting (Good copywriting skills must be learned. Without the right message, your business won’t succeed, no matter how much traffic you generate!)
  12. Traffic Generation and List Building (These go hand in hand! Gina shares tips and tricks)
  13. Using Blogs, Forums, and Article Marketing (Just because everyone is talking about Web 2.0 doesn’t mean that you should forget about the good ole’ days when Forums and Article Marketing were the ONLY way to drive traffic! They are just as effective today! And when you combine them with Web 2.0 strategies, look out!)
  14. Tying It All Together With Information Products (Remember — the Internet is the “Information Super Highway”. People are online because they want INFORMATION, not “stuff”. So give it to them — AND — make loads of money in the process!)
  15. Joint Ventures and Strategic Alliances (As “The JV Queen”, Gina shares her strategies for building some of the most profitable joint ventures online!)
  16. And Much, Much MORE!

Plus, as a 30-Day IM Challenge Member, You’ll Have Access To:

  • All of the Lessons
  • The IM University Classroom (the forum where IM University students are actively discussing their businesses and what they’re doing to build them)
  • The daily podcasts with tips for implementing all that you’re learning

Even Better, After You Register For the Challenge, You Can Upgrade to Become a Gold Challenge Member, Where You Also Get:

  • The LIVE Weekly Teleconferences with Gina’s personal help in building YOUR business and critiques of your website(s), blogs and business plans.
  • You’ll get mp3 recordings of all four calls too.
  • You’ll even get mp3 recordings from all 8 of the calls held for the 1st 2 Challenges, for a total of 12 mp3 recordings in all!
  • Since the topics don’t repeat from one Challenge to the next, this means you’re getting three-times the content!
  • As much help as you’ll need to rapidly get your business up, running, and actually getting RESULTS!

This is a True Win-Win-Win Scenario

First, you win no matter whether you’re:

  • Brand new to the concept of operating your own business and you’re still kicking around ideas for what kind of business you want, or
  • You’ve already got a business up and running but it’s just not seeing the kinds of results that you dream about

Either way,  the 30-Day IM Challenge will help you build a business that can quickly bring you a 5–figure monthly income!

  • You’ll learn how to keep your new funds generating, reliably, month after month – no matter what the market does
  • Set your business up right, and this “third act” cash machine will keep churning out income, even if you choose to be off saving the rainforest, or cruising the world! 
  • And of course, you’ll be providing value to your grateful customers, the people who buy whatever it is you end up selling. (And this WILL happen, because Gina will have taught you strategies to identify and serve ravenous markets, who are starving for whatever it is you’re offering.)
  • Plus, you can set up your business to allow you to leave behind a legacy for your kids or a favorite charitable cause

Now if that isn’t reliable long-term retirement planning, what is?

In closing, keep this in mind: Gina’s current 30-Day IM Challenge may already be underway, but there’ll be a new one starting in a month or so! Why not check it out today! There’s no charge, it’s free! All you’ll be investing is a bit of your time…

Do nothing and time’s a-wasting! And retirement is calling!

Tick Tock!