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.
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…
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.
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.
“Write what you know about” is the advice usually given to budding authors. That same principle should be applied as you select a niche for yourself as an entrepreneur. Choose a subject, a product, a service, an area which appeals to you or which you know well. Better still, choose something that really interests you. That would be the best of both worlds. Your greatest interest could become your money-making enterprise…but there must be a market for that expertise or there is no point in creating a business around it.
Similarly when you are considering your online business model you need to think about the sort of work that you enjoy doing, the style of working that best suits your skills, your temperament and your available time for this venture.
Think of this as a career change, which it is, and ask yourself the same sort of questions as you would ask if you were making any career change.
What are your personal strengths?
What do you love to do?
What do you have a passion for?
What do you do really well?
What are you experienced at?
How do you like to work?
Where do you do your best work?
Are you detail-focused?
Are you creative?
What kind of work makes you excited e.g. creative, detailed, numbers, words?
Commit your ideas to paper as a starting point for your business planning.
Lifestyle is what you are striving for
In designing your ideal money-making venture you must take into account your preferred lifestyle. Of course it’s important that you develop the right venture, one that makes money and offers you a real challenge without taking over your life.
The venture must be a part of your overall lifestyle. It’s not a separate activity but a part of the whole. Decide on your criteria for your ideal lifestyle first, then plan the business around that.
What style of online business would suit you?
You will be aware of many styles of online business, but I’ll outline a few just to give you an idea of the range available. All of these are hugely popular and proven models for a successful business.
But remember there is no such thing as a “get rich quick” business. All genuine businesses involve work, dedication and some investment of money and time.
All involve a level of commitment that you have to be prepared to give, especially in the early stage, to create something worthwhile.
But if you are seeking a new challenge and have the desire to create a new source of income, one of these models may be just what you are looking for.
Selling on Amazon or Ebay
Amazon and eBay are internet based businesses enabling anyone to buy or sell goods or services online.
The statistics about Amazon and eBay are extraordinary in terms of how much money is spent, how many people use it, and how many run their business through it. Amazon had close to 136 billion US dollars in 2016 net sales, while eBay’s annual net revenue was $8.99 billion US dollars.
The products you can market on Amazon and eBay are almost limitless, and you can start with a relatively small investment.
Ebooks stands for electronic books. They are in many ways the same as any traditional book except they are sold over the internet and you, the creator, do not have any stock to make or store. The customer can print their copy or read it on Kindle or screen. You are the author, publisher and marketer although you may have had a lot of assistance along the way.
The secret of course is to find a popular topic, write a great book and market it very well. The topic does not have to have a huge following, so long as there are enough people who really want the information you have to share and consider that information will help them solve some problem that they have.
Don’t like writing? You can easily find someone to write the ebook for you if you want to follow this business model but are not keen to write the book yourself. There are several websites that exist for the sole purpose of connecting people who need a task done with people who are looking for that sort of contract work.
A membership site is one where people subscribe. They take out a membership on, say, a monthly basis and for their fee they receive information related to their hobby or interest. This is often in the form of e-classes, where every week you send out the latest lesson and your ‘students’ dive into their treasure trove of goodies.
There are millions of people around the world with an interest in a specific topics. The list is endless – collecting things, buying shares, vintage cars, cameras, opera, millinery, stamps, dog breeding, staying fit, diet, good health, religion, raising kids, making toys, travel, etc.
Are you an expert in a particular field or activity? You can market your expertise to this worldwide audience. Your potential members are online and your information and their internet connection are only a click apart.
Like ebooks and membership sites, a successful blog has to have an audience of people who really care about the content. It involves creating content fairly regularly, whether it be completely your own content or a curation of content from other blogs and online sources. If you love writing, blogging may be something you enjoy doing, but make sure you can make some money from it if that is your goal. It is possible to make serious money from a blog but that requires a skill I’ve mentioned a few times already – great online marketing skills. People make money from blogs in several ways, mainly through selling their own products, other people’s products or being paid by another business to place a banner advertisement on the blog site.
Selling someone else’s product
You do not need to create your own products. You can organize to be an affiliate for another company, marketing and promoting their products as if they were your own. A major advantage of being an affiliate for a successful product, with a defined proven niche and the main marketing already prepared for you, is that you can virtually start the business with little experience, so long as you are prepared for the challenge of a fast learning curve. Many very successful entrepreneurs earn large sums of money as affiliates for many products.
If you have a particular interest in some topic, you could blog about that area of interest and refer people with a similar interest to web sites that sell products related to the activity. You would have signed up to become an affiliate for that site and earn commission from any sales that occur as a result of your marketing.
The world of internet business opportunities is limited only by your imagination and enthusiasm.
The simplest example of affiliate marketing that you are probably already familiar with is Amazon. When you see Amazon products for sale on another website that is affiliate marketing in action. If you purchase from that website the owner of the website will be paid a percentage of the sale price by Amazon.
Affiliate relationships can also be developed as you get to know other people involved in the same sort of work. Let’s say you have a web site promoting an e-book about growing vegetables. Another web site on a related topic – saving water for your garden – could become an affiliate of yours by placing a link on their web site pointing their visitors to your site.
Affiliate marketing of the right product is an exceptionally strong business model, but it must be one that makes your time and marketing efforts worthwhile through the commissions that they pay, and for me it needs to be a company and product that I am proud to be associated with.
Bringing it all together: Education, Skill Development and High Commissions
I guess it is obvious that I’ve fallen on my face a few times as I tried to master online business. I confess I failed more than I succeeded for some years, and this caused me to feel great frustration and to lose a lot of confidence in my abilities. But I remained determined to find a way to create a business that would enable us to have the lifestyle we wanted once we had both stopped work in our traditional careers.
It is these three concepts that lead me to the recommendation I am going to share as an option for you to consider. To avoid the many mistakes I’ve made, mistakes that have cost me dearly in terms of time, money and success, I suggest you have a look at the Ultimate Retirement Breakthrough.
If I had been exposed to a comprehensive developmental program like this when I first started in business I would have saved so much time, so much money and so much frustration.
This program has literally changed the whole way I now think about my business activities, our future financial security and our future lifestyle. It has reignited my passion for my business and impacted on my mindset, marketing and money in a way that I never expected. I hope you will consider if it could help you in the same way.