Daily Archives: November 14, 2011

To Retire Or Un-Retire In 2012? It Depends.

As I’ve aged, so too have my fantasies.  Actually, they’ve sort of disappeared into reality in some ways.  I used to fantasize about retiring at 50, spending day after day with grandkids, and being able to pretty much do what I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it. The reality is that I’ll need to work past 50, but I actually have the opportunity to do much of what I dreamed of doing  without actually retiring.  I tell my wife DeAnn that I have fulfilled my own prophecy and that I’m living a dream!  My wonderful wife tells me I have dementia.

I realize that there are others in my circle as well as outside of it that have been severely impacted by this latest recession.  Many in the Boomer generation could not have been hit harder or at a more challenging period in their lives than right now.   401K’s and pensions have been hammered.  Healthcare benefits have been reduced, while costs have increased, and opportunities for income have been reduced by employers looking for younger workers while technologies have advanced beyond some of our capabilities.  Here are a few tips that you might find of interest if you’re thinking about retirement or desiring to get back in the game in 2012:

  • Stay where you are.  Don’t retire just yet. The best place to find a part-time job as a retiree may be with your current employer. Three out of four companies surveyed would permit older employees to reduce their hours rather than take full retirement. Obviously based on the survey results not many employers would consider the opposite, which would be having a formal policy allowing retirees to return to work on a part-time basis.   Also, approximately one-quarter of employers that would allow older employees to reduce their hours prior to retirement and would not change the employees’ health benefits during that period of reduced hours.
  • Find a new part-time retirement job.  More employers are interested in hiring seniors, and some are even setting up special recruiting programs for retirement jobs to attract older workers.  Why?  Well because we’re more reliable, loyal, don’t have day-care or transportation issue, and definitely don’t want to be the next vice president of the company.  AARP has formed partnerships with several large national employers who now have programs to recruit, hire and train older workers.  In addition, many other organizations help to connect prospective employers and interested older workers, such as the National Council on Aging.
  • Become a consultant and use the expertise you developed during your working years to offer short-term consulting or freelance services to companies that prefer to contract with temps on certain projects. Generally, you will need to get a business license, keep records, and file taxes as a business on the income you earn.
  • Become a temporary employee.  Temps are used by many businesses to supplement full-time staff or to help out with special projects. Temps often earn as much as permanent workers. Hourly rates range from $10 to $30, depending on the type of work being performed and where you’re located. In addition, about 30 percent of temp jobs turn into full-time positions.
  • Take advantage of government programs.  Both the federal and state governments have set up a variety of programs to provide job training and employment services to seniors, and so have many local communities. One of the best government programs is the Senior Community Service Employee Program or SCSEP.   The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and helps low-income people 55 and older prepare for a variety of community service jobs. You should check with your state Employment Security Department, Department of Labor, or Department of Aging for other senior employment programs in your area.

In 2010, more than 51 percent of the workforce was 40 years or older, a 33 % increase since 1980,

The number of workers aged 55 and older will grow from 13 % of the labor force in 2000 to 20% by 2020.

“Long-standing human resources practices invest heavily in youth and push out older workers. This must change – and public policy too – or companies will find themselves running off a demographic cliff as baby boomers age.”  ~ The Harvard Business Review.   Perhaps that will give you some confidence in that if you are considering a retirement job, now is a good time to start planning, looking and securing it.

Whoops: Feds Involved With UAW, GM Talks Just A “Misprint.”

A United Auto Workers official who was quoted in a letter to members as saying that a U.S. official was “in the room” during labor contract negotiations with General Motors Co. called the report a “misprint.”

The editor of a newsletter to members of UAW Local 598 erroneously wrote that a representative of the U.S., GM’s largest shareholder, was observing the talks, said Dana Rouse, the local’s shop committee chairman and a member of the Detroit- based union’s national bargaining team with the automaker.

“That was a misprint,” Rouse said in a phone interview. “I didn’t get to proofread it. It went out and then I said ‘Where did you get that from?’ I mean, I talked about us still being under government, but nothing as far as they were sitting there.”

The U.S., GM and union leaders have maintained that the government is a hands-off shareholder that doesn’t interfere with the automaker’s operations and had no role in union negotiations.

GM, 32 percent-owned by the U.S. Treasury Department, has said its labor costs will rise 1 percent annually under the four-year accord ratified by a two-to-one majority of UAW members on Sept. 28. The union had agreed not to strike Detroit- based GM as part of its 2009 U.S.-backed bankruptcy.

‘Observing’ Talks

“With the option of strike off the table and the government still a part of our negotiations (literally sitting in the room with us ‘observing’ our talks), I don’t believe any better agreement could have been reached,” Rouse was quoted as saying in the newsletter.

GM has said its new labor contract will cost the company $215 million over the next three years as it raises wages for entry-level employees and buys out its most expensive workers. The pay boost for those members, plus $5,000 signing bonuses and other benefits add up to $675 million in costs through 2013, according to a Sept. 28 company presentation. GM got $460 million in savings to partially offset those cost increases.

“The government was not involved in our 2011 negotiations,” Kim Carpenter, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.  Source:   Jamie Butters, Donna Alvarado.  Bloomberg Businessweek.com

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