Welcome to the Gen Plus Blog

It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

About Me

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Northridge, California, United States
Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

Gen Plus has relocated to www.GenPlusUSA.com

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Clinical Research Study for Men 60 years or Older

Here is an interesting FYI -- EDAP Technomed, Inc., a company that is actively seeking male volunteers who are 60 years old or older for a clinical research study.

The request and info follows:

"Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer, excluding skin cancers, in American men. Men who are older, are of African-American descent, and those with a family history of the disease are at a greater risk for developing prostate cancer. In fact, as men mature, the likelihood of developing the disease increases exponentially. More than 65 percent of disease occurrence is in men older than age 65.

Researchers currently are conducting a study to compare the effectiveness of two procedures in treating low-risk, localized prostate cancer. One of the procedures being tested is cryotherapy (freeze therapy), a commonly used minimally invasive treatment for localized prostate cancer that already is approved for treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the study, cryotherapy will be compared with an investigational procedure called high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). This procedure is not approved by the FDA. This comparison will help researchers understand if HIFU is as safe and effective as cryotherapy.

Both of the procedures being studied are less invasive than other options. In the last several years, minimally invasive treatment options, of which cryotherapy is one, have been examined closer to determine what benefits they may offer over other standard therapies. The goal of minimally invasive options is to reduce the impact of the treatment on the patient, resulting in quicker recovery and fewer side effects, while maintaining the effectiveness of standard treatments. "

If you are interested in learning more about the study and prescreen, call toll-free at 1-888-707-3737 or visit www.PCaResearch.com.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Blogging Boomers Carnival #71

So Baby Boomer is this week's BBC host. A delightful roundup for post (sic) - Memorial day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Gen Plus welcomes...Gen Plus!

I recently started a dog walking/pet sitting service in Los Angeles (www.poochbuddies.com) and the business is rapidly expanding. When I started this new line of business, I decided that when I started hiring, in support of all the Boomers and 50 plussers who can't find work, I would specifically look to hire...Boomers and 50+ers!

Now I'm looking for dog walkers and I'd love to be able to help OUR demographic! So, if you are interested in finding out about becoming a dog walker in the San Fernando Valley (from Thousand Oaks to Studio City), sign up for free at Gen Plus (www.genplususa.com), search for Pooch Buddies in the job listings and apply online, or send me an email indicating your interest, along with your resume (info@poochbuddies.com) and your experience with animals.

If you are interested in starting a Pooch Buddies affiliate program in your neighborhood, let me know!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Smart Car Move Over...Axon is Here.

What would you say to 80 mpg when oil is over $130/barrel? That is what Axon Automotive is bringing to the table. If you like what you see, head over and read about the racing car technology that promises to lighten up the load and reduce gas consumption.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's ShowTime! Blogging Boomers Carnival #70 Hits a Home Run!

Now, why would I say that? Because there is nothing I can think of that is more fun than to start off a week as the Blogging Boomers Carnival Host! So, today, it gives me great pleasure to tease you, prod you, and encourage you to visit our carnival bloggers and get their perspective on the world in Boomerland. If you don't know what a carnival is, it is a collection of posts from a group of bloggers, gathered together every week and posted on different host sites. Usually fascinating and always something for everyone! Just like a real....Carnival.

Ever wonder if your childhood elementary school was still standing (mine was Glencoe Elementary in my little neighborhood of Nouveau Bordeau in Montreal, Quebec)? The Boomer Chronicles wants to know: "What institutions from your past are gone forever -- your elementary school? church? synagogue? childhood home?"

Some thoughts on a 60th birthday celebration the value of friends, both grown up and very small, and of the wonder that is the Jersey shore at Don't Gel Too Soon. If you haven't yet visited Cindy's blog, it is definitely worth the trip.

And then...ayay! LifeTwo notes that chronic pain is yet another thing to not like about middle age.

How's this for some serious carpel tunnel? With the news that someone in Australia has translated all 31,173 verses of the bible into text speak, Ann at Contemporary Retirement asks, 'Is text just a passing fad or will it be around in 20 years' time?' <;O

One of our new Carnival members, the MidLife Crisis Queen (love the blog!) talks about becoming the elders of our tribe. Really, it's about how we all may struggle with becoming the elders, in a tribe that does not respect it's elders.

So Baby Boomer gives us a bite of reality (and, yup, sometimes reality CAN bite!) The middle Baby Boomers are 52 or 53, with 13 to 15 years of work left. Some get the fact that their lifestyle will be a heck of a lot better if they forgo some consumption in the next 10 to 15 years. Many do not. (Oh crikeys...I'm going to have to give up the spinach/parmesan artichoke dip at Trader Joe's. I bought TWO bags of groceries today for just shy of $50.00! And spent $90 filling up my tank. And that was before lunch.)

Have you been struggling to define your style since you’ve reached midlife? (Yes, I have...always! I'm a whiz on the keyboard, but a disaster at the mall...) Then check out a cool new tool at
Fabulous after 40 that helps make clothes shopping a breeze, and simplifies your entire life.

And another welcome to one of our new carnival members over at This Marriage Thing. Many would say that compromise is the key to a happy marriage, but is that entirely true?

For my special contribution of the week, I saw a couple of my friends get laid off in their late 50's and that prompted a bit of speculation, observation, and, of course, a few comments.

Enjoy the reads and make sure to make comments whenever you feel like it...it always makes a blogger feel that much more special.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

56 and laid off...what do I do now?

Bad news this week for two of my friends...both in their mid-50's. One of them has been told to find another source of income...not enough money coming into the small business where he works to keep him paid up to date. Another one was laid off for large company downsizing, although the fact that he is 56 does, without a doubt, play into it.

Also, on an even more interesting note, they are both men. Although I get many emails from women, right now, men are going to feel the brunt of loss of job security more than
women. The sectors that are booming right now, education and healthcare, are predominantly staffed by women (77%) . Manufacturing and construction, for example, which are feeling the turndown very sharply, are predominantly staffed by men (88%).

Like so many of us, caught in that bizarre twilight zone of 50-ish to 60-ish, their biggest question is "So, what do I do now?" They are not naive enough to think that someone will snatch them up. They are both overqualified for anything they will be offered. They are going to have to get creative.For a detailed look at how the economy is affecting both men (high numbers of jobs lost) and women (stay more stagnant in their positions) this article on MSNBC has some interesting stats.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Need a lift? Check out this week's Blogging Boomers Carnival #69

The always inspiring Ann Harrison, of Contemporary Retirement is this week's host of our Blogging Boomers Carnival.

We didn't have an intentional theme, but you'll find this week we move from birth, to motherhood and parenthood, to death...and beyond. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hours for Workers Cut

If you've noticed that employees are seeming a bit more harried lately, that might be because employee hours have been cut and productivity is up by 2.2%. That means employers are expecting their workers to produce just as much, in less time.

Just the other day I was in an Office Depot near me and the woman staffing the copy center was trying to be so helpful (and she was)...yet at the same time, I overheard her tell another worker that she had been the only staff for the entire day and hadn't had lunch (it was 6:30 pm).

A great employee and I'm pretty sure she'll have moved on to somewhere else more reasonable by the next time I head over there. More productivity? Sure. But at what cost?

Oh. And oil just hit $122/barrel.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Mid-Life Loves Dogs...Watch for Pooch Buddies

I am about to reveal some interesting insights into my personal life which will likely give you some perspective into the topics I've been delving into over the past few months...and particularly into my love of career-chunking or multi-channeling.

A few months ago, I left the corporate world after a very long run (about 15 years) and since I was able to, decided to take the time...really take the time...and think. (Some might say I've been influenced by Eckhart Tolle, but that wouldn't be correct.)

Since the age of 20, I have never had more than a few weeks of time to gather myself, my thoughts really, together, and take a deep look at my life. So the past two months have been astoundingly fantastic. I've discovered that I love being home to take my daughter to school in the morning and to pick her up at the end of the day. I love business and I've also discovered just how much I love hanging out with my dog. And so I started a dog-walking/boarding service to see just how much I do, in fact, love hanging out with dogs...as a business. And I do. Love it.

So, if you live in the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles, California, and you see a woman walking by with a dog or two on leash and a T-shirt or baseball cap that says "Pooch Buddies", it will be me or someone who works for me! If you see my car with the window decal that says "Pooch Buddies" that is definitely me, so honk and wave hello.

If you live in the Valley (from Thousand Oaks to Studio City) or Westside, or know someone who does and need help with your dog care, please visit my other website: www.poochbuddies.com (some dog products are already being sold there) and I'd love to help you out. But here is the best thing of all. Who will I be hiring as I grow? You got it...Gen Plussers. So, if you are a boomer or 50 plusser and want to potentially be a dog walker/sitter for me (that means getting paid to exercise and enjoy being with a dog), just let me know. And if you want to start up Pooch Buddies in your neck of the woods, let me know and we'll sort that out, too. I won't be talking about Pooch Buddies on this website as it isn't in the scope of topics I cover here, but I will let you know how my career-chunking goes and also when I need more of you to apply for a job as a Pooch Buddy!


Blogging Boomers Carnival #66

It's #68 and it is here. Your Monday pick-me-up is hosted this week at The Boomer Chronicles.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

How is business going to be hit? How are jobs going to be affected in 2008?

The economy (as evidenced by the news over the past several months) is doing more than slowing down. It is roaring to a screeching halt...and right where it will hurt the middle class. If you think of who really supports the economy, it is the small business. Although the mega-conglommerates take in so much of the money up for grabs, small business is the army of ants that build, work, and continue, to support the country.

This year is going to hit small business really hard because of trickle down effect. With so many super-companies shutting so many doors (see my article on retail closures) let's look, for a second at a detail on impact. Let's take Ann Taylor. They are closing 117 stores. That is 117 store managers and assistant managers that fit into the definition of the middle class. In one store, the one manager will now be unemployed for, let's say 4 - 6 months which is a reasonable average in today's market. She (most Ann Taylor store managers will likely be female) has to support herself and there is a 50% chance that she is divorced and may also be a single mother. If she had a health plan, she'll now have to pay COBRA in order to keep her plan, but let's assume, she can't come up with the $500-$900/month it may cost to keep the plan. She'll let it lapse and will join the ranks of the uninsured. Her focus will be on paying the rent, for her car (or not), food, and the care of her children.

Will she go to her dentist for her routine cleaning? Likely not. Will she switch from her hair stylist to a less expensive walk-in chain? Or grow her hair long? Likely. Make her own meals rather than dine out? Yup. Avoid paying for expensive movies in the theaters? Yup. Cut off her cable? Possibly. Switch off the cell or landline and only have one phone? Probably.

And that is just the start. Now let's move on to the dentist. The dentist relies on teeth cleaning for business retention so that when a cavity or cracked tooth crops up, you go to the dentist who has been cleaning your teeth for years. Out of the 117 Ann Taylor stores, with only 2 managers at each, that is about 234 teeth cleanings that will likely not happen. If a woman gets her hair cut every six weeks, then over 6 months, that would be just under 1200 haircuts lost. The dentists will lose over $20,000 just from those 117 stores. And the stylists...about $280,000. (If you are an economist, you'll likely argue my figures...but this is just for illustration purposes.)

So what am I going to keep my eyes on in the next six months? The dental industry, and the beauty industry. How will dental hygenists do in terms of finding work upon graduation in 6 months? What about cosmetologists (hair stylists)? Will more dental offices open or close? How many new hair salons will open? How many will close their doors?

If I were looking for a job right now, where would I look? In recession proof areas -- services and products that people cannot live without. And I wouldn't be looking at the market today, but trying to project what that trickle-down affect will impact 6 months or a year from today.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I never intended to be a political or economic commentator....but 7000 retail outlets going bye-bye? I gotta say something!

A very long headline for a lot of economic downturn. Egad. Waking up yesterday to NPR again depressed the bejeebies out of me. I think I'm going to have to change back to ocean sounds. Here's the deal. Last year, that terrible economic year (the one where most of us lost 10% of our investment portfolios) over 4500 retail outlets closed up. This coming year, the projection is for 7000 retail outlets to do the same. That's a heck of a big number. Who is being hit? An article in the NY Times in mid-April gave a prelimary look at just a few who are going to (or already have) shut down.

Sharper Image
Ann Taylor

It isn't the shift in consumer spending alone that is to blame for such a devastating scope of closures. If you consider that most of these retailers accumulate staggering amounts of debt and use credit as their means of cash flow, many of them are unable to handle the tightened purse strings and higher rates of interest that lenders are enforcing. Combined with lessened consumer spending (who is going to buy that new sofa when you need the money for your increased mortgage/credit card/fuel costs), they have little choice but to close doors. Up to 7000 closed doors projected for 2008. Mind-boggling.

Other experts believe that this is a simple economic readjustment...that there are, in fact, too many retail operations per capita. I do like this theory, because as a consumer, I often feel that there are too many choices...so many that I can't make a decision on what to buy. As a result, I'm likely to delay my purchase...deadly for retailers, who rely on quick consumer decisions to close a sale. Survival of the fittest. We've got a tough year ahead on the economic front.

PS. Cost me $90 to fill my tank yesterday. Which meant only one pair of Old Navy jeans for my daughter instead of the two pair I'd been planning to buy. And dinner at home instead of out at a restaurant. And a DirecTV movie instead of Blockbuster rental. And...and...and.