Baby Boomer Retirement Trends – Post 273

If you are like me, I know someone has probably approached you about one of those multi-level marketing things. The pitch varies from company to company but it basically promises a chance to quit your 40 hour job, be your own boss, and make lots of money while making new friends in the process.

It all sounds good but there is all kinds of debate over whether these companies and programs are legitimate business opportunities or not. I have actually spent the last 5 years exploring the industry myself. I joined 14 different companies over that time frame. I’ve met some incredible people as well as a few crooks along the way. I’ve come across some fantastic products backed by great science as well as some that made me pause and think, are people really falling for this stuff?

My conclusion is that it is real. People really do make the incomes that are claimed, I’ve personally met them.

And you know what else?

I want to address my generation specifically since I can relate more directly with the circumstances we face. The reality is, making a successful transition into retirement is just as much about the psychology of retirement as it is the money. Most of us realize money does play a significant part but never think of the other aspects of retirement.

I want to address my generation specifically since I can relate more directly with the circumstances we face. The reality is, making a successful transition into retirement is just as much about the psychology of retirement as it is the money. Most of us realize money does play a significant part but never think of the other aspects of retirement.

We have been the trend setters that have driven our economy for the past 50 years. Think about it, we fueled the baby-food boom of the 50’s, the explosion of suburbia in the 50’s to 60’s. The explosion of college education in the 60’s and 70’s. We became so busy raising our families in the 80’s through the 90’s we’ve caused an explosion in fast food and convince foods. We fueled the mini van craze and as we started worrying about our health we ignited the fitness and exercise craze of the 80’s. As our health began suffering we started the healthcare boom in the 90’s with an explosion of every type of healthcare facility imaginable.

Now we are in the fifty to sixty year old range and retirement is starting to worry us. On average today, we are estimated to have less than $50,000 in retirement savings. I’m one of those. After 2 years of un-employment, my retirement savings is shot. Folks, there is an obvious need to find alternative ways to either save more or generate supplemental income starting now, and continuing throughout retirement.  And lets face it, we are growing tired of feeling guilty or bad about our past savings habits and are interested in moving towards possible solutions.

We are also increasingly disenchanted with our current careers. We’re worn-out from years of the corporate grind We don’t feel a connection between our job and the people it impacts outside our office walls. Think about this, AARP’s estimate that half of all baby boomers (76 million) are interested in starting a business. This sets up the makings of a massive trend.

We are now shifting our focus from accumulating a nest egg to a desire to be part of something bigger and better… to have a positive effect on others…and coming to terms with the fact that we will be working in retirement. Folks like me are beginning to realize we need activities that keep us busy, relevant, in good health, and connected to others just as much as our need for income.

I found that this industry offers very low barriers into entrepreneurship, provides training, support, and ample encouragement along the way. The time, energy and cost to participate makes this business very appealing to large segments of the population. A means of meeting new people. Folks like to use the business activity to keep busy (particularly in the winter) and use the extra money to travel and spoil the grand kids.

After doing all this research I no longer perceive these types of home business opportunities as money-making pyramid schemes.  Instead, I now see it as a way to enhance many of the personal aspects of retirement that are rarely discussed, let alone planned for, with the added benefit of supplementing our retirement income sources such as pension and social security.

Most people don’t realize that multi-level marketing companies are successful because they help people satisfy a number of important human needs, including the need to feel significant, to have connections, to be able to learn something new, and to feel that they are making a difference.  Many of the people that I know in this business say again and again, ‘I’m doing this because I’m meeting amazing people … making so many connections … and I feel so good about myself.” and you know what? I have experienced the same thing myself. When other basic human needs are being met, the members and consultants that I have met don’t focus solely on the financial aspects any longer.

I know many people that have been able to replace their full-time income but it didn’t happen overnight, and many still work every day and are happier at their jobs because of the psychological and financial fulfillment they are experiencing with their home business.  That is why I recommend keeping your current job while slowly making the transition into the home business realm. That is exactly what I have been doing.

Some that I’ve met began their home business career out of necessity. So many times I’ve heard that prior to getting involved in the business they told their friends to never let them join one of those things… but when their family was hit with a financial crisis they had to do something different. They started their business with the intention that some retirees may also find themselves in now. They started with the idea that they just needed to make their month easier.  Most that joined just needed an extra $500 per month.

So many say they work hard at their business every day, but it doesn’t always feel like work.  Just like others in other fields that profit from their passion, they say it’s rewarding because they found a product that has made in difference in how they look and feel… and they love sharing it and helping other people start a business.

Financial analyst and economist Harry Dent says that “Peer-to-Peer Marketing” is the fastest-growing home business model and the health and wellness segment of the industry will continue to be the fastest grow segment. He goes on to say that the best time to start a business is now because business like this actually see their biggest growth during economic downturns.

Peer to peer marketing companies, along with other small businesses opportunities, are important for anyone entering into retirement to consider. I believe the concept of starting a business for retirement income will become one of the most significant trends impacting retirement in the 21st century.  But it has to start with redefining entrepreneurship and framing it into a retirement lifestyle.

That means helping people find ways to turn a passion, hobby, or personal desire into extra money in their pocket… not to mention helping people see the importance of planning for the non-financial aspects of retirement; replacing a work identity, staying relevant and connected, as well as keeping mentally and physically fit.

This is something we are poised to capitalize on and what has me so excited. Because the baby boomers are looking to adjust their retirement feelings and plans, this industry could soon experience larger than life growth. I would love to have the opportunity to share with you more about what I am doing to not only have financial security but also to fulfill the need to feel significant, to have connections, to be able to learn something new, and to feel that I’m making a difference.

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