Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Share Your Experience and Make Money Writing Online

Earn Money When You Share
Your Knowledge on Online!
Are you looking for a way to make money from home?  If you can write short articles of about 500 - 1000 words, you can submit them to online websites such as Daily Two Cents,  InfoBarrel, Hubpages or Writedge and earn extra money from the Google and Chitika ads that will be placed on the same page as your articles.

What Should You Write About? 

In the articles, simply share some of the knowledge you have accumulated during your lifetime, or write about news stories, particularly interesting stories in the area where you live.  Most of us Baby Boomers have plenty of information we would like to share!  In addition, I am constantly hearing from my Baby Boomer friends about how they would like to earn a little money working from home.  Writing online is a good way to do it.

What are some topics that you could write about?  If you are like most Baby Boomers, you have more knowledge and experience than you realize.  You have plenty of information to pass on to others.  Here is a short list to get you started:

Tourist attractions in your area.
Vacation destinations you enjoyed.
Skills you learned on your job.
Hobbies and the equipment they require.
Reviews of products you have purchased.

What Do You Need to Get Started Writing Online?

People of all ages are discovering that they have skills and experiences that they enjoy passing on to others, and they can make money from writing sites when they do.  All you need in order to get started is a computer, and basic knowledge of how to write and submit information to a website.  You will need to open an account on InfoBarrel, Daily Two Cents, Hubpages, Writedge or the sites that interest you. Depending on the site, you may also need to open accounts on Google Adsense and Chitika, after you have submitted 10 or more articles.  Google and Chitika will pay you directly, once you begin earning money. 

You might also become an Amazon affiliate, once you start building up a library of articles.  This will allow you to promote Amazon products in your articles and you can earn a commission if someone purchases an item you promoted.

How Do You Get Started?

Once you have started writing on one site, you will begin to think of even more great topics to write about.  As you become familiar with the different sites, you will start to notice that certain types of articles do better on one site than another.

I suggest that people write at least 100 articles on one site before they move to another one.  Go back and check on your old articles regularly, however, and update them when they need it.  As you become a better writer, you will want to revise your old articles.

How Much Money Can You Earn Writing Online?

How much money can you earn?  To be honest, you won't earn very much when you first start.  It will probably take you about six to nine months to reach your first Google payout of $100 or more.  However, most writers who stick with it soon discover that those $100 payouts come more and more frequently, and the writers enjoy being able to earn money while they work at home.

Eventually you may want to spread your wings by starting your own website or writing ebooks.  However, the writing sites I mentioned here are a great way to get started.  Just keep building your online body of work, and the money will come.

The writing income from the sites listed above is residual.  That means you will keep earning money from an article for years after you submit it!  One article can gradually create a regular income stream.  Dozens of articles produce plenty of possibilities for income. The extra money can sure come in handy, too, when you need a little extra cash to pay for holiday gifts or other extras!

If you are interested in learning more about retirement planning, use the tabs or pull down menu to find links to hundreds of additional articles on where to retire, financial planning, family relationships and more.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing You The Miracles of the Holidays

Happy Holidays
(photo by
During this time of family gatherings, hectic shopping, and (let's face it) holiday stress, I hope you each are able to take a moment to sit in quiet contemplation of the past year.

Many people have suffered losses, divorces, and the deaths of loved ones.  At the same time, others have started new adventures, married, given birth to children and graduated from school.

For most of us, the year has been a combination of both good and bad; triumph and disappointment.  No matter how the year has been for you, I hope this holiday weekend is a time of caring, sharing, healing and forgiveness for you and your loved ones.

Whatever your religion, and however you celebrate, may you be blessed this season with the comfort of those you love, the laughter of people you care about, and gratitude for the gift of being alive to enjoy the present moment.
Happy Holidays
from My Family to Yours

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Danger of Fatal Holiday Heart Attacks

Heart Attacks Hit
Without Warning
(Photo by
I heard on ABC News just prior to Christmas a few years ago that deaths from heart attacks are more likely to occur around the holidays.  In particular, people seem to die more frequently from heart attacks if they occur on Christmas Day, the day after Christmas, or New Years Day.

Why Do More People Die From Heart Attacks During the Holidays?

Although the researchers did not know with absolute certainty why more people die when they have a heart attack on a holiday, the reporters hypothesized that it may be because people are reluctant to ask to be taken to the hospital on a holiday, because they don't want to interrupt all the the festivities.  

Because of this, it is especially important to keep an eye out for elderly relatives during other significant events ... family weddings, after the death of a loved one, reunions, etc.  These are also occasions when people may not want to disturb everyone else with complaints about pain or discomfort.

In addition, it is possible that people who have just eaten a heavy meal of rich food may mistake a heart attack for indigestion.  It is not an unusual confusion.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between a Heart Attack and Indigestion?

First, heart attacks are not experienced the same way by everyone.  While a woman may feel the pain in her arm or jaw, a man may feel as though is chest is being squeezed.  Later, the pain may migrate to a man's shoulder, arm or jaw, too.  Many people mistake their symptoms for indigestion.  However, if the pain is constant, rather than coming and going, and it doesn't get better when you lay down, it could very well be a heart attack.

Other Ways to Recognize a Heart Attack

There are also other clues that could indicate a heart attack.  For example, a common symptom is that the person will have trouble breathing.  They may also begin to sweat heavily, because of the stress the body is under.  They may feel as if their pulse is irregular, racing or skipping beats.

What to Do if You Suspect You or Someone Else is Having a Heart Attack

If you or someone you love experiences any of these symptoms during the holidays, or any other time of the year, do not wait to get them treated. Rush them to the hospital, or call 9-1-1. The sooner a heart attack victim is treated, the more likely they are to live.

To stay up to date with medical and retirement news affecting Baby Boomers, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cheap and Thoughtful Last Minute Gifts

Flowers are one Thoughtful Gift!
Have you ever been in a situation when you realized that you need to quickly produce a gift, and you have very little time or money?  Most of us have been faced with this problem at some time in our lives.  If you are a new retiree on a fixed income, this can be even more of a challenge.  You really have to watch what you spend, and you don't want to go into debt just to provide gifts for others.  What are some ways to handle this situation?

Prepare Ahead

One solution is to go to garage sales and estate sales in your area, and buy inexpensive items that you can keep on hand.  Don't overdo it.  However, if you can find a few pretty vases for under $5, or some lovely mismatched plates for a dollar or two, buy them and put them aside.  Then, when you need an inexpensive gift, you can wrap up one of the vases in a pretty box, or fill it with flowers from your garden and not even bother to wrap it when you give it away!  The plates are a handy way to present gifts of a homemade cake, cookies or candy.  Simply place the baked goods on the plate and present it to a friend, telling them to keep the plate.  If you are unable to find any suitable plates or vases at local estate sales, check out the Dollar Store or .99 Cent Store in your community.  You can usually find something there.

Regifting Can Be Fun

Another idea for a thoughtful and cheap gift is to regift something that has been given to you.  I frequently attend gift exchanges around the holidays.  When I end up with something I know I will not use, I store it in a closet and re-gift it the next year.  Careful, though!  Be sure you mark down where you received the gift, so you pass it on somewhere else.  You would hate to give it to the person who gave it to you ... or their best friend!

Dinner Invitations

If you need a gift right now, and have nothing on hand, write out an invitation on a piece of personal stationery and invite your friends to dinner at your home in two or three weeks.  Be specific and do not make it some vague date.  If they have to change it, you can work it out with them; but, start with a specific date in mind.  Your friends will love being your guests ... and you probably would have invited them to dinner at some point, anyway!

Gift Donations

You can also sit down at the computer and make a donation to a friend's favorite charity.  Then, tuck the receipt into a gift card and present it to them.  If you have chosen the right charity, they will be delighted by your thoughtfulness!  Many people love to receive a donation as a gift.

Really, Really Last Minute Gifts

Are you on the way to a party right now, and you realize you desperately need to pick up a cheap gift on the way?  Don't despair!  You can pick up a bottle of wine and a gift bag at the liquor store, or a flowering plant at the grocery store.  If you need something for a white elephant gift exchange, pick up two or three funny local tourist gifts at the local convenience store.  Items like bottle openers, shot glasses and hats promoting a local sports team are perfect for those silly gift exchanges, and someone might actually like them!

Whatever you decide to take with you, stick to your budget.  All of us are very money conscious these days, and there is no need to break your budget purchasing gifts that may end up on someone else's re-gifting shelf!

For more helpful retirement ideas, use the tabs or pull down menus at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of articles about affordable places to retire, retirement planning, health issues that can arise, changing family relationships and more.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Years Holidays in Las Vegas

Spend New Years by the
Ballagio Fountains
(photo by
Why not spend New Years in Las Vegas this year? Many Baby Boomers and other retirees are looking for something fun, exciting or different to do this New Years Eve.  Now that you no longer have young children to worry about, you can make plans that are more elaborate than you could during your child rearing years.  If you are thinking about taking a trip to Las Vegas this winter, you need to start making your plans right away.

December and January are popular times to go to Las Vegas.  Hotels are available in a a wide variety of price ranges, from expensive 5 Star hotels like the Ballagio, Paris or the Venetian down to much cheaper motels, including Motel 6.  In between, there are a nice selection of moderately priced hotels, as well, including the Golden Nugget on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, or the Luxor and Stratosphere on the strip.  If you plan to go to Las Vegas in the winter, make your hotel reservations as soon as possible.

Unless you want to eat in a specific restaurant, you can be more casual about dinner reservations.  There are so many restaurants and buffets, it is usually possible to find one with an opening.  However, exceptional restaurants such as the one in the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel, or the one at the top of the Stratosphere may require advance reservations.  The late night clubs may be more difficult to enter on New Years Eve than at other times of the year.  You may wish to talk to the concierge at your hotel for their recommendations.  They may be able locate one for you, and arrange to get you admitted. 

If you are planning to see a show, your concierge can also help you arrange tickets.  However, if you aren't picky, you may be able to get half price tickets at a kiosk owned by Tix4Tonight.  They sell the tickets that are left over for that night's shows.  Availability varies from day to day, but it is a fun way to save money on a Las Vegas show.

Check the weather forecasts carefully before you decide what clothing to bring on your trip.  My husband and I have taken frequent trips to Las Vegas during the winter, especially since we have been in our 50's and 60's, and the weather seems to be different on every trip.  We once planned a golf vacation, only to arrive to 6 inches of snow, with the valet parking attendants building a snowman in front of the hotel!  You can be almost certain that it will be quite cold in the desert after dark.  During the day, however, it could be sunny and mild, rainy and chilly, or downright freezing.

Las Vegas is a ideal place for Baby Boomers to enjoy time away from their normal routines.  New Years in Las Vegas is an especially exciting time to be in the city.

If you are a Baby Boomer interested in staying up to date with other travel locations as well as general information affecting your retirement plans, you may want to bookmark or follow this blog at 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Scrapbooking with Christmas Cards

Save Your Photo Holiday Cards
(photo by
After the holidays, most people scoop up all the Christmas cards and holiday letters they received and toss them in the trash along with the wrapping paper and other holiday waste.  However, there is an alternative that will bring you and your family joy for years to come.  Create a special Christmas scrapbook, using all your favorite holiday cards, particularly the photo greeting cards.

Pick out a wonderful red or green scrapbook, or one with a holiday motif.  On the first few pages include any old Christmas photos you can find, going back as far into your family history as possible.  Once you have the scrapbook started, begin to add your own Christmas photo card and holiday letter each year.  As you write your holiday letter, keep in mind that you are creating a family history.

In addition to your own photo greeting cards, add those from other members of your family, as well as close family friends.  If you want additional enhancements to your Christmas scrapbook, add some holiday stickers or little notes that explain who everyone is, or what they are doing.  After 10 or more years, you will begin to realize that you have created a wonderful family keepsake.

As your children become adults, make color copies of the pages in your scrapbook, use them to start new scrapbooks, and give one to each of your adult children.  They can add their own pages, and your family history will continue to grow.  Using your Christmas cards in this way will create a family treasure that will be valued for generations to come.

If you are a Baby Boomer or a retiree who is looking for information on how to make your senior years more satisfying, you may want to bookmark this blog or continue to follow it at http://baby-boomer-retirement/

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Top Toys for Grandkids

Barbie is Still A Popular Toy
(photo by
What are the best toys to get your grandchildren?  If you are like most grandparents, this is a difficult problem since you only buy gifts for your grandchildren a couple of times a year. Fortunately, Amazon comes to our rescue with their periodic list of the Top Toys for Kids which is very helpful when you are looking for gift ideas.

This year, Amazon has put forth their list of toys that are popular for Christmas 2011.  You can purchase them directly through Amazon, or you can purchase them in most large toy stores, whichever is more convenient for you.  Even if you decide to purchase them at a local store, you may want to check them out online first, to compare prices and see if they look like something your grandchild would want.

According to Amazon, here are the Top Toys for Kids:

The Barbie Collector 2011 Holiday Doll
Real Construction Deluxe Tool Workshop
Vtech InnoTab (Child's Tablet "Computer")
Qwirkle Board Game
Simon Flash
Crayola Model Magic Jewelry
Disney Princess Ultimate Fairytale Kitchen
Spy Net: Stealth Video Glasses

Here Are the Top Electronic Gifts for Kids:

Philips Rich Bass Neckband Headphones
Alfred's Kid's Guitar Course Starter Pack
Kodak PlaySport Zx5
Parrot AR. Drone Quadricopter

These are The Best Gifts for Babies:

Cloud b Twilight Constellation Night Light
Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug
Tiny Love Move and Play Gymini
Baby Einstein Count and Compose Piano

Simply type these names into an Amazon search box, and you can get complete details on each of these items.  On many Amazon toys, you can even read parent's comments before you make a purchase.  In addition, Amazon will also show similar products, if you wish to compare them.

Don't forget to check with the parents before purchasing any gift for a child.  They may already have it!

If you are a grandparent who is retired or planning to retire, you may want to follow this blog for more up to date, relevant news stories that could affect you.  Follow by email, or bookmark,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tips for a Happy Marriage for Baby Boomers

Tips for a Happy Marriage
(Photo by photoxpress)
The marriages of many Baby Boomers have been strained to the breaking point during the past few decades.  In fact, marriage problems have caused the divorce rate for our generation to be much higher than the divorce rate for our parents.  Divorce among people who are in their 50's has become so common there is now a name for it ... grey divorce.  However, after 40 years of marriage, my husband and I have discovered that there are things you can do to strengthen your marriage, and these actions may reduce the chances that your marriage will be one of those that fail.

First, many of us Baby Boomers began our relationships without a strong commitment to the idea of marriage.  We were the first generation to live together before marriage in large numbers.  Today, some of that lack of commitment is still causing couples to give up on their relationships at the first sign of trouble.  Of course, if you are in a relationship that involves what is known as the three "A's" ... abuse, addiction or adultery ... you may be wise to leave.  Otherwise, simply believing that a committed relationship is important may be very effective in reducing the chances that your relationship will flounder.

In addition to commitment, we all need to accept that there are no perfect marriages. As much as the movies still depict the concept of "happily ever after," we Baby Boomers need to realize that relationships are complicated and messy.  Your partner will have some irritating habits; you do, too!

Communication is another important factor in maintaining a healthy marriage.  My husband and I have known couples that have gone to a marriage counselor for years, in order to keep the lines of communication open.  My husband and I have not had to go to that length, but we have found it important to sit down and simply chat once in a while.  Honesty and the willingness to listen are important factors in healthy communication.

Have fun together and separately!  While it is important to have date nights, and spend time together doing things you both enjoy, it is also important that you both spend time separately.  There is nothing wrong with the husband playing golf with his buddies, or the wife going off on a girl's weekend once in a while.  Like everything else in a marriage, there needs to be balance ... time together as well as time apart.  This may be especially important after you are both retired.  Baby Boomers need to take heed of this.  Too much time together can actually increase the strain on your relationship!

Split the chores fairly.  There is no such thing as "man's work" or "woman's work."  She can take out the trash, do the gardening or hang a painting.  He can cook some of the meals or do the dishes and laundry.  Especially as the two of you become empty-nesters and, eventually, retirees, it is important to be flexible about your roles.  Do what works best for the two of you, without preconceived notions.  You'll both be happier and more relaxed. 

Finally, never forget to show each other affection and respect.  Both are essential for a loving relationship that lasts for decades.

If you are planning your retirement, you may want to check out the tabs or the pull-down menu at the top of this page for links to hundreds of additional articles on relationships, where to retire, financial planning, medical issues and more.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Copy a Photo Album as a Unique Gift

Photo Albums Make Cherished Gifts
(photo by
Photo albums are often passed down through families, lovingly enjoyed by future generations for decades.  In fact, owning the photo album of a favorite or famous relative can even cause family conflict, when everyone wants to own the album after the relative's death.

However, thanks to color copiers, this no longer needs to be a problem.  One of the most cherished gifts you can give someone you love is a copy of a favorite family photo album.

Give the Gift of a Copied Photo Album

Below are examples of some of the ways I gave photo album gifts to our adult children and other relatives.

*  Eight years ago, I made color copies of the baby books I had put together when my adult children were infants, inserted the copied pages into new photo albums, and gave them each a copy of their baby books.

*  When our children were in elementary school, I decided years ago to make a photo album of the school photos and major events in their lives.  I gave our daughters a copy of my photo album about each of them as a Christmas gift five years ago.

*  Four years ago, I made color copies of my Christmas photo album for each adult child.  This photo album contained copies of all our holiday photos, Christmas cards and Christmas newsletters for the past 40 years.  All of our daughters now have a brief history of our family.

*  My father-in-law was an Olympic gold medal winner in the 1920's.  He received a number of other sports honors as well.  I put together an album containing copies of a variety of his sports memorabilia and gave it to my daughters, as well as my nephew who was also descended from him.

*  When my sister-in-law was in a flood and lost most of her childhood photos, I copied photographs that my husband had from their childhood, and put together a photo album for her.

Why Photo Albums are Ideal Gifts

Of all the gifts that I have passed on to our children over the years, I'm sure the photo albums will be the gifts that they will hold onto the longest.  In fact, these are the gifts most likely to be passed on to their own children and grandchildren.

There are other reasons for sharing these photo albums.  If we ever have a house fire I know that all the treasured family photos of the past will not be lost.  In addition, during these times when so many people store their photos on their computers, it is nice to have a real photo album that you can enjoy with your grandkids, while you share stories about their ancestors with them. 

Knowing that I will share our photos with the rest of the family has also encouraged me to look for new photo album ideas.  For example, a photo album of all their grandkids went to my parents;  other small photo albums have been sent to family members.  It seems there is always someone who would enjoy having some of our old family photos.

If you are looking for loving and unique gift ideas, the easiest and most thoughtful gift of all may simply be giving a loved one a color copy of a cherished family photo album!

If you are a Baby Boomer looking for retirement ideas, information about building relationships as you age, health facts, and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this page for links to hundreds of additional articles.

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