Living up in the clean, crisp Alaskan air my gal pal had an aurora borealis flash of an IDEA.  ART CLASSES!
I'm more of a Degas or Renoir, not so much Kandinsky. Maybe a Blue period Picasso
though I love this Rousseau. Matisse, Miro. So much to choose from!

"Anita, I've had a 'lightbulb' this morning!  Unpropertied SENIOR CITIZENS and other BOOMERS SHOULD START APPLYING FOR STUDENT LOANS! You can use those $$$ for food, housing, etc, and other expenses. Now the gov't. makes it easy to get these loans and easy to pay back because they know that you can't discharge that debt with bankruptcy. BUT YOU CAN discharge it with DEATH! So first you want to check out the community college nearest where you  live as they frequently let you take courses nearly for free if you're 60 or over.

STUDENT LOANS are the other way. If you are 65 or older, you can probably put off ANY repayment for years, and if they say you're TOO OLD to go back to school, isn't there a law against AGE DISCRIMINATION? Pick one of those 'easy' ART. Choose, do you only go the minimum to stay a 'student'? Of full time to become a real expert? What will they do if you default on the loan ten years up the line? Put you in jail? Go after your grandkids? NO, actually, they don't! So at Federal or State Cost, learn to paint like Matisse or Monet, Picasso. Rousseau, Naif painting, Grandma Moses as these are highly saleable. Not only can you get "three hots and a cot", free medical and dental care, and probably enough to pay rent and utilities but you can sell this highly esteemed art. At the same time, while you're studying,  you can hit up the state for food stamps, welfare, (if you care for a grandchild) and then ask for disability stipend too if you have some malady. WHOPEEE!  LET'S ALL GO BACK TO SCHOOL 5 days a week and live like millionaires and get very productive and leave the world something it needs. OUR ART and a model of peppy senior behavior!

Besides fun and money all kinds of unexpected bonuses will come from this. Imagine lunching in University cafeterias, the most fun place to be, wheeling your little tray around the dazzling food choices. Then, extra bonus, GrayHair YOU become the big Kahuna Guru to all those kids. They suspect that with AGE went WISDOM so they bring you their relationship and finance problems. (Learn to read horoscopes and palms, you will make a second under the table living with that market segment and really become their spiritual guide.)

But then, the really fun part .Weekends you can sell your Matisse Canvases at WHOLE FOODS parking lot or at some posh super market in the gentrified area of town. $200 to $400  would be bon marche prices for the yuppies as a gallery would retail them for 1500$ so try to get a gallery to rep you. They take 40%  but prices are way higher. The blue bloods find out about you. The newspapers cover your 'show.' You're famous, a model of this enterprise to other seniors. You're Moses, leading the seniors out of esclavitude in Egypt!

There's a very Good chance you do what the rural Grandma Moses did, get famous just out of how OLD SHE was and what good naif folk paintings she could turn out. Google Image her and Henri Rousseau and Czeck folk paintings too. All naive style requiring NO LONG involved ART STUDIES. Oil paints are costly, starter set is viridian green, thalo blue, rose, zinc white, burnt sienna, cadmium yellow and then you can mix your own colors.  Pick up brushes at garage sales or thrift shops. Stretch your own canvases, hit with a layer of house paint to prime the canvas. You just need stretcher bars, very inexpensive, a small hammer, small tacks, (or switch modes, do it with a staple gun.) good fabrics, linen or cotton, the water based primer for that first base coat. see HOW TO BE AN ARTIST

I posted that online and in ten minutes a pal wrote me: Anita, hey, maybe I could apply to a college, apply for a student loan to continue my art education (which I now owe them $41,000 for with interest and penalties, since I couldn't find a art teaching job and then got sick)...but if I got a loan now, then I could apply that payment to the old loan to get them off my back... ya think?

ANSWER: Probably you would have to press them to give you more studies saying that your paintings don't yet qualify for a gallery -- and you do not have that much needed MASTERS degree, or PHD. And that another system was in use and STYLES were in VOGUE back when you first studied...or that you never took Modern Art and that's required to teach today... or there's a new form of art that sells well. Be your own lawyer or bring in a gallery owner or some academic from the Art School at Big University as 'the expert.'

ANOTHER WRITE IN: The Actuaries already thought of this, Anita. They make more money off your death. As morbid as it sounds, 18 year olds (on up) have to sign a Life Insurance policy in order to ACHIEVE the 8.25% interest loan. Don't go thinking anyone (college or feds), eats the loss. The loan gets paid back, just not by Granny Picasso. It then falls to her heirs. They inherit Grandma's debt. Any property? The state attaches that debt to it.

I hate to BELIEVE THAT but I know this  writer, Emily Baehr and she was A HUGE FRUGAL WEBSITE RUNNING GENIUS, (PENNY PINCHER, now shut down,) she's savvy.. DEBTS are assigned to mates? Relatives? Or probably to the house you own in case one 'departs?' Hey, someone go get a student loan and let us know here, Anita Sands Hernandez, astrology at drop me a line.

SHE GOES ON:  IF you get the student loan, they defer the repay until you graduate. An Educational Deferment means no one has to pay on the loan DURING a time they are enrolled full-time. You tell student loan co. & they confirm it same day with your school.  Part-time or half-time doesn't do it so Granny had better have her walking shoes on and stay in class all day.

And another thing, Visit the Human Resources or UNEMPLOYMENT OFFICE, Tell everyone to apply, then when they are turned down they are eligible for some re-training programs. DEPT OF REHABILITATION will put you thru school. Also there are specific trades at specific trade schools. That's how my friend Lisa became a phlebotomist, at the expense of the state.  Injured workers, get help from DEPT OF REHAB, too. Lisa didn't really get to choose the path.. In my own case, Unemployment (HRD) had some Back to Work program that would have paid the $415 tuition for me to get my REAL ESTATE license!  Without being unemployed and in the system you don't get that.  Just being a hard worker I'd have had to pay for it myself. Or borrow from my mom. the poor and asset-less have it made.

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