Many Baby Boomers Are Discovering the Best Investment After 60 Is in Yourself

For most baby boomers in the market today, the notion of retiring at 62 or even 65 is nothing more than a pipe dream. When the idea was planted in our heads that retirement was targeted to be 65, the average person lived 3-6 years beyond that age. If the same logic were applied now, would we be suggesting 75-78 years of age before Social Security kicks in?

But even now, there are some who are fortunate and can choose to retire in their sixties but simply don’t know what they would do with all their spare time. There are others who reach their 6th decade and find themselves on the outside of the corporate entrance looking in wondering if they can replace a lost position and income and finding the job offers almost non-existent despite an excellent resume.

Still others did everything asked of them throughout their career. They worked hard, saved money for retirement, got the kids through college and were ready to begin their retirement journey when they stood in horror and helplessly watched as the stock market plunged leaving their cash position well short of their retirement needs with few job opportunities available to stay in the work game.

So what are the options?

If you are blessed with good fortune and could retire now but don’t know what to do with your time or you had the money but your investments were crushed by the market and now wonder where to invest to ensure future income, perhaps you need to consider investing in yourself to get what you want.

When I say invest in yourself, I mean find a business to buy that excites you. There are more than 6000 different franchises out there in more than 70 industries. So there is likely a franchise bet that will excite you and motivate you to get up in the morning. It may be a retail store, or perhaps a services business or it could be something related to real estate.

Ask yourself… Do I want to work with people or do it myself and keep it simple? Do I need to make a significant income or just keep busy and add incremental cash flow? Will I be working with my wife and/or other family members? Do I want to build a business that I can sell or hand off to the family as part of an estate plan? These types of questions will bring clarity to the type of business and industry that is most suited to your needs.

A good executive coach can be a good sounding board, challenge your assumptions and give you investment options that you would likely never considered.

And there is a vast range of franchise/business investment sizes and financing options so you don’t have to risk all you own and still find a solid business.

Of course I am not implying that investing in one’s self by buying a business is without risk. I am saying there is no option out there for most senior citizens or anyone for that matter that is without risk.

Your investments could by crushed again by global dynamics or another war? Your health may be an unsuspected problem. You may get a nice corporate job and find yourself out again after a year or so due to downsizing. And you could fail in business ownership.

But if you want to achieve your dreams in any realm of life, you must be willing to get into the arena and take on all the challenges that occur.

My argument is that an investment in a franchise business or an existing business can help keep you alert, engaged with life, add value to your community and fire up your creative passions.

In addition, starting a business, buying an existing business or buying into a growing franchise network can add needed income to your lifestyle choices, grow your personal wealth beyond any corporate job and create an asset you can use to teach family members about business ownership to ensure their own future independence even in the most severe conditions.

So take a first step and explore the world of business ownership. Invest in yourself and see how well that investment pays off.

Karl is an Executive Coach at The Entrepreneur’s Source where you can explore the options and details of buying a franchise in just the right industry for you. You can find out more at http://www.entrepreneurssource.com/kedmunds

Understanding Bad Debt and How to Claim It On Your Taxes

In the past couple of years, bad debts and theft losses have become almost commonplace. Years ago we rarely ever saw a bad debt or theft loss on a tax return. But today, between the economy, fraudulent investments, and failing businesses, these debts are everywhere.

To understand how to deduct these bad debts you need to understand the differences between debts that can happen on an individual tax return and those that can happen on a business tax return. Let’s look at individual first.

Most bad debts that occur with an individual’s finances will end as a capital loss, which is limited to $3000 a year or to only go against passive gains. For example, if you invest or loan money to a business, buy stock in a business, or put money into a failed investment, all of these are considered capital losses and fall under the $3000 a year limitation. The only way to deduct more than $3000 a year, other than having passive gains, is to prove the bad debt happened because of theft, fraud, or casualty losses. In order to prove this one of the following things must happen:

  1. The person or business you loaned or invested money has to have been indicted by the SEC, FBI, or other federal or state agencies.
  2. The principles involved in the business or investment have been arrested and put in jail.
  3. An unforeseen natural disaster is the cause of the loss.

A business is a little easier to prove and write off. If your business loans money or invests money and the money is lost because of any of the above mentioned circumstances, it can be used to claim the bad debt. But in addition to the reasons listed above, the business can deduct a bad debt if the business makes an attempt to collect and the attempt fails. There has to be some sort of documented attempt. A few phone calls will not be sufficient. The best way is to hire an attorney to attempt collection. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars or spend years trying to collect. Make a reasonable attempt, and as soon as it is obvious you can no longer collect the money, the business can write off the bad debt.

One additional thing to keep in mind is that in order to deduct this type of debt on your taxes, you need to have documentation that there was an exchange of money such as a cleared check, wire transfer documentation, etc. There also needs to be an agreement as to compensation, such as a note or business agreement.

Claiming this type of loss on your taxes is a delicate and thorough process. Knowing that the individual or company is having a rough time and being pretty sure you won’t get your money back is not enough. You need to be able to prove to the IRS, if necessary, that you did everything in your power to get reimbursed. Then, in the year you determine it a lost cause, you can claim the bad debt.

The 5 Essentials of Investing in Apartment Buildings

There are many success stories of people that got started investing in apartment buildings and built great wealth for their families. In fact, I started out as a prison guard, and have built a substantial investment business.

And you can too.

Following are 5 essentials of the apartment investment business. Take some time to reflect on each topic as you read through.

Your Investment Goals.

Everything begins with your investment goals. It is the first step to anything, really, but even more so with investing in apartments. This is because time is just as valuable as money. If you are chasing the wrong investments to meet your goals, you will lose precious time.

It all begins with defining what your criteria is – what do you want to get out of your investment? Do you want immediate cash flow…or is a big ‘payday’ in 5 or 10 years more important? It all depends on what you want to achieve, so begin with the end in mind.

Property Analysis.

Property analysis is as much art as it is science. Everything revolves around the numbers and the net operating income that the property produces for the investor. However, you must also take into account the property itself, the surrounding area, and the area in general. Are there sustainable jobs in the area? Is the area on an upward trend, or downward trend?

That all being said, the numbers are paramount in your analysis. Does this property meet your investment criteria previously defined? A ‘good deal’ for one investor may not be so great for another investor. It depends on your personal criteria – and the net operating income.

The Buying Process.

This comprises several sub-steps but to keep things simple here, I have categorized this as the buying process. Really this includes items such as identifying a property, negotiations, due diligence, property inspections, financing, and closing the deal.

Property Management.

Property management can make or break an investment. It is vitally important that things are run in a professional manner and the property is properly maintained. These everyday activities can either be done by you, or a professional management company. Either choice is fine, but you must decide whether you will be an active or passive investor. Again it goes back to your investment criteria and what you want to get out of the property.

Asset Management.

Separately from property management is asset management. You are the CEO of your investment business, and everything should report up to you. It’s your investment at stake so treat it as such. Be sure that your property manager is performing their job well, and that rents are maximized, expenses are minimized, and the property is increasing in value over time. There is truly only one person that can do this job, and that is you. Your property manager will be focusing on the day-to-day activities, so your focus should be in increasing the net operating income and therefore, the property value.