Over 60 and ready to kick butt…

Senior Politician

“The times they are a changing.”  Bob Dylan was right and it applies to older folks today.  Never in history have older people been ready to kick butt in all kinds of ways.  Let’s look at why.

The Grey wave

Today’s older folks will not be sitting in the rocking chair – unless it’s while listening to rock music!  They are planning on 20+ years of butt kicking in many ways.  You hear lots about the Baby Boomer generation and how they are going to break the Social Security and Medicare system.  But what about the positive aspects?

Political Clout

Older people are voting in record numbers and they pay attention.  When our representatives do something stupid they give them hell!

A little money and maybe a lot more time

It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a little money and some time.  Some 60+ people are hitting the peak of their earning years and they are not in a big hurry to quit.  Not only can they make a contribution to their employers, they also have some extra money because kids are grown and hopefully most debts are paid off.

Others have just a little money from Social Security and savings but a lot of time.  And all that time can be invested in myriad ways.  Think starting a business, volunteering, or helping young people.

So how can you join the “Kick Butt” demographic?

Get your health in order as much as possible

Health is probably the biggest determination of your degree of involvement.  You hear of many people staying very active into their 80s and 90s.  The key is reasonable health.  Minor health issues you can ignore and just keep going but serious health issues can put you out of the game or end your life prematurely.

Start a business where money isn’t the only goal

This is a big trend these days.  Instead of hanging up their work clothes some are putting on a whole new set.  Many times money is a secondary goal.  They are doing work they love and money is just a side benefit.

Start an organization for a cause

The world has so many problems that need to be solved.  Instead of waiting for somebody else to solve them why not start an organization to solve it yourself.

Use your experience and maturity

This is an area where older folks have a real advantage.  Older people have seen it all before.  Nothing surprises them and they don’t panic.  In my career managing programmers I’ve always tried to maintain a mixture of age groups.  I like older people because when everybody else is panicking they just keep trudging along to solve the problem.

Associate with people of all age groups

Don’t hang around all older retired people.  There is nothing wrong with them, just have an assortment of friends and acquaintances.  You can’t help young people if you don’t ever see any.  Choose your company carefully.  You want to associate with people that are doing stuff, not sitting on their butts.

So how will you kick butt?

10 Hobbies that can make you money

CrochetingMuch has been written about “follow your passion,” and hobbies are certainly a passion for many of us.  There are arguments about whether “following your passion” can lead to a full time career but we won’t get into that here!  We just want to take a look at some hobbies that can make you a little side income, all the while having fun enjoying your hobby while you’re at it!

Coin Collecting

Coin Collecting is a fascinating hobby that has the potential to make you money both from the investment side and through sales.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Before you pay a dime for a coin invest your time on education. Learn what makes a coin worth what, and all about condition, which makes a huge difference in the value of coins.
  2. Study EBay auctions and prices.
  3. Look for alternative ways to acquire your coins, from searching your spare change to placing a local classified ad and buying small collections from people no longer interested in the hobby.

Stamp Collecting

Most of what can be said about coin collecting can be said about stamp collecting.

Woodworking

This hobby has many possibilities for making money.  People value quality one of a kind items.  Like many hobbies that make money if you try to measure success by an hourly return you might fall short but if you love what you are doing it can all make sense.  As you gain experience you will learn what sells and you can improve that hourly rate.

Investing Research

This one is tricky because the stock market is tricky.  My point here is that some time spent on research improves your odds.  The investing world and learning about all the different options and the companies behind the ticker symbols can be fascinating.  Just look at all the internet sites, magazines, and books related to investing.  Not all the people using this information are millionaires, many just enjoy the learning experience.

Fixing up old cars

Lots of people like fixing up old cars.  For many it’s a labor of love.  This can take many forms from just taking an older non running used car and making it drive-able to full restorations of classics.  In either case there may be money to be made.

Making Art

Artists get a thrill out of creativity.  Many consider making money from their art to be the furthest thing from their minds.  However, those that can channel some of their creativity into the marketing side of art stand to make some bucks.  Today the internet is an artist’s best friend.  The key seems to be developing a following and marketing to your list.

Some Crafts

I say “some” crafts because finding crafts that sell can be dicey.  The key is testing what sells before you spend a lot on materials.  Some crafts work only for hobby purposes.

Quilting

Those that love quilting can’t make enough of them.  Eventually you run out of places to put them in your own home and even where to give them as gifts.  So why not sell some?  This is common practice in the Amish areas of Pennsylvania near where I live.  This is another one of those cases where if you tried to justify on an hourly wage basis you would probably fail.  But if your love is making quilts this becomes a secondary consideration.

Yard Sales

This one can take many forms.  Many people simply love going to yard sales and looking for bargains.  The key here is knowing enough to buy items that can be sold at a profit and not accumulating “junk!”

Antiques

Again the secret hear is knowing what to buy that can be resold as a profit.  Another possibility is re-purposing an antique item into another use that makes it more valuable.

Probably almost any hobby can be made into a money making side venture.  Just use your imagination!

10 Long Road Trips

Deserted long roadAh, the great American road trip.  Lots of fun has been poked at them but I have to confess that I love them.  My wife and I have been doing them all our lives, even when we were young and money was very tight.  Anything can happen and does but that makes for great stories years later.

So, let’s throw out some ideas to get you thinking…

Cross Country and Back

Just pull out an atlas (you have your Rand McNally atlas, right?) and pick a spot you always wanted to visit.  That can mean all the way across the country or just a few hundred miles.  Then start researching and planning and just go!

Alaska

Did you know that you can drive to Alaska and that people do it every day?  This is one I definitely haven’t tried yet but may someday.  You need a good vehicle and you’ll put an insane number of miles on it but you’ll be talking about it forever.

Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is another destination I haven’t tried yet but can’t wait to try.  The area is beautiful with incredible national parks and scenery.  And the whole world wants to move to Portland and I want to see why for myself!

Florida Keys

Everybody raves about the Keys and it is supposed to be a great road trip.  Just watch out for hurricanes!

Up the west coast

This one is supposed to be incredible and you could do the whole thing or just a portion.  California really is like a whole country and the variety of possible stops and activities is endless

Giant Circle around outline of US

Anybody can drive across the country, right?  Well how about tracing the outline of the United States?  This is one for people with a lot of time obviously but I can picture a whole blog devoted to this adventure.

Yellowstone and surrounds

This is what people think of when they mention national parks.  The place really is unbelievable. Wildlife, incredible scenery, hot springs and geysers, there is something for everybody.  This one is somewhat crowded in prime season and takes a little planning for accommodations but it is worth the effort.  Having been there a few times my suggestion is to make a point to get 100 yards off the road.  The crowds disappear and you really begin to appreciate the park.

Southwest

We love the Southwest.  Wide open spaces, more great scenery, nice people.  The climate varies greatly with the altitude.  Last year we left blistering heat near Tucson and climbed into the mountains a few hours later to a snowstorm.  To me the desert is beautiful, but the mountains can be green and lush.  Give it a try!

Texas

Texas is another one of those states that can be its own country.  The place is huge and diverse.  While I’ve been through the state a few times the state can support numerous road trips on its own.  Do your research, and go for it…

Sante Fe and North

This is one of my favorites and I know “and North” is kind of vague.  Sante Fe is a great little city.  It is easy to visit and easily walk-able.  There is a huge downtown historic square dating back hundreds of years.  This place was active before the Pilgrims even landed!  If you like art the place is heaven, with hundreds of galleries and the world famous Canyon Road, which houses some of the most exclusive galleries in the US.  You can stroll along and see all kinds of art, even if you don’t have a spare $100,000 to bring home a souvenir.   The “and North” can take you up to Taos (another artist mecca,) or into Colorado, or even west into the Four Corners area (Look it up!)

Hopefully this list has got your wanderlust working overtime.  Go for it and let me know how it goes!