Monday, October 13, 2014

The Case for Quitting Your Job

Even if You Love It, Walking Away Might Leave You Healthier and Happier
By Anne Tergesen, Wall Street Journal,  Oct. 12, 2014 

When it comes to your work, is it time to move on?

Millions of Americans in their 50s and 60s are delaying retirement and holding on to jobs they have done for years. Many, of course, need the money. But many others say they simply enjoy—even love—what they do. And if that’s the case, why not stay?

The answer: Because jumping ship—even if jumping would seem to make little sense—could be the best way to remain productive, happy and healthy into old age.

The phenomenon of delayed retirement is well documented. Average retirement ages are climbing, and nearly half of baby boomers say they expect to work until age 66 or beyond, according to Gallup Inc. polls.

For the most part, that’s good news, according to academics and financial and health-care professionals. Continuing to work in some fashion as we age can benefit mind and body, as well as beef up undersized nest eggs.

But these same experts, and many older adults themselves, are discovering a downside to remaining at the same desk year after year—a tendency toward complacency, coupled with a reluctance to ask tough questions.

For example: Am I working because I truly love what I do, or am I simply afraid of change? Do the best and brightest staffers want to work with me, or do they see better opportunities elsewhere? Am I continuing to learn something new about my work and myself, or am I plowing the same ground again and again?

To read the rest of the article click here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Become a Consultant

by Art Koff, Founder of RetiredBrains

According to a survey by RetiredBrains, “more than 86% of business professionals plan to continue working once they are eligible to retire” — and many will start their own business enterprise as consultants.  If you decide to work for yourself, depending on your profession, you are likely to need certain certifications as well as credentials for credibility and marketing.

For example, process consultants should have Lean or Six Sigma certifications or rankings. Project managers should have a Project Management Professional certification; Facilities managers should have a Facility Management degree. Other industry specific credentials or certifications are desirable and sometimes a requirement.

Before you start your practice you need to have your ducks in order including all necessary certifications and qualifications as well as a plan to market your services to perspective clients. Certainly the network you have established over the years must be maintained and expanded. Unfortunately many who are nearing retirement stop networking and this is a huge mistake if you plan to go into business for yourself

When you work for an employer you have all kinds of support but once you start your own business, you will need to provide this support yourself or via contacts you have established. If you do not have the organizational skills and ability to manage the projects you will be taking on, do not plan to start your own practice. Check this short list below before going forward.
> Business to business selling/marketing ability.
    > Enough money saved to carry you over until your business is profitable.
    > A network of prospects along with contact information.
    > A home office or an outside location where you can conduct your business.

You should also set both long-term and short-term goals. If your goals do not match up with the time and energy it will take you to open and successfully build a consulting practice then reconsider your plans.

Below are some of the most common consulting businesses:
  • Accounting
  • Advertising
  • Auditing
  • Career counseling
  • Executive search/HR consulting
  • Grant writing
  • Marketing
  • Project management
  • Public relations
  • Research
  • Sales management
  • Tax consulting
  • Writing/editorial consulting
Here is a list of some of the things you will need depending on the kind of consulting practice you plan to open and the type of company or corporate entity:
  • An attorney
  • An accountant
  • A Federal tax ID number
  • A State business license
  • A corporate entity
  • An office (home or outside location. A shared office space is usually best to start as most offer many of the support services you will need)
  • Insurance
  • Marketing/advertising materials (including a Website)
  • A list of fees or price list for your services and expenses
Click here for a list of items to purchase for your start-up office.
One of the best advantages of consulting is that you can pretty much plan your work. You decide how much you want to work and what kinds of assignments you wish to accept.

Prior to leaving your current job, if you are still working and if you are thinking of starting a consulting practice you should:
  • Google “consulting practice” and “starting a consulting practice” where you will find many resources including books on how to build a successful consulting practice, such as “10 ways to start a consulting practice,” etc.
  • Maintain your contacts and continue to network.
  • Decide what area(s) of consulting you plan to establish and make a special effort to network with the people and companies that could use your services.
  • Develop any skills and acquire the credentials you will need.
  • Do some analysis to see if the area in which you plan to consult is truly viable.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Correct Your Digital Footprint

by Art Koff, Founder of RetiredBrains

Many Americans aren't aware of the full extent of their digital footprint.

Having all appropriate information in one place isn't only important to your proper digital management, but is extremely important for your family and your estate after you’re gone or incapacitated.

It is important to discuss with your spouse or family as to whether you want your on-line/digital accounts closed or transferred when the time comes. Your should list the contact person, if you have one, at each account, as well as passwords and login information and make sure to include all financial, banking and credit card sites as these are areas that have the biggest possibility of creating problems if you aren't available to act.

Be aware that each social media site has a different set of rules governing how to close your account and remove the profile of a deceased users. Some are relatively easy while others may require a copy of an obituary notice or even a death certificate.

Definitely provide a copy of this information to your spouse/family and to your accountant and attorney along with instructions of how these matters should be handled.

Instruct the appropriate person (family member or friend) whether you wish some kind of message sent out via your social media sites including various alumni list-serves indicating your passing or incapacitation.

Everyone needs to do the following:
  • List all of your accounts, logins, passwords and URL's including email accounts. Note: if you have more than one email account it is imperative that the appropriate email address be listed with each of your accounts for communication purposes.
  • List social media Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc.
  • List any sites you use to purchase or sell products and services like eBay, Amazon, craigslist, Zappos, etc.)
  • List all retailers where you have open accounts.
  • List all business and service related online accounts like banking, utilities, cable, phone, Internet, etc.
  • List all accounts in which you use automatic transfers or payments via a credit card or checking account withdrawal.
For additional information and many articles on what you should consider with respect to your digital footprint check out

For more information on who gets access to a deceased person's digital accounts including state by state laws on access to digital accounts after death check this report from the
Pew Research Center.

For a short concise
estate-planning check list, visit our site,

Thursday, September 4, 2014

"The Starfish Story"

Adapted from the original by Loren Eiseley