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  • What Have I Done? Baby Boomers Reveal Their Deepest Financial Regrets

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    What Have I Done? Baby Boomers Reveal Their Deepest Financial Regrets – Click Link for Original Article

    The Exchange

    Yahoo editors have selected this article as a favorite of 2013. It first ran on Yahoo Finance on June 24 and was one of the most popular stories of the year. The article contains some poignant stories about real estate and other financial moves baby boomers wish they had made — and not made — when they were younger.

    Over 50, underfunded, and ill-prepared for retirement. Unfortunately, that’s an all-too-common scenario for the Baby Boomer generation – those born between 1946 and 1964 — many of whom are still smarting from the economic downturn and are now looking back at their earlier financial choices with regret.

    Should they have bought that house at the height of the housing bubble? Should they have taken out that student loan? Should they have pursued a higher-paying career field?

    But doubts like these are just part of the new reality for today’s Boomers, says Stan Hinden, author of “How to Retire Happy” and a widely published columnist on retirement issues.

    “I think Boomers are somewhat disappointed in the way things have turned out in recent years,” he says, “and I think they have a right to feel that something unfair has taken place. You can’t any longer buy a CD or invest in a money market fund and get any kind of respectable return, because interest rates are so low and have been so low and will continue to be so low that people have lost some years of investment potential and income. People can hope that that the situation improves but I don’t think it will very quickly, and people have a right to be disappointed in that.”

    But all isn’t lost, Hinden says. Boomers looking to salvage a financial future from this mess will need to adjust their plans, possibly pushing back their retirement date by a few years, and start saving aggressively to make up for lost interest income.

    “Once people are aware of their situation they’re going to have to find ways to cope as they can,” Hinden explains. “I don’t think there’s any immediate help coming, except maybe for housing, but the interest rate problem is very real. Hopefully by being active and alert and careful in their spending, people will, when they set up their retirement budgets, leave themselves as much leeway as possible, figuring that the amount of growth in their assets going forward is going to be pretty small.”

    We reached out to the Baby Boomers in our Yahoo! Contributor Network community to hear about their own personal financial regrets. Several of their stories are below.

    Why Didn’t I Save for Retirement?

    “I entered into adulthood and even had a family without ever hearing terms such as ‘401(k)’ and had no idea how to plan for my future financially. Worse yet is that I am college educated but still had no financial knowledge. I did not know which way to turn to find out anything about financially preparing for later life, so I didn’t.

    “As some Baby Boomers settle into an enjoyable retirement, I am one of the other Baby Boomers. There is no retirement for me, not even a burial plan. For Baby Boomers like myself who followed that popular song of the mid-1960s, ‘Let’s Live for Today’ by the Grass Roots, what a mistake it may have been to let the title be a motto, only living for ‘today.’ I learned all too late that if you do not take the necessary steps to learn about financial planning as early as possible, it can be a disaster that will undoubtedly be regretted.” — Donna Hicks

    I Squandered My Intellectual Capital

    “In 1989, my husband and I became parents. In my typical, all-or-nothing fashion, I embraced motherhood with gusto. My husband became the breadwinner while I cared for our children at home. By 2001, we had six children. For all those years, I did nothing to maintain my contact with the business world. I took no classes to update my programming skills or to maintain my other technical skills. I enjoyed nursing babies, teaching preschoolers to read, sewing clothes for the family, and even canning all summer long. I was living my ‘Little House on the Prairie’ dream. I gave no thought to what I would do after the children were grown.

    “When our youngest child entered school, I had to build a new resume from scratch. I earned a master’s degree in library science, hoping to land a position as an academic librarian at one of the many colleges in my city. I would have been better off if I had invested some time and money in continuing to take actuarial exams after I left the workforce or in pursuing an MBA in the evenings while I worked in Chicago. Instead, I waited too long to earn a low-value degree in a declining job market.” — Kimberly Schimmel

    I Should Never Have Taken That Early Withdrawal From My Pension Fund

    “As is common for so many women, I was trapped in an abusive relationship. Abusive types tend to control significant others by restricting how much they can earn and save. I was no exception. By the time I left, I only had what I could carry. Adding to the drama, I was finishing a degree program with college bills attached. Consequently, I chose the only option I could fathom at the time, which was early withdrawal of the public pension I had earned as a teacher.

    “To say I regret this decision is an understatement. Withdrawing funds from a pension is a taxable event, which results in reducing the payout amount significantly. Yes, withdrawing the funds helped me jump over my financial hurdle at the time. Nevertheless, considering the reduced amount I received and the loss of those retirement funds compared with what I had to do to replace them, it was a financial setback. Twenty-five years later, I still kick myself.” — Rebecca Black

    Credit Card Debt Nearly Ruined My Retirement

    “For over a year recently, I lived off an unemployment check and my credit cards. I maxed them out trying to maintain my standard of living, started paying the minimum payments, and eventually could not afford to pay them at all. Creditors were calling daily and my good credit rating took a nosedive. All I wanted to do was ignore the situation and hope it would go away, but I eventually had to face the fact that I had brought this on myself with my careless money management. I knew I had to do something, but curbing my spending and following a budget was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.

    “Today I consider myself lucky because I did eventually find another job. Although it was not a high paying one, at least it was an income and I was able to start digging my way out of the financial pit I had created. By sticking to a budget, I have managed to pay off over half of my credit card debt. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting a little brighter now, but I regret that the money I thought I would be putting away in my 50s to enjoy my golden years is now going toward making sure that I have enough to survive them. “ — Karlene Trudell

    We Should Have Never Sold Our Dream Home

    “Fifteen years ago, I was offered a job of a lifetime. It required uprooting our newly started family and moving from Seattle to Cleveland. As hard as it was to make the decision to accept the job, the harder choice came later. My husband and I had saved for years and had designed and built our dream house. We were enjoying an up economy and our home’s value skyrocketed.

    “With the power of hindsight, do I regret the decisions of youth? Absolutely. I wish we would have recognized the uncertainty of a long-distance move and opted to become landlords and renters. It would have given us time to determine if our new city was a keeper, and it would have given us a beloved landing place when we decided to return. If we had listened to our hearts and understood the difference of the Seattle vs. Cleveland markets we would have retained our equity, and our retirement accounts.” — Kelly Tweeddale

    Health, Money and First Impressions

    “Being 59 years old and not having a steady paycheck for over two years, I wish back in my young, accounting executive days I had paid more attention to my health than making money. Now, I can’t make money because of my health. Currently, I’m managing my health, but money is tight. As far as first impressions go, that cane I walk with doesn’t affect my mind and that accounting work I’m so good at isn’t done with my feet. I think these are the first impressions that really should matter the most. “ — Larry Gross

    I Regret Our Fixer-Upper House Purchase

    “My Baby Boomer husband and I, the quintessential tightwads, spent the first half of our marriage, through four kids, in a mobile home. We bought our first house in 2000 for $54,000. It was old, damaged and one step from getting condemned. Arguably, that’s why it was a good deal. We both regret cutting ourselves too short on this home purchase.

    “And funny, what was ostensibly a ‘cheap’ house, hasn’t been that inexpensive. For all the headaches, we still have a $650 a month house payment. We’ve barely touched the principal, the first 13 years of payments going primarily to interest. We have just paid off our other debt and can now think about refinancing. But I’m tempted to skip it, sell and get a nice little apartment with all the conveniences I don’t have now. This ‘investment’ hasn’t proved to be all it was cracked up to be.” — Marilisa Sachteleben

    It Seemed Like the Rise of the Stock Market Was Never Going to End

    “I was keeping almost all my assets in stocks. Then the crash came and I had no plan to implement limits for my losses. My 401(k) lost 75 percent of its value. Then the market tanked and I had no safe haven for my hard earned money. Added to these financial disasters, the value of our home plummeted, denying refinancing to try and save on our mortgage.

    “My biggest mistake was not being more conservative and saving for emergencies. The tenet that you should have at least six months of emergency funds was sorely inaccurate. The latest economic downturn lasted longer for most of us. I needed a stable vehicle in tandem with my stock investments.” — Hector Quiambao


  • If we take care of our today’s tomorrow will take care of itself!

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    539678 458023810882075 1638137122 n2 If we take care of our todays tomorrow will take care of itself!

    We need to see the beauty around us.  There is a website called Green Renaissance, which shows beautiful photographs of things nature and things around us.  I find myself saying when I have more time I’ll do more photography.  Or when I move I’ll spend more time on my blog.  We need to make time for the things we love.  We need to appreciate what we already have.  We are so busy looking towards tomorrow, we miss today.  STOP… LOOK… LISTEN…ENJOY TODAY.   Every day is a gift from God.

    If we take care of our today’s tomorrow will take care of itself!

    As Glinda the Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz said to Dorothy, “you’ve always had the power”.

     


  • IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE FOR OUR COUNTRY

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    american flag eagle IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE FOR OUR COUNTRY

    IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE FOR OUR COUNTRY WE HONOR AND THANK YOU!


  • Starting Over At 58

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    dog in cage Starting Over At 58

    I want to move 200 miles away where my children and grandchildren live.  I am employed in a good job and hope to get another good job when I move.  I’m moving to a large metropolitan area and there are a lot of jobs available.  The problem I find is I am competing against 200+ people a day for every job I apply to.  I just turned 58 and do not have a degree, but I have a lot of experience and am good at what I do.  With the economy it’s a very scary time to be moving and starting over.

    I’m living with my ex-husband and that in itself is very stressful.  With every resume I send out I think of the little puppies at the pound wanting to be adopted.  I feel like I am doing a song and dance, jumping up and down saying ooh  ooh  ooh pick me… pick me!!!  You want xyz I can give you xyz… no problem.  Give em the big smile and tell them what they want to hear.  It makes me doubt everything I know to be true and just in this world.  And thank heavens I have a job while I am looking for another job.

    I had a friend yesterday tell me maybe I should stay with my ex-husband until after the elections, it’s a very difficult time out there.

    I was divorced 4 years ago and because of my ex-husbands medical situations I was pulled back with him.  After a 33 year marriage, I wouldn’t have gotten divorced if I wanted to stay with him.  I live paycheck to paycheck and I don’t have a lot of options.  I was “nice” in the divorce and didn’t ask for anything.  Now he is being “nice” to me and “letting” me live with him rent free.  33 years of marriage and 4 great kids and this is my life.  I should have been aggressive and fought for everything.  That’s just not who I am.  I’d rather drive an old car and make it on my own.

    Life has never been easy for me.  I do the best I can and hope it’s enough.

    I go online and send my resume out every day.  I hope someone will see that I have value and I am worth it.  I thank God every day for my life and pray for the people who don’t have jobs and don’t have skills to be able to get a good job.  It might take me awhile, but I know there is something out there for me.

    The thing that keeps me going is thinking of the time I will get to spend with my kids and grand kids.  Going to the grand kids sports and school events.  Living close enough to have them spend the night.  It’s the little things I miss.

     


  • I Was Born 58 Years Ago Today

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    baby jan2 I Was Born 58 Years Ago Today

    I was born 58 years ago today. I was a tiny premature 5 1/5 pound baby who was never supposed to survive.

    My mother almost lost me early in the pregnancy. She started to hemorrhage. Dr. Wytel told her to get in a bathtub full of ice. She did. It kept her from losing me.

    I think I always knew life was a gift not to be taken for granted. I have always been a survivor and I thank God every day for my life. It has never been easy, but it certainly has been interesting. Like a good book, I am eager to enjoy every page. I don’t regret getting older, it’s a gift I look forward to.

    As Bon Jovi sang, “It’s my life! And it’s not or never, I ain’t gonna live forever. I just wanna live while I’m alive! It’s my life!”


  • Senility Prayer

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    538380 283654695041913 126894987384552 651755 2063820654 n 1 Senility Prayer


  • Razzle Dazzle

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    startup many hats1 300x142 Razzle Dazzle

     

    Sometimes you need to jazz it up a bit to be noticed.  It’s a dog eat dog world out there and there is fierce competition in the job market.

    I am relocating to another location and find myself submitting my resume to various employers.  What once was an easy process has turned into a quest.  You have to be selective in who you apply to.  You have to structure your resume and cover letter for the actual job you are applying for.  It’s important to research the company and figure out what they are looking for.  Then you have to put on those tap shoes and razzle dazzle them!

    Yes Mr. Employer I can to that effortlessly.  No problem I can do xyz.  It’s become a computer world and computers will scan your resume and determine if you have the key words necessary to be a candidate for the position.

    You basically have to give them what they want.  Depending on the job you rework your resume to be strong in those areas or to stand out in those areas.  I’m careful not to attempt to be anything other than what I am.  I don’t want to get in over my head.

    There are many people applying for the same job.  They might have more experience or more education.  You have to find a way to stand out in the crowd.  Find a way to get your foot in the door and out shine all the other wannabes.

    Think of it as a performance.  You have a role to take on.  You have to prepare yourself ahead of time and dress for the part.  Think of what they want and be that person.

    It would be easy to think I’m too old or I don’t have enough education.  I refuse to go there.  I know I am a valuable asset and who better to sell me than me!


  • What Millennials Can Learn From the Baby Boomer Legacy

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    photo What Millennials Can Learn From the Baby Boomer Legacy

    Millennials have received the lion’s share of attention on PolicyMic. Yet, Baby Boomers are arguably the most influential, dynamic and productive group of people in the U.S. at this time in history.

    Baby Boomers are described as those born from 1946 to 1964; the total number of births during this period was 79 million. The Baby Boomer generation is most often affiliated with Woodstock and the Vietnam War. It is the generation that gave us our last three presidents and a huge majority of current senior government officials and business executives.

    Baby Boomer Magazine posted the following facts about BB’s earlier this year.

    1) They have more discretionary income than any other group in America.

    2) They control 70% of the total net worth of American households, totaling $7 trillion.

    3) They own 80% of all savings and loan associations.

    4) They are not fanatically loyal to brands.

    5) They watch more TV than any other group.

    6) They read more newspapers than any other group.

    7) They account for 40% of total consumer demand in the U.S.

    Considering that over 20% of Americans are Baby Boomers, and most are at least 50-years-old, it is not surprising that they have accumulated the most wealth. But, how do you assess the non-economic achievements of this generation? For sure, it has been a mixed bag.

    Many Baby Boomers are free thinkers and most were liberal politically when they were young. If you doubt this latter observation, watch film clips of anti-war demonstrations in the 60’s and 70’s and civil rights protests during the same period. Baby Boomers were very active in their youth and often exercised their First Amendment rights to protest inequality and demand change.

    The Vietnam War had the greatest impact on Baby Boomers, as 58,000 American soldiers lost their lives and 350,000 were injured. It was a depressing time when men counted the days until their draft deferrals would expire, and they would be required to report for a physical, the precursor to being conscripted into the military. The war hardened Baby Boomer perspectives about life and death, military conflict, occupation of foreign countries and the draft. Thankfully, the U.S. has eschewed any thought of re-instituting the draft system to replenish the ranks of the military since the Vietnam War.

    At about the same time, the Cold War kicked into high gear. It resulted in huge capital expenditures for military armaments and weapons of mass destruction that greatly affected economic conditions just as they have today. I can still remember the feeling of hopeless that pervaded the country during this time as Americans considered the possibility of worldwide Armageddon from a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.

    The BB generation had many positive moments and accomplishments. Education, at least among certain groups, became a national priority. BB’s became one of the most schooled groups in history. Civil rights advancements, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., were significant. Unfortunately, the work in this area has not yet been completed. And technically, Baby Boomers enjoyed as much advancement as any other group in history. In fact, Baby Boomers set the stage for the current high-tech era.

    There were many setbacks over the past half-century that Baby Boomers are responsible for. To begin with, the values of the group are often criticized for causing many to develop unproductive attitudes and behavior patterns. For instance, the group is frequently said to be too materialistic, egotistical and self-centered and overly-anxious to assert its philosophies on others. Moreover, the group is currently split down the middle regarding social responsibility and generally helping fellow citizens. And finally, the group has attempted to spread democracy and other distinctly American values on people around the world creating a huge cultural schism between the U.S. and lesser-developed countries.

    Looking back, some baby boomers have made huge missteps. Business people have disappointed America on a number of occasions driven by greed, ego and arrogance. I have been dumbfounded in several instances where, literally, billions of dollars were “invented” or stolen, and the perpetrators believed they could beat the system. In government, it is hard to ignore the terrible decisions made by our last president that led us to conflict in the Middle East. And most recently, we have been disappointed by the incompetent performance of our leaders, who are driven by power and ideology rather than a desire to make America a great place to live.

    I do not believe the Baby Boomer generation will ever be lauded as the greatest group in American history, and yet, there is much to be proud of. Many of us have worked very hard and created a great life and legacy for our children. The majority of those who have been fortunate have given away huge chunks of their wealth to needy causes. In business and technology, great strides have been made.

    I have confidence in the next group, who are beginning to assert themselves. It is a more complex and more transparent world in which millennials must prove themselves. I wish them peace and prosperous times as they succeed my generation.

    Photo Credit: thinkpanama


  • Retirement plans differ for baby boomer generation

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    17113730 BG1 Retirement plans differ for baby boomer generation

     

    SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – Not all retirement plans are created equal when it comes to the baby boomer generation.

    So many people encompass this group that retirement for the first wave of boomers’ retirement could be vastly different from a younger generation.

    Ray Lucia explains, in this News 8 video.

    Retirement plans differ for baby boomer generation - VIDEO LINK


  • Going Native: Enticing the Next Generation to Work for You

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    Young workers have strong opinions about technology, and that’s a factor in their job decisions.

    Going Native: Enticing the Next Generation to Work for You- Forbes

    160px Computer blue.svg  Going Native: Enticing the Next Generation to Work for You

    For Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers, the Internet and email were things we first experienced at work. And we decided those things were pretty cool, so we brought them home.

    While we were connecting, looking things up, downloading music and videos, another generation was growing up with those technologies at their fingertips. This younger generation has never known a world without the boundless connectivity we experience today.

    For us older, “digital immigrants,” the technology we use every day at work has become a critical factor for productivity and satisfaction. For the younger generation just entering the work force, it’s essential. Soon the Baby Boomer generation will begin to retire, and the competition for these younger workers, the digital natives, will really heat up.

    What’s at stake for companies? Providing great technology is becoming more and more important to keeping people engaged and impassioned about their jobs. The more you can align your IT to what people expect, the better off the company will be. This is especially true as older workers hand over the reins to the next generation.

    Most workers don’t want to read a three-inch-thick user manual or take a weeklong seminar to be productive with business software, but the younger set never lived through those early green-screen days when applications required so much training. They expect technology that’s as intuitive as what they’re used to at home. They don’t want to be forced to think about the software at all — they just want to use it. The software experience should be engaging, and should not get in the way of one’s actual work.

    This is also a generation that grew up with the television on, the music player plugged in, doing homework on a laptop while also conversing on Facebook. Younger workers are used to being connected wherever they are and carrying on conversations across distances.

    This ongoing conversation, “always on” connectedness, and continual multi-tasking can translate well to today’s work environment. Turning it into an IT strategy means embracing openness and connectivity. Walling off Facebook and other sites is not going to improve productivity — You’ll simply have a roomful of workers who can’t wait to run home and check their accounts.

    Instead, forward-thinking businesses should adopt policies that give people freedom, with accountability. When choosing the right technologies, consider business software that allows employees to move around, use any device, and work whenever and wherever they’re most comfortable.

    Business software that incorporates social functionality can be a major plus, allowing workers to sort out challenges together, directly in the context of the applications they use every day, using a mode of communication that is increasingly familiar.

    Some software vendors are well aware of the power of mobility and social functionality to facilitate information-worker productivity, and are incorporating those features into their products. Last fall, Microsoft Dynamics announced it had added social functionality into its CRM application, and more recently, opened Dynamics CRM up across platforms, making it interoperable with just about any PC, tablet or smart phone on the market.

    So what do you think? Is your workplace wired for the next generation? If so, tell us how!



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