8 Ways to Live Well into your Golden Years

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) ResizedWritten by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter, and author, Published on 3/28/2018, www.SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Assisted Living, Baby Boomers, Golden Years, Health Care Facilities, Long Term Care, Quality of Life, Senior Health Care

Source: Just because your body and mind are aging, does not mean you must give up on your quality of life. There are a few practices a senior individual can do to increase their life’s enjoyment so they may live well into their golden years.

Your golden years should be full of joy and excitement, reaping the benefits from all you have accomplished in life. Now it’s your turn to do some of the things on your list for you and your spouse but never had a chance to experience. You might have had a long career or profession, and now you’re retired. Years may have gone by raising a family, and now your children are grown, and raising their own children. Possibly, you may have served your local community either helping at church or a non-profit, or even served local government or on the emergency services squad. Life most certainly does not end there.

It’s time to go outside your zip code, apartment, or home. Travel and leisure are necessary to living well into your golden years. It allows you to maintain a community/worldly view, and with time on your side, you are not rushed to return to work or get the kids ready for school. Take a trip with your spouse or a group of friends, even if it is for the weekend to explore the local museum or a town or two away. You will be able to appreciate these things in a new unit of time. Travel also keeps the mind sharp; the process of planning trips and activities keeps the mind going.

Making new friends will be helpful to your golden years. As we age and our lives change, so do our interests. It is rare to see a group of seniors taking on adventurous activities such as those we might have chosen in one’s younger years. Having a group of friends that have faced a similar journey or will face a similar journey as you will provide a support group you can turn to when you need advice and encouragement.

Maintain your health and wellness. It is simpler said than done, but is a key ingredient to having a more enjoyable golden era. A balanced diet, walking or light exercise, or even your mental wellness, are all factors that can help your body stay mobile. Cultivating an active lifestyle is vital even when your body begins to age, or after an injury or illness.

Having a few hobbies will keep your mind and sense of purpose going. A person in their golden years may have many life lessons that can be put to work even if it is for self-enjoyment. Some seniors take up new hobbies where they can join classes on how to do something, like advanced cooking. Maybe crafts or gardening is your thing. Whatever the hobby is, it is important to be doing something other than being sedentary and watching television.

Some seniors choose to keep working. Having a job to go to serves several purposes, even if it is part time. A part time job can help a senior with some extra cash flow that may offset what they don’t receive from their senior benefits. It also gives a person a sense of purpose and keeps their mind active.

Write letters, poems, stories, and/or articles. It is an excellent way to journal your life’s experiences for others to enjoy, passing down your family history from one generation to another. Writing allows you to reflect on your life and life’s work, while handing along important life lessons that can help others either in business, raising a family, or something else. You can stay connected to family and friends through writing, as a duel reminder to reach out to each other.

Just as important as writing, reading is critical in keeping the mind functioning. Reading books, magazines, and or stories can help your mind stay cognitive and aware. Even if a person chooses just to read a few pages a day, keeping the use of your ability to communicate will be extended by reading and writing.

Some seniors choose to give back and volunteer. Maybe it is to lead a support group at church or to help welcome visiting families at the local hospital, or maybe you choose to read to children at the local library. If you are living in an assisted living facility, maybe you volunteer to help other residents with the organization of an activity. Volunteering your time and services is just another way to stay connected with the outside world and feel good that you are helping others; depositing into the help bank for when your time comes and you need a helping hand.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

Advertisements

Money Saving Tips Any Business Can Put into Practice

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) Resized Written by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 3/22/18, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Barter, Business, Community, Currency, Economy, Finance, Free Enterprise, Small Business

Source: There is an old saying, “To be profitable is to save money.” A small business needs every advantage it can get when it comes to trimming expenses and unnecessary cost. Here are a few savings tips for every business.

During tough economic times and a very competitive business climate, Small Business Owners are doing all they can to conserve cash and increase accountability of the best use of their working capital so that they avoid watching their margins of profit from slipping away in between the floor boards. “A penny (or dollar) saved is a penny (or dollar) earned,” so here are a few tips a small business can adopt in order to save on fees, interest payments, and other bills that seem to cut into an owner’s profit margins.

1). Do away with debit/credit card use-switch to a reimbursement system. Banking institutions have switched their business model to a fee based revenue generation machine; which is different from when banks mainly profited from interest payments and fees attached to loans and loan servicing. Every time you use your debit/credit card, there is a transaction fee, either at the merchant and/or at the bank, and sometimes both. Ever use an ATM that is not affiliated with your bank? You will find in those cases multiple usage and service fees from ATM Vendor, the bank it is associated with and your own bank. Some of these fees range from mere twenty or thirty cents upwards to three or four dollars.

To avoid watching these fees and service charges cutting into your profits, stop using debit/credit cards for every little business transaction. Also if you have multiple employees you will want to limit their usage of these cards as well. Use a draw of petty cash that is withdrawn from the bank in person. Use cash on smaller transactions under $100 when applicable. As it relates employees, you can set up a system in which they front the initial expenses they incur on behalf of the business, such as tolls, parking, gas, lunch or dinner meetings with clients, postage, and other purchases that make up the vast amount of small transactions. Once a week, have each employee submit their receipts to the company accountant for reimbursements and issue them a check for these expenses. Less usage of debit/credit cards means less fees you are charged.

2). Pay your vendors and/or suppliers early. Many of your vendors and/or suppliers may be on 30, 60, or even 90 day payment terms with your business. This allows for your business to have the time it may take to sell inventory or service a client account before you have begun covering your cost of goods sold. Many distributors, vendors, and/or suppliers do offer a discount if payment is received before the 30 day window. Usually the offered amount is 2% discount if a bill is paid within 10 to 15 business days. If such terms are offered, pay your bills early to take advantage of these discounts.

If your business has a burn rate of say $10k per month, 2% is $200 saved per month ($2400 a year). That is $200 that is found money which can be applied to other parts of your monthly budget, such as marketing and advertising. If your vendor and/or supplier does not yet offer you early payment terms, negotiate this upfront with them. This is a small concession they will be glad to offer in keeping you as a client. It is of no risk to them. Most vendors or suppliers are accustomed to not receiving payments until 30 days after they are due.

3). Pay your credit card balances on time and/or in full. Most Small Business Owners utilize credit cards as a form of business credit to keep their business afloat in between getting paid by clients. Most small business owners and managers often take credit card offers that provide “interest free,” or “low interest” on credit that is borrowed. Many of these deals are contingent on payments being made on time and/or in full. When only the minimum balance is paid, a small business owner now loses the low interest deal they first had when they acquired the card. To avoid these increases in interest rates and service fees, pay the balance off in full and on time.

Another practice you can try in saving money when using credit cards, is to call the credit card provider themselves and negotiate a “one time balance paid in full” when you have a high balance and are looking to close your account. Credit card companies would rather receive payment on an account that is closing than have it sent to collections. Usually if you get a manager or supervisor on the phone, you can ask to negotiate a final settlement offer. This saves you money in fees, interests, and charges, and clears the credit card company of the account.

If you are using credit cards to make purchases for business growth needs, consider joining a barter exchange that has a multitude of businesses connected to their network in which you can engage in. Barter is interest free.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

 

The World’s Demand for Alternatives to Traditional Currency

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) Resized Written by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 2/5/18, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Barter, Business, Community, Currency, Economy, Finance, Free Enterprise, Small Business

Source: With technology ten steps ahead of the market, even more options for paying bills have become readily available for both the consumer and for the merchant. We explore the many options payment options a business may choose to accept.

Two factors have changed the way we conduct commerce and financial transactions in the world over the past fifty years. The leading factor is the faith that people now have in traditional currency. Many countries, their money supply is based on one factor: faith; the belief that the value of the piece of paper or coin is a true representative of the value of good and/or services they wish to purchase.

Prior to what is known as “fiat currency,” money supply that is backed by no hard good, commodity, or tangible asset, that is widely accepted as a mark of trade, such as precious metals like gold or silver; Most countries would back their value of their currency on tradable commodities which had a real market value.  In recent years, crude oil and petro chemical fuels were used to support currency, while these same currencies were used as the preferred measuring stick against oil. Such is not the case anymore, now that even tying the US Dollar to fossil fuels has become volatile.

With such conditions changing, more individuals are sharing their concern, vocalizing how they have less faith in a piece of paper, which is backed by nothing.

Another trend that is leading people to explore other currency options is the development of technology. Today there are more options on how to make a financial transaction for a good or service. Beyond credit and debit cards, e-wallet and electronic paying systems such as Pay Pal, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. Crypto-currencies are also on the rise. Bitcoin and One Coin have become the top ranked electronic currencies, and merchants are racing get their business into the fold into accepting these new forms of payment.

However one form of a financial transaction that is as old as men and trade itself, is also still on the rise. Barter is growing at a faster pace due to advancements in technology, organizational set ups, wide spread networking, and oversight from two leading barter-industry trade organizations.

With the improvements into accountability and infrastructure, barter has never been so much easier. Traditionally one business or individual would trade services or products with another party that may too have a product or service to offer in the actual exchange. This limited barter, because if one party did not need the other party’s offering, then the exchange could not take place. Today the use of a credit system has widened up the scope in the barter arena. Barter exchanges have made it easier to use barter for many business to business purchases.

Exchanges such as Badger Barter, located in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Badger Barter offers a barter exchange that includes well over 600 business; range from auto repair to graphic design; from legal counsel and services to website creation. These types of exchanges have evolved over time to include many member benefits in which traditional barter did not offer.

As a small business, you should be exploring all payment options, in addition to traditional payments of debit, credit, cash, and check. Barter is a viable way to conduct business to business transactions and opens the door for new business relations to develop within barter exchange networks. Some retailers are now accepting Apple Pay, Android Pay, Pay Pal, Bitcoin, and Onecoin. However barter is considered one of the best options since most barter exchanges offer a credit system, allowing you to use the barter on a wider selection of products and/or services.

Barter is not only a form of payment; it is also a marketing tool. There are businesses that seek out other businesses that offer Barter payment options. You should notify your clients about all of the payment options you offer in multiple touch points. Including but not limited to a placard at the cash register/counter; logo of the barter exchange on your website, social media, and e-mail newsletters; logo on store front window, print advertising, business cards, invoices, and other forms signage a client may see at your establishment.

Bloomberg Business had researched and found that over $12 billion dollars in goods and services were traded without any currency changing hands in 2012. Research showed that not every transaction conducted was on business essentials however the barter was still utilized. Even when the most obscure product or service was offered, the bartered item eventually would find a relative home. Another part of the study revealed that Small Businesses mainly spent their barter in exchange for: marketing and advertising; legal and professional services; facilities maintenance; office supplies; and construction/renovation services; which are many of the same expenditures a small business might use proceeds from a working capital loan for.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

How to prepare a loved one for Residence in an Assisted Living Facility

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) ResizedWritten by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 3/8/2018 by www.SamBurlum.com

Tags: Assisted Living, Baby Boomers, Golden Years, Health Care Facilities, Long Term Care, Quality of Life, Senior Health Care

Source: Getting an elder loved one prepared for the transfer of residency from their current home into an assisted living facility can come with its challenges; including debate from the very family member you are trying to help. Here are a few practices to consider in helping a senior individual transition into their new assisted living situation.

Transitioning to an assisted living facility can be challenging for both the senior who is transitioning from their current home to a new environment and for the family member or friend that is helping their loved one. There are a few things to consider during the transition and move in process that will help reduce part of the stress of this life event.

Having a positive attitude about the lifestyle change is the first place to start in preparing for the move. You and your loved one should take some time out to review all the positive benefits available when moving into an assisted living facility. A clear understanding of what the available services and amenities are should be made known in the beginning to dispel any stereotypical views one may have about assisted living facilities for seniors.

A strong support structure of family and friends in place when transitioning a senior loved one into an assisted living center, is highly recommended. Families need to continue scheduling regular visits with their elder family member or friend now living at an assisted living facility. Many seniors feel abandoned in their new setting, as if the family “dumped” them at the facility. They can be unable to understand the benefits of the change, where there is to be an increase in the quality of life for the aging family member. Visitation will help the senior individual feel more at home and comfortable with their new surroundings. Many assisted living facilities now are designed with family rooms and visitation areas that are semi-private; allowing for family to gather and visit, even hosting birthday celebrations and gatherings.

The senior family member should be reminded about the importance of privacy. During the day, the new resident will at times dine and join in activities with other residents, yet the senior should be made aware that their apartment is their own privacy space and they retain full control of who enters. Just like living at a resort or apartment building, a resident reserves all their privacy rights. Shared community spaces are just that; however, separate areas are designed to provide private rooms and spaces that a resident can enjoy with family outside the common jointly used areas of other residents.

When moving physical things into the assisted living space keep in mind the facility will usually provide furniture, including bed, chairs, lamps, and other fixtures. If items are brought from home to help make their stay more comfortable, residents are advised to inform administrators ahead of time.  A new resident is encouraged to bring their personal effects, pictures, clothing, etc., however, it is best to be selective of items they may use on a less frequent basis because storage is limited, and assisted living facilities and living quarters are designed to limit clutter.

Moving day helpers are important to the actual transition. A host of family and friends are encouraged to sign up for moving day, so this relieves the stress of the loved one having to handle heavy items on their own. The quicker the assisted living space is set up for the new resident, the better, so it can begin to give the sense of feeling at home. A slow move in or a move where a resident feels they do not have everything they need to call their new space home, will create feelings of alienation for the new resident.

The emotional stress that occurs during the move into an assisted living facility can come from the emotions a senior feels when leaving behind their former possessions or home. It is wise not to discuss the sale of the loved one’s home upon the arrival of the move in date to the assisted living facility. Be mindful that this life changing event is about them and their health and well-being. Encourage your loved one that even though their address has changed, their family has not. Help refocus the attention from the stress to getting involved in activities and making new friends at the facility. Send post cards and letters to your loved one at their new address so they can feel the placement is a healthy transition.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

History of the Barter System

Sam-Burlum-logo3 (2) ResizedWritten by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter and author, Published on 3/2/18, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive

Tags: Barter, Business, Community, Currency, Economy, Finance, Free Enterprise, Healthy Living, Small Business

Source: As the world of commerce changes, and businesses look to keep up with the vast menu of developing electronic payment systems, one form of payment between small businesses has made a comeback; its called barter.

Barter has been around well before national or worldwide currencies. Prior to organized economic systems that instituted paper money as the representation of the value of one’s goods or services, under the control of banks and governments, there were only a few ways to purchase products. One of the most common practices of commerce exchange was to trade goods and services for ounces of gold, silver, copper, or precious gems. Not everyone had these commodities at their disposal, and so barter became very popular with the common man.

Barter is the exchange of a good or service directly for another good or service of that of equal or greater value, without using a formal method of organized exchange such as money. This simple process allowed for merchants, farmers, hunters, fur traders, transit providers, and traders along the ancient spice routes, to conduct business for items they needed yet could not afford with gold or silver. This exchange was extremely popular in trading for goods from Far East versus goods which were popular in the west, since the exchanges were immediate, and each party could then return to their respective homeland to sell their new rare commodities for more localized needs.

Barter has also assisted to keep economic trade afloat during times of financial crisis. When either money was valued as to low (deflated) or to high (inflated) individuals would trade product for product, depending on their own agreements between them. When currency was unstable, barter always became the preferred method exchange since goods and services were always available when money was not. In times of hyperinflation the commoner could not afford to keep a money supply in “savings” so barter became the best way to get the things you needed.

The earliest of barter was the “silent barter” which occurred between individuals from separate nations which did not speak each other’s native language. The silent barter where simple volumes of goods and services were used as the measuring stick for working out the value of the exchange. Eventually, language barriers were broken down via the consolidation and unification of lands, making barter even more effective and precise during the times of the “old world.”

Today, barter platforms and systems have become very sophisticated and offer much more variety then the days of the old world. During the era of the old world, one would have to search specifically for another individual whom had what you needed, and in turn, they would have to have a need for what good you had to offer. This made barter very limited since if you did not have some good or service that was high in demand, you were often left without an ability to purchase other goods and services.

Today’s barter platforms and systems have organized groups and genres of businesses, products, and services, assuring that one would have a high probability of barter exchange. Barter has one of the most comprehensive working models, a prime example of how trading services or products in an organized system can still be very highly effective in a world dominated by so many other choices of exchange, especially when it is an exchange between two businesses.

Barter is gaining in popularity since it is immediate upon the exchange. With faith in other national or electronic currency begins to dwindle, barter becomes a great alternative to exercise purchasing power.  With the help of modern exchanges for barter, your barter offering has the potential to reach a wider range of audience, a far cry from the old days of trading on the old spice roads in the old world.

According to the International Reciprocal Trade Association, more than over 450,000 businesses transacted near $10 billion dollars globally in 2008 based on barter. This continues to grow, as it was estimated that in 2010, over 450,000 businesses in the United States alone participated in barter trade, with an estimated 400 barter platforms and companies operating around the world.

If you’re a small business in search for a strategic business advantage, barter can provide options to share your businesses products or services without additional risk to your working capital.

Samuel K. Burlum is an investigative reporter who authors articles related to economic development, innovation, green technology, business strategy, and public policy concerns. Burlum is also a career entrepreneur who lends his expertise as a consultant to start-up companies, small businesses, and mid-size enterprises, providing advisement in several areas including strategic business planning, business development, supply chain management, and systems integration. He is also author of The Race to Protect Our Most Important Natural Resource-Water, Main Street Survival Guide for Small Businesses, and Life in the Green Lane-in Pursuit of the American Dream.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑