Along with the rest of the world, I am watching the United States economy as well as the world economy. Here are some sobering statistics for certain groups from a recent survey by


60% of Americans are not prepared for today's crisis.

50% could only go one month without a paycheck before falling behind in bill payments.

25% will fall behind immediately if missing a paycheck.

Our savings rate as a country was negative for most of the decade. It is now up to 3%. That is good, but not where it needs to be which is around 9 or 10%. So keep saving!


Many have lost 40% or 50% if not more of their nest egg and most are getting returns in the low single digits (i.e. 2%) on what's left. These circumstances leave many older people re-entering the job market. Retirees who are considering returning to the job market should consider targeting rich industries or those areas where job growth is increasing. Here are a few good resources for seniors to begin a job search:

Crossroads Career Networks

Another great way to begin a job search is to do an internet search for terms such as "career guidance", "education", "job training", "job placement, "senior citizen job training", etc. Look for special training programs and discounts.

Networking locally is also a great way to get information about jobs that may be opening up in your community that have not been posted yet. Keep chatting with family, friends and your church. Many churches have career and employment ministries. The more people you connect with, the more chances you have of either hearing of a job, or of having somebody recommend a job opening to you. People can't help if they don't know what your needs are. Treat everybody you bump into as an opportunity to network.


This is shaping up to be the most difficult job market for new graduates in many decades. As students graduate from local universities this year, they enter one of the worst entry-level job markets since the dot-com bust at the start of the decade.

Don't get discouraged. Get creative and cast a wider net instead. Look at other markets and don't be too proud to take an entry-level job just to make ends meet. It may give you an inside track if you are there long enough and the economy gets better. You might even consider internships to gain experience if you are financially able to do so for a short time.

Keep it positive by staying upbeat and confident in interviews and networking. No one is going to hire someone who looks like they just drank pickle juice, and it is true that employers can practically smell fear and defeat in a job candidate. They are looking for competent professionals who are willing to step up and get the job done, whatever that job may be.

While that $60,000-a-year job in a corner office may not be in your immediate future, it is in your best interest to find a job even if it is at a lower than expected salary. Many companies turn to temp agencies such as Manpower to fill hiring gaps. Consider signing up with several temp agencies. You can often fill an unadvertised position simply by being there in an office when they need somebody for a more permanent position if you have sufficiently impressed the management with your professionalism.


Be mindful that people use social networking sites to find out who you are. While Social Networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter are a great way to connect with family and friends, keep in mind that once you post something on the internet, it is almost impossible to remove it. Case in point, this recent headline "Bozeman, Montana: All City Workers Must Provide Facebook Passwords"

Excerpt: One of the things people tend to forget when posting pictures and personal information online is that a lot of it is only a short Internet search away from their current or potential employers (not to mention their parents). It has now become standard procedure for many employers to sit down with Google and cyber stalk potential employees, while the more savvy hunt down Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds. The city of Bozeman Montana, however, has decided that all of that is too much work-it's now requesting that potential employees hand over the login credentials for any social networking sites they frequent. Read rest of article here.


For the best and most comprehensive source of information go to but if you need strategy find the best professionals in your area and meet with them. Ask for referrals from friends and business acquaintances.

If you are an active business person, investor, independent contractor, business owner, etc., you should hire a competent CPA or accountant. If you can't afford a CPA or accountant then consider online tax preparation services such as Turbo Tax, or Tax Act. Consumer Search is also a great place to read reviews on tax preparation software. All of these sites also offer solid tax advice as well.

Be sure to keep abreast of deductions that will help reduce your tax burden. For instance did you know that the recovery rebate credit is a one-time benefit for people who didn't receive the full economic stimulus payment last year and whose circumstances may have changed, making them eligible now for some or all, of the unpaid portion? Read more here. Generally, a credit adds to the amount of your tax refund or lowers the amount of taxes owed. Therefore, the amount you receive for the recovery rebate credit will be included as part of your refund, as shown on your tax return.

If you are a first time home buyer you may be able to take advantage of a tax credit for homes purchased in 2008 or 2009. In 2008, Congress approved a tax credit for first-time homebuyers that can be worth up to $7,500. The credit, however, acts more like a no-interest loan because it must be repaid to the government over 15 years. The First-Time Homebuyer Credit can be claimed on Form 5405, which is filed with your 2008 or 2009 federal tax return. IRS Notice 2009-12 has instructions for non-married persons who co-own a house and want to take the credit.

Above all be honest, file on time, use a professional preparer (or software) and take advantage of electronic filing for speed. If you do this you won't lose sleep if you get called for a spot or full audit.

©2009 THJ & Associates, LLC

Author's Bio: 

Theodore Henderson, DTM - Distinguished Toastmaster -- The founder of THJ & Associates is a business coach who transforms the business lives of individuals who want to use biblical principles and Christian faith as a guide of success for all of the key areas of their life; spiritual, social, personal, family, and business. He is passionate about speech and communication and the application of biblical principals to business and personal success.

Theodore is a Distinguished Toastmaster who leverages his dynamic corporate background to help clients identify and target their niche, discover how to make bold, dramatic shifts in their entrepreneurial life by building a bridge from where they are today to where they want to go.