Welcome. I am the publisher and editor of The Beacon newspapers, where for the past 22 years I have focused on the health, financial and career interests of readers over 50. I am also Chair of the Maryland Commission on Aging and a member of many local boards that advocate for older adults and their interests.
So why am I blogging for a site that clearly has a youthful, upbeat focus? Well, for one thing, I love JC and am thrilled to be part of her new website.
Second, one of the things I’ve learned over the years is that you can never be too young to prepare for the future! I started the Beacon at the age of 32, and yet have never failed to find personal relevance in the articles we write and publish.
Sometimes they speak to me directly, while other times they help me in dealing with or helping out my parents or friends. In short, we’re all aging — some more gracefully than others — and knowledge is our best defense.
So I hope you will find the topics I address in this blog to be helpful, regardless of when you were born.
Let’s start with this imaginary situation: You are your own boss. You decide what you do and when, how you dress to do it, and what you charge for it. And when you make money from it, you get to keep it (after paying taxes, that is).
One of the easiest ways to get there is by buying a franchise. This trend is growing fast nationwide, particularly among those ready for a second — or third — career.
You need some experience in the work world, though not necessarily in the field of the franchise you buy. That’s the beauty of it: your parent company teaches you what you need to know and provides support and assistance.
You also need some resources. The basic franchise fee can range from as low as $10,000 to more than $500,000. But there are more than 1,100 companies offering franchises today, so there’s something for everyone.
I think you’ll find it interesting to learn more about the real-life adventures of area men and women who are in the process of making a franchise work for them.
For example, there’s Sandra Romano, who used to be an audiologist at a hearing aid company and now owns the shop herself. And Earl Reed, a former fighter pilot and government adviser who now owns and operates a Doctors Express urgent care franchise (he’s not a doctor).
To read about their stories, pick up a Beacon (always free) at your neighborhood CVS or library, or read it online at www.theBeaconNewspapers.com.
On the website, feel free to share your comments on the story or to participate in one of the reader forums on a variety of topics. You’ll also find many interesting health, financial, travel and arts stories there, as well as useful links.
I’ll be blogging about different topics and events each week at this spot. Please join me again!
Stuart Rosenthal started the Beacon newspaper 22 years ago. Today the free monthly he still publishes has three regional editions and more than 350,000 readers throughout the Washington/Baltimore corridor.
Stuart also chairs the Maryland Commission on Aging, serves on state and local advisory boards, and is immediate past president of the North American Mature Publishers Association, which represents publications for boomers and older adults around the country.