On Your Own

When Your Aging Parents Need Different Accommodations

Guest Post by Millie Jones

Older-couple-g4689f619f_1920As the years go on, you might realize that one of your parents has vastly different care needs than the other. For adult children of aging parents, this might mean stepping in to help your parent move into a nursing home while your other parent downsizes. The following tips demonstrate how to balance your parents’ needs as you sort out their living situations.

  1. Consider Selling the Family Home

 If one of your parents needs nursing home care, and the other is open to moving somewhere new in order to downsize, it’s probably the right time to sell the family home. Your parents may be able to use the money from this sale to cover the costs of a nursing home. To navigate this process, you’ll need to start by accurately calculating your parents’ assets. By subtracting the amount currently owed on their mortgage from the market value of their home, you’ll be able to determine their home equity.

  1. Other Payment Methods

What if the profits from your parents’ home sale won’t fully account for the costs of a nursing home? You and your parents will need to consider other options. According to Paying for Senior Care, if paying out of pocket isn’t an option, some seniors use Medicaid, veteran’s benefits, or long-term care insurance instead. Your parents might need guidance when it comes to funding nursing home expenses. You may want to gift them a session or two with a financial advisor who can review their portfolio and help them make the right decision.

  1. Choose the Right Nursing Home

 Take your time while reviewing different nursing homes in your area. After all, you need to make sure that your parent will be getting the best care possible. Ideally, you’ll want to choose somewhere local so that their spouse can visit regularly. You will have to tour any potential nursing homes in person, ask for their certifying agency reports, and talk to their staff about how they develop care plans. Also review objective state ratings if available.

  1. Downsizing Options

You’ve helped one of your parents find a comfortable nursing home where they can get the care they need - but where should your other parent live? It’s a good idea to explore their downsizing options early on so that they have plenty of time to weigh their potential choices. Check out the Senior Homes “downsizing guide” to learn more about things to consider as your parent moves into a smaller home or a retirement community. If you have a good relationship, perhaps welcoming your parent to live with you is another possibility.

  1. Be Patient

If you’re supporting your parents throughout this process, you might feel overwhelmed and exhausted at times. This is especially true if you’re stepping into a part-time caregiver role until you find the right nursing home for your parent. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from other family members. And remember, it’s okay to feel frustrated occasionally, especially if you’re worried about your parents’ health. Make some time for yourself when possible; simply taking a half-hour to read or do gentle yoga when you’re stressed can help you release these emotions.

When one parent needs to move into a nursing home while the other is healthy enough to live independently, it can put a strain on your family. By carefully going over all of your parents’ options for accommodations, you can ensure they will both be comfortable. With the suggestions provided, you can help your parents make the right choices for their safety and wellbeing.

Millie Jones is excited to share SeniorWellness with other older adults to help them embrace wellness and live life to the fullest. Ms. Jones enjoys doting on her grandchildren, writing and photography.

Image: Pixabay.com

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

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"Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work We Go" -- or Is It?

The_Seven_Dwarfs_DisneyAs of the third quarter of 2021, 50.3% of U.S. adults 55 and older said they were out of the labor force due to retirement, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the most recent official labor force data. In the third quarter of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic, 48.1% of those adults were retired. In regard to specific age groups, in the third quarter of 2021 66.9% of 65- to 74-year-olds were retired, compared with 64.0% in the same quarter of 2019.

The data regarding entrepreneurs tell a different story, however. According to the Kauffman Foundation, the trend in the age of entrepreneurs over the past twenty-five years represents a substantial shift towards more participation of older entrepreneurs: In 1996, 14.8% of entrepreneurs were 55-64 years old and by 2020, 24.5% were 55-64 years old. An article in NextAvenue indicates that Guidant Financial and the Small Business Trends Alliance, in its 2021 Small Business Trends (a survey of over 2,400 current and aspiring small business owners nationwide), report that Boomers account for 41% of small business owners (currently between ages 57 and 75) and Generation X for 46% (41 to 56 years old).

Looking at these data together, one might conclude that a significant portion of the Boomer generation is leaving the traditional workforce -- that is, working for someone else -- and possibly entering the self-employed workplace. Today, self-employment could be defined in a number of different ways. It could be starting a full-time business or a part-time business. It could also be setting up a freelance business in which an individual works on a project or hourly basis. So many of these "gig" businesses fly under the statistical radar that it might be difficult to even know how many older adults are involved in such enterprises.

It may look like the majority of Boomers are retiring, but how many of them are instead just changing the way they look at work? Perhaps a number of them are now viewing work as optional rather than mandatory. Those Boomers who retire from the traditional workforce may be figuring out how to combine part-time work with volunteering and leisure time. They could be drawing Social Security and taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from retirement funds to live on and working part-time more for satisfaction than for income. If this is the case, as I suspect it is, then many Boomers have indeed fundamentally changed the very nature of retirement. They're going off to work... but in a whole new way.

Image from 1958 trailer for Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

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"Rewiring" with Purpose

Austin-chan-ukzHlkoz1IE-unsplashSince I began writing this blog almost seven years ago, I've promoted the idea of rewiring instead of retiring. To me, "rewiring" means approaching our second act in life as an opportunity to refresh our perspective. It means recognizing how to pursue another path while leveraging the talents we have and the experience we've gained in our first act.

The typical Boomer has spent his or her adult life working. The most fortunate of us found jobs which turned into careers or professions. Perhaps we have been rewarded financially. Hopefully, we've gained satisfaction for a job well done. Even better, we've achieved a sense of purpose.

So how do we meet the fundamental challenge of rewiring with purpose? I'm certainly not the first to address this question.

Books have been written on this very subject, such as Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old?: The Path of Purposeful Aging by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro, published last year. In an interview with Nancy Collamer for NextAvenue, Leider said purpose "is the answer to the question, 'Why do you get up in the morning?' ... Everyone has a purpose, but it rarely just reveals itself. You have to make a choice to discover your purpose, be curious and make connections with others. It's an iterative process that unfolds over time and changes with age, so it's important to reassess your purpose on a regular basis."

Leider adds, "If you are going to continue to grow as you age, you need to reexamine your gifts. Ask yourself: What do I really love to do? What do I want my legacy to be? Then, think about how you can best use those gifts to solve a pressing problem, help someone out or make a contribution to others. When you do that, you'll place yourself along the path to purposeful aging."

Investment adviser Brian Skrobonja, writing for Kiplinger, shares similar advice about purpose in the form of three specific action steps:

Action #1: Reinvent Yourself
"The transition of retirement is not the destination; it is the transition to what is next.  It is your opportunity to reinvent yourself and live out the second half of your life with purpose."

Action #2: Reframe Your Mindset About Money
"The measurement for your success should be on how much income you can generate from your assets that is consistent and predictable. It’s income from your assets that grants you freedom of money and time so you can dedicate your talents to pursue your purpose."

Action #3: Reframe Your Mindset of Time
"You have a choice: You can live as if you have been set out to pasture to retire or you can live as if you are just entering your second half of your life. Your future reality is created in your mind, and whatever you focus on expands."

Of course, there is no magic formula for discovering your post-career purpose. It is highly personal and individualized. For some, it could be new found activism inspired by past activism; this is what Third Act founder Bill McKibben exhorts us to do.

Discovering your purpose may take some time -- and it is likely to be an ongoing process. That isn't a bad thing: It's just the nature of rewiring, instead of retiring.

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

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Looking Ahead with "The New Map of Life"

Screen Shot 2021-12-10 at 4.54.13 PMThe Stanford Center on Longevity is doing some excellent work around aging. A major initiative of the Center is "The New Map of Life." According to the Center, in this initiative "researchers define new models for education and lifelong learning, redesign how we work, advise new policies for health care, housing, the environment and financial security, and promote more intergenerational partnerships. It will also advance a new narrative, which redefines what it means to be 'old' and values people at different stages of life."

I wrote about this map before, but just recently, the Center issued a report about The New Map of Life that is well worth reading. (See the link below to get a free copy.) The report details eight guiding principles as follows. I've included a few excerpts for each:

  1. Age Diversity is a Net Positive
    We are in an era of "unprecedented age diversity. ...The speed, strength, and zest for discovery common in younger people, combined with the emotional intelligence and experience prevalent among older people, create possibilities for families, communities, and workplaces that haven't existed before."
  2. Invest in Future Centenarians to Deliver Big Returns
    "As people live longer and the roles and social norms associated with age become more fluid and self-defined, less uniform and regimented, qualities such as resilience, self-efficacy (a belief in one's own abilities to shape outcomes), and curiosity (rather than dread) when confronted with change will become the emotional toolkit for longevity."
  3. Align Health Spans to Life Spans
    "Health span should be the metric for determining how, when, and where longevity efforts are most effective."
  4. Prepare to be Amazed by the Future of Aging
    "Today's 5-year-olds will benefit from an astonishing array of medical advances and emerging technologies that will make their experience of aging far different from that of today's older adults."
  5. Work More Years with More Flexibility
    "Rather than plunging over a retirement 'cliff' at a time predetermined by age, workers can choose a 'glide path' to retirement over the course of several years, allowing them to gradually reduce working hours while remaining in the workforce."
  6. Learn Throughout Life
    "We envision new options for learning outside the confines of formal education, with people of all ages able to acquire the knowledge they need at each stage of their lives, and to access it in ways that fit their needs, interests, abilities, schedules, and budgets."
  7. Build Longevity-Ready Communities
    "Safe and flexible housing for an age-diverse population is one area of unmet need -- and tremendous opportunity. ... While zoning and planning decisions are up to local governments, state and federal policies can incentivize the development of climate-resistant, livable, walkable communities that promote the well-being and safety of people of all ages."
  8. Life Transitions are a Feature, Not a Bug
    The New Map of Life encourages a "whole-of-life approach" that is about "optimizing each stage of life, so that benefits can compound for decades, while at the same time allowing for more time to recover from setbacks."

While some of this may sound like pie in the sky, The New Map of Life is supported by extensive research and analysis. This initiative is an exciting visionary perspective that could be a blueprint for the quality of life as future generations age. It also has more immediate implications for the way society treats aging Boomers and the manner in which we live out our older years.

Download the free report below (PDF).

Download NewMapofLifeReport

Graphic: Stanford Center on Longevity

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

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Trend Awareness for Boomers

Direction-1033278_1920Boomers contemplating retirement (or some version of it) need to be aware of various trends that might shape their decisions about working, finances, health and even where they live. Catherine Siskos, editor of Kiplinger's Retirement Report, discusses five key trends in a special section inserted into THE WEEK (Sept. 10 - 17, 2021). These trends are part of an article that addresses how this decade is unfolding and includes some forward-looking financial investment possibilities. This special section is well worth reading.

Here are the five trends affecting retirement that Siskos discusses in some detail:

  1. "Flexible work, at a price." The reality is that older workers may be willing to trade a higher salary for flexible work hours. Working part-time or on a contract basis could be a desirable if less lucrative alternative to permanent, full-time employment.
  2. "Shrinking benefits." Social Security benefits risk being reduced in the future because of a current projection that the Social Security trust fund will be exhausted in 2034. The age for claiming full retirement benefits continues to go up, with those born 1960 or later affected the most. In addition, claiming Social Security benefits too early results in a permanent cut to your monthly benefit payment.
  3. "Semi-privatized Medicare." Siskos writes that Medicare "could run short of money as early as 2026." Congress is struggling to come up with a solution.
  4. "A tech revolution in care." Advances such as smart home technology, remote monitoring, and assists to health care by Artificial Intelligence could help reduce health care costs and increase the efficiency of health care providers and caregivers.
  5. "Climate disruption." Retirees who are thinking about where to live in their older years need to carefully consider the impact of climate change. For example, the popularity of the South and West as retirement destinations needs to be balanced against the effects of global warming.

It is somewhat disconcerting to realize that we have little direct control over these trends, except perhaps for the first one. However, wise Boomers can assess their own situations and determine how best to deal with each trend. For example:

  • With the aid of your financial adviser, you can come up with a plan that reduces expenses and increases income to potentially offset the impact of a cut in Social Security. This might include some combination of part-time work, budget tightening, reviewing your investment strategy and planning to draw down your IRA/retirement savings at the appropriate time.
  • With the likelihood that health care costs could play a significant role in your budget, you may need to consider supplemental insurance to Medicare and/or long-term care insurance. You might also consider looking into the cost of assisted living or continuing care retirement communities to determine if they are feasible future options.
  • When it comes to "climate disruption," it would be smart to realistically evaluate where you live now and where you may want to live in the future. While climate is just one factor in remaining in your current home or relocating, it is increasingly important.

Now is the time for Boomers to take the necessary steps to protect their retirement/"rewirement" years.

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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Home Sweet Home?

Cristian-newman-CeZypKDceQc-unsplashConsider this scenario: An elderly widow, now approaching 98 years of age, lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment. Despite being hard of hearing, suffering from an increasing loss of short-term memory and depending on supplemental oxygen, she is otherwise in remarkably good health. Fiercely independent, she insists on continuing to live by herself. She can still handle the basic tasks of daily living. Her daughter, who lives nearby, visits regularly to walk her dog, buy groceries, provide socialization and more. Only recently has the widow accepted weekly visits from a home health aide. She is adamant about living independently and resists the notion of entering an assisted living facility.

This type of situation is real. It is playing out all across the nation when older people choose to "age in place." As I wrote in a previous post, according to The Center for Aging in Place, "Aging in Place is a national movement to enable people to stay in their own homes as they grow older by making available the social support, health care, and home maintenance services they require to live happy, productive lives in the community."

In theory, aging in place is a noble concept. In practice, maybe it isn't so great. In the scenario above, the independence the elderly woman perceives she has is simulated. She is housebound, feeble (she has already fallen twice) and largely dependent on her daughter or a caregiver. It is just a matter of time before she will need daily care in her home if she remains there. Entering an assisted living facility may appear to be a more suitable alternative, but such facilities have their shortcomings, which might include high cost and low quality of care.

Many in the Boomer generation seem to embrace the idea of aging in place, but we have to distinguish desire from practicality.  “The vast majority of people want to stay in their homes as they age, and most homes in this country aren’t designed to allow that to happen,” Dr. Rodney Harrell, AARP's VP for Family, Home and Community, tells The New York Times. The Times reports that "AARP recently introduced HomeFit, a free augmented reality app on iOS that can scan a room and suggest improvements to help turn a house into a 'lifelong home,' free from safety and mobility risks. It is an extension of the organization’s extensive HomeFit Guide, which is available online."

Apps and guides are all well and good, but they may obscure the real question: How wise it for an elderly person to age in place? Safety appears to be a key concern: According to The Times, "The website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that for adults 65 years and older, $50 billion is spent annually on medical costs related to nonfatal fall injuries and $754 million is spent related to fatal falls."

The patchwork solutions we currently have in our society for aging in place are less than adequate. If we Boomers choose to age in place, we will likely need to make some significant changes to be able to remain in our "Home Sweet Home."

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

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Is It Wise for a Boomer to Start a Business Now?

Danielle-macinnes-IuLgi9PWETU-unsplash OnYourOwnIn my previous post, I noted that the number of Boomers who retired in 2020 dramatically increased. I also indicated that pandemic-related job losses, as well as ageism, contributed to many more Boomers leaving the workforce in 2020. These factors suggest that the U.S. job market won't be a particularly good one for Boomers this year.

At the same time, however, the U.S. Census Bureau is reporting a significant uptick in new business applications. For example, for the week ending October 3, 2020 -- while the pandemic continued to rage around the U.S. -- there was an increase in new business applications of 40 percent over the same period in 2019.

It turns out that Boomers play a major role in small business growth. According to Guidant Financial, a firm providing small business financing and a founding member of the Small Business Trends Alliance, "Boomers make up 41 percent of small business or franchise owners, second only to GenX at 44 percent." Even more encouraging, "Seventy-eight percent of boomer businesses are profitable, making them the most profitable age group of small business or franchise owners." Despite the current difficult economic and political environment, Guidant Financial found that 60 percent of Boomer business owners were "somewhat confident" or "very confident" about small business.

So is it wise to start a business now? As a Boomer, you are uniquely positioned to have a strong chance of success. Most Boomers bring a wealth of solid experience, in addition to maturity, to opening their own businesses. Just as important, many Boomers already have the kind of professional network that would serve them well as a "Boomer-preneur." In the marketing world, it is well known that companies who market their products and services during an economic downturn tend to come out of the downturn even stronger. The same could be said about entrepreneurs who start businesses during tough times.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce offers three reasons for starting a business now:

  1. "Bootstrapping know-how" - "When a downturn hits, savvy business owners learn how to bootstrap to survive. ...The bootstrap mentality -- a mixture of frugality, innovation and agility -- can be crucial not only in the startup stage but also as your business grows."
  2. "Business model changes" - "Across all industries, patience, ingenuity and adaptability were the ingredients needed for business survival and these new norms are here to stay. This is good news for startups."
  3. "Time of innovation" - "...smart business owners understand success depends on the ability to adapt to constantly changing consumer needs. Startups have the means to step in where big companies cannot necessarily fill the gaps (think food delivery services). After all, innovation is just problem-solving at its root and who better to problem solve than an entrepreneur bursting with new ideas."

The question of whether or not to start a business demands serious consideration. Obviously there are risks as well as rewards, and not everyone is suited to business ownership. But more than enough evidence exists for Boomers to feel confident that this may actually be an ideal time to start a business.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Read about 156 best and worst brands of the 50s and 60s! 


Pandemic-Induced Thinking About Aging in Place

OnYourOwn Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 1.15.38 PMAdjusting to the "new normal" of life during a pandemic can make you think about aging in place. Boomers who have been self-isolating or at least largely staying put while COVID-19 rages around them have already experienced what aging in place may feel like. The impact of the pandemic on assisted living and nursing home staff and residents only reinforces the desire of many Boomers to remain in their homes for as long as possible.

Research conducted by AARP suggests that an overwhelming percentage of aging seniors -- more than 90 percent -- want to stay in their current homes as they age. However, there are all kinds of things related to aging in place that should be taken into consideration. Aging in place can have both a positive and negative side when it comes to home safety, for example. On the positive side, wise Boomers are making a concerted effort to modify their existing homes so they are safer, more secure habitats. On the negative side, some Boomers adamantly refuse to make needed modifications if they do not want leave their homes, creating a situation that could easily result in tripping, falling, or severe personal injury.

Another area for serious consideration is caregiving. Aging in place means living independently, but the older you get, the more likely it is that you will need some form of help. According to the National Aging in Place Council, half of all men 65 and older and 60 percent of women will need a high level of personal care at some point. The Council indicates that three-quarters of seniors with long-term care needs live at home, and nearly two-thirds of them receive all of their help from family members and friends. If you need compensated care, more than half of the cost for that care is typically paid out-of-pocket -- unless you have long term care insurance.

While long term care insurance can be expensive, it may be a wise investment that ensures peace of mind for the future by covering assisted living care and services. Long term care insurance policies also may have additional benefits. Age Assured is one innovative example. According to Assured Allies, the provider, Age Assured is "a free, voluntary program for insurance policyholders who want help continuing to live at home while they age, made available through their long term care insurance provider. The program pairs people who want support with an 'Ally'- an experienced aging professional - who learns about their specific needs and coordinates a personalized aging plan. The program includes access to ongoing support from a trained Ally, services at home and support for caregivers. Aging specialists are able to pinpoint what’s needed, starting with the simplest and easiest fixes." 

An increasing number of products and services are rapidly coming to market as America's population grows older. If you're a Boomer who plans on aging in place, be sure to do some research and find out what's available to you. A good place to start is knowing what it costs to grow older. Below is a link to a PDF of a free comprehensive handbook, The Costs of Aging, from the National Aging in Place Council.

Download CostofAgingHandbook

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

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What Type of Business Should You Start in Rewirement?

Guest Post by Mike Lieberman

Mike-headshot OnYourOwnThe retirement landscape is rapidly changing.

It’s very different now than it was 10 years ago.

One of the main contributors to the change is our life expectancies.

You see your parents and grandparents typically lived 10-15 years after they retired.

Now you might live another 20-30 years. Big difference.

My guess is this might be why you’re looking to rewire instead of retire.

You’re looking to ignite the spark in this next stage of your life.

Did you know that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, Self-Employment in the U.S., "the self-employment rate among workers 65 and older (who don’t incorporate) is the highest of any age group in America: 15.5%.”

Interested in starting your own online business?

I mean, why not?

Starting an online business in your rewirement can:

  • Ease your transition from your traditional career into rewirement
  • Give you some extra cash to pad your existing savings or fund some of your passions and hobbies.
  • Enable you to donate to your favorite charitable cause
  • Give you structure in your life
  • Help to keep you engaged mentally to stay sharp

The benefits are more than just financial.

Here’s the deal though:

We live in a time where the barrier to entry in starting your own online business has never been lower.

There are many different types of online businesses you can start and choosing can be overwhelming.

You need to create the right mindset and understand which one makes sense for you.

How do you know?

Glad you asked.

It starts with a question.

To save you time Googling the options I spoke to Kevin Lyles, who specializes in assisting Professionals and Executives as they make retirement transitions with the life side of retirement planning.

I asked Kevin, “What’s the first thing you’d ask someone that was thinking of starting a business in retirement?”

He responded with, “What do they want to get out of the business? That will lead to how I could counsel them because there are many possible answers.”

Before we get into the answers, I’d like to discuss why this is a critical question to consider.

You with me?

Why this is a critical question.

Step back for a second and think about your past 20-40 years of your career.

It’s been there out of necessity and it has accounted for a huge chunk of your time.

Now that you’re moving into rewirement, work takes on a new part in your life.

What this means is whatever business you choose must align with how you want to spend your time.

In your first half of life, your career dictated how you spent your time. Now how you spend your time is in your control.

This is why it’s critical to get clear what it is you want to get out of your business and make sure it supports your vision.

Make sense?

How the question can be answered.

Kevin and I discussed five common answers to “What do you want to get out of your business?”

Here they are:

1. The income is needed to survive

If you’ve entered this stage in your life and you need the income from your business to survive, think about continuing with your current job or seeking new employment.

As mentioned earlier, starting a business isn’t going to be smooth sailing and will take time to produce enough income to live off of.

With that being said, if you’re approaching rewirement, it might be a good time to start and build traction to help ease the transition.

2. Extra cash in the wallet

Ideally, you’re set with your retirement financial plan.

If so, your business might put some extra cash in your wallet that affords you the ability to go on that lavish vacation, buy yourself a new toy or whatever it is you want.

When you have the extra cash, you can do so without worry.

3. Building a legacy

Legacy can mean a variety of things such as:

  • Passing the business on to your kids
  • Handing wealth down to future generations
  • Being the example for your kids and grandkids that anything is possible

Leaving such a legacy could be what you want to get out of your business.

4. Solving problems for others

This is one of the common reasons for people to start their own business.

They’re good at doing something and can get paid to help others doing it.

5. Purpose and meaning

With your traditional career behind you, you now have a lot of time to fill everyday.

This is one of the big challenges people are having, Kevin shared with me.

 “If they’ve been working 10-12 hour days for 30-40 years, now they wake up and don’t know what to do with themselves. Having a business can really fill that void and give them some purpose and reason to get up in the morning.”

When you get clear what it is you want to get out of your business it helps to narrow down the choices for you.

It allows you to shift focus to the structure and opportunities that support your vision.

Sound off

Let me know your answer to “What do you want to get out of your business?” and why.

Mike Lieberman is the founder of Retirement Redefinition. He created the site to help you define your retirement lifestyle and start an online business that fits it.

HappilyRewired.com is a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog.


Is It Crazy to Start a Business Now?

OnYourOwn Startup-1018514_1920In my last post, I talked about a potential strategy for getting your life back, and I proposed a three-part plan: Re-enter, Re-evaluate and Re-trench. I believe the three "re's" represent a practical, measured way to emerge from the pandemic with a set course of action.

As part of the "Re-evaluate" phase, you may be considering what your current and future work life should look like. If you have been laid off, you are certainly not alone -- but as a Boomer, you are more vulnerable than most other workers. It should come as no surprise that Boomers face significant age discrimination when it comes to being re-hired by a previous employer or getting a position with a new employer. While it is often a short-sighted strategy, the harsh reality is that employers often opt for younger employees who simply cost less than Boomers, despite our experience and work longevity.

One way to "re-trench" is to start your own business. Even under the best of economic conditions starting a business can be risky, so a legitimate question becomes, "Is it crazy to start a business now?" The answer is not the same for everyone. If you have specialized expertise, business contacts, financial security and an independent spirit, this could be an ideal time to start your own business.

Writing for Entrepreneur, Rick Terrien makes a strong case for older workers to be proactive about their future by launching a 1-person business now. He writes:

"Being proactive allows you to grow your networks and put the building blocks in place to work and contribute as long as you want. For most people, it is easy and inexpensive to launch one-person Limited Liability Companies (LLCs). Creating a professional business shell around yourself gives you an independent  economic platform to experiment with as you test and grow your business model.  

Having your own small-business shell around yourself does not guarantee success, but it does give you access to tools you will need to succeed."

The statistics are both encouraging and daunting. Terrien points out that 25 million of the 32 million businesses in the U.S. are actually 1-person businesses. A study cited in Inc. magazine indicates that a 60-year old who starts a business is three times more likely than a 30-year old to start a successful business. On the other hand, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says 50 percent of small businesses fail in five years.

Terrien is largely optimistic about self-employment for older workers, which he calls an "ageless startup." The numerous benefits he lists include the low cost of planning and launching a 1-person business, pursuing something you are passionate about, working as much or as little as you want, and working from home.

There are lots of information sources available if you are interested in starting a business, including Rick Terrien's book, Ageless Startup: Start a Business at Any Age.

For a little extra encouragement, an eGuide I wrote about starting a 1-person business is available free to Happily Rewired readers until May 31. To get your free eGuide, simply visit https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/177376. Use the code AG100 at checkout and you will be able to download the eGuide in the format of your choice, including EPUB, Mobi (Kindle) or PDF. Be sure to take advantage of this free offer by May 31.

HappilyRewired.com is a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog.

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