After retirement, your identity may be ready for an overhaul. Here' a great place to start.
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Retirement -- even temporary job loss -- can trigger discomfort with one's changed identity. Especially for those who have been strongly career oriented, the simple question, "What do you do?" can lead to fumbling for an answer. And when socializing or doing business or volunteering, it can be awkward not having the usual trappings of the grown-up world such as business cards.

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Though called "business cards", they're hardly restricted to that context. Stay-at-home spouses, volunteers, and other folks often need a quick way to provide identification and contact information such as email address or Web site URL. They can also list concise emergency information and instructions such as medical history, allergies, medications, and someone to contact.

But with modern proliferation of such data -- landline telephone number, cell phone number, instant messaging screen name, LinkedIn or other social networking Web site address, Skype number, etc. -- it's a challenge conveying one's whole story quickly.

Designing and purchasing cards the traditional way, using a real-world printer, can be a nuisance or daunting challenge, not to mention expensive. And personally printed cards -- whether laser or ink-jet -- never seem quite as polished. For an online alternative, visit, a user-friendly and economical source of personalized cards and many other customizable products.

Among VistaPrint's many attractive bargains is the opportunity to order 250 cards for free, paying only shipping. The small "catch" is that there will be a small/tasteful VistaPrint ad on the cards' back. But for a small fee, the ad can be omitted. And larger quantities can be ordered for rates far below those of local print shops.

These bargain cards aren't limited to boring just-the-facts designs; more than 40 backgrounds cater to the most serious or the most fanciful among us. My cards are businesslike, while my wife's show a more flowery and artistic personality. Having browsed the site's design spectrum I occasionally recognize fellow VistaPrint customers from their cards! More elaborate designs are available at slightly higher prices and custom designs can be uploaded to the site.

VistaPrint runs occasional sales and promotions, during which other products (sticky notes, T-shirts, desk calendars, invitations, announcements, notepads, letterhead, etc.) are offered for just the cost of shipping or at greatly reduced prices. I've gotten essentially free personalized rubber stamps and refrigerator magnets showing my business card design. And the site offers a small bonus for referring new customers.

A very convenient feature is the site remembering details of orders for reuse or modification. So when I've moved or changed contact information, I haven't needed to redesign my cards from scratch: I simply update the information and reorder.

Having cards handy in pocket or purse eliminates having to scribble contact information on scraps of paper, and avoids someone having to later puzzle what's written. One warning applies, though: Consider how much information to reveal. Telephone number and email address, perhaps with city and state, may suffice without compromising privacy.

75% Off Premium "Custom" Business Cards at!