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Baby Boomers – How's Your Posture?

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I'm sometimes surprised to find that my idea for a monthly article coincides with what is being celebrated during that month. This was one of those months; who knew that May was "Better Posture Month!" It's a great topic though, and this month you'll get my top recommendations for keeping that lovely posture throughout your life.

If you're a Baby Boomer, you remember John Wayne; he was one of the greats! Well, what you may not know is that his unique walk is the best thing you can do for your posture. Yup! The old cowboy wasn't just inventing a new swagger, he was protecting his back.

Many of us are in such a big hurry all the time, rushing here and there, that we don't pay enough attention to the way we walk. Until it begins to interfere with our health in the form of hip or knee replacements and back issues … Follow John Wayne's advice and "slow down there, pardner!" Stop and square your shoulders. Inhale, and feel as though you're lifting your rib cage up toward your head. This automatically lengthens your spine without placing more tension in your shoulders or lower back. Now keep that lovely posture as you move your right leg forward, leading from the hip, not the knee. Make the effort to move from your hip joint while pushing off your back foot. Swing your arms from those squared shoulders and don't be afraid to sway those hips! Go slowly at first, and practice your new sexy swagger around the house until it becomes second nature. Your body will thank you.

Biking has recently become one of the Boomer generations favorite hobbies, and is a fabulous way to stay in shape. Everywhere I travel, I'm delighted to find so many bikers on bike paths, roads and in parks. When we're biking, however, we're not in a posture that's beneficial for our hips and backs, so it's very important to remember to stretch both before and after your biking adventure. I recommend a minute or two of good hamstring and shoulder stretches before getting on your bike and then some deeper stretching when you return from your ride.

  • For your shoulder stretch, sit in the middle of a straight-back chair, feet flat on the floor, hands on the lower back of the chair. Then, lean forward with a flat back and stretch your ribcage up and out as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Breathe deeply for one minute, then relax.
  • Then for your hamstrings, slide yourself slightly forward in the chair, hands on the side of the chair near your butt. With your left foot flat on the floor, stretch your right leg out, "dig" your heel into the floor, and lean forward with a straight back until you feel a gentle "pull" in your hamstring. Be gentle, your muscles aren't warmed-up yet. Switch and stretch the other leg, and off you go!
  • When you return, spend five minutes or more stretching before taking your shower. Your muscles are warmed-up now, so now is the time to do deeper stretches. Complete both hamstring and shoulder stretches, and also this next stretch for your piriformis. The piriformis stretch that gives you the biggest bang for your effort is a yoga pose called Sleeping Pigeon. Start out on all fours, kneeling so that you look like a table. Bring your right knee forward and place it between your hands on the floor with the lower leg angled slightly toward your left wrist. Lower your body down on top of the legs as far as possible (you can hold yourself up with your hands or arms) and stretch the left leg out straight behind you. Relax and breathe deeply for two minutes.

To come out of the position, place your palms under your shoulders, inhale, and press into your palms as you lift your body back to table position and repeat with the opposite leg. This exercise stretches all the muscles surrounding your sciatic nerve and helps prevent low back issues, which can wreak havoc with our posture.

Lastly, here's a very easy, yet powerful exercise that I recommend completing once an hour. We all spend a lot of time hunched in front of our computers these days, which can cause neck and shoulder tension that then affects our posture – not mention that it's painful! A simple preventative is to set your watch or desktop calendar to remind you to STOP every hour; close your eyes so that you don't get distracted by the next e-mail or Facebook post. Lengthen your spine, then take the fingers of both hands and grasp your Trapezius, that thick muscle on each side of your neck where it meets your shoulders, you can't miss it. Squeeze as hard as you can without pain; a little discomfort is normal, but if it's painful, let off a little. Continue to squeeze and breathe deeply for one minute then slowly let off the pressure. This simple technique restores circulation to the area that's been tensed all day, relaxes the muscles and can even help prevent those late afternoon tension headaches.

All three of these recommendations are simple, require no special equipment and take very little time. Add them to your daily and sport routine now, and your back, hips, neck and shoulders will thank you with good posture for the rest of your life!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Is the housing market slowing down?

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Recently, we came across a headline in a local Chicago news outlet about an expensive home that had been for sale for a while. It read: “Spec house sells for two-thirds original list price.” Then we saw another news story about a home that had just sold for less than what it sold for in 1988. A third home sold for less than the price the builder paid for the lot.

There’s a lot of positive news about real estate these days: Mortgage rates are nearly at record lows, home prices are up significantly in many parts of the country over the past 10 years, and delinquency rates (the number of people making late mortgage payments) are near an 18-year low. Yet in some parts of the country, real estate prices are lower now than they were five, 10, 15 or, in some cases, 20 years ago.

Certainly, in the Chicago area, there are places where all types of homes are selling for far less now than they were before the Great Recession. Sam recently represented a buyer who purchased a home that sold for $6 million a number of years ago but recently sold for $4 million.

Yes, high-end home sales have been slowing for a while in greater Chicago. But now, homes that are priced around $400,000 to $600,000 in some Chicago-area neighborhoods are selling for up to 30 percent less than the owners paid just five or six years ago.

Is it just Chicago? We’re hearing anecdotal evidence from readers, friends and relatives that more-expensive real estate is a tougher sell in other parts of the country, too, particularly in more-rural communities. Maybe not somewhere like the heart of Silicon Valley or in Denver, but in some places, even in cities with red-hot Zip codes, the real estate markets are clearly slowing. Port Washington, N.Y., which is about 40 minutes from New York by car, is considered a cooler market, as is Stamford, Conn.

Why (and how quickly) real estate markets turn from hot to cold (and back again) is a bit of a mystery. Homes in your neighborhood might be selling briskly one week, and then suddenly you notice that the number of “for sale” signs is multiplying.

Sometimes the real estate market fluctuates from block to block, neighborhood to neighborhood and suburb to suburb. Sometimes the cause is a local school closing or another one winning an award. Or you may have a local business that expands or contracts. If a city is doing well financially, with a heterogeneous workforce, home prices should rise.

But when local home prices are out of sync with what residents earn, that’s a red flag. Fifteen years ago, Ilyce was touring different cities and noticed that home prices in neighborhoods filled with people who had public-service jobs were out of step with earnings. How had someone who earned $50,000 or $100,000 per year paid for a house worth $500,000?

The answer, as we later learned, was a surge in subprime mortgages, particularly those known as option adjustable-rate mortgages.

Homeowners could pick whatever interest rate or amount they wanted to pay each month. And whatever they didn’t pay (but was owed based on the “real interest rate” applied to the loan balance) was added back into the home, a form of negative amortization, which meant that instead of the mortgage balance being paid down each month, it was growing. This was fine as long as the housing market was shooting up in value. But when the real estate ride stopped, these homeowners found that they owed a lot more than their homes were worth and that it was ultimately cheaper to walk away. Which they did by the millions.

When real estate markets start to turn, residents might simply wonder why it is taking so long to sell their homes. If they need to leave, or if they believe prices will be lower in six months, they drop their list price dramatically. No one wants to be the canary in the coal mine. The mentality shifts quickly from “I’ll get what I want if I wait long enough” to “Get out fast today with whatever we can get.”

A few weeks ago, Ilyce answered a question in her weekly newsletter about whether home prices were going to decline. Currently, throughout most of the country, there are too few homes for the number of buyers who are actively looking. So housing prices have been rising, dramatically in some cases. Extremely low mortgage rates are helping prop up the market, but there is simply not enough housing that has been built in the past 10 years to keep up with demand.

But you get to a point where even a 30-year loan at 3 percent can’t tempt you to buy a house that’s overpriced for what it is, or you can’t afford it because of the taxes, maintenance and upkeep costs, commuting expenses, or the cost of child care. Most households already have two incomes supporting expenses. Nearly 50 percent of Americans have a “side hustle” on top of their full-time jobs. Even so, many millennials are finding today’s housing markets too expensive and are opting out. The number of millennials who own homes today is far less than the number of Gen X or baby boomers who owned at the same age.

There’s a widespread belief that the U.S. economy is strong, even though other countries are tottering on the edge of a recession and interest rates around the world are negative. Tariffs and the trade war are spooking business owners from Wall Street to farmers in Iowa and California, the gas and oil industry in Texas, and ranchers out West. The bond market now has 10-year interest rates that are lower than the short-term rates, which is known as an inverted yield curve. The last time we saw an inverted yield curve was before the Great Recession. And inverted yield curves have predicted every recession since the 1950s.

We don’t have a crystal ball — we wish we did — so we can’t tell you when the recession will come. But remember this: When wages and home prices get too far out of sync, something will change in the real estate market. Call it “the physics of real estate.”

Ilyce Glink is the author of “100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask” (4th Edition). She is also the chief executive of Best Money Moves, an app that employers provide to employees to measure and dial down financial stress. Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate lawyer. Contact them through her website, ThinkGlink.com.

Baby Boomers: Should You Move Your Retirement Funds Out of the Stock Market?

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Earlier this week, stocks took a free fall. The Dow plunged almost 1,600 points, the worst decline in history during a trading day. At the time of this writing, the stock market had recovered about half the losses. But did that alarming drop make you baby boomers wonder if you should stay invested in the stock market?

If so, the short answer is that it depends on your age.

The good news: Younger baby boomers don't have reason to worry about the correction, says Kyle Woodley, senior investing editor at Kiplinger.com. Remember, the 2008 stock market crash had a recovery time of six years.

"If you're between 50 and 60, there's still time to recover," Woodley says in a MarketWatch article, At What Age Should You Be Most Worried About a Stock Market Downturn? "Fifty years ago, life expectancy was much lower. You're not investing for the next 5 or 10 years, you're investing for the next 20. You have room to grow your nest egg and participate in that growth. ago, you would have been in two-thirds bonds in your 50s. That's not the case anymore. "

Financial guru Suze Orman agrees. "If you are saving for retirement or another goal that is 10 or more years off in the future, you should be happy stock prices are down," she says. "When stock prices are lower, your money buys more shares. And then you own more shares for when stock prices rebound."

One rule of thumb for your retirement money you might consider is to keep your age in safe investments, she adds. "So if you are 60 you might have as much as 60% in CDs or short-term Treasuries, and the rest can stick with stocks."

Keep in mind, because the market has soared the last eight years, you may need to rebalance your retirement portfolio to ensure your investments are aligned with your risk tolerance. Otherwise, you could lose a lot more money if the market crashes.

What if you're older and plan to retire in the next five years – or perhaps you're already retired and drawing from your retirement funds?

Some older boomers may have more reason to worry: Jared Snider, senior wealth adviser at Exencial Wealth Advisors in Oklahoma City, says that your risk depends on how well you have prepared for a downturn. "Those folks who have not prepared are most impacted by it. It can do irreparable harm. They sell out of fear or out of necessity because they don't have any other assets to liquidate."

Experts generally agree that you shouldn't invest anything you'll need within the next five years. That way you'll avoid pulling out all of your money during a market downturn which historically has always come back up again.

"If the market crashes, you'll need to be able to ride the storm out rather than selling everything in a panic," writes Katie Brockman in a CNN Money article, How to Protect Your Retirement Savings from a Crash. "By only investing money that you know you won't need for at least five years, it will be easier for you to leave those savings untouched until the market recovers."

Mental health stigma fading for Gen Z | News

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Compared to older Americans, Generation Z is more likely to report mental health problems and seek treatment, according to a study by the American Psychological Association.

In October 2018, the organization published the results of its 12th annual Stress in America survey. The focus of the 2018 survey was Generation Z, defined as those from age 15 to 21.

“Generation Z was much more likely to report that their mental health was ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ and that they were receiving treatment or therapy from a mental health professional,” said Dr. Caroline Vaile Wright, director of research and special projects at the APA. “They’re reporting poorer mental health but seeking out treatments for it at higher rates than other generations.”

According to the survey, only 45% of respondents from Generation Z reported “excellent” or “very good” mental health, compared to 56% of millennials, 51% of respondents from Generation X, 70% of baby boomers and 74% of older adults.

At 37%, Generation Z was also the most likely to report receiving treatment from a mental health professional. Among millennials, 35% reported such treatment, compared to 26% of Generation X, 22% of baby boomers and 15% of older adults.

Wright believes that youth are more willing to discuss their mental health and seek out treatment because of positive media influences.

“I think you are seeing this shift where celebrities, movie stars, TV stars and star athletes are being more open and writing articles about mental health,” she said. “They’re posting on social media about mental health. I think we see this possible reduction in stigma around mental health and more openness to discussing it than we have in the past.”

The survey also looked into the causes of stress among Generation Z.

“What we found in our study from last year was that Generation Z was reporting stressors related to news at a national level,” Wright said. “Things like immigration, sexual assault, mass shootings and school shootings were some of the top stressors that we saw for Generation Z.”

Other top stressors for the generation include drugs and alcohol, according to the Stress in America survey.

“Half of Generation Z reported that at least one person they know has been told they are addicted to or have a problem with drugs and alcohol,” Wright said.

In a National Public Radio interview, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said that marijuana use “hasn’t gone up, like in older populations, but it hasn’t gone down, and it remains worrisome. Another concern is we see very high and very fast uptake of electronic vaping devices.”

Offering vapor pods available in 8,000 different flavors, the tobacco industry uses electronic vaping devices to cater to younger users. What many don’t know is that one vapor pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.

“They’re thinking that it’s just nicotine, but they don’t understand how much nicotine is in a pod,” said Karesa Knight, the executive director and tobacco control coordinator of Intersect Inc., a nonprofit organization in Madison County that aims to educate youth about drugs and alcohol.

Youth are using electronic vaping devices not only to consume nicotine but to consume marijuana as well.

“Back in the ’70s, when older people smoked marijuana, the marijuana had around 5% or 10% THC,” Knight said. “Today’s marijuana is about 20% THC. When they melt that down into a ‘dab’ that’s then consumed in a vaping device, the THC level reaches around 80% or 90%.”

Knight has heard of instances in which teens and young adults have been hospitalized for consuming large, concentrated quantities of marijuana. She’s concerned that youth are unaware of the potential consequences.

“Of course these kids think it’s safe,” she said. “They think it’s just a little pot.”

Baby Boomers and Retirement – Is a Home-Based Business in the Future?

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Baby Boomers – Retirement is Coming
Retirement is coming for the Baby Boomers, and it may be coming faster than some would like. To their parents retirement meant a gold watch, and a comfortable if not affluent life after work, but baby boomers have a different perspective now. They may not be ready to retire financially, but more importantly, they may not want to quit working for mental or emotional reasons.

The AARP reports that 79% of the boomer generation doesn't plan to stop working at age 65. This number is far greater than both the generation before them and the one after. Why is this and what does it mean?

Some will argue that it is because they are not prepared for retirement financially. While this is true to some extent, they are much better prepared than the generations following who don't save much at all and want to retire earlier.

Baby Boomers are concerned about Social Security. They most likely don't have as much to be concerned about as Gen X and Gen Y, but that doesn't mean there is no concern. Social Security started in 1935, and at that time only slightly more than half of workers lived to reach the retirement age of 65.

These days, though, life spans are much longer (boomer's average lifespan may approach 90), so we now have only two workers contributing to the system for every one withdrawing from it. Social Security has been identified by many experts, and I think correctly, as a Ponzi scheme since the day FDR started it in the 30s.

Many people think they withdraw the money they paid in, but this has been shown not to be the case. There really is no Social Security trust fund.

Medicare faces the same demographic challenges as Social Security, but additionally must cope with the rapid expected growth in health care costs. Baby Boomers have reason to worry here as well.

Add to this that Baby Boomers are known for an almost unquenchable desire to look and feel young. They are quite fond of most other creature comforts as well.

Will Baby Boomers Retire?
But maybe the most important reasons that Baby Boomers don't want to retire are their strong work ethic and their personal identity being tied up in what they do. Steven Rothberg at the CollegeRecruiter.com blog says "The shorthand description that I like to use is that Baby Boomers live to work and Gen Y'ers work to live."

Baby Boomers like to work, and they like to do it their own way as they get older even if they were always an employee when younger. Paul and Sarah Edwards in their book The Best Home Businesses for People 50+ describe several reasons why those over 50 choose to work at home. Two of those reasons are "We want to try something new, stimulating, and challenging," and "We want to spend our second half 'our way,'"

Attempts are being made to keep workers in the traditional workplace in some industries. Among the options likely to grow more common in order to retain our aging population of workers are part-time positions, job sharing, flex-time, consulting arrangements, and extended time off when possible. As baby boomers age these types of arrangements may be beneficial both for maintaining the workforce as well as satisfying the desires of the boomers.

But some Boomers are more independent, and have or are considering striking out on their own. An ever more attractive option for this generation may be to work form home. Online businesses fit in nicely with the boomer lifestyle, too, because they allow a more flexible schedule than running a traditional storefront type business. They can be reasonably successful part time at least initially, and often can be started with relatively low initial investments.

Studies have shown that nearly 72 percent of boomers age 51 to 59 go online, while 54 percent of 60- to 69-year-olds surf the net. So the boomers have mostly embraced the internet, and are much more comfortable with computers than the proceeding generation.

The trend in most age groups is to more self-employed jobs as the economy changes from the old industrial model to a more information based society. The traditional job really is becoming rarer and not just shipped overseas as we are told by the media and our politicians.

Home-Based Businesses as a Solution
But for the Baby Boomer, who is even more likely to be downsized because of age and the perceived lack of modern skills (whether that is true or not), home-based businesses are becoming very attractive. Some are taking a preemptive approach to this and not waiting for the pink slip.

For those who are looking for a business finding your niche is probably the hardest part. In Paul and Sarah Edwards 2004 book mentioned above, the authors discuss many businesses in several categories including "Serving Business Clients," "Helping Individuals and Families" and "Turning Your Hobby into Income." You can find everything form Aromatherapy to Wedding Consultant and Planner there.

A Harris Interactive study found that 62 percent of boomers are concerned they won't be healthy during retirement. Businesses that help them stay healthy, such as health food and nutritional supplement stores (even on-line) or health clubs focusing on low-impact exercises could be in increasing demand.

If you are looking for a home-based business, my advice would be not to overlook the network marketing businesses as well. With the new internet models of attraction marketing to generate leads for your business, good income can be made with very little initial investment, and without even having to talk to friends and family. The business can be very much automated over the internet.

In the early stages of the business when income is very low, you can even use affiliate income as you build your clients. If this sounds difficult and you have no idea where to start, there are several great programs out there to teach you how to do this. And they don't have any connection to a certain networking business. You can choose your own.

You can see a list of my favorite resources for guiding you through the business set-up process by going to my attraction marketing blog. Again, you won't find any recommendations for a network marketing company here, just a list of low-cost resources that can give you step-by-step instructions on setting up a complete business, generating leads to business clients to business associates, that even a computer novice can understand.

There has never been a better time to establish a profitable home-based business than right now. Check it out today; I'm sure you'll be happy you did.

TripADeal Million Dollar Travel: Exotic places now on Australians’ bucket lists

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Australia’s older, bolder generation now seeks increasingly exotic holiday destinations to explore.

And they generally have the budget, the freedom and the time to do so.

The baby boomer population — 55 to 75 years old — are healthier and wealthier than ever before, keen to tick their bucket lists and spend a bit of their kids’ inheritance.

According to online travel agent, TripADeal, almost half of its customers — 43 per cent — are baby boomers travelling overseas.

Japan has become a popular destination among Australian travellers.
Camera IconJapan has become a popular destination among Australian travellers.Picture: istock

They’re also buying more than one holiday, with their favourite destinations including China, Japan and Vietnam,” TripADeal Asia specialist Teige O’Sullivan said.

“Asia is a lot less intimidating for baby boomers.

“It’s accessible and cheap while Europe can be quite demanding on the older traveller.

“Also the food is amazing and there’s group tours services available at a reasonable price.”

While travellers still in the workforce tend to plan trips around their children’s school holidays, retirees have no time constraints.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is another popular destination.
Camera IconHo Chi Minh City, Vietnam is another popular destination.Picture: istock

They can travel any time of the year since they have the time and flexibility with their schedules.

Christine McCormack, 65, and her partner Ron, 73, are among the many Aussie retirees enjoying their golden years travelling abroad.

Now they’ve made their money, paid off the mortgage and the kids have left home, the couple have decent super and they want to spend it on authentic experiences.

The couple vacation in Asia twice a year, joining tours while avoiding the singles surcharge where the best deals are based on twinshare.

Christine McCormack and her partner Ron in China.
Camera IconChristine McCormack and her partner Ron in China.Picture: The Sunday Telegraph, Supplied

Ms McCormack said retirees are always on the lookout for the best value, shorter flights and nicer accommodations.

“As seniors, we want to enjoy new destinations but still want an easy, comfortable travel style,” she said.

“Whether it’s Singapore, Beijing or Vietnam, travelling with a partner makes it easier to hop on a guided tour or do your own thing together.”

For your chance to win $1 million in travel from TripADeal, buy the paper any day until September 21, find the daily codeword, and fill in the entry form at milliondollartravel.com.au.

The winner will be drawn on September 21. Make sure you enter the code word on the day it ­appears in the paper. Dig

Como hacer uñas acrílicas baby boomers/Para principiantes

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Hola en este video les comparto como pueden empezar a realizar las uñas acrílicas baby boomers para principiantes

Baby Boomers – Surplus To The American Workforce

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In the past decade, many individuals have been forced to retire or were laid off from their life long professions. American airlines are an excellent example of forced retirement. It does not matter what words are used by the Dallas Morning News, Downsizing, Layoffs, Job Cuts or Pink Slip Parties. It all means unemployment benefits (if any are to be given) and or early retirement.

Retiring from the world of work can bring on a major crisis when it comes. What will you do with the decrease in income? How will it change your standing within the community? How will it change your standing within the family? What will you do with all your free time? The major group of people that are being ask these questions are the Baby Boomers.

The trend now days seem to be is that these individuals are surplus to the American workforce. Of the total of 76,402,903 Baby Boomers more than 73% choose remain active in some climate of work. Employment is the name of the game for people that are out of work. For people that have the skills, desire and ability a job is paramount in their lives.

As Mr. Louis Uchitelle observes in his recent book, "The Disposable American": Since 1984, more than 30 million Americans holding full-time jobs have been laid off – permanently separated from their jobs, Millions fell victim to "foreign competition," a euphemism for sending to countries where wages are measured in cents, not dollars. "

Most Baby Boomers still have 12 to 20 years or more to be active in job market. What types of jobs are available for baby bloomers in the workplace? I am talking about jobs that they can do that will fit into the 21st Century. Is it possible that the deepest fear for the Baby Boomers are Not that they are inadequate when it comes to working? The deepest fear is that they are powerless to finding a job of worth. And, finding a job that cannot be exported overseas.

Cornell University found that about one third of all Baby Boomers are planning a second career. With over 76 Million Boomers in the United States, that's 26 million planning to re-enter the workplace. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 25 percent of Baby Boomer households do not have enough in savings put away to retain their standard of living upon retirement.

When Baby Boomers were Young, they created the youth movement of the 60s. When they entered their 20s, they created the culture of excess in the 70's. Unlimited financial abundance was their birthright. That sounded great but that did not prove to be true. And there are now paying the price for it.

Starting a second career isn't something limited to the oldest Baby Boomers. Most full-time employees who are laid off have to take jobs that pay far less, and it is pure mythology that the answer for displaced workers is found in new skills – implying that there are jobs for everyone if they only had the right education. Even today there are not enough jobs for the college-educated employees seeking employment.

This is why so many Baby Boomers are working jobs which they are overqualified for. Many Boomers are facing years of hourly wages in part-time jobs to make ends meet. And this explains why thousands have disappeared from the unemployment rolls. Could home based businesses be the answer for those who are unemployed? Mr. Uchitelle estimated that of more than 30 million workers downsized out of a job since the 1980s most were Baby Boomers.

Some Boomers are answering their desire to give back to society by teaching in the public school or assisting in community volunteer programs. Still others are chasing their own dreams, turning a beloved hobby into a start-up companies, and quite a few are opening their own Home Based Business. Many are finding that Ecommerce could be the wave of their future. Could Ecommerce be the Declaration Of Independence for most if not all Baby Boomers? Declaration Of Independence is a very good way for all of us to see our jobs of the future. Jobs not tide to a company or a specific organization but tide to a concept, a new paradigm shift.

The number of Baby Boomer owned businesses have grown since the incident with Enron and Boeing. They have grown at twice the rate of all US firms. When asked about their motivation in starting there own Home Based Business, more than 50% indicate the desire for independence as the primary motivation. Even beyond that is the social responsibility that they feel for themselves, their family and the community. Starting a Second Career for Fun? It is anything else but fun, it is a source of income that is necessary for many Baby Boomers. I will survive ….
What will be the affects on baby bloomers in the future?

Three Changes To Higher Education That Both Republicans And Democrats Endorse

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Students in university

A new survey finds that regardless of political affiliation, the majority of Americans believe in the value of college. But they also perceive the need for major changes in how our colleges and universities operate.

Getty

The vast majority of Americans – both Republicans and Democrats – value higher education as a good investment, a pathway to economic mobility, and a ticket to better job security. But two-thirds of Americans believe higher education is in need of substantial changes, and they tend to agree on specific reforms involving the goals of higher education, insitutional accountability and admissions to elite colleges.

Those are just a few of the findings of New America’s just-released Varying Degrees 2019: New America’s Third Annual Survey on Higher Education, based on a nationally representative survey of 2,029 Americans ages 18 and older. The survey covered topics such as Americans’ perceptions of higher education, its contribution to economic mobility, how state and federal government should fund it and what changes to it are preferred.

The results are reported in the aggregate, and also broken out by political party affiliation, generation (Zs, Millennials, Xers, Baby Boomers and Silent Generation) and race. In contrast to other recent surveys showing big partisan divides in opinions about higher education, New America reports large majorities of both Republicans and Democrats believe that higher education offers:

  • a good return on investment for students (80% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans agreeing);
  • a pathway for upward mobility (93% of Democrats and 91% of Republicans agreeing);
  • better prospects for well-paying, stable careers (89% of Democrats and 88% of Republicans believe a BA provides this advantage).

Where party ID did matter was in response to questions about who is most responsible for funding higher education. About two-thirds of Americans (63%) believe that the government is most responsible because advanced education is “good for society.” While 80% of Democrats and 70% of independents agreed with that view, only 37% of Republicans did so; instead, 59% of Republicans believed students should assume most of the burden “because they personally benefit.” Nonetheless, Republicans still agree that both state (71%) and federal (64%) government should “spend more taxpayer dollars on education opportunities after high school to make them more affordable.”

Desired changes

Only one-third of the respondents believe “higher education in America is fine how it is.” The perceived need for change transcends political party, generation and race, but Democrats tend to be less satisfied with higher education (26%) than either Republicans or independents (41%).

New America found three areas where respondents believed changes were needed.

  1. Emphasizing the practical goals of college. More than a third of respondents (36%) believed that supporting “learning and development towards lifelong careers” was the most important thing colleges and universities can do. This was followed by preparing students to enter the job market or graduate school (28%) and teaching work-related skills and knowledge (22%). Disappointing to those who view a college education as a journey to becoming a generally better informed individual with a richer life of the mind, assisting students with personal and intellectual growth (11%) and promoting an engaged citizenry (3%) received little support. In fact, across party lines, “promoting an engaged citizenry” was judged to the be the least important goal of higher education (agreed to by 52% of Democrats, 57% of Republicans and 52% of independents).
  2. Holding institutions accountable. Nine of ten Americans believe colleges and universities should provide publicly available data on their student outcomes so they can be held accountable in meaningful ways. In fact, the majority of respondents – regardless of political party or age – support policies that would take away some taxpayer support from institutions that have low graduation rates (80% agree), high student loan default rates (64% agree), and low rates of graduates earning a living wage (77% agree).
  3. Reforming admissions to elite colleges. The survey was conducted after the news of the Varsity Blues admissions scandal had broken, which may account for the degree to which respondents objected to the major categories of admission preferences extended by selective colleges and universities. And object they did. Almost two-thirds (63%) did not agree with “legacy admissions,” the practice of giving preference to descendants of an institution’s alumni. More than half (57%) gave a thumbs-down to relaxing a college’s admissions standards for varsity athletes. And 74% believed that race/ethnicity should not factor into admissions standards, even when academic and extracurricular qualifications were equal. Can there by any doubt how they’d react to revelations that some universities consider the donation histories of applicants’ families when make admission decisions?

Although political affiliation is clearly linked to current opinions about higher education, with Republicans generally much more skeptical or even suspicious about the impact of colleges and universities than Democrats or independents, the results from the New America survey show a surprising degree of uniformity about the directions that Americans, in general, would like to see higher education take.

College leaders should take heed. Most Americans still believe in the value of higher education, especially in terms of its economic benefits. But they also see the need for changes in goals, accountability and admission practices. The level of agreement about these changes suggests that they are not going away. It’s time to take them seriously.

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The vast majority of Americans – both Republicans and Democrats – value higher education as a good investment, a pathway to economic mobility, and a ticket to better job security. But two-thirds of Americans believe higher education is in need of substantial changes, and they tend to agree on specific reforms involving the goals of higher education, insitutional accountability and admissions to elite colleges.

Those are just a few of the findings of New America’s just-released Varying Degrees 2019: New America’s Third Annual Survey on Higher Education, based on a nationally representative survey of 2,029 Americans ages 18 and older. The survey covered topics such as Americans’ perceptions of higher education, its contribution to economic mobility, how state and federal government should fund it and what changes to it are preferred.

The results are reported in the aggregate, and also broken out by political party affiliation, generation (Zs, Millennials, Xers, Baby Boomers and Silent Generation) and race. In contrast to other recent surveys showing big partisan divides in opinions about higher education, New America reports large majorities of both Republicans and Democrats believe that higher education offers:

  • a good return on investment for students (80% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans agreeing);
  • a pathway for upward mobility (93% of Democrats and 91% of Republicans agreeing);
  • better prospects for well-paying, stable careers (89% of Democrats and 88% of Republicans believe a BA provides this advantage).

Where party ID did matter was in response to questions about who is most responsible for funding higher education. About two-thirds of Americans (63%) believe that the government is most responsible because advanced education is “good for society.” While 80% of Democrats and 70% of independents agreed with that view, only 37% of Republicans did so; instead, 59% of Republicans believed students should assume most of the burden “because they personally benefit.” Nonetheless, Republicans still agree that both state (71%) and federal (64%) government should “spend more taxpayer dollars on education opportunities after high school to make them more affordable.”

Desired changes

Only one-third of the respondents believe “higher education in America is fine how it is.” The perceived need for change transcends political party, generation and race, but Democrats tend to be less satisfied with higher education (26%) than either Republicans or independents (41%).

New America found three areas where respondents believed changes were needed.

  1. Emphasizing the practical goals of college. More than a third of respondents (36%) believed that supporting “learning and development towards lifelong careers” was the most important thing colleges and universities can do. This was followed by preparing students to enter the job market or graduate school (28%) and teaching work-related skills and knowledge (22%). Disappointing to those who view a college education as a journey to becoming a generally better informed individual with a richer life of the mind, assisting students with personal and intellectual growth (11%) and promoting an engaged citizenry (3%) received little support. In fact, across party lines, “promoting an engaged citizenry” was judged to the be the least important goal of higher education (agreed to by 52% of Democrats, 57% of Republicans and 52% of independents).
  2. Holding institutions accountable. Nine of ten Americans believe colleges and universities should provide publicly available data on their student outcomes so they can be held accountable in meaningful ways. In fact, the majority of respondents – regardless of political party or age – support policies that would take away some taxpayer support from institutions that have low graduation rates (80% agree), high student loan default rates (64% agree), and low rates of graduates earning a living wage (77% agree).
  3. Reforming admissions to elite colleges. The survey was conducted after the news of the Varsity Blues admissions scandal had broken, which may account for the degree to which respondents objected to the major categories of admission preferences extended by selective colleges and universities. And object they did. Almost two-thirds (63%) did not agree with “legacy admissions,” the practice of giving preference to descendants of an institution’s alumni. More than half (57%) gave a thumbs-down to relaxing a college’s admissions standards for varsity athletes. And 74% believed that race/ethnicity should not factor into admissions standards, even when academic and extracurricular qualifications were equal. Can there by any doubt how they’d react to revelations that some universities consider the donation histories of applicants’ families when make admission decisions?

Although political affiliation is clearly linked to current opinions about higher education, with Republicans generally much more skeptical or even suspicious about the impact of colleges and universities than Democrats or independents, the results from the New America survey show a surprising degree of uniformity about the directions that Americans, in general, would like to see higher education take.

College leaders should take heed. Most Americans still believe in the value of higher education, especially in terms of its economic benefits. But they also see the need for changes in goals, accountability and admission practices. The level of agreement about these changes suggests that they are not going away. It’s time to take them seriously.