VOLUNTEER TAX PREPARERS NEEDED FOR AARP TAX-AIDE PROGRAM

VOLUNTEER TAX PREPARERS NEEDED

Volunteer tax counselors are needed for the Bemidji Senior Center/AARP Tax-Aide Program.  Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation and assistance to senior citizens and to anyone with low to moderate income.  Training will be provided by trained volunteers, the IRS, and the Minnesota Department of Revenue.  All volunteers must pass a certification test.  Volunteers are asked to provide at least 40 hours of counseling during the tax season from February 1 through April 15.  Supplies and equipment are provided and mileage reimbursement is available through the AARP Foundation.  For more information, go to aarpfoundation.org/taxaide, call Susan Lind at (218)751-0060, or leave a message at the Bemidji Senior Center at (218)751-8836.   

ANNUAL FALL CRAFT SHOW AND BAKE SALE

The Annual Senior Creations Fall Craft Show and Bake Sale will be held at the Bemidji Senior Center located at 216 3rd St NW on Saturday, November 19th from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Handmade items of all descriptions by local crafters will be featured and fresh baked goods to eat at the Center or take home. In addition, there is the annual jewelry sale from 8:30 to noon and a raffle with hourly drawings for great prizes from the Senior Creations Gift Shop.  

For more information, contact the Senior Center at 751-8836.

2023 BEMIDJI SENIOR CENTER MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

The Bemidji Senior Center is kicking-off our membership drive for 2023.  All membership amounts above the Basic Level of $25.00 are tax deductible. Those who choose to give at a higher level will have a big impact on our 2022 operating budget.  You do not have to be a senior citizen to be a member of the Bemidji Senior Center, all are welcome.  

The Bemidji Senior Center is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation.  Our mission is to provide a welcoming environment encompassing activities and programs primarily for senior citizens of the Bemidji area.  Membership dues help us to accomplish our mission.  

To learn more about the Center, benefits of membership, and to get a membership form, call 751-8836 or stop in at 216 3rd St NW, Bemidji.  You may also visit our website at BemidjiSeniorCenter.org .

Thank you for your continued support!  We are able to do all that we do because of you!

Veterans Day Tribute

The Bemidji Senior Center, located at 216 3rd St NW, will be honoring area Veterans with a Tribute to be held Thursday, November 11th at 1:00pm.  The tribute will feature a guest speaker, entertainment, refreshments, and Quilts of Valor presentation.  All are welcome. Call 751-8836 for more information.

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

The Bemidji Senior Center will hold its Annual Membership Meeting and Member Appreciation on Tuesday, September 27th at 1:00pm in the Bemidji Senior Center Dining Room at 216 3rd St NW, Bemidji.  All Bemidji Senior Center members are encouraged to attend. There will be refreshments and a drawing for door prizes.  For more information on how to become a member of the Senior Center, please call 751-8836.

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.

FALL PREVENTION CLASSES

The Bemidji Senior Center is once again offering Fall Prevention classes that will be taught by Kate Repko, a Physical Therapist specializing in geriatrics.

This four-part series is designed to inform, educate, and empower.  Sessions will be held on the following Wednesdays:  October 5th, October 12th, October 19th, and October 26th starting at 2:00 pm at the Bemidji Senior Center located at 216 3rd St NW, Bemidji.  Each session is important, so you need to be available for each one.

You must sign up for the class ahead of time as space is limited to 10 participants.  Please stop into the Senior Center or call 751-8836 to register.

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

MAHJONG MONDAYS

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play Mahjong or are you looking for a group to play with – if so, Mahjong Mondays are at the Senior Center! 

Every Monday at 12:30 pm, friends gather together to play this tile based puzzle game. The objective of the game is to collect tiles to form a Mahjong hand.  Players take turns picking one tile from the wall and discarding one tile. When a player picks up a tile that gives a valid Mahjong hand, the player wins.  Not only is the game fun, but research studies have shown that playing Mahjong has a positive impact on memory!

The group has several Mahjong sets and extra cards, so you don’t need to bring anything to start out.  However, if you are interested in playing regularly with the group, you will need to purchase your own card.