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Freepers What would you do if........?
Self ^ | October 5, 2001 | B4Ranch

Posted on 10/05/2001 11:02:39 PM PDT by B4Ranch

If you were 53 years old and hadn't worked in 25 years, then your husband died, what would you do.

I have a dear friend whose husband is significantly older than she is. He is 71 and in good health. The cost of life insurance for her husband is more than they can afford. Consequently, he does not have any. Her previous employment was in the fashion industry as a model. She has lifetime healthcare insurance from this employment.

Her income would be 70% of his Social Security, $1200 a month. His retirement payments stop upon his death. This is frightening, isn't it.

Currently, they live in a nice home with nice furniture and own one recently manufactured car.

Her eyesight will not allow her to drive on the Freeways or on heavily trafficked streets. She has a very pleasant, cheerful personality and is well spoken. She would be great as a secretary, except driving to and from work would be dangerous for her.

What type of education should she get to pursue work from her home earning $3000 a month? Is this possible. Do large companies hire employees to work from home. I am thinking of steady work not contract employment.


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Please give serious answers only. All assistance will be much appreciated by these Freepers friends whom I will not identify.
1 posted on 10/05/2001 11:02:39 PM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Palladin, seeker41, kattracks, WIMom, 1Peter2:16, proud2bRC, super175, goodnesswins, JeanS
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
2 posted on 10/05/2001 11:14:31 PM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Utah Girl, Rose in RoseBear, Hillary's Lovely Legs, KantianBurke, newsperson999, Ada Coddington,
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
3 posted on 10/05/2001 11:19:57 PM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: B4Ranch
She could maybe get a telemarketing job from home but I think she would need to get an insurance license to make the good money. Another option that some older people are doing is a reverse mortage. They get a set amount per month for their home. If it is worth over 100 grand she might get $1000 per month for 10 years of something like this. Another option is to sell the house after he dies and move in to a small appartment. An option my mother did several years ago when my dad died a week after he retired and his $1600 in social security wasn't close to enough because of a $1200 monthly mortage was to first refinance the mortage for 30 years and bank the profit. The second thing she did was have two brothers move in and pay $800 per month for room and board. She gets by just fine now with the $3200 per month and a $800 mortage. In fact, she racked up over 100,000 air miles this year and has taken about 5 cruises. The old folks now cruises provide all the food and drink thay want for 10 days for about $600 on the senior plan so it's a good deal.
4 posted on 10/05/2001 11:22:03 PM PDT by america-rules
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To: america-rules
I don't know what percentage of their mortgage is paid but I know they do not own the home. I was thinking of something where the mortgager provides life insurance that pays the home off if one of the mortgagees dies. Is this expensive at their ages?
5 posted on 10/05/2001 11:25:55 PM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Jackie222, SuziQ, JudyB1938, AuntB, jackiep, spiker, freedomnews, ratcat, Grampa Dave, Askel5
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
6 posted on 10/05/2001 11:33:39 PM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: B4Ranch
She might consider starting a mail-order business from her home. If she has a hobby, she should consider turning it into a (web-based) business.

How poor is her eyesight? Can she handle a computer, or learn how? If so, she can consider working for non-profit organizations, which would let her work from home.

It's been my experience that most businesses don't want to make the non-trivial investment in telecommuting unless you're a minor god. Instead, she might consider doing some kind of transcription work, if her eyesight is good enough for reading.

Thank you for pinging me! I'm flattered!

7 posted on 10/05/2001 11:35:07 PM PDT by Rose in RoseBear
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To: Billie ; Taxman;Teacup;LadyX, 68-69 Tonkin Gulf Yatch Club;ChaseR;Mudboy,
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
8 posted on 10/05/2001 11:38:20 PM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Rose in RoseBear
Her eyesight is fine for walking in daylight or in familiar areas. She has no problen with her forward vision, it is things to the side that distract her. Typing and computer use is no problem. She is familiar with home computer programs and would have no problems learning new programs.

You are welcome. Thanks for your response. All options are appreciated.

9 posted on 10/05/2001 11:42:00 PM PDT by B4Ranch
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: B4Ranch
My grandmother was in a similar situation.

She became a yard/garage/estate sale queen with a 20% rule: She would only buy something that was priced at least 20% below fair market value, and would only sell for at least 20% more than she paid for it. When she passed away 17 years after my grandfather, she had quite a bit of money saved/invested, and lived without financial worry.

12 posted on 10/05/2001 11:47:01 PM PDT by clee1
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To: B4Ranch
Frankly, I think that her first consideration MUST be to get ready to radically downsize her monthly outflow of cash.

This does NOT mean moving into a dump on the wrong side of the tracks, but it might if she does not take action now to get ready.

She should start now to study areas where the cost of living is much lower, and get ready to move into a nice but small house or apartment.

It is going to be much easier at her age to control the outflow of cash, than to replace her husband's inflow.

Good Luck!

13 posted on 10/05/2001 11:49:32 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: B4Ranch
What type of education should she get to pursue work from her home earning $3000 a month? Is this possible. Do large companies hire employees to work from home. I am thinking of steady work not contract employment.

It seems that this person is likely to have a number of strikes against in her in this slow job market. 1) Large companies generally are reluctant to hire people over 50 years of age, even if they have skills. Right or wrong, they are going to feel the person is not going to have the same interest and drive as a younger person. They also may feel that the individual will be a bigger drain on corporate benefits (health care inititally and retirement later). 2) They are going to be reluctant to hire someone who hasnt worked in 25 years as they may not have even the most basic of job skills such as showing up on time day after day or relating to other people.

Why does she feel she has to work from home? That cuts down on her already poor job prospects. People who are going to be working from home are going to have more entrepreuerial type jobs or perhaps contract work where they are paying for the output and not the hours of production which they can not verify or control.

What happened to their savings? If her husband is in good health and 71, he probably hasnt been retired for more than ten years. Where is his nest egg? If they blew it all in less than ten years, then she should have been out working during that entire period, if not longer. I cant understand her passivity.

14 posted on 10/05/2001 11:50:24 PM PDT by Dave S
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To: B4Ranch
She would be great as a secretary, except driving to and from work would be dangerous for her.

Could she take a bus to and from any job she might get?

15 posted on 10/05/2001 11:52:02 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: SiFiPattie, MissAmericanPie, golildlucky, Ragtime Cowgirl, Travis McGee, Sueann
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.

May I say, "Thank you for the Freeper mail", those who have responded.

16 posted on 10/05/2001 11:56:06 PM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Timesink
This may be difficult but is certainly a possibility. Thank you.
17 posted on 10/05/2001 11:57:01 PM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: B4Ranch
I'm a CLU, so I can answer a few insurance questions. One way to get cheaper insurance at that age is to buy "decreasing term insurance." That is what so-called mortgage insurance is. There is even a "first to die" policy on both lives. The theory is that both lives together are a lesser risk than just one, and the policy ends when the first one dies.

If you buy insurance, get it from an agent with a CLU, from a company with an A++ Best rating. I asked a Zurich Life agent how he could sell insurance with such a lousy rating. He said, "You must be an agent." I said, "CLU." He gulped.

Some good companies are Northwestern Mutual Life and Colonial Life. Mass Mutual is also good. Avoid the TV pitch policies in general.

To make more money late in life, without undue stress - get trained in computer science. I started 3 years ago and can now make $25-35 an hour. There are many areas. In general women seem to like programming and Oracle (database). It really depends on aptitude and inclinations.

Unix is even better as a fast starter. I believe this is reasonable - take Unix and some related subjects for a year as a part-time student, get a Unix job. Two years of experience at the lower levels will get you bids of $65k as a Unix administrator.

Yes you can make a lot in sales but most people do not last in sales. The drop out rate in insurance sales is about 90%. Count me as one of those. It can be very stressful and draining. But some people are naturals. I think life insurance is now extremely difficult for any beginner. Many veterans are dropping out.

18 posted on 10/06/2001 12:02:15 AM PDT by Chemnitz
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To: B4Ranch
Re the mortgage insurance. Most of them are accidental death and at his age, he probably could not get insurance!

Check on the current interest rates, if they are higher than current rates, refinancing would be good. That could lower her monthly payment. Also, provide enough capital if needed for her new business!

Someone suggested relatives moving in to share the rent. A member of our church died two weeks ago. His widow has a sister who lost her husband earlier this year. They are planning to sell the house of the sister and have her move in with the newest widow. That will give them cash and only one mortgage payment and one home for utilities instead of two.

Besides having each other for company and sharing meals. My Mother had talked about moving in with her younger sister, but they both are in their 80s and need help so they are in retirement homes.

We have a widow lady up the block who rents out rooms to college students. It is a good deal for all of them!

The other thing if she is good with kids would be to provide day care. I think the average cost/kid in this area is at least $125/week and up. Just 6 kids at $125/week would bring in $39,000 /year if done 52 weeks a year. People would probably line up to put their kids in a nice home with only 6 to 8 kids total. If she did 8, she could hire a lot of minimum wage help, like nice ladies in her church wanting some fun money and something to do! I don't know what state these people are in and the day care laws/rules.

19 posted on 10/06/2001 12:02:50 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: B4Ranch
After years of faithful marriage, and years more visiting my father in a nursing home for hours each day following a series of strokes, my mother had to deal with his passing.

The one difference was that he never "produced" much and she struggled like a saint to raise us kids (babysitting, paper routes, etc.).

Within a year, she was blessed with a new husband (I could never believe it!). She is finally living a happy life, although he is older than her like my father was and I fear she will be alone again soon.

I don't know if I have a point, other than after he passes on, things could end up considerably different than you or her would ever imagine.

20 posted on 10/06/2001 12:03:48 AM PDT by bluefish
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To: Dave S
I believe they put their nest egg into moving out of California and into a safer cleaner area. Their relatives didn't help, they kept coming for help until they finally had to say NO!

She is only down on one knee, not down and out and she has a lot of fight left in her. That's why she asked me, "What should I do to get get ready for the bad times that are sure to come.?"

Do you have any specifics as to what she might need to do regarding business school classes or such things? Where does one find out the occupational needs of an area?

21 posted on 10/06/2001 12:07:00 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Alberta's Child, Snow Bunny, AmericanVictory, The Raven, this_ol_patriot, LoneGreenEyeshade
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
22 posted on 10/06/2001 12:15:39 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: B4Ranch
Ooops. Hopefully her husband will live until she is 55. Then she can basically cash out of the house without much taxes unless she lives in a high dollar area in California!

She needs some type of job so that she can pay into social security for her own retirement.

A friend, years ago had the same situation coming up. She was one of the first people to buy word processing equipment. She became an expert in doing thesis works for masters and Doctoral works. She prepared mine. She tool some special course and the word spread. She did this for twenty years after her husband died, until she died.

I know that a lot of law firms now send their work out to outside legal secretaries, and these ladies do very well!

23 posted on 10/06/2001 12:15:47 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: Grampa Dave
That may be a possibility she hasn't considered. They don't have children, so I don't know how well she would be with them. Or if she could take the noise.

Thanks Dave, hope the fishing is getting better for you.

24 posted on 10/06/2001 12:20:00 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Grampa Dave
Now this is a definite possibility. She is a fine writer and well detailed. I never considered this option. Her husband would probably promote this idea as well.
25 posted on 10/06/2001 12:22:20 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Chemnitz
I am ignorant about "CLU". What is this?
26 posted on 10/06/2001 12:23:50 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: B4Ranch
Another means of earning a good income from home is selling stuff on eBay. One can earn very good money buying items for pennies at garage sales, half-price days at thrift stores, etc., and reselling at considerably higher prices. I have a friend who sold his auto dealership and now makes more money selling stuff on ebay. The secret of success is having a good sense of what sells and the value of things.
27 posted on 10/06/2001 12:28:45 AM PDT by holyscroller
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To: B4Ranch
I believe that there are many companies that would employ her on a "consulting" basis, ie no benefits, and because she does not need them, this is a big plus. Many companies prefer to hire consultants rather than employees. And more and more are willing to have people work at home.

So, I suggest that if she does not have word processing skills or Excel skills or basic graphic skills, she get a take at home course. There are lots of them now. Then I would suggest she put a resume together, with a cover letter, and send it to every company everywhere via the internet. It does not matter how far away really. But avoid the HR departments. They are dead ends. She should send her resume directly to people in the legal departments, public relations, finance, government relations, marketing. Names can be obtained from an internet search and by going to company sites. The toughest part is coming up with a mailing list.

I would be glad to help her put together a resume. I was a recruiter for Merck and Coopers & Lybrand for many years.

28 posted on 10/06/2001 12:34:27 AM PDT by LoneGreenEyeshade
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To: B4Ranch
I like the day care idea, though I don't like the concept of day care to begin with (easy for me to say -- I'm not married yet and this isn't an issue).

If she's a good writer, the word processing idea is also a good one. Better yet, combine both of these and she could write children's books.

The key here is for her to get into something she enjoys, not something she does just because she has to do it.

29 posted on 10/06/2001 12:35:47 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: B4Ranch
I think it's a Certified Life Underwriter.
30 posted on 10/06/2001 12:37:05 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: B4Ranch
How about she sells her house and gets a job at an apartment complex where she gets free rent. These run the gamut from small complexes to huge luxury buildings. Also, if she is in a large city, some of these complexes have what they call "sales agents" who simply show people apartments and rent them out. You have to work weekends and have a good appearance and personality; it is essentially a sales job.

If she has good word processing skills, she could consider medical transcription. Local schools often have classes in medical terminology. And lots of experienced medical transcribers are on the lookout for "trainees" to help them out.

I think it is unrealistic of her to expect to earn $3000 a month to start with no skills or job experience. The local school district is a good place to look also. School ground monitors, cafeteria help, whatever. Any entry level job just to get her foot in the door.

And local motels and hotels are always looking for people to man their reception areas at odd hours.

And one more idea and I will shut the heck up and stop using bandwidth, she could be a live in housekeeper/nanny type for a Yuppie family.

31 posted on 10/06/2001 12:38:22 AM PDT by daisyscarlett
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To: B4Ranch
RE doing thesis and fishing!

You don't have to live in a university town to do this. It makes it easier, but not necessary. A lot guys who got their MBA from Pepperdine sent their basic stuff to gals that were recommended by the Deans at Pepperdine!

Re fishing. Today, I caught the best California native Rainbow I have ever caught. He was not fat but very big, beautiful, he looked like a Deshutes Redside. It took 5 minutes to get him in. When I lifted him up by the leader to release him, he broke a six pound tippet. So he was at least 6 pounds. I have caught bigger trout in the Williamson, but this guy fought like an 8 to 10 pound trout!

Gray Davis is still running the water out of Shasta Lake, the river just above Red Bluff is about twice as high as it should be. That screws up the fishing and makes it dangerous to wade!

I caught this great fish in my home waters Putah Creek, only an hour from my driveway!

32 posted on 10/06/2001 12:41:45 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: B4Ranch
Sales is the place to be. She could even do some things from her home. The mortgage business would be a good possibility. Just two average deals a month would bring in a minimum of $3,000/month.
33 posted on 10/06/2001 12:43:21 AM PDT by connectthedots
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To: daisyscarlett, Alberta's Child, LoneGreenEyeshade
Thank you for responding with these clear ideas. I am sure you are helping many other women in this situation besides my family friends.
34 posted on 10/06/2001 12:46:08 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: connectthedots
How would she get started in this?
35 posted on 10/06/2001 12:47:15 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: B4Ranch
She needs to have her husband contact his former employer and see if it is not too late to change his pension to a QJSA (qualified joint and survivor annuity). Every defined benefit pension plan has to give married people the option to elect this form of benefit. In other words, they took a big gamble (because of their age differences) by taking the single life benefit. Its more money while he's alive, but you run a big risk if he dies first. It is probably too late to change, but they should ask.
36 posted on 10/06/2001 12:48:12 AM PDT by AZPubbie
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To: B4Ranch
She needs to have her husband contact his former employer and see if it is not too late to change his pension to a QJSA (qualified joint and survivor annuity). Every defined benefit pension plan has to give married people the option to elect this form of benefit - she'll continue to get a percentage of his pension benefits (usually 50%, but sometimes as much at 100%) after he dies. In other words, they took a big gamble (because of their age differences) by taking the single life benefit. Its more money while he's alive, but you run a big risk if he dies first. It is probably too late to change, but they should ask.
37 posted on 10/06/2001 12:49:00 AM PDT by AZPubbie
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To: B4Ranch
Do you have any specifics as to what she might need to do regarding business school classes or such things? Where does one find out the occupational needs of an area?

I think she might want to start by doing an analysis of her interests and aptitudes. What does she do in terms of hobbies? Is she involved in any charity work? How has she been spending her last 25 years? What skills are associated with what she has been doing? Did she do any other work besides modeling prior to marriage? Has she thought of modeling?? There seems to a lot of demand for older models as the baby boomers mature. What would she like to do? What would she do if she could do whatever she wanted? WHat did she dream of doing when she was a child? These all could point in her the right direction for her.

As far as surveying whats needed in a particular area, she could check the classified ads for a start. She could drive around time and see what kind of employment signs were still up. She should network with her friends who are still working and get ideas from them on what companies are in need of. Remember the purpose of these visits is not to hit them up for a job but rather to do research. She could visit her state unemployment office and check the boards of jobs listed.

I think she may want to pick up a copy of "What Color is Your Parachute" which is available at any bookstore. It will tell her mroe about what I mentioned above.

If she really needs something at home, I think she should look at transcription, especially medical transcription as a possibility. What about retail sales? Could she get a job at Wal-Mart or the local grocery store or convenience store.

38 posted on 10/06/2001 12:49:51 AM PDT by Dave S
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To: Skulley2, £inuxgruven, zooney9334, wvandyke, winodog, William_Rusher
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
39 posted on 10/06/2001 1:01:17 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Vegas Phyl, theSarge, swheats, Souled_Out , Skulley2, rscully, rellimpank, Pugsy
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
40 posted on 10/06/2001 1:03:49 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Precisian, pmgoeri, Peacerose, p5150man, off-roader, NevadaY, Monkey Face
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
41 posted on 10/06/2001 1:06:09 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: mbb bill, LasVegasMac, johnestrada, Issaquahking, In Search of Freedom
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
42 posted on 10/06/2001 1:08:08 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: greatgranny , gracekelly, fretzer, freedom_rules, Dogbert41, doezidotes, defcon_one
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
43 posted on 10/06/2001 1:10:55 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: Daryl L.Hunter, ConcernedMom, CommonJudge, Campy , BooBoo1000, blackbart.223
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
44 posted on 10/06/2001 1:18:01 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: bunny , big bad easter , BelleStar , ACelt
Please ping anyone you know who may possibly have answers to these difficult questions.
45 posted on 10/06/2001 1:19:08 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: B4Ranch
Mortgage business - I used to work in that field... I assume they're talking about a loan officer. That's the person who goes out and takes a loan application, turns it in, babysits it, and the processor prepares it for the underwriter. If it passes inspection, it's approved and the commission is paid. Mortgage jobs are hard to break into as well. You almost have to know someone to get in the door.

Problem I see is her inability to drive. LO's do a ton of driving to various real estate offices, customer's offices, etc., to get the paperwork completed. That also requires lots of sales calls to realtors. It also requires math aptitude, ie. figuring interest rates, types of loans offered and which is best for the buyer. It's tricky. And it's very demanding for a beginner. Not sure how the commissions are figured.

Loan processors are the "secretaries" to the loan officer. The processor can make or break a LO. Very stressful, very demanding work - mortgage business. That's why it pays more than other fields. Hope this helps...

46 posted on 10/06/2001 1:23:55 AM PDT by Humidston
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To: B4Ranch
Your friend might consider checking with the local AARP for great information. Here's a link for their website AARP

The link might at least set a direction to go in.

47 posted on 10/06/2001 1:48:20 AM PDT by swheats
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To: B4Ranch
Chartered Life Underwriter. To get the CLU designation one must pass 10 two-hour tests. Most life insurance agents do not trouble themselves with the study involved. Normally it takes 5 years to complete because it has to be done in addition to the work of selling and servicing policies. So a CLU agent has made a commitment to education and the agent is well established in the business.
48 posted on 10/06/2001 2:00:16 AM PDT by Chemnitz
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To: B4Ranch
Libraries are so nice to work in. But you say her eyesight is not good? Secretary work does require computers and lots of paper work. Lots of Dr.s offices have receptionists opening these days and she sounds like she would do very well there.

Sometimes, you can volunteer at a place and work into a job opening that way.........but, of course the transportation problem has to be solved.

49 posted on 10/06/2001 5:31:54 AM PDT by Jackie222
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To: B4Ranch
A visit to the senior center might not be a bad idea. Going there and talking to people may open a whole new set of doors to opportunities not yet considered......Just a thought and best of luck to her.
50 posted on 10/06/2001 7:10:16 AM PDT by Issaquahking
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