Are you one of them - a 50- or 60-something with a fire in your belly to launch a business or take it to a new level of success?
Or a savvy business owner tapping into the market of Silver Bulls - Baby Boomers - who are now reaching retirement age at the rate of 11,000 each and every day?
According to recent surveys by AARP, fully 70% of Baby Boomers see their 60s as an exciting opportunity for taking the bull by the horns and starting their own business, buying an existing business or acquiring a franchise of their own, with fewer than 17% opting for the more traditional view of retirement.
With their impressive rolodexes and retirement accounts to help them launch everything from consulting firms to fast food franchises, these former executives make up one segment of this new breed of older entrepreneurs.
But it’s not just Boomers with plenty of cash to back them up and years of corporate contacts to help them get started who are swelling the ranks of silver-age business people. Plenty of formerly hard-working, hourly-wage-earners are striking out on their own as well.
We all know the stories of Ray Kroc, who started McDonald’s at the age of 52 and Colonel Sanders who sold his first Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise at age 65, but there are thousands of examples of lesser-known individuals who have simply made the decision to start their own business at a time when members of their parent’s generation were picking out porch swings.
This has spawned an emerging market sector called “silver industries,” a term coined by AARP’s director of academic affairs, Harry Moody.
Silver industries include such things as retirement coaches, retirement retreats, self-help groups for senior business people, courses in starting internet businesses, and a wide variety of books on everything from hobbies, to health and wellness, to how to start a second career, as well as a variety of other sources of help and advice.
Servicing this huge new silver demographic, estimated to contain as many as 78 million aging Americans, is already spawning its own new growth market, which some see as one of the fastest-growing new markets for the next 10 to 20 years.
Now is the perfect time for savvy marketers and business people of any age to take the silver bull by the horns and position themselves squarely in the path of this on-coming juggernaut.
Whether you’re a silver entrepreneur or a business owner targeting the Silver Bull market, knowing how to properly structure and market a business is critical for success. To attain profitability, it is essential to focus on 4 keys:
1. Establish a memorable and unmistakeable brand identity:
The secret to business success is determined by your ability to powerfully communicate your business with laser precision and your ability to deliver a clearly-defined and consistent experience.
In a nutshell… it’s called branding, and, when done right, it ensures a thriving business with all the customers and profits you need. The secret is to establish a powerful brand identity that sings distinction. And establish that identity before you launch any marketing activities.
2. Create a deep connection with your core target audience - your potential raving fans!
Who wants and needs what you have to offer? The only wrong answer is “everyone.” If you’re a pediatrician, you may see infants and children. Are they your target audience? No! They are your patients, but it’s the parents you need to connect with to get the kids in your door. And it’s not just any parents - it’s a definite group of parents.
In marketing, you get a lot more “bang for your buck” if you focus your spending on a well-defined group of people that you enjoy working with. The better you define this group, the more effective your marketing can be.
3. Design compelling offerings that pull customers in like a magnet.
80% of all purchase decisions are based on emotion. It’s your job as a marketer to know how your customers want to feel and to get them to visualize how your services can meet their needs. People want to know, “What’s in it for me?” Tap into the emotion and create offerings that touch your customers.
4. Craft A Personal, Workable Marketing Plan
Marketing is everything you do to make your product or service more visible, more desirable and more profitable. Your marketing plan will clearly define the big picture and provide focus and direction based on the 4 ‘P’s of Marketing - product, price, place/distribution and promotion.
Since 90% of small business owners do not have a plan, you’ll have a leg up on your competition by crafting your personal, workable marketing plan to ensure that you reach your business goals.
Are you ready to create a business you can brag about? Do your homework, listen to your calling, and get out and play big!
Archive for April, 2009
Are you one of them - a 50- or 60-something with a fire in your belly to launch a business or take it to a new level of success?
Are you thinking seriously about sexual health? The last thing we want to admit is that we’re not doing everything we could or should to protect ourselves from sexually transmitted diseases, sexual dysfunction or unwanted pregnancy. “I didn’t know” is never an excuse, so whether you’re 15 or 45, it’s time to give yourself a serious once-over and be sure you’re taking the right steps to live a healthy lifestyle.
Recent studies suggest that trust is a large factor in the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, and it’s not just teenagers who put too much blind faith in their partners. Adults need to take their sexual health more seriously, health experts say.
New research suggests that the number of sexually transmitted diseases has doubled in less than ten years for people over 45 years old. Approximately 45% of older adults with an STD suffered from genital warts specifically, and 1 in 5 had herpes.
Older adults are less likely to use condoms, which explains the 127% increase in incidences. Teenagers most commonly contract things like genital warts, HPV, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Some say the increased access to birth control and the ease of treatment for many STDs has led to a rise in teens having sex, while other health experts argue that our society has changed and teens will live dangerously regardless. At any rate, sexual health is contingent upon education; not just from a class at school, but from at home. Parents should heed their own advice as well.
Male and female sexual health plays a role in pregnancy. Reproductive health problems go beyond the ability to have a healthy, happy baby, and get right down to brass tacks and the sense of personal fulfillment in a relationship. Differing expectations or inability to perform can cause a partner to stray; thus, leading to divorce, or may create depression from continual disappointment.
There are many factors that influence reproductive health, such as age, lifestyle, genetics, habits, medication and environment. The good news is that many of the sexual problems adults face can be corrected.
As we age, sexual health becomes more and more important. For women, not only does the risk for cervical and breast cancer increase, but women also undergo “the change of life” with menopause in their fifties to sixties. For men, the risk of erectile dysfunction, testicular or prostate cancer and irritable bowel syndrome can increase.
“If I could highlight one significant change from over the past five years, it would be the greater willingness of midlife and older adults to discuss sex as a health issue with their health professionals,” said Linda Fisher, research director at AARP. A survey done by AARP reported that more people consult their health care professional about sexual health topics, more than twice as many men use performance enhancing drugs and more people feel that both sexual and overall health is a critical part of a good relationship.
Can my mom get on Social Security Disability after she had her total knee replacement? So far she has been turned down by AARP, and other insurances. My mom has high blood pressure, and is a little over weight. She has had lost a few pounds after her gallbladder surgery (that is why they are turning her down). Do you think Social Security would turn her down? I just hope not. I just feel so bad for her. She’s in her late 50s. If that helps. Be honest, Thanks!
Be honest now! psst he plays in the NHL on the AARP Squad aka the Red Wings.
The site is Franchise Tax Board-I’m a volunteer with AARP Tax-Aide.
Oddly enough, you don’t have to get very old before realizing that there are many people who resent you, as an old person, taking up space on the planet. If you have a part-time job, it is begrudged you because it should be given to someone with a family to support. I’ve heard the impatience of people in stores because an old person is in the way and is suspected of being senile: Old and senile, same thing. Some see that your social security is the same as welfare - paid out of their tax dollars. I’ve heard it on talk shows. They don’t consider that it may have taken you 50+ years as a wage earner,contributing to your account in order to collect at age 65.. AARP magazine focuses on seniors who drive a succession of new cars, have second homes somewhere in the world, travel a lot and live better than most of us ever hoped to live at any time in our lives. That’s the way it is. The working poor are the forgotten people in every generation. We earned every day of it.
According to a recent study from the Senior Economic Security Index, 1 in 3 senior households have no money left over after meeting essential expenses. Seniors experience financial problems primarily due to the cost of assisted living facilities, medical expenses, housing costs, and dwindling retirement funds. If you are a senior citizen that is in a tight money situation, or in the process of saving for your debt settlement, keep the following suggestions in mind.
Research organizations and government agencies
Many organizations assist the elderly in many aspects of their lives. The Administration on Aging (AOA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, helps seniors maintain their independence by offering coordinated home and community-based long-term care. Visit www.aoa.gov for more information. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is the leading non-profit organization for people age 50 and older. Their web site offers a wealth of information to help the elderly population. Visit www.aarp.org to read about pertinent issues such as Medicare and Social Security.
Take advantage of discounts and special programs
Senior discounts are almost always available for expenses such as hotel rooms, plane tickets, and bus fare. You may also contact your utility company if you are having trouble paying your utility bills. Your state may offer special low-income programs for seniors.
For discounts on prescription drugs, contact the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). Eligible participants will usually receive low cost or free prescriptions. For more details, visit www.pparx.org or call 1-888-4PPA-NOW.
Beware of scams
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services reports that the elderly population easily become victims of a number of schemes. Common financial crimes against the elderly usually involve home repairs, investments, telemarketing, false charitable contributions, sweepstakes, and lottery schemes. Seniors should be very wary about divulging financial information over the phone or online. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You may file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov if you feel you or someone you know has been a victim of a scam.
Take advantage of the recent stimulus. Older Americans may see some benefits as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This legislation will offer a $250 economic recovery payment for individual older persons and $500 for couples. According to the web site for the Social Security Administration, recipients will not have to do anything. Funds will be delivered in the same method that they receive Social Security benefits. Retirees who do not receive Social Security may also qualify, but may have to file a tax return. Payments are expected to be disbursed in late May. Visit the Social Security Administration’s web site at www.ssa.gov/payment for more information.
The unemployed may also receive an extension and an increase in benefits as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. According to AARP, the number of unemployed aged 55 and older has risen 65% during the past twelve months.
Is one glass of wine good for my elderly friend? She has heart problems I want to do something to help?
I read in AARP that wine was good for the heart and circulation. Is wine good for a senior person? She does not take meds.
Seniors today often live with a great deal of financial uncertainty. The retirement they imagined may not be consistent with the reality they face.
Incomes are flat or declining, living and medical expenses are higher than ever and few income boosting alternatives exist. Even those who have heard about Reverse Mortgages may be unsure about how they work or what questions to ask. As they search for information, they often turn to their financial institution for guidance and information. By becoming familiar with the product, you can be an even more valuable resource to your clients providing them with income supplementing alternatives to drawing down assets.
What is a Reverse Mortgage?
A Reverse Mortgage is a special type of loan that allows a homeowner to convert a portion of the equity in their home into cash they can access. The funds are not taxable to the homeowner and typically don’t interfere with eligibility for Social Security or Medicare benefits. (However, in the federal Supplemental Security Income program, beneficiaries must keep their liquid resources under certain limits.) The customer retains title to the home as well as right to any appreciation in home value when the loan terminates after it is paid off. The loan remains in force until the last titleholder dies, permanently leaves the home or sells the property; the borrower can’t be forced to sell or move by the lender. The loan may be repaid at any time. But unlike a traditional home equity loan or second mortgage, no monthly payments are required. Instead of putting further pressure on an already stretched budget, a Reverse Mortgage can free a senior homeowner of monthly debt obligations.
Most Reverse Mortgages today are Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) and are FHA-insured and guaranteed. Because HECMs are subject to FHA lending limits, proprietary products have also been developed to help homeowners with properties in excess of the FHA lending limits.
Who qualifies for a Reverse Mortgage?
All titleholders must be 62 or older and own a home with some equity. There are no income or credit qualifications. Existing mortgages or liens must be paid off, but are often paid with proceeds from the Reverse. The homeowner must also remain current on insurance and property taxes, but these can also be paid with proceeds from the Reverse.
How can a borrower use the money?
The funds can be used for any purpose from making ends meet to living retirement dreams. The top reasons for funds used given typically by borrowers are:
Paying off debts, primarily mortgage and credit cards
Home repairs and remodeling
Health care or long-term care
Easing the financial burden on children
Escalating property taxes
The amount available depends on the borrower’s age, the value of the home, interest rates and local FHA lending limits. Older borrowers can receive a higher percentage of their equity than younger borrowers. Funds can be received in a lump sum, a monthly payment or a line of credit.
What are the costs?
As with most any loan product, there are origination fees and closing costs, but they can be paid from the proceeds of the Reverse Mortgage. HECM loans also have a charge for the FHA’s Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP). There are usually no out-of-pocket costs to the borrower.
What consumer protections are in place?
Reverse Mortgages are non-recourse consumer loans – the loan payoff can never exceed the value of the home. To get a Reverse Mortgage, the customer must attend a mandatory counseling session and review their financial situation with a trained, professional Reverse Mortgage counselor. Many of the counselors are certified by the AARP. The counselor ensures that they understand the transaction, the costs and their other alternatives.
If you have questions regarding Reverse Mortgages or how they may provide life-changing benefits to your clients, contact MLS Reverse Mortgage at 1-888-888-4834 or www.mlsreversemortgage.com.
Fixed Rate Reverse Mortgage
MLS Reverse Mortgage
EmploymentGuide.com, a division of Dominion Enterprises, has launched a nationwide job fair series, “Putting Americans Back to Work,” that aims to help 10,000 Americans find jobs. Based on The Employment Guide’s already successful job fair series, this new series invites only companies with immediate hiring needs to participate. The job fairs are free and open to all job seekers.
The current economic situation has caused dramatic business changes and a nearly-unprecedented level of layoffs. However, many businesses in retail, food service, health care and transportation are making structural changes to adapt to the economic climate, and are hiring both part-time and full-time workers on a national scale.
“More than 400 job offers were made at our first job fair of the series last month in Omaha. With numbers like that, we are confident that we will ultimately put at least 10,000 Americans back to work. By doing so, we hope to provide economic solutions to our communities and to job seekers,” said Jeff Littlejohn, vice president and general manager of The Employment Guide and EmploymentGuide.com.
Todd Simon, CEO of Omaha Steaks, attended last month’s Omaha job fair where his company made approximately 15 hires. Simon noted, “Our business was founded on serving our customers…One of the things we know is that Americans aren’t going to stop eating and they still enjoy a great steak. We have to keep our phones staffed and we’ve got to keep our plants running in order to satisfy our customers’ needs.”
Adding to the success of this new job fair series is support from associations interested in supporting their members including: the AARP Foundation, the National Urban League, the National Job Corps Association, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, AMVETS, and myStaffingPro.
Ford Motor Company is continuing its successful job fair partnership with The Employment Guide and EmploymentGuide.com, which provides Ford employees who are considering buyout offers the opportunity to transition to new careers. Ford will promote the “Putting Americans Back to Work” job fairs to employees who have previously accepted buyout packages.
Listed below are the kick-off events to the “Putting Americans Back to Work” Job Fair Series. For a complete list of the more than 50 job fairs currently scheduled visit: http://www.employmentguide.com/browse_jobfairs.html.
Austin February 3, 2009
Detroit February 4, 2009
San Antonio February 4, 2009
Houston February 10, 2009
Salt Lake City February 10, 2009
Chicago February 11, 2009
Cincinnati February 11, 2009
About The Employment Guide and EmploymentGuide.com
The Employment Guide is a division of Dominion Enterprises. The Employment Guide and EmploymentGuide.com offer businesses a comprehensive recruitment solution for hourly workers through a nationwide series of publications, award-winning Web sites, and series of job fairs. The free weekly publications are published locally in more than 75 markets with a combined circulation of 2.8 million copies nationwide. The job board, www.EmploymentGuide.com, attracts more than 1 million unique visitors each month and features a candidate database and job postings. Niche Web sites www.careersingear.com, www.healthcareerweb.com, and www.wiserworker.com have been developed to serve in-demand industries and demographics. Face-to-face recruitment is available through The Employment Guide’s job fair program, with more than 250 job fairs conducted nationwide each year. For more information about The Employment Guide, visit http://www.EmploymentGuide.com.
About Dominion Enterprises
Dominion Enterprises is a leading marketing services company serving the automotive, enthusiast and commercial vehicle, real estate, apartment rental, and employment industries. The company’s businesses provide a comprehensive suite of technology-based marketing solutions including Internet advertising, lead generation, CRM, Web site design and hosting, and data management services. The company has more than 45 market-leading Web sites reaching more than 16.7 million unique visitors, and more than 450 magazines with a weekly circulation of 4.3 million. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., the company has 5,400 employees in more than 200 offices nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.DominionEnterprises.com.