Home Inventory Service – A Growing Industry

The personal property inventory service industry is growing at an amazing rate. In 2004, there were only about 20 service providers in the United States. There are now over 500!

I believe the main reason for this growth is due to the increasing number of disasters. This has created more common knowledge of the need to have an inventory of the contents in homes and businesses.

Another reason for this industry growth is that people just don’t want to do the inventories themselves. For the same reason they hire a lawn service, painter or cleaning service, to name a few, people prefer spending time with family members and friends or on other interests. Many also know they won’t keep their inventory up to date, so having a professional service provider keep track of this information is worth the investment.

The baby boomer generation is also a factor in the increasing number inventory services. This group of the population is focusing on estate planning. First, many are either assisting their parents with estate planning, or are executors of their parents’ estates. Either way, they are learning that it is best to have the inventory documented prior to one’s death. Secondly, many boomers are completing their own estate planning. Having an inventory is beneficial to them for the already stated reasons, but also in case they experience a disaster. The inventory will help secure their financial future by enabling them to recover properly from their insurance policy. This eliminates the need to pull funds out of their investments to recover the damaged or destroyed items that weren’t replaced by their insurance.

There are a variety of business models for the home inventory service industry. Some have chosen to work their business on a part-time basis while others have chosen to develop theirs as full-time. You’ll find some who are a one-person operation, while others work as a team of two. Most are home-based.

The types of service are just as varied. Some providers serve only the residential market while others offer their asset documentation to commercial clients as well. Others extend their inventory services into the retail market.

Documentation processes are also different. Video cameras are preferred by some, while others take digital still photos. Written reports are on spreadsheets, special software or sometimes in a dialog format. There is no right or wrong process; only one’s preference.

Though natural disasters, thefts and fires continue to steal, destroy and damage our personal property, everyone can at least take responsibility to recover properly. Hiring an inventory service to compile that information is a great way to be proactive.

GM, UAW – Nothing New

In the early 1970’s, Japanese cars had a reputation of getting good mileage, but very little else. They were small, tinny and not very attractive. General Motors was the monolithic corporate giant that dominated the auto industry. Now, of course, Japanese automakers dominate the auto industry, and General Motors is a corporate dinosaur on the verge of extinction. What happened over the past 40 years can be viewed from many perspectives, and fingers can be pointed in many directions, but one of those directions is toward the United Auto Workers.

The evolution of Toyota and Nissan is very American – underdogs taking on an industry leader, using great ideas and new technologies. It seemed to all start in 1970, with the introduction of the Datsun 240Z This was a great little sports car that young Americans wanted to drive. It didn’t matter that it was made by a Japanese company. It was reasonably priced, well-made, fast and cool, and it began a run that continues to this day.

Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, American automakers slowly gave away the trust they had earned from American consumers. They seem to have traded in on their name and brands, producing planned-obsolescent, tinny versions of once great cars. And despite this, they continued to make huge profits from a generation that still saw the Japanese as somewhat of an enemy, and buying American as a form of patriotism.

It seemed that the good times would always roll, and so the UAW sought to share the wealth with its members. Unions have a history of balancing the scale of corporate profits and workers wages, but the UAW wanted more than that – they wanted long-term job security bolted to the status quo, and benefits packages second to none. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, college graduates were entering the workforce in large numbers – a tide of Baby Boomers armed with new ideas looking for ways to change the world. But the auto industry wasn’t the place for them. The combination of strong market share and union benefits had turned a dream job of ideas and innovations into an assembly line of mediocrity.

The lure of General Motors had become its UAW inspired benefits package, and the security of knowing that it was nearly impossible to lose your union-protected job. And while Japanese automakers improved efficiency, incorporated new technologies, designed new innovations and made cool cars, the US auto industry was anchored to the past, and is now sinking from the weight of that short-sighted greed.

So, here we are, in September of 2007. General Motors is in deep financial trouble, having lost its market leadership, reputation, and consumer loyalty, while each of their new cars costs $1500 more, just to pay retired worker’s benefits – the so called legacy costs. Toyota and other Japanese and Korean automakers are winning the game our way. And what of the UAW – now itself a far less powerful force because the Americans working in Japanese auto plants don’t want to join the union – they called a strike because they don’t want to assume more responsibility for health care costs.

It seems that General Motors is an aging wood ship – off course, and in stormy seas, while the union wants to take boards from its hull to improve the rooms of its workers. General Motors, as it’s been, will sink – simply because they cannot compete in the marketplace they helped create. But they only need to look at what the Japanese did to overthrow them, and remember that the Japanese took a page from what they used to be.

George R. Lovelock, Writer/Producer, New York

Rockford Area Realtors see trend in baby boomers helping millennial children buy homes – WREX-TV


Rockford Area Realtors are seeing a trend—baby boomers are helping their millennial children buy homes.

“It means everything to me because my parents are awesome, stand-up, the best parents in the world,” new home owner Jammie Bridges said.

She moved into a home in Machesney Park in June and says her parents paid for the down-payment on it. Rockford Area Realtors say its seeing more millennials buy homes and thanks to things like student debt, parents are helping them.

Bridges’ father fixed up the house himself and her mother did the interior design. 

“The house here is a blessing because she has her own place now,” Hank Bridges said. “I just feel better knowing if I went out she’d have her own place.”

Bridges says she’s going to pay her parents back for the money but appreciates the help.

Rockford Area Realtors say it’s also a trend from growing housing market.

What is the Difference Between a Medial and Lateral Unloader Knee Brace?

Degenerative Joint Disease affects millions of Americans and with an aging baby boomer population will most certainly become more of an issue as we try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and battle against the affects of our youth. The knee joint is one of the most effected areas in the body regarding the “wear and tear” effects of osteoarthritis. More patients and doctors are looking for alternatives to medication and surgery to improve patient mobility, reduce pain and swelling, and prevent the inevitable and dreaded “knee replacement”.

“Unloader” knee braces, or “arthritis” knee braces, are designed to literally bend the knee into a position that reduces the stress and weight on the affected joint, thereby reducing pain and swelling. There are two compartments in the knee, referred to as medial or inner and lateral or outer compartments. The vast majority of patients suffer from medial compartment osteoarthritis (unicarpartmental oseoarthritis). When this occurs, the joint cartilage, synovial fluid are reduced or absent and the result is a “collapse” of the medial compartment.

The knee joint becomes misaligned and what was normally a joint that bears equal pressure to support the body, turns into a painful angular joint, with excessive wear and pressure on the inner compartment, with pain, swelling and in advanced stages, limitation of movement. The angular change caused by this medial compartment arthritis is referred to as a varus deformity. This term refers to an inward angulation of the lower leg in relation to the thigh. If you have ever seen a newborn and looked at their legs, you will understand what a varus or bow leg is. This is a varus deformity.

Likewise, the angular change caused by a lateral compartment arthritis is referred to as a valgus deformity. This term refers to an outwards deviation of the lower leg in relation to the thigh. Many people are familiar with the term “knock knee”. In the old days, you would see movies, where the teenage girl sits with her knees and thighs together, and her feet spread out. This is a valgus deformity.

An “unloader” knee brace corrects the varus or valgus relationship of the leg to the thigh, making the entire leg straighter and aligning the joint back to its level position. By bending the knee joint back into a more aligned position, the brace opens up a gap or space between the leg and thigh bone, so the two bones do not rub up against each other. This reduces the pain or swelling that occurs when two rough arthritis bones come in contact with each other.

When purchasing an “unloader” knee brace, it is important to know if you have a medial or lateral osteoarthritis. This can be confirmed with x-rays, noting the collapse of the knee joint, and the angular changes that are occurring. It is also important to consult with your treating doctor prior to purchasing such a device. Wearing a lateral unloader knee brace with a medial compartment arthritis may result in increased pain, swelling and accelerated joint damage. There are many choices to be made when deciding which arthritis or “unloader” knee brace to purchase. Please check with your doctor and do your research before you choose.

Baby Boomers haven’t had it all their own way – The Telegraph – Telegraph.co.uk

Has there ever been a less fortunate generation of young people? The Millennials, those now aged between 20 and 35, have always been told they’ve never had it so bad. That their parents enjoyed free university tuition, cheap houses and final-salary pension schemes – while their lot has been debt, penury and stratospheric property prices.

David Willetts, the former universities minister, wrote a powerful book about all this that reads like a call to arms. The Baby Boomer generation, he says, “took their children’s future” – and “should give it back”.

I’ve spent the last few weeks making a documentary for Channel 4 exploring what is fast becoming a new political battle line. And there’s no shortage of people preparing for war. You meet them all time in Westminster: the generational jihadis, who blame the old for the plight of the young. They usually propose some inter-generational justice in the form of a wealth tax. It’s a potent idea, much of it based on misunderstanding, but much, too, based on legitimate grievance.

First, the myths. One leading authority on the subject told me that the salary of people in their twenties is lower than was the case a generation ago. Astounding, he said, but demonstrable. When checking this out with the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I discovered a rather different story: that those in their twenties are not only paid more than was the case two decades ago, but their disposable income is a third higher. The halving of the price of clothes, the tax credits that now top up low pay, the economic growth: all have left a mark.

And today, two in five of teenagers go to university, whereas most of the reviled Baby Boomers didn’t even finish school. They are the besteducated generation in history. Then come those things you can’t put a price on. One woman I interviewed spoke eloquently about her situation: a degree, debt, but no job. When the cameras stopped rolling, I asked about her plans for the weekend. She was jetting off to Copenhagen for £40 return with similarly cheap accommodation via Airbnb. These modern blessings – the budget airlines, the gadgets, the peer-to-peer apps that let you stay in any city for the fraction of hotel prices – explain why even the most aggrieved Millennial would not wish to wake up in 1996.

Baby boomers not slowing down with age – Montana Standard

Mike Kloser was a professional mountain-bike racer, and after his career was over he spent years traversing unmarked wilderness courses in adventure races.

Once he hit his 50s, Kloser, who lives in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, saw no need to slow down much. On any given day, he can be found riding the trails around the Vail Valley, running up and down Aspen Mountain, competing in obstacle races or skiing the snow-capped mountains.

“I’m not the kind of guy that likes working out indoors,” the 53-year-old Kloser said. “I’d rather be out in a blizzard skiing or doing something outside than working with a trainer in a gym.”

Kloser already was inclined toward more adventurous activities. He is, after all, a former professional athlete and lives in an area where fitness is woven into the way of life. But he isn’t alone among his baby boomer peers.

An adventurous generation growing up, many boomers have barely slowed down in their 50s and 60s. The oldest of the baby boomers hit 70 this year.

Golf, tennis, water aerobics, treadmills? Those are all fine, but also can be a bit boring for a generation that likes to have fun.

So as previous generations tended to steer away from extreme sports, baby boomers seem to gravitate toward them. They can be found among the mostly younger crowds surfing, rock climbing, mountain biking, ocean kayaking, even skateboarding and skydiving.

According to a 2015 National Sporting Goods Association study, there were 698,000 people between ages 55 and 74 who participated in off-road mountain biking, 402,000 doing open-water scuba diving, 155,000 snowboarding and another 49,000 into skateboarding.

“We all have that in us, like why shouldn’t we be having fun doing what we love to do?” said Barbara Odanaka, a children’s book author who started a moms skateboarding group in Southern California. “We’re not just stuck to typical activities, typical behaviors as our parents’ generation was.”

Baby boomers come by this call to action honestly. They grew up in an era when fitness moved toward the forefront of American society. Surfing, jogging and weightlifting all became popular as boomers came of age. People began paying more attention to their health.

According to AARP, less than 24 percent of American adults exercised regularly in 1968. That number was up to 59 percent by 1984. Life expectancy also rose from 69.7 to 75.4 years in a span of 30 years ending in 1990.

Living longer than their parents, baby boomers also stayed active longer.

“I think the mentality of our age group has changed,” said Kloser, director of activities at Beaver Creek Resort. “We’ve been active 20 or 30 years of our lives, and we just aren’t ready to become a seven-day-a-week couch potato. We want to keep active.”

Odanaka, 54, has done it on a skateboard — with other baby boomers from around the country. She skated as a kid, even earned a spot on Hobie Skateboards’ amateur team, but gave up to focus on competitive running. She was steered back to skateboarding a quarter century later by a therapist who told her to find something she used to enjoy as a way to take a break from a colicky baby.

Odanaka immediately rekindled the connection with her board and started riding every day, often joining the neighborhood kids who would knock on the door to see if she could come out to skate.

While promoting her first book, “Skateboard Mom,” in 2004, she hosted an event at a skate park and invited other skateboarding moms. That event launched the International Society of Skateboarding Moms, which evolved into the nonprofit Skateboard Moms & Sisters of Shred.

The organization now has roughly 400 members, ages 20 to 70, across the United States. Odanaka also has a group she skates with locally, often turning heads as they roll up and down the slopes of the skate park.

“The teenagers usually look at us like, ‘Oh my God, what is this?'” said Odanaka, a former reporter for The Los Angeles Times. “And I can’t tell you how many times the little kids have asked me for money for the soda machine or to tie their shoe. But by the end of it, there’s usually one kid who says: ‘I wish my mommy skated like you.'”

Rich Dad’s Prophecy, by Robert Kiyosaki – Review

If You Could Know the Future, Would You Invest Differently?

Rich Dad’s Prophecy is the book by Robert Kiyosaki that is subtitled:

Why the Biggest Stock Market Crash in History Is Still Coming…

and How You Can Prepare Yourself and Profit from It!

This book was written (with Kiyosaki’s co-author and partner, Sharon Lechter, C.P.A.) in 2002. All of the predictions made in this book are right on track – if not ahead of schedule.

The primary “prophecy” is that a MAJOR stock market upheaval is coming in 2016. This is the year when an estimated 2,282,887 “baby boomers” turn 70 – and are required BY LAW to make mandatory withdrawals from their 401 (k) accounts. In 2017, the number of people turning 70 jumps by 700,000 to 2,928,818, and keeps increasing every year thereafter.

What does this mean? Since the creation of the pre-tax retirement funds, Americans have been given incentives to place/spend their savings on stocks and mutual funds. Markets move up ONLY when more people are buying than selling. 2016 is the year when an astronomical bubble of retirees are forced to make withdrawals. This is stipulated in the law that created 401(k) accounts specifically so that taxes would be due and payable to the Federal government NOT LATER than beginning at age 70.

Kiyosaki tells the story of his “Rich Dad’s Prophecy” based on the enactment of “ERISA” (The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.) What his “rich dad” foresaw were the problems of passing control of retirement funding to individuals. These problems include:

1. Most people don’t save anything, or way less than needed for retirement and medical expenses – which continue to increase.

2. Those who created 401 (k) accounts were forced to become “investors”, an activity previously reserved for wealthy (and educated) speculators. In the process, the stock market was flooded with funds.

This is exactly what happened:

– Most people without corporate pensions – replaced by optional 401 (k) plans – went right on spending their money on material goods and saving little or nothing (in fact, racking up record amounts of consumer debt.)

– The minority of workers who created investment accounts (still numbering in the millions) injected billions into stocks and mutual funds. The stock market surged to record levels with the inflow of cash.

Note: it is no coincidence that the passage of ERISA in 1974 is the bottom of the market, following a crash in 1973-1974 to less than 600 Dow Jones Industrial Average. 1974 was also the center of a recession brought on by the Mideast “oil embargo” and the “Nixon Shock” following the removal of the dollar from the gold standard.

As Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad predicted, “Always watch for changes in the law. Every time a law changes, the future changes.”

All this background sets the stage for the predicted crash in 2016. With more than 2 million retirees forced to sell stocks (and pay taxes on any gains) the market MUST contract – or implode!

Kiyosaki wrote this book that foresees the impending crash in 2002. This is BEFORE the financial collapse of 2007-2008 (which is continuing today.) During this crash, the market lost 50% of its value from a high of 14,000. (It has since regained 85% back to 12,000.)

Americans continue to have pitiful savings rates. In addition, record unemployment brought on by the current recession has forced many who DID save and invest to drain their retirement accounts. The number of new wage earners will not offset the number of people retiring. After years of recession, there are actually fewer people employed, they are making less and investing less.

Combine theses problems and you have a market in an irreversible decline. As millions of other workers watch the value of their investments and retirement accounts decline and they will also start selling – trying to salvage what value remains even if they have to pay penalties.

The process continues, and the market spirals downward at an accelerated pace! In the process, the retirement savings and investment accounts of millions will be wiped out.

Bottom Line: the prediction of a 2016 crash is likely optimistic! It may be here sooner since retirees can withdraw funds earlier – they will only delay withdrawals until age 70 if they don’t need the cash earlier!

Kiyosaki balances the dire prophecy with optimistic advice, specifically how to build your “financial ark”. He writes, “Sometimes your greatest opportunities come at the greatest times of crisis. And for those that have positioned themselves well, it’s not about surviving disaster but rather achieving financial independence and wealth.”

He continues, “But this is not something to fear. Rich Dad’s Prophecy reveals not only the best ways to safeguard wealth but how to actually prosper from the events to come. The fears, dreams and actions of the baby boomers will control our economic future. You should consider building your own personal financial ark to stay afloat in the turbulent waters ahead. In Rich Dad’s Prophecy, you’ll discover how to prepare to prosper from the coming financial disaster. It’s a must-read for those who want to maintain and grow their wealth in the coming years.”

Rich Dad’s Prophecy will do more than educate you about the predicted stock market crash. You will learn how to build your own personal “financial ark” that will assure that you not only survive the storm, but profit from the coming turbulence. To learn more about Rich Dad’s Prophecy – as well as Kiyosaki’s other books, resources and seminars – please visit the Rich Dad website at RichDad.com.

Baby boomer mega-concert kicks off at Coachella site – CBS News

INDIO, Calif. — For thousands of middle-aged rockers, the concert of a lifetime is here.

The Desert Trip music festival starts Friday in Indio, California, featuring six legendary acts over three days: the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and the Who. It will be the first time ever they’ve all performed at the same event.

The concert is being staged at the same Southern California desert venue where the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is held each spring.

But unlike Coachella, Desert Trip is targeting the more affluent baby boomers who grew up with the festival’s featured rockers. Luxury camping, gourmet dining and yoga classes are among the amenities being offered. The festival repeats next weekend.

Dylan is set to kick things off Friday, just after sunset.

© 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.