Earning An Offline Living Online

But Dave, you say, I don’t want to deal with any of the "Internet Markety" sort of making money online you have talked about recently.  I’m older, I don’t have the huge "need" to be online you seem to have and I really wish I knew some more conventional way of making money to empower my retirement.

Fair enough.  There’s no such thing as a "one size fits all" solution.  Here’s two nice examples of real-world seniors making money using the Internet as a form of advertising, both making money and both providing a service to fellow seniors along the way. 

age_at_home1 Age @ Home is an example of a business that capitalizes on the growing need of seniors for assisted living.  Instead of a traditional nursing home solution or one of those hybrid "Assisted Living" schemes, this company’s target is providing advice, products and services to allow seniors to "Age at Home" …. which is, interestingly enough, one of the number one reasons (aside from cost, of course) that people fight against going into an elder care environment …the would much rather stay at home … certainly I would, and, in point of fact that is exactly what I am going to do.

The operator of Age @ Home, Steve Nolan doesn’t give his age … perhaps a weak point in dealing with his intended audience, but he’s nearly old enough to join the AARP, so he’s identified with a good target audience.  If you visit his site you’ll see he’s offering some service that anyone who things through the problems of aging in place could offer, but hardly anyone does?  opportunities like this are perfect for the intended retirees or soon to be retirees that I aim at here.  You’ll also notice he is aiming his services at one part of just one state (Southern Michigan) so late leaves a multitude of places in the other 50 states and every country overseas wide open.  Steve does not really "make money online" he uses the online world of a well done "brochure" site and a blog … good way to communicate and great way to draw traffic .. to get his business out in front of his potential clients.  Think through a problem, put together a solution that works and advertise it … the way money is made.

travel_is_fun_1 On the way to researching for the online/offline retirement empowerment above I came across something familiar.  Age @ Home is located in Huntington Woods, Michigan … now what is familiar to me about Huntington Woods?  Hmm … oh yeah, I have it!  That’s where Jeff Jenks is located.  Jeff is an old online friend of mine, I got to know him because of his active participation in a number of online groups I frequent that deal with traveling to and living in the Philippines, where I chose to make my home.  Now Jeff didn’t change careers as he entered his senior years, he gave up the ‘work for a salary" path many years ago and has earned his living as a professional travel agent … certainly "mainstream" enough for anyone hesitant about the online world.  But stop and think about this a minute … how many travel agents are there in the US who sell air are … I don’t know either, but it is a whoop and a group to put the number into precise, scientific terms.  And some of them are quite good … I’ve even used so of them.  But I’ve used Jeff personally a number of times and if someone asks me about travel to the Philippines Jeff is always my first recommendation.  Why?  Easy, he’s active online, shares his knowledge, stays up with all the current trends and gives good advice.  In short he differentiates himself from all the others who may also know a lot about this small market segment.

You can’t become a travel agent overnight … I recommend against some of these online schemes that purport to set you up as an agent in 5 minutes for $50 or some such nonsensical approach.  But if you have 40 plus years of specialized knowledge of some travel destination, and you have a rapport with people, and you have time on your hands and even the most basic business skills of finding a product, leading people to it, and reaping a commission for providing a service to both consumer and professional, then you most certainly have a stepping stone into a viable business that will supplement your retirement funds and keep you young.

Do not sell yourself short.  You have knowledge and skills perfected over a lifetime and you can make money online!