You are browsing the archive for Bob Brewster, Author at Over60Exchange.

SENIOR REINVENTION – Rules and Guidelines

January 3, 2013 in Personal Growth, Senior Reinvention, Seniors Changing Careers, Uncategorized

As seniors, we have the life earned ability to look back at years of experiences, education and decisions. Good and bad, these are all part of the events that have shaped our lives into who we are today. Many of us are pleased about where we are in life and many of us wish that we had made better decisions. Some of us have regrets about things we did and others of us have regrets about things we did not do. In all cases, we are probably thinking about how we are going handle life and all its changes - now that we are seniors.

Here are some rules I have learned over the years that may help many of you regardless of where you are on the comfort scale. I am following all these rules to one extent or another. Some I have been successful at following, while others I am working hard to complete. I hope they help you, too.


  1. KEEP WORKING! Don’t fall into the “Retirement trap” prematurely, only to find that life stops and you cannot get back on the train.
  2. GET RID OF DEBT! Credit card debt, property debt, personal debt, etc. all have a damaging affect on your life at anytime. At no time is this debt more damaging than when you are in your senior years, running out of time and less possible ways to generate income.
  3. REDUCE EXPENSES! Get rid of the big house, second home or property that continues to eat away at your financial base. Anything with an association fee, taxes, or upkeep maintenance will only add to your frustration after suffering loss of financial resources.
  4. STAY EDUCATED! Continue your education on new technologies and advancements associated with more efficient living. Make “computer” you middle name. Learn how to communicate with your friends, family and other advisors while away from your home. If you are not computer or communication savvy, get with it. “I’m too old” or “they frighten me” are sorry excuses for avoiding what you need to be doing for yourself.
  5. REMAIN INDEPENDENT! Stay living on your own for as long as possible. This does not mean avoiding being with family but it means keeping your own space and plenty of it.
  6. KEEP NETWORKING! It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, if you do not develop and maintain a network of contacts, both personal and professional, you will miss the very things that will help you the most. We are not islands. Life is too short to keep inventing a new wheel when others have already created a new one and moved on. You need to stay up to date and the best way is by networking and talking.
  7. AVOID PITY PARTIES! The worse thing you can do when you are being challenged is to encircle yourself with other people in trouble who are not afraid of dumping their problems on you. This is a killer! Pity parties accomplish only one thing…Misery! Misery loves company but does not love moving on. Get with positive people who are going forward.
  8. TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! Regardless of your success or failure, the tendency to look back at past mistakes or wrong decisions is only human. However, looking back and using either success or failure as a measurement for going forward is akin to driving 70 mile per hour while looking in the rear view mirror. You can see where you have been but you will never know what you are about to hit until it is too late.
  9. STOP BLAMING OTHERS! Unless someone held a gun to your head when a decision was made, you cannot blame anyone else for your situation in life. While taking personal responsibility involves the ability to forget, the ability to stop blaming others involves the ability to forgive. Not forgiving is a trap and a deep hole that only gets deeper as time goes on.
  10. NEVER LET AGE SLOW YOUR THINKING! Getting older has its detractors. Teenagers think twenty somethings are old. Twenty somethings think forty year olds are “stuck in a rut”. Forty year olds think sixty year olds are old fashioned. And Fifty year olds think that Seniors are “out of touch”. The truth is that age is nothing more than an attitude and it has very little to do with life at hand.

Career Change – Going into Real Estate

December 21, 2012 in Personal Growth, Seniors Changing Careers, The Economy, Uncategorized

I am 66 years old. Big Deal! Everyone faces a time when they must decide on what job and career to pursue or follow. Young people face this in high school and then in college and again while they go through their work years as twenty and thirty year olds. This is normal. Rarely do people not change jobs many times while staying on the same career path.  But, what about seniors who are over age fifty, sixty or seventy who are contemplating doing something new that could be considered a career change? Is making a career change decision even relevant at these ages and should someone just stick with what they know at this point?  Is it possible as a senior to make a career change that is both rewarding and fun? Absolutely yes! If you have your health and energy, why not do something new? If you need continued income or you just need to stay occupied, you should not fear making any change into something new.

Now when many my age are retiring, I decided to go into Real Estate. This is something completely unrelated to my other experiences in aviation and product marketing. Here, I am going back to school and through the learning curve within an industry that has dramatically changed. Even seasoned real estate pros are having to relearn the art of servicing their customers.

Why am I here as a "newby"?

More to come....

As We Grow Older – Keeping a Proper Perspective on Problems

November 30, 2012 in Personal Growth

As we age as individuals, one might surmise that problems and challenges might become easier to handle. For some people this is true. They have the ability to let things not bother them. For most others, problems and challenges later in life can become huge burdens. Much of this burden is based on the fact that we may be slowing down physically and just do not have the energy we had when we were younger. We may also be slowing down mentally. Perhaps, we are tired of working or of facing the challenges of raising a family and meeting the responsibilities of caring for others. There are many reasons why problems and challenges seem more burdensome but perhaps having a better understanding of how these events can be be held in proper perspective will help.

In a study of people and how they react to "Life's Events", the following results provides perspective in decreasing order of impact importance.

  1. Death of a spouse
  2. Divorce
  3. Marital Separation
  4. Jail Term
  5. Deat of a close family member
  6. Personal injusry or illness
  7. Marriage
  8. Fired at work
  9. Marital reconciliation
  10. Retirement
  11. Changes in family member's health
  12. Pregnancy
  13. Sex difficulties
  14. Gain of new family member
  15. Business readjustment
  16. Change in financial status
  17. Deat of a close friend
  18. Change to different line of work
  19. Change in number of arguments with spouse
  20. Mortgage or loan over $10,000
  21. Foreclosure of mortgage or loan
  22. Change in work responsibilities
  23. Son or daughter leaving home
  24. Trouble with in-laws
  25. Outstanding personal achievement
  26. Spouse begins or stops work
  27. Begin or end school
  28. Change in living conditions
  29. Revision of personal habits
  30. Trouble with boss
  31. Change in work hours, conditions
  32. Change in residence
  33. Change in schools
  34. Change in recreation
  35. Change in church activities
  36. Change in social activities
  37. Mortgage or looan under $10,000
  38. Change in sleeping habits
  39. Change in number of family gatherings
  40. Change in eating habits
  41. Vacation
  42. Christmas
  43. Minor violations of the law

Looking at this, it can be seen that the first mention of anything related to money is #16 "Change in financial status". There are items on this list that may not apply to seniors but this list does provide a good way to gauge what is important and what is not. As we grow older our personal health, ability to stay independent and our relationships with family and friends become the key drivers.

Hope this helps some of you facing key challenges.