If you’ve ever had a dream to be creative, financially secure and independent in your later years, even without much of a pension, this piece could help you find a way to build a sustainable income online, create and sustain a life you love with the financial freedom and security you need in your twilight years.
More and more people are looking for ways to extend their health, wealth, happiness and independence – particularly those in mid-life or those who can see retirement looming on the horizon. When no longer fully tied to schedules and career, this stage of life offers opportunity to fulfil dreams and tick off bucket lists, and also to find more balance in life.
It’s a stage where taking stock comes to the fore – attending to self-care and personal development, fulfilling dreams and aspirational needs rather than daily tasks, demands and requirements of others. A time to find more balance and harmony.
For some it can be a time of rueful realisation that life is being viewed from the sidelines, passing by faster and faster without any sense of connection or direction. For others it can be a time to question what matters most, and why.
It can also present a financial challenge. As people live longer with healthy and active lives they may have the time and still have energy to do more, but pensions reduce in value, have to last for longer and costs never ever go down. As parents age, we may start to wonder what the future holds, and what that could mean for us.
As “boomers” some may feel uncomfortable about what the next generation faces – for the first time in our history, our children and grandchildren’s standard of living is likely to be less than that of their parents. So how do we balance our care for self and our own security with care for those we love and a secure future for our children’s children?
So what can you do to ensure a good quality later life?
Of course, the foundations for living well into old age are laid throughout life and in the genes we inherit. But wherever we start, and whatever life throws, nurturing a healthy mind in a healthy body, having a rounded connection to something – nature, creativity, purpose – and someone (family, friends, community) other than ourselves is a personal responsibility. We have choices to make. What we do impacts what we become and the life and living we create.
A key to living a good life is not to think about what you want your life to look like at the end, but on how you are living your days now. Appreciate what is. Grasp each day, fill it with love and laughter. Treasure the moment and take advantage of every opportunity. Live each day like it is your last. Appreciate life.
Sounds simple! But, that being said, many people are quietly anxious about having enough to live on as they grow older: expectations for “enough” food, clothes and shelter may not be guaranteed – never mind having enough to spare, to share or leave as legacy.
As populations age, insurances and pensions and health and social care services are under growing pressure to cope with the demands and expectations of citizens. As politicians continually fail to address the problem of rising cost, anxiety about poverty and dependency in old age creeps in as a silent concern that’s too painful or difficult to think about.
One day, sooner or later, you realise that you have to work out where you stand, decide what you want and what you need – and come up with a plan aligned with a purpose that you can own.
Can you build additional income and find the resource to survive and thrive into your twilight years?
Simple answer? There are always opportunities to earn income by selling your time. The reality, of course, is never so simple once the variables are factored in – like skills and experience, ethics and ambition, mindset, culture, -isms and age.
If you’ve reached a point in life where you want and need to break free from the trap of trading time for money building someone else’s business, or living on a shoestring pursuing your passion without a market, it’s time to think outside the box – time to reconnect with lost dreams. Time to find a way to use your life experience in a way that works best for you and creates value that people need.
So the honest answer to the question of creativity and financial security in life? If you can create value, with a business model that aligns with your ethic, interests and ambitions you can build additional income streams from home, or anywhere.
In a year, a pandemic has changed the way we live and do business, and artificial intelligence is changing the way we will live in the future. The world economy and career paths are changing. There has never been a time like now to imagine possibilities, explore the opportunities and decide how we want to live our lives going into the future.
The internet has opened up a digital world with vast opportunities for learning and teaching, buying and selling, giving and receiving value – and anyone can enter it and explore. Already the internet directly connects millions of people across the globe – there are 4.72 billion internet users in the world today, with more than 900,000 new users each day!
It’s now possible to reach customers and clients and exchange goods and services from anywhere in the world – from a smart phone! Automation means that you can do business while you sleep, spend time with your family, enjoy a hobby or being outdoors. You just need to set it up!
However – red alert! – if you’re going to enjoy what you’re doing in your later life, don’t set up a business unless it involves doing something you love doing – and feel excited about doing.
After all, it takes effort and commitment to build a business and to deliver results you want, so, if it’s going to be worth that effort, it can’t be only about the money.
Do you have enough determination, patience and perseverance to succeed?
Do you want something so much that nothing will stop you?
If your answer is yes, then start exploring possibilities now!
To engage in the digital world requires digital awareness and some technical skills – which can be learnt.
You don’t have to be youthful computer nerd to make a decent living on-line – but you do need to be open to learn what’s needed. It’s less about age or skill and more about attitude. After all, any new technology means developing a positive mindset and acquiring necessary skills – whether it’s going from horse to internal combustion engine, from pen to keyboard, from dial-up telephone to smartphone.
The truth is, if you have the skills to navigate the internet to shop, or research history or health or DIY, you have the skills to earn from the internet! You just have to decide it matters enough to you to make the essential effort.
Your first step is to explore the possibilities. Listen to yourself. Dream a little about who you want to be, and what you want to be remembered for. Be prepared to learn some new skills, invest in yourself – even if it is simply putting aside time to research on the internet, maybe sample some free courses that feel right for you.
Think you’re too old to learn?
If you need to learn and choose to learn, you can learn – at any age! Research shows that learning something new some adds more to life than just skills and knowledge.
Older people who learn several new skills at once not only maintain mental health and cognitive abilities, they restore their mental functioning to 30 years younger. A key is to learn as children do – with playful curiosity. Children absorb multiple inputs as they discover and develop skills that are relevant and necessary to the moment.
“Second childhood” is literally an opportunity to grow and renew.
For those older adults who commit to learn something new and follow through it can make a difference to how they feel and function for the rest of their lives. For those who step out of their comfort zones to learn multiple new skills at the same time, the impact can be life-changing.
In the right environment and with the right beliefs a recent research project found that at start of their learning journey many older adults thought they could barely walk a mental mile – but they effectively completed a triathlon and found they then felt fearless about new challenges.
Learning digital skills, technical skills and how to navigate the internet is a challenge but the multiple skills could help older active people rediscover an inner resource of vitality – as well as find a route to financial resilience and security.
Just as with children, encouragement, support and positive role models enhance learning – but for older adults this is not the norm, and self-doubt is commonplace. So it’s helpful to learn in a supportive community – and the internet makes this possible too.
Discovering the Mentors community for on-line entrepreneurs opens doors for older technophobes! It is not just a communiversity for digital education, it is a remarkably supportive network of peer-to-peer mentors of all ages who encourage, teach, challenge and hold each other to account – and get results.
Where to start?
Explore the possibilities. Start by looking at some on-line business models. Invest some time in thinking through what you want and need and why. See what fits with you. Start exploring the internet to see what’s out there.
Here are three ideas and approaches to start you thinking about how to create an online income:
- Affiliate Marketing is a great place to start without any need for capital. You can introduce people to products you use, love and recommend and get a commission – without having to do any picking, posting or packing. The amount and range of products is unlimited, and you can sell the same products again and again, all around the clock all around the world.
- E-commerce is great if you have access to some capital and like the idea of designing and selling physical products, you can order in bulk from producers, and set up an automated sales system. With a marketing platform like Amazon FBA everything can be handled for you, including payments from customers, packaging, distributing, and customer service, while you set up marketing and ad campaigns to make those sales happen – in just one or two hours a day.
- Your Own Brand if you have an idea for your own on-line brand of physical or digital products or services, then the world is your oyster! Software products and tools are available to help you create and sell any on-line course, art, music, coaching, mentoring or consultancy service that you can imagine.
The longest journey begins with the first step.
Here’s a video about why and how I got started on the journey to becoming a digital marketer. In it I talk about the free videos and training I discovered and the community that’s helped us.
I can send them to you if you want!