Over 50 and Jobless? Why Worry, You’re Now Enabled.
Originally Posted on 2015-02-09 by RP • Update 6 May 2022
For some time now I’ve been intending to write more about what many Americans call the “Problem” of being over 50 and jobless.
Are You Sure Being Over 50 and Jobless is Really A Problem?
The only real problem I see in this situation is if you became jobless due to your employer cheating you out of a pension you have already partially earned.
To me, this is a despicable tactic used all too often in the USA, often with the agencies in the government turning a blind eye to the limited protections they are supposed to provide.
But this is a separate issue, along with the very real age discrimination which is allegedly “illegal” but which goes on day after day with impunity .. often joked about in executive backroom meetings.
It’s bad, but there’s very little an employee in this situation can do about it.
Does It Really Matter?
Over 50 and Jobless? Here’s the thing, injustice or not, even if you get a job after 50, you have little or no chance of getting the retirement benefits back you would have enjoyed any way … so you might as well accept that problem (call it a blessing in disguise) (unless a lawyer actually advises you differently).
It’s kind of like being a baseball pitcher working 9 innings into a no-hitter when an opposing slugger hits an inside the park home run. Disaster.
But then on review, the umpires call back the run and place the batsman on second base with a ground-rule double.
Are you going to go to pieces over the loss of the no-hitter, or are you going to knuckle down and get the rest of the side out so you can enjoy having a complete game shutout on your record?
There’s no way you’re getting the hit removed from your record, but you still have a LOT to be thankful for.
Here’s the Piece That Got Me Thinking On This Recently
June 13, 2014 by Mark Miller
Nothing throws a financial plan off course like unplanned unemployment in the years leading up to retirement. Plenty of plans have been derailed in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
Nearly half of workers retire earlier than expected, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s annual Retirement Confidence Survey. The reasons include health problems or disability (61 percent); downsizing or closure (18 percent); and the need to care for a spouse or another family member (18 percent).
Near-retirement workers who are unemployed or underemployed have probably reduced, or eliminated, retirement plan contributions. Perhaps they’ve tapped savings accounts to meet living expenses.
What’s next? Is it reasonable to expect 50+ workers will be able to get back into the labor force? Or are they really retired for good, and just don’t know it yet? …
VASHON ISLAND, Wash. Patricia Reid is not in her 70s, an age when many Americans continue to work. She is not even in her 60s. She is just 57.
But four years after losing her job she cannot, in her darkest moments, escape a nagging thought: she may never work again.
College-educated, with a degree in business administration, she is experienced, having worked for two decades as an internal auditor and analyst at Boeing before losing that job.
But that does not seem to matter, not for her and not for a growing number of people in their 50s and 60s who desperately want or need to work to pay for retirement and who are starting to worry that they may be discarded from the workforce forever….
Enough? So Are you Over 50 and Jobless? Scared? Frustrated? Mad As Hell?
The way I look at it, you have three real options.
Demean yourself and wear out your shoes, schlepping for personnel office to personnel office, handing out resume’s, filling out applications and listening to the perpetual lies of “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” My view is, you should think more of yourself than that.
You’re too old for a company to take on the responsibility of re-training you and molding you into “their” brand of employee. (doesn’t matter what the law says, we’re talking reality here.)
You’re over-qualified. How are you going to react to being ordered around by a supervisor 20 years your junior, who actually might not know as much about the job as you do?
You know a LOT about the job, but your knowledge may be quite dated. Think of the example of a Telecomm engineer who started work 30 years ago, when the telephone system was a monopoly and things like cell phones weren’t even know yet.
Sure, of course, you CAN learn but why should they hire you to learn what every new college grad already knows?
You will likely have to take less money. No matter how you think this doesn’t matter, it does. You will grow dissatisfied, watching people less senior and less qualified draw higher wages. It’s just a recipe for eventual anger and resentment.
My advice is, forget about this option from the “git-go”, because in the end it’s a pretty useless exercise anyway. Why waste the time, the job hunting expense and your personal dignity?
You can do what a lot of Americans are doing.
Sit on your ass, collect unemployment until it runs out, and wait for some useless organization like the AARP, a veteran’s lobby, or whichever political party you think is NOT to blame for your job loss to do something before the dole runs out and you then have to do what I feel you _should_ be doing from the moment you find out your job is going away …
(here’s a news flash … Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, “the government” has plenty of problems all on its own.
They don’t give a shit about you … you’re old and used up. The sooner you realize this and stop wasting your time bitching about the realities of life, over which you have no control, the happier and more prosperous you will be.
Re-read my baseball pitcher example. The chance of the perfect game is gone. Accept it. You still have a major league shut out to finish up here. Fantasy doesn’t count. Only reality will go in the record books.
Consider this event one of the most fortunate things that ever happened to you and remake yourself into the twenty-first century. Become an entrepreneur. You have:
A lifetime of experience.
There is almost nothing you are skilled at which there is not a market for teaching, writing about or out and outright selling for profit in today’s world.
You already have your “Social security “in the bag. Just wait until the most profitable age to file, the amount you will draw is not based on how many years you have worked, but on how much you have earned .. maximize it!
But I’m Too Old.
I call BS on that.
Remember that Harlan Saunders was broke, 65 years old, and on Social Security when he started KFC … and all he really knew how to do was cook fried chicken!
You have the precious gift of time to learn new things .. a gift you didn’t have when you were 30 or 40-something and raising kids, going to school, working overtime, etc.
DON’T WASTE THIS TIME!
Plenty more information and food for thought here for 50+ and Jobless folks here::
An Honest $100K OnLine — Wife Quits Her Job and Makes $100K
10 Ways To Make Money In Retirement — Online Updated
Over 50 and Jobless? Why Worry, You’re Now Enabled.