Thursday, March 29, 2007

Best Job For Over 50

Best jobs if you're over 50
You're ready to retire from the rat race.
Now you want work you can feel passionate about.
By Jennifer Merritt, Carolyn Bigda and Donna Rosato
March 22 2007: 8:20 AM EDT

NEW YORK (Money Magazine) -- Maybe you're financially secure enough to try a career you've only dreamed about. Or you're burned out after toiling away in the same field for three decades.

There's gotta be more to work - and life - right?

"Most people over 50 plan to continue working beyond traditional retirement age," says Howard Stone, co-founder with his wife Marika of "A high percentage want to do something more satisfying than what they've been doing."

The search for meaning prompted AC Warden to become a celebrant - an officiant at life events who isn't necessarily affiliated with a particular religion - after 25 years as a documentary producer."

With budgets shrinking, timelines speeding up and the quality of productions diminishing, I began looking for a more fulfilling option," says Warden, 55.

She took classes for a year that cost about $1,800 and earned her certification in 2003. Warden officiated at more than 60 weddings in 2006, and also does funerals, house blessings and commitment ceremonies. Though she makes just $30,000 a year after expenses, she loves the work so much that she can see doing it for the rest of her life.

It might be hard to imagine making a switch at this stage, but the biggest job gains for the past few years have been among older workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And some industries, including health care and education, are actively recruiting people over 50.

Still, when you're making a big change, you've often got to overcome stereotypes about older workers being stuck in their ways.

Here are five essentials to making a successful transition.

1. Make age an advantage
Sure, bias is out there. It's up to you to put your age in a positive light. Talk up your experience and how it fits into what a potential employer is looking for. Is the company trying to launch a service, cut costs or find new customers?

Use examples from your work history that show how you tackled similar problems, and explain how that will help in your new job.

After a 20-year career at Polaroid that included stints in sales, marketing and operations, Roberta Hurtig, 58, became executive director of Samaritans, a suicide-prevention organization in Boston, in 2002.

"A lot of my corporate skills translated. The heart of what we do at Samaritans - training people to provide great customer service - is essentially the same," she says.

2. You're cool. Prove it.
Half of hiring managers in a 2006 survey said the biggest disadvantage of taking on older workers is that they don't keep up with technology. In an interview, talk about the Web research you did on your prospective employer or the new software program you mastered.

"It's critical to show that you're knowledgeable about even basic things," says Deborah Russell, director of economic security at AARP. "Put your e-mail address on your résumé or mention that you pay your bills online."

3. Look the part
Wear an up-to-date suit for interviews, and during small talk drop in your weekly tennis game or that 10-k race you ran. Appearance counts, but energy is more important.

"You can dye your hair and minimize your wrinkles," says Russell. "But really it's about being enthusiastic and showing you can help a company succeed."

4. Plan ahead
If you're going to take a lower-paying job, you need to prepare financially. On the flip side, transitioning to a career that you can see doing beyond 62 or 65 may allow you to put off tapping your savings.

5. Get real
Don't get too seduced by the idea of saintliness. It's easy to romanticize life as a teacher, a minister or an environmentalist. It's still work.

"People are looking for greater meaning," says Marc Freedman, CEO of Civic Ventures and author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life.

"Unfortunately, some of these fields are the most dysfunctional and low paying."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007




NEW YORK, 13 March (United Nations Population Division) -- The world population continues its path towards population ageing and is on track to surpass 9 billion persons by 2050, as revealed by the newly released 2006 Revision of the official United Nations population estimates and projections.

The results of the 2006 Revision -- which provide the population basis for the assessment of trends at the global, regional and national levels, and serve as input for calculating many key indicators in the United Nations system -- incorporate the findings of the most recent national population censuses and of the numerous specialized population surveys carried out around the world.

According to the 2006 Revision, the world population will likely increase by 2.5 billion over the next 43 years, passing from the current 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion in 2050. This increase is equivalent to the total size of the world population in 1950, and it will be absorbed mostly by the less developed regions, whose population is projected to rise from 5.4 billion in 2007 to 7.9 billion in 2050. In contrast, the population of the more developed regions is expected to remain largely unchanged at 1.2 billion, and would have declined, were it not for the projected net migration from developing to developed countries, which is expected to average 2.3 million persons annually.

As a result of declining fertility and increasing longevity, the populations of more and more countries are ageing rapidly. Between 2005 and 2050, half of the increase in the world population will be accounted for by a rise in the population aged 60 years or over, whereas the number of children (persons under age 15) will decline slightly. Furthermore, in the more developed regions, the population aged 60 or over is expected to nearly double (from 245 million in 2005 to 406 million in 2050), whereas that of persons under age 60 will likely decline (from 971 million in 2005 to 839 million in 2050).

Get Ready, Here Come The Boomers!

Jane Kenny
1526 University Blvd. W. #113
Jacksonville, FL 32217

Get Ready, Here Come The Boomers!
How RV retirees will change the face of camping

By Jane Kenny
RV Lifestyle Specialist

By the year 2010 one-third of the population in the U.S. will be over the age of 50. That means the Baby Boomers – all 76 million of them – will be retired or on the brink of retirement. Retirees in the 21st century are healthier and will live longer than their parents and grandparents did. During their retirement years, Boomers want to be active, enjoy life and fulfill dreams. For many (if not most) traveling is a big part of the retirement dream.

Despite high gasoline prices and low miles-per-gallon, retirees are still heading out to the open road in recreational vehicles. Why?

• They want to fulfill a dream of a lifetime – traveling and seeing the county during retirement.

• The overall cost of traveling in an RV is not as expensive as other modes of travel.

Recent surveys indicate that Boomers will revolutionize society’s concept of retirement. Baby Boomers are largely ignoring the traditional model of a sedentary retirement. They opt for an active retirement lifestyle and expect to make time for travel…extensive travel.

Retirement on the open road? Many Boomers consider this to be an idea whose time has come. All over the nation retirees will be heading out in a new wave of RVs. And this will change the public perception of “camping.”

Camping holds a special appeal for Baby Boomers. They were the hippies of the 60’s in the beat-up old VW bus with the peace symbol on it. They were the ones who camped out in tents or under the stars, the environmentalists who wanted to get back to nature. By heading out to the open road, they come full circle to the free-wheeling days of their youth. But they are somewhat older – and richer – now. These days, their campers aren’t tents or VW buses. True, they want to get back to nature, but with more creature comforts. Enter the “big rig,” the 21st century Boomer version of the camper.

Today’s RV retirees won’t be low-budget type campers tooling on down the road in a little motor home with wiggling plastic hula girls on the dashboard. No longer are they the older folks perched in vehicles high above the road. Nowadays they are yuppies, former flower children with well-funded 401K’s, traveling comfortably in their high-end, modern “big rig” motor homes with price tags to match.
With new, roomy RVs on the market – RV travel is an attractive option for retirees, not only for people who have had some experience with camping, but for those who never camped before. Motor homes and fifth-wheel trailers have evolved to vehicles with double, triple and even quadruple slideouts. Many of these new RVs are aptly named COWs – condos on wheels. It can easily be said, “This is not your father’s camper.”

The price tag on a new RV is not the same as the price of your father’s tent or pop-up, either. However, Baby Boomers bring to their retirement years an unmatched level of financial independence. Consequently many can afford RVs that price out well into six figures. Many Baby Boomers who never thought they’d own a gas-guzzling motor home are considering the purchase in order to fulfill their dream of traveling the country.

Retirees who want to travel extensively are attracted to RVs because:

• Schlepping suitcases in and out of hotels is a thing of the past. Their clothes are with them, hanging in closets or folded neatly in drawers, in their home on wheels.

• They don’t have to deal with the hassles of air travel, namely passenger screening, changing planes and being at the mercy of tight schedules and weather delays.

• RVers can set their own schedule…travel when they feel like it and stay wherever they want for as long as they want.

• They sleep in their own bed and have their favorite pillows. They are sure the bathroom is clean. They have a kitchen and enjoy home-cooked meals on board.

• Pets travel with them.

• The “dream vacation of a lifetime,” one that lasts many months, even years, is affordable and achievable in an RV.

Current market research data show that RVs are increasingly viewed as status symbols. Large motor homes and fifth-wheel trailers are in vogue these days after being out of fashion for most of the 1980’s and 90’s. Boomers show a penchant for retiring earlier, traveling more and doing both in style.

A growing number of high income people prefer to spend their leisure time in high end coaches. While it’s true that they may spend a night or two en route in a campground, their final destination is always an ambiance RV resort in popular vacations spots such as Palm Springs, Hilton Head or Naples. Golf and gaming destination resorts are becoming as popular fishing destinations for RVers. Casino resorts throughout the country are scrambling to add RV Parks to meet the demand.

Many newer RV Parks are quick to identify themselves as “ambiance resorts.”
Boomers who can afford to pay for it will demand luxury in their home on wheels as well as at their destination resorts.

About the author: Jane Kenny’s second book,
RV RETIREMENT, How To Travel Part-Time or Full-Time In A Recreational Vehicle, is from Roundabout Publications at
or 1-800-455-2207.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Housing Boomers

By Nanette Overly, Epcon Communities

As the nation’s largest demographic ages, a new housing product emerges to change the way — and the where —Americans retire

The Baby Boomer Generation is once again exerting its gravitational pull on the housing market.

Today, as Baby Boomers enter their 50s and 60s, they are healthier, more active and more engaged in their lives and their communities than previous generations. When it comes to deciding how and where they will live, Boomers aren’t in the rocking chair — they are in the driver’s seat.

Home Sweet Home
According to research, 37 percent of Boomers will move to a new home within the first year after their youngest child goes off to college. Increasingly, however, these newly mobile Empty Nesters are breaking away from traditional expectations. They are moving across town, rather than across the country. They are ready for a more manageable lifestyle, but shudder at the idea of a traditional “retirement” community.

In fact, a recently published AARP survey revealed that, when it’s time to retire, 90 percent of today’s 50+ Americans say they would either stay in their current home or move to one very nearby. In short, a significant majority of Baby Boomers would prefer to “age in place.”

A few homebuilders, such as Epcon Communities, are recognizing this trend, and are providing an expanded range of innovative housing options that combines the comforts and conveniences of a resort lifestyle with the aesthetics, amenities and independence of a single-family home; not thousands of miles away, but right down the street. These new Boomer-oriented homes and communities are a testament to the vital importance of location, as astute homebuilders recognize that proximity to children and grandchildren is a driving force behind many real estate decisions.

Home is Where the Hearth Is
New Boomer-friendly housing options incorporate a number of design and development strategies to cater to this demographic. They recognize that, to this nostalgic generation, the idea of home and hearth as the iconic center of family and social gatherings exerts a powerful emotional appeal.

These design considerations for Boomers speak to leisure, comfort, quality and convenience, such as the following new design techniques and amenities:

• Ample open space and tall ceilings (which create a sense of “volume”) are very popular.
• Minimizing unnecessary staircases through single-story layouts is a common strategy.
• Well-deserved small luxuries, such as twin vanity sinks have gained favor.
• Kitchens are important, and are highly functional with expansive counter space.
• Laundry and utility rooms are convenient and accessible, without becoming too prominent or intruding into the living space.
• Wasted, excess space is not desirable, but space for hobbies and other pursuits can be a nice bonus.
• Hallways are wider, but not to accommodate a wheelchair; rather, to allow the exercise devotee ample room to walk one’s bicycle into the house.

As is the case with all of Epcon Communities’ more than 200 communities in 31 states, these new communities feature elegantly designed residences that present the appearance of a detached home when viewed from the street, providing all the conveniences and efficiencies of a condo while exuding the aesthetics and vibe of a freestanding house.

Active Adults
Working out and staying active are very important to Boomers, and access to a high-quality fitness center is a necessity, rather than a luxury. New communities also now frequently feature integrated or adjacent walking trails.

Exterior landscaping is attractive, but managed and maintained by professionals, freeing up valuable personal time.

Swimming pools are important to the Active Adult, providing a place to relax and unwind, another option for exercise, and a venue for entertaining the grandchildren.

Access to community clubhouses and public spaces is another welcome feature, providing usable common space to host receptions or activities.

Ultimately, this new and increasingly popular residential format enables Boomers to simultaneously assert their independence and relieve some of the everyday burdens and tedium of housework, yard work and other mundane responsibilities. These residences, convenient to restaurants and other amenities, allow homeowners to enjoy the pride and satisfaction of hosting events and welcoming guests, while providing the freedom to be able to “lock the door and go,” to travel on a moment’s notice.

Baby Boomers may need to change where they live, but they don’t have to change how they live.