Economic impacts from Home Mortgages, Banks,
Savings & Loans, Stock Market and others have
compelled workers to work longer than originally
envisioned. Those working since the 1970's or
after are now bearing another big impact: AGISM.
For those nearing retirement today, it is a scary time. Our parents had pensions,
many of them with company contributions, some were mandated contributions by the
employees and they were protected in value. Employers welcomed workers of all age.
Today employers sought reduced exposures by transitioning pensions into programs
through brokerage and other companies. This exposed employees to incremental
risks and now owning their own plans rarely with the knowledge and insight to care
for their "nest egg" in their retirement years.
While financial investment is a very complex area and faces dramatic changes like that
of September 9, 2016 where markets generally dropped 3.5 to 4.0%, we will focus on
areas that employees or job seekers over 40 can consider in regard to employment.
1. This is NOT the same Job Market or Employment Relationship Your Parents Had
This requires a different approach in your employment, starting with learning new
skills. If there is training you can take advantage of, take it ... even if all of those
enrolled are under 30. This is an opportunity to learn what is new PLUS map that
with your considerable experience and insight to be a strong employee. You can
teach a class but you teaching first hand experience is a different story.
Colleges are not known for programs to retrain or update older workers which is
a growing segment of society. In a story by "60 Minutes" they found many of those
unemployed due to skills were in the 40 and above age groups.
2. Community Colleges are not just for "the youngsters" any more.
In 2010 a program called 50 Plus Completion Strategy was created essentially to
help those 50 and over complete post-secondary education degrees.
If you are employed, ask your employer about education benefits to build yourself
in areas the company is needed more skilled workers. If you are not employed,
seek funding from federal training programs through Workforce Investment
Network. You paid tax dollars for decades ... get your fair share to continue being
a wage earner and tax payer.
3. Employers seek knowledge transfer from older to younger workers but there are
signs they do not embrace younger to older. WHY?
Both reduce training costs and allow the student and experienced practitioner to
learn from the skills each has creating an enhanced return on the time invested.
Experienced and recently hired team members can benefit and build better working
relationships enhancing the ability of the company with more skilled people.
4. Companies assume workers have an option to retire at 66. This is unrealistic.
The multiple financial impacts to home values, savings lost, stock value washed
out since 1975 are significant. The average worker is looking at a retirement age
no less than their early 70's due to loss in employee managed retirement accounts,
termination of pensions and reductions in some employer contributions. Cities are
in trouble in their ability to meet current obligations. Skyrocketing medical costs,
skyrocketing insurance costs, increases in food, energy, water, clothing, cards, etc.
are making it more challenging for those nearing retirement to retire as planned.
Working beyond into their 70's versus 60's is not an option for this group and an
alarm bell for the younger generations and leaders of the country and companies.
5. Taking pride in being tech-illiterate is damaging to yourself and many others.
This raises question not about age but about maturity and responsibility in their
efforts to support the employer as business conditions and tools evolve. Those
who feel no reason to learn are providing multiple reasons for becoming a target.
6. A good workforce works together.
This includes time together in the office and out of the office. Who expects to see
a 60 year old being pulled by a speedboat for body surfing and one should question
younger workers on the same activity. Being a part of the team is important as
competitive pressures rise at companies and the ability for all team members to
support each other as needed. Be part of one team working responsibly together.
7. Fidelity reported that nearly half of the "Baby Boomers" will not have sufficient
funds to cover basic expenses in their retirement. The solution is to cut
spending, save more and potentially supplement income while protecting your "nest
egg" while you are nearing the last 15 to 20 years of employment. If this is not
addressed we all may be facing incremental taxes to provide minimal retirement
protection should older workers not be afforded the opportunity for continued
productive work and contributions before they can begin retirement.