That Hobby of Yours May Make You Some Money

OnYourOwnIf you're looking for a little extra income in retirement but you don't really want to work in a traditional job, the most obvious option is working a gig. The "gig economy" is thriving, with such opportunities as car driving services, home rentals, and freelance jobs. But there is another interesting possibility: Turning that hobby of yours into a money-maker. One recent study indicates that over one-quarter of American entrepreneurs launched startup businesses from a hobby.

If this sounds intriguing, be sure to read "A Beginner's Guide to Monetizing a Hobby" at This comprehensive article covers many of the issues related to turning a hobby into a money-making venture, including:

  • Assessing goals
  • Testing your hobby as a business
  • Outsourcing
  • Finding clients
  • Marketing
  • Pricing
  • Common mistakes
  • Tax implications

The article also includes stories of hobbyists-turned-entrepreneurs.

The area in which I live is flush with artists and craftspeople. While the competition is stiff, I personally know two Boomers who retired from traditional jobs and pursued artistic money-making hobbies. One of them, a former business executive, had a passion for working with wood. He learned the craft and started to make small objects, such as pens and Christmas tree ornaments, as a hobby. He turned that into a part-time business. Another person, a former floral designer, had a talent for watercolor painting. She concentrated on painting birds and began to sell her work at craft fairs. People liked the bird paintings so much that she opened a small studio and has become locally recognized for her unique style. She is even being asked to do custom paintings.

Maybe becoming a money-making hobbyist is something you could consider to spark life's second half.    

Podcast Series Focuses on Creating New Ventures Past 50

MediaIf you like hearing Boomers tell stories about how they've added a spark to life's second half, you might want to listen to the podcast series, "Mature Preneurs Talk." Podcast host and over-50 coach Diana Todd-Banks, who lived and worked in the U.S. for 20 years and is now in Australia, interviews folks in their 50s, 60s, and 70s about starting new ventures.

Recent podcasts have featured a reinvention life coach who has done plenty of reinventing of her own, a blind entrepreneur, and a man who went from mortgage broker to massage therapist to becoming a leading authority on reading people. According to Diana Todd-Banks, "Mature Preneurs Talk podcasts connect guests who’ve created a new venture near or after 50, 60, or 70 with an audience who seek new ideas and options for themselves. Whether a much needed community group, business, or other venture, the guests chat about their earlier life through to deciding what to do, the pitfalls, tips, funny bits, and their unexpected health and life benefits, and in doing so, encourage and inspire the audience of all ages to spring into action to transform their life as they have done. The guests are a dynamic group of inspirational people with extremely diverse activities and amazing stories looking to do more with their third chapter of life. And they definitely are doing that! Mature Preneurs guests demonstrate it’s never too late to start something new, or to follow a long held dream. Taking that step can make the next chapter of life the best ever which the guests and the host clearly demonstrate."

Diana adds, "I’m always on the lookout for more intriguing guests over 50, 60, 70 and yes 80, and if any of your subscribers feel they fit the profile they can send an email to:  In the subject line put:  re Mature Preneurs Talk Guest Info."

You can find the collection of podcasts here:


Half Price eBook, "Let's Make Money, Honey," March 4 - March 10

LMMH book cover-jpg BooksIf you've ever thought about going into business with your spouse, you need to read Let's Make Money, Honey: The Couple's Guide to Starting a Service Business. The book has received excellent reviews from book reviewers and readers alike. It tells the story of how a Boomer couple started a small service business and sold it seven years later. You'll find plenty of advice about what to do and what not to do when starting a business with your spouse. Included are details about planning, financing, outfitting, and launching a service business, as well as operations, marketing, sales, customer service, and managing growth. Useful tools to help couples assess their business interests and business compatibility are also included. 

From March 4 through March 10, 2018, in celebration of "read an ebook week," GuideWords Publishing is offering the eBook edition of Let's Make Money, Honey: The Couple's Guide to Starting a Service Business at half price -- just $3.50 -- if you order it through Smashwords. You can get the book in any format for any device, including a PDF. 

To get your copy at half-price, simply go to:  When you place your order, enter the code SAE50 and you'll pay just $3.50 instead of the regular price of $6.99. This offer is only good from March 4 through March 10 at Smashwords so order today!

Of Course You Can Start a Business

OnaWhimThere are many, many success stories of Boomers who have started a business.  My wife and I ran a small service business together after I left my professional career as an advertising executive. We used that business as a bridge from full-time work to part-time retirement. An unexpected bonus was that we were able to sell the business after seven years.

In an article on, Deborah Sweeney does a nice job of debunking three myths about starting a business when you're older:

  1. "I'm too old"
  2. "It's too risky to start a business"
  3. "I don't know where to find capital."

Regarding the first, Sweeney advises, "If you're passionate about a product or have a great vision for a service, don't let your age hold you back from getting started." As for the risk, she says you can start more slowly and cautiously before you launch a full-time venture. As for the third myth, imagine the trouble young entrepreneurs have finding capital -- it turns out that older start-up owners typically have better established credit and contacts.

Sweeney's article is encouraging -- as are the stories of Boomers who have made a successful go of it in their later years. Many Boomers, especially professionals, have a great deal to offer as independent business owners. Even if your business produces a modest income, it can be personally rewarding and at least supplement other sources of retirement income.

Is this your year to take the plunge? 

Another Way to Look at Retirement: Don't Do It

OntheClockWe're not all fortunate enough to have jobs we might want to work at forever. But some of us are doing just that -- and instead of reinventing retirement, these folks are avoiding it.

Take the case of Judge Jack Weinstein, a spry 96-year old who has no intention of retiring. He was appointed some fifty years ago but isn't about to give up his profession now. He tells The New York Times, “I’m a better judge, in some respects, than when I was younger. I don’t remember names. But I listen more. And I’m more compassionate. I see things from more angles. If you are doing interesting work, you want to continue.”

Other elders love their jobs. Consider Warren Buffett, still an active investor at Berkshire-Hathaway at the age of 87. Or Adolfo Calovini, perhaps less famous than Buffett but no less active. Also mentioned in The New York Times article, the 82-year old Calovini teaches English as a second language at a New York high school. An immigrant. Calovini has a special understanding of the students who take his class. He tells The Times, “To me, teaching is about life. This is what I do. I can’t see a time when I wouldn’t.”

Weinstein, Buffett and Calovini are just examples of the 1-1/2 million people still working after the age of 75, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau estimates that almost 11 percent of the workforce will be age 75 or older by 2026.

If you have a job you love, consider yourself lucky -- maybe it'll be yours for life.

Executive Recruiter Authors Employment Guide for Boomers

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 1.06.48 PM BooksThere has been a spate of books recently about seeking employment for Boomers. Here's one that is particularly interesting.

One of my blog readers, Rick Manning, is an executive recruiter with over 40 years in the employment field. He has authored and recently published a new ebook: You are a Classic: An Employment Guide for Baby Boomers. Geared to all job candidates over 50, this employment guide has been written to provide the reader with both support and expert instruction; in particular, with additional focus on empowerment and inspiration for those dismayed and dispirited by perceived ageism, which can be prevalent in the marketplace.

This guide also provides information offering a perspective on “positive aging” and optimistic attitude and outlook. Further, it has suggestions to help confront the common emotional impediments, which often occasion difficult job searches. Says Manning, "It is my intention to provide older job candidates with a proactive approach to their job hunting campaign, where they can take satisfaction in their effort worthy of a healthy self-esteem."

You can purchase You are a Classic wherever ebooks are sold, or directly from Amazon by clicking here. The Amazon listing includes the option to view a Table of Contents and a portion of the first chapter.


No Surprise: Experts Advise Boomers to Work Longer

MusingsNew year, new goals: If one of yours is retiring from your job, hold on just a minute. Well, make that three to six months.

A recent report entitled "The Power of Working Longer," issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research concludes the following: 

"...delaying retirement by 3-6 months has the same impact on the retirement standard of living as saving an additional one-percentage point of labor earnings for 30 years. The relative power of saving more is even lower if the decision to increase saving is made later in the work life. For instance, increasing retirement saving by one percentage point ten years before retirement has the same impact on the sustainable retirement standard of living as working a single month longer. The calculations of the relative power of working longer and saving more are done for a wide range of realized rates of returns on saving, for households with different income levels, and for singles as well as married couples. The results are quite invariant to these circumstances."

MarketWatch looked at the report and added the following analysis:

"So why does working longer have such an impact on the standard of living in retirement? Because it bolsters two types of retirement income — Social Security benefits and 401(k) withdrawals, the research says. The longer a person works, the longer Social Security is deferred, which means a higher benefit check. The worker’s 401(k) withdrawal will also be higher from more money in the account. Social Security makes up 81% of retirement income in this case, the researchers said, and 401(k) payments make up the rest."

Bottom line: If you've been thinking about retiring this year, maybe you should hold out just a little bit longer. Experts think it will make a significant difference when it comes to financing your retirement years.

Do Yourself a Favor... Age Well

MediaI find stories about people in their 80s and 90s who are relatively healthy and have positive outlooks to be an affirmation that aging is a natural process that doesn't have to be traumatic. It is true that our bodies slow down, creak, and even fail us once in a while, and that our memory isn't what it used to be -- but it turns out that we can do a lot to "age well."

Thankfully, Tara Parker-Pope, the wellness columnist for The New York Times, has prepared a very handy and very comprehensive guide to aging well. It includes brief but authoritative sections: Eat, Move, Think, Connect, and Live Well. It is brimming with simple steps and helpful advice in a short, easy-to-read format. Embedded in the text are numerous links to other articles and research that backs up the content.

Parker-Pope writes, "While you can’t control your age, you can slow the decline of aging with smart choices along the way. From the foods you eat and how you exercise to your friendships and retirement goals — it all has an effect on how fast or slow your body ages."

I highly recommend this useful guide. You can find it here:

Let Employment Statistics Be Your Guide

MusingsLike many Boomers, you may be in a transitional state in 2018 when it comes to employment. As you consider your work options, it may be wise to review some current employment statistics to get an idea of where opportunities exist. Entrepreneur magazine offers a handy infographic, based on data from Paychex, a leading payroll service, that looks at employment ages in the U.S. in states and industries.

Here are some interesting Boomer-oriented highlights from the data:

  • The five states with the highest percentage of workers 65 and older are, in descending order: South Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Washington, DC
  • About 23 percent of U.S. adults age 55 and older were working in 2016
  • The top five industries with the greatest percentage of workers 65 and older are, in descending order: Legal; Community and Social Service; Life, Physical and Social Science; Arts, Design, Entertainment and Social Media; Personal Care and Service
  • The top five states with the greatest percentage of MALE workers 65 and older are: Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Kansas, Washington, DC
  • The top five states with the greatest percentage of FEMALE workers 65 and older are: New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington, DC, Connecticut, Hawaii
  • The three leading ways unemployed workers age 65 and older have attempted to enter the workforce are (1) contacted the employer directly, (2) sent out resumes or filled out applications, (3) contacted friends or relatives.

If you're looking for work, maybe some of these statistics can provide clues that point you in the right direction.


What Does 2018 Look Like for Retiring Boomers?

MusingsThe new year is upon us, and it starts with a booming stock market and major tax reform. Is this good news for retiring Boomers?

Retirement expert Mark Miller offers an excellent assessment in his article for Morningstar. He acknowledges that the stock market is at all-time high, but quotes wealth management advisor Michael Kitces, who says instead of withdrawing the traditional 6.5% from investment accounts, "it might be wiser for new retirees to just start with a lower initial rate of around 4%."

Miller also cautions that Social Security and Medicare, while they remain unchanged on the new tax law, could undergo some changes in the future. According to Miller, there is the possibility that the full benefit age for Social Security could eventually be raised to 69 from the current 66. It is already going up to 67 for those who were born in 1960 or later. 

Everything, it seems, has a positive and negative side. For example, with the Fed continuing to raise interest rates, low-risk investments such as CDs may benefit, but the cost of borrowing would go up. It is also a fact that those individuals entering retirement have more debt than ever before, in part because of home mortgages.

There is more to keep an eye on in 2018. Read Mark Miller's excellent article for more details... and consider subscribing to his highly informative e-newsletter, Retirement Revised.