Monday, June 6, 2011

How to Preserve your Precious Memories


Good memories are something that we cherish and want to hang onto into our golden years. There are many ways to ensure that your memories are close at hand and still fresh in your heart. Shown here is my original birth certificate from 1949. You may notice that the name is different. That’s because I was adopted when I was 8 years old and my name was changed. However, I will always have this document as proof of my true roots.

Remember days past when we stuffed photos in albums and then stacked those albums in a cupboard or under the coffee table? Some of them probably look pretty faded by now. I know I still have some pictures I took with a Brownie camera that are in pretty rough shape. With new technologies, those old photos can be restored. At one time, you needed a professional to do this for you. Not any more! As long as you have a computer, scanner and a graphics program, you can do it yourself. For full instructions on how to do this go Here. Once you have recreated your old photos, you can print them out, store them in a digital album on line or email them to family and friends.

The photo shown here is of my birth mother, whom I was separated from when I was 2 years old. She is holding one of my brothers. This photo was given to me by one of my sisters whom I met when I was 32. It is the only one I have of her and I treasure it dearly. I used free Photo Impressions software to scan and capture the photo. The photo was quite faded so I manipulated the color and sharpness to get the best copy I could.

Another way to store those memories is to burn them onto a CD. However, be aware that technology changes rapidly and no one knows just how long it will be before CDs are no longer useable. Remember all the video footage you took years ago? Now videocassettes are rapidly becoming passé. Even printing out restored photos does not guarantee they will be around for the next 100 years. The quality of the photo paper you buy is just not the same as that used in a photo lab. However, you can extend the life of your photos by keeping them in a dry, cool place away from sunlight. I have a large memory box in which I keep my most important pictures. Some people prefer to create a special scrapbook. For more information on scrapbooking go Here. You can also take your very best photos as I do and frame them. And if you’re really worried about preserving a few of your oldest photos, put them in a safety deposit box at the bank.

“Remember me in the family tree My name, my days, my strife;
Then I'll ride upon the wings of time And live an endless life."

Linda Goetsch

An interesting new site is The Family Post where family members can add their photos, create slideshows, share videos, and even create a family newsletter. The site also has a real-time message board where you can communicate with other family members.

Another way to preserve your memories is to write a biography or your memoirs in a journal to be kept for posterity. A new product available is the Memorygrabber, an ebook specifically designed to help you write your life story. However, you can also create your own ebook if you have a PDF maker that converts Microsoft Word files. Once complete, you can either print it out or burn it to a CD and take it to a printer for them to do it for you.

Preserving memories is a wonderful way to pass on a family’s history to future generations through pictures and the written word. It will also ensure that a part of you remains forever in the memory of your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and who knows how far into the future? Start preserving your memories today.

Life After Retirement: Starting A Business

Older entrepreneurs are rewriting the book on retirement. There are no rules, just fun! If you are looking for renewed purpose, starting your own business may be right for you.

Many of us are looking forward to retirement – that time where we can leave the rat race behind for good, sleep late and do what we want – all while still collecting a check. It sounds like the epilogue to the American Dream, a suitable ending to a fairytale life. However, things rarely work out quite that way.

Pensions and Social Security don’t seem to pay enough or we find that retirement leaves us with a little too much time on our hands. If you seem to have more month than money or just seem to be at a loss as to how to spend your time, and you aren’t quite ready to leave the race just yet, consider looking into the possibility of starting your own business.

Re-entering the workforce after retirement is growing increasingly popular. In 2005, U.S. labor force participation by men and women aged 55 and older was 70 percent, up from 64 percent in 1970. It has been suggested that those who work well past retirement age can expect to live longer lives with fewer health issues than those who do not. So while the benefits may be financial, working past retirement can also have physical benefits as well.

So how do you decide what your new career or business is going to be? Well, it might be better to keep things simple. Start with your interests. Like baking? Think about starting a home based business specializing in baked goods. Love to garden? Offer your services as a landscape consultant. Are you a great golfer? Why not offer some lessons at your local club? Whatever your interests and/or talents, you just might be able to make money while still doing what you love - and that my friends, is the trick to enjoying your latter years while still feeling productive!
You could also look into the possibility of owning a local franchise of an existing business. Or perhaps consider purchasing the business of someone else who is retiring.

If you decide to start your own business, try to keep your start-up costs at a minimum. Even if you have a substantial life savings, it would be unwise to risk huge amounts of it until you know your business is being successful.

Also, to keep from feeling overwhelmed, limit your work hours at first. We all like to think we can still do five things at once and keep up with the rest of the world but the reality is that as we age, we need to pace ourselves.

In the end remember that these are still your retirement years and you should be allowed to enjoy them!

*NOTE: There are also opportunities to work on line, which are great for seniors because it is not even necessary to get dressed, let alone leave home to make some money. Be very careful, however, because there are so many people on line who can't wait to get their hands on your hard-earned money. Before you get involved with any on line business, be sure to check it out with the Better Business Bureau.

Don’t Just Live Life; Be A Part Of It!

The importance of continued socializing over 50 cannot be underestimated. Interacting with others is vital to your mental and emotional health. It can also be a whole lot of fun. What follows is some info to help you live a more satisfying social life as a Boomer!.

It’s all about helping you become more involved in life rather than sitting on the couch watching the world go by.

Continued socialization not only keeps your mind active, but it also helps you manage stress. We’re not talking about throwing a big party every weekend. We mean getting out of the house, meeting old friends and new people on a regular basis. Too many seniors fall into serious depression because they have no one to talk to, participate in activities with or share their lives with.

Being socially active also encourages you to take better care of yourself – making sure you bathe, practice oral hygiene and get dressed up once in a while. If you know company is coming, you are much more likely to tidy up the house and perhaps even cook or bake something special as well!

Often when we get older, we develop a sedentary lifestyle where we spend the majority of our spare time in solitary pursuits such as reading, playing computer games or watching television. For some people, the only time they get out is on special occasions when they visit with family and friends. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are many groups, activities and clubs that will welcome you and where you can be an actual part of life instead of sitting on the sidelines.

If you have an affiliation with a particular local church, you can get involved in their social activities. There are also senior’s clubs that hold card nights and/or dances. Most communities have one or more of these clubs. If you don’t feel comfortable with that idea, call your friends and get together one night a week, meet for lunch, take a nature walk, visit the local art gallery, enjoy a live theatre show or see a movie. Often families forget that getting together should be more than meeting for special occasions. You can do any of the above things with them too!

You might also consider taking up a hobby that will get you out and meeting people, such as golf, swimming or astronomy. You could also join a fitness club, take a class, learn to dance, join a choir, volunteer or even get a part-time job. If you find yourself over 50 and alone, you might also consider an over 50 singles group. Many of these hold such activities as dancing, card nights, picnics and general chats. As well, you could look into activities offered through libraries and local community centers. Any one of these things will give you a change of pace, help you meet others and provide you with a more optimistic outlook on life.

Of course, not all of your social interactions have to be active. This is most important for those with disabilities or other limitations to know. However, it is still necessary for you to feel social in some way, so why not just invite friends over for tea and a chat once a week. Even this small effort on your part will not just give you something to look forward to, but make all the difference as to how you view your world.

”And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Attention Boomer Travelers!

Twitter has become a great way to find just the right people and information you need. If you're a boomer who enjoys traveling, take note of this Facebook site that I just learned about through a fellow Twitterer! Lots of good info here that you should take note of before you leave.

Just go HEREto see Baby Boomers Traveling.