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October 2015

"Financial Planning" and "Lifestyle Planning" are Not the Same Thing

MusingsBoomers are often advised to do some financial planning long before retiring, but Walter Updegrave writes for CNN Money that "lifestyle planning" is just as important as you approach retirement.

Updegrave advises that Boomers should think "seriously about they spend the last 30 or so years of their lives. He writes that, for many, the most effective way to "stay engaged with the world" is to "cultivate a strong social network." Family and friends become increasingly important in later years, and developing new friendships through social activities and part-time work can be beneficial.

The bottom line, writes Updegrave, is to go beyond financial planning, because "if you want the next chapter of your life to be meaningful and fulfilling, you've also got to engage in some lifestyle planning... After all, it would be a shame to do all that saving, investing and planning only to spend the last phase of your life marking time."

In his article, Updegrave mentions the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, where I live. OLLI, which has branches in other cities, is a great example of an organization that caters to the needs of seniors by offering non-credit courses, taught by volunteers, in all sorts of subjects. OLLI also offers a creative retirement seminar. My wife and I took this seminar over ten years ago, fell in love with Asheville, and relocated here as a result.

Read Updegrave's entire article here

Pay Attention to Your Personal Brand

MusingsBoomers are no strangers to branding -- our generation helped create and immortalize some of the world's most well-known brands. Not as recognized, however, is the concept of building your own "personal brand." For boomers who want to continue to be relevant in the workplace and in society, personal branding is essential. I spent a large part of my professional career promoting product and service brands. Promoting yourself – or your “personal brand” – is an even bigger challenge.

For an introduction to the notion of personal branding, I recommend a useful, highly readable eBook by Marc Miller, "Personal Branding for Baby Boomers." In targeting boomers, Miller is both reassuring and helpful. He introduces basic strategies for building a personal brand. His book touches on creating a brand story, establishing credibility through blogging, using social media, and authoring a book. Particularly valuable is Miller’s expert advice about the use of the business social network LinkedIn as a brand building and networking tool. Filled with practical tips, this concise book should assist anyone who needs to present his or her personal story for career or business purposes in the best possible light.

Miller, by the way, is also an expert in helping boomers repurpose their careers. Visit his website here:

You can order Marc Miller's eBook below.


Want to Start a Business? Start with the SBA

OnYourOwnThe Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that over 5 million Americans age 55 and older have their own businesses or are self-employed. The boomer entrepreneur is one of the fastest growing segments of the small business market.

Starting a business later in life isn't the best fit for every boomer, but it has unique benefits -- not the least of which is controlling your own fate when it comes to employment. A great resource for boomers bitten by the business bug is, not surprisingly, the SBA. The SBA has set up a dedicated web page for Americans over the age of 50 featuring: an online self-assessment tool that will help potential small business owners understand their readiness for starting a business as well as information to help with business planning, shaping a winning business idea, professional counseling, financial services and information to find local resources in your area. This web page can be found at:

SBA and AARP also will jointly develop and host a customized online course, self-assessment, and webinar series for older entrepreneurs.  SBA already offers a suite of online courses for people who want to start and grow their business. To take a course, go to under “online courses.”  Course topics include start-up basics, finance strategies, marketing tactics, overseas trade, and more.

All of the SBA information and courses are free, so take advantage of the many resources offered.

And if you're thinking of starting a business with your spouse or life partner? Then check out the new book, Let's Make Money, Honey: The Couple's Guide to Starting a Service Business. Information about it here.


50-Plus Workers Need All the Help They Can Get

OntheClockIt doesn't take a genius to figure out that all of us in the 50-and-over category face challenges in the workplace. Despite the proven value of wisdom and experience, it seems that the over-50 employee is the first to go in a company layoff. The cynical truth is that most companies will sacrifice older, more experienced (and more expensive) workers for younger workers to contribute to the bottom line. In some cases, older employees aren't even replaced -- their workload is simply spread among existing over-worked staff.

That's why 50-plus workers need all the help they can get, especially if they are in precarious work situations. Thankfully, there are resources available from government and via websites and books. Add to that the newly launched "Working at 50 Plus" microsite from AARP. This online resource center includes helpful information about staying competitive, age discrimination, work-life balance, and planning for retirement.

Check it out at:

For some 50-plus workers, running your own business is a viable option. Should you work with your spouse or life partner? Read this post on LinkedIn to learn more.