2/15/2013 10:15 PM ET|
Past 55 and jobless: What to do
Few have a pension to fall back on if employment ends sooner than planned. Here's what you need to know about unexpected retirement.
It was not all that long ago that people could hope to stay gainfully employed with a company for many years and perhaps even an entire career. Loyalty was a two-way street: Employees worked hard to complete the tasks at hand, and companies valued workers' individual contributions and experience. The number of years on the job was a plus, and seniority was a virtue.
Now job-hopping has become the norm and longevity at a single job a distant memory. It is likely that current workers will move through multiple jobs during a career. Sometimes a job change is the result of a personal decision to find something new or better. But many workers find themselves forced from their jobs into a market overpopulated with many other highly qualified individuals searching for their next gig. For older employees, a layoff or buyout can be especially challenging:
● Half of current retirees say they retired earlier than they originally planned, mainly due to health or disability issues, according to a 2012 Employee Benefit Research Institute study.
● In addition to health issues, seniors may find themselves without jobs due to economic issues beyond their control.
● The median length of unemployment has more than tripled for those older than 55 since the recession started. What was typically 10 weeks of unemployment before the recession had ballooned to 35 weeks by 2011.
● Increasing health care costs may cause companies to be reluctant to rehire older workers because they employers may assume older workers will be expensive to insure.
But you can recover from an unexpected early retirement. Here are a few ways to cope if you’re facing involuntary unemployment:
Try to save your job. Before you just accept a layoff, you may want to plead your case to your employer. Explain in detail the value you add to the company, the years of experience that have made you a model of efficiency, how you set an example for others and why it makes sense to keep you. Be specific with examples of just how you have made things better. Describe the cost of hiring and training a replacement and the risk of hiring the wrong person and losing months of productivity. Help to defuse the misconception that older workers are more expensive. However, the unfortunate reality is that this is an uphill battle if the decision has been implemented across the company and the wheels are already in motion.
Start your own business. Sometimes losing your job can be just the push needed to do something yourself. You can pursue a course you feel passionate about. Whether a short-term choice until you find something else or a new career, taking those first steps can be crucial. If you enjoy identifying and completing one project at a time you may want to look into contracting or consulting engagements that utilize your work experience. A home-based businesses can require a minimal initial investment and provide flexibility in hours without the hassle of commuting. Turn a hobby you enjoy into a money generator, whether you are an aspiring writer, crafter, musician, builder or blogger. Try to view this as not only an unexpected challenge but also an opportunity.
Volunteer. If you need to continue working but have few options available, you may want to consider volunteering at an organization you are interested in. Get in the door and build a reputation as a dedicated, energetic worker in the hopes of being in the right place at the right time when other opportunities arise.
Retire. Despite their best efforts, some people will find that the working world has few opportunities for them. Only a third of older workers displaced between 2007 and 2009 found full-time work by 2010, and often at reduced wages, according to a Government Accountability Office report. Many seniors want and need to work, but some simply can't find jobs. Unexpected early retirement may require significant cuts expenses and lifestyle in order to live on savings that must be tapped sooner than planned.
More from U.S. News & World Report:
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
What a waste if time, and energy. Duh, like we don't know all these things already!
One point that needs clarification is now, the age has dropped to 50, not 55. Jobs are increasingly hard to find that actually pay a decent living wage. If you are not firmly entrenched within a position and are doing something no one else knows how to do, you might have a chance. If not, outsourcing is coming your way.
If you are working for a Union shop in a professional manner, look out, because those types of businesses do not hire qualified people, they simply appoint whomever they wish. Business managers of most Unions are Crooks! plain and simple. Inside Cronyism is rampant.
Can you tell where I was fired from? This article, and Unions suck!
I'm just waking up with my first cup of coffee, and the first thing I read is this article.
Start your own business? Volunteer? seriously?
I'm just hoping to have enough gas in my car today to get to my elderly mother's house, so I can take her to her doc's appointment.
MSN just lost their credibility in my eyes for publishing this dribble. I think it may be time to find a new home page.
Most jobs where I'm at want professionals that will work for $10.00 to $12.00 an hour. Try living on that and if you're lucky you will be able to have an apartment with food on the table. The government calls it a recession, I call it " the beating of the slaves ". Here's a better idea. Spend your last pay check on some traps, a tent and a fishing pole, head for a remote area and fend for yourself. You'll have a much better quality of life.
No matter how good Abraham Lincolns intentions were, all he did was take the color out of slavery and transfer ownership. Look who owns us now.
I have a specialized degree in healthcare. I was making 90K and had 27 years with a large hospital in 2009. Guess what? Obama is elected, company downsizes middle mgt ( forced early retirement )I was unemployed for 18 months -used most of my retirement to pay bills - went bankrupt - lost my home. I am starting over at 58 yo and making 1/2 what I used to. Thank you Emperor Obama.
Another middle class worker destroyed.
Why not float your older folks out to sea on an ice flow. It works for the eskimos. (they won't do that until they are sure we have exhausted all of our savings)
Companies have used the bad economy to shed themselves of their older more expensive employees since things first started to crash. They escape age discrimination claims because they can claim the layoffs are economics-based. No one in Washington is watching or cares. Corporate profits are up and so is the stock market, that's all they care about.
If you are over 50 and don't have the wherewithal to start your own business you are screwed. For my part I am withdrawing from the economy that doesn't need us anymore. I trade locally as much as possible and avoid doing business with big corporations as much as I can. I know it's impossible to do but in my mind, every little bit helps. Let the big corporations sell to GenX. I don't want it.
Option number 5, get your computer and write useless four paragraph articles for US News and World Report picked up and reprinted by others needing space filler material.
Beg for your job;
Start a business at 55+ in the worse economy since and including the great depression
Give up and die.
WHO writes this crap?
What a crock it is exactly the same in the UK how do you start a business with no money and the banks not lending?
How do you retire when the age in the UK has gone to 66 for men
If you volunteer you are not eligble for work therefore your benifit of £71 ($113 ) per wek is stopped, and also volunteering does not put food on the table as it doesn't pay.
The people making these suggestions are all employed and have a very financial and stable life.
You need to get into my world and smell the coffee.
Unemployed 55 in the UK, no different from the US.
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