Monday, February 11, 2013

Close to Retirement and Fired: Now what?

I was sorry to learn today that a friend's husband was laid off since October. Her husband was with this company for about a decade and was promoted into a middle manager position a few years ago. Despite the bad news, they were still optimistic about his job searching prospects. Only problem is, he is 55 years old.

At a time when he should be looking forward to his retirement in about another ten years, he is now having to compete with the younger generation and search for a new job. He is not alone though. Many professionals over age 50 have discovered they are not quite ready for retirement. In fact, only 27 percent of Americans expect to retire by age 65 and only 34 percent plan to retire after that age. Many find themselves not  having saved enough for retirement, and others have not saved at all.

The good news is that the 50 and older age group has a hidden entrepreneurial streak. Many are launching their own businesses at this age than the younger generations. This offers the older group several opportunities: the chance to use their expertise to run their own show, the ability to secure their own job, to launch a business they can pass on to their children, and of course, the pride of starting their own business.

There are other routes to take if entrepreneurship is not an option. There is also part-time work and consulting to consider. With many companies now laying off employees to cut costs, HR is now turning to these alternatives to manage a dwindling, although much needed, workforce. 

Losing a job can be challenging, but it has its rewards. As my friend put it, there's always something better that comes along.

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