Lifestyle » Vol. 8

Saying “No” to Retirement

By Rick Garner

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Only a few decades ago the word “retirement” carried with it a sense of finality, either in a happy sense that, our employment obligations fulfilled, we now had some very well-deserved free time to enjoy our lives or in a panicky sense that, “Oh no, now we have all this free time, it’s the beginning of the end!”

Times have changed, though, and if there’s a will to continue working, there’s still a way (That’s not to say that if your day job had been as a construction worker you should necessarily push your body to continue in that line of work ~ you might want to give yourself a break and pursue something less physically taxing ~ after all, you’ve earned it!). And in fact, study after study has shown that the current generation of 50+ members of the workforce does indeed want to keep working. Now, about the “way;” wanting a job and finding one are two very different issues, especially with the current financial climate posing considerable job-finding problems for potential employees of all ages and experience levels. There are some tips worth looking at, though, whether you’ve begun your retirement and are already chomping at the bit to return to the workforce or are still working full time but want to plan for the early years of your retirement.

Make a Change

It’s foolish to think you’ll get to keep the job you have. In the early 1980s, somewhere around 70% of full-time employees over age 58 were at the same company that had employed them when they were under 50. In 2008, that number has decreased to around 50%, for two reasons: not all companies are “50+ friendly,” and, on the flip side, not all older workers want to stay in the same job they’ve been at for decades. They want something easier, something that challenges them differently, or simply a new environment.

If They Don’t Want You, Someone Else Will

For every company that is getting rid of older employees, there’s one that is actively searching for older employees because it recognizes the myriad benefits to hiring someone who has been in the workforce for years. Each year, the AARP lists them at www.aarp.org/money/work/best_employers/Best_Employer_Winners. The latest list, university and health-care heavy, has SC Johnson & Son, Scripps Health, and Cornell University as top employers of more mature workers.

Consider Industries with Labor Shortages

As evidenced by the AARP’s list above, right now the following are top choices for retirees: health-care technician, nonmedical health-care administrator, teaching assistant, retails sales and management, teaching assistant, tax preparation and accounting, truck/bus/delivery drivers, and bank tellers.

Use On-line Resources

Make the most of specialty job sites that cater to older workers. Check out seniors4hire.com, retirementjobs.com, workforce50.com, dinosaurexchange.com, jobs.aarp.org, and seniorjobbank.com.

Consult or Temp

Not everyone has the temperament ~ or saleable expertise ~ to be self-employed, but if you do, you can turn around and hire yourself back on a short-term or per-project basis to the industry you just left. If the task of coming up with your own clients seems too intimidating, you can do temp work; right now there’s a tremendous demand for all levels of office help ~ and while you’re earning money as a temp, you’re also proving your value to the company so that when a position does open up, you’re likely to be considered for it first.

Resource: Newsweek

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