In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.
From the lunchroom to the nightly news, older workers are bombarded with stories of how hard it is to get a job after 50. This can be a demoralizing refrain. It’s especially scary if you depend on an income to survive because you don’t have enough in savings.
One mistake many people make is to turn to their retirement savings as a life raft. But, if you’re 50 or older, this could be a terrible move.
3 out of 10 people who lose or change jobs cash out of their retirement accounts.1
An estimated 1.5 percent of assets “leak” out of 401ks and IRAs each year through early withdrawals, cash-outs or loans, according to a white paper from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.2 Without these leaks, IRA retirement wealth would be 20 percent higher.3 This is a substantial amount for people on fixed incomes.
Apart from draining your IRA or 401k during unemployment, being out of work can hurt you in other ways, too.
The Center for Retirement Research4 reported that:
➢ The average older worker who loses her job has a reduced income of 15 percent a decade later versus her older peers who averted a layoff.
➢ Not only that, but her pension is worth 20 percent less and financial assets are also reduced by 30 percent.
Let’s put all of this doom and gloom into perspective. Although, it is tougher – in some instances – for older Americans to find work, it’s not impossible. In fact, there are dozens of resources out there to help you capitalize on your experience.
Many of you might be thinking: what about age bias? Yes, age bias exists – but so do companies and hiring managers who understand the value seasoned workers bring to the table.
And with the wonderful world of technology, there is a whole new job market that many people don’t know exists. Or, if they do – they don’t know where to begin.
So, before you touch that 401k you have worked so hard to build up, roll it over into an IRA or just leave it where it is – if you need help figuring out what to do with your investment, contact us and we’ll walk you through the next steps.
Now, let’s look at 5 job options you can explore today!
Thought freelancing was just for Millennials? Think again. This is an entire world full of skilled, talented people of all ages and backgrounds who make money doing what they love – without ever having to leave their house. The world of freelancing is open to everyone from teachers and administrative assistants to engineers, voiceover actors and salespeople. There are many freelance job sites out there that will help connect you with employers. Here are a couple popular ones: upwork.com and freelancer.com
2. VIRTUAL AGENT
Have you been on a website and a little box appears asking you if you would like to chat? The person you would be chatting with is called a “virtual agent.” They are probably wearing slippers, sipping tea and sitting in their living room. But, they will still do a great job helping you get what you need. You could be one of these people. Many reputable companies hire virtual agents as a way to up their customer service game. Needle is a fantastic resource for virtual agents. You can fill out an application right online: pincushion.Needle.com
College graduates can make money working from home as a tutor. This goes for people over the age of 50. Tutor.com is one resource to find work making $10 per hour or more remotely. As all teachers know, college can’t prepare you for hands-on teaching – only experience can do that. So you have a huge advantage! Popular subjects include math, English, social studies and history.
Kaplan is another reputable employer that hires experts in a variety of areas to teach online courses. Subjects include software development, data science, UX/UI, IT, test preparation, finance and accounting, business, insurance, real estate, legal, healthcare courses and more. You can apply directly on their website: Kaplan.com
4. WRITING AND EDITING
Good writers, editors and proofreaders can make a living working right from home. There is a growing need for content these days, so the demand for quality writers is huge. If you have experience writing or editing, you already have a leg up on your younger peers – as many inexperienced writers make rookie mistakes.
You might want to collect pieces you have written and create an online portfolio. There are many free sites out there, so you don’t have to spend a penny. It doesn’t have to be fancy either, just a place where employers can go to see your work. WordPress is an easy-to-use (and FREE!) DIY website builder. In some cases, samples aren’t required – you might just have to take a skills test. Check out Global English Editing (geediting.com) and upwork.com to get started.
5. SEASONAL AND PART TIME WORK
If you want to get out of the house and interact with people, without having to rejoin the rat race, seasonal and part-time work might be the best option. There are so many jobs for people who are flexible in their hours and expectations. You could sign up with a temp agency and take jobs as they come or work part-time at a store, as a bookkeeper or as a museum membership agent. The sky’s the limit!
Don’t believe the hype! Unemployment is relatively low for people over 55, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Recent data shows that the unemployment rate for people over 55 is just 3.2 percent; contrast that number with a whopping 16.1 percent for teenagers (16 to 19 years) – and older workers aren’t doing too bad.5
Of course, you might face hurdles as you get older – but so do recent college grads. Everyone has their own challenges they must overcome when job hunting.
It’s natural to feel anxiety if you’re unexpectedly let go from your job, but avoid making hasty decisions. Tapping into your retirement savings should be the last thing you do.
TAKEAWAY. Make a list of all your skills, stay positive and before you know it, you’ll have a brand new job – and your retirement savings intact.