Tag: seniors

Self-Employment Can Help Boomers, Retirees, Like CEO Mary Parker, Stretch Savings (VIDEO)

Mary Parker, CEO of All N 1 Security
Mary Parker, Founder/CEO of ALL(n)1 Security Services in Atlanta, GA

The biggest fear for many people these days is whether their nest egg will last throughout their retirement. One way to avoid outliving your money is to work longer—on your own terms.  While you may not be able to retire at 65 (or don’t want to), if you’re doing work that you enjoy in your own business, setting your own schedule, and fulfilling goals that you’ve set yourself—it may not even feel like work.

Many Baby Boomers and retirees plan to start a business or are already self-employed, and many of their businesses are turning a profit. Pursuing professional dreams while working for themselves has enabled many older self-employed workers to secure their financial future.  A recent survey by AARP found 10 percent of workers ages 45 to 74 plan to start a business and 15 percent of workers in this age range are already self-employed. Some started a business due to a job loss, others had already retired but weren’t ready to fully stop working.

On average, self-employed workers who are in their 40s or 50s spend nearly two decades working for themselves, the study found.  “What we see is that most of the individuals that start businesses later in life represent professional services,” said Jean Setzfand, vice president for financial security at AARP. “Whether it be lawyers or accountants, data processing that tends to be more of what we see in terms of older self-employed workers.”

Mary Parker, a 59-year-old entrepreneur, spent more than three decades navigating two challenging industries before taking the helm of her own firm. After being downsized from her job as at auto manufacturing plant early in her career, Parker saw a job opening for a security officer.  Some people may have seen that as a step down from the managerial role she previously held. Yet, she saw the long-term potential of taking this position and started to learn the security business from the ground up.

“In terms of career opportunities, you never really think about a security guard being anything other than a guard. What I learned was the security industry is a very lucrative industry,” she said.  While rising through the ranks in that field, she felt she would be best fulfilled if she was running her own firm.  “Although my career in corporate America was very successful, I just believe that any time you work for other people there are so many limitations,” she said.

Like many self-employed workers, including Boomers, Parker focused on providing a service.  In 2001, Parker founded ALL(n)1 Security Services, based in Atlanta, Ga., which provides security personnel and technology. As CEO, she runs a multi-million dollar enterprise with more than 200 employees.  See video of her story below:

Parker isn’t alone in her accomplishments. Most of those surveyed by the AARP said their businesses were successful.  “Once you have the life experience, you probably have a shorter pathway to being successful and that is something we’re seeing,” AARP’s Setzfand said.  Nearly three-quarters of older self-employed workers surveyed by AARP indicated that their business made a profit in 2011. This may explain why 9 out of 10 self-employed older workers believe it is not likely that they will have to give up working for themselves in the next year.

Parker certainly intends to keep running her business. Thanks to a diversified portfolio of retirement funds and real estate investments, she said she could retire in a few years, but she’ll probably just keep working.  “When I’m ready to retire in the next 3 to 5 years, financially I don’t have to worry about what that will look like,” Parker said. “I will not have to work, although I know I will continue to work.”

report by Sharon Epperson via nbr.com

68 Years After WWII, Former Tuskegee Airman and Female Civilian Military Pilot Meet

Elder James H. Brown and Jane Tedeschi, who both served as pilots during WW II
Elder James H. Brown and Jane Tedeschi, who both served as pilots during WW II, met for the first time on May 17, 2013. Tedeschi had always wanted to meet a Tuskegee Airman, who she delivered planes for as part of her military service, a rarity for women, as it was for blacks, who were pilots. (Photo: Wish of a Lifetime)

Back in the early 1940s, it was almost unfathomable for the collective imagination to conceive of African-American and female pilots, particularly lending their talents to the battle of World War II. And yet, at roughly the same time, programs were developed by the U.S. military that made that seeming improbability a reality.

Elder James H. Brown, one of the prestigious Tuskegee Airmen (the corps of African-American pilots who participated in World War II), and Jane Tedeschi, a former member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) corps, are products of such programs. They challenged the popular stereotypes of the times that promoted the belief that neither black men nor women were fit to be pilots.

While their paths never crossed during the war, Tedeschi had always wanted to meet one of the brave Tuskegee Airmen, some of whom were stationed near the base where she served, and whose exploits she admired.

Tedeschi just recently got to do just that, bonding with Brown for the first time over their unique places in American history.   On May 17, through a partnership between the Brookdale senior living community where Tedeschi resides, and Wish of a Lifetime, an organization that fosters appreciation for seniors by fulfilling life-enriching requests, Jane got her decades-old wish. Sixty-eight years after the end of World War II, Jane, now 93, and Elder, 87, finally had the chance to connect. The result? Mutual appreciation and thanks.

Continue reading “68 Years After WWII, Former Tuskegee Airman and Female Civilian Military Pilot Meet”

DC Activist Anita Bonds Wins First-Ever Election At Age 68

Anita BondsAnita Bonds a local Democratic activist for more than 30 years emerged from a crowded field to win a special election for the coveted At Large seat on the Washington D.C. Council.  Bonds got 32 percent of the vote winning in predominantly African- American wards 4,5,7 and 8.  Patrick Mara, a Republican was endorsed by the Washington Post, but lost badly, trailing second place finisher Elissa Silverman 28 to 23 percent.

Bonds at 68 says senior citizens, the poor and working poor will be her highest priority.  Bond says her strong showing in those communities is because  blacks are long standing DC residents and the ones most concerned about being able to afford the escalating costs of remaining in the District. 

article via wusa9.com

Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Honors Chuck Berry

Honoree Chuck Berry performs during the 2012 Awards for Lyrics of Literary Excellence at The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library And Museum on February 26, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Marc Andrew Deley/Getty Images)

Honoree Chuck Berry performs during the 2012 Awards for Lyrics of Literary Excellence at The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library And Museum on February 26, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Marc Andrew Deley/Getty Images)

Berry, a rock pioneer with early hits that included “Roll Over Beethoven,” ”Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Johnny B. Goode,” was in 1986 the first inductee into the Hall of Fame.  To mark the American Music Masters award presentation, the rock hall has mounted a special exhibition with items including Berry’s stage clothes, a guitar and his 1958 Chess Records recording contract.

Continue reading “Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Honors Chuck Berry”

106 Year-Old Margaret Harris for President Obama: “Red, White and Blue, Going Forward!”

Viviette Applewhite, 93-year-old Plaintiff In Pa. Voter ID Case, Gets Card Amid Appeal

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Pennsylvania’s tough new voter identification law has received the state-issued photo ID card necessary to vote, despite saying she’d been rejected for years because she lacked appropriate documentation to receive the card.

Viviette Applewhite, who recalled marching for voting rights in 1960 with Martin Luther King Jr., was issued the temporary card on Thursday, the same day lawyers for her and others opposing the law appealed a judge’s refusal to halt the law from taking effect in the Nov. 6 presidential election. Continue reading “Viviette Applewhite, 93-year-old Plaintiff In Pa. Voter ID Case, Gets Card Amid Appeal”

82-year-old Jacquie ‘Tajah’ Murdock Is Star of Lanvin’s ‘Real People’ Campaign

82-year-old Jacquie ‘Tajah’ Murdock  Photo: Steven Meisel

The Lanvin fashion line has cast real people instead of professional models in the French label’s autumn and winter 2012 campaigns. Several pictures have surfaced of the spreads, but the one generating the most buzz features 82-year-old Jacquie “Tajah” Murdock, a black model of Jamaican decent. Continue reading “82-year-old Jacquie ‘Tajah’ Murdock Is Star of Lanvin’s ‘Real People’ Campaign”

Dora Anne Council, 76, Graduates From Gateway Community College

After starting school 42 years ago, 76 -year-old Dora Anne Council finally walked across the stage to graduate from college.


Thursday was the graduation day a Hamden grandmother has been looking forward to for 42 years.  Dora Anne Council, 76, was among the 870 graduates to receive their diplomas at Gateway Community College Thursday night. Continue reading “Dora Anne Council, 76, Graduates From Gateway Community College”

Smithsonian Honors Philadelphia Hat Maker Mae Reeves

  • Taking a bow, Donna Limerick (center) and others modeling her mother's hats acknowledge Mae Reeves, top photo, at the end of the ceremony at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Thirty of Reeves' hats will become part of the Smithsonian's permanent collection.
Taking a bow, Donna Limerick (center) and others modeling her mother’s hats
Donna Limerick had always believed her mother was a pioneer.

Not many women in the 1940s had the gumption and the bank loans to start their own business. Especially not African American women. Especially not African American women who designed and made millinery in Philadelphia.

Still, Limerick didn’t want to be presumptuous. She wasn’t sure that her mother’s legacy would qualify for the Smithsonian.  A documentary producer for National Public Radio, Limerick had heard that the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture was looking for compelling stories about black families and culture. With modest expectations, she nominated her mother, Mae Reeves.

Tuesday, two of the museum’s curators attended a ceremony honoring Reeves and announced that 30 hats and several pieces of antique furniture from Mae’s Millinery shop in West Philadelphia will become part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.

“Oh, God bless you,” Reeves said, as television cameras closed in on her. She’d just been handed a softball-sized bronze model of the Liberty Bell that clanged happily in her lap.

“It’s our biggest honor,” said Melanie Johnson, city representative, apologizing that Mayor Nutter couldn’t make the event. He was in Washington for a meeting, representing the U.S. Conference of Mayors, but promised to make a personal visit upon his return.

“Oh my goodness!” Reeves said.

Now 97 and living in a retirement home in Darby, she arrived in a stylish wheelchair upholstered in teal leatherette. Her arthritic knees were covered by a black chenille blanket to match her beaded black jacket and dress. She wore a hat (of course) – one of her favorites, a cloche layered thickly in shiny black feathers with an emerald and turquoise gleam.

For more than 50 years, until 1997 when she retired at 85, Reeves ran her own store, first on South Street and later on North 60th Street. She sold to stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne and Marian Anderson; the social and political elite like Leonore Annenberg and C. Delores Tucker; and everyday women seeking audacious hats.

Midway through the ceremony, held in the auditorium of the African American Museum in Philadelphia, a short video was shown. Produced by one of her nine grandchildren, it captures Reeves in a sparky exchange with her daughter.

Having grown up in Georgia and studied millinery in Chicago, Limerick asks Reeves, “Why did you come to Philadelphia?”

“Because I knew people!” Reeves says.

by Melissa Dribben via articles.philly.com