Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Use old skills in new ways

Q. I'm a retired bookkeeper and I go to a small local "card shop" in the neighborhood to hang around with anyone else who's still alive and playing gin rummy. I noticed that every fall the guys start worrying about their Income Tax returns. Most don't have much income, but they have to file something and don't know how. I've started a free service. I set up a card table and they bring in all their medical bills and anything else they saved. I fill out their forms and send them to the IRS. Sometimes they buy me a cup of coffee or a donut. It's a great satisfaction to be able to help out and maybe others can do that too,

Ans. What a great suggestion. We heard from another senior, a widow, who had to learn to balance her checkbook after her husband died. She enjoyed it so much she went to her senior center and offered to balance the checkbooks for all the other widows there. There were so many the center sets up a table once a week and is promoting her service. If there are other helpers out there, using old skills in new ways, we'd like to hear about you in "comments" below, or in an email to

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