“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.
So many people see the glass as half empty. You can be different. Those who take control of their life, of their destiny, are those who see the glass as half full. You can be one of those people. In this new stage of your life you can transition from being what you’ve always been to create an interesting, exciting and profitable new life as an entrepreneur. You can generate your own wealth, and the steps to achieve your goal are simple and easy to follow.
The world of business today
In June 2017 Internet World Stats reported that 49.6% of the world’s population are now online compared with 34.9% in June 2012. That is a huge increase in 5 years. Worldwide there are currently over 1.94 billion monthly active Facebook users, with around an 18% increase each year. The impact of technology on our lives is a dynamic force that can’t be ignored.
On a recent holiday in Thailand we found that free wifi was available in the most isolated of places, including hill-tribe villages and tiny coffee shops perched on a mountainside far from a town. We noticed people in the most unlikely places on their phone, either talking or using wifi to text or use Facebook.
The internet is a major part of our life in so many ways. You can shop online, book tickets, see inside houses for sale, chat live to your friends and family across the road or across the globe, do your banking online; and of course it’s possible to run a successful business from your computer at home or even your phone.
Just think about these Internet facts for a moment.
It’s a marketplace which never closes
Billions of dollars of business are transacted every year
The technology makes doing business so much cheaper and simpler
The World Wide Web is constantly growing and expanding.
Many people, when considering a business, automatically think of using the expertise they have built up through their lifetime of work. Promoting your services as a consultant or coach may be the obvious choice for you if you have high-level skills. But if you decide to pursue any business you will need to learn how to market your services online or be prepared to pay someone else to market your services for you.
You may want to do something completely different from your past occupation. There are so many ways of operating an online business that you are spoilt for choice.
A huge variety of business models exist, with many of them requiring little or no start-up costs, few overheads and advantage of being able to be run successfully from home.
But while the opportunities exist, not every opportunity suits every person.
This is all about being the person you want to be, creating the lifestyle you want to live. Whatever you decide to do has to complement and allow you to live the life you want to live.
Starting a business is major career change and must be thought through just as you would do if you were considering a new job. If the thought of having your own business brings you out in a rash, then this is probably a good time to put the ebook down and plan the lifestyle that you want in the future, completely forgetting about the business side of things. If you are more interested in employment then there are many helpful blog posts to assist you at BoomersNextStep Career section.
But if the thought of being entrepreneurial excites you, then give some thought to these ‘career’ questions.
What skills, experience and interests do you have?
In what environment do you work best?
When is work fun for you?
Are you an expert in some area of knowledge that interests many other people?
Are there people or businesses that would benefit from your experience?
Do you have a passion that can be shared with others?
This is your opportunity to bring these ideas together, to recreate the way you work.
Before you start anything it is good to think the whole idea through. Have a clear plan and be focused on what needs to be done.
But I’ve never done anything like that!
Now some of you may immediately point out that you have never been an entrepreneur, let alone an online wizard, so how on earth can you be expected to take the plunge? That’s a very good question. The simple answer is to find someone who can educate and guide you.
And therein lies a potential problem. As in all walks of life there are the good guys and the crooks. Sadly there are people who are quick to charm and slow to deliver. You must avoid the scams and be sceptical of the exaggerations of potential income.
It’s important that you
Understand that the internet is the world’s largest marketplace
Be aware that knowledge will save you time, money and anguish.
Only trust companies and individuals with integrity, who are renowned for delivering what you want
Choose a business model that suits your personal work preferences, your skills and your interests.
Avoid gimmicks and great promises that are not backed by genuine assistance.
Recognise the difference between sparkle and substance. Avoid ‘bright shiny objects’!
Learn from the successes and mistakes of others.
Keep a very open mind. It is so easy to dismiss opportunities that seem outside your current reality.
Be cautious but don’t be afraid. Just like any form of business there are people you don’t want to get involved with but there are also very genuine good people working online who are keen to help you and have the knowledge and systems that you need.
Society has changed dramatically in the last 60 years. For a previous generation that word RETIREMENT stereotypically meant the absolute end of your working life and embracing such things as pottering in the garden, playing lawn bowls and going to Bingo.
For many people of our generation, having time to travel or pursue special interests became the dream and the meaning of the word retirement remained the same for a while: leaving all forms of paid work permanently.
Of course the exception to this has always been successful, wealthy individuals who retired from their employment and took on paid directorships or consultant roles within their industry. Maybe they were on to something long before the rest of the population caught up with the concept of continuing to create income long after traditional retirement.
Language is flexible. Words change their meaning according to the context and what is going on in the world.
For many people that earlier definition of retirement, and the dreams that went with it, were blown out of the water when the global financial crisis put a serious dent in their retirement savings. Some have recovered, but a lot haven’t.
During the same time companies have been laying off workers and unemployment has risen. Unfortunately older workers often find it difficult to find new jobs when they have lost their previous employment, and this causes additional denting of the financial plans.
Is a traditional retirement what you really want?
Baby boomers will be retiring from their traditional employment in millions over the next few years and many of them are wondering if the ‘retirement’ they are facing is what they really want. Many face the future with fear and concern.Will their savings run out too soon?
Will they live a long and healthy life but not have enough money to maintain their desired lifestyle?
Or will they become ill and not have the finances to get the treatment they need?
How will they feel faced with real financial insecurity?
Purpose, mental stimulation and challenge are vital to a person’s psychological well-being.
Faced with the possibility of twenty or thirty years of life after retiring from their career, many people wonder how long they will stay mentally acute. Crossword puzzles, mathematics puzzles and reading all play a large role in the mental stimulation of many retirees, but is that enough for you? Or do you thrive on new ideas, learning and mental stimulation?
To a growing number of baby boomers traditional ‘retirement’ is a twentieth century concept, out-dated, realistic and not capable of providing the lifestyle they were expecting.
Rethink the whole concept of retirement
Many baby boomers are now seeing their life after traditional work as something new. There’s a new order, a new way of ‘retiring’ in view. Baby boomers are renewing their life. An ever-increasing percentage of people in the second half of their lives are now choosing to create a new way of living for themselves.
Many see it as an opportunity to take on new challenges, to do things or create income in ways they’ve never thought possible.
Lifestyle comes first!
When you are planning for your future, the most important issue is to recognise the lifestyle you want. Yes, your planning should start with the lifestyle you desire! This is your chance to consider exactly what you want your life to be like. If you clearly know what you would like in your future lifestyle then you can start to work towards achieving it. You will need to look at the finances and other contingencies later, but if you can’t articulate the lifestyle you really want then you have no chance of achieving it.
Of course we have no control over such tragedies as accident and illness, but we certainly have control over how we choose to live our lives.
Have you noticed the revolution?
In our lifetime technological innovations have swept the globe. Let’s consider how this has changed over our lifetime.
You can talk to your family and friends across the globe for little or no cost using digital technology. In contrast, in two years of travelling the world as a young backpacker I remember calling home only about four times, for Christmas and my mother’s birthday, due to the high cost of overseas phone calls. Newspapers and radio were the sole source of news for many years, but today you can follow what is happening, in real time, just by glancing at your phone. Small children confidently use portable devices and use their favourite apps. We really have experienced some extraordinary changes in our lifetime!
While this amazing revolution may seem a little daunting to some baby boomers, others are coming to see how the technology can help them in their next stage of life.
The opportunities to utilise these technological advancements to create a new way of working have never been greater or easier. The world has changed, is continuing to change and all that is great news for those of us who are excited by the possibilities it opens to us.
With every passing day we are closer to a new stage of our life. And the first step in that new stage is considering the options of how you want to live your life – a life in which you are in control and which allows you to have a lifestyle that is just right for you.
Not all plans have equal impact on your life
Many people, when they consider retirement, dream of a wonderful long holiday and make all sorts of elaborate plans for their European summer, or their road trip around the country, or perhaps their luxury cruise. For many that dream holiday takes place and is an unforgettable experience.
But what happens when you arrive home? You’ve still got the rest of your life to live… There’s a big difference between planning for your special holiday and planning for your retirement.
You need a plan now which means when you stop your normal working life you’ll be in a position to take on new challenges which you control and which will greatly enhance your lifestyle.
Couples can make plans for their future together but TOGETHER is the key word. You must be together in your plan making. As a couple, you need to have mutual plans…not identical, but compatible. You need to discuss what each person desires and then combine the two so that you are both getting what you want from life.
Without consensus today, tomorrow will be troubled. One person’s needs will be met and not the other’s. Or even worse, neither will get to do the things they want, which can lead to a great deal of resentment and disappointment.
Of course some compromise is going to be necessary, but it must be true compromise. The plan needs to incorporate the aspects of lifestyle that both feel is important, with neither feeling forced into doing things that they really don’t want to do.
I can’t promise that this will be easy. Communication is the key and, because many couples fall into poor patterns of communication over the years, you may find you need some help in planning your future. You could get this help from a professional coach who specializes in this area. Planning a fulfilling retirement is just like planning a fulfilling career…except that there are two of you who need to agree on what constitutes a fulfilling retirement!
Being on your own has advantages
Flying solo can have its advantages when you are planning for your future. If you are on your own your needs and plans will be considerably different from a couple planning for their future. In fact it’s a lot easier to plan to meet just one person’s wants and needs! However the single person planning for their next stage of life may also find that they need some assistance to gain clarity about what they are really seeking. On your own it is easy to fall into the trap of not challenging yourself.
It's important to challenge your own ideas and plans. You may have had a picture in your mind of what the next stage of life will be for you. But is it still what you really want? Are there alternatives that you may find more satisfying? Challenge your presumptions and take the time to consider other ideas.
Contact me at Boomers Next Step if I can be of assistance to you in developing your future plans.
Commit it to paper
By writing down your goals, by committing your dreams to paper, you force yourself to think deeply. If you are a couple, sharing written plans gives each the chance to question the other. Single people would also benefit from writing down their goals. Seeing your plans committed to paper helps you focus on what it is important and, just as importantly, what is not important.
Making definite plans helps you face your future.
Baby boomers have seriously impacted society at every stage of their lives, just through sheer numbers and the resulting trends that have emerged as a result of so many people reaching similar stages of life in a relatively short period of time. The end result is that these millions of baby boomers are now approaching or have reached traditional retirement age.
What have you done to plan for your retirement?
Have you made great plans only to find them knocked sideways by the global financial crisis or other unexpected problem? Will you spend the next exciting part of your life feeling fulfilled and in control of your life? Or are you just hoping that things will turn out okay?
Perhaps it’s time to stop guessing and hoping and instead make plans that give you control of your destiny.
Governments are unlikely to generously reward you for working hard all your life. When baby boomers have left the workforce, and are enjoying the longevity that we are likely to have, there will be fewer people in the work force paying taxes so governments will be struggling to help retirees in any way.
Some people will need, or choose, to carry on working as employees far longer than they expected to maintain their standard of living. Many older workers are now considering their options. Some will resent their need to continue working and this will affect their attitude to life.
But many are recognizing that this could be their opportunity to live life on their terms, to use their lifetime of skills and experience productively to enhance their future financial security and to create for themselves the lifestyle that they always dreamed of having.
This book is all about making choices to enhance your chosen lifestyle, the lifestyle that will give you the way of life that you want. It’s also about taking action in proven and reliable ways to give you financial freedom. It shows you the pitfalls and mistakes many people make in planning for their future. It introduces you to some simple but effective ways to improve your future financial freedom.
Rethinking Your Retirement is a step-by-step guide to help you help yourself. Read on and learn how to take control of your own destiny.
Discover how to make your retirement lifestyle dreams, your lifestyle freedom, become a reality.
About The Author
Jenni Proctor is an Australian award winning Career and Transition Consultant who has specialised in helping mature aged workers seeking a career change. Through this work she recognized that many Baby Boomers are questioning traditional “retirement” concepts and would prefer to incorporate some form of additional income and an economic purpose in their lives, yet at the same time they don’t want to sacrifice their lifestyle dreams.
To achieve this requires planning and some learning, but the rewards can be great. This book helps baby boomers achieve this goal.
A teacher and school librarian for many years, Jenni followed her fascination about how people gain direction and purpose in their lives by studying for a Master of Career Development. Since then she has won national awards for her work with Career Education and established Clarity Career Management (originally Career Clarity) as a successful career consultancy business.
Jenni’s need to learn about developing and marketing her small business lead to a deep interest in the power of the internet for small business marketing and delivery of services. Many of her clients have now made their most exciting career change…from employee to lifestyle entrepreneur.
When chatting with a group of third age women recently I was struck by how few had consciously planned how they would leave the workforce. Indeed, some were struggling to deal with the reality of being physically or emotionally unable to continue in their roles and adjusting to premature retirement.
One woman had the misfortune to literally fall flat on her face, or rather her chin, causing significant damage to her cervical vertebrae and making it impossible to work (severe loss of balance, pain, some memory loss, anxiety).
Another said that she just come to the end of her tether as a gift shop owner.
A third was a cheerful, ebullient early primary school teacher who clearly loved her job, until one day recently when she walked into school and was seriously upset by the actions of an administration staff member. At the principal’s suggestion, she took two weeks’ leave, and then decided never to go back.
Then there was a school counsellor’s story of extreme burnout following a decade of listening to a daily litany of human woes.
These stories begged the question: Accidental injury or illness is one thing but how had these intelligent women suddenly found themselves confronted with an unplanned retirement?
Brisbane career change consultant for over 50’s Jenni Proctor says this is not an uncommon scenario. She said she finds it disturbing in her work with mature aged clients that so many are completely unprepared for the retirement stage of their lives.
Some baby boomers it seems want the dream retirement but forget to plan for it. Jenni says she often hears sentiments such as “This is not the way my life was meant to be” or “I want to do something about my financial future but I am afraid I will lose money,” or “I really want to do something different. I know I have skills and abilities. I just have no idea what to do.”
Some baby boomer women, especially those in the helping professions such as teaching and counselling, could be particularly susceptible to this phenomenon. They work in emotionally demanding professions; they are generally imbued with the caregiver ethic which means they have often have significant family responsibilities (e.g. ageing parents, dependent adult children) and their professions do not allow enough time for self-reflection.
These conditions are perfect for burn out. The women know that but perhaps they don’t recognise the signs; perhaps they ignore them; perhaps they think they must continue working because of their financial obligations; perhaps they simply have not made time to assess where they are in their working life. And one day they wake up to the certain knowledge that they absolutely cannot continue.
Would it be too much to ask for workplaces especially in the caring professions to offer regular burn out assessments and support for their staff? The signs
And how about some detailed planning for retirement? Discussions with a professional career counsellor (not just a financial planner) could help develop a clear picture of the unique lifestyle and activities to take you into an exciting third age. Perhaps another income stream will be required…a good counsellor can help with ideas there as well.
Are you female? A baby boomer? In the helping professions? How are YOU managing the transition to retirement?
Thank you to my friends Greg and Fiona Scott,The Laptop Lifestyle Experts,for this thought-provoking article.
Will you have any regrets on your deathbed??????
It’s a morbid topic, we know, but . . . it can help form our decisions on how we live our lives right now!!!!!!!!
Which is VERY important.
Why are we mentioning it now?
We’ve just come across a book ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’, by an Aussie author, Bronnie Ware.
Bronnie worked in palliative care for many years, and got to be with patients in the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.
From her interactions with her patients, she found that in the twilight of their lives they shared FIVE COMMON REGRETS.
As you read this, think to yourself what could you do differently right now, with your life, so you live a life of joy, happiness, and meaning, and not experience these regrets.
“When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again.”
Here are the most common five:
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it’s easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.
Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
From the moment you lose your health, it’s too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it (which is why we make time to exercise each and every day)
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard
This came from every male patient Bronnie nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. They deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
(we’ve both been a victim of this in the past, but . . . now we’re building an online business, creating passive income, working where and when we please . . . means we know longer have this regret)
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result (there’s a lot been said about Steve Jobs on this topic!).
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level.
Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was too late to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved.
It’s common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it’s not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love.
That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
(we’re so blessed we can work together, travel to see friends, and have time to make new friends too)
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice.
They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.
When you’re on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind.
How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It’s YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.”
Bronnie Ware, author of the book ‘The Top Five Regrets of the Dying’http://bronnieware.com/about/
This article raises important questions and makes us examine our own lives.
==> Are you living an authentic life being true to yourself?
==> Are you working too hard?
==> Are you continually growing and becoming all you can be?
==> Do you appreciate the love and friendship in your life?
==> Do you choose to be happy?
Do you need to change your life? Thankfully, tomorrow is a fresh start . . .
In Australia the share market and property market are looking stronger, and it seems that baby boomers may be feeling the love!
Around 5 years after the GFC encouraged many people to continue working longer than they had anticipated so they could continue to add to their superannuation, baby boomers seem to have regained confidence in their ability to fund their retirement.
According to the Australian Financial Review (12-13 October 2013) an analysis of labour market data has suggested that people aged 60+ are leaving the workforce at a higher rate than younger workers. Mr Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital, was quoted as saying
“They’re not giving up work because they’re discouraged by the jobs market. They’re giving up work because they feel they are comfortable enough to retire.”
Do you think people have been hanging out for an improvement in their finances before they had the confidence to retire? Or is it that the bump of baby boomers is moving forward and many are now reaching 60 and are ready to retire, just as they had planned to do?
Perhaps there is a tipping point, when everything comes together to make retirement seem like the best option. Perhaps it is as we expect, when the alignment of finances, family responsibilities, and readiness to leave work all come together. Others may need the push of a redundancy, and to realize it is the right time to go. Maybe a secondary income enables you to move from a traditional job to a different way of working. It could even be a sudden windfall – lottery, inheritance, a successful investment.
I suspect for me it is financial security…Do we have enough to live comfortably for the next 30 years? That question in itself shows both profound optimism and some pessimism, but let's go with the optimism and presume we have 30 years to worry about! There is also a bit of "I'm not sure I want to completely retire" thrown into that mix as well, an awareness that I enjoy my work and would like some of my work to be part of my next stage of life.
What was, or will be, your tipping point to decide that you have the confidence to retire from your main source of income?
Over the last ten years the world has moved online…business, learning, shopping, marketing, even ordering a takeaway dinner. The advantages and convenience are obvious (most of the time) but what does it mean to you if you are considering business possibilities for yourself?
Increasingly baby boomers are seeing an online business as a very viable alternative to seeking employment, a way of creating a business that brings in an income through your own endeavors, skills and preferred style of working.
The thought of having to learn how to make a business succeed online can be daunting for those who can see its potential but haven’t been actively involved in how to make it happen.
I have been working in this space for some years and have been to so many seminars, attended so many workshops, participated in so many webinars, that if I had put that effort into a PhD I’d have a completed it with honours by now! It’s become a bit of an obsession for me I think J
By nature I’m a lifelong learner. I love learning about new things or hearing similar ideas expressed from a different perspective. I have been fascinated by all things to do with the internet and have watched the “normalization” of working in this space over the last few years. Six years ago if I was attending an internet marketing workshop I would tell people I was going to a “business” workshop, which was true but was definitely putting up a smoke screen. Why? Because I found then that people treated internet businesses with mistrust. I would have to explain to them it was the way business was going, and that perfectly respectable normal people like me needed to learn about it. Now I happily proclaim my interest in blogging, social media and internet marketing to anyone.
I’m going to be blogging about working online, particularly from the perspective of baby boomers creating an online business that uses their skills, experience and expertise while giving them new challenges and their choice of working environment.
So my big question is:
Email me [email protected] and let me know what interests you and I’ll be sure to include that in the blog posts.
By Jenni Proctor
Do you have the retirement savings that you had hoped for or expected to have by now? Daniel Goldstein's TED talk considers what we need to do to achieve our goals when that involves a battle between your present self and your future self.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute two out of three baby boomers will not be able to meet their anticipated retirement needs when the time comes. He specifically speaks about retirement savings, and uses some very interesting virtual reality tools to give emotional strength to the need for current action to meet future needs.
If you’re considering retirement, deciding whether or not you’ll need to keep working can be a difficult and confusing question. There are a number of things to consider, but the list below should help you to make an informed decision.
1. Consider your actual living expenses after retirement
Once you know how much you’ll need to keep your household going from month to month you can examine how much money you’ll receive in Social Securityand how much you’ll be able to draw from any investment accounts or IRAs you may have. Be sure to make your calculations based on the post-tax dollar amount to avoid a potentially serious misstep.
You’ll need to be aware that working after retirement could actually push you into a higher tax bracket, which could cause you to fall short of your monthly expenses. Determine what your tax liability will be, including your Social Security and any other income you may have, then determine how continuing to work will impact that liability.
2. Understand how working will impact your Social Security
There are a couple of factors to be taken into account when determining whether or not working after retirement is going to impact your Social Security. It will be impacted by the age at which you retire and your income from work. If you decided to wait until you had reached fill retirement age you can earn any amount without reducing your benefits. On the other hand if you retired anytime between the age of 62 and your full retirement age, you can be penalized financially for earning more than around $15,000.
By researching the full retirement age for yourself you can discover the cap on your income. If you exceed that cap for a full year your Social Security payments will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you go over, and if it will be less than a year you will lose $1 for every $3, but the income limit is significantly higher. Use government resources to be sure that you are being given the most accurate information.
3. Determine what the best health care option will be
Once you’ve reached age 65 you will automatically qualify for Medicare. If you’re still working you may also be paying for some private insurance through your employer, and it will be in the best interest of that insurance company to get you moved over to Medicare as soon as possible.
For many people this is a great option, but in some cases a private insurance plan will cover treatments and procedures that Medicare won’t. It is important to realize that you can keep both types of coverage, but bear in mind that you will be paying to health care premiums. Speaking with your medical provider and a representative from both of these insurers can help you to sort out the best option for your health and finances.
4. Research how working in retirement will impact your pension
If you have a pension or a 401K plan, you’ll want to speak with the administrator of that plan to understand what effect working in retirement will have on it. While continuing to work can reduce the amount of time you’ll spend draining these funds and even increase them with added contributions, some pension plans max out at 30 years and continuing to work could lead it to stagnate or even to be reduced. On the other hand, some pensions are based on your most recent salary with the company, and if you decide to drop down to part time with the same employer to supplement your income, a large portion of your pension could disappear.
5. Decide whether or not you’ll spend your golden years doing something you love
One of the best advantages of working in retirement is the fact that money can be a secondary goal. If you’ve planned and invested well, and if you live within your fixed means, you can choose to do something that you find interested, fulfilling, or fun, and worry less about how much it will contribute to your income.
Some people find ways to work from home, some work as consultants in their former industry, working to shape it for the better. Others endeavor to write their history or give back to their community. The most important thing to remember is that you now have the luxury of choosing how to spend your time, so why not spend it doing something that makes you happy?
Arlene Chandler works as a freelance writer for Suncorp, a company that provides income protection insurance for Australians.