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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....

How do you feel about using retirement savings to start up a new business, especially when it’s a business I always wanted to try? Until relatively recently, the technology just wasn’t available to do it. I am 62 years old.

October 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

How do you feel about using retirement savings to start up a new business, especially when it's a business I always wanted to try? Until relatively recently, the technology just wasn't available to do it. I am 62 years old.
If you're looking for a yes or no on this one, I won't be of much help. You'll need to consult a specialist or two in the field of financial management and market analysis. But I'll bet you've already decided to go ahead and take the gamble. If so - congratulations! Go for it and good luck!

But just in case you're still on the fence, you'll need to consult the one specialist who knows you best. That's you. Here's how to do it.

When I do seminars on this subject I usually have attendees answer some basic questions. Try these exercises on for size:

1.You're talking to someone about how you would have handled a situation if you had been in their place. In your scenario, do you:

a. Take charge? ('I would have made sure that…')

b. Assume you have superior experience? ('That same thing happened to me once and I …')

c. Advise caution? ('Be careful and go slow. Don't rush into it.')

d. Advise action? ('You only live once. Go for the gusto!')

2.Talk with your best and closest friends about how they see your strengths and weaknesses. Really listen. Don't be offended if their opinion is different than yours. Don't justify yourself. Don't make excuses. (At the same time, don't necessarily believe that they are right and you are wrong if they see you differently than you see yourself.)

3.Someone gives you all the money you'll ever need. What do you do with the rest of your life?

4.You're lying in bed at night trying to get to sleep. You decide to tell yourself a story, starring you. What are you doing in the story?

These questions can't replace solid advice from people who know what they're talking about. On the other hand, the world is full of success stories about people who took a risk, did the unexpected and triumphed. Only you know how much a dream means to you and whether or not you are comfortable going for it.

(By the way - Good luck! Let me know how it comes out.)

Hey Jim – How did Over60Exchange get started?

October 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

The question this week is a departure from our regular format, but it might be interesting to those of you who have been reading this column.

Hey Jim - how did Over60Exchange get started?

In 2007, Bob Brewster, the founder of Over60Exchange, had an idea. He saw people over the age of 60, (that age soon dropped to 55), who had talent galore and who had gained both experience and wisdom along the course of their lives. They knew what it was like to experience life's bumps and bruises, but didn't want to retire simply because they had reached a pre-determined chronological age. In some cases, they knew what it was like to say, "I wish I could do it again, knowing what I know now." But in many cases they changed that to, "I want to do it again, knowing what I do now!"

These were people to whom the idea of retirement didn't have a lot of appeal. They were productive. They were smart. They were wise. They had experienced more technological change and scientific evolution than any other generation in the long history of the planet. They were intelligent enough to grasp new technologies but wise enough to know when to employ good, old-fashioned common sense. Sometimes they possessed neglected skills and appreciation for beauty, lost in the hustle and bustle of life. Many of them didn't want to work full time anymore. They had earned their time in the sun. But at the same time they weren't ready to sit by the wayside and revel only in past glories.

At the same time, Bob had a lot of experience with companies who, being forced to consider their bottom line, were looking for part-time, experienced help. They were willing to pay for production, not just time. They appreciated the fact that experienced folks who had been around the block a few times could be trusted to give them just what they needed without a lot of training. In many cases, it was cheaper and more efficient to put out jobs piecemeal to people who knew what was needed, how to deliver it on time, and take pride in their work.

Why not provide a way to bring together these two diverse groups of people in a manner that benefited both?

That was the germ that gave birth to Over60Exchange. But it didn't stop there. Like many of the individuals he was hoping to attract, Bob wasn't interested in a simple business arrangement. He wanted to make a difference in the world. When he contacted me he had already envisioned a concept much bigger than a job/matching service. He was asking pertinent questions. What does it feel like to be a senior citizen in a culture that worships youth? Why is this a different age than any that preceded us? What are the hopes and dreams of a generation that has been given the gift of longevity as a result of the technology of modern medicine?

I was intrigued by the idea. Having spent a lifetime counseling people in similar situations, having lived at the forefront of the Baby Boom generation myself, and having written a few books pertaining to the stages of life and the spirituality required to navigate them, I was ready to explore his questions and add a few of my own.

How do we mobilize the tremendous numbers of people who are approaching retirement age? How do we communicate with each other? To put it simply, how do we form a nation-wide community? That's what we're working on. It's a pretty exciting task!

This space is devoted to questions and comments concerning emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of aging. Specific questions dealing with health or finances should be addressed to specialists in those fields.

Please read the following
Over60Exchange Disclaimer for additional limitations.

Contact Jim at

Tech Blog

October 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

This Blog is all about tech.


October 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

So I can only manage this page...

by ryan

Okay… first post

October 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

this is my first post as an Author.


February 28, 2011 in Our World, Uncategorized

My Dad was one of six children in a broken home. At age six, he was parted out to his maternal grandmother who told him "stay out of trouble and stay out of the way". His brothers and sisters were sent to other families across the town. This was his upbringing and perhaps the key reason why throughout his life he tried to stay in touch with all his siblings and their families. Between his desire for a close family and my Mom's support for this, I was raised with an understanding of how important it is in life to stay in touch with everyone - family and friends.

Now, I am using this important experience to tell you that it is equally important for seniors (all of us over age sixty) to stay close with each other, especially on matters dealing with our lifestyles, finances and health. Together we can truly help each other.

Prior to his passing away, my Dad often stated that it took a village to raise him and his siblings. Now, I am telling you that this same premise applies to all of us over age sixty. The Over60Exchange is your online "Village". This is the place where you will find support, information and ideas for everything and anything to do with your life.

The times are tough for everyone today and based on what we can see for the future, they will remain like this for a long, long time. Therefore, I urge you to make Over60Exchange your "Internet Village" for support and information.


February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

As our membership grows so does the power our numbers will command for creating great benefits to all members.

Together We Have Power

Here are some ideas we are working to develop -

  1. Over60Coupon - similar to Groupon but exclusive only to Over60Exchange Members for purchase discounts on a national level.
  2. Over60Exchange Mastermind - powerful focused group to help launch new businesses based on member's experience & expertise

Keep checking back for progress on these and more ideas as we develop them.

I turn 65 next year. My wife and I have a small nest egg, but still owe $35,000 on our mortgage. For years part of my pay was in company stock. Now that stock isn’t worth much more than it was when I received it. Will we ever be able to retire?

February 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

The topic today involves retirement. Over the last thirty years I've counseled hundreds of people faced with the problems and opportunities that accompany achieving the symbolic age of 65. But times have changed. This isn't our parent's era anymore. The days of buying a house for $8,000, paying off the mortgage and selling it for $300,000 thirty years later are gone. Gone, too, are lifelong pension plans with full health coverage. There are those who believe Social Security may even be risky. People are scared. Take these questions, for instance:

I turn 65 next year. My wife and I have a small nest egg, but still owe $35,000 on our mortgage. For years part of my pay was in company stock. Now that stock isn't worth much more than it was when I received it. Will we ever be able to retire?

For years my husband was the principle bread winner in the family. He died last year, after being retired for only a few months. I discovered, much to my chagrin, that no one wanted to hire me for any meaningful work. Our savings are not going to be enough to see me through, even with Social Security benefits. Maybe it's just pride, but I don't feel comfortable working with the kids at our local fast-food restaurant. What can I do?

My factory just went bankrupt and closed their doors after I worked for them for twenty-seven years. I expected to retire with full benefits. Now they tell me I've lost everything and have to start over again. Because of pre-existing conditions, I can't afford health coverage. Where does a person turn for help?

These people all share something in common. They expected the life-supporting systems they grew up with to continue forever. But retiring and moving to Florida or Arizona is a relatively new concept that may have already run its forty or fifty-year course. It only seems traditional to us because it's what most of us knew growing up.

When 'age 65' and 'retirement' became linked together, the average age of death was in the low seventies for men and high seventies for women. Retirement was seen as the reward of a few years of relaxation before the supposed inevitability of age worked its deadly course. Today, people regularly live well into their nineties. Back then, lifetime health care was available for a very reasonable amount of money. With today's expensive medical technologies, it's a different story. A few decades ago, the baby boom bulge was yet to become a Social Security concern. Business was booming and 'Come Grow with Us' was a popular community slogan. Companies lived by an unspoken, but firmly understood, rule: 'You remain loyal to us and we'll remain loyal to you.'

Those days are gone. Say it out loud - forcefully. Right or wrong, fair or not, those days are gone! You simply have to accept it.

There are two ways of dealing with harsh reality. You can either whine and mope, or adapt and move on. It's a cruel truth - but a truth none the less. The person who pragmatically accepts that truth, physically and emotionally cuts his or her losses, and begins to make plans is the person who will best be equipped to thrive in the future.

The mistake all three of our questioners made is that they placed their future well-being in the hands of another person, a tradition, a way of life, a company, or some other outside agency. We all do it. Our culture almost forces that course of action upon us. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's called trust, and trust is usually a good thing. Where would the world be without it? But it can turn into a trap if the person or institution we trusted lets us down. The question then becomes, is it too late to learn from our mistake and go forward with our lives? With feelings of unfairness and betrayal fresh in our minds, can we overcome our emotions, refrain from thinking of ourselves as victims, and go forward to a new future? Do we have options?

That's a question we'll take up in future ASK JIM segments. The answer might surprise you. Although I can't answer your questions specifically without knowing a lot more about your individual situation, take heart. You have a lot more to offer than you realize! Think outside the traditional "work for a company and trust them for my retirement" box. Read the stories of others who have crafted new careers. Their experience might spark some ideas. Here at Over60Exchange we're soon going to offer an entire book devoted to this subject. We'll let you know as soon as it's ready for publication. Watch for it. Your best years could very well be ahead of you, no matter how old you are! Have faith!

This space is devoted to questions and comments concerning emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of aging. Specific questions dealing with health or finances should be addressed to specialists in those fields. Please read the following Over60Exchange Disclaimerfor additional limitations.

Contact Jim at