What if I had done things differently?
What if I could do things differently now?
What if I was twenty years younger?
Are those “what if…?” questions stopping you from living a rich and full lifestyle?
Are they stopping you from following dreams, learning new skills, seeing opportunities, doing different things?
Getting older doesn’t have to mean that you give up on your dreams and seeking new challenges.
For many years the golden freedom of retirement hung before us, the reward for a lifetime of working hard. It would be a time of adventure and relaxation, pursuing passions and engaging in activities that you never had time to pursue while you were working.
Much of that still holds great appeal….I want the freedom, the adventure and the relaxation, time to indulge my interests and do new things, time to travel and have fun. But at what price?
I certainly don’t want to stop working completely. I don’t want to wake up one morning and realize I no longer have economic purpose and challenge in my life.I don’t want to watch our retirement savings disappear faster than we expected. I don’t want to feel, or be treated, like an ‘old person’. With luck there will be plenty of years ahead when that will be inevitable, but now isn’t that time.
Throughout my adult life I’ve defined my purpose primarily through my roles within my family, but closely followed by how well I accomplished my work role. My definition of purpose may be different from others, but I know I have spent my life measuring myself by what I did and how well I did it.
Perhaps I think differently about this because I’m self-employed and love working in my business. If I were still employed I’d possibly be craving that day when work stopped being part of my life. Certainly those friends who are employed express this desire regularly, as do some of my career coaching clients who are seeking a new job out of necessity. The strongest motivation to retire…perhaps escape…from work seems to be freedom to do what they want to do, when they want to do it. I don’t look on ‘freedom of retirement’ in the same way because I have created much of that freedom within my lifestyle business.
I hear many people around retirement age ask the question: “What’s the Next Step?” Retirement is increasingly being seen as a transition from the career path that has been followed to something else that will be challenging and give purpose and fulfillment to life. For some this is voluntary work, offering their services in some way to contribute to their community or society as a whole. For others the opportunity to work part time or as a contractor/consultant, mixing work and earning with travel and family involvement, is an ideal way of combining work with freedom to do the things you want. Increasingly, perhaps because of the global economic crisis or maybe because technology has made it so accessible, many choose to create their own business online.
Whatever the motivations or the experience, the traditional concept of retirement seems to have faded and is slowly being replaced by a smorgasbord of dynamic opportunities, all offering different variations of purpose, fulfillment and freedom.
BoomersNextStep.com explores this smorgasbord, from job search to creating a laptop lifestyle, from travel adventures to pursuing your passions, as we look at how the baby boomer generation can reinvent and reward themselves.
We have chosen the path of a hybrid lifestyle retirement. We enjoy the freedom of retirement, but we also enjoy the stimulation of our work. We have an online business that we can do anywhere in the world, bringing in additional income to fund our travel, our sailing and our other lifestyle choices. We both love having the additional mental challenge of learning new skills and meeting new people through our business.
Frank is 85 years old and has retired three times. " I saw that people who retired often died fast. I didn't want to die."
Frank wants to live life to the full and create an income. Watch his story here.
In keeping with our BoomersNextStep belief that baby boomers can thrive on making career changes and should not let age stop them from following their lifestyle dreams, in the post below I proudly announced that I’ve been practicing what I preach.
I’d been searching for a way to continue to make an income once we decide to retire from our “real jobs” and were free to travel as and when we wanted to. I started learning about Amazon selling, and this blog post was written when my first product had just been launched on Amazon. It was a challenging, exciting, scary, inspiring, fun, frustrating, but mostly delightful journey, except for the fact that it didn’t really work out for me as I had hoped.
What went wrong? Amazon kept changing the goal posts and I didn’t manage to keep ahead of their changes. They had a major change in the way they promoted products, and it made it more difficult for small business to compete with the big companies. As with any business, unscrupulous people “played” the system, and in this case people were paid by bigger companies to write negative reviews about their competitors. Another problem for me was the design of my product. It was designed to be packed inside itself, forming a small pouch. Amazon is very lenient with their returns policy, and returned items are put back for sale if nothing seems to be wrong with them. In the case of my product you couldn’t see anything wrong with it if it was packed back into its pouch. Consequently when it was resold customers received damaged goods. I’d be upset about that too.
So do I regret my venture into Amazon? Not really. I wish I had made more money out of it, but I learnt a lot and actually enjoyed the experience. I think if you are venturing into unknown territory you have be prepared to be resilient and I have learnt that I am.
It is now sold out and I have closed my account but I’ll still share the Press Release with you. It was a great product and fortunately we still have a couple of bags left that we use all the time when we are traveling or going out to a festival or other day outing.
Many Baby Boomers go traveling, enjoying their freedom from child rearing or work commitments. However one Baby Boomer couple transformed their European vacation inspiration into a new travel solutions brand, RovEasy, and have recently released their first product, a lightweight backpack.
The new RovEasy daypack is designed to meet the needs of the savvy traveler. Weighing less than 6oz, the pack folds with ease into its own internal pocket in seconds, small enough to be easily transported in a handbag or coat pocket. The daypack features classic styling with high quality fabric and once open is a comfortable size for adults of all sizes to carry their daily travel necessities.
Principal of Clarity Travel Solutions, Jenni Proctor, explained “We were thoroughly enjoying our travels, but because of the changeable weather we started the day wearing jackets then needed to remove them as the temperature rose. It was inconvenient carrying jackets around all day in our arms but we didn’t want to carry a backpack on our backs all day, even when it wasn’t needed.”
“For convenience we bought a lightweight backpack that could be carried in my handbag or my partner’s pocket and then unfolded it when needed,” Jenni said. “It became the most useful item we had on our holiday, but we were unhappy with its quality and felt the design needed improvement so we decided to design one that would really meet our needs.”
The RovEasy daypack has just been launched on Amazon at a special introductory price. For more information please have a look at RovEasy daypack on Amazon.
Meanwhile these intrepid Baby Boomer travelers are planning their next holiday and their next product to ease the inconveniences and enhance the ease of traveling.
When it comes to being exposed to malware and viruses, who do you think is more likely to fall victim – the kid who spends every waking hour online, or your grandmother who just logged onto the world wide web for the first time over the holidays? If…
When I work with people changing their careers, or even just chat socially with people and the conversation turns to work, so many express the desire to work for themselves. Frequently this is followed by “I’d love to create a business online and work from home.”
This is a career move that is close to my heart, after all I live it every day, but I have, until now, hesitated to recommend it to people because there can be a few speed bumps on the road to online success. I know because I think I’ve hit every one of them over the last eight or nine years!
It’s been an interesting journey and along the way I have met some amazing people. Sometimes it is the people you meet that make the most unexpected impact on your life, even years later.
On a cold and dismal day in London in 2010 I arrived at a business workshop after flying into the UK from Australia. I was jet lagged, excited, nervous and not quite sure what I’d let myself in for. I’d gained access to the workshop through a competition online and I think I only won because I said I’d fly from Australia to London to attend. It certainly wasn’t for the quality of the video I’d submitted!
I met an interesting couple almost as soon as I arrived at the venue. Susan Beesley and her husband Chris were accountants and management consultants who were just starting to learn about internet marketing. The workshop required quite a lot of “buddy” work, so Susan and I became “buddies” and worked closely together for some of the workshop and the three of us often chatted in the breaks. I enjoyed their company and we kept in touch over the years.
Now they are highly regarded internet marketers, keynote speakers at major internet events around the world, and reaping the financial benefits of their hard work, their new skills and their ability to explain complex concepts in an interesting and understandable way.
I recently met up with them again after all those years. We had kept in touch, and in fact I’d been following their work and learning from them for several years. They traveled to Australia to be the keynote speakers at a SuperCharge Summit held by MOBE – My Own Business Education.
My husband attended the summit with me and we were most impressed by their knowledge and their stage style, which is just them being exactly who they are on stage. That is refreshing in an age of youthful success, photoshopping and manufactured images.
We also had a great time catching up socially, with lovely dinners and the occasional glass or two of bubbles! With a common interest in creating a great lifestyle that encompasses lots of travel and embraces some work online to enhance that lifestyle, we had a lot to talk about.
If you would like to know more about the outstanding online business education that we are now enjoying and actively using in our business, then Chris and Susan are great people to tell you all about it. Set aside some time to read their book, Ultimate Retirement Freedom, and to watch their video explaining how they have turned their financial future and lifestyle around completely.
People talk a lot about how important it is to have a passion for the work you do, but sometimes even the things you have a passion for can lose some of their attraction over time.
I love my work, but right now the prospect of being on a permanant holiday – the traditional form of retirement – is so very appealing.
I have spent two weeks over Christmas and New Year relaxing and doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, with few constraints. Certainly I spent many hours preparing, cooking and serving food for a few days around Christmas, and that’s hard work but it’s also a labour of love.
I didn’t achieve much but I wasn’t bone idle the whole time. We went boating for several days and that always involves some physical exertion. I swam and did gentle aquarobics two or three times daily, often for up to an hour. It was a beautiful way to spend the time, almost meditative and certainly very relaxing.
What it boils down to is that when I was “on holidays” I could read until late if I felt like it (often), sleep until late if I wanted to (never), eat at all the wrong times (regularly), immerse myself in the pool (consistently), listen to good music (constantly) and almost never feel rushed for time. I loved all that.
Yet I have always protested that I didn’t want to retire from my business until I was well beyond the traditional retirement age. I thought I would lose my sense of purpose and would no longer be doing the things I love to do.
Perhaps I was looking at all that from the wrong angle. Perhaps the things I love to do in my working life are an important part of who I am, but the things I love to do in my holidays reflect the essence of me.
So the reality is here and I need to get on with things. It’s a new year with new and ongoing business commitments. It’s a year in which I intended to achieve a great deal.
Could it be that I’m just feeling the “post holiday blues” and need to shake myself out of it? Or perhaps I am being given new insights into how people feel when they start to think they’d like to retire. As a career and transition coach for baby boomers I see the irony in my feeling the pain so I can better understand the pain of my clients.
Are you feeling similar thoughts going back to work? And is it making you start to wonder if retirement might not be a bad idea?
Our solution has been to create a hybrid retirement lifestyle – part income producing, part traditional retirement. It’s working for us because we are loving the mental stimulation, the challenge and the fun of learning new ways of doing things, but we are also still enjoying our travel, sailing and generally great lifestyle.
The business commitments take up time, of course, but they don’t dominate our lives. It’s as if we have taken up a new hobby in our retirement, something like genealogy or writing a book, which many people do. It just happens that our “new hobby” is bringing in an income to enhance the lifestyle. Win-win! If you’d like to know more about the system we are using click on the banner below, to find out about this system from the perspective of two baby boomers who have done very well using the system.
Having a sense of purpose, and feeling that we have made a difference in the lives of others, becomes increasingly important to many people as they reach the later stage of their career or enter retirement years.
Good causes are all around us, each with compelling reasons why we should help them. If you aren’t on the Do Not Call register phone calls come through day and night asking for donations. When you go to smaller shopping centres you have to walk a carefully planned route with your eyes downcast to avoid being accosted by someone who wants a donation to a 'good cause'.
But many of us are very jaded with the constant requests to donate to good causes. We are horrified when we hear of how much money gets spent on administering charities and even more horrified when we hear of people getting personal benefit from the money that has been donated.
Last Sunday I had the privilege of hearing about the difference some dedicated people can make in the world and I wanted to share this with you. Our friends Marilyn and John lived and worked in Laos for some years. They loved the country and the people and throughout the years I have known them they spoke of their dream to return to Laos and use their skills to make a difference.
They have set up Global Support Association with a board of directors who are all experienced professionals sharing a similar passion to make a big difference in the lives of the children at an orphanage and school in Laos. Donations go directly to the cause, with all volunteers paying their own way and all administration costs absorbed by the volunteers themselves. They are looking for volunteers from November 2014 to February 2015 to assist in improving the conditions at the orphanage and school.
On the website you will see some of the photographs which we were shown on Sunday of the work they have already completed at Suan Luang Facility. We heard delightful stories of some of the small jobs that had a huge impact on the living conditions of the children:
Passion and purpose were expressed as volunteers spoke of their experiences and of the difference it had made in their own lives. It was a privilege to meet these people and I hope that you will take the time to have a look at what Global Support Association is already achieving.
Re-thinking your retirement and combining your chosen lifestyle with a new form of self-employment is a major step. The promised rewards are great from many points of view. But whichever way you look at it, this is a major step in your life. And that is all the more reason why you should consider certain facts.
The world has changed
When the western world experienced a huge increase in the birth rate, between 1946 and 1964, few thought about the changes in demographics that the baby boomer generation would cause all the way through their lives, and particularly now they are reaching traditional retirement age. Few knew that when baby boomers were getting ready to retire the workforce would be on the decline and thus the number of people in work and the number of people in retirement would be a long way apart. Governments will soon have fewer taxpayers to pay for services for people no longer paying tax.
The economy has changed
For several years we have been going through turbulent times all around the world, obviously with some countries more badly affected than others. Everyone’s finances have been affected in some way, or could be affected in the future, and as a direct result many people are finishing their traditional working life financially insecure. Only you can do something about your own situation.
The internet is a world changing invention
Communication, trade, business, promotion, sales and more are all a part of the digital revolution. You are not obliged to join the internet revolution but the rest of the world has and will continue to do so. The internet has a huge range of opportunities for everyone who has an idea, some skills and a will to make it happen. You can be part of it.
Help is at hand!
I invite you to visit BoomersNextStep.com regularly. Join our Facebook communities – BoomersNextStep and SwitchedOnBoomers and share your thoughts with others who are on a similar journey.
Throughout your life you’ve heard this so many times before: It will take time. This phrase may be used as an excuse when something is not working. It may seem like an excuse to explain why you may not achieve instant success. But look at it from the other side. Nothing worthwhile is achieved without an effort.
This is where that magic ingredient of perseverance comes into play. Your plan is in place, your combined lifestyle and venture as an internet entrepreneur is ready to go, meaning only one thing remains. You have to make it happen.
Steve Jobs is quoted as saying, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the unsuccessful ones is pure perseverance.”
Chart your progress
Some people tackle a project and feel after a while they are getting nowhere fast. They lose heart, drop their bundle and, horror of horrors, sometimes they even give up.
You can prevent that by having a visible record of your progress. It could be a diary listing of what you did that day or that week. It could be a list of goals that you mark off once they have been achieved or it could even be that you set up a reward system for yourself, so you mark each achievement of a goal in some way.
By being able to look back over your progress you will get a sense of pride in your achievements and see how much closer you are to reaching your destination.
Fly the nest
It may be difficult to remember when you were a teenager but there was a time when you left the family home and started out on your own. Well that time has come again. The only difference is that you are some decades older.
With all your planning and all your new-found knowledge, the only thing missing is you and your action. Just as you left home all those years ago and struck out on your own, now you must make the same leap of faith. Grab the opportunity you are offered and literally make it happen.
One of the best ways to learn is by making mistakes. That doesn’t mean you should go out and deliberately fail in order to become better. but it’s true that learning from your mistakes can be a great way to move forward.
However it is even better if you can learn from other people’s blunders, saving you the time and heartache of making the same mistakes.
Baby boomers are everywhere doing all sorts of interesting things.
One of the really great aspects of this lifestyle change is knowing that others have already taken the plunge. Baby boomers around the world have already made the decision to combine their retirement dreams with a plan to boost their personal wealth. Hearing or reading of their successes and their mistakes can be a source of inspiration and learning.
Personal stories are a great source of knowledge. If you want to learn the way forward, who better to advise you than someone of your age and background who has been there and done that?
If you’ve ever been traveling and met someone who has been to a place you intend to visit, it can be really helpful to hear of their experiences. “Don’t take road X because it is too narrow for caravans.” “Don’t go to the cathedral on Tuesdays because most of it is closed for special purposes.” “The best restaurant in town is called Y.”
Getting tips from someone who has tackled what you plan to tackle can be a great help. You get the benefit of hearing from many who have started the journey and become successful. You hear about their mistakes and their triumphs. They are the best of teachers.
Through BoomersNextStep.com you will have access to many people’s stories, through interviews and articles. There will be a variety of stories, all related to the next step that boomers may choose to take in their Career, Lifestyle, Business, Leisure and Travel. I do hope you will enjoy them and find their stories inspirational. We will all carve out our unique way of living, but it is wonderful to be inspired by the experiences of others while you make your plans.
By now you may have recognised elements of the lifestyle you want in your next stage of life and also have some understanding of the many ways you can make money without working in a traditional job.
You probably aren’t yet ready to make a decision with confidence, but by spending time exploring these ideas you will soon get a feel for the direction that you would like to go.
When you make your decisions you need to feel good about your choices. You want to be brimming with enthusiasm and excitement about this new stage of your life.
Making no decision, just drifting along, is clearly not a good idea. You wouldn’t be reading this book if you were completely happy with your future plans, and doing nothing about it is not going to improve the situation. You must take action. You must make a decision.
Fear and caution are natural responses at this time. You are making major life decisions and that is fairly overwhelming at the best of times, but more so when you feel that the choices are out of your control or, even worse, when you change your lifestyle and then find that you hate the new life you have created.
By immersing yourself in all the information that is available on BoomersNextStep and following the links to some of the programs that I believe are genuinely helpful, you will gradually start to find that it is all making sense to you and you can see a positive way forward.
I’ve made many mistakes as I’ve built my business online. I have spent good money on rubbish products, I have trusted advisors who didn’t live up to their marketing, I have been exposed to great ideas but didn’t realise what I could do with them at the time….I’ve made every classic mistake that people make online. Through Boomers Next Step I’d like to help you avoid these mistakes.
With a clear vision of your preferred lifestyle and knowledge of all the many possible entrepreneurial activities available, you can make the right decision.
What will drive you to that correct decision is your purpose.
A purpose makes you a winner
Having a clear purpose, defined achievable goals and a plan that includes activities that excite you, is what will drive you forward. It’s been proven time and time again that a person with a clear goal is the one who achieve success. In your case it can mean success in financial terms, in personal satisfaction and, most important of all, in creating and enjoying your preferred lifestyle… It’s a win-win-win situation.
One major benefit of having a purpose in life is the impetus to get out of bed! So many people allow life to drift by when they finish the worklife that they have pursued for years. They start each day with no goal in mind and with no incentive to do anything in particular. You hear them say “I don’t know what I do all day but I’m always busy.” Is that how you want life to be? Or do you want to have something more in your life, not compelling you but providing you with an additional purpose. A person with a purpose has a reason to live life to the fullest.
Rethink the next stage of your life
Rethinking, looking at your future differently, is what this is all about. Adapt your mindset. Look upon your ‘retirement’ as a transition…retiring from one thing to do something else that is of your choosing. This lifestyle that you plan might include a cruise around the world. It might mean buying an RV or a caravan and seeing your own country. It might involve lots of interaction with family and friends, or caring for grandchildren. It might allow you to finally do something you have always wanted to do – become a regular tennis player, take up the drums or learn belly dancing.
In our lives it has allowed us to have the boat we have always wanted and sail to wonderful places like the Great Barrier Reef, as my husband David is about to do.