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November 2020

On the Hunt in '21

OntheClock Kelly-sikkema-uUBltZemj1E-unsplashIn my previous post, I suggested that many Boomers will be taking stock as they head toward next year, and some may be considering early retirement. The coronavirus pandemic may be one key factor in the current retirement rate, and data suggests more Boomers are in fact retiring. A recent Pew Research Center report indicates that, in Q3 2020, around 28.6 million Boomers said they were out of the work force due to retirement. That number was 3.2 million higher than in Q3 2019. Since February 2020, the number of retired Boomers has increased by about 1.1 million. (The percentage of increase was larger for Boomers 65 and older.) Contrast that to last year: The rise in Boomer retirees from February to September 2019 was only 250,000.

For some, however, early retirement is not an option. You may want to work or need to work in 2021. If so, an issue surrounding employment is likely to be an insidious factor -- ageism. I've written about the discriminatory nature of ageism in our society on many occasions, so I don't need to remind you that it is an ever-present reality when you are looking for a job.

Ageism is a challenge and there is no magic formula for breaking through the ageism barrier when seeking employment. Still, Boomers will find encouragement from prospective employers who value their experience and maturity. For older workers seeking employment next year, retirement coach Nancy Collamer solicited tips from other coaching colleagues and she offers this list of five solid tactics:

  1. Diversify your networking strategies
  2. Network before you need to do so
  3. Spiff up your LinkedIn presence
  4. Pivot to high-growth industries
  5. Get creative.

Read the details about each of these tactics in Nancy's NextAvenue article here:

NextAvenue also offers an area of its website called Work & Purpose with helpful, informative articles concerning finding a job, starting a business, starting a new career, volunteering and workplace issues. Many other sources are available to Boomer job seekers -- AARP's Job Search Resources page is a good place to start. In addition to full-time employment, a growing number of  opportunities exist in freelance, consulting and part-time employment.

If you're "on the hunt" for work in 2021, stay positive. Know your capabilities, capitalize on your experience, cultivate contacts and be persistent. You have a lot to offer!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

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Which Path Forward?

Website-1166592_1920We are coming to the end of a year like no other. I suspect that most of us will be more than happy to see 2020 go. Of course, we face the question we often contemplate as a new year begins: Which path forward? It's a question that could be particularly challenging for Boomers right now.

On the positive side, it is looking like an effective COVID-19 vaccine will become available in 2021. If this is true, we may be in a position to look forward to eventually returning to a "normal" life -- at the very least, seeing people we love, enjoying social events and traveling if we so choose. It will be remarkably refreshing if many of the things we used to take for granted will be safe for us to do again. Still, even with a vaccine, we'll have to be wise about how we navigate life. The virus won't magically disappear. Wearing masks and maintaining some degree of social distancing, even if modified, will remain essential. That will be the new normal.

Many Boomers will likely be taking stock next year. We'll have to consider how the pandemic has affected our livelihood, our retirement, our financial condition, our physical health and our mental health. Everything needs to be re-evaluated, as with the financial meltdown of 2008-2009. Some of us may have to make tough decisions about working or not working, retiring or not retiring. Writing for, retirement expert Kerry Hannon reminds us to be cautious about taking early retirement. Drawing Social Security payments too early is one potential downside. Hannon cites Alicia H. Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, who writes, "Benefits claimed at 70 are 77% higher than those claimed at 62."

Hannon has some solid advice for anyone considering early retirement:

  • Prepare a budget
  • Carefully consider the pros and cons of any early retirement package you may be offered
  • Determine all of your sources of retirement income
  • Plan withdrawals from savings and investments
  • Be sure to take health insurance into account
  • Talk to a financial adviser.

She offers helpful information about all of these areas in her article.

I've always believed the toughest challenges can open up new and sometimes unexpected opportunities. For example, even at their lowest point and with numerous previous failures, some of the most successful entrepreneurs have persevered and prevailed. We can too, regardless of which path we choose to go forward.

Image by QYOU from Pixabay is a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog.

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