40+ and Fabulous Moving Foward, Fierce, Focused and Full of Life by Sondra Wright

Moving forward fierce, focused and full of life!

40+ and Fabulous Moving Foward, Fierce, Focused and Full of Life by Sondra Wright - Moving forward fierce, focused and full of life!

Your Finances the Second Time Around

Guest Blogger Sharon O’Day

The phenomenon even has a name: the Gray Divorce Revolution.

You see, the divorce rate among couples over 50 has doubled in the last 20 years. The causes? All the traditional ones, for sure: infidelity, boredom, growing apart and so forth.

But, more and more, it’s because of an eye-opening statistic. According to the Social Security Administration, anyone who is 65 years old today has a 25% chance of living past 85 and a 10% chance of living past 90.

So maybe the husband has reached retirement age or has had to take early retirement because of the economic downturn. He’s sitting at home thinking, “What am I going to do for the next few decades? I’m not sure I even know this woman who’s fixing lunch for me every day and asking me every five minutes what I’m up to. I’d better find something to do, maybe start a home business. But is this who I want to do it with and for?”

Or maybe the wife has reached her fifties after raising her kids and is thinking, “Is this all there is? What about me? I have another 30-plus years ahead of me, a whole second adulthood that needs to be filled.” (Following the first one that may have left her unfulfilled.)

Besides, after setting her own dreams aside while she made her family her first priority, she’s beginning to dream again. She’s having thoughts of discovering her life purpose and leaving some sort of legacy. And what was important in a partner when she married 30 years ago may not be what she’s looking for today.

So the ground is fertile for separations and divorces. And whether her separation is amicable or not, whether the financial implications are good or grim, a whole new financial life is about to start.

Suddenly she is part of a very large statistic: she’s a “divorced female.” Either by choice or by circumstances.

Now is when she’ll find out how well she learned the lessons of adeptness and comfort with money as she was growing up. How far she developed her concept of personal responsibility. Whether enough of her self-identity has survived the years.

Now is when she has to hold the financial reins firmly in her hands.

So, besides having to ensure enough income to support herself, she has to put five things in place, whether she stays on her own or eventually finds someone else to share her life. She needs to:

  1. Identify her lifestyle going forward based on a long-term vision, deciding how simply or extravagantly her resources and her dreams permit her to live. (And then, what will make her happiest.) Life after divorce is not a continuum of how it was before. The blackboard has been erased and now it’s time to redesign what she wants her future to look like.
  2. Open an online savings account with a minimum of $1,000 in cash, readily accessible, just as an emergency fund. Whatever her financial situation, this is the most important “peace of mind” gift she can give herself. It’s not meant to help close out months if she comes up short; it’s there for when a true little emergency rears its head. It will. And she’ll be ready. (Think about the control that represents …)
  3. Build a fund equal to 6-8 months of expenses as fast as possible. Regardless how financially prepared she thought she was as she got out of her marriage, it’s now doubly important to stay on top of her finances. With this fund she knows that she can bridge any structural challenges, like job loss, late alimony payments or whatever.
  4. Find a financial course or mentor to bring her up to speed if she has any doubts at all about how to handle her money. There’s no room in the new economy for financial ignorance. She doesn’t need to become a financial wizard, but she does need to be comfortable with her numbers, for today and for the future.
  5. Revisit all the important documents that will have become obsolete as a result of the divorce. This includes her will, living will and any advanced directives. It’s time to be sure to change beneficiaries, next of kin for notification and authorized decision makers.

The (divorced) Boomer woman. She was a rule-breaker as she was growing up, from shattering social mores to rejecting any limitations on what she could do with her life.

Now it’s time for her to break the rules again: it’s time for a generation of women to finally enter its later years empowered around money. Not dependent. Not scared. Empowered.


Bio: Sharon O’Day is a speaker and writer who today focuses on the relationship women have with money. She’s a global finance and marketing expert with an MBA from The Wharton School. Sharon has dedicated the last 10 years to understanding the specific money issues that hold women back from reaching that much sought-after goal: financial peace of mind.

Contact info: 

Website: http://SharonODay.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/SharonODay

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SharonODayFB




Boomer Woman Kris Jenner Tackles End of Life Planning on Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Kris Jenner, EverydayHealth.com

Kris Jenner is keeping it as real as it gets on reality TV. The 57 year old mom of the often raucous Kardashian clan has come out of the closet with many concerns women can be embarrassed to admit as we age; weight management, physical appearance, and yes, even urinary incontinence – Kris has touched on it all.

Now admittedly, I’ve watched a few episodes of the Kardashians that have left me wondering ‘what in the world is Kris doing and why’ (like going behind Bruce’s back to meet with an ex-boyfriend from 20 years ago to get “closure”)? But this week’s valiant attempt to tackle a crucial conversation with her family that most people avoid had me on the edge of my seat shouting a very loud and supportive “You go girl!”

I’m a long time believer in end of life planning but really came to appreciate its importance after the death of my father-in-law in December of 2011. Watching the family suffer through tremendous confusion of “Are we making the right decision?” and “Would dad have wanted it done this way?” my husband and I decided to give each other and our families a very special Christmas present last year– the gift of peace of mind.

I could completely relate hearing Kris say to husband Bruce, “Some of the worst memories of my mom are what she went through when my dad died and I thought, ‘I never want my kids to be in the position where they have to make these split decisions if something were to happen to one of us.’” And could not agree more when she added, “I think it’s a great idea to kinda make sure everything is in place just the way I would like it. If something happens to me. then my family…my children…nobody has to worry about what to do.”

Unfortunately Bruce was not on board with the idea…

K. “Do you want to be cremated or do you want to be buried?”

B. “I don’t care! You deal with it!”

K. (tearful) “Everyone is going to die, why would you leave the whole situation to someone else?”

B. “Cause I’ll be dead!”

A death in the family is difficult enough without placing the added burden of burial arrangements on the shoulders of those we love. But sadly, like Bruce, many people choose the “I don’t care, I’ll be dead” approach, and to make matters even more confusing, many people do not have a will, living will, or other legal documents to instruct loved ones on how to handle situations if they’re ever to ill to tell them.

What I personally discovered from meeting with a memorial planner and participating in the planning process with my husband is that it felt very empowering. We were able to make very clear decisions about what we wanted and we have the peace of mind that our families and each other will be spared from much of this burden and expense.

One very important take away from Kris this week is that when you talk to your family about your end of life wishes, it may not be the best idea to actually let them see you test drive a casket. As son Rob Kardashian painfully recounts, “Seeing my mom in the casket is such a weird thing to look at. She’s making me uncomfortable and I really don’t want to think about that.” Notwithstanding, making these decisions well in advance is a very loving and considerate thing to do for your loved ones, and a hugely powerful and empowering experience for you; knowing that your affairs are in order; that there won’t be any disputes over what to do; and that you had complete control over these choices.

Congratulations “do-ers!”



13 Past Seasons of Dancing With the Stars and Only 2 Boomers Have Claimed the Mirror Ball Trophy!

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, DWTS

Calling all boomer women and women over 40! Whether it’s the Bop, the Twist, the Hustle or Break Dancing, we invented dance and, make no mistake about it, can still shake a tail feather with the absolute best of them!

In 13 past seasons of Dancing With the Stars, only two over 40 contestants have claimed a win. Born December 9, 1957, Donnie Osmond was 51 years old when he claimed the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy in 2009. And not only did he dance, but Donnie stunned the Nation when he planted a wet one on the lips of the fiery judge Bruno Tonioli. The kiss went down in history, landing Donnie in the #4 spot of Dancing With the Stars Top 10 List of Most Shocking Moments.

In season 11 we transitioned from shock to tears as Jennifer Grey brought on the water works, dancing flawlessly to “These Arms of Mine,” in remembrance of her Dirty Dancing co-star, Patrick Swayze.  Jennifer, born March 26, 1960, was 50 years old when she won Dancing With the Stars in 2010.

Season 14 kicked off last week, on March 19th, and is said to be “…the best opening night in Dancing With the Stars History!” In the midst of this tough competition are 5 over 40 hopefuls: Sherri Shepherd, 44; Melissa Gilbert, 47; Martina Navratilova, 55; Gladys Knight, 67; and Jack Wagoner, 52.

Will one of them win? Only time will tell! But with our collective support, we can certainly do what boomers have always done, and that’s give them a darn good show and a run for the money! Who’s with me?


Boomer Women in Business: Tips to “Boom-Her” Business


I get so excited every time I hear a report of the record number of boomer women who are starting their own businesses. In fact, it’s been said that boomer women represent the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs. Whoo Hoo!!

In my 15 years as an entrepreneur I’ve seen businesses come and go primarily because they don’t know what it takes to have staying power in their industry. And many of you are wondering right if this is a good time to launch your business or what the future of your business might be in a struggling economy.

To be a successful entrepreneur, you must acquire the ability to think a certain way. I’ve been fortunate to attend workshops and conference and learn from some great coaches and trainers on how to build a solid business. But I had never been mentored in developing the mental, spiritual and emotional stamina to withstand potential challenges. So since the burned hand teaches best, I want to share 3 small tips that have served me well in business.

1.  There are a lot of people walking around with skills and gifts and talents and passions but that’s not enough to be in business. Poor management is the #1 reason new businesses fail! There must be someone n position who is going to study, organize, plan and control all activities of its operations; who’s going to make sure the IRS get’s paid and payroll and employment laws are adhered. If you like to create but can’t be can’t be bothered with those kinds of trivial details, you must add someone to your team who can.

2.  When is doubt, wait and never act out of fear! When fear shows up in your business you have to go inside of yourself and whisper “peace be still” asking yourself how do I choose to be present right now? Deciding how to show up (ex. I show up committed, confident, determined) in a situation puts you back in the power seat.

3.  Be convinced that there is no competition – there is only you. Being in a greedy, selfish, competitive mindset causes you to repel success not attract it. The fastest path to success is when you collaborate and co-create with people in similar industries as yours, not compete with them. Of course you don’t have to disclose your intellectual property or trade secrets to them but you are to work collaboratively with them. No one can beat you, to what belongs to what belongs to you.

4.  Don’t question whether the current economic climate presents the right timing to step out as a boomer-preneur. Simply trust that it is. Make up your mind that regardless of what may be going on in the world this is the greatest time of opportunity for you. Train yourself to think in this way. Mindset is your greatest asset.


For Women Over 40 – Depression and Suicide Does Not Have to Be Our Story

Hold the presses! Haven’t we already determined that today’s boomer women are better off than we’ve ever been; healthier, better educated and more wealthy than any generation of women before us? And for the most part, ladies, we are! But that doesn’t mean everything for boomer women is coming up roses.

In a story that grieved me dearly, allvoices.com reports “a forty-nine percent increase of visits in the emergency department for drug related suicide attempts from women fifty years or older” and “Suicides in maximum numbers of women between the ages of forty and sixty-nine…”  These numbers are staggering, disturbing, heart breaking and unnecessary.

Just this week the Today Show aired a Today’s Woman segment titled, “Facing Forty.” “It used to be turning 40 symbolized the end of youth. Now, it’s the beginning of something better.” The segment showed women celebrating themselves and the big 4-0 by running triathlon events, visiting Italy and enjoying a beach and spa getaway. But as Sarah Brokaw, licensed therapist and author of “Fortytude” points out, and I agree, it’s a time of mixed emotions and feelings amongst women are split. While some women are excited about approaching this new era many more are fearful and anxious about what 40 means and view it as a time of loss or an ending of something instead of the wonderful new beginning it really is. Trisha Ashworth, co-author of “I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids” confessed that for her, after the celebration and the 40th birthday party was over she felt “blindsided” as the black clouds of doubt began to roll in. “What’s the next chapter for me? What do I want for my life and who am I?” These were all questions she had not taken the time to reflect on but these are very real questions women grapple with everyday. As children age out and move away from home, as the marital relationship changes due to death or divorce, women are feeling disoriented and are asking themselves, “Who am I now? “What’s next for me?”

While there are many aspects of aging that can be a little frightening the majority of our fears are unfounded and rooted in societal stereotypes. Contributor to the All Voices story, psychologist and licensed clinical social Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, discovered an alarming rise in the number of suicide attempts amongst women ages 45-64, and cites disappointment as a factor. “Middle-aged women are more aware of their mortality and could be disappointed or let down that it is too late for happiness.”  For years society has portrayed the over 40 woman as miserly old women who lock ourselves up in the house to die with nothing but a cat and unrealized dreams. But that’s an old story and I triple dog dare you to be bold enough to write a new one. Any dreams, wishes or desires a woman holds can still be realized regardless of age. If you want to go to school, go to school. If you want to get married, get married. If you want to start a business, start a business. Women are doing it everyday and are realizing greater fulfillment in their 40’s and 50’s, even 70’s and 80’s than at any other time before. Aging is a beautiful journey, ladies. And it’s time to change the way we see ourselves, love ourselves and value ourselves as aging women in this society. Write your own story! Go ahead..I dare you!