Book Reviews – My New Hobby!

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I just finished another book that I acquired through a web site called The Reading Room. Not only did I get this book for free, but it is an Uncorrected Proof Copy and provides a look at the unedited content the Author has written prior to the final release.

So how did I get onto this phenomenon? Well actually I have been visiting Publisher’s web sites for years and have managed to acquire one or two books to read and review. With the advent of social media and the e-book however, there is currently a large pool of places providing free books or excerpts of books that you too can dip into.

The Reading Room is the top Aussie site for my current reviewing role, but there is also Better Reading, Good Reads and My Book Corner. If you are in the UK, there is Book Trust and in the US there are sites aplenty, like Book Browse, Springer and for kids, the Scholastic web sites.

You don’t have to always say nice things either. The truth is becoming an acceptable practice in sharing information or recommendations these days as people have less and less time to read. There are even a host of sites to assist in getting you compensation for your reviews.

Keep an eye out for some recent book reviews that I have posted and Baby Boomers – get reading…and writing to hone your skills. HAPPY READING!
sweet reads

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Living Well With Fibromyalgia e-Mag Set to Close

I know that it is INCREDIBLY easy to be purely a consumer of the web sites, blogs and e-mags about your particular issue/illness. Having a BAV, Fibromyalgia and the usual problems coming with increased age, I understand and admit to being guilty of such behaviour in 2015.  But to read that one of the most helpful e-mags about fibromyalgia is being put on pause due to a lack of response to the creator and writers is a MONUMENTAL SHAME. For many, googling their condition is about as active as they get for a long period of time. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you don’t have that particular disorder yourself, there is still a lot of valuable information to be gleaned from mags like this one. It is one of my faves!

Read what the Owner reports as the reasons for discontinuing the blog below and show your support by commenting.

http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=e25cd0b401311f1df5f897ac9&id=62ff051ff1&e=ba053d161d

Has Australian Writing Finally Come of Age?

Those in the know would perhaps argue with my title, claiming that Australian writing came of age many years ago, with the likes of Peter Carey, Kate Grenville, Tim Winton and Elizabeth Jolley portraying ‘the Australian way’ in no uncertain terms. I must admit though, that for me, Richard Flanagan’s success in winning the 2014 Man Booker Prize with The Narrow Road to the Deep North, caused more than just a little shiver up and down my spine. In a good way.

Flanagan had previously been nominated for literary awards for his first 3 novels: Death of a River Guide (1994), The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1997) and Gould’s Book of Fish (2001), which won him the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 2002. However, his most recent success, was not only loosely based on the story of his Fathers’ survival of the Burma Railway, but he is touted extensively as the best Australian Writer of all time.

Now, call me parochial, but he is also the first truly Aussie, Man Booker winner since Peter Carey’s History of the Kelly Gang won the gong in 2001 (forgive me DBC Pierre, but you only lived in Australia til you were two and then ostensibly grew up in Mexico).

And he is is a Baby Boomer!

Why does this inspire me to the nth degree? Well, because we all have a story and for most of Us, that story is the reason why we write. To banish the ghosts of our past. Flanagan went boldly and wrote his story as a Baby Boomer in Australia today AND was acclaimed for it’s strength and honesty. And without he himself being a refugee, migrant or any other cross cultural mix, that has become the fodder for Man Booker winners over the past decades.

Awards are political, I hear you say. It depends who Is sleeping with whom. Yes, yes. Personally though, the reaction to his novel has given me hope that I may still be able to get my story out there for all the world to see. Humble, anonymous, Baby Boomer on the trash heap – ME. And exorcise a few obstinate demons, while I’m at it!

Happy Boomer New Year or Na, No Novel Finished Yet!

Boomers round the world, Happy New Year. Don’t you just love it! Another chance to rebirth, recharge, renew… and cut and paste last year’s resolutions onto this year’s diary front page.

Have you noticed that the Boomer bashing has gone quiet of late? Very few, new excerpts or theories on what we’ve been up to, have emerged from the media in recent months. Well no news is good news, I guess, but I think it’s time we upped the ante a bit, don’t you? So here’s the challenge. If you find something interesting about, or for BBs, comment or send it on and I will research and publish it. And to start us off for the year, here’s an update on what this Boomer has been doing….NOTHING!

You may remember that in 2013, I began writing my novel, The Last Baby Boomer?  I intended to finish it during Na No Wri Mo in November year before last, but it was not to be. November 1 2014, the charge was sounded again via Na No Wri Mo, with the intention of delivering said novel. Alas, a repetition of 2013. Hence copied and pasted New Year’s Resolution No. 13 – FINISH THE LAST BABY BOOMER. Feel free to ask me when the publication date is later this year!

Whilst the world tut -tuts about those pesky, cashed up with superannuation, old fogies having the time of their lives, we alone know the reality. IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN OR BEING A BABY BOOMER!

Let’s share our collective knowledge and lighten the load this 2015!

Sydney Morning Herald Discusses Why Baby Boomers Aren’t Retiring

Why aren’t the baby boomers retiring?

 

Date
February 17, 2014        

Nick Hatzistergos

It’s not just because they were burned in the financial crisis and they’re scared of getting bored.

Are baby boomers holding young people back?Many in the post-war generation have no plans to down tools.

Since the early 2000s demographers have predicted that from 2011 we would see the mass retirement of more than 15 per cent of the population – baby boomers who were born in 1946 and beyond. But I have to say there’s not many of our baby boomer clients planning to retire in the next 12 months.

With record low interest rates, a more competitive Australian dollar and a more optimistic economic outlook this should be the window of opportunity business owners have been waiting for to sell-up. So why isn’t it happening?

If your balance sheet is in good order, why would you sell what promises to be a healthy semi-retirement income?

The first reason is financial. A lot of small business owners with self-managed super funds saw a considerable portion of the value of their investments decline between 2008 and 2009. While the share market has improved during the last 12 months, there is still considerable volatility globally in equities markets.

Small business owners who had diversified their investments into commercial and industrial property also suffered substantial devaluations over the last five years – between 15 per cent and 40 per cent.

Five years ago retiring business owners were looking at bank interest rates of around eight per cent, which meant a $1 million SMSF portfolio could earn an income of around $80,000 to $90,000 a year, without touching the capital.

That same million-dollar portfolio would be more likely to earn $30,000 to $40,000 in 2014. This is not enough to provide for their retirement, let alone luxuries like overseas trips.

A lot of investors generally lost confidence as their passive investments fell in value during the financial crisis of 2007/2008 and they are now much more cautious.

So, for many people, their small business, which might be producing a return of 10 per cent to 20 per cent on capital invested, is still their most familiar, controllable and lucrative investment.

If your balance sheet is in good order (and most are looking much better after the belt tightening of the financial crisis and if cash flow is positive), why would you sell what promises to be a healthy semi-retirement income?

The second reason for the delay in small business owner retirement is the fear of boredom.

Most business owners I talk to say that while they would like to take a little more time out to travel, they could not imagine what they would do if they were retired and at home all day.

Most are talking about “hybrid retirement” strategies where they will head off for two or three short overseas holidays a year (say a month at a time) but then return to work. Alternatively they may take a day or an afternoon off a week for golf or to look after grandchildren.

But their intention is certainly to work longer – often well into their 70s. In fact many of our small business clients in their 60s are gearing up once again to invest in infrastructure, plant and equipment and even new premises, as values are still generally very good.

The most significant impact of this baby boomer retirement slow-down will be on succession planning.

In family businesses, we are seeing an increasing number of Generation X and Y children wanting to follow in their parents’ footsteps. This is a very noticeable trend and the opposite of the 1980s and 1990s when many children moved away from the family business.

For non-family businesses we are also seeing an increase in demand to assist in set up advisory boards and executive management structures.

This means an owner in his or her 70s can remain in the business and derive a better income from profit share and dividends than from cashing in – and relying on their savings or SMSF.

Nick Hatzistergos is chairman of national chartered accounting and advisory firm, William Buck.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/franchising/why-arent-the-baby-boomers-retiring-20140217-32uqe.html#ixzz2td1c60KF

Why Inches Matter

I can totally relate to this post being only 4’10 myself!

Life in the Boomer Lane

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Life in the Boomer Lane has been short for almost all of her entire life (birth doesn’t count, as most newborns are unusually short.) She didn’t notice it much when she was growing up (or rather, growing older), because everyone in her immediate family was vertically challenged. When she went out into the world, though, she gradually realized that a lot of people were over 5’2”. She has been struggling with this observation ever since.

Opening her email this morning, she immediately saw that an alert reader had sent her an article from NationalGeographic.com titled “Short People Got Lots of Reasons to Legitimately Feel Paranoid.” LBL doesn’t understand why NatGeo can’t confine itself to taking photos of baboons and entire societies who manage to live without VISA cards and Justin Beiber. Why are they bringing up sensitive issues that LBL would rather not dwell on? Against her better judgment, she…

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‘The Meat in the Sandwich’ – Baby Boomer Style

Life never ceases to amaze me.

For weeks now, my daughter has been back at school. The summer holidays alas, are but a dim memory and life has returned to a banal sense of normalcy. Routine, chores, peace at last….NOT!

Where does it come from? One thing after another. Always when you’re FINALLY back on track? The year is already flying by and this is my first real blog post since the Happy New Year epistle. Why, why, why?

A ‘Eureka’ moment this morning prompted me to reconsider what I’m doing wrong and I discovered that I am suffering the effects of ‘Meat in the Sandwich Syndrome’. To clarify, “I am the meat in the sandwich” has always been one of my mothers favourite sayings. I grew up in a tri-generational family situation, with Nanna (Mum’s Mum) living with us, Dad primarily away for work and my brother and I, like any brother and sister fighting and arguing with each other constantly. Life ticked along nicely until Dad came home for a day or two. The juxtaposition of Dad and Nan altered the family and Mum was thrown into the role of referee/diplomat, crying, “I’m always the meat in the sandwich”.

Fast forward 30 years…

Whilst Nanna has not been with us for some time and Mum and Dad live alone, there is still an occasional ‘meat in the sandwich’ moment in our extended family circle. Particularly when Dad and I spend any time together. However…..recently I have come to the conclusion that the mantle of playing the ‘meat in the sandwich’ has been passed to me. And I don’t like it!

How many Boomers out there can relate to this scenario?

I have an only child. A beautiful, bright but naturally hogging the limelight teenager on the brink of womanhood. I have a long suffering, incredibly stubborn, but gradually withdrawing husband, who these days tends to read in preference to arguing. And of course, a Mum and Dad, who are doing fine, but gradually aging not so contentedly. There is also an eerily present but not, brother, sister in law and kids as an aside, who occasionally make an appearance.

The characters have been introduced. Let’s set the scene. This is my life….

I don’t work. I only have one child. What do I do with all my spare time you ask? I am busy most days of the week, taxi driving, cooking and generally keeping my small nuclear family ticking along. My husband works nights, sleeps most days and I have approximately 7 free hours when my daughter is off my hands. Enter stage right – Mum. Loves me to come and visit her Tuesdays as this is usually the only day Dad is busy until late afternoon. That’s fine, but hubby has every Tuesday off.

OK, so Saturday might be better. Not really. Dad is sometimes out, but daughter has softball fixtures at the local club all morning. And of course, Mum has lunch at 12.00pm and then her sister phones and they talk for a couple of hours from 12.30. This activity also occurs on Tuesdays making it double the problem. Fine. What about Fridays?

Not a bad idea Fridays, but usually both Mum and Dad are home together, so Mum can’t get a word in and hubby has every second Friday off. But wait -daughter is exhausted and has softball practice after school til late as well. A busy day. Let’s try Monday. No, no, no – you know that’s not going to work. Mum and Dad go shopping and then out to lunch. Daughter practices softball with a friend after school. Hubby gleefully out of it from working all weekend.

Thursday? Mum and Dad do a top up shop….and neighbours may pop over…softball practice in afternoon…..

So the upshot of all this spare time is that I never know what I am doing, am constantly negotiating and re-negotiating times and activities and don’t have a clue what will happen next. Daughter’s ill, Mum’s computer isn’t working, hubby has to go to the hospital, Dad is annoyed, the pay didn’t go into the bank. No problem. Just call me one stale and exhausted ‘meat in the sandwich’ with too much time on her hands.

I’m just going to sneak off and celebrate completing a blog post with a coffee…what, no milk? And there’s the phone. I may post again by September!