Seniors Working At Home (the Good and the Bad)

Currently, there are approximately 10,000 U.S. baby boomers retiring every day!

Statistics Canada says close to one in four people in Canada, by the year 2030 will reach 65. It goes on to say that for every person ready to join the workforce, two are ready to retire.

One in three Canadian adults is not financially prepared for retirement and approximately 3.4 million American seniors age 65 and older are living in poverty.

FINANCIAL COMFORT

Many of these retired people will try to find part-time work for a variety of reasons – extra income, no retirement savings; plans to travel more; monthly pension money too little to live on, not ready to retire, or they just want the social interaction and miss that type of environment.

But do all those retirees who want extra income for their financial comfort want to work outside the home, still be locked into set working hours, still be taking orders from someone else, still have to work their vacation plans around someone else?

Personally, I don’t think so. I sure didn’t.

A LITTLE ABOUT ME

I am a 65+ year old woman who has a couple of small pensions, travels a lot and works from home (but more on that later).

Once I had taken all the schooling I wanted, I was thrust into the 9-5 workforce. As a young person starting out, this was exciting – earning your own money, getting your first apartment, and hopefully starting a savings account. But for me, the years were taking their toll. I worked for someone else from the age of 16 (part-time until I turned 19). Then I worked for various government agencies where incentive didn’t really count. I had all these big ideas and better ways of doing things but I soon learned that, while they encouraged this, they never acted on it. There was no incentive to do better or to work harder, just do as I was told, collect my paycheck and carry on.

This was difficult for me because I was not a true 9-5 type of person. I would often work late at night or arrive early in the morning, skip my lunch hour to finish a task. I was tied to my job and no longer enjoyed it. Bosses would take advantage of the fact that I was always ‘available’ and they could count on me.  Does this sound familiar?

SURVIVING THE RAT RACE

This continued on for several years right up until my retirement – through children, divorce, remarriage and suddenly I realized there were no savings or very little to speak of. Although my jobs were good paying, there were always circumstances that kept me from actually saving any great amount of money towards retirement.

Luckily, I have a few pensions but obviously that wasn’t going to be enough. Plus I consider myself still ‘young’ and felt there was more out there for me. However, there were lessons to be learned  from working for others all those years.

WHAT WORKING FOR OTHERS TAUGHT ME

  • I was expendable – what does that mean? No matter how well you do your job, how well-educated you are, this doesn’t guarantee you can’t lose your job. There is always someone who can and is willing to take your place.
  • People Skills are Important – Customer service is not over-rated and will be recognized and noted by the powers to be. In my own personal experience, I remember one sales position I had. The customer was not happy about a particular product he was purchasing! But I didn’t let that stop me. At the end, he went on to buy even more from me – because I understood his unhappiness and was able to provide a solution and showed him that I did care. I was also new to this position and my immediate boss, who was away at the time, was duly impressed.
  • Working for a Boss You Don’t Like is not Easy – Again, I experienced this first hand. It finally got to the point where I decided it was time to quit. I went to a seminar once and the speaker said “Either learn to like/love what you do (or the person in your life) or leave.” In this case, I could not ‘like’ my boss and chose to leave.
  • Quitting CAN Be an Option – As noted in the above example, I chose to leave. Another time, I was working for a real estate company, had just completed a successful year, but decided to try something else. I ended up having to make a choice – to stay with real estate or leave and devote full time to my other interest (which is what I chose to do).
  • Communication is Key – By its definition, communication is the exchange of information. Combine this with killer people skills and you will stand out.
  • Hard Work Won’t Necessarily Get You Ahead – Having a purpose, forming good habits, determination, and believing in yourself will.
  • You Will Make Mistakes – This is not a bad thing though because most of us learn from our mistakes. You will most likely make more mistakes; it’s the way it is. Accept it, learn from it, and move on!
  • Laughter Does Help – Hey, we can’t be serious all the time. You need to learn to laugh at yourself, expect that things are not always going to go smoothly and roll with it. Laughter really is contagious!

So what does it take to work from home? Let’s find out!

YOU’RE THE BOSS!

Working from home isn’t about showing up at your desk with bed hair and your jammies balancing a cup of coffee while you try to plan your day. Success is going to depend on a lot of other things. The good news is that, as a senior who has worked for others, you have been around for a while (done that and been there) and probably have a good understanding of what it takes. However, if you have always been a ‘stay at home person’ this list of traits might help you. Let’s touch on them briefly.

  • Passion – You have to love and want what you do. Gone is the 9-5 hours that you experienced working for someone else. There will be days when you are up at the crack of dawn and there will be nights when you are burning the midnight oil but your passion will light a fire under you and keep you going.
  • Determination – You have to keep going no matter what; failure is to be expected and mistakes will only make you more determined to get it right. You are working from home – there is no one to run to who will fix your problems for you.
  • Self-motivation – What does this mean?“An ability to do what needs to be done, without influence from other people or situations. People with self-motivation can find a reason and strength to complete a task, even when challenging, without giving up or needing another to encourage them.” (Business Dictionary). I think this is self-explanatory and is very important to succeed at a home based business.
  • Communication Skills – You may be working from home but you still need to communicate. Holding yourself out as a professional at all times is important – social media is a form of communication – every post or blog, email or phone call has to be professional.
  • Creativity – (or resourcefulness) “A mental characteristic that allows a person to think outside the box, which results in innovative or different approaches to a particular task.” (Business Dictionary). Sometimes you will have to think on your feet and figure out a solution.
  • Discipline – You need to be in control of your day – that means not finding excuses to get ‘another’ cup of coffee, or check into facebook or other social media, or emails every few minutes, or call the kids or grand kids. You need to set a specific time and length of time to do these tasks. Not to say, these aren’t important but you can get caught up and the next thing you know, the day is almost over and you haven’t accomplished what you set out to do.
  • Independent – You cannot allow yourself to be influenced or controlled by other people or events.
  • Understanding Technology – Unless you are lucky enough to have someone you can call when you run into trouble, it will help if you are proficient in the use of your computer as well as programs you might need such as DropBox or Google Drive. Learn how to do backups and save important work.
  • Confidence – You can do this! Believe you can do well and will succeed.

DOWNSIDE TO WORKING FROM HOME

  • Isolation – Unless you have an online community you can draw from (see more below), you are on your own and you can feel quite lonely at times. Gone is the team camaraderie that you might have experienced at an outside job.
  • Distractions – As a senior, you might have a partner who demands your attention or grandchildren that want to spend time with you. Set boundaries so they know you are working but that you will make time for them. It might be difficult at first but once you get into a routine, they will understand they have to wait to see you.

Please do not disturb sign

  • Decision Making – You won’t have someone you can run to whenever a problem crops up. You might have moments of frustration and confusion, moments when you want to pull your hair out!
  • Unfocussed – This is where discipline comes in. It is so easy to allow yourself to stop working, take unproductive breaks, get sidetracked.
  • Putting in long hours – As I mentioned earlier, you probably won’t have a 9-5 type of day but could be working at what seems to you ‘at all hours.’ I find myself sometimes racing the clock – trying to get something finished because I am expected to get dinner on the table – which brings me to another very important point.
  • Support – As I mentioned above, distractions can and will occur. But what about the support of a spouse or partner. Do they understand what you are trying to do? Will they understand that you are trying to contribute to the household but it is going to take time? Do they understand that dinner might be late or the laundry won’t get done? You might be able to do it without their support but it won’t be easy.

I am one of the fortunate ones. My husband understands and does not grumble ‘much.’ In fact, he is the one who does the laundry, keeps the floor vacuumed and even will do dishes. Without his support, spending the amount of time I do on my home business would not be easy! If you live alone, then you need to figure out when you can get the household chores done so it doesn’t interfere with your work.

HOW I WORK FROM HOME

As I mentioned earlier, working from home can be lonely, frustrating and confusing. But what if you belonged to a large community of like-minded people – people like yourself who cannot afford to live comfortably in retirement? Like me? It can be very rewarding.

I struggled for a few years on my pensions, never having the extras. When a friend introduced me to Affiliate Marketing, it actually took me a few years before I gave it any serious thought (a few years when I could have been ahead of the game, but you know what they say about hindsight).

When I did take it seriously though, I started doing my research. In the process, I almost lost $4,000 to a company that would have eventually cost me even more. Lucky for me, I stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliate and its huge community.

“In The Middle of Difficulty Lies Opportunity” ~ Albert Einstein

FINAL THOUGHTS

Before I leave you with a link to how this company has made my senior life easier and how it can help you, I want to leave you with this. You, like l did, are probably thinking I am too old to do this, too old and tired of trying to make ends meet. Well, I am sure you have heard of these ‘older’ people who thought differently:

  • Julia Child, celebrity chef, age 49
  • Charles Darwin, Science of Evolution, age 50
  • Seasick Steve, American Blues Singer, age 60
  • Colonel Harland Sanders, age 66
  • Anna Mary Robertson Moses (Grandma Moses) 78

Thanks for hanging in here. Here is my #1 Recommendation to why I believe Wealthy Affiliate will be all you expected and more. Here you will find ordinary people, like you and me, making a full time income from home. Hope to see you on the inside.

MY #1 RECOMMENDATION

 

 

 

6 comments on “Seniors Working At Home (the Good and the Bad)”

  1. AmDetermined Reply

    Its very exciting to see a grandma of 65+ after so much experience in the working class  and retired recommended wealthy affiliate, your post taught me what life is all about, no matter how the salary is without having a personal business can still make someone to be broke, your website is right dream big and work towards it.

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Thank you! I firmly believe age is just a number and we are never to old to learn or follow our dreams. Working 9-5 does give you a steady pay cheque but it is not for everyone. I am glad to have left that all behind me. Thank you for your comments.

  2. Jackson kenny Reply

    This is a great post ma’am, really well written. I am happy that I cake across this post because I am at a crossroad of whether to quit my normal job and start affiliate marketing full-time…With this post, hopefully I can see more reasons why I can become my own boss(fully) but one of my greatest challenge is that it takes time to make something tangible from it(So i read from other reviews). Im glad I could draw some lesson from your experience…Thanks for this post 

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Hello. You are welcome and  thanks for stopping by. 

      Yes, it definitely takes time and is not for the ‘get rich quick’ mentality. You have to be prepared to work diligently but success can come if you work at it. 

  3. Richard Brennan Reply

    You’ve certainly given us food for thought here, Mary Ann.
    I’m 52 and left school at age 16 in 1983. My generation of school leavers were among the last people (in the UK at least) to actually come into work for 9, leave at 5, take an hour for lunch and get overtime paid for anything over and above that. Those were the halcyon days of final salary pension schemes. That had all changed by the early 90’s and it’s a World that does not exist anymore.
    My point? Future generations are going to find ‘retirement’, if they’re ever allowed to get there, even harder then those of us who entered the work place in the 70’s and 80’s who are now middle aged and upwards. And those future generations – yes, even the millennials – will get there quicker than they think. My 20’s went quick, my 30’s flew past and if I’d have blinked, I’d have missed my 40’s!
    So many people think that they are on the scrap heap once they stop being in full time employment for the final time. But, as you say, it need not be that way.
    Although the work place today is a far less secure and stable place than it was in the past, the internet has given the current and upcoming generations the opportunity to take responsibility for their futures far earlier and to prepare for the middle and old age that will inevitably come their way. It’s a great leveller and, if properly utilized, the key to financial independence long before retirement, along with all the personal freedom that brings.
    For those who are already retired or who are looking at over the next 10 or 15 to 20 years, the wealth of opportunity that the internet has opened up for those of us willing to learn about it is staggering.
    There is no reason for retired people to keep on working for someone else or die poor. Yes, there are new habits that have to be learned and new routines to get used to as you have explained so well here, but all of it is do-able if there is the will to do it.
    I know you’ve aimed this article at an older audience, but it really applies to everybody as we / they will all get there sooner than we think. Thanks for a real eye opener of an article.

    • MaryAnn Reply

      Hi Richard. Thanks for stopping by. I couldn’t have said it any better. You are so correct. I too remember thinking I had all the time in the world in my 20’s and then the next thing I knew I was hitting 30 and 40 and those years were passing by fast.

      I also like your comment “there is no reason for retired people to keep on working for someone else or die poor.” There are so many opportunities available today!

      I think the young people today are smarter in the sense that they know they have to do a lot more than just get a degree but have to think long term about their future.

      Thanks again for your insights!

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