Information Hub‎ > ‎TIPS‎ > ‎

Older Workers

Update 09/10/2016


   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: AGEISM.


  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.

  IF you are not stopped over AGEISM upon submitting your Resume or completing a
  Background Check Form, you can leverage some or all of the following:

       What are the objections to hiring "old people"?

       1.  Don't know as much as younger people (oven 40 or younger)
            Discuss about the books you have read in your field to keep up with
            changes and learn new areas that are of interest to you.

            Shows (a) you want to learn, (b) you enjoy learning, (c) you can learn

       2.  Are not able to keep the pace with others (age 40 or younger)
            Discuss your activities in sports, outside activities which requires a higher
            level of energy and/or concentration to perform well.

            Shows (a) you have the energy, (b) you have the drive, (c) you are a fit

       3.  You are older, don't like distractions, won't help others (age 40 or younger)
            Discuss how you help others learn, show key points to look for when having
            a problem, how to remove roadblocks in resolving challenges.

            Reminds them of your greater experience and insight and willing to share

       4.  Your age is a potential risk to your availability and added medical costs
            Are you healthy now and for many years past? Do you visit your Doctor
            only for your Annual Physical and they are all good?

            Reminds them of the risks of sterotyping people as old, sick and slow

       5.  You may be hiding something from them on your medical background
            First, this is not a medical examination and second, sometimes you do take
            additional medication, like Nyquil to control sinus drainage at night.
            Over the counter, non-narcotic and gets you a good night's sleep.

            You do not abuse medications or take items not legally available to you.
            If your physicals are good, offer a Doctor's note that you are in good health

       6.  They don't think as well or as fast as they once did
            This can be pure nonsense but don't ask if they lay people off at 40.
            Have you been responsive in this interview providing detailed information?

            Have you demonstrated memory issues or any communications deficiencies

       Some employers are interested in finding the best available person for the job
       they have open. If they can physically and mentally perform these tasks using
       good communications skills, they are a qualified candidate.

       Others are using different sets of rules which is not in their long term interest.
       They will either be caught or find few applicants coming to fill their open jobs.

       If someone "plays dirty", do you continue wanting to play with them?