Senior citizen finances is my wheelhouse.
My entire career as a C.P.A., a Realtor and now as a Mortgage Loan Originator specializing in Reverse Mortgages has most frequently put me in front of the elderly. These experiences have revealed two nagging questions that most every senior citizen has; when will I lose my driver’s license and will I outlive my financial resources before I pass away?
I have zero expertise when it comes to the driver’s license question. I am in that boat right along with you. Cataracts and Macular Degeneration and all those types of health issues may affect us all. I will make no further comment on this concern.
I do have some serious thoughts about what to do if you think you are running out of money and you are no longer employed. For those of you who are still employed and are concerned about how you will finance your retirement, don’t give up your job if you can stand to be there!
The following applies to those who cannot stand their job or have already left the workforce. That being said, employed seniors can start a little business even before they give up the day job. A head start can be very beneficial.
The object is to develop a cash flow stream by doing what you really like to do.
I must assume that somewhere along the way you developed hobbies or avocations for which you have some passion. If you cannot think of anything, search your storage areas for clues: such as craft materials. books and materials that suggest a thorough knowledge or a skill coveted by others, specialty tools and the like.
So what did the search reveal? See if one or more of these suggestions resonates with you.
ARTS and CRAFTS
This is a broad category. Sewing and quilt making have had a resurgence over the last few decades. My wife has taken up quilting. The quilting conferences and shows are surprisingly popular. A whole plethora of gadgets and supplies are marketed at these conventions and online. Looks to me like many of the vendors are doing very well.
Fine art, ceramics and woodworking are alive and well. My wife and I attend various art shows in diverse places, such as Palm Springs, CA and the surrounds and as far away as Mammoth Lakes, CA. Almost every community has a “street fair.” Check to see if you have such an event in your neighborhood. It may be the best place to sell your creations.
I have a niece who specializes in vintage clothing. She travels all over the U.S. to procure items in her specialty. Remember, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. In the process, she has seen much of our beloved country. Not a bad benefit.
I once knew a lady who painted doll heads and did general doll restoration. Seems this is pretty serious stuff. It was a lucrative business.
It’s about the knowledge you have that others want. My sister-in-law tutored the piano for years to supplement the family income while her children were young. She continued to tutor until a few years ago when she lost some dexterity in her fingers. The process worked for her up into her 80’s!
One of our greatest decisions concerning our children’s education was to hire a math tutor for them. A little personal attention goes a long way. Math became easy after a few sessions. Consider what you enjoy and put yourself out there.
This is one of those industries that would have flopped in the 60’s and 70’s. Who would pay to have their dog or cat walked, scrubbed, or psychoanalyzed? Today this is serious stuff.
I have a relative who has one of those small yappy dogs. Somehow they got a certificate or license or whatever to signify this dog to be a “Service Dog”. I capitalize the title because that dog is allowed go anywhere with them. My relative cannot tell me what kind of service this dog provides, however.
This is no joke, though. Million of dollars are spent on pets from soup to nuts. Jump in this industry, if the water feels right!
Personal Services for the Elderly
Concierge services are in high demand. Functions, which were basic in our youth, may well be impossible for us as we age. I mentioned driving earlier. Once the driving privilege goes away, others must step in to fill the void. Shopping, doctor’s appointments and the like can provide an opportunity for you to make some money while providing an incredibly important service to the senior community.
I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to have a companion who has similar demographics to mine than one who does not. It is sort of irritating when you ask a young person about Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope or John Wayne and all you get is a blank stare. You have a commodity to sell-your common knowledge and interests with your clients.
A little thought will provide you with some great activities to investigate. Use the internet to help you flesh out what you brainstorm.
Note that none of my suggestions require bricks and mortar. What I mean is, you don’t have to spend money for a shop or office to do any of the above. I would never recommend jumping into any business without thorough investigation and a complete understanding of what you are getting into.
Keep the investment to a minimum, at first. Let the revenues dictate your expansion. Note that most if not all of my suggestions are services and should not require much money to get started. If you can, keep a tight ship when it comes to spending dollars. The object is to take dollar out of the pot, not put dollars in.
I would be remiss if I did not tell you about how I spend my time as a senior citizen. I strategize with my clients regarding the benefits of a Reverse Mortgage. Some may think my choice of this late-life career a bit unusual; not at all really. My previous careers were a Certified Public Accountant and Realtor. These were meaningful services that required a great deal of my attention to the needs of my clients. My present career is no exception. My greatest joy is helping my senior citizen clients solve their financial and logistic problems.
CALL ME FOR A FREE CONSULTATION TO DETERMINE IF A REVERSE MORTGAGE MAY BE OPTIMAL FOR YOU, YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS
(909) 273-5556 / (760) 407-6740
HOME FINANCING, INC.
Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash