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What Do You Do When You Are 56Years Old And You Lose EveryThing.

What Do You Do When You Are 56Years Old And You Lose EveryThing.

Chris Vaca

My name is Chris Vaca and I have a web-site called Over 50 And Broke. And just in the past two years I’ve been featured twice in our local paper and once in an out of state paper.. I’ve also been featured on local TV station 12 in West Palm Beach. I’ve also had stories written about me in Advantage Age Magazine, as well as over-50 websites and blogs. And I also write motivational articles for Enzine Articles and Article Base, as well as having a series of motivational videos on YouTube.

And there are now 57 people in my group from across the country that I try to help get back on their feet.

And you know that’s not a bad accomplishment for someone who was dead broke and almost 50 lbs heavier just 2 years ago.

For six years I owned a mortgage company in South Florida. Business was good, I was making good money and I was riding the wave of the Real Estate Boom. And my plan was to ride the business all the way to retirement, because everything I was reading from the trade journals and just the news in general all said the same thing. That for the next 20 years South Florida is going to be a boom for Real Estate, because of all the baby boomers retiring and moving down here. So I figured I was set. My plan was to retire in 15 years, the boom was going to last 20 years, so I had nothing to worry about. Yea Right!

All of a sudden I got hit with the sucker punch, BAM, we all know that as the housing melt down. Now I went from doing 4 to 5 loans a month, to doing 5 to 6 loans a year. Needless to say my finances went right down the tubes. But my plan was to keep the business going until the market came back. ( we are all still waiting for that to happen) But that was my plan anyway. I did what I needed to do to keep the business afloat. I had money put aside that I was using to keep my head above water. I was squeaking along trying to hold everything together when I got hit with the second sucker punch, BABOOM, and that was when the Federal Government in it’s infinite wisdom decided to put a ton more regulation on top of the ton of regulation that was already in place. With that the little guy just can’t survive. So that was the final nail in the coffin. So myself and the two people that worked for me were left out in the cold. And since I was self employed I couldn’t collect unemployment. What made matters worse I used all my money trying to keep the business going, so I could no longer pay the rent, and I was evicted from my apartment. So there I was 56 years old no place to live, no business, no job, no income, no money no nothing. Needless to say it wasn’t exactly the high point of my life.

What do I do? What would you do? Well I did something I never thought I would do and really didn’t want to do, but I was left with little choice. I put my tail between my legs and called my x-wife. (how humiliating do you think that was?) but we were always on friendly terms so she said I could stay with her until I got back on my feet. She would never admit this but it worked out pretty good for her as well. At that point I became like a live-in. I made sure dinner was on the table when she got home, I kept the house neat and did the chores that needed to be done. So you can see she made out O.K. but like I said she would never admit it.

There I was sitting in my x-wife’s house, and I started to do the things I needed to do to develop an income. I started to call old contacts to see if there was anything happening in the industry, I was on all the job search sites and sent out a ton of resumes. I did all this and got back a lot of nothing. So it didn’t take me long to realize that it might be because of my age. I faced the facts that at my age not to many people are beating down the door to hire me so I decided I had to do something on my own to generate an income. I knew I had to stay productive, I didn’t want to get caught up in a routine that so many unemployed people do when they are out of work for a long period of time. Which is they get up, turn on the T.V. and that’s it, that’s all they do for the rest of the day. I didn’t want to get caught up in that so at 9am the T.V. went off and I jumped on the computer to do my searches. I have to admit half the time I didn’t know what I was searching for, but I had to stay productive. I just want to bring up a point. You would think because I had my own mortgage business that I was a wiz on the computer. Couldn’t be farther from the truth. At that point the only things I knew how to do on the computer was fill out a loan application, print it, send e-mails and play solitaire. That was the extent of my knowledge on the computer.

On one of my daily searches I ran across this header that caught my eye, it said THE SECRET, HOW TO ATTRACT WEALTH. Being in the situation I was in it drew me in like a magnet, so I clicked on it and it turned out to be an old Oprah show. She had a guest who was explaining how we all have the ability to attract wealth as long as we do certain things a certain way. I think I read it about 5 or 6 times and I said to myself this makes sense, a lot of sense. So I called my sister and hit her up for a couple of hundred bucks so I could invest in the system, which I did. After a while I was amazed how much better I started to feel. My confidence level started to come back, I started thinking clearer and was more focused and for the first time in a while I started to realize my future wasn’t as black as I once thought it was.

Now that I was facing things with a positive attitude I knew I had to take control of my life and generate my own income, because I was getting nowhere with my job searches. And I wasn’t about to go to work at McDonalds and have some 17 year old snot nose manager tell me how to flip the burgers. Since I was sitting at home and had the computer some kind of home based business was the only thing I could do so I started to do my research. I found out that there is over 2 billion dollars spent on line every year and it is expected to double within 5 years. Now that is a hell of a lot of money and I said to myself I need to get in on the action. I’m not looking to be Donald Trump, just slice me enough to make 50-60k and I’m O.K with that.

So I jumped in head first and put all my efforts into starting an Internet business. At this time I knew nothing about how to navigate around the computer, and it turned out to be the most frustrating and aggravating time in my life. Now I know the true meaning of the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It was really hard, but because I was thinking on the positive side of things and was focused I stuck with it. Although I have to admit there were days I wanted to put my fist through the monitor, remember I was sitting on that computer between 6 – 9 hours a day so sometimes it got to me.

I got to the point where I figured I knew enough to put up my first website, it took me 4 days to put up. Which is really a long time considering now it takes me a half an hour to put one together. But I was proud as I can be, remember I went from not knowing anything about the computer to putting up a website. I’ll be honest with you here, as I look back it wasn’t very good, as a matter it sucked but at the time I was proud as I can be. After a little more trial and error and some tweeking it was ready to be published on-line. After a short time I received my first check for a grand total of $34. It’s not a type-o $34. Most people might have thrown in the towel, after all 8 months have gone by and all I have to show for 8 months of aggravation and frustration is a check for $34. But I was thinking on the positive side of things and was really focused so that $34 check actually got me excited. I remember thinking wow you can really make money at this and it gave me the incentive to keep going. I remember thinking if I can make $34 I can make $334. I remember when my x-wife got home that night I showed her the check, she looked at the check then looked at me than looked at the check again than again at me and said “you’re never getting out of here are you?”I have to give her credit that was the first time in all those months she ever said anything. But I was focused, so I kept going. Soon after that I received a $75 check than a $125 check than a $200 check. $200 doesn’t sound like a hell of a lot of money, but you have to remember for all those months I was totally broke, I really mean dead broke so to all of a sudden have $200 I was on cloud nine.

So now I had money coming in, I had a positive mental attitude things were looking good, that is until I looked in the mirror. After months of just sitting in front of the computer I had put on 50 pounds. I immediately went on a very strict diet of nothing but salads. I also knew I had to start exercising. Although I had money coming in I didn’t feel I was making enough at that point to spring for a gym membership. Over all those months of having no money it’s easy to become cheap. You know cheap is a harsh word, lets call it being frugal. Anyway I was really self conscience about my appearance and I didn’t want to be seen by anyone. So I went over to Wal Mart to find something I could use at home. As I was walking up the isle an exercise ball caught my eye. Well let me be honest here it wasn’t the exercise ball but the price tag under it. Remember I was frugal, it was the price tag of $18 that caught my eye, the ball just happened to be above it. So I bought it and took it home.

When I got the exercise ball home I developed a routine of my own, I called the routine Over 50 And Having A Ball, a play on words. I used it a half an hour in the morning and at night.

At this point things couldn’t going better. I had 3 websites up generating income every month, I had a positive attitude about everything (even my X ) and the weight was coming off. After a long time life was good again. At this time I was also following a fitness blog and me and the owner of the blog were e-mailing each other, he told me his story, I told him mine. One day he e-mailed me and said I should think about starting my own site with my story because there are so many people out there in the same situation that I was in and that I might inspire and motivate some to take their lives back. After I thought about it for a while I thought it was a good idea. That’s when I got the idea for my site Over50AndBroke.com and I combined it with my site Over 50 And Having A Ball. Now I try to show people how to achieve what I call the TriFecta of life, which is a healthy mind, body and pocket. Because if you have those 3 things life is good. Along with my motivational videos on YouTube:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PdTllZ3gOo

I feel I’m doing something worth while by helping people get back on their feet. A business where you can make money and also help people is probably the most rewarding there is.

I don’t think there is a more shoestring business then an online business. The few hundred dollars it takes to get started can grow into as much as you set your mind to achieve. I now make over 60k a year with a goal to hit 100k by years end. As the business grows you spend more on different programs to help you be more productive. I do all the work myself but with 5 sites up and running and plans for more it’s almost time to get help with the different ways I plan for my business to move and grow. I find that most people just don’t consider an on-line business a real business, at least the people from my generation. But make no mistake it’s a business without the headaches.

 

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