Issue 73 April 2021
A Chat With Entrepreneur Jim Connor.

At Age 71, Launches An Online Reading Program To Teach Kids K5 To Read
--Larry Hayes
Q: You launched your first startup—SymPro--at
age 37 (acquired by JP Morgan in 2003). And now
at age 71--when most folks are retired--another startup. Launching a business is risky anytime but more so in a recession because of Covid. Any silver linings?
Covid was very disruptive to the startup sector. We do not see any reports about how many startups have failed as a result of the stressful conditions
and restricted operations caused by the pandemic. But many startups were forced to close down operations as a result of these conditions.
There are a couple of minor pandemic related changes. Working from
your home is fine. No one expects to meet you at your office or check out
your team. 
One big silver lining is that employees no longer need to live in expensive,
high cost areas to keep or even get a job in a technology company. We see
a boom in people moving to lower cost areas; many are leaving California.

The startup environment is always very challenging. However, a person
with significant business or professional experience can leverage their past experience in several key areas. You can apply that professional experience
to serve you well in the startup environment.

Your personnel recruiting, financial controls and cash management
experience can save you from the typical stress and mistakes encountered
by young entrepreneurs. You have a sense of how your industry has grown over the years and you probably have a good perspective on where the industry will develop in the next 5 to 10 years. 
An older person has several advantages starting a new company. A key
one includes the maturity to face setbacks and adversity calmly. And not

By the time you reach the 50+ demographic, you've been around the block
a few times, learned some hard lessons and understand the importance of delivering value to your customers. People who join you in a startup will support the direction you take if you're appropriately transparent about the issues and involve the team in analyzing the pros and cons of major decisions.  
From my experience, the maturity and integrity you demonstrate will help
you and your team execute the plan or revise the plan if it's not working.
Q: Why did you start "Learn To Read?"
Startups are often a response to some form of disruption, evolution or crisis. The decision to start Learn to Read came from the pandemic shut down in March 2020. We had been operating an after-school reading program and an academic summer camp program for over 10 years.

Facing the restricted operations under the shutdown policies, we decided to convert the in-person tutoring and teaching program to be delivered via online recorded lessons with the assistance of a Reading Pal and a Reading Coach.

We had been testing the use of recorded lessons as part of the in-class experience. After several iterations, students validated the effectiveness and engagement level of using an iPad to deliver a reading lesson. When the lesson is correctly structured, the use of any internet connected device works equally well in-class or with remote students.
I suppose the other reason has to do with the fact that we had created so much content and had achieved a high level of success in teaching students
to read. I believed it was the right time to deploy the reading program on a broader scale. 
Q: What is the biggest challenge teaching kids to read?
One of the challenges was representing the reading program's value proposition and building the team of reading pals and reading coaches who would be participating in helping students learn to read through the online meetings. A certain level of professionalism, energy and enthusiasm is necessary for a Reading Pal or a Reading Coach. Defining that level of engagement as part of our culture and finding people who can operate within those values takes time.

CLICK HERE to discover what motivated Jim Connor--a techie with no background in education--to enter the teaching world.
May Is Stroke Awareness Month
80% of strokes can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle. 
What is a stroke? A stroke is caused by blocked blood flow to the brain
and can affect a person’s speech, movement and memory.
How to spot the warning signs of stroke? Utilize the acronym, F.A.S.T. Face drooping may occur and cause an uneven smile. Arm weakness can be apparent when affected persons raises both arms. Slurred speech may make it hard to understand them. Time is crucial, call 9-1-1 immediately
if they have any of these signs.
How can you help prevent stroke? Certain factors can increase your chances of having a stroke including smoking, drinking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and poor eating habits. Start today with new habits! Enjoy a healthy diet that includes fresh vegetables and fruits. Maintain a healthy weight, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and exercise (talk with your physician before starting a new exercise regimen). Plus, stop smoking and limit your alcohol consumption.
At Physicians Medical Group of San Jose, our doctors focus on preventative care. With simple checks we can determine your risk factors for stroke, help you change the things you are able to and control those factors that you are genetically predisposed to. 
Physicians Medical Group of San Jose is the largest independent physician’s association in Santa Clara County. We have been part of the community for 40 years with more than 1,000 doctors in 460 offices plus we speak 30+ languages. Call 888-988-8682 or visit for more information.

Senior Independent Living Community With a Flair

Senior living doesn't get any better than living at Chateau-Cupertino whether you're in retirement or just ready for the next great phase of your life. Enjoy a home-life environment in your own senior apartment with three fresh served home-style meals daily.

Housekeeping and laundry services, all basic utilities, great activity programs, game rooms and transportation--all included starting at $3,000 per month.

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Cupertino is one of the best places to
live in CA--home to world famous Apple company.

Come and see for yourself. Schedule a Tour Today! Call us today. 408.446.4300. Or

 --Larry Hayes, A050 CEO/Publisher

"Should I Pay
Off My Home Mortgage?"
Q: We're in our 70s, work part time and have no debt other than a monthly mortgage of $1,975. We owe $235,000 on our home. Should we pay it off? We have $600,000 in cash and investments--BM, Sunnyvale, CA.

Congrats! You're in pretty good shape financially. In general, paying off your mortgage makes financial sense, especially when living on a fixed income.
In your case by paying off your mortgage, you'll be making $23,700 more per year plus you'll gain an incredible "peace of mind"--owning your own home outright.

Chances are you have a large amount of equity in your home allowing you to establish a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a reverse mortgage (HECM) as a source of emergency income if needed down the road. Of course, check first with your financial advisor and friends. But I say, "explore the option." Life is too short to worry about all the "what ifs" of life.

Q: What is a financial fiduciary? Can I trust anyone to look after my money?--T.S, 65, San Jose, CA.

Just because someone is a fiduciary doesn't mean they're honest and looking out after your interests. After all, Bernie Madoff was a fiduciary and one of the biggest con artists in U.S. history, stealing 65 billion dollars.

Technically, a fiduciary is a person or organization required to act on behalf of another person or entity with honesty and integrity. By law, they must act in the best interest of their customers. If they don’t, they are legally liable but that won't help much if you lose your hard-earned money saved over a lifetime for retirement.

Do your homework. Look at a financial advisor’s qualifications. Find out if he
or she is registered with either the SEC or the state securities agency. Check to see if the firm or advisor has any disclosures. Ask your friends for advice and recommendations.

Of course, none of this guarantees you investment success. But if you do your research, you probably won't have any major issues with your advisor or your money.

Key takeaway? You alone are responsible for your own finances and well being. But don't be afraid to seek financial advice.
Got a Question? Ask me anything. If I don't know the answer, I'll ask someone who does. Email me at ASK LARRY is written by Larry Hayes of A050 ActiveOve50. Larry
Ready For a Self-driving Car?
The creative genius behind Under Cardiac Arrest comics is John Donaghue, a talented art director from San Francisco. He has created dozens of comics depicting the frolics and life of older adults. For more laughs, go to: UnderCardiacArrest
A Dying Business
By Evelyn (Evie) Preston


1) What’s an investment plan all seniors will need, can be self-designed, cost effective, offer peace of mind and will delight heirs?

2) Why do advisors rarely cover this financial need?

3) Why is this investment seldom even considered?
1) A pre-paid funeral plan.
2) Financial planning for the living.
3) Denial, fear and superstition!
Q: Why prepay for a funeral when I can just save enough money to
cover expenses after I die?
There are more than costs to think about. For loved ones, the end of life is fraught with grief, decisions and complications. It’s overwhelming for anyone, especially children, to have to scramble for disposal options, compare costs, deal with arrangements? How much simpler to dial a 24 hour number and know that all arrangements are pre-paid and in-place according to your personal desires.
Q: I just want a simple cremation vs. a regular funeral. What’s the big deal?
Financially, many thousands of dollars. However, there are fixed costs to both—from permits to licenses and myriad choices from obits to urns,
caskets to clergy, burial to ash-scattering. Memorials can be no-host or backyard, frugal or fancy.
Q: You wrote that burial plots can be expensive plus headstones and maintenance fees that add up. Any less costly yet unique options?
Innovative internment in lovely indoor settings with recessed wall-vaults
for bodies or ashes catches on. Most religions now condone cremation
and spreading ashes (prohibited in many places) can be chartered in special venues, like Hawaii’s lei-strewn “at sea” services. Ashes can be ensconced
in a piece of decorative art and, more naturally, buried under a protected tree in a private grove, a serene setting for a final resting place. 
Q: What do I get for a prepaid plan?
Individual Burial Plans, offered by large, for profit companies or respected
local businesses, will do it all. Societies and religious groups, some nonprofit, offer similar plans and services. All must adhere to stringent local and Federal law, cover regulatory issues, fees, and have licensed facilities, staff and equipment. Perks are important! Free transportation from anywhere, obits, chapel use and more.
Q: How do I know that I won’t lose my prepaid funeral investment?
Or that all my wishes will be carried out?
These Prepaid Plans are guaranteed by an annuity, the interest earned on your initial investment to cover the costs when needed. Any insurance
product—especially with specific coverage—must be with a top-rated
company with a long-term history of solvency and payout protection. Also check Everplans and Final Roadmap for online, end-of-life planning. You
can do-it-yourself or go-with-a-pro. Always check and compare. Your “final decisions” could well be remembered as your most lasting legacy.
Evelyn (Evie) Preston is a financial columnist for The Scoop and has worked as a financial advisor for over 25 years. She can be reached at 650.494.7443. Her book: Memoirs of The Money Lady is available at
Book Review

Book Review
--Larry Hayes

Radical Curiosity
--Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D

One Man's Search For Cosmic Magic and
a Purposeful Life

Someday, there may be a movie made about the life of Ken Dychtwald, although the final chapter is yet to be written as he’s only 70 years old.
A brilliant writer and author of 18 books, Ken reveals--from his heart--his personal struggles, successes and setbacks in his latest bestseller: Radical Curiosity.

Many of us know Ken as one of the world’s leading experts on aging and the founder of Age Wave, a leading consulting and research firm to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies seeking advice and solutions for our aging population.
Until "Radical Curiosity," we didn’t know:
• Ken was a yoga-practicing, new age, hippie, Esalen kind of guy.

• He experienced exhilarating success and devastating failures.
• His company Age Wave went bankrupt after taking on AARP and
failing to understand the emerging Internet era.
• He became depressed and pondered suicide after the collapse of
Age Wave which has since rebounded.

• His documentary “The Boomer Century aired on PBS stations
2,200 times reaching five million viewers in 50 states.
• He’s an inspiring, most-sought after speaker, giving talks to over two million people around the world.
• He hobnobs with presidents, industry leaders and ordinary folks alike.
• He’s been married to the “love of his life,” Maddy, for 37 years with two children, Casey and Zak.
• All proceeds from Radical Curiosity go to the Esalen Institute in
Big Sur, CA.
To order your copy, go to: To learn more about the interesting life of Ken Dychtwald, visit: AgeWave.
For Senior
Living Housing?

Sue Gibson is with CarePatrol and she helps families find assisted living, memory care, board & care and independent living facilities.

She checks the state care and violation reports and only recommends safe options. She tours with her families to be there to ask and answer questions. She follows up 2, 7 and 30 days after move in to be sure all
is going as planned.

CarePatrol is a FREE placement service. Sue is compensated by the 200+ homes and communities in her network. She is a trained Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and has helped over 600 families in the past 6+ years. And although she personally covers San Mateo county, there
are over 150 CSAs in her network so she can help you all across the
U.S with just one phone call or email. 

What people are saying about Sue Gibson and CarePatrol:

"It has been wonderful to work with Sue Gibson. She is competent, helpful and extremely knowledgeable. She has provided an invaluable service to our family."~Helen S.

"Sue is amazing! She guided us through the process of finding
a memory care facility for my mom with empathy, care and efficiency. 
It was clear she had done the hard work for us. We were able to place my mom within 36 hours. I highly recommend Sue."~Diane P.

Contact Sue at 415.656 6869 or Visit her website at:
Next Stage Design + Build:
Remodeling Essentials Webinar

Are you considering a kitchen or bath remodel but are not sure where to begin or what to expect? Please join us for a complimentary Kitchen & Bath remodeling webinar on Wednesday, April 28th at 7:00 PM. You will hear from our experienced team about everything you need to know when it comes to the remodeling process. Register here to receive the Zoom Webinar link and watch from the comfort of your own home:
With over 15 years experience right here in Silicon Valley,
I can answer all your questions.

Q: Will the bank own my home?
The bank does not take ownership of your home; they simply extend a loan
to you. You continue to own and live in your home and are responsible for payment of property taxes, required insurance and if applicable, HOA fees.

Q: Do my children/family members lose their inheritance?
No, a borrower may designate an heir of their choosing.The heir(s) will inherit the home after the last surviving borrower passes away and may then choose to keep (by paying off the amount of reverse mortgage balance) or sell the home. Should they choose to sell, any remaining equity after paying off the loan (minus interest and fees) would be theirs.

Q: What is the lending limit of the HECM reverse mortgage?
As of January 1, 2021, it increased to $822,375. Which means it's very likely you can qualify for more money.

To learn more, call me today: 408.722.0010 

Marilyn Brown Ross Branch Manager & Reverse Mortgage Professional

"I'm Still Me!"

Are you 60+ and experiencing memory difficulties?

You may be eligible to participate in a remote study at the University
of Florida. A friend or family member should be available to take part
with you. There will be four study sessions, all conducted by phone. Participants will receive a personal, digital Life Story Book and $60. Questions? Need more info?

Call (352) 273.3813 
Tom & Jerry
A beloved rivalry is re-ignited when Jerry moves into New York's finest hotel on the eve of “the wedding of the century,” forcing the event’s planner to hire Tom to get rid of him.
Is Gray The
New Trend
For Women?

Have you noticed that more women, especially older women, are letting their
hair go gray?

The reasons?

Being isolated at home during Covid may have something to do with it. Or maybe women are just feeling more comfortable with aging and care less what others think or say. Not to mention that hair dye is expensive and a pain to repeat every few months. Gray is the new, cool look for women of all ages.

Get The Inside Scoop
The Scoop is the leading digital publication for boomers and seniors in the San Francisco Bay Area reaching over 100,000 readers on multiple platforms including the A050 website and social media. For editorial and advertising opportunities, email: