Some occupations have a mandated retirement age, such as those in the public safety, air traffic control, and aviation industries. However, many people aren’t prepared or financially able to retire at 59.
Early Social Security benefits started to become accessible at age 62, with full Social Security benefits beginning at age 65. (although there was a permanent reduction to 80 percent of the full benefit amount if the benefits were drawn early). Congress enacted legislation in 1983 that gradually raised the eligibility age for Social Security benefits. For individuals who were born between 1943 and 1954, the full benefit age is currently 66, and it will progressively increase to 67 for those who were born in 1960 or later. At age 62, early retirement benefits are still available, but they are significantly less generous. Delaying retirement is encouraged because it can result in a 32 percent larger monthly benefit payment. Currently, a person who reaches age 66 will receive an extra 8% benefit for each year they wait to begin receiving benefits, up until age 70.
When the time does come to retire, your career need not come to an end. In the 2015 movie “The Intern,” 70-year-old Ben (played by Robert DeNiro) takes part in a program for senior citizens interns and mentors Jules, the owner of a fashion website (Anne Hathaway). Ben assumed a crucial position as Jules’ driver since his expertise and perspective were recognized.
In average, baby boomers are healthier than their parents were when they were their age. Others who are older at work might love the variety and challenges it offers. Some people might keep working to pay for their present and upcoming medical costs.
Whatever the cause, the current U.S. life expectancy rate of 79.3 years means that what you typically think of as “retirement” may not correspond to what you actually want to do with your “third act” — you may want to continue working in some capacity to achieve your intellectual and financial objectives.
Challenges for Job Seekers Over 50
One of the largest potential barriers for an older job seeker is technology. Some hiring supervisors may believe that an older job applicant lacks the necessary technological aptitude for success. This problem can be solved by determining the precise technical skills needed for the job and finding a way to develop them, whether it be through in-person instruction, online learning (like on Udemy.com), or even watching YouTube videos.
If you’re thinking of returning to school to advance your education, carefully explore your options to maximize your investment. Make sure the education or training you are pursuing is in demand for the position you want. And compare the expense and reward.
About a third of respondents to an AARP Public Policy Institute study from 2015 reported having taken part in training or educational activities in the previous five years. While respondents who participated in training were more likely to claim that it did not benefit them at all than to say that it greatly assisted them in both getting and retaining a job, they nevertheless stated that their training was “useful” overall. That’s significant. If you’re investing a substantial sum of money, make sure you select training that will increase your employability.
Otherwise, if you decide to return to school at 60 and anticipate retiring at 66, you might still be making payments on your student loans at that time. (Social Security benefits may be withheld to cover overdue student loan debt.)
You might not make as much money if you do change jobs as you did before. Your next job may pay less on occasion, but not usually. In the AARP poll, 48% of respondents reported making less money now than they did before they lost their jobs. 22 percent of those surveyed said they made the same money, while 29 percent made more. Older workers prefer flexibility and could be ready to accept lesser income in exchange for a work-life balance. If a lower income is given, don’t be hesitant to bargain for better perks (especially intangibles, like the chance to telecommute).
You might have to start from scratch in a different industry. Older job seekers frequently shift careers. One of the most frequent causes of unemployment in later life is downsizings. It’s critical to remain open to major changes since entire sectors can vanish.
In the AARP poll, more than half (53%) of the participants had a different line of work than they did before to finding unemployment. Although some job searchers could have chosen to work in more personally fulfilling and intriguing jobs, in many situations the move was required to land a job.
Anxiety, fear, and frustration are all typical responses to a job hunt after age 50. Job seekers are urged to seek assistance with career planning and their job hunt. In the 2015 AARP poll, 45% of job seekers reported getting assistance of some kind. The most frequently requested help was for updating or drafting a resume, while over 20% of respondents claimed they needed emotional support (therapy or support groups).