Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rebuilding your life after the death of your life partner

Recommendation by Art Koff, Founder, RetiredBrains

This new book is a “must have” for those who have lost a spouse or life partner or are worried about how they will cope with this difficult time.

It is not just another book on grief and coping with loss. Grief counselor Vicki Panagotacos provides a step-by-step program that will open your eyes to a new way of life and help you think clearly about what you want -- and don't want -- as you move forward after loss.

Readers will feel Vicki's understanding of their experience and be helped by her suggestions. It is an excellent book for individuals who anticipate or experienced a loss as well as for pastors, therapists, hospice, healthcare providers and counselors; it offers hope and practical insight into how to move forward.

To buy or read excerpts from the book go to

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Labor market shifts to temporary & part-time workers

By Art Koff, Founder of

There is a noticeable shift in the labor market with employers increasingly using part-time and temporary workers.  Companies view labor more as inventory that is to be hired when they need it and let go when they don't need it. This is evidenced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics June report which shows part-time jobs soared by almost 800,000 to more than 38 million. The BLS also stated that in June part-time employees swelled to 7.5 million compared with just 4.4 million in 2007.

Many job seekers are seeking part-time and temporary assignments and many others are looking for full-time jobs but readily accept these jobs while they continue to look. This is backed up by the Labor Department’s report of a sharp rise in the number of part-time workers who prefer full-time jobs. The total jumped by 275,000 in June to 7.5 million.

Employers are hiring older workers for these kinds of “at will” assignments as they generally do not have to pay benefits and the costs of off boarding are minimal by comparison to having to let a full-time person go. Any time employers find hiring from a certain area is more cost effective you can be sure this area will be given a great deal of attention. In addition the Affordable Care Act, which requires firms with at least 50 employees to provide health insurance to those working at least 30 hours, seems to be prompting some businesses to hire more part-time workers to save these insurance expenditures.

Part-time and temporary jobs are particularly attractive to older workers as benefits are not as necessary as they were when these workers were still raising a family and before some could take advantage of Medicare.

Click here for more information on how to find temporary jobs and project assignments along with a list of the temporary jobs most in demand.

Seasonal & summer/fall/winter/holiday jobs
These kinds of jobs are often misunderstood and when RetiredBrains asked readers to identify a number of seasonal jobs most could only point to holiday jobs; mostly in retail. Seasonal jobs are diverse and you should certainly look for something that appeals to you as most pay relatively little money. The average person that takes a seasonal job is more interested in the experience. Jobs listed often include guiding tours at the zoo; working in national parks for the concessionaires who run the hotels, restaurants, gift shops and marinas, working at resorts and fishing lodges and for transportation and tourism companies. If you are a golfer there are jobs at golf courses as rangers or starters; or even driving the ball pickup tractor at driving ranges or working behind the desk at the pro shop.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Work at Home Jobs

By Art Koff, Founder Retired Brains

Many boomers, seniors and retirees are looking for legitimate ways to work at home and earn money to enable them to live the lifestyle they had planned during their retirement years or bring in revenue to supplement what they are earning from their job.  Some are also looking for ways to create an income while they are in-between jobs.

There are many ways to use your interests and experience to work at home.  In some cases you can work for a company and in others you can work for yourself.

RetiredBrains has included brief success stories from a number readers outlining the small businesses they started with little or no financial investment that are now turning a profit.  Click here to see a List Small Businesses Enterprises Started by Boomers, Seniors and Retirees

The 10 Top Industries for Work-from-Home Jobs

Where are the Work-from-Home Jobs for Boomers, Seniors & Retirees?
In addition to job opportunities available for boomers & seniors outside of the home, working from home is a major source of income for many older Americans. If you are comfortable working with a computer and the phone, telecommuting or working from home is a solid option. An understanding of technology would, in some cases, make you even more valuable.

Work-from-home “jobs” for boomers, seniors and retirees include full-time or part-time jobs, freelance and consulting jobs, and temporary or seasonal work.

According to data analyzed by the home-based job search service FlexJobs, the top 10 work from home jobs are as follows:

1. Sales
2. Medical & Health
3. Customer Service
4. Administrative
5. Computer & IT  
6. Education & Training
7. Web & Software Dev
8. Accounting & Finance
9. Manager
10. Research

Applying for Work-from-Home Jobs
Before you start applying for work-from-home jobs, consider the type of work you’d like to do from home. Do you want to work 100% from home, or would you like to get out of the house as well? For example, Sales is a field that allows you to work from home and do in-person visits, whereas Customer Service jobs will be done entirely from home. Know which you’d prefer and focus on those jobs.

Steer Clear of Work-from-Home Job Scams
There are a lot of dubious business opportunities and outright scams in the work-from-home job niche, so be sure to use caution and trust your instincts when applying to jobs. Research any company thoroughly before accepting employment. Do not give out personal information like bank account and social security numbers. Never “invest” or pay to get a job. And don’t be pressured into accepting a job on-the-spot without being able to do your research.  For more information on scams click here.

The Top10 Most Common Work-from-Home Job Titles
1. Writer
2. Consultant
3. Customer Service Representative
4. Sales Representative
5. Engineer
6. Account Executive/Manager
7. Software Developer
8. Case Manager
9. Medical Coder
10. Adjunct Faculty

Friday, May 30, 2014

Protect Yourself from Scams

by Art Koff, Founder of RetiredBrains

If your identity has been stolen or you are a victim of credit-card fraud, notify all credit-card companies and tell them to issue you a new card.

Place a credit-card freeze on your account with the three main credit agencies. This won't affect your credit or cause problems with other credit cards you hold, your mortgage, car loans, etc. It only affects the ability of others to apply for credit in your name.

Note: You must also remember to place a credit freeze on the accounts of deceased persons. If you fail to freeze their credit, a thief can possibly steal their identity and apply for credit in that person's name. The credit agency agencies and their contact numbers are:
  • Equifax — 800-525-6285
  • Experian — 888-397-3742
  • Trans Union — 800-680-7289
You should also contact your local law enforcement agency. Complaints can be filed as well by calling 877-IDTHEFT or logging on to the Federal Trade Commission website .

Visit RetiredBrains for more in-depth coverage
on subjects like, Theft & Scams, Fraud and Scams, Common Scams, How Identity Theft Occurs, If You Are a Victim, Background Checks, Check Your Credit, Identity Theft Reports. Credit Counseling Scams Craigslist Scams and how to fill out an identity theft report .

Internet security flaws and data breeches
                                                                                  A great deal of information has been published about the loss of personal information due to data breaches at retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus.

Identity Theft Resource Center Breach database is a compilation of data breaches confirmed by various media sources and/or notification lists from state governmental agencies and is updated on a daily basis. This site is updated regularly for new data breeches.

Scam of the Week
The previously mentioned Identity Theft Resource Center website also provides a weekly update on the
most current scams being reported, including:
  1. Auto Scams
  1. Online Auction Scams
  1. Travel Scams
  1. Employment Scams
  1. Social Network Scams
  1. Financial Scams
  1. Face to Face Scams
  1. Telephone Scams
  1. Real Estate Scams
Electronic pickpocketing                                                                                                             
s a term most don't currently recognize but everyone should be made aware of. Many credit cards, all passports, entry access cards/badges for business locations and even hotel rooms and some mass transit payment cards have embedded RFID chips.

These cards/badges can be "cloned" with a simple, easy to carry and conceal, card reader. A thief can brush by you with this reader and easily copy the information these chips contains and use it to duplicate the credit card or access all the information on your passport including your Social Security information. You wouldn't even know that you have been electronically pickpocketed. Even when you get your credit card bill and see bogus charges you wouldn't be able to tell if your credit card was compromised when you paid for goods or services or someone cloned your RFID chip.

Credit cards, passports and access cards can be protected with inexpensive sleeves that block card readers from accessing the information on embedded RFID chips. You can also wrap your cards in tin foil to serve the same purpose. Visit RetiredBrains for more information and
preventative measures .

Disaster relief scam.
You receive a request for donation via email or phone to donate to a major disaster relief fund: hurricane, tornado, flood, etc. Sometimes the name of the charity or organization sounds like a legitimate organization, but the website they link you to is bogus and any money donated ends up in the pockets of the scammer. Always contact the recognized charitable organization directly by phone or go to their website and donate or volunteer this way. has a search feature. The
Exempt Organizations Select Check tool allows people to find legitimate, qualified charities to which donations may be tax-deductible.

One-ring phone call scam.
Your phone rings and a number shows that you don't recognize. Your phone rings only once and so you're curious.

The scam works as follows: Scammers auto-dial cellphones across the country at random. The calls are from area codes that include: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876. These area codes look like U.S. numbers but they are coming from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands or Grenada.

When you call back, a message says you have reached an operator — please hold. In some cases, the calls go to adult entertainment or other expensive services which charge by the minute. These charges then appear on your phone bill and since you actually made the call it is difficult to get them removed.

Protect yourself
Make a photo copy of both sides of everything in your wallet including credit cards and identification cards (driver's license, insurance cards, etc.). If traveling overseas make a copy of your passport and keep in a separate safe place.

What you should not carry in your purse or wallet:
  1. No identification that includes your Social Security number, any PINs or passwords
  1. No blank checks
  1. No spare keys for your house or car
  1. Medicare card (carry a photocopy with the last 4 digits cut out)
  1. Don’t sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put “PHOTO ID REQUIRED.”
Additional links:
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority provides a Scam Meter on their website. The free tool asks a series of questions to help you determine if an investment you are thinking about might be a scam.

Federal Trade Commission regularly updates a list of Scam Alerts . You can browse FTC scam alerts by topic or by most recent.

Although we have attempted to ascertain the legitimacy of all the firms whose URLs appear in this article we make no guarantee of such and urge readers to check with their accountants and attorneys before relying on the information provided or engaging services.

This article written by Art Koff, founder with the assistance of John Jupin, a former FBI special agent and retired U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General special agent.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Important Retirement Information

by Art Koff, Founder of RetiredBrains

Occasionally our viewers’ send us content we feel would be of interest to those who visit our Blog.  This info-graphic provides information on the trends boomers are following as they retire.

Click on these links for more information on:
·         Aging in Place
·         Employment Assistance
·         Senior Travel/Vacations