Baby Boomers in Financial Crunch Turning to Internet Marketing

Baby boomers are individuals who were born just after World War II until 1964. Some of the baby boomer generation is fast approaching retirement, yet many of them are not as financially secure as they thought they would be at this stage in life. The great American dream was always work hard all your life and save for the future. However, with the cost of living so high, many baby boomers will never have that financial nest egg that they planned for. However, it does not mean that after they retire they will have to live in dire straits either. In this day and age, just about everyone can run a computer, and if you can run a computer you can run an e-business. Baby boomers are no exception, though they may have started their careers long before the computer became a standard office tool, very few companies today do not have computer operations. If per chance baby boomers worked in fields such that construction or mechanics and did not have a chance to learn computer skills they still can learn computers at schools or communities centers. These organizations specialize in teaching basic computer skills.

Once baby boomers have the skills needed to operate a computer and navigate the Internet they now have in their possession a skill that can be transferred into thousands of dollars in extra revenue to supplement their existing income, or future income once they retire. One thing that prevails baby boomers from using the Internet for profit is that they really do not know that they can. If a baby boomer uses the Internet at work, chances are they do research work and have not made the connection with doing research work and being paid by their boss at work and turning this research work into a side business at home. Ghostwriters are in high demand. A ghostwriter is a writer that does research for another individual and writes up an article about it. The ghostwriter will be paid for the work but will not get credit for it meaning their name is not added to the article. Ghostwriters work on commission and it makes for a great home business opportunity for secretaries and other baby boomers who know how to write and research.

Chances are baby boomers have collected a lot of things over the years. Many baby boomers have been heads of households for the better part of thirty years or more. Within that time they have accumulated collectedibles that may even have become collectors items. These items can yield a good sum on eBay for other collectors worldwide.

Baby boomers may find that either themselves or their spouse have lost their job during these hard times; however, it does not mean that feeling the financial crunch of loss wages must become an undesired and necessary hardship. Online home business can supplement their income nicely. Baby boomers just need to find what type of business they believe will interest them, learn the tips of the trade, and get started.

The biggest obstacle to starting an online business is lack of confidence and this can be easily remedied by learning about the business you plan to get into, go on social forms that specialize in this kind of business and network, network, network. Your old school friends from high school that you found on Facebook can become potential customers, your new friends you make along the way can become potential customers, anyone, any place and anywhere can become a potential customer. Do not be afraid to advertise what it is that you do best. Maybe your write, paint, bake cakes, or you are a consultant of some sort. Starting a business for full time or part time wages is not only for the young. Baby boomers can get into the action. What makes it even more appealing is that you do not have to quit your current job to do it you can run your online business from the comfort of your home.

Retirement Worries? An Alternative for Retiring Baby Boomers

The economic news is full of grim facts about the retirement picture for Baby Boomers: More Baby Boomers retiring and fewer people working is putting a strain on the Social Security program.

Government is considering raising the retirement age to 70 in the next twenty years.

But many Baby Boomers are working in jobs that put debilitating stress on their aging bodies; some of these hard-workers are wondering how they are going to make it to 66, let alone to 70.

2.2 million Baby Boomers are out of work and have been for six months. They are worried that they may not be able to find jobs before it is time for them to retire.

There was a time when Baby Boomers were not so dependent upon Social Security. Many of them just kept working until they could work no longer. They built up pensions, owned homes, saved for their "golden years" – much of which was spent in the bosom of their extended family. Think the Waldens. But that was yesterday and, as the Beatles sang, "Yesterday's gone."

So, what's a Boomer to do? An alternative that increasing numbers of Boomers are looking at is a computer-based home business.

The benefits of this should be apparent in that word "home". It means that the aging Boomer does not have to settle for a low-paying, high-stress, and physically demanding job but can work from home, on their computer.

It also means that they do not have to have a physical site like a store front, a large inventory, or a warehouse to store it in.

This is much less physically demanding – though it does use a different set of muscles and the newbie home marketer may find that his or her feet, knees, and back do not hurt as much but his or her neck, shoulders and derriere are stiff and sore.

Changing positions, taking breaks and walking around, and some simple stretches can help these new aches and pains.

It is also less financially demanding – it does not require the thousands of dollars that a brick and mortar business claims in start up. One has to be careful to avoid the come-ons, and all the opportunities to spend more money than necessary, but it is possible to get started with minimal capital output.

A warning is necessary though: Do not expect to get rich quick online. There are lots of internet marketing schemes out there that promise amazing incomes in exchange for two or three hours of work a day. Do not fall for them.

If you are not yet retired, you can start now to build your business in your spare time, but please realize that it is going to take time and work to get to the point where you are earning a useful income.

Buy Buy Baby

Being witness to an adult punch-up is never a very edifying experience. At least at school when there was a fight you knew that a stocky little geography teacher would appear on the scene before anyone got too badly hurt. He'd bang the culprits' heads together and march them off to be caned to within an inch of their lives and then, even more alarmingly, he'd make them shake hands. These, days I suppose he has to show them how to fill in the correct forms in order for them to be able to sue the school with the minimum of fuss.

Anyway, seeing two grown-ups in a scuffle is always horrible because there's no one to stop the participants fighting to the death, except for a girl with bleached blonde hair yelling 'Leave him, Dave, he's not worth it!'. It always seems to be the same girl; she must have a good agent.

That's why fisticuffs is seen as a last resort by 99% of sentient animals. This makes it all the more remarkable that, laTely, people are getting biffed on the chin at the summer sales. My word, I can only imagine how much you would have to really, really love a beige sofa or some flowery curtains to come to blows over them. Whenever I've read of these scrapes in the paper, I've tried to put myself in the shoes of the people involved. Let's see, then …. so, your wife has told you that you need a new fridge even though the one you've got is only ten years old and still doing a grand job. She says she's seen one in Acme Electronics and the assistant says that it'll be half price from Saturday but there are only two in stock so you'd better get there early. So, you wake up at 5 am on your day off, make a flask of coffee and whizz down to the shop. On arrival, you find 40 people with sleeping bags and vacant expressions lined up outside. The doors open and everyone legs it into the shop, trampling the old and the infirm underfoot. You manage to make it to the fridge section only to find one has already been sold to an Olympic sprinter in a pac-a-mac, which leaves the one you and some other hapless husband are hugging simultaniously. He says 'I saw it first', you say 'Did not' and he says 'Did too'. This rapid-like verbal sparring lasts for a few minutes until he says 'Well, my dad can fight your dad' which causes the red mist to descend. You let go of the fridge and cuff him around the chops. Then you go to prison and get cuffed around the chops while he gets the fridge, and your wife leaves you for man who can offer a better class of domestic appliance.

At which point in this series of events did it all seem like a good idea? When your beloved first said she wanted a new fridge? When you dug out the thermos flask from the loft? When you were running through a shop towards some kitchen things, elbows akimbo and cheeks a rare shade of vermilion? Or, maybe it was when you found yourself in a fond embrace with an inanimate object?

No, I'm afraid it was a daft idea all along; the sales are specifically designed to make you lose your dignity. The trick is to ignore them entirely – stay at home or go to the pub. Well, unless you teach geography, of course, in which case your assistance may be required shortly at a nearby department store.

Coaching VS. Psychotherapy: What's The Difference?

With the emerging global community and an internet presence even in remote jungles and mountain villages, we all live in an age of exponential changes. It is no surprise that there has been a corresponding pressure on the psyches and equilibrium of just about every living human being.

In response to that pressure, the field of psychotherapy has grown itself up, from the seemingly narrow minded Victorian context of Freudian analysis to more recent scientific advances in mapping brain function. Techniques have ranged from passive and remote interpretation to more active interventions such as EMDR and DBT.

Baby boomers have played a large role in turning psychotherapy into a household word; a term reserved not just for the mentally ill, but also for the "worried well". And managed care has capitalized further by applying the medical, disease-based model on the practice, requiring any and all users of health insurance to declare a diagnosis worthy of treatment. That is to say, it is a model of treatment provided by licensed and credentialed practitioners who must authorize and frequently request sessions through a complicated and laborious set of rules in order to be reimbursed – and only then, at a discounted rate.

Because of this co-opting by the managed care industry, psychotherapy has become a practice relegated to those clinicians who oftentimes do not charge "full fare" and only see clients within the insurance industry.

This climate of medically based, devalued care has been spawned a whole new breed of helping professionals– executive coaches , life coaches , or personal coaches .

So what are they really? And how are they different from psychotherapists? What do they offer and who can they help?

Perhaps the easiest way to explain this is by way of example. Let's consider a typical presenting problem, but taken from the two different perspectives.

Amy is a 50 year old mother of 3, one of who is in college and the other two in high school. Married 25 years and a part time executive assistant at a local widgets factory, she has begon to feel bored, antsy, sometimes irritable and a bit lost.

It's not that she is unhappily married really, or that she does not like her job really, or that she is fed up with the adolescent attitudes of her 3 kids. She does not feel depressed, in the sense that her appetite is off, or her concentration impaired. It's true that she has put on a few pounds lately, and she tends to forget things more often, and her moods are not exactly happy.

She just does not feel good; she literally does not know what to do with herself anymore, and so she asks friends and her minister for referrals.

If Amy made an appointment with a psychotherapist, she would have offered her insurance card, called for an authorization herself, and paid a copay of $ 10 to $ 25. Upon intake, she would have directed through a series of questions aimed at recovering the source of her unhappiness, delving into early childhood memories of outstanding events, achievements, losses, and traumas. She would also recount the details and qualities of her relationships with her parents and her siblings, significant caretakers and significant others.

Over the ensuing weeks, she would have begun dwelling on the pain of her past and the possible ways that such pain, if repressed all these years, might be affecting her now. Through awareness and abreaction, a breakthrough of raw and intense emotion, she would begin to integrate previously split off aspects of herself and her memories.

Amy also discovered that her therapist had applied a diagnosis of adjustment reaction with mixed emotional features, which, after six months became dysthymic disorder, a milder form of clinical depression.

In many ways there is overlap in the different approaches to this client, especially when a therapist, like myself makes the transition to life coaching .

As a coach , I also would want to know the details of her upbringing, but with more of a focus on what has "worked" rather than on what has not. Rather than charting her life in terms of a genogram (a graphic tool used by therapists to illustrate the relationships and dynamics among nuclear and extended family members), I would help Amy create a life balance wheel or mandala (a graphic tool used by coaches to illustrate core values ​​and beliefs, and the ways they are characterized in various relationships to one's environment). We would focus on her future goals as related to being an empty nester, and in terms of her career, her spirituality, her marriage and her friends. As a therapist these things would also be discussed, but with more than an eye to the past, and the ways that previously unresolved psychological conflicts might be blocking her from feeling happy.

Instead of meeting weekly for 50 minutes with the onus of responsibility on the client to produce "material" for the therapist to listen to, and respond when indicated, the coach would give assignments based on a careful listening to the client's designated goals. The work with a coach could have been done in person or over the phone, with between-session email and brief phone contact. With a coach the power is more equalized and the relationship a partnership. In therapy, it still carries the mantle of one up, one down, expert and client, doctor and patient.

Overcoming blocks would be a major focus of both approaches. With psychotherapy it is more emotion based, however; "working through" or peeling away layers of the onion, so to speak. In coaching it could have been accomplished by finding a way to make the block useful, or at least recognized as a weak link (like in a team) that needs to be tamed and supported in order to act effectively.

Obviously many therapists already employ many of these coaching techniques in their practices. Indeed, Internal Family Systems Therapy, is one school which actively engages the client to embrace and integrate various aspects of self, as opposed to letting go, or working through and leaving them behind.

No matter what, being trained by a professional already trained in psychotherapeutic techniques, can add a richness and depth to the work, and an outcome that allows for true happiness and success outside of the managed care industry, and relevant to the emerging global community.

Top 50 Christmas Quotations

  1. "Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years … Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart. " – George Matthew Adams
  2. "The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting." – Louisa May Alcott
  3. "Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. – Bess Streeter Aldrich
  4. "The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect!" – Charles N. Barnard
  5. "Gifts of time and love are certainly the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." – Peg Bracken
  6. "The earth has grown old with its burden of care But at Christmas it always is young, The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair And its soul full of music breaks the air, When the song of angels is sung." – Phillips Brooks
  7. "I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses. " – Taylor Caldwell
  8. "Remember, if Christmas is not found in your heart, you will not find it under a tree." – Charlotte Carpenter
  9. "Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." – Calvin Coolidge
  10. "Christmas, in its final essence, is for grown people who have forgotten what children know." Christmas is for whoever is old enough to have denied the unquenchable spirit of man. " – Margaret Cousins
  11. "Without we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska will not make it 'white'." – Bing Crosby
  12. "Whatever else be lost among the years, Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing: Whatever doubts assail us, or what what fears, Let us hold close one day, remembering its poignant meaning for the hearts of men. faith again. " – Grace Noll Crowell
  13. "It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one's fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit." – Isabel Currier
  14. "Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget." – Hugh Downs
  15. "They err who thinks Santa Claus comes down through the chimney; he really enters through the heart." – Mrs. Paul M. Ell
  16. "Christmas, my child, is love in action." – Dale Evans
  17. "Do give books – religious or otherwise – for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal." – Lenore Hershey
  18. "My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles scattered in the pages. They smell of Christmas still." – Charlton Heston
  19. "At Christmas, all roads lead home." – Marjorie Holmes
  20. "My idea of ​​Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. – Bob Hope
  21. "The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas." – WC Jones
  22. "A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, but softly gives itself away; While quite lonely, it grows small." – Eva K. Logue
  23. "Were I a philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys, showing that nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become absolutely alive." – Robert Lynd
  24. "Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." – Hamilton Wright Mabi
  25. "The merry family gatherings – The old, the very young; The strangely lovely way they harmonize in carols sung. For Christmas is tradition time – Traditions that recall the precious memories down the years, The sameness of them all." – Helen Lowrie Marshall
  26. "There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions." – Bill McKibben
  27. "I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month." – Harlan Miller
  28. "Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence." – Joan Mills
  29. "Christmas is, of course, the time to be home – in heart as well as body." – Garry Moore
  30. "What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. – Agnes M. Pharo
  31. "Mankind is a great, an immense family … This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas." – Pope John XXIII
  32. "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Do not clean it up too quickly." – Andy Rooney
  33. "Christmas – that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intimate that it is like a fragrance. day of remembrance – a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved. " – Augusta E. Rundel
  34. "Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone." – Charles Schulz
  35. "As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas bought to be, Christmas is." – Eric Sevareid
  36. "Christmas is the day that holds time together." – Alexander Smith
  37. "Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion." – Ralph Sockman
  38. "Christmas … is not an eternal event at all, but a piece of one's home that one carries in one's heart." – Freya Stark
  39. "Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends." – Margaret Thatcher
  40. "At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year." – Thomas Tusser
  41. "What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic." – Unknown
  42. "Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wrought in smiles." – Unknown
  43. "If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love away." – Unknown
  44. "Until one dreams the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display – so much tinsel and decorations. Firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again. " – Unknown
  45. "Many banks have a new kind of Christmas club in operation. The new club helps you save money to pay for last year's gifts." – Unknown
  46. "Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world – stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death – and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love ? Then you can keep Christmas. " – Henry Van Dyke
  47. "Christmas is for children. But it is for grownups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts." – Lenora Matttingly Weber
  48. "Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance – each beautiful, unique and too soon gone." – Deborah Whipp
  49. "Somehow, not only for Christmas, But all the long year through, The joy that you give to others, Is the joy that comes back to you. your heart's possessing, Returns to you glad. " – John Greenleaf Whittier
  50. "Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall." – Larry Wilde

Baby Boomers, Is the Digital Era the Answer to Our Future?

I'm asking all baby boomers, because I know if you are anything like me you are looking for a retirement fund that will take you into your golden years comfortably. We can not count on a job or the government, but we can certainly count on ourselves.

I personally do not want to spend my retirement years with concerns about money. I want to put all that baloney behind me and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I'm sure you are the same. So I ask myself several questions to get to the root of exactly what I want and then how I can achieve just that?

What I do not want?
I do not want to worry about money
I do not want to rely on a job or the government
I do not want to live out my days sitting on the couch with a remote control because that's all I can afford to do.

What I do want?
I do want to be financially independent.
I do want to live from the income of my own personal resources.
I do want to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Now I know what I want and what I do not want. The question now is; How do I get what I want? How can I achieve financial freedom reliably quickly doing my own thing? Hmm, is not that food for thought? Guess what? I have the palatable answer.

I honestly think if you are a baby boomer like me, and would like another shot at educating yourself and doing something great with it, Internet marketing is the answer to our future. Here's why I say that. We are now older and a hell of a lot wiser. Some of us never took our education seriously when we were in our late teens. So what we could have been, we never accomplished.

As the old saying we are all too familiar with goes, "If I only knew then what I know now". Well now we know. We know to step up to the plate and take our lifetime experiences, mix them in with our hearts desire, together with our old dog for the long road approach and we are on our way to new beginnings.

This is the dawning of a new digital era. If you are prepared to learn and focus on an online business of your choice, you can be on your way to financial freedom in six months to a year. And you and I both know, that length of time for us is a drop in the ocean.

Position yourself in front of growing digital trend. Focus and harness the power of the web. This is the new "Gold Rush". As a baby boomer myself, I look at this trend as a golden opportunity to start an online business with the right head on my shoulders, to do it all over again the right way. To get a second shot at life.

The Pros And Cons Of Being A Nurse Anesthetist

A nurse anesthetist undergoes training in anesthesiology to be able to administrator anesthesia. In hospitals and surgery centers the nurse works under a certified anesthesiologist's supervision. Just like any other career path, this one does have its pros and cons. It would be a good idea to weigh them when deciding whether it is the right career path for you.

The pros

The pay is attractive. Nurse anesthetists are highly paid and it is actually the learning potential that attracts many to the professional field. You can be sure to enjoy decent living when working with this job profile.

It offers you the ability to assist those in need. Contrary to what many people think, the nurses are not only there to administrator anesthesia but also for pain management. They take care of patients before a surgery, during the surgery and after the surgical procedure. They therefore offer lots of help to the patients making them vital people in all types of surgeries. You will love the feeling of saving a life through a successful procedure you played a role in when you are a nurse anesthetist.

The job interviews professional respect. This is a title that demands professional respect, considering that you end up working with doctors, surgeons and other nurses who are on each other or successful care delivery to patients. You will get more responsibility and autonomy when you are a nurse anesthetist and surgeons and doctors will rely on your advice and expertise too.

You get the freedom to control patient care. This is a fast paced field and decisions are made based on experience and education. In most cases you will manage to make decisions without involving anyone else to safeguard patient health and safety.

The Cons

The position comes with great responsibility on your part. As a nurse anesthetist you must be ready to deal with difficult situations, some of which could have you sued by patients or their family members. It actually helps to be insured just to be on the safe side when situations arise.

You may end up working long hours. Surgical procedures can be quite long and as a nurse anesthetist you must be there through checking on your patient. Some can go longer than expected and after they are done you still have to take care of the patient through recovery. If you are a sole nurse anesthetist in a health facility, then you would have to be ready to attend to more than one surgery in a day sometimes.

It can get boring. This is because you do not play any active role during surgery procedures yet you need to be present to monitor patient response to the anesthesia. You may need to sit through boring long surgeries

The field is very competitive and you would have to impress your employer to get hired for the job. Nurse anesthetist programs are challenging to get into but many are struggling to earn the degree and you need to be well cut out to beat the competition.

Investment Tips for Retirees, Seniors, and Baby Boomers

How to invest at or near retirement is probably one of the most common questions I get. My answer: it depends. Typically investors begin to shift their retirement portfolio from growth to income as they get closer to retirement. Unfortunately, many have not calculated the necessary rate of return needed to pay for or supplement their desired life style, educated themselves on various investment approaches or truly comprehend their risk tolerance. Failing to address these and other issues will cause unnecessary stress and may lead lead to other poor decisions. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind when you are considering how to invest.

Find and work with an advisor you trust. This may sound self-serving, but what I have found is that good decision making is done in collaboration with others. They say, "Two heads are better than one." The key is to find that right advisor in a sea of ​​sharks that fits your needs in a cost affective manner. Look for the following:

• Understand the adviser's philosophical approach managing risk and return, and ask, in writing, to see his / her track record.

• Check credentials. Is the advisor a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent (EA)? Better yet, is the adviser a fee-only financial planner who does not receive commitments?

• Ask the advisor for Part I and Part II of the Federal Securities Disclosure Form ADV. It contains information about the advisor's qualifications and disclosures any past legal or financial problems.

Know Your Comfort Level for Market Risk

All investments other than a bank account or other cash-equivalent investments will fluctuate in value, some more so than others. When devising an investment plan, honestly evaluate your comfort level with risk. If you will panic at sharp losses, then you probably should not buy more volatile types of investments, such as some stocks and bonds. The reason is simple: if you lose your nerve when markets take a big drop and potentially sell your investments, you'll probably do worse than if you had invested more conservatively in the first place.

Do not make hasty and uniform decisions that are made with emotion rather than rational thinking. The field of behavioral finance seeks to explain the set of psychological biases that affect people's investment decisions. If you can not bring yourself to sell a loser stock, or if you have picked investments because they felt "safe," there's a good chance you're managing your money with your heart and not your head. Since our biases are aggravated when our brains feel overly excited or afraid-like when the Dow drops 1,000 points-you may find yourself making investment moves that you've never considered before, or feeling particularly panicky about your money. I think Warren Buffett said it best: "For some reason, people take their cues from price action rather than values. else. The dumbest reason in the world to buy a stock is because it's going up. "

Diversify your investments and develop a plan that ebbs and flows with the market. By that I mean not strategies of market timing nor buy and hold but position yourself somewhere in the middle. Typically, the best long-term plan is to divide your money among several categories of well-researched and thought-out investments. I have found that ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) offer an excellent array of investment choices at very low costs. My experience has taught me:

1. Over time, some mutual funds may have a difficult time beating their benchmarks, so not justifying their management fees.

2. Some individual stocks and bonds may have too much risk.

3. Annuity fees and commissions may eat up any real returns.

Focus on asset allocation. Studies have shown that 91% of a portfolio's performance is determined by allocation of assets, not individual investments or market timing. Wikipedia

• Fixed income and equities. Typically, retirees change their asset allocation to include more fixed income securities than equities. This is a fairly well known strategy. However, what is usually not considered is the actual rate of return that is needed to produce an income stream to maintain your desired lifestyle. If evaluated properly, this consideration will have more influence over the mix of securities than asset allocation or risk tolerance.

• Fees add up. Investment fees come in many forms, including expenditure ratios on mutual funds, commissions for stock or ETF trades, and account management fees from advisors. Fees should be no more than 1.5% of your total portfolio.

How to invest is an art and no one person or company is correct all the time. I do know one thing for sure: the probability of enjoying a successful retirement is increased if you follow some basic rules and work with a trusted professional.