Thursday, November 29, 2007

Try Mahalo For Online Travel Research

Online travel research can be pretty frustrating, especially if you've never been to the destination your headed and don't know much about the area.

For example, try searching "Las Vegas hotels" in Google. Now, some of what comes up for you may be relevant, but a lot of it is not. This is simply because this search engine result page (serp) is based on an algorithm, with little to no human attention paid to what is displayed.

Mahalo is a new human-powered search engine that guessed it...ACTUAL people to create their serps.

This is great for the baby boomer who just doesn't have the time or patience to sift through spam search results mixed in with relevant content. If you search for "Las Vegas hotels" in Mahalo, you actually get listings of Las Vegas hotels as well as websites for further research (ie: Frommers, Fodor's, etc.). What a concept!

Check out Mahalo's Travel page today. And who knows, you might just get hooked and start using it for all your web searches. Plus, if you happen to search for a topic not in their results (remember, Mahalo's results are being built by hand and not every possible destination or search term is covered yet) you will be shown results from various other search engines.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Baby Boomer Jobs has an article/slideshow featuring seven "ideal" jobs for Baby Boomers.

Obviously not all of them will appeal, but you might get some good ideas. I especially like the prospects of "Move Specialist" Wellness Coach", and "Travel Coordinator".

Some Florida Banks to Avoid just ran an article about some Florida banks that are feeling the squeeze due to not only bad mortgages (as you've heard by now Florida has a lot of) but also bad construction loans that developers are defaulting on.

I'm all for the local bank. I believe in supporting the little guy. And I know my money would be safe (FDIC insured, etc.). But for now my money is with one of the big boys, at least until we learn a little more about this mortgage/construction loan fallout.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Luxury RV Parks - Home is Where You're Parked

Despite gas being over $3 a gallon in most parts of the country, many boomers are shunning the once popular idea of choosing one great place to retire and making it their life to travel (in style mind you) to wherever they feel like.

The luxury RV travel market is on fire in recent years with luxury rv parks popping up all over Florida and other Sunbelt states.

The nomadic lifestyle that rv-ing affords used to be for the budget conscious. But not anymore. Fancy RV's these days cost more than most houses. And getting a space at one of the premier luxury rv parks can be quite an expense as well.
(Image Credit: Aaron Jack on Flickr)

But then again, we're not talking about a simple concrete pad with power and water hookups. We're talking about championship golf courses, clubhouses, swimming pools, all the amenities you could want or need.

So where should you set out finding information about the luxury RV lifestyle? Here are a few links to start with:

Wireless and Internet Security Systems Great for 2nd Homes

A recent broad daylight break-in and robbery in my gated Florida community reminds me that everyone needs to be careful and vigilant when it comes to keeping you, your loved ones, and your property safe. As I've said before, crime doesn't discriminate based on location. Just because you live in a gated community doesn't necessarily mean you're safe.

I recommend having a security system installed (make sure you are given a yard sign and window stickers which can act as an added deterrent). Most people only set it when they are away from the home or when they go to bed at night, but now we'll be keeping ours on during the day as well, and you should too.

Security systems are available through companies like Brinks and ADT. Personally I use a system through that uses wireless signals (much like a pager) so that if a phone line is cut, it will still notify the authorities in case of emergency.

This type of wireless security system can also be controlled through the internet, which is great for a second homeowner. Through an online interface you can see system activity, arm and disarm if necessary, and more. Check it out if you're looking for a great wireless internet security system.

Be safe!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Boomers version of "Born to be W-i-i-i-ld"

Sort of off topic but who could resist. The best laugh you'll have today. Enjoy:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Trip

Boomers on the Move took a trip last month to the annual Balloon Fiesta in ABQ New Mexico.

What a trip! Here are some pics and the low-down on what to do and where to stay if you ever decide to go.

Try to go on the weekends (Thursday through Sunday) because this is when most of the events are held like the Mass Ascension or launch of all participating balloons (held early in the morning), and the Balloon Glows and Fireworks (at night). The early and middle part of the week is more for competitions.

We stayed at the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town. It was very close to the balloon fiesta and near everything we wanted to see and do. We paid $169 per night for a Junior suite which was very nice, and we thought the rate was reasonable considering all the people in town.

BUT, next time, we will stay at the Sandia Resort and Casino. We were very impressed by how modern and clean it was. Just as nice and spectacular as the finest casino/hotels in Vegas. It's a little further away from all the Balloon action, but we think the few extra minutes of drive time will be worth it for us if we ever go back.

There is lots to see and do besides the Balloon is a good guide from the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Plenty of authentic Mexican food to choose from in Albuquerque, so you won't go without some great meals. Ask your hotel or locals you meet for recommendations as there are just so many to choose from. Whatever you order be sure to ask for "Christmas on the side". We'd tell you what it is, but it'll be more fun for you to see for yourself. Live a little!

The best part was the balloon ride we took with Rainbow Ryders (the official flyers for city) which cost $170 per person. One thing that surprised us was that there are 12 people in the balloon (11 passengers and 1 pilot). We went early in the morning, which is recommended because the winds tend to pick up later in the day. The balloon co. picked us up at the hotel and dropped us back off afterwards.

Floating is just too cool (and we are scared of heights!). You hardly feel like you're off the ground and moving. The basket is extremely sturdy.

You pretty much land where you land. There is a chase truck that follows you wherever the wind takes you. We landed on a dirt road, but we saw one balloon that found its way onto a football field.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

North Carolina Transfer Tax Goes flames

A few months back I blogged about the proposed North Carolina transfer tax and what it would mean to buyers and sellers in North Carolina.

Yesterday the people had their say in 16 North Carolina Counties and unanimously defeated the measure.

This paves the way for North Carolina to continue to be a lower cost alternative to baby boomers thinking about where to hang their hats for their glory years.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Spot the bad neighbors before you buy in a retirement community

The saying has always been..."You can pick your house, but you can't pick your neighbors." Well not anymore.

A new real estate search site has emerged and you can find it at

You start by entering either the name of a city, and exact address or street name, even a zip code, then hit search and you'll be shown a google maps mashup with reports of "bad neighbors" in the area you searched for.

I did a quick search of a couple areas, and most had little to no activity yet, but where there were complaints they were often pretty amusing. You'll have the best luck in and around bigger cities.

But as more and more people find out about the site, it might become another important information site for those wanting to get the lowdown on a retirement community before they buy.