Volume 3 - Issue 6 9-1-08

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Table of Contents for this issue.....

1.    Authors Comments

2.    Q & A, Suggestions and Comments

3.    SPEND til THE END – Follow up on the book

4.    SPEND til THE END – Follow up on the website

5.    Site Build It – SBI

6.    Installing a Blog on Your Website

7.    New Articles on Ezine Articles.com

Author's Comments




While we are celebrating, let us pause and remember the people along the Gulf Coast who are suffering from Hurricane Gustav on this day.  During my college summers, I worked on pipelines in the swamps of Southern Louisiana.  I developed a special respect for the people and the land of that area.  I pause to pray for the people of that area today.  May they be spared from harm.


I turned 65 a week ago, and I am officially a Medicare card carrying senior citizen.  That is scary!  Linda is not too far behind me.


We all have planned for retirement, but the closer it gets, the closer we study our options.  I encourage all of you to start looking closer at your retirement planning now rather than later.


As part of Boomer eZine, we will add an article or two about retirement.  We are learning some very valuable information, and we feel obligated to share it with you.


If you are a younger Boomer, take time to read about retirement.


Your time will come sooner than you think.


Q & A, Suggestions and Comments 


If you have anything for this section or you have a suggestion for a topic for an article, please use this suggestion form to give us your suggestions or your input.  With your help, we can improve the Boomer eZine.  This link will open a new page.  Close the page to return to Boomer eZine. 

SPEND til THE END – Follow up on the book 

Reading SPEND til THE END

I finished reading SPEND 'til THE END since I wrote about it in the last issue.  I consider it a great book for planning your financial life.  It is sometimes disjointed and does not flow well in some spots, but the content is very important to anyone planning retirement. 

From it Linda and I learned that we were leaving Social Security benefits unclaimed.  We took action and Linda has already started receiving those benefits.  It is nice to go online to view your bank account and see the direct deposit from the SS automatically appear in your account. 

Some of the best information in SPEND til THE END is the section of the book where it questions what is considered current conventional wisdom.  There are 21 “conventional wisdoms” where the authors show that what is considered as the accepted conventional wisdom is not correct.  The economic advice the authors give is very important and if followed, will have a substantial positive impact on your financial planning.

Some examples of conventional wisdom are:

Conventional - Target to replace 75 to 80 percent of preretirement income.

Economic Advice - Do this and you will likely save and insure far too much.

Author’s Note:  When I analyzed Linda’s and my living expenses, I found that 60% is more than we will need.

Another gem about Social Security is:

Conventional - Take Social Security as early as possible.

Economic Advice - Take Social Security as late as possible unless you fear benefit cuts or you can double dip.

The book costs under $18.00 USD plus shipping.  I challenge you to find a better way to spend your money to learn about improving your standard of living, both now and in retirement. 

You can purchase the book from Amazon at SPEND til THE END 

SPEND til THE END – Follow up on the website 

As I wrote in the last issue, I purchased the domain www.spend-til-the-end.com and built a quick website for it.  The site quickly rose to the top 10 on Google search for the keyword “spend til the end”.  Unfortunately, since then it has dropped completely off Google search. 

What caused this?  As they say in Spanish, “Quien sabe?” – “who knows?”  Perhaps a complaint by the authors.  Perhaps a complaint by the publisher.  I do not think it was because the site is too promotional.  It promotes the book, but it offers reviews and information about it in the process. 

For now, the website is getting its traffic from referrals from articles that I published on Ezinearticles.com and from links on my other websites.  We will have to wait and see if Google changes its algorithm and the site shows up on Google search again. 

I chose to build this site on Hostmonster.com so it cost me only my time since I already have an account on Hostmonster that allows me to build unlimited sites. 

Why did I not use Site Build It for hosting the SPEND til THE END website since I am such a champion of SBI? 

I used Hostmonster instead of SBI because I felt that the SPEND til THE END site would be a short duration site and would not justify the cost of SBI ($299 per year). 

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

Site Build It – SBI 

All of you who have been subscribers for very long know that I am a great believer in Site Build It.  In my opinion, SBI is the very best way to build SUCCESSFUL websites.  Anyone can build a website on a web host.  It takes a special web host (SBI) to build a successful website. 

By the way, thanks to the new SBI’ers who purchased SBI on my affiliate account in August.  I sincerely hope that you get as much or more from SBI as I have. 

If you go back to the May 20, 2006 issue of Boomer eZine (it was a weekly publication then), you can read the first article I wrote about SBI. 


I started using SBI as an experiment to see if a retiree with no computer experience could build an effective website.  That experiment resulted in www.retirement-jobs-online.com which is a successful website that generates between $300 – 400 per month in Adsense income for Linda and me.  I expect this income to grow as more and more Boomers retire.

Here is the total for July 2008:

Adsense Totals for July 08

The great thing about this income stream; it requires hard work to build the good content in the initial website, but once the content is built and the search engines rank the site high on the search results, the income is almost automatic.  You need to make certain that the material stays fresh and current, but this only takes a few hours a month. 

As my CPA said about my Internet business, “That is a nice little annuity”. 

Another advantage of Adsense income from the Internet; it adjusts for inflation since it is tied to current pricing in the marketplace.  The value per click on Adsense will adjust itself for inflation in the future.  Inflation is a major enemy of retirees who must live on fixed income from retirement savings that does not adjust for inflation. 

For another experiment, I built www.best-retirement-calculators.com using Hostexcellence.com for the web host.  This was to compare SBI with a non-SBI host. 

I can honestly report that I wish I had not bothered to try the comparison since the Best Retirement Calculators site causes me much more work than if I had hosted it on SBI. 

SBI does so many things automatically that I have to do myself using Hostexcellence.com.  I also do not feel that this site is ranking as high on the search engines as if it were hosted on Site Build It. 

If you want to build a quality content based website to generate income for your future, do not use any other website other than Site Build It.  You can take that to the bank!

Right now Site Build It is running the “Back to Work Special”.  You can purchase one SBI site and then get another one for an additional $100.00.  You can keep the extra site for up to nine months before you have to start using it. 

SBI HHiHo Special

Site Build It has a 30 day money back guarantee to try SBI to see if it is made for you.  Why don’t you give it a try now and see that all I have been telling you about SBI is true. 

Installing a Blog on Your Website 

Site Build It automatically builds a blog on any website that you build.  This is one of the automatic features I missed when I built www.best-retirement-calculators.com on Hostmonster.com. 

Since I wanted a blog, I installed a Word Press blog from http://wordpress.org.  Installing the Word Press blog was not too difficult.

A recommended plugin (add on for more capability on Word Press) is Akismet.  Here is the description:

Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use it. You can review the spam it catches under “Comments.” To show off your Akismet stats just put <?php akismet_counter(); ?> in your template. See also: WP Stats plugin. By Matt Mullenweg. 

I installed Akismet (free for personal use) when I first built the blog and thought I had spam whipped.  Unfortunately, Akismet catches "pattern spam" of various spammy words, etc. but it does not do a complete job of blocking spam.

Not having too much experience with Word Press, I was not aware that it needed more spam proofing.  The spammers attacked it right away.  I discovered this when I started receiving warnings from Google on my Webmaster Tools account where I monitor when Google crawls my site.  Google also reports any errors it finds when it crawls each site. 

I started receiving errors on trackbacks left on the site.  When I checked the cause it was from spammers. 

I researched this and found a plugin that verified the trackback and only allowed legitimate trackbacks.  You can read about it at 


Here is a description of the plugin: 

Eliminates spam trackbacks by (1) checking if the IP address of the trackback sender is equal to the IP address of the webserver the trackback URL is referring to and (2) by retrieving the web page located at the URL used in the trackback and checking if the page contains a link to your blog. By Michael Woehrer. 

The next problem was comment spam which came soon after the trackback spam problem.  Again, I found a solution on the Net to verify that the comment was being added by a human rather than a robot.  This plugin is by Michael Woehrer, the author of the trackback plugin. 

The description of this plugin reads: 

Asks the visitor making the comment to answer a simple math question. This is intended to prove that the visitor is a human being and not a spam robot. Example of such question: What is the sum of 2 and 9? By Michael Woehrer. 

Read about this plugin at  


This plugin is a little more difficult to add to your site since you have to know a little HTML and php.  The author assumes that you know enough to perform the installation.  I had to study this for a while to figure out where to insert the plugin code. 

On Michael’s website, here are his instructions: 

Wordpress Plug In Instructions

His last instruction said, “Add this code for example right after the field for the website URL”.  The question we inexperienced Word Press novices are left with is where is the website URL in the code and where is that in the theme? 

I finally figured it out and here is the method to add the required code if you are using the standard, out of the box, Word Press theme (Kubrick). 

To edit a theme in Word Press, select Design from the toolbar at the top and click Theme Editor on the toolbar under it. This brings up the theme editor.

Wordpress Plugin Instructions

On the right side of this page are the various parts of the theme to edit.  Select Comments. 

Wordpress Plugin Instructions

This will allow you to edit the Comments.  Scroll down until you find the line that is indicated by the arrow in the picture.  This is the field for the website URL.  The code for the Math Comment Spam Protection Plugin is inserted right after it as shown. 

Wordpress Plugin Instructions

When the comments section is displayed on your blog, it will ask the commenter to answer a simple math question as show here..

Wordpress Plugin Instructions

If the answer is incorrect, the comment will be rejected. 

If you need a blog on your website, I recommend SBI since a blog is included and all the spam filtering is handled for you. 

If you do not use SBI for your website, and you add a Word Press blog to your site, make certain you install plugins to keep the spammers from gaining control of your site.  Learn from my mistakes!

New Articles on Ezine Articles.com 

I recently published two new articles on Ezine Articles about reasons to wait until 70 before you start taking your Social Security. 

Spend Your IRA First - Minimize Tax on Your Social Security explains why spending your IRA first will lower the tax that you have to pay on your Social Security benefits.  This gives you considerably more after tax income to spend during your retirement. 

Author’s Note: I reviewed the above article in preparation for writing this issue of the eZine.  I found a couple of formatting mistakes that I previously missed.  I corrected them and resubmitted the article for approval.  It may not be available when you first look for it under my articles.  If it has not been approved, please check back and look for it again in a few days.  It will save you money in your retirement. 

Spend Your IRA First - Maximize Your Social Security explains why spending your IRA first increases your Social Security.  This will give you the maximum inflation adjusted income for the rest of your life. 

You can read these articles along with my previous articles at



That wraps up this issue.  Until next month, stay tuned. 

John and Linda Howe












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