Journalists are an intrepid, restless bunch. For some reason, we dont picture them retiring to spend their golden years on some beach in Boca Raton sipping Mai Tais. Theres too much energy, too much inquisitiveness there.

But the fact remains that many Baby Boomer journalists dont have a choice in the matter. Thanks to corporate downsizing or forced retirements, accomplished journalists now find themselves starting over. Worse yet, while we dont like to admit it, these individuals may inevitably face age discrimination in their job searches, competing against dozens, if not hundreds, of younger, more wide-eyed applicants.

Fortunately, Baby Boomers arent feeling sorry for themselves. In fact, theyve proved astonishingly successful at channeling this energy and experience for good. A recent study from the MetLife Foundation found that adults in the 55-64 age group have the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in the US (Did you hear that millennial guy whos developing an app that delivers organic, gluten-free dog food to San Francisco doorsteps within one hour?)

In fact, trend spotters decided that this productive demographic deserves its own, slightly patronizing namethe encore entrepreneurs. And now these folks are getting even more help.

J-Lab, the Institute for Interactive Journalism, launched a new grant program, Masters Mediapreneurs Initiative, which will award $12,000 to four Baby Boomers who have a sustainable idea for a news venture.

The idea can be a website, news app, or something else all together. The key here is sustainability. J-Lab will fund projects built for the long haul and that adhere to journalistic standards in terms of fairness and accuracy.

To look at this grant through a market-oriented lens, its as if this untapped talent represents an asset that depreciates without ever being used. Furthermore, some of the start-up costs may be absorbed by the winners themselves. J-Lab estimates that many candidates already enjoy financial security and will feel compelled to tap personal savings to realize their projects. You read that right. These are grants toward which the recipients chip in their own money.

Then theres an intangible element. Baby Boomer journalists not only have the experience of being in the field for their adult lives, but they also understand the power of journalism to transform a country. After all, they lived through Watergate. You cant teach this to a 22-year old.

Ultimately, J-Lab is seeking to access a pool of valuable, untapped talent and capacity. We hope other foundations will also look at ways in whichunderutilized demographics can be leveraged for positive purposes.

And as an added bonus, we imagine these projects can be managed from any place with a fast internet connection. (We hear its blazing-fast in South Florida.)



Stacy Bush, Valdosta Today Family Business Contributor:

Each month you settle down to pay bills. You pay your mortgage lender. You pay the electric company. You pay the trash collector. But do you pay yourself? One of the most basic tenets of sound investing involves the simple habit of "paying yourself first," in other words, making the first payment of each month into your savings account.

Americans' saving patterns vary widely. And too often, short-term economic trends can interrupt long-term savings programs. For example, the US Personal Savings Rate reached 6.5% in December 2008 following the housing and banking crisis. Three years later, as the economic environment appeared to stabilize, the savings rate fell to 4%.

The Genius of Pay Yourself First

Anyone who's ever managed their own finances knows that saving can be a challenge. There seems to be an endless stream of expenses that demand a piece of each month's paycheck. Herein lies the genius of paying yourself first: you get the cream at the top of the bucket, and not the leftovers at the bottom.

The trick is to prioritize. Make it a point to put your future first. At first, saving may mean a small lifestyle change. But most individuals want to see their net worth increase steadily. For them, finding ways to save becomes more of a long-term commitment than a short-term challenge.

Putting Your Money to Work

What will you do with the money you save?

If retirement is your priority, consider taking advantage of tax-advantaged investments. Employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s, can be a great way to save because the money comes out of your paycheck before you even see it. Also, as an added incentive, some employers offer to match a percentage of your contributions.

For money you may want to access before retirement, consider placing the funds in a separate account. When the balance hits your target, you may want to move the money into investments that offer the potential for higher returns. Of course, this may mean exposing your money to more volatility, so you'll want to choose vehicles that fit your risk tolerance, time horizon, and long-term goals.

In the pursuit of growing wealth, sound habits can be your most valuable asset. Develop the habit of "paying yourself first" today. The sooner you begin, the more potential your savings may have to grow.

Stacy Bush has practiced independent financial advising in the Valdosta area for 14 years. Growing up on a farm in Donalsonville, Georgia, he is keen to the financial needs of South Georgia and North Florida families. Stacy and his wife, Carla, live in Valdosta with their four children. You can submit questions about this article to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Share and Enjoy



Alcorn, 17, detailed her desire to transition to a female on her Satans Wifey blog, and the opposition she received from her family.

When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness, Alcorn wrote. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was.

I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesnt make mistakes, that I am wrong.

If you are reading this, parents, please dont tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people dont ever say that to someone, especially your kid.

That wont do anything but make them hate them self. Thats exactly what it did to me.

Alcorn said her family took her to Christian therapists, pulled her out of school, and kept her off social media. They refused to allow her to start transitioning at the age of 16.

Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself, she lamented.

People say it gets better but that isnt true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.

The teen hoped that her suicide would help other transgender people and that she wanted her personal savings and money raised through the sale of her possessions to go to trans civil rights movements and support groups.

My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year, she said.



President of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA), Brian Pengelley, said some companies which want to expand or otherwise source funds for working capital have had to scale back or use high-interest credit cards and personal savings to keep their business going, in addition to relying on family resources.

He is calling on lenders to develop better credit terms for businesses, citing Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) rules which, he says, are contributing to the reduction of affordable credit to the sector.

Increased regulatory scrutiny has caused banks to boost lending standards, lowering the fraction of creditworthy borrowers.

For example, the monetary measure implemented by the Bank of Jamaica, which requires commercial banks to provide a 90-day reporting system of bad debt is stringent. This gives the bank very little flexibility. The regulators need to flatten the policy so as to encourage greater lending, he said.

Partner plans, credit cards

Pengelley said that from his observations, some small businesses in the manufacturing sector were delaying expansion and were seeking working capital from partner plans and credit cards to offset certain expenses, using personal saving, tapping into family financial resources and also seeking private or equity financiers.

Pengelley noted that among larger companies, some were considering listing on the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange as one way of getting funding to undertake expansion activities.

Tightness in the loan market is not a new phenomenon, but represents a deep-rooted, systemic, structural problem experienced by the sector over the years, he said. The consequence was restricted expansion, stifled innovation and encouragement of inefficiency, which impacts the competitiveness of the sector, he added.

When businesses are unable to access the credit they need they may be underperforming, slowing economic growth and employment, Pengelley said.

The culture in the banking industry has been averse to lending to businesses which are viewed as relatively less profitable and more risky. Banks are not willing to take risks. Their interest spreads are too high and relatively uncompetitive in comparison to global partners, he said.

The manufacturing sector is estimated to have contributed 8.4 per cent to Jamaicas gross domestic product in 2013. It employed 71,875 persons during the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.