Boomerater™ Report: Good Thoughts for Bad Times

Add your voice to our weekly advisory of useful tips for boomers

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The Boomerater™ Report is our weekly collaboration with Boomerater.com, the online Q&A Website for Baby Boomers. In each report, we will feature a selection of helpful tips and advice from Boomerater’s collection of financial, consumer, and lifestyle content.

We also post a question of the week. Last week we asked readers for their feelings on the current economic crisis, and what positives may come out of the situation. Here are a few of the responses:

A. Last year, I organized a community and church drive to send care boxes to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The response was enormous--we sent more boxes than we imagined possible and decided to do it again this year. A great pick-me-up would be to find that even in a desperate economy people are still willing to help others and support this worthy cause.

A. I think we need to encourage more innovation at this challenging time--our kids have great ideas, and unemployed people have the chance (and time) to try out that idea that they have always been thinking about. Maybe organize a neighborhood good ideas day (like the suggestion box at work) where people talk about their idea, someone loads it to a Website and looks for angel investors, just to give people the opportunity to think of new ideas (and maybe people vote on them) will encourage people to be creative.

A. I would first like to see help for the unemployed, like myself. An extension this year for benefits and the elimination of taxes on benefits would help people like me greatly. For the economy in general, I would like to see many jobs created, in all types of positions. This would not only give me a possible opportunity to work, but should stimulate the economy to start moving in the right direction. I would certainly feel better if jobs started opening up again.

And here’s some advice for those of you searching for the best place to relocate:

Q. I will be retiring next year and am looking for a place to retire full-time eventually, since I still have a son in high school. I looked in Sarasota, Fla., last summer and liked it a lot. I live in New York and felt that maybe we would be happier where there were more people from the East Coast. I was also going to look in Boca Raton and there abouts. The only area in Florida I know is Daytona Beach. My mom used to live there. I feel very comfortable there but there is not much to do. I also was thinking of looking in North Carolina, since it seems to be a hot spot for retirees.

A. A good resource is Trulia, which provides stats and real estate trends as well as property listings. Another excellent site, Homethinking, compares neighborhoods in one city you know to neighborhoods in a city you don't know (for example, Boston versus Tampa Bay.) The site also offers reviews of real estate agents. U.S. News also has a comprehensive database of potential retirement destinations, and Boomerater offers detailed relocation profiles for thousands of US towns.

The Best Life question of the week is below. Go to Boomerater.com to share your thoughts, and in the next report, we’ll share some of the best responses.

Word puzzlers, card games, mind twisters: what's your favorite brain exercise, and is there any evidence it keeps those neurons firing away?