A survey by PNC found that of those age 70 and under who are currently retired, 58% retired earlier than planned due to health issues, forced early retirement or layoffs.
And even though the general unemployment rate has been dropping, for those 55 and over the rate has increased. And about half of that 55+ group consist of the long-term unemployed (those not working for more than six months).
MIT Professor Ofer Sharone conducted a study of 162 unemployed American and Israeli job seekers. Two key findings were: 1) Americans tend to blame themselves for their job loss whereas Israelis blame the system – job seekers in Israel tend to be hired not based on their skills but on their “fit” with the employer, and 2) Support groups for job seekers aren’t necessarily so supportive – group leaders tend to focus on success stories, leaving the unemployed feeling like failures. Prof. Sharone goes on to provide some solid, helpful tips for job seekers.
Once again the Quakers have created and nurtured something in our fair city to make our lives richer and more meaningful. In this case, the focus is on older adults living in Center City and the entity is called Friends in the City (FitC) with “friends” having not only the “Society of Friends” meaning but also very much the lowercase one as well.
Indeed, the group welcomes members of all religious, ethnic, and cultural identities-- and those living in other areas of the region. Of the nine active members interviewed for this article, most were Center City-ites but not Quakers.
The roots of this enterprise were planted a dozen years ago, however, when four Quaker couples, including Fitler Square residents Lee and Anthony Junker, held frequent get-togethers to discuss how they might age well and meaningfully in the city— in lieu of moving to a suburban retirement community.
Whether you are retired, want to explore unmet dreams, go back to school, or give back to your community, Coming of Age's "Explore Your Future" workshop includes a range of proven techniques and activities for self-discovery for people age 50+.
The next workshop will be in four sessions, April 8, 15, 22, and 29, from 1:30- 4:00 for the first session, 1:30- 3:30, all others at St. Anne’s Senior Community Center (Catholic Health Care Services - Community Based Services for Seniors), 2607 E. Cumberland Street, Philadelphia. This presentation of Explore Your Future is being subsidized by The Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania and is only $5.00 for all four sessions (includes snacks!).
There comes a time for many of us when, after scrimping and saving, investing and studying the market, we’re just not sure whether we’ll have enough for retirement and can’t see any way to increase our savings. The following suggestions, while not quite turning water into wine, provide some tips for making what we have go just a little bit further.
1. Thinking about moving to smaller digs to add a bump to your savings and lower your future housing costs? Walter Updegrave has done the research for us in his Downsizing Adventure.
2. These 10 Tips to Supercharge Your Savings provide great suggestions for increasing your retirement savings including banking a raise before you even see the increase and living on a cash-only basis.
A recent article in Fortune trumpeted the headline Baby Boomers Slowly Growing More Comfortable With Retirement and then went on in the first paragraph to say that retirement for our generation usually means finding another job. (It can also mean losing work when you need to work and not being able to find work.)
We are living longer, healthier lives, and while some of us are happy to leave our work lives behind and become more involved in our long-standing or new activities and interests, others see this as a time to discover our passion. And to do so via work.
Alas, we aren’t all lucky enough to know what it is that will light that fire in our bellies.
Shortly before he retired last summer, our former National Director Dick Goldberg got around to doing all the Explore Your FUTURE exercises (after presenting the program over 20 times around the country!). The following, published last month in the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s Milestones, was the upshot:
In 2004, when I became director of the national age 50+ civic engagement initiative, Coming of Age, I was asked to develop a program to help people plan engaged retirements. “Why?” I asked. “People have been planning their retirements forever without help.”And then I tried some of the exercises under consideration. One took me on a guided visualization that beckoned my subconscious to draw a picture of what my next chapter might look like.
It’s been a banner year for Coming of Age (we do the July to June fiscal thing) in Philadelphia, the region, state and on the national scene. To wit:
Philly-wise. We presented both of our signature programs— our four-session workshop series “Explore Your Future” for individuals at the Philly AARP office— and two Philadelphia Foundation-sponsored “Capturing the Energy and Expertise of People Age 50+” Learning Labs on Temple’s main campus. Worked with Temple University staff contemplating retirement to help them plan their futures.
Coming of Age national and Philadelphia director, Dick Goldberg, will retire on July 1. He’s one more example that the Coming of AgeExplore Your Future program works! Facilitating that workshop over 20 times helped put him in touch with what he wants for his next steps.
In Dick’s case, that’s music projects, more visits to the West Coast to spend time with children and grandchildren, new learning and volunteer opportunities, and later this year, possibly some special projects for… Coming of Age!
Temple University's Intergenerational Center, where Coming of Age is housed, will announce this summer who will be overseeing the initiative's work going forward.
Say... you're hit with an unexpected job loss. That's difficult for anyone, but for those just a few years shy of 65, it can be disastrous. Unemployment during those (often) peak earning years when the kids, if you have ‘em, are grown and more money may be available for investing, can throw you a real curve.
Things may not be as bad as you think and there is help available… if you plan!
In fact, we’re involved with a presentation this week. As part of the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging's “Engage Your Body and Brain” program on March 6 at Temple University’s Center City campus, 1515 Market Street, Philadelphia, our director, Dick Goldberg is moderating a panel on “The New Senior Woman: Reinventing the Years beyond Mid Life.” Why would a dude do that? He wrote the foreword to the book of the same title; those on the panel are featured in the book.