MIDLIFE: A NEW ERA

#midlife #MidlifeCrisis #MiddleAge #MidlifeRelaunch
Midlife, generally defined starting at age 40 to about, say, age 60, has always been a time of change.
Some, particularly men, tend to long for their youth, when their bodies and minds were fit and nimble. They tend to look for love and respect – at home, at work or both – and don’t always get it. So, they may venture out of their regular lives and make impulse purchases or, worse, mistakes.
Others may see it as the best part of their careers. For example, a lawyer who may have spent his entire career since law school in the same firm, may look to become a full partner. He goes from doing the legal grunt work for others, to schmoozing and recruiting clients.
But, alas, midlife is changing in modern times. Companies see older workers as more expensive than younger ones. They may have a good deal of seniority, higher salaries, more vacation time etc. There’s also an attitude of older workers not being as comfortable with rapid change as younger ones.
Jonathan Rauch addressed this issue in a story for The Washington Post. It was also published April 22, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“If you wanted to design a society that exacerbated midlife misery and squandered the potential of later adulthood, you might deliver education in a single lump during the first two decades of life, load work into the middle decades and the herd healthy, happy and highly skilled older adults into idleness. In other words, you would do more or less what we have been doing for the past century or so,” Rauch writes.
That model, he writes, made some sense when people mostly needed a high school diploma, held one kind of job for life and died around 65. “But it offers nothing by way of guidance and support for the kind of midlife relaunch that today’s Americans increasingly demand, and that today’s America increasingly needs,” he writes.
It really hard to jump out of the lives we’d carved for ourselves by our 40s, he writes.
“How can I reinvent my life while meeting responsibilities and making ends meet? What are the options and how can I sort through them all? Those questions and many more clobber anyone who contemplates a midlife relaunch,” Rauch writes.
Midlifers need employers who want to hire and/or retain them, who find them not only useful, but valuable. They need employers who will hire workers who not only want some flexibility in their lives, but also can apply old skills to new ventures, the article points out.
If you are hitting midlife today, it’s a scary place. If you are still working at a job you like, or are using the skills you were trained for, you are indeed fortunate. However, beware. Companies today reorganize frequently, and without warning to employees. Younger managers are coming in, and may not view you in the same way as they view others in his cohort.
If you’ve been pushed out of your good job for one reason or another, and are not mentally, psychologically or financially ready to retire, you may have to think outside the box on what to do next.
Perhaps, instead of taking a job that pays much less than your old one, and underutilizes your skill, you can find a new way to earn an income without having the obligations, headaches and fear of what’s next that a conventional job creates.
There are many such vehicles out there, if you are willing to look for them. To check out one of the best, message me.
If you are middle aged and at a crossroads in your life, try to first see all the good that is in your life. Then, give some thought about what to do next.
If you are younger, say, in your 20s or 30s, you don’t know what middle age will bring. You, too, should start to consider what YOU will do if, or when, your good job – and potentially your career – suddenly goes away. You don’t know when or whether that will come, but it’s best to prepare for it.
Hard work and achievement can get you a long way. But it may not save you when that next reorganization, or bad manager, comes into your life.
Peter

DLEAYED RETIREMENTS DON’T HELP TROUBLED ECONOMY

#DelayedRetirement #retirement #OlderWorkers
In decades past, one worked in a job, or for a company for 30 to 40 years and retired with a pension, Social Security and, perhaps, a no-stress, part-time job.
Some fortunate ones retired earlier than the traditional age 65. A scant few worked past age 65.
Retirements opened positions for younger workers to move up, and the jobs they vacated were available for newer workers. That was helpful to the economy.
In the last few years, since the 2008 recession, that dynamic has changed. More people are delaying retirement, largely because the relatively generous retirement benefits of decades past have been cut, or have disappeared. Another reason is that more people are being forced out of good jobs ahead of when they wanted, or had planned to, retire. They end up taking jobs that pay a lot less, so they have to work longer and retire later.
Michael Molinski, a Paris-based economist and writer, discussed this topic in a column for USA Today. It was published July 24, 2016, in The Tennessean newspaper of Nashville.
“People in the U.S. are working longer and waiting longer to retire – often not by choice – and that could be bad news for our economy,” Molinski writes. He quotes a study done at the University of Paris-Sorbonne that says, in part, “the most productive group is the group of core workers (ages 25 to 54) right in the middle” of the barbell-shaped labor force, Molinski writes.
In other words, more older and younger workers, starting at age 15, are being pushed into the labor force, he says.
He adds that older workers can be, and often are, valuable mentors to younger workers. But the average age for retirement in the U.S. has jumped to 62 in 2014, up from 59 in 2010, he writes.
“As a result, our economy is less productive than it could be, and that trend is expected to continue for the next 35 years unless something is done to turn it around,” Molinski writes.
Actually, when the traditional work cycle was alive and well decades ago, life expectancy was a bit younger than it is now. So, more people have more energy and, at least in theory, get “old” much later in life.
That isn’t to say that everyone WANTS to keep working later in life. Most of us, unless we really love our jobs, want to retire as soon as we are able. Also, many of us do not want to be FORCED to retire before we are able.
The key to making the work cycle work for you is to be retirement-able as soon as possible. You might decide to keep working even if you can retire, or you may be forced to retire before you want to. The key here is to make whatever you do YOUR choice. Circumstances may hit you in the face, but if you have options, you can hit back.
One option is to save and invest wisely throughout your working years, starting at the youngest age possible. Another is to have a Plan B, at which you work part time during your working years that will help you save money and earn an income that could enhance your options. There are many ways to do that, for those willing to look for them. If you’d like to check out one of the best, message me.
Working longer because you want to is commendable. Working longer because you have to could be torturous. At the youngest age possible, everyone should be thinking about how to enhance his or her options as life, and the labor force, takes its turns.
If you are an older worker and are able to retire, perhaps you should think about the younger person who really needs your job. If you are a younger worker and see many people working past when you think they should retire, don’t resent them. Instead, learn from them.
Peter

THE SINCERE PLEASURE AND AUDACITY OF GETTING OLDER

#gettingolder #gettingold #aging
Young people worry about everything – their looks, their climb up the corporate ladder, how their children will turn out etc.
For Dominque Browning, who recently turned 60, aging has become liberating. All those things she worried about in her youth she now finds almost laughable. Oh, and her excuse? “I’m too old for this,” she says.
Browning tackled the topic of aging in a liberating way in a New York Times article. It was also published in the summer of 2015 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
As a young person, you tend to believe that you want to be young forever. You hear older people lament that “youth is wasted on the young.” In other words, you’d love to have had the wisdom and years of knowledge that you have at age 60 when you were, say, 30.
Browning writes that a younger woman advised her that “old” may be the wrong word. Perhaps at 60 she is too wise for this, or too smart for this. “But old is the word I want,” she writes.
“I’ve earned it.”
She writes that women inflict torture on themselves by obsessing about things. “If we don’t whip ourselves into loathing, then mean girls, hidden like trolls under every one of life’s bridges, will do it for us,” Browning writes.
Instead, she writes, one should be happy that the body one has is healthy, presuming it is. She says she’s too old for skintight jeans, 6-inch stilettos, tattoos or green hair.
Let’s look at the wider picture. Let’s say you are 50 years old, and have been told you are no longer needed at your job. You look at other jobs, perhaps ones that may be more physically demanding. Do you tell yourself, “I’m too old for this?”
Or, do you take on one of those jobs to prove that you aren’t too old, presuming the employer hires you – and there’s certainly no guarantee of that.
Employers generally see age as a disadvantage, no matter what the job. They may not be allowed by law to discriminate, but there’s nothing telling them they can’t tell you – the older worker – that they have chosen someone else. If you try to prove age discrimination, good luck. You’ll need all the evidence you can find, and you still may not succeed.
So what to do if that predicament arises at 50? Or even younger? There are many ways out there to earn money, without a traditional job. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. If you like what you see, you might be able to one day gleefully show the employer who dumped you that you didn’t need him after all.
Imagine seeing your children, or younger colleagues, sweating each day as they go to work. They don’t know when they might get shown the door. It might come at a worse time for them than it did for you. But you will have done what you needed to do to put your life in order again, perhaps even making it more prosperous in the process.
How fun would it be if those younger folks presented you with the trials and tribulations of the working world, and you could say to yourself, “I’m too old for this.”
Remember, it’s best not to gloat, and to keep one’s thoughts to oneself in that regard. However, if you are reaching, shall we say, advanced age milestones, don’t fret. Use the wisdom you’ve gathered, and the energy you still have to create a second, and perhaps more prosperous and rewarding, life.
As discussed previously, wishers wish they were young again. Dreamers don’t care how old they are. There is so much to be said for being older, and not having to face the insecurities many young people face today. If you are older, you’ve lived in some good times. Now it’s time to do what you must to make your future even better.
Peter

OLDER WORKERS STARTING BUSINESSES AT INCREASING RATE

Jody Reeves, 53, dreams of starting a neighborhood seafood shop in Atlanta.
Will she fulfill her dream?
Research shows that the number of Baby Boomers starting businesses is increasing, according to a report by David Markiewicz, a business writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His report was published Sunday, Dec. 9. 2012.
Mind you, most businesses are still being launched by 20-somethings or 30-somethings. But those in the older set, who decades ago looked forward putting their feet up, collecting a pension and relaxing, are launching businesses by increasing numbers. Markiewicz quotes figures from the Kauffman Foundation, which says the number of people 50 and older launching businesses has increased every year in each of the last 10 years.
Also, Markiewicz reports, the percentage of new entrepreneurs ages 55 to 64 has grown to 20.9 percent as of 2011, from 14.3 percent in 1996.
What’s behind this trend? There is a combination of dreams and realities at work here.
For some, starting a business has been a lifelong dream that had to be postponed for years because they needed a steady income to raise families. Back when the 50-somethings were in their 20s, starting a business was risky. Having a job was not nearly as risky. One tends to be risk-averse when security is there for the taking.
In this economy, however, there are new realities. Having a job is more risky than starting a business. Companies are outsourcing tasks to avoid hiring people. So, instead of doing a task for a company as an employee, the company can hire you as a contractor to accomplish the same thing. No guaranteed salary and benefits to pay. No sick pay. No pension contributions. No disability payments.
Some Baby Boomers have found themselves out of a job, but not ready, able or eligible to retire. They have had to start over at the back end of their careers. They are starting businesses out of necessity, and hoping they can succeed.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS
According to Markiewicz’s report, Reeves doesn’t know whether her seafood shop will ever become a reality. “ Some days, it’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, I can do this.’ Other days, I think I might just be better off to go work at Target,” Markiewicz quotes her.
There are a few considerations for anyone of any age when thinking about starting a business. First, do you have what it takes to make it through the launch phase, which could take years, before you see anything resembling a steady profit? Rule of thumb: if you need a paycheck tomorrow, this might not be for you – at least not now.
Secondly, patience and perseverance are essential. If you are the type to try something that may not work initially, then give up on it, starting a business may not be for you.
Thirdly, if you’d love to ditch your boss – if you haven’t already been ditched — but don’t know what you would do instead, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. There are lots of ways to make money without having a job. This is one of the best. If you are intrigued, you might think about getting set up BEFORE you have to, so that when you are shown the door, or when you can’t take it anymore, you can walk out with a smile because you’ve prepared for it.
Putting one’s feet up in retirement is a nice thought. But, to paraphrase poet Robert Burns and novelist John Steinbeck, the best laid plans may not come to fruition, through no fault of yours. Speaking “Of Mice and Men,” getting out of the rat race before the rats win is the best thing anyone can do.
Don’t wait until you’ve lost the race. Take a little time now to prepare so that the rats can only THINK that they’ve won. You will know something the rats don’t know.
Peter