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.
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"Before you just accept a layoff, you may want to plead your case to your employer."
Yes, this cherry actually wrote this drivel. Here's a bulletin for you Mr. Bernard: THE DECISION HAS BEEN MADE!!!!! Are you kidding me? They don't want to listen to you plead your case. They want to see your backside walking out the door with your box of personal effects. Did you rip this advice off from What Color Is Your Parachute? Laughable.
Past 55 and jobless: What to do? Well with the idiots running this country screwing everyone
but them selves, there is not much we can do.
the author of this journalistic disgrace must be a puppet of Washington
Yeah, it's going to be a rough row to hoe for a lot of these older folks because many of them abandoned families to live alone. Divorce is going to wreak havoc because it's a lot harder to make it when you have nobody. Sure, maybe your husband of wife was a nag or a bore, but boy it sure would be nice to have someone around for company or to care about you when you are down. And boy it sure would be nice to split expenses with someone rather than going it alone. They thought they were liberated, but the joke is on them. They are now living alone and broke in many cases with nobody to care about them because many of them cared about nobody but themselves when they thought they were young and cute and had the world by the tail.
Nobody was good enough for you. No way. You were too good looking, smart and talented to settle down to just one person. You thought love was dumb and free sex was the smart way to go. It's not so funny now, is it?
This is depressing. Wish I had not read it before gong to bed. I am 70. No savings. I wrk fulltime as a real estate agent - have my own one person company. We are doing OK financially, not making huge $$$ but getting by OK.
Good luck to all you seniors. I wish I could help.
finding a job at the age of 55 and up if only the business or company espoused the idea of having senior employees on its staff. otherwise you would be considered of being in the way of the younger workers, and to the younger ones you,ll be no more than a ridicule, and now that you are desperate it may have you to settle for advantage to be unleash upon you so that you get the mere pittance.
Start your own business? Giggle now that's funny. How many people do you know for whom this is a viable option for replacing a steady paycheck? Yeah, not many.
What I have found with many of the seniors I know who were laid off is that they find living on less and not working to be rather pleasant. You see before most of them had never known any way of life other than work work work to get ahead. But now that they have been forced out they realize they don't need all that stuff, and many find the tradeoff of not having to stress about work and being able to own their time isn't so bad after all. What I hope happens is that there one day is a shortage of workers and the corporations need these older workers to come back. The older workers will not be in the least bit interested now that they have realized they can be happy for less. The death knell of the mighty US is going to be when people in this country stop wanting so many things. The corporations depend on us wanting more and more. We, the consumer, have the power. Learn to live on less. Pay off your debts so you will not be a slave to anyone.
They depend on our addiction to debt. Make them pay.
What we allneed is an Obamaphone
With an Obamaphone, we can call the president to know when we should die.
What this article is saying in a nice way is that you likely have three choices when laid off as an older worker. You can grovel, dream, or just give up. Yes, I'm sure standing in front of your employer reminding them of all your years of service and value to the company is going to change their mind real quick...RIIIIIGHT. By the time you get your pink slip it's all over but the cleaning out of your desk. The decision to let an older worker with years of experience with the company go usually has nothing to do with their performance and everything to do with the cost. They simply can hire younger and cheaper. The reverse comedy of this is that it is going to kill ambition in young people eventually. What young person is going to work hard to achieve the American dream when they know from watching their elders that it's all a lie and a sham? They know the rug is going to be pulled out from under them as soon as they get up the ladder and start making real money.
This is going to change a whole generation of people. The puritan work ethic that fueled the ambitions of so many young Americans is going to be kaput once they realize the contract has been broken. It was that very ambition and hope that fueled this nation. Now it is gone.
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