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December 3, 2013

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 12/03/2013

�Partial Retirement� Is Growing Among Americans

A University of Michigan study shows that more Americans are becoming partial retirees, when close to retirement age, in that they are taking up jobs that provide an income less than half the maximum annual earnings they had over their working lifetimes.

Partial retirement was virtually non-existent for 60-62 years olds in 1960. Today more than 15% of workers in this age group are categorized as partially retired.

Living Alone: Demographics Are Changing

Here are some statistics that reinforce the dramatic changes taking place in our country. Today some 27% of U.S. households now consist of a single person, higher than at any time in U.S. history, and up from 17% in 1970.

Just 20% of households are now comprised of a married couple with children, compared with 40% just 40 years ago. And 61% of �solo householders� in 2011 were previously married; this group tends to be older. (There is also a racial component, with the incidence of solo households higher among whites and blacks.)

The proportion of Americans never married has doubled since 1960. The average marrying age has also increased, to 28 for men and 27 for women compared with 24 and 22 in 1970.

Here & There �

  • In Brazil, credit has soared over the last five years. The ratio of outstanding debt to gross domestic product jumped to 56% from 32%. Not really surprising as credit cards in Brazil have annual interest rates of 120%
     

  • Local breweries are booming in America. According to the Brewers Association, a trade group, the number of U.S. craft-brewers has skyrocketed from eight in 1980 to more than 2,400. Small brewers now account for about 10% of the U.S. beer business and provide 100,000 jobs.
     

  • The world�s largest department store is Macy�s 11-story building that occupies an entire block in New York�s herald Square. On �Black Friday� 15,000 shoppers waited anxiously for the doors to open to start their holiday shopping.
     

  • The �Coin card� is making waves on the Internet by promising to slim down consumers� fat wallets by replacing their credit and debit cards with a single smartcard that can be used for purchases. Before making a payment, users choose which card they want to use by pressing a button on the Coin card.
     

  • U.S. colleges are presently drawing a record number of international students. Last year saw 820,000 attending, and the largest group came from China (236,000), nearly double the number of students from India, the second-largest group. USC (University of Southern California) is the most popular with nearly 10,000 international students.

    The University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign had the second-most international students with 9,800. Purdue University�s main campus had 9,500 placing third, while New York and Columbia universities ranked fourth and fifth in the survey conducted by the New York nonprofit Institute of International Education, in partnership with the U.S. State Department.
     

  • U.S. hotel occupancy was 64.7% in October. The average daily rate (ADR) at U.S. hotels in October increased year-over-year to $113.48. The largest increases in ADRs were in Oahu (Hawaii) � up 11.6% to $291.12; St. Louis � up 9.5% to $98.05; and Houston � up 8.4% to $106.09.

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Trust Is Quietly Draining Away � Implications Are Not Good

In 1972 when the General Social Survey (funded by the National Science Foundation), first asked the question, "Do you trust others?," half of the respondents answered "Yes."  Today only one-third of Americans believe that most people can be trusted.

We're not talking about the loss of faith in big institutions such as the government, the church or Wall Street, which fluctuates with events.

Social trust brings good things to society, such as making it easier to compromise or make a deal. With trust, people are willing to work with those who are different from them for the common good. And where trust appears it's also conducive to promoting economic growth.

Distrust, on the other hand, seems to encourage corruption. At the least, it diverts energy to counting change, drawing up 100-page legal contracts and building gated communities.

Bottom-line: For four decades now, trust in the other fellow - a gut-level ingredient of democracy - has been quietly draining away.


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(Part I of a two-part series)

Dissatisfied with Your Job? Man Up and Create Your Own

You have a respectable, steady job. You provide for your family. You do home improvement projects on the weekends and even find the time to coach your son's Little League team. But as you slog away at your 9-to-5 job and go through the motions of daily life, in your own mind, you feel that true success is still eluding you. You tell yourself that you should be grateful just to have a way to pay the bills (especially in the wake of the Great Recession). Yet you can't quite stifle that little voice that whispers, "there ought to be something more."

The truth is, you want to be your own boss � and to own your own business. But, you think the risks involved in becoming an entrepreneur are just too great. After all, you can't gamble your current steady income, your credit, and your family's comfort on a venture that may or may not succeed.

And that, claims Sean C. Castrina, is where you're wrong.

"You don't have to gamble any of those things in order to start your own business," assures Castrina, author of 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Start-Up Success (www.newbizcoach.org). "The solution is to become a part-time entrepreneur. And if you follow a specific set of rules, there's less risk involved than you may think."

Castrina speaks from extensive experience. He has started over 15 companies in industries including direct mail, home services, property management and retail � the first while he was working a full-time job. He emphasizes that you don't need an MBA or a college degree, to become a successful entrepreneur.

"Look at my group of poker buddies, many of whom are self-made millionaires," he says. "Only a few made it past high school. One, who was introduced to roofing as a teenager, now commands the field and has a multimillion-dollar company reflecting his expertise. Two others own specialty retail outlets, and are flourishing in spite of superstore and online competitors. Another owns the area's most popular restaurant, when so many other food establishments nearby have gone belly-up."

So, what sets Castrina and his poker buddies apart? "We all started with what we believed was a good idea, deciding to take action on it," Castrina answers. "We didn't wait for ideal conditions. For the most part, we began building our companies in our free time while we still worked for other bosses." And he promises, you can do the same.

According to Castrina, it's easier than ever to become a part-time entrepreneur. With 20 hours a week (or less) of organized and focused time, you can build a solid foundation for small-business success. Thanks to internet-based tools, virtual secretaries and answering services, you can reach and service many potential customers without ever leaving your house. Plus, you have 24/7 access to educational tools and the ability to instantly search for answers to a huge variety of questions.

Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews

If you're ready to create a more rewarding experience than slaving away at a 9-to-5 job that offers little to no security, has disappointing retirement savings and doesn't come close to paying for your children's college tuition, then try Castrina's top-10 rules for being a part-time entrepreneur:

Figure out your game.

Perhaps you already have a clearly defined vision for your business: You'd like to use your background in accountancy to start your own tax service, for instance. However, it's very possible that you have no idea which field to go into. (Anything that allows me to be my own man! you think.) In that case, Castrina recommends starting a service business (anything from home cleaning to tutoring to adult care) for the following reasons:

  They require minimal money to start. "I've never started a service business with more than $10k, and many with less than $3k � including businesses that have made me millions," he comments.

  Many service businesses don't require a prior work history in the field or particular qualifications.

  In most cases, they can't be outsourced or performed by computers so you'll always have work.

  Since you can hire others to perform the actual work while you handle the key behind-the-scenes management tasks (like hiring, supervising, taking client calls, marketing, etc.), service businesses are a great source of passive income. "For instance, I started a mobile car detailing business in my 20s," Castrina shares. "I hired an employee to do the work, charged $95 for a full detail inside and out, and gave my worker 50-percent. All I did was make the phone ring and schedule the jobs. I didn't get rich, but I did make an extra $25k a year. Not bad for three to five hours of work a week during my down time."

"Entrepreneur.com has a great list of service businesses to start you thinking," Castrina shares. "Or you might also want to take a look at www.newbizcoach.org for more resources."

However, make sure you understand the rules before you start playing. Once you've familiarized yourself with the possibilities and identified a few types of businesses that might be needed in your area, try to poll at least 50 people � to not only determine which services they would use in the next six months, but also if they'd pay the price you would charge. Their answers will give you a good idea of which field you should go into.

"Before pulling the trigger on your business, take time to research the licenses, permits, and certifications you may need for the industry you're entering. Then make sure that obtaining them won�t be prohibitive," he adds. "You can usually find the information you need at your local business tax office or by contacting your Chamber of Commerce.  And take it from the voice of experience: Start filling out that paperwork early, as government bureaucracies can be painfully slow."

Do business from anywhere other than your current job.

Odds are, you'll be starting your new business from home � a place that's full of distractions ranging from the television to your wife's "honey-do" list. That's why setting up a dedicated workspace is crucial for productivity. Depending on your home's layout and your personal preferences, you might be able to use a spare bedroom, a basement, a detached garage, or even a nook in the living room as your office. And if you already have a dedicated man-cave, even better.


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"Personally, I converted our dining room into an incredible home office," Castrina shares. "I was able to do this on a dime because the room was already equipped with a large but seldom-used table. If you go this route, you might want to add a file cabinet and swap the chandelier for recessed or track lighting. As I found out, it's hard to tap into your entrepreneur mojo when you're constantly ducking a chandelier.

"Also, if you set up a home office, don't forget to capitalize on tax deduction advantages," he adds. "For example, if you set aside a separate room of your house in which to conduct your business and/or store products, you may be able to take a home office deduction. You can also write off transportation expenses to and from your home to your business appointments and, in some cases, expenses related to car maintenance and repair."


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The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today�s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital�which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our �Secondary Capital Section.�

Check it out... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.


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