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Have You Ever Wished You Could Build a Family Business? Audrey Kerwood Shares How She and Her Mom Do Business Together. Hint: Could It Be As Easy As Playing a Game?

Have You Ever Wished You Could Build a Family Business? Audrey Kerwood Shares How She and Her Mom Do Business Together. Hint: Could It Be As Easy As Playing a Game?

Many of you have told us you’d like to make some money, perhaps even start a business that would get you out of the financial mess the recent recession has caused.  Your concerns, of course, are that you don’t know whether or not you have any marketable skills.  As a coach whose expertise is in helping people find a way to do what you love and make money in the process, I often spend a fair amount of time helping my  clients identify their skillsets…

In today’s post, I have asked Audrey Kerwood to tell her story of how she’s making a good living running four eCommerce stores. That is, she sells stuff online. Best of all, she does this with the assistance of her mother and her sister. And, the businesses don’t require her to stock an inventory, or manage a warehouse…

Curious? Here’s Audrey to tell her story:

My name is Audrey Kerwood and I run four eCommerce stores.

I sell a broad gamut of products from replica armor to European wall hangings. I spend most of my time working on refining and growing my business. I am able to do this because my mom and my sister manage almost everything that requires daily attention in my stores. But more importantly, I’m convinced that sharing my business with my family has helped me develop a fuller relationship with my mom and sister.

Audrey Kerwood's mom Ginger Let me tell you about my mom, Ginger:

  • If you had told her a year ago that she would become a regular blogger, my mom would have laughed in disbelief.
  • Now, she chuckles as she gets more and more followers.
  • She’s thrilled that folks want to learn from her.
  • She has knowledge she took for granted and now that raw knowledge is making me money.

Ginger says she’s amazed that people read her blogs. I keep telling her that what she writes about is what people are searching to find – stuff like how to clean a tapestry wall hanging for instance.

  • The win/win is that my mom knows how to clean just about anything that needs cleaning.
  • My customers need to know how to clean the European wall tapestries I sell them.
  • In fact, many others who own wall tapestries need this information too.
  • The cool part is that everyone searching for how to clean their wall tapestry is a target customer of mine, so I make money when my mom blogs about the care of her own wall tapestries.

How do I make money off my mom?

Well, to begin with, I pay her. My mom and my sister are independent contractors I hire to run the day-to-day customer interface with my customers.

It started out with me doing everything. Then my stores got big enough where I couldn’t do everything myself. I had to begin dividing up roles and responsibilities in my business. This happened far faster than I imagined. Within three months I had replaced what I was making at my last job.

  • If you’re like most Boomers, you probably would like to have a way to make money with your daughter or son the way I make money with my mom. Maybe you reverse the roles and you run the store and they work on your business. I can’t tell you who should focus on what or divide up tasks for you that will be based on individual strengths and desires, what I can show you is exactly what needs to get done to make money together, giving you income-generating power for your future retirement.
  • If you want to change your lifestyle and go into business for yourself – and do it fast, I can give you everything you need to know to open an online store. But I want to be clear that fast means 90-days, not overnight. I also want to be clear that most people only work an hour a day, five days a week. This means you can have a store up and profitable in 120-days.
  • This isn’t you selling your stuff on eBay. This is using drop shippers  or wholesalers – first one, then more than one. I can teach you how to find a profitable niche you love, then vet the category for a reliable supply of vendors because you don’t want to build a business around a single supply source, that’s too close to Multi-Level-Marketing for my comfort. I wanted my own business, where I own my whole business. Getting tied to a single supplier removes some of the freedom factor in working for yourself.
  • I love having my mom in my life as much as she is. I get to spend more time with her because we work together. That doesn’t work for some. If you don’t have a smooth relationship, this may be disastrous. For us it works smoothly and consistently. And what I’ve learned over my life from my mom is immeasurable. She’s helped many people in many different ways.

Ginger, a beautiful married woman in her 60s, is a blogger by day, nanny by afternoon and a handful for my dad at night. They play Beatle’s RockBand competitively and my mom usually wins.

Is Ginger worried about her financial future?

Who doesn’t want to recapture the money you lost in the stock market over the last two years, right? But that hasn’t stopped Ginger from continuing to enjoy life. Despite the economy, she is still known for:

  • Spoiling her grandchildren with gifts whenever she sees them
  • Always having the house she wants – she recently replaced her couch and overstuffed chair with something new she liked better
  • Living in a fabulous home with a pool and a huge yard for family events
  • Driving the car of her choice, and
  • Taking her grandchildren for grandparents weekend each year

How Can She Do It?

She plans out her time and her money. She’s always made good use of her time and her money. She isn’t doing me any favors by working for me – I pay her well. And, I’m not doing any favors to her by hiring her. I make money from what she does for me; I know she treats my customers like they are hers and that’s comforting to me. I love having my mom as part of my business.

In fact, working with family members to build something together is one of the best perks you’ll experience when you decide to go into business for yourself. And one I never anticipated when I first got started.

Here’s what makes this workable:

  • My mom knows exactly what she does for me, so there is never a time when she is wondering how to make herself useful
  • Ginger started simple by answering my customer service line. It worked because it was something I desperately needed help with, and something that was easy to learn, because our policies make it easy to say yes to our customers
  • My business is a premium price business with free shipping and we honor our return policies so most customer service callers are happy people who are grateful for courteous help
  • As my mom got comfortable with each new task, I asked her to try something new, like email customer service.
  • Six-months later my mom was blogging and had followers.

If you asked Ginger a year ago she wouldn’t have been able to see herself as a blogger with followers, but she loves it. Now, she’s warmed by how many folks want to learn from her. The knowledge she has is now making me money. Thank you mom. Remind me to give you a bonus 😉

So: Can You Do It?

OK, it’s Anne again. Audrey’s story has inspired so many people, she and a friend Ben Mack, decided to put together a game to help others learn all the terminology needed to run a drop-ship based estore themselves.  Ben is a marketing genius, so I can promise you the game is freaking fun. Something you can play with friends, your kids, or even your grandkids, to learn how to make money with an eCommerce store.

Ben and Audrey call their new game eStoreOpoly,  and they’re just launching it online now. Just when you’d decided you need to change your lifestyle. How convenient, right?

According to Audrey and Ben, there have never been so many GREAT options available for becoming a successful online merchant as there are today. And it’s never been EASIER for you to become a full-fledged ecommerce business owner than it is right now.

But at the same time, there is so much to get confused over. After all, there’s a whole new lingo to learn — and then you have to do stuff like:

  • Setting up shopping carts
  • Finding good merchant account providers,
  • Sourcing quality wholesalers and product suppliers,
  • Identifying the best and most convenient shipping and fulfillment vendors…

Which is a problem in itself. I know all about that. I’ve had clients literally spend over a year simply building their websites and taking photos of their products.

Which just goes to show you  – too much of a GOOD thing can be a problem!

There are SO many choices… SO many possibilities to take into consideration… it can be really tough making sense of it all.

Audrey and Ben want you to succeed in building your own ecommece store – in 90 days or so.

They don’t think it’s an overnight process, but they also know it’s easy to fall into “Analysis Paralysis” without even realizing it!

Audrey says that’s the 2nd most common issue folks write to her about.

So: If you’re feeling frustrated or intimidated about getting your online store up and running…

…you are NOT alone!

But why exhaust yourself  and spend thousands like my friend did just trying to figure out build his ecommerce store?  Hey, you need to start making money faster than that!!

Let Audrey and Ben show you how to get your ecommerce store up and running in 90 days with their great new game – eStoreOpoly.

Until now, building a business was NEVER this fun!! And even better, here’s a chance for you to not only make some money, but share the business you develop with your family, and suddenly you have a great way to leave a legacy, too!

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Is Your Financial Portfolio Still Looking For an Economic Stimulus? Have You Thought of Becoming a Joint Venture Expert? (And Just What Does a Joint Venture Broker Do?)

September 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Anne Holmes, Blog, Entrepreneurs, Work, Money & Retirement

Could You Be a Joint Venture Broker?

Listen Up! Summer’s over. This past weekend was Labor Day Weekend here in the United States. If you’re in the US, it’s likely you used the weekend to cram in a last gasp of  vacation fun.

But if you’re like most Boomers, you probably also took a few minutes to pause and reflect on the status of your job and your income-generating power for your future retirement.

Hopefully that part was not too grim.

No matter the specifics of those quiet thoughts you had about your financial future this past weekend, you no doubt realized that you need to do something different than you have been doing – and do it fast.

I mean, just how long can you keep trying to sell your stuff on E-Bay in order to make this month’s mortgage payment, right?

I Hear You on That One, Some of My Best Friends Have Been Doing the Same Thing:

Some of my own income opportunities have dried up recently as well. That’s why I’ve just signed up for a new 12-week, income generating training program. The really exciting part is that when you come out if this program, you’ll be a certified joint venture broker, and you’ll immediately start generating a very nice income stream.

No Pie in the Sky Here. This is the Real Deal.

Your income generating opportunity is built right in. You graduate from the program and you get projects to work on.

If that sounds interesting, there’s even more good news:  This is something that you could do too.  There’s still time to get into the course, though you’ll have to act fast. REALLY FAST. Class starts Wednesday September 9th. That’s tomorrow as I write this…

(If you’re reading this after that date, there’ll be another class. But you might still try to get into this one, and the price for the training will be going up later…)

So what kind of training  am I talking about?

It’s called the “International Joint Venture Broker Certification Program,” — or as Willie Crawford, one of the trainers calls it for short: JV Brokers Bootcamp.”

But let’s begin at the beginning…

If you’re not sure what a joint venture is, or whether or not you have what it takes to become a joint venture broker let me share one of the big questions I pondered over the weekend:

Have You Ever Profited From Seizing an Opportunity That Was Only Available to You? Or Have You Recognized – and Profited From – an Opportunity That No One Else Saw?

I’ve seen this happen a few times – and when you watch it play out, it’s nothing but awe-inspiring…

As An Example, Let Me Tell You About A Joint Venture Opportunity My Former Stepmother Has Recognized – and Continues to Profit From

We’ll call her Athena, to protect her identity. I’ll also refrain from telling you what city she lives in, other than to say it’s regularly listed in Money magazine’s list of top places to live – as are many of the surrounding smaller communities.

The important thing to know is the  “back story,” that Athena, a beautiful single woman in her late 60s, is a registered nurse who moonlighted in her youth, as a real estate agent.

It’s actually the combination of nursing and real estate sales experience that have allowed her to recognize the opportunity she’s developed into a cash cow.

In fact, you might think that’s an odd combination, but it’s worked well for Athena… especially these days, when the economy has decimated her stock portfolio.

Is she worried about her financial future?

Interesting question: While I’m sure she’d like to recapture the money she lost in the stock market over the last two years, that hasn’t stopped Athena from continuing to enjoy life the ways he has lived it for as long as I’ve known her. Despite the economy, she is still known for:

  • Lavishly gifting her grandchildren whenever she sees them
  • Always wearing beautiful clothes – and owning a shoe collection that is “to die for”
  • Living in a fabulous new home in an upscale neighborhood
  • Driving an expensive late-model car, and
  • Taking extended trips to Europe when she wants to visit her many friends and family back on the Continent.

How Can She Do It?

Her secret is a little joint venture deal she’s developed which regularly tops off her bank account, while she hardly lifts a finger. It’s all based on who and what she knows.  And it’s predominantly passive income, as she barely spends an hour a week actively involved in this venture…

(Remember the adage that it’s not what you know, but who you know? Well, the fact is, both can make you a nice passive income if you know how to play the game.)

Here’s the Unique Deal She’s Cooked Up:

  • First, Athena lives in a Big Ten University town, where there’s a major medical clinic — large enough to draw patients from three states — which benefits from its proximity to the University’s medical school – and which is regularly recruiting new doctors.
  • Though she’s retired and not working as a nurse anymore, she maintains social contacts at that major clinic — including contacts in their recruiting office. Which is significant, since the clinic is always recruiting new physicians.
  • Athena knows that when those new medicos accept a position with the clinic, they’ll end up moving their home and family to the area. A fact which brings her real estate connections to the fore.
  • By staying in touch with her clinic connections — usually by sharing coffee or a meal with them — she regularly acquires a list of the names of the docs who are likely to come on board at the clinic – men and women who are about to become home-buying prospects.
  • Then she turns around and shares these prospect names with a friend who’s an active Realtor.
  • The Realtor gets “first dibs” on contacting the fresh prospects, and does all the necessary leg-work to contact the prospects, shepherd them through the whole moving process – and close the sale.
  • Then when all is said and done the home-buying deal closed — the agent pays Athena a finders fee for sourcing the buyer for her

It’s A Pretty Sweet Deal, and It’s Truly a “Win-Win-Win” Sort of Venture:

  • The clinic gets a new doctor whose family is happy in their new home
  • The doc gets access to an excellent Realtor who helps match needs with homes
  • The Realtor gets a reliable source of really fresh leads; and
  • Athena gets paid for putting the two needy parties together
  • And don’t forget that the clinic recruiter knows that since the Realtor is a competent person who will impress the doctor’s family and help make the transition to the new community a pleasant experience – word of the smooth move will get passed to other clinic staffing prospects – and future recruiting becomes even easier!

I Don’t Know What The Agreed-upon Finders Fee Is:

But typically, a buyer’s agent make three percent on the real estate transaction.

Even if Athena’s Realtor friend only shares a half of one percent with my stepmother, the finder’s fee would still be well worth her time.

As Proof, Let’s “Do the Math” On a Couple of Examples:

  • One half of one percent on a half million dollar home sale is — according to my calculations  — $2,500.
  • And, if the transaction is more in line with the median home price for the community — somewhere in the low $200,000 range?
  • Well, who would balk at making $1,000 for doing just a few minutes work?

I Know, I Know: You’re Saying, “That’s Great For Your Stepmother, Anne, But What’s In This Story For Me?”

After All You’re Neither a Realtor, Nor A Medical Professional. And Perhaps Money Magazine Isn’t “Hot” On Your Home Community, Either

Well that’s where the JV Brokers Bootcamp comes in. Because once you understand how to recognize the opportunities that are just sitting in front of you, as Athena did, then you can use these concepts to find opportunities you can profit from  – right where you live.

And who wouldn’t want to be part of a “win-win-win” scenario, right?

Once you’re trained to recognize the principles, you can readily see — and profit from — the highly profitable joint venture opportunities that are available to you close to home, right in “your neck of the woods.”  And suddenly you discover them everywhere – just staring you in the face, waiting for you to take action on them…

Best of all, these opportunities are there all the time, whether we’re living living in boom times or recession. And many times they can bring you a 6, 7, even 8 figure income.

Personally, prior to learning about Athena’s money-generating scheme, I had thought you either had to have access to big money or participate in big deals in order to profit from participation in a  “joint venture.”

After all, the first time I’d heard of someone profiting from bringing two parties together for mutual benefit, it had been when I discovered that a friend’s father was a big player in the oil industry…

  • Thirty years ago, I had been fascinated to discover that my friend’s father, a man with a degree in petroleum engineering, had become a multi-millionaire by bringing together wildcatters — men who drilled for and found oil — with investors — the people who have the financial wherewithal to fund a speculative drilling expedition.
  • Now I’d understood of course, that the money lenders would get a share of the proceeds when the oil well began producing.   But I had been amazed to find out that my friend’s father got an equal share of the profits – just for putting the deal together — even though none of his own money was on the line…
  • As I saw it, his expertise was in befriending people from two wildly different worlds — and putting them together for mutual profit.
  • I’d always thought that what a sweet deal his was. But again, I’d figured that these sorts of majorly profitable deals were found only places like West Texas, home of the Permian Basin.

It Was Only Recently That I Found Out I Was Wrong.

As my friend and mentor Gina Gaudio-Graves, one of the four founders of Joint Venture University has explained to me:

You don’t have to be wealthy to begin a life as a Joint Venture Broker, though you will likely become wealthy as a result of your efforts.

Why? Because as a joint venture broker you are trained to look at life, business — essentially everything — from a completely different perspective.  Once you’re trained to have this vision, suddenly everything you touch has the potential to become hugely profitable.

Now, as never before:

  • You see opportunity where no one else does
  • You’re able to seize opportunity where no one else can.
  • You’re able to produce far greater results for each and every effort and asset than can anyone else.
  • You begin to strategically focus your mind on JV marketing opportunities as naturally as breathing.
  • You can clearly see how to ethically exploit every resource, every relationship and every deal that crosses your path.
  • You suddenly find that you’re achieving profitability with everything you do.
  • Let’s repeat that one: You suddenly find that you’re achieving profitability with everything you do.

To sum it up, let me just say that according to Gina, “being a JV Broker gives you the ultimate feeling of power, freedom, and security, because you know that the world is constantly generating possibilities for you to profit from.”

Talk about not having a scarcity mentality!!

Here’s the Complete List of the Joint Venture University’s Founding Faculty – Ladies First and Then in Alphabetical Order:

  • Gina Gaudio-Graves – Known all over the Internet as the “JV Queen”
  • Willie Crawford – The “Black Belt JV Broker”
  • Sohail Khan – Dubbed the “Million Dollar JV Dealmaker” after he brokered a single deal that netted him something like $1.8 million, with just a couple of months worth of effort
  • David Preston – The “Legendary Consultant”

As you can see, these people know how to do joint ventures. Between them, they’ve generated millions of dollars on behalf of their clients.

I’d love for you to learn how they do it, so you too, can rise above today’s economy with your very own economic stimulus package.

  • Aren’t you ready to take action to change your financial future?
  • Especially when you can help others in the process?
  • I thought so!!

Now’s your chance to join me and let these proven Joint Venture Experts show you how to become a certified joint venture broker. After all, how else can you legally make tons of money in just 12 weeks?

Don’t wait: All the details you need are in that link.

But do it now. Time’s a-wastin’!

The World’s Beaches and Sideroads Await You: Can Simply Learning How to Write a Book Actually Allow You to Retire Before Age 90, AND Give You More Play Time Now?

Can Learning How To Write A Book Finally Allow You To Retire?

Remember how frustrated you got as a kid when you found yourself stuck in the classroom on a beautiful spring day? All you wanted was to get outside so you could play…

But you couldn’t. Because until that end of day school bell rang, you were tied to your desk, with work to do. You know;  math, and reading and penmanship… The stuff they said you had to master in order to get a good job when you grew up…

Fast forward to the present.

You’re grown up now and toiling away at that job you worked so hard to get.  The job you now can’t afford to leave. Outside, it’s a balmy, breezy summer day, the kind of day that we all dream about – perfect weather for all good Baby Boomers who would still prefer to be playing outdoors, except now you want to be:

  • Sailing
  • Golfing
  • Enjoying a long walk in the country with your sweetie at your side
  • Taking your Harley out for a spin, or
  • (Insert your favorite outside activity here)

As You Steal Another Wistful Glace Out the Window, You Suddenly Realize:

  • It’s taking every ounce of self-control you’ve got to keep you in your office and at your desk
  • You’d love to throw responsibility to the wind and answer your siren’s call
  • But you don’t blow down the door, because — hey, you’re a responsible employed adult and you have work to do

So Is Today’s Scenario REALLY Any Different? Has Your Life Actually Changed?

It’s Times Like These When You Start to Daydream, Just Like You Did When You Were a Kid.

Except Now Instead of Dreaming of Hitting Grand Slam Home Runs,You Find Yourself Fantacising About What Your Life Would Be Like If You’d Paid More Attention to Your Composition Classes, And Felt More At Ease With a Pen…

You Wish You Knew How to Write a Book

You want to be able to put your name on something – like book or movie rights – that both generates a passive income stream and gives you credibility.

You know that owning a piece of intellectual property which opens doors for you while simultaneously churning out income while you sleep is something that gives you the same credibility as a bases-loaded home run provided you back when you were in Little League. Yep. It says you’re “The One.”

The Next Part of Your Summer Daydream Probably Goes Like This:

“Wouldn’t it be great if I had a way to make money while I sleep — Even better if I could also crank out big bucks while I play! Then I might actually be able to afford to retire… And I’d be able to leave a legacy for my family.”

You start to fantasize about how different your life would be TODAY, if you had started writing books A FEW YEARS AGO…

You realize that if you could figure out how to write a book, it would probably vastly change your life, your income and your business. Your change in fortune could even happen practically overnight, as it has for so many people you’ve watched brand themselves with a book and become household names. Among them:

  • Donald Trump
  • Loral Langemeir
  • Robert Kiyosaki
  • Warren Buffet
  • Robert Allen
  • Zig Ziglar
  • Brian Tracy
  • John Maxwell
  • Barack Obama

They’ve All Used Books to Launch Their Current Lives and Lifestyles, Right?

Perhaps no one more successfully than the current President of the United States of America. Think about it: Hardly anyone from outside of the Prairie State had  even heard of the junior senator from Illinois before he wrote “Dreams from My Father,” right?

Before he published that book, he was as inconsequential and invisible to the world at large as are these current junior senators, undoubtedly all good people, but whose names are unknown outside their state:

  • John Kyl (AZ)
  • Jim Bunning (KY)
  • Ben Cardin (MD)
  • Jon Tester (MT)
  • Kirsten E. Gillibrand (NY)

Authoring helped Obama gain the notice that got him invited to address the Democratic National Convention in 2004.  You’ve probably heard that he’d attended the same convention four years earlier, but he had to drive and he didn’t even had enough money to rent a hotel room! No one was asking to hear him speak then!

The rest is a matter of history: he used the phrase “the audacity of hope” in his electrifying speech which gave him visibility. He then expanded on his views in his next book, “The Audacity of Hope,” which doubtless helped propel him to the White House just four years later…

Beyond that, Obama made $2.5 million in book royalties on those two books just last year. And he currently has an authoring contract in place guaranteeing him another half million for a third book.

Talk about profiting from learning how to write a book! When you wonder if authoring really can be a life changing event that can provide you with long-term, ongoing financial security, his story has to come to mind!

But You Already Know This

Perhaps I’m preaching to the choir when I remind you that properly branding yourself and using a book as your business card, gives you:

  • Instant credibility, since authors  are perceived as expert on their  subjects
  • An opportunity to change your life, income, and business overnight
  • A proven way to grow your business and income faster and bigger
  • An opportunity to retire from the workforce, while continuing to generate income via your books as well as a few complementary products or services with bigger price tags

These Days, If You Want to be Able to Afford to Retire, One Great Way to Do It is to Take Action to Become an Author

If you don’t finally figure out how to write a book, you’re always gonna be stuck in the office, with no chance to get outside and do something you love on a beautiful day.  No “hall pass” that gives you the option to go out and play when you want to,  “just because you can”

Don’t Throw Your Hands Up in Despair! You Have it In You to Write a Book Which Can Become the Keystone to Your Abundant Retirement Income!

According to my good friend and writing coach, Ronda Del Boccio, the good news is, you don’t have to be “good at writing” in order to write a book.

Amazed?

Ronda, who’s not only written her own best sellers, but has also personally coached hundreds of people to write successful books,  spells it out simply:

  • You don’t have to be a former “A” student in your native language.
  • You don’t have to be a prolific writer.
  • You don’t even have to be an avid article writer.
  • And you don’t have to hire a ghostwriter or outsource everything, either.

Ronda teaches her authoring students that your book will actually be more successful if it’s crafted in a conversational tone. You know, written as though the reader is a good friend, conversing with you over a coffee.

(Don’t drink coffee?  No problem. “Picture yourself sharing tea, or even a beer with your friends, as you write,” she says.)

Not sure you have a problem-solving book in you? Again, Ronda has an answer to help you get started. She suggests you ask yourself:

  • What “problems” do you solve over and over again for  friends, neighbors, clients, customers or others in your life?
  • What kinds of people do you feel you are best equipped to serve or assist?
  • What are you known for?

Keep in mind that your answer might not be related to your career expertise. It might be that you’re known for helping friends with problems that are hobby-related.

Glowing Sailboat
Image by Extra Medium via Flickr
  • For example, if your hobby is sailing, and you’ve successfully navigated some major water — you’ve crossed the Atlantic, you’ve “bare-boated” in the BVIs, or you’ve  circumnavigated the “Great Loop” — perhaps your authoring forte might come from telling others how you did this, and how they can prepare to succeed in the same endeavor.
  • Likewise, if you’ve trained for and run the Boston Marathon as my friend Scott Sharp Armstrong has, you might write a book, “Boston Marathon or Bust,” to share your knowledge about how to prepare.
  • And don’t despair if the thing you do best is bake. After all, who would have guessed that anyone would choose to write about preparing all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s famous cookbook. And yet Julie Powell did that – and her book, “Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen,” was so successful it’s now a movie.

Ready to Start Implementing Your Book-authoring Retirement Plan?

You don’t need to work in a vacuum. Help is at hand. Check out Ronda’s main website, Profitable Storytelling. She’s packed it with tons of articles, videos, tips, templates and other resources.

Or, if you want more help, faster, get her book, “Instant Credibility.”

I’m personally working through her “Instant Credibility” book — which comes with a workbook — right now, and I can honestly promise you that it’s working better for me than  all the one-on-one coaching I’d previously received on the topic of how to write a book.

In it, Ronda Covers Hugely Important, Success-generating Topics Like:

  • Why writing your own book is so important for your credibility – AND the growth of your business. This works whether you’re creating a retirement business, or you’re not ready for that yet…
  • A structure for your book that makes it EASY to write. This is a specific plan that you can follow, with action steps in every chapter so you know EXACTLY what to do in each chapter as well as for the book overall.
  • The sad truth about how much of your book people read and how to overcome it. Read this and you’ll understand that even when a reader doesn’t finish your book, you CAN still grow your business.
  • 3 things you must have on your website before you put your book up for sale. Ronda covers the steps a reader takes to decide whether or not to purchase your book. Yes,  there’s actually a specific process.
  • 3 factors that determine whether your prospect is a likely customer.
  • 3 things you can do on the book COVER that will compel your prospect to open your book. One of them will surprise you. Many book authors get the first two right, but don’t do the last.
  • 7 essential elements of every single chapter. Yes, the title is the first! (well DUH of course!)  But the 6th makes you a magnet. And the 7th makes the reader want more.
  • The single most compelling element of any book. You’ll be surprised – and it’s not about the training/content either.
  • The  specific formula that makes writing your book simple. When you have the recipe, it’s easy to fill in the elements of your book in short bursts.

What? Are you still reading this blog? Hey, the sun’s shining somewhere in the world, and you still want to be able to afford to retire, right?

So go get Ronda’s book already! I promise it’ll be the best investment in yourself you’ve ever made!

Besides, it costs less than a nice steak dinner. So as a safeguard against your future and an opportunity to generate passive income so you can finally get out of the office and play — it’s certainly very affordable…

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Boomers: How Is Your Ship Surviving Our Current Sea of Economic Stress? Are You Looking for a New Job, Moving In With Family, Planning an Expat Lifestyle? Or Sailing Ahead?

Has Economic Stress Beached Your Plans?

“Ahoy There,” “Hola,” “Aloha” and “Permission to Come Aboard,” Fellow Baby Boomers!

All apologies for the fact that this blog has been “beached” for a couple of months now. The good news is, we’re about to set sail again!

Hopefully You Didn’t Think We’d Gone “Off the Radar.” Or Fallen Off the Face of the Earth…

Actually, the state of the “Boomer Lifestyle” blog ship is sound and all aboard are well! Fact is, we have been off exploring, seeking ways to better serve you.

The good news is that despite months of news stories telling you of the world’s challenges related to huge global economic stress,  there’s been lots of great stuff floating through the blogosphere, as well as the world at large, and we’ve been busy checking it out on your behalf…

Here’s how you can help assure that we’re providing you with EXACTLY what you need to continue to succeed in these turbulent economic times:

Take the Boomer Lifestyle Poll: It’s Both Quick and Painless

Historically, Boomers have had it good financially for quite awhile now. So we’d love to know how you feel you’ve been handling our country’s current levels of economic stress.  We thought we’d ask you — which is why we’ve developed our poll.

It’s just one quick question with multiple choice answers, so it will take you mere seconds to answer. The simple question is:

“As a Baby Boomer nearing retirement age, how has our recent global economic downturn affected your future life and plans?”

The potential responses ranging from the most positive  to the most stressed.

Specifically, you can vote for any one of the options noted below.

(NOTE: The parenthetical comments aren’t part of the official poll responses, they’re just here to focus and augment your thinking as to whether that point is your preferred response) :

  • No change, life is great, thank you very much. (Everything is on target for retirement as planned, and we’re looking forward to years of smooth sailing and great adventures.)
  • I can’t afford to retire, will have to keep working for the foreseeable future. (And you’re saying, “Damn, working until I die sure wasn’t what I had planned as the capstone of my career.”)
  • I’m currently looking for a second job. (If you’re selecting this answer perhaps you’ve heard that there’s a growing market for Baby Boomers as temporary hires, due to the experience Boomers can bring to the table…)
  • I am giving serious thought to retiring abroad. (If you’re thinking of living the expat lifestyle, you’re probably aware that the cost of living is often less, and those who’re doing it tell you that in certain countries it’s possible for you to live well on just your social security check. But you need to know WHERE those places are…)
  • I’m starting a new online business, to recoup our lost funds. (Perhaps your plan is develop your own economic stimulus package by writing a book based on your life knowledge, and market it online. If so, you’ll want to read the great post we have coming up on that topic!)
  • I’m starting a new offline business to recoup our lost funds. (Self-employment is a solid option, but you’ll want to invest in a business coach or other support system. After all, there’s no time left for mistakes…)
  • I’m moving in with my kids to help save money all around. (You’re thinking that this is what your parents and grandparents  did during the Great Depression, and it worked for them.)
  • I’m paralyzed with fear, don’t know where to turn. (You may not realize that you’re having trouble handling the stress. But if you’re eating poorly, napping excessively, drinking or smoking more than usual, or having trouble sleeping, these are warning signs you need to address. In order to get your ship afloat again, you might want to get some help with learning relaxation techniques, adopting a healthy mindset and developing stress management skills.)

Don’t Wait! You Only Have Until June 12th 2009 to Cast Your Vote.

All you need to do is click on the link below, to quickly send your answer to this single question survey.

This is not a test, it’s  a survey. Which means there is no one right answer. It’s simply an attempt to (albeit unscientifically) take the pulse of Boomer Lifestyle readers, to find out how you’re handling the financial challenges the current economy brings us.

The options you’ll find for your response are based on solutions we’re hearing about by watching the media, and reading your stories online. We know that each of the responses represents a percentage of you – we just don’t know — YET — how many of you have opted for each of these solutions. But after June 12th, we’ll tally up the responses and write a blog post analyzing your responses.

Should be quite interesting…

Of Course, We’d Love to Hear From You, Personally.

It’d Be Fantastic If You’d Share Your Story With Our Readers

If you’re game, feel free to post a comment here on the blog, telling your story… We’d especially love to hear any personal stories you’d like to share.

But Don’t Forget to Vote! Now!!

Here’s where to click to participate in the poll’s single question:

Please click to vote

What’s Next?

Once your vote and the others we receive are tallied, we’ll  post our findings.

Early poll returns show 60% of you selecting the “paralyzed with fear” option, which is distressing. But perhaps not surprising. It’s early yet in this recession, and people are still finding their way out of it…

We Have Posts in the Works on Solutions to Assure You Continue to Enjoy a Vibrant Boomer Lifestyle.

They include topics like:

  • How to write a book based on your life experience and knowledge  – and better yet – how to market it successfully
  • What to look for in selecting a foreign country as your future residence – full or part time
  • How to market yourself so that you can find a job without being penalized for your age
  • How why and when to start and operate a (profitable) online business
  • How to make money from a hobby business
  • And loads more of the lifestyle posts you love, on topics like healthy living despite health challenges, vacationing with your grandchildren, helping a parent coping with Alzheimers, dating, recipes and Boomer fun. Even a fun and entertaining post on creative trends in Boomer funeral planning. (Really!)

You know, this is all great stuff you’ll want to read as soon as it’s posted. Why not subscribe to our RSS feed, or go to the top of this page to sign up for our email list, to assure that you don’t miss a single post!

Stay cool! The tide’s rising to meet you!

Boomers, Seniors, Retirees: Need to Replace Income Lost In Recession? Have You Discovered How to Get “Linked In” to the Social Networking Sites to Assist In Your Job Search?

March 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Anne Holmes, Blog, Employment, Work, Money & Retirement

 Job Search Ahead? LinkedIn Is a New Must Do

Does the Recession Find You with a Decimated 401(K), Your Savings Tanked and – Worse – Forced to Look for Work?

If so, you’re not alone. That’s what happened to one of my daughter’s co-workers, a guy we’ll call “Ron.”  Perhaps you’ve known someone like Ron, or had a “Ron” at your office, too. If so, he’d be the guy who’s famous for taking penny-pinching to the “nth degree.”

According to my daughter, Ron scrimped and saved his whole life, building up a huge stock portfolio – with the intent of leaving his former college and several charities major endowments on his death.

She tells me Ron was the epitome of financial prudence. While she’s no slouch when it comes to being economical, she says this guy could one-up anyone when it came to scrimping and saving.

For example, he:

  • Rode a bicycle to work
  • Always ate lunch at his desk – PB&J’s and an apple – every day
  • Never went out for after work drinks with co-workers or ate dinner at nice restaurants

Beyond that, Ron:

  • Lived in a tiny house he inherited from his grandmother
  • Spent his vacations doing home improvement projects
  • Mowed his own lawn, and used a push mower to boot. (“Good exercise and saves the environment,” Ron said.)
  • Never bought clothes unless he had to — and only then on sale
  • Didn’t have a TV, so no pricey cable bill, either
  • Read a lot of books, but never bought them. He was a great patron of his local library
  • Excelled at coupon-clipping…

Yes, Ron was well-paid, and he was a saver. He had big plans for his nest egg, too.  But there’s a sad ending to his story:

  • In order to get the most return for his money, it seems Ron invested all of his personal savings into the stock market
  • And lost it all this past year
  • The mental distress these losses caused him was so great Ron began verbally abusing his co-workers
  • And eventually became so disruptive his supervisors dismissed him
  • To add insult to injury, the firm’s 401(K) hasn’t performed well recently. So Ron doesn’t have much to show there either, due to the timing of his separation from the company. He’s pretty much left to rely on his Social Security and whatever severance pay he might have received.
  • The only ray of hope I see is that knowing how scrappy Ron is, I am hopeful he can get back on his feet again soon…

Wow! What a tale of woe. Hopefully, your personal losses aren’t as huge as Ron’s.

But regardless, you know that because of this economic downturn, many Boomers, seniors and retirees suddenly find themselves  faced with an unanticipated need for funds. Unless you feel up to starting your own business, this means you need to figure out how to return to the workforce…

It’s time for a job search. And though that may be daunting, especially given your concerns over ageism, the good news is that we’ll end this post by discussing some new social networking tools that are guaranteed to help you succeed. Which is a really good thing. After all, you’re concerned that:

  • You’re searching for work during a time when global unemployment is on the rise
  • You’re up against gigantic odds – especially if you’re factoring in any potential for age discrimination and technological shortcomings
  • Not to mention your concerns over generational conflict in the workplace. (You know, hostility you may face because younger workers believe that older workers who refuse to retire are grabbing jobs that should have gone to them – or even to new college grads…)

Don’t Despair. There Is Some Good News. First Off, Boomers and Seniors Actually Have Some Support in the Human Resources Department

Based on experience, HR people – whose job is to make the best hiring decisions possible – know that workers in the plus-50 age range are:

  • Generally more conscientious and harder working than younger workers
  • Less likely to take sick leave; even more unlikely to require maternity leave
  • Usually more perceptive, emotionally stable and motivated
  • Just as capable of learning (which means that a bit of training will negate any concerns related to technological challenges)
  • More capable of evaluating decisions, due to experience
  • Much less prone to making rash/”off-the-cuff” decisions which have to be overturned later
  • Often willing to sacrifice earnings in favor of a pleasant work environment and/or the gratification that comes from making the world a better/safer/kinder place
  • Steady workers, not overly interested in climbing the career ladder at this point in their lives

Secondly, There Are Some Bright Spots On the Job Search Horizon

Steve Pogorzelsko, former president of Monster North America, the company which runs the employment site Monster.com, says the country is already experiencing a shortage of workers in some areas. Particularly:

  • Health-care workers
  • Car mechanics
  • Accountants
  • Auditors

So if your talents fall into those areas, you’re much more likely to find organizations anxiously looking to hire you.

Beyond that, if you’re reading this in the United States, President Obama’s Stimulus Plan is also about to start generating jobs. Monster.com has just published a useful job search list for those positions. Apparently, in addition to jobs in construction and the trades, there will be jobs created in dozens of other fields, including:

  • Finance
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • And even in “softer” areas, like travel, tourism and hospitality…

Third, You Can’t Ignore the Generational Tension Created By the Tug-of-War Over Who Gets Today’s Jobs – But You Might Be Able to Use It to Your Advantage

Ellen Goodman, columnist for The Boston Globe just wrote a very interesting piece on generational conflict and how the recession is sending mixed messages to older Americans seeking employment. Her piece begins:

“Let me see if I have this right:

Older Americans ought to keep working in order to lighten the burden of Social Security and assorted benefits on younger generations.

Older Americans ought to retire in order to make room for younger generations with their noses pressed to the closed window of the job market...”

A few paragraphs later she says:

“… But if the downturn comes with the seeds of generational conflict over jobs, it also carries packets of social change. There is a chance for the boomer generation to make a virtue – or a revolution – out of the necessity of working longer.

We already know that a growing corps of people in their 50s and 60s are more interested in renewal than retirement. Marc Freedman of Civic Ventures talks about “encore careers” for those who want to leave their midlife jobs and move into work with social value.

Now, he says hopefully, “The one benefit of this economic crisis is to drive home the reality that longer working lives are going to be necessary and desirable. If we can give people a sense that contributing longer is not another set of years at the grindstone but an opportunity to do something they can feel proud of, we’ll have accomplished something significant…”

Speaking of Social Change, Renewal – And Working Toward Significant Accomplishment: Why Not Start Using Some of the New Social Networking Tools to Enhance Your Reach, Increase the Opportunity for Job Search Success?

Of course you already know to use traditional social networking.

It’s as natural to you as breathing, right? As soon as you decided it was time to pull out your resume and start updating it, you no doubt started your networking campaign, letting your contacts know that you’re looking for work, so that they can assist you with your search.  That network includes your:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Former employers
  • Former co-workers
  • Former classmates

But Did You Know That You Can Reach a Lot More of Your Resources – Faster – Using the Outreach Techniques Offered By Some of the New Social Network Websites?

Currently, the three best job search-related resources are Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn. Additionally, you can create a blog, and blog about your expertise and things you feel passionate about. This will also lead you to previously unanticipated income opportunities.

So let’s talk a bit about those three sites:  If you haven’t previously used them, don’t hesitate to jump online and take a look. As you get to know and understand  them, you’ll see that while they’re similar in some ways, each has each has a unique role to play in your job search efforts.

Though they are all focused on social networking, it might help you to think of them in terms of your more traditional social networking experiences. You know, sort of like this:

  • Twitter = A connection you make at a cocktail party.
  • FaceBook = A conversation you have in the hallway at work. Potentially a casual connection, but still potent…
  • LinkedIn = A traditional business meeting. When you’re using LinkedIn, you’ll want to (figuratively) wear your best suit, carry your business cards – and shine your shoes.

Got it? Then let’s talk some more about how you can use LinkedIn:

You Need to Use LinkedIn As Your Professional Networking Site, Where You’ll Post Your Work Experience, and Start Connecting with People Professionally.

Currently LinkedIn.com boasts over 35 million professional users and focuses on a business demographic. It operates with three levels of separation. You can connect to people you know directly, as well as people you might be able to connect with on a secondary and tertiary level.

You can also connect your blog to it, once you’ve got one set up, and send your tweets there, too. (Tweets are the comments you make from your Twitter account.)

Once You set up your LinkedIn connections you’ll suddenly find yourself connected to millions of people. As for current users of LinkedIn, here’s the demographics:

  • Average Age – 41
  • Average Years of Experience – 15
  • Average Household Income – $109,000
  • 46% of its users are Decision Makers
  • Includes profiles of executives from all of the Fortune 500 firms

After you’ve  joined and set up your profile, dig into the LinkedIn platform to find and join “groups” of people with common interests or backgrounds.

It’s easy to find existing groups. Here’s how:

  • First, log in to your LinkedIn account
  • Next look for and click on “Groups” in the left hand navigation bar
  • When you do that, you’ll see a new screen, where  “Groups Directory” and “Create a Group” options show up in a box in the upper right hand corner.

If you click on “Groups Directory, ” you can do a comprehensive search for existing LinkedIn groups related your current affiliations, including:

  • Your Alma Mater –  For example, mine – the University of Wisconsin-Madison – has an alumni group which I joined. So do Cornell, U of Michigan, Northwestern, CalTech, UCLA, UC-Berkeley, etc. Likely your school does too, as there are thousands of college alumni groups listed. If you school is not there, you can start one by clicking on the “Create a Group” tab.
  • National or Local Civic Groups –  I joined a group of Chi Omega Alumni, my national collegiate social fraternity.
  • Non-profits or Charity groups There are literally hundreds of groups here, including Christian Professionals, World Wildlife Fund, Ubuntu Users, American Heart Association, YMCA. No doubt one you’re affiliated with already exists and is happy to network with you…
  • Professional Organizations – There are over 62,000 professional organizations represented in LinkedIn. Everything from Automotive Aftermarket to Republican Professionals, to the World Tourism Network. As a marketing and PR professional , I joined the PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) Counselor’s Academy group.
  • “Employer Alumni” Groups – These are active groups of former employees interested in networking, and there are thousnds of them listed. I found HP Alumni, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel IT Dept alums, and something like 64 different flavors of AT&T/Bell Labs alums. Not to mention GE, IBM, Oracle. It’s a long list…
  • Special Interest Groups – I joined Baby Boomer Marketing Group, Marketing & PR Innovators, ProMarketers, and Relationship Marketing 101. What are your special interests?
  • Groups for Your Ideal Target Market – I found Encore Entrepreneurs, Boomer Nation…
  • Conference Groups – If you ever attended a major conference, like TED, Black Hat Briefings, Dallas TechFest or Defcon, you’ll be delighted to know there are over 4,000 LinkedIn groups related to conference attendees.

Being a group member allows you to see other group members and to reach out and build relationships. It’s sort of like your local Rotary Club on steroids…

No doubt you’ll want to search for groups for your areas of professional expertise, as well as within the areas where your best referral sources participate. Not to mention groups related to the sources of your best clients.

There’s More to Successfully Marketing Your Skills Via LinkedIn, Of Course:

For example, you can do some advanced searching in the “People” tab at the top of every LinkedIn. It allows you to find like-minded people and see where they are affiliated – both online and offline.  This means that you can discover what groups your connections belong to and “Join” them as well.  Which is a great way to position yourself as an expert in the appropriate communities. Something you want to do when your in job hunting mode. It allows you to showcase your expertise, becoming the  “Go To” professional in those groups.

If your curiosity is piqued and you want to know even more about how to leverage LinkedIn here are a handful of recommended books, all handily available at Amazon.com, which will help you better use LinkedIn to succeed in your job search:

In closing, if you’d like to take a look at my LinkedIn account as an example of how to set yours up, go to Anne’s LinkedIn page.

And if you’d like to connect there, just send me an invitation, noting that “BoomerLifestyle” is how we know each other.

Finally, if you’re still feeling mystified by social networking, but would like some coaching on how to use it, drop me an email, giving your name, email address, phone number, particular challenge, and best time to call. I promise to get right back to you so we can discuss how I can best help you.

“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!

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!

Do You Have a “Bucket List?” You Know, A List of Things You Want to Do Before You Die?

September 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Anne Holmes, Blog, Work, Money & Retirement

The concept of a bucket list was popularized by the recent buddy flick of the same name, in which two terminally ill middle-aged men, one a corporate mogul, the other a mechanic (marvelously played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) bust out of a cancer ward in order to experience life to the fullest before they die.

If you’ve seen the film, you know the two meet while sharing a hospital room, and don’t initially hit it off, which adds to the movie’s comedy.

Their adventure begins when Freeman, the “mechanic,” tells Nicholson, the “mogul,” about a challenge his college philosophy professor had set forth: to make a list of the top things you’d like to accomplish before you die – and actually experience them.

Before We Know It, They Are:

  • Hitting the tables in Monte Carlo
  • Climbing the pyramids
  • Riding Harleys on the Great Wall of China
  • Stalking wild animals on an African safari
  • Downing obscene amounts of caviar, and
  • Tearing up the road in supercharged cars

All in the name of experiencing life to to fullest before they meet the grim reaper. Thankfully, the movie ultimately sends its two wanderers to the people, not the places, who matter. “Find the joy in your life,” Freeman tells Nicholson before the credits roll. Great advice for all Baby Boomers.

Have You Thought About Creating Your Own List of Ultimate Experiences?”

You know, a list of:

  • Places you want to travel
  • People you want to meet
  • Things you want to do
  • Experiences you want to encounter, maybe even
  • Stuff you want to own

It isn’t complicated.

You simply start a list titled “100 things I Want to Do Before I Die” and keep going until you reach at least 100. It doesn’t have to be a fancy list. (In the movie, Morgan’s list is written on a sheet of yellow notepad paper. And initially he throws it away…)

But don’t throw yours away. The important thing is that you write it down and keep it in a safe place, where you can refer to it frequently. Then if you really want to get serious, go public with the list.

Most likely the first 25 or so will come easy, then the next 75 will probably be a bit more challenging. But don’t let that stop you.

Probably the first 25 things you think of will be basic simple stuff and not too much of a stretch. You know, fairly predictable goals like:

  • Lose weight
  • Drink more water
  • Start an exercise program
  • Plant a garden in the spring
  • Join a club
  • Look up your best friend from high school on Facebook
  • Write a Letter to the Editor of your newspaper
  • Organize your closets… or
  • Make a plan for retirement (Yikes, that last one’s a “biggie,” how’d that get in with the easy ones?)

Then, once the easy stuff is out of the way, you are forced out of your comfort zone and you have to start dreaming. Now you’re listing things that aren’t goals, they are possibilities.

Now You’re On to Things You Would Want to Do if Nothing Stood in Your Way…

Maybe you’ll decide to include popular Baby Boomer legacy-building experiences like:

  • Start a retirement business (there it is again, that concept of planning for retirement; maybe you really ought to work on that one first!
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Write a book
  • Fall in love
  • Learn to be happy
  • Go on a road trip with no predetermined destination
  • Take a hot air balloon ride
  • Get married
  • Go on an Alaskan cruise
  • Witness a miracle
  • Meet the Dalai Lama
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Mend a relationship
  • Buy a Harley and learn to ride it
  • Take your grandkids on a memorable trip – one kid at a time

You Need to Start Your Bucket List Action Plan Now

If you’re not sure how to get your bucket list started, don’t worry. Here’s help! Check out “Jack Canfield’s Key to Living the Law of Attraction: A Simple Guide to Creating the Life of Your Dreams.” A fantastic book, you’ll find it’s also a quick, easy read.

In the book, Canfield, who you may remember from the movie “The Secret,” not only explains the Law of Attraction and how it pertains to your life goals, he also clarifies that crucial part from the movie about how whatever you focus on expands.

Once you understand this crucial concept, you’ll immediately know how to make your “bucket agenda” a reality. (The book also explains why you don’t want to allow limiting thoughts and beliefs to enter your mind.) But here’s the “big stuff” that’s really helpful. The book:

  • Includes easy to use worksheets that help you set goals and come up with your own personal bucket list. (Canfield calls it a “dream list.” But whichever you call it, it’s the same thing…)
  • Introduces you to the concept of creating a vision book and a gratitude journal
  • Provides you with a 24 item list that gives you with the key to unlocking the law of attraction and creating the life of your dreams
  • Is quite simply a fabulous tool for creating your own list, whether you end up calling it Your Bucket List or Your Dream List.

Finally, Canfield’s book explains how to use Affirmations, Visualization, Attitude, Prayer and Action to make your dreams reality!

Can’t beat that!

So grab the book right now and GO FOR IT!

MAKE IT HAPPEN!?

Not that time’s short, but why not see how many items can you check off your bucket list this year?

In the End, You’ve Gotta Say, “Just Do It!”

Start making your bucket list today. If you already have a list get it out, review it and add to it.

After all, you can’t kick the bucket if you’ve still got stuff on your list, right?

So what’s on your list?

Wanna share?

Daring New (Non-“PC”) Topic for Cocktail Party Conversation: “Do YOU Think You Will Have Enough Money When It Comes Time to Retire?”

This very provocative question is of the type that my socially correct mother raised me not to ask: Everyone knows it’s socially unacceptable and completely impolite to discuss topics like how much money someone makes, or how well off they are. Questions like that are “Totally CR and SU,” as we used to say in college: “crude, rude and socially unacceptable.”

But the point is, we are starting to ask this question of each other, and I say this is a good thing.

If we don’t talk and plan, we’ll end up unpleasantly surprised, as many of my Boomer-aged coaching clients have discovered.

Consider one of my former clients, a dentist from Indiana who sold off his practice for slightly more than $1 million at the young age of 61, and then began looking at his options. Only to discover that a million dollars doesn’t go as far as it once did – especially since he still had school-aged children living at home.

  • He quickly realized that unless he took massive action of some sort, he was in no condition to maintain his current lifestyle.  Especially since he was in good health and had every reason to suspect he would live for another 30 years!
  • Thankfully, he was quite entrepreneurial, and we quickly came up with several business concepts based on his professional expertise, which would generate a steady passive income stream, and would not require him to get back into the daily grind of seeing patients in a clinic setting.
  • I’m happy to say he is living the good life, these days!

Will YOU have enough money when it comes time to retire?

Too often these days the answer is “no,” even if you diligently started planning for retirement in your 20s. A recent but unscientific poll I saw showed that only 28% of us felt secure enough to answer yes when asked this question.

Another survey I found noted that 63% of Americans 50-59 worry about having enough money to retire.

And 80% of us Boomers plan to work in retirement — and I don’t mean doing meaningful volunteer work, which is also popular — I’m talking about people who want to get paid for their labors.

Why? Well, two-thirds of us told Scudder Kemper that we are “worried about having enough money in the future,” and no wonder: we realize that the money we planned on for retirement just isn’t going to be there! Often the problem is not that we Boomers failed to plan – though that does happen – but that the backdrop against which we did our planning shifted. For example:

  • Even the diligent savers among us were affected by the stock market decline of 2001-2003, which eradicated roughly $7-8 trillion in shareholder wealth, much of it held by us Boomers. And of course, if you’ve started investing in the market again, you’re aware that the last few months haven’t done that well for us, either! Clearly the timing for major withdrawals is a huge concern
  • Then there was the famous “dot-com” crash, which ate away roughly $279 billion on 401[K] assets and huge chunks of other retirement savings
  • Not to mention that many of us are financially savvy enough to know that 401[K] and IRA/retirement money statements can create a false sense of wealth, since – with the exception of Roth IRAs – these funds will be federally taxed on withdrawal
  • For others of us, the challenge came because our employers lopped off 50% of the work force, dropped pension plans,  were bought out by a foreign national – or went out of business. Downsizing, right-sizing, off-shoring, you get the picture.

Or, the financial challenges might be brought on by death, divorce, illness, or unexpectedly finding ourselves caring for our aging parents, our children and grandchildren – or all three! No wonder 50+ consumers outspend younger adults two to one! Currently:

  • 22% of us financially support an aging parent
  • 24% provide for an adult child, aged 18 or more – many of these being “college re-bounders” who come home to live in order to reduce their own living expenses
  • 43% of all singles are 45 or older
  • Collective Boomer debt is estimated at roughly $2.5 trillion
  • The top monetary concern of Boomers considering retirement is “being unable to afford health insurance”

What is the solution?

  • Arrange with your employer to work longer?
  • Figure out how to effectively reduce your standard of living?
  • Win the lottery?
  • Start a business, perhaps based on life experience, which allows you to generate income without “working” in the traditional way?

What if you decide to Work Longer?

According to an article , “How Much Longer Will Boomers Need to Work?” which is posted in the August 11, 2008 issue of US News & World Report, “The typical American retires at age 63. Those fortunate few who have traditional pensions, retiree health insurance, and a fully loaded 401(k) will probably be fine.

But if you haven’t saved enough to fund 30 years of retirement-and as we’ve seen most baby boomers aren’t even close – the obvious solution is working longer.

Some experts correctly note that there are huge benefits for the health of the nation of we work longer. Specifically:

  • The Economy (not to mention Social Security and Medicare) needs the money
  • The Nation’s Employers need both our brains and our bodies – to stave off brain drain and a pending labor gap. Especially in the fields of health care, biosciences, energy and the federal government, where 44% of all workers will be eligible for retirement over the next five years
  • We Boomers are healthy enough to work and will be so for several more decades
  • Future Generations will benefit from a rosier future – because Boomers working longer will alleviate 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 more money will be left for Boomer children to inherit
  • It will probably put an end to intergenerational warfare and the now-popular sport of “Boomer bashing
  • It’s a common sense solution that could inject $3 trillion into the economy each year and result in a 9% increase on Gross Domestic Product by 2045

But how much longer will we Boomers need to work to finance a secure retirement? It depends on who you ask:

  • “For those workers who can work, the way to a secure retirement is to keep working until 66,” says Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and coauthor of Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge. Social Security currently replaces 39 percent of preretirement income for the average earner retiring at age 65 after the Medicare Part B premium is automatically deducted. But those who retire at the same age in 2030 can expect Social Security to replace only 30 percent of earnings, according to Munnell’s calculations. “Retirees in 2030 will have to work two to four years longer to maintain today’s level of replacement income,” she says.
  • Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of the think tank Civic Ventures and author of the book Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life, says that Boomers should try to work until at least age 70. The share of households prepared for retirement would nearly double from 31 to 60 percent if early Boomers currently between the ages of 54 and 63 delayed retirement from age 65 to 70, according to a McKinsey & Co. analysis.
  • While Tamara Erickson, author of Retire Retirement: Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation, says Baby Boomers should plan to work until a minimum of age 70 and up to 85 or 90 if they can.

Hmm, still “punching the clock” at age 70; I can see appreciate those advantages for both the workforce and the individual…

But I’d be looking for an option which would allow me to work on my terms. Ideally I’d like to incorporate:

  • Limited hours
  • Opportunities to work from home
  • A paycheck whose size I have some ability to control and the opportunity to REALLY get paid what I’m worth
  • The ability to take off for a week or two at least every quarter…

I wonder how well perks like these, as well as options like retention bonuses, bridge jobs, phased-in retirement plans or delayed retirement subsidies will go over with my younger co-workers?

How Possible is it to Reduce Living Costs?

Many of us anticipate that “financial belt-tightening” will be the answer: That’s why last April, Forbes.com carried an article about a sub-group of Baby Boomers they have nicknamed the “U-Boomers.”

A group they labeled “Financially unprepared, yet undaunted and uncompromising,” the Forbes authors note that this group shares all the optimism and expectations of their wealthier counterparts, yet this group — incorporating 24 million middle-class American households – is approaching retirement with lofty lifestyle aspirations, a thirst for new products and brands, and limited financial resources.

None of this group will be living a “Lexus Lifestyle” in retirement. Think more in terms of the recent commercial where the wedding guests are exclaiming over the lovely backyard garden reception featuring Martha Stewart-branded products purchased at Wal-Mart.

According to the article, the “U’s” will account for almost 25% of total U.S. consumption by 2015, which leads the authors to suggest there will shortly be a massive market for products and services that meet discriminating u-boomer tastes at affordable u-boomer prices. (Obviously the copywriters who wrote that Wal-Mart commercial were listening!)

Note also that the article points out that the “U’s” are the largest segment of the baby boomer generation, sandwiched between roughly 10 million well-to-do households with high hopes for a comfortable retirement and the financial resources to pay for it, and 11 million disadvantaged households that are deeply pessimistic about the future.

But the concept of reducing you standard of living is one you surely hope to avoid, so let’s not accept this option!

Realistically, What Are Your Chances of Winning the Lottery?

Well, it obviously works for some, we see those excited winners on the state-run lottery commercials all the time…but wining is nothing you can bank on.

And since there’s no guarantee — and history shows that the odds of lottery winners actually holding on to their winnings and effectively investing them is slim to none — you’re going to “take a pass” on this option.

So Maybe the Best Option is to Start Up a Business of Your Own?

This is the best option for generating income at this time in your life.  And starting up your own business makes sense, considering that the stage is already set for lengthier Boomer careers, thanks to the increasing acceptance of older workers. What better time to dust off your dreams and start taking control of your life and future? After all, you’ve got experience, your children are grown, you’re healthy and you’ve still got decades of good life ahead!

And Boomers DO want to work. What else would you expect from the generation that mainstreamed working women, has such a strong work ethic, embraced 24/7 connectivity and coveted the MBA degree? And where better to call the shots than in a business of your own? Especially since Boomers have also been called the “me generation,” due to recognition of the fact that we’ve always made our own rules.

Actually, the Boomer penchant for defying convention, if expressed as an extended working life, could be the offsetting – and saving – factor in the economic doomsday scenarios that have been passed around lately. And it really works, since more Boomers working longer translates into additional contributions to the Social Security coffers, more income tax revenue, fewer Medicare payouts and a delay on draws from the Social Security system.

But if you’re providing those benefits to the economy while working in your own business, it finally gives you the chance you’re sought our entire working lives – to do it your way.

  • A recent Towers Perrin/AARP Study, “The Business Case for Workers Age 50+” concluded that older workers are more engaged and motivated to exceed expectations than younger workers, and that declining physical skills such as manual dexterity are more than offset by skills that improve with age, such as verbal communication, tacit knowledge and experimental innovation. All skills that are much needed in business start-up situations. And moreover, starting a business of your own allows you to profitably leverage your life experiences.
  • A 2005 survey by Merrill Lynch revealed that almost 80% of workers age 40-58 plan to work in retirement, and roughly 60% look forward to the challenge of trying something new
  • Recent AARP research found that 69% of today’s workers age 45+ plan to continue working past age 65
  • Globally, Boomers are starting up businesses at a rate higher than any other demographic.

Now, you might say I’m biased in my opinion about the values of business ownership, since I’m a coach who works with Baby Boomers who want to start a business based on leveraging their life experience.

But I’m not the only one promoting the benefits of working in one’s own business, as opposed to being an employee. “Millionaire MakerLoral Langemeier has written books and developed a series of programs and workshops that are perfect for budding Baby Boomer entrepreneurs, because they teach ordinary working people how, in as little as a year, they can:

  • Quit your job and start doing the things you love
  • Control and then eliminate debt, no matter how much you owe
  • Live your life on your own schedule rather than that of an employer
  • Engage in business ventures that generate passive income
  • Substantially decrease your tax burden
  • Form trusts, corporations and partnerships to protect your assets, and create a non-stop revenue stream

So, here you go: WHETHER or not you are going to have enough money to afford to retire, consider helping out the economy and giving yourself the gift of having something meaningful to do with the next few decades of your life – dust off those dreams and start planning your own business start-up! Who knows, you might become the next Colonel Sanders, Oprah or Martha Stewart!