I’ve had several people contact me and ask specifics about this project, so I put together a simple Q & A to explain what I’m trying to achieve. If you have more questions not addressed below, please contact me.
1. What is this project about?
50 Plus Reinvented is a collection of resources, videos, and stories of reinvention where displaced Baby Boomers can come for respite, encouragement and camaraderie on the way to their next chapter. The purpose of 50 Plus Reinvented is to crowdsource a reinvention movement so displaced people don’t feel so alone.
2. Why is this project needed now?
Ram Dass said, “We’re all just walking each other home” and I am creating a virtual ‘home’ for disenfranchised, unemployed Baby Boomers by creating a website of resources for reinvention and by crowdsourcing reinvention as a movement. In another blog post, I included a recent statistic from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that shows that the suicide rate for Baby Boomers has increased by 50% from 1999 to 2010. It’s hard to prove a definitive connection between job layoffs, lack of viable employment options, and less than ideal access to healthcare, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that paints a depressing picture for our age group.
3. Were you or your husband laid off?
My 50 Plus Reinvented project is the result of personal experience. At 51 years old, my husband Kevin was laid off from his advertising/post production job one week after September 11. Advertising came to a standstill and when it did pick up again, there were few jobs available in that youth-oriented industry for anyone over 35. My husband reinvented himself as an English (ESL) teacher and a small business owner (Private Tours Miami). Like many people in our situation, we went through most of our assets due to loss of income, catastrophic medical costs (3 surgeries for Kevin; my own health challenges) and ended up in bankruptcy even after exhausting all of our life’s savings. According to this CNBC report, medical costs are the number one cause of bankruptcy. We know firsthand how psychologically devastating unemployment can be and we want our story to help and encourage others.
4. What is your long-range plan?
I’m proud that I’ve already reached nearly 11,000 people in a brief period of time who have found my site helpful. Next, I’ll start including more stories about people who are successfully reinventing themselves so we call all learn from their stories. I’ve always been inspired by entrepreneurs and those intrepid souls who can make something out of nothing, especially when it looks like there’s no way out. I’ve written one book called “Finding Your Niche Can Be a Real Bitch, but it Doesn’t Have to Be” about people who found their calling and am writing a second book exclusively for displaced Baby Boomers.
5. How can people help?
Help me crowdsource my site with stories of people you know (or you, yourself!) who are involved in reinvention. Also, tell me about any helpful tools you’ve used, books you’re reading or anything that’s helped move you along the path of reinvention! To get in touch, use this contact link or use the comment section below.