I.m desperate to not "go out" the way I'm headed. In the beginning, money was not important to me. I wanted to be helpful like Dr.Tom Dooley in the work he was doing. I ended up as a teacher of the deaf and was never a good teacher of the deaf. I then became an interpreter and was marginal at that as well. I started creating educational software which never became a profitable business. I had a short story that two smaller film producers were interested in but the screenwriter adapting it got interrupted with life and never came back to it. I created an app with 6000 downloads - no money.I want to soar and I don't have much time, I figure. Should I just keep going and trying to get that story on the screen. What else could do with the few skills I have to really create some wealth so we could take some trips and feel a little secure. Right now, I feel like I'm a few months from the street with the little money we have.
My husband and I are both from divorce and that long interruption of getting over the emotional wreakage of our individual lives set us way back. Unlike others, we weren't able to soar. It's our own fault, but now what? Do I just accept that we'll never have anything to speak of, or is there something I can do to get us out of this. My husband is going back to work if he can get a job at this age. I simply can't go back to jobs I wasn't good at and I don't think there's much hire-ability at 70.
I really, really, really want to create some wealth for us. How can I do that at this late stage?
Sounds like you have a pretty shaky track record, but if you change the way you manage your money, you might yet find some security.
Far too many people spend on what they want rather than what they need. Hardly anybody will bend down to pick up a penny any more, and few like to shop in thrift stores unless they must.
You may not want to get a job, but there are still ways to earn money. A cousin of mine made several hundred dollars every year picking up aluminum cans at the local school. You can baby sit or become licensed to run a daycare. You can also become a hospital sitter or a day companion for someone who has money and needs help with daily living. A friend of mine earned $1200 a month doing that several years ago.
You have convinced yourself that you will fail at whatever you try, but you won't. You simply have to start thinking outside the box and set your fears aside. You can do it. Many others have. You might not get rich, but you'll be better off than where you are now.
Thanks for your comments, TimeTraveler, good points to ponder
One more thing:
There are three main ways to build wealth:
You would be amazed how much you can save simply by
getting rid of newspaper and magazine subscriptions,
eating at home rather than going out to eat,
doing your own nails,
shopping at discount supermarkets,
using coupons to buy products you already use
drinking water instead of sodas and
cutting out junk foods.
These are things most people take for granted, but the savings really do add up. If you put them in the bank, eventually you will have enough to invest so that your money starts working for you.
Great list. I also think, getting rid of pets. Although some people think this is akin to putting children up for adoption, pets cost a lot of money.
to which I will add "not doing your nails"!
Makingmark, Good idea, but I have never, ever had my nails done in all these years. I never went to a spa, but I do get my hair cut and colored and that IS expensive. Thanks though
Before retirement, I spent a small fortune at beauty salons, and my hair was several different colors and styles. Since retiring, I let it go "au naturale" (which, for me, is a blend of nearly black and silver). I cut it myself until arthritis in my arms made that difficult, so now I spend $8 every four months getting the same simple bob trimmed at a local cosmetology school. (By the way, if you want to see how me in my different hair color "incarnations", I wrote a hub about why I stopped coloring my hair, which has a gallery of photos.)
That's a great list, Time Traveler. I already do all of those things except I keep a couple of my favorite magazine subscriptions, but only at very discounted rates.
May I add to your list? (1) Drop cable TV; (2) always buy pre-owned cars; (3) don't think you need every new expensive electronic gadget--you don't; and (4) once you're retired, you rarely need to buy clothing (which can also be bought on sale when absolutely necessary).
By the way, Billie, I'm 72 and still writing. Examples of artists who made it big only when senior citizens are Anna "Grandma" Moses, a primitive artist who began painting at age 78 (one of her works sold for $1.2 million); Helen Santmyer, who published "And Ladies of the Club" (bestseller in 1984) when she was 88 years old; Harry Bernstein, who published his first book at age 96 (after numerous rejections) and went on to publish two more before he died at the grand age of 101; Laura Ingells Wilder published "Little House on the Prairie" when she was 65; and I only listed creative artists. I feel certain there are many other success stories in business, inventions, and entrepreneurship that feature people who "just kept going" into their older years rather than giving up and sitting in a rocking chair. Don't give up!
As I recollect, Colonel Sanders did. Not joking. So it can be done. However, if someone does post a good idea here, I reserve the right to steal it first.
It's never too late to become wealthy or successful or both. Just DO IT!
GM, I like your idea, gm, the most. (and tangentially... now Dorothy's word to the Scarecrow keep echoing in my brain, "I think I'll miss you most of all."
paradigm search, That's what my counselor kept telling me. He really believed in me! We can BOTH do the great idea that someone posts. There's enough prosperity somewhere to go around!
There is enough prosperity. Keep believing and you'll start reaping where you haven't even sown.
Dump the counselor and consider home-boarding small dogs. One or two at a time. In the UK people earn between £20-£30 per 24 hours. Owners bring their own pet's food and bedding. Small dogs won't need too much exercise, some may be content with the yard for a limited time. Plus they keep you fit.
I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I would bet money that you'll find better money earners than writing almost anywhere. Writing online is a very very very tough gig these days.
By all means write stories for posterity but for cash? Forget it. If you really have no skills, then buying at yard sales and reselling on eBay is better than nothing and will pay better, faster than writing.
It may not let you soar, but how many of us do that, really?
Yes, yes, and yes. But here's a little twist. There are lots and lots of contests for fiction and non-fiction on the web. I went to Masters Review and duotrope. I think I'm going to write a hub about that.
I took your advice from before and I have two really cool cellphone cases that my friend who has a pass to Disneyland Park. They are a park-only, 60th Anniversary special and light up when the phone rings. No takers for a week now, but I'm hopeful. I think I told you I used to sell cookie jars and teapots that I got at Goodwill. Prices have dropped so much on ebay and no one wants to pay for anything any more. I do have some of my domain names for sale. One time I got $3000 for a domain name when I was selling highlighter tape. Thanks for checking in.
Think of something that you already love to do. I love flower gardening. Now that we are retired, I sell my excess plants. I could sell the flowers too, but I don't want to give those up. If you don't enjoy something, you won't be successful at it.
Barbara K. Love it. Do you have a hub about that? I know how to propagate plants. I do love guided language "free talking" to non-English speakers and did that for awhile. I can try that again. Of course, writing is want I do the best (when I concentrate). I just had one short story accepted by a literary magazine and I'm thinking of another children's book. (They say the second book sells the first). I also have a memoir idea, and have joined OC Writers. But, like Marissa says, the writing gig is a long shot. I went to transcribeme to try dictation which I would love, but I didn't do the training well the first time. I thought I aced the test, so my motivation shriveled up. But I'll try that again maybe because I do enjoy that kind of work a LOT!
PS - Etsy seed shops are rare and do well.
Suzanne, what's an Etsy seed shop? That sounds intriguing. I know Etsy, but the seed shop part is what I am not familiar with.
I am interested if you mean flower seeds. That would give me one more way to earn money with my plants.
I just checked it out and sure enough, they do sell flower seeds there. That would be an entire new business to go along with my perennial plant sales. Billy, I am sure there is room enough for both of us there. There isn't much being offered.
Depending on the area you live in, consider ironing for people. I did this when I lived in the UK and I was surprised by the results I received. People hate it, or can't do it and are looking for someone to take that task from them.
As a rule of thumb, I would start at double the minimum wage, but that would be your call.
I couldn't believe how grateful people were. So many see it as a constant nagging chore. Others have had medical procedures done and can't iron for several weeks. One woman came back from vacation and just couldn't deal with the extra pile of ironing.
The time flies when you pop on your favorite music, and fire up that iron.
Hi There Billie,
Seems to me you need to think more positively about the abilities you have. You are causing yourself to be the way you are, by not allowing yourself to believe you are better than you mentioned in your article. Money is not everything. Every situation demands a different way to be handled. There is a method to grow your money even at 70. I know many people say you can't do it on a fixed income, but you can. The method is 20,20,60. Which means you pay yourself the first 20% of your check, then you tithe the second 20% and from the 60% you pay your remaining bills. When you pay yourself first, you are ensuring your future is padded with the money you may need. If this is too steep for your check, you can do 10%, 10% and then 80% is left for your bills, if you have many.
Investing your saved money is an idea, but be careful here, some people get in too deep and others will gamble it away. You want your money to work for you, therefore you must invest in something which is going to have a great return plus interest. You may want to consider investing in someone who is flipping houses. Takes a little cash to back someone, and on the first flip you can make double your investment.
Another idea is to buy up single story homes around you and rent them for reasonable prices. With as much as $14k you can buy one home.
Remember the way you handle each situation, each issue is the challenge of the century. Think positive about everything, everyone and yourself included. You must be absolutely positively positive for positive things to happen to you. Without it, you will continue to be where you are.
OK here's my suggestions for someone who sounds desperate (you do, a bit, no offense).
1. Dumpster dive for free food.
2. Find free items online (craigslist, gumtree or whatever is in your country) and resell with profit. Furniture does really well with this.
3. Become a naughty senior with webcam on online naughty pay for video sites (lucrative I'm told).
4. Write 10,000 hubs.
5. Realise that everything you buy, with the exception of food and transport is basically a bunch of plastic and other materials dressed up to look like something you want. It's all marketing. Take it from me as the truth as someone who worked in marketing for many years.
6. Find likeminded people with interests in the above who will make you feel better about it all.
7. Reduce your budget to rent, food, basic bills. Nothing else. You can make your own clothes, give yourself a haircut etc. A tin of mussels or an apple or a basic homemade biscuit is a nice snack!
8. If there is a throwaway/hard rubbish day in your community, get everything you need from it.
9. Go to charities at 5am and raid their bins for clothes/fabrics etc.
10. Work harder than you ever have before because you LOVE LIFE at jobs like ironing, babysitting, etc whatever
11. MOST IMPORTANT: save money from everything you didn't spend it on. Tick off boxes on a chart of your financial goal (trust me, the ticking helps - difference between existing and getting somewhere).
12. Afterthought - Watch River Cottage series and learn to be self sufficient with a cheap piece of land.
13. Second Afterthought - if you are investing, do it in shares which pay fully franked style dividends. That's where all the money is made in the stock market and it's better than interest in bank accounts.
14. Learn to accept that wealth isn't anything at all. It's what you deeply desire, outside of consumerist society that counts. Maybe it won't cost anything for you to fulfil your deepest desire? In which case you could take it easy and just do it.
15. Face your fear. You sound like you're scared of becoming homeless. I have been homeless and I can tell you, while it was disturbing, it was hard and weird but I was also the proudest of myself I have ever been in my life. I learnt my strength and survival skills from that time. And I have never felt so free as I was then. It is not all bad. It is about what you can be satisfied with and what does it for you (hint - our capitalist society will never give you any of this - look further afield or deeper within).
Hope this helps, I have done much of the above + more and managed to scrape by for 12 years as someone who never had a hope in hell of joining straight capitalist society in a 9-5 job for any significant length of time.
Lastly, read about this interesting fellow who turned a paperclip into a house by trading up profit at every turn: http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com.au/
Oh my goodness, Suzaane, I think you have about 3 articles here - at least one really good one! How kind of you to put all this effort in to brainstorm. I think you've put a lot of creative ideas out that many people will find useful. Of course, your expressions are delightful to American ears ("a tin of mussels" - "tick off boxes on a chart") Oh my goodness, a hub of those "down under" idioms for Americans would be so very cool!!!
Billie, I was thinking about this last night. I gave up my corporate career at 55 because I was, basically, burnt out. Since then I've been trying to build a "blended career", as they say. It occurs to me that my experience is relevant.
I was pretty successful online at first, and confident it was going to pay me a liveable income - then Panda hit in 2011 and everything stalled. I spent hours and hours every day, trying to get my Hubs and blogs to resume their former exponential growth. I studied the theory of blogging thoroughly, worked with mentors, I wrote and wrote, I backlinked, I seo'd, I networked and promoted - and still my income was only in the hundreds of dollars a month. And I discovered I disliked doing almost everything essential to make money online, except for the writing (which I suspect is one of your problems too, incidentally).
I persevered anyway, as it seemed I'd made my choice and I couldn't think what else to do. Eventually, I realised I was being unfair on my husband. He was going out and doing a real job, even though he didn't much like it - while there I was, sitting at my PC all hours of the day on the excuse of doing "work" but in reality earning only a few cents per hour. And the stupid thing was, I had given up my corporate career because it wasn't enjoying it any more - to do a job which I also wasn't enjoying!
I went out and found a job working one day a week in a shop, which soon increased to two. It was low paid - but even so, in those two days I earned more than a full week's online income! Plus surprisingly, I enjoyed it - I love helping and interacting with people. And I picked up some lucrative extra work from the shop owner, managing her website and helping get her online shop launched - which led to other website work by word of mouth. Plus I still had five days a week when I could do other income-producing stuff, like selling the odd item on eBay. I was even an Avon lady for a while!
Long story short, we think the internet expands our horizons but in practice, it can actually narrow them - we get so preoccupied with it that we fail to see all the real-world opportunities that exist.
The other thought I had - I'm seeing people recommending starting a business of some kind. I've looked into that so many times, but I don't see the point at my age - and even less at your age. Nearly all small businesses make no money at all in their first two or three years, and often need money pumped into them as well, all with the hope that they'll make big money later. That's fine for a young person but you need money now, not in some blue sky time in the future!
I think this has hit home for many of us here on Hubpages. We are all thinking that the next hub just might be the one that goes viral and solves all of our worries.
Thanks for saying it like it is.
Speaking as someone who came to online writing very late in the game and who always had a full time job as well as several businesses, I can tell you that your comment is spot on.
I am older than Billie and can tell you that if money was what I needed at this point in my life, I would not be writing at HP or any other place.
A lot of older people no longer want to work on regular jobs because they have had a taste of retirement and don't want to be restricted any more or have health problems that get in the way. Even if they do want to work, finding anything decent after age 70 (or even 40 for that matter) is difficult.
Therefore, Billie needs to pay attention to the suggestions some people gave her here that will provide a small but steady income without getting in the way of living.
I really like the dog sitting one, but there are others she can investigate, also.
Gaining wealth, as I said earlier, is a three pronged event. The combination of the three can improve anybody's lot, but this will take sacrifice.
Time Traveler, Of course you do have it right. I have had a taste of retirement since I left MN in 2004. My husband was doing contract work in the software industry for 3 months, 6 months at a time, so working "at home" in whatever hotel we were in, seemed a nice excuse for "a real job". I created tons of various content in the form of educational online games and learned to put banners and ads, etc. on my website. I created other content as well. But all of that was very comfortable. (I have no shoes on right now). When I was younger, I could scamper across campus for my next class to interpret (sometimes I taught and sometimes I interpreted), but I can't do that now. Plus my skills have declined. I WILL pay attention to the suggestions here. I have always, always loved dogs and love being around them. Of course, I can try that. Thanks for all your thoughtful points.
Marissa! You stopped me dead at the "hundreds of dollars a month". Do you have a hub on THAT? . I'll look. Last Spring I graded state standardized essays online. I worked 4 hours a day for a couple of months, but could have done 8. That comes up only in Spring again. I also just earned $200 for creating a website for a small business owner, but you're right, I do need steady. I feel like you in relation to watching my husband go to work again, while I sit home doing what is more interesting to me. I do want to contribute and in a big way. So I better get started You and the other people here are so very generous in your stories. I thank you sincerely !
$500 a month sounds good, doesn't it? But what if it's taking you 50 hours a week to achieve that?
That equates to an hourly rate of $2.50 per hour, and leaves you no time to do anything else. The minimum wage in Australia is currently $17 per hour. That's why I could work one day in a shop and get paid the same as a whole week working online!
I know America doesn't have such good worker protection so the minimum wage is lower, but it's still more than $2.50 per hour - so you could earn the same amount in less than half the time, working almost anywhere.
When I was selling on eBay, I was only selling clutter from my house, plus a few odds and ends from yard sales and deceased estate sales, but my hourly rate was about $7 per hour.
The problem with the internet is that it encourages unrealistic expectations. I can hear you saying, OK it's only $2.50 an hour but eventually a Hub will go viral, or one of my books will become a best-seller, or I'll win a big prize, or - yeah, right. Of course it does happen - but there are MILLIONS of bloggers and writers on the net, what do you think the odds are that it will happen to YOU?
If you've got some other, more reliable, real-world source of income then you can afford to play those odds - but you need the reliable income first!
Wise words indeed! I must admit that I find a combination of part time work mixed with internet endeavours keeps me pretty happy. The key with internet endeavours is to aim for residual income wherever possible (it does build up over 20 years, if you make it quality and don't try to copy everyone else or guess what it wants - therefore avoiding Panda-like repercussions).
The part time work helps a lot with connection and socialising, so it's definitely good to have that there and earning too. A mix does work for me! And yes, dump any tunnel vision or preconceived ideas about what you should do - look at what you can do and what sits well and what is soul food and meaningful. That is how you get the quality as well as more money
I think the other vitally important key is to be focussed. I notice that many of your online articles, websites and blogs are about subjects where you have qualifications and expertise, and where you can offer valuable and expert advice. That's the kind of thing that can make good income online, not opinion pieces or fiction.
Hi! ... I do not have any brilliant ideas, but I have something that may interest you.
1. Thomas Edison fired 10,000 arrows and missed his target at every attempt. The arrow which he fired after the ten thousandth, is the one that hit the target!
2. John Glenn, the first US astronaut to orbit the earth, made his second flight into space at the age of 77. (You are only seventy right now.)
I hope this will be of some use to you. I wish you the very very best of luck.
Billie, this is probably too late to help you, but maybe my story can help someone middle-aged. I quit a career in broadcasting because, like you, I saw no retirement in it. I worked for a newspaper for three years that had a retirement system, but I didn't join because I didn't respect them and knew I wouldn't be there until retirement. Finally, in my 40s I lucked on to a state government job that paid less than my newspaper job. I worked into an editor's position and I've been there 28 years. When I became eligible for social security, I started putting the money in a money market account, and the only time I draw any out is for an emergency. You would be surprised how fast that adds up. My retirement counselor says that if I don't change my lifestyle, the money should last until I'm 90 years old, and that was before I paid off my house. I did recently reward myself with a new car, but I've noticed that when a car reaches five years old, you may as well replace it because the savings on payments will just go for repairs anyway.
My advice is that if you do find a job, live on the money and put your social security in savings for when you can't work.
MizBejabbers, That is a GREAT story and I admire you greatly. I have a friend who just retired in education. She worked with a retirement counselor and together with her persistent work and wise investing is in the same sweet position. I'm humbled by everyone's efforts, and kind of angry that I never had that persistence. Something went wrong in my wiring, I guess Thanks once again!
I hope I caught each response. We need to be gone in the next few days; my husband's mother is in hospice in Minneapolis and we need to say our good-byes. So I might not get to hubpages until later. Thanks to everyone who has posted a reply so far and I'll look forward to reading more when my mind is more focused. Cheers to all my hubpage friends.
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