Walk With Ease

The Bemidji Senior Center is offering another set of Walk with Ease classes. This 6-week series of classes will be held on Tuesdays, May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th & June 6th at 9:30 am and will be taught by Liz Rynders from Bemidji Parks and Rec.

Please join us at the Bemidji Senior Center for these classes.

Fluid Acrylic Painting Class

The “Fluid Acrylic Painting” class with Kathy Sanders will be held at 1:00-3:00 on Friday, June 9th.

The Bemidji Senior Center is offering these classes with grants from Dancing Sky AAA and Beltrami Electric Round-Up.

Sign-up sheets are available at the Bemidji Senior Center. All classes are free to members and $10.00 for non-members but space is limited. Classes fill quickly so SIGN UP NOW.


Please help the Bemidji Senior Center by donating Our Family brand labels with the bar code attached.  Look for this brand at Lueken’s Village Foods, Marketplace Foods and Teal’s Market.  500 labels/barcodes equals $25.00 for our Center.  Every little bit helps!

You may drop labels off at the hostess desk of the Bemidji Senior Center Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.   The Bemidji Senior Center is located at 216 3rd St NW, Bemidji.

Ready to Un-Retire? Tips for Starting a Small Business Past Your Working Years

Image via Pexels

Written by Andrea Needham

Ready to Un-Retire? Tips for Starting a Small Business Past Your Working Years

If you’ve recently retired and found that a life of leisure is not for you, rejoice! There are many reasons to rejoin the workforce on your own terms as a small business owner. From keeping you mentally alert to helping you maintain a social life, working at 65 and beyond may actually be more pleasurable than giving up the timeclock altogether. Keep reading for a few quick tips on how to start your own business without jeopardizing your nest egg.

Choose a structure.

First, you’ll need a business structure if you want to make things official. If you’re not sure which structure to go with, start by thinking about whether you want to protect your personal assets. A Limited Liability Company, or LLC, offers this advantage, as well as exemption from extra taxes. If an LLC sounds like the best option for you, you may be asking yourself, “How do I start an LLC in Minnesota?” It’s actually simpler than you think, as just a few steps are required (as detailed by ZenBusiness), and you can make the process even easier by hiring an online formation service.

Define your niche.

As an entrepreneur, you have to cater to your clientele. This means you’ll need to take a close look at your business idea before you get started and then continually evaluate as you go on. This might mean that you test your initial idea and run it by a group of potential clients for input. It might take you a bit longer to get started, but knowing exactly what your customers want will ensure that you do not overspend on products or services they do not.

Craft your online presence.

The internet is where the vast majority of business takes place these days. For this reason, much of your early initiative should be devoted to creating an engaging website and social media presence. Use a reputable online job board to find the right web designer or social media manager, but do take a look at their portfolio before you sign a contract or hire a freelancer for the job.

Business Ideas for Seniors

The above tips apply to virtually any business. But what if you do not know what you want to do? A few of the best businesses for seniors to start include:

  • Owning rental properties. Rental properties are an excellent source of passive income, particularly for seniors who consider themselves handy. When you own a rental property, your tenants pay you a monthly fee that is, ideally, much more than your mortgage. And if you can do property maintenance and upkeep on your own, you’ll save a bundle. All it takes is a few properties to generate a respectable income.
  • Teaching. Education is a great part-time job or business for seniors who wish to freelance instead of operating a brick-and-mortar location. You can even teach online if you are tech-savvy.
  • Franchisee. Seniors make excellent franchise owners because they have more time to devote to running their business. According to Statista, there were over 770,000 franchise establishments in 2019. Franchises run the gamut from fast food to dance studios, and the investment required ranges, as well. Do your research, but know that there is a franchise available for virtually all interests.

Retirement isn’t for everyone. Whether you just need something to fill your hours or want to bridge the gap between a fixed income and financial freedom, the above tips can help you get started. Remember: Start by understanding some of the nuances, such as where to find financing and how to master your online real estate. Then, choose a business that makes sense for you. Most of all, enjoy your post-retirement business adventures.

If you’re looking for some fun things to do in your spare time, check out the Bemidji Senior Center. We also offer classes and programs that educate on a variety of topics like fall prevention and driver safety.

Starting a Home-Based Business as a Senior: What You Need to Know

Written by Andrea Needham

Image via Pixabay

If you’ve thought about starting your own business during your golden years, you might be worried that it’s too late for you to pursue your dreams. The good news is that more and more people are creating their own companies with many years of experience under their belt. If you’re hesitant, here are some benefits of creating your business as a senior, brought to you by the Bemidji Senior Center.

You Already Have Knowledge

You likely already have knowledge that many others will pay for, along with the experience. Take into account different positions you’ve held, industries you have worked in, and ultimately, what you’d like to do for your business now. Make a list of different business ideas until you find one you like, then consider how your existing skills relate to it. Perhaps you want to go into dog walking, but don’t have experience in the pet field. If you have customer service skills and patience, those qualities can help you run your business effectively. Don’t hold back just because you lack a specific type of experience you think you need.

If you’re lacking knowledge in a particular aspect of running a business, you can find many informative resources online to help guide you through everything. For example, if you have employees, then you should look up a guide that discusses payroll for small businesses. Payroll has a lot of moving parts, and it requires you to handle things like keeping track of financial records, issues accurate paychecks to your workers, and paying your payroll taxes on time. You can outsource payroll using different services and software, but it’s always a good idea to understand how it works — and that goes from every part of your business.

Less Capital Means More Return

One often-overlooked benefit of starting a home-based business is that you won’t spend as much money getting set up as you would with a brick-and-mortar company. Saving money on costs means you don’t need to worry as much about your company if you change your focus or decide to go in a totally different direction. This gives you the chance to try running the business before investing more money in supplies and expenses.

When creating a company, you must decide on whether to form it as a sole proprietorship, an S-corporation, or a limited liability company. For instance, an LLC has many benefits, such as less paperwork, reduced liability, and even certain tax breaks. Every state has different rules around forming an LLC, so it is important to check the requirements before filing an LLC registration.

You Can Work on Your Own Schedule

A home-based business has a significant benefit in that you can work on your schedule. If you prefer to get work done in the morning and have the rest of the day to yourself, you can do it. If you’re starting working at home, it is helpful to develop a routine that works for you. Try to choose a time during the day when you are most productive. That way you are utilizing your time wisely, ensuring your business is able to grow.

As a senior starting your own home-based business, you can enter the market utilizing your previous skills and positions. Working at home usually means there is less money you’ll need to invest in your business office, allowing you to keep more of what you earn. Finally, you can work on a schedule that suits your needs, giving you the chance to focus on the job when you are at your most productive. With these tips in mind, you’ll likely find it easier to get started.

How Seniors Can Plan for a Retirement Lived Partially Abroad

How Seniors Can Plan for a Retirement Lived Partially Abroad

Written by Andrea Needham

Seniors seeking community engagement and access to additional services in the Bemidji area can find plenty of resources and opportunities at the Bemidji Senior Center.

Have you considered spending some of your retirement years abroad? Establishing legal residency in a foreign country is one way to do this. Depending on your obligations, and residency requirements, you may be able to split your time between two different locations. It requires some careful planning, as well as adequate income, but if this option is available to you, there are many benefits to retiring in this way.

Why split your residence?

There are many reasons why you might want to move back and forth between the U.S. and another country. If you are considering permanently relocating to a different country, a trial period with part-time residency can help you decide whether this is the choice for you. If you have health issues that are exacerbated by climate, moving back and forth with the seasons can help you live more comfortably. Plus, your overall wellness may benefit from traveling, experiencing new things, and staying engaged with the world around you.

If you have family members spread out across different countries, you may want to establish living space near more than one loved one — both to enjoy their company and if you need a little extra assistance. The cost of living may be lower in some nations than in others, too.

What do you need to know before you set up a second residence?

Different countries have different regulations regarding residency. For those hoping to attain residency status in the United States, several different options are available. If you intend to work during your retirement, you might qualify for an employment-based green card. Other ways to get residency include marriage to a citizen and sponsorship.

As well as applying to reside legally in a different country, you should read up on tax laws to find out if you will need to pay taxes in both countries of residence. Research health care, as well, so you know whether your plan will cover you internationally or if you need to acquire a separate plan in India, for instance. Finally, research the customs of the new country where you hope to live and evaluate whether you feel you could acclimatize and be comfortable there.

What are some resources that can help you?

If you intend to travel back and forth between dual residences, learn how to bank online through well-known institutions like Charles Schwab and Discover Bank. Have a bank account in each country so you can access funds wherever you are and easily move money between accounts. If you need to transfer money to loved ones, services like Remitly let you wire money securely and cost effectively. For example, if you’re sending funds to friends or family in India, your transfers won’t be subject to a fee if you’re sending over $1,000.

Also, find out what kind of organizations and services exist for seniors in the communities where you intend to reside. For instance, the Lutheran Social Services’s Meals on Wheels program offers nutritious, delicious, and low-cost meals for seniors.

What do you need to include in your retirement budget?

Budgeting for retirement is important, no matter how you intend to spend your time. If you plan on traveling and residing in more than one location, you will need to budget with great care. Be meticulous when detailing future expenses, taking into account such extras as travel costs and added health care expenses. Calculate what you expect your income to be and how much you can reasonably spend per year. Don’t forget to consider whether your financial situation may change as you age. Keep in mind, too, that health care expenses may rise if your needs increase.

Residing abroad for part of the year may be the perfect option for the retiree who wants a little extra adventure, but also enjoys the security of a familiar place. It allows you to travel and explore without undue uncertainty. It can be a great way to maintain valued connections with loved ones, too

Image via Pixabay

The Best Online Tools for Downsizing Your House the Easy Way

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Written by Andrea Needham

Are you planning a move? Whether you’re moving to a retirement community or downsizing to an age-friendly home, moving is different in your senior years than when you were younger. Not only is calling friends for moving help no longer an option, but older adults have different needs when buying a home.

That’s no reason to shy away from downsizing! While some aspects of moving may be harder this time around, there are lots of digital tools to help along the way. Bemidji Senior Center shares the online resources every downsizing senior needs.

Shopping for a House — at Home!

Moving used to require a lot of legwork. These days, homeowners do most of the work online. Here’s how you can start your house hunt from the comfort of home.

  • Searching real estate listings online is easier than ever with websites like these.
  • Some real estate sites even include virtual house shopping extras like 3D walkthroughs and live video open houses.
  • Neighborhood apps like NeighborhoodScout and AreaVibes help senior homebuyers find safe, livable neighborhoods.
  • Older adults can also start their senior living search online with the use of review sites and other tools.

Hiring Downsizing Help Online

When you’re ready to sell your house and downsize, where do you turn for help? You don’t have to go far with online resources like these.

  • Older homeowners benefit from working with a Realtor who specializes in seniors. Search for a local Senior Real Estate Specialist online.
  • A Senior Move Manager, meanwhile, helps older adults with the logistics of decluttering, organizing, and downsizing.
  • How do you choose a reputable moving company? After finding movers in your city online, read reviews and verify credentials before making a final decision.

Online Tools for Planning Your Move

The hardest part of downsizing is deciding where to start. These checklists take the effort out of downsizing your home.

  • The best thing you can do when downsizing is to start early. The second best thing is to use this downsizing checklist to guide the process.
  • Homeowners also need to prepare their houses to sell. From setting the price to making repairs, don’t skip these steps for sellers.
  • If you’re buying a home to age in place, put these design features high on your priority list.
  • What should you bring when moving to assisted living? Every community is different, but this packing list covers the basics.

Your back isn’t what it used to be, but that doesn’t mean downsizing has to be a burden. From digital house hunting tools to real estate professionals, there are plenty of resources to make your downsize a breeze!