As reported on MSNBC older workers are indeed delaying retirement, hanging on to a paycheck, or trying to find a new one. An AARP survey of over 1,000 people conducted just this past December showed that over half of the respondents who were working or looking for a job, and had seen their retirement funds reduced, were out looking for a job. Robert Dobkin was supposed to retire on April 1st, now his retirement is postponed indefinitely. "I felt that I was in a good position to retire until the market kept going down and down and the economy ground to a halt," said Dobkin, 67. "I just figured there's no point in retiring in this time of uncertainty until I have a better feel for where the economy is going." Dobkin is not alone. According to the AARP, average retirement age is on the rise.
The Los Angeles Times details some stories of how jobless seniors are trying to head back to work, and the specific challenges they face. "Older employees are often wrongly perceived as being overqualified, overpriced, technologically challenged and inflexible," said Gene Burnard, publisher of the job-listing web site Workforce50.com. In response, older job seekers are heading to community colleges to improve their technical skills.
There is hope for older workers, as The Wall Street Journal notes that the global recession isn't only a challenge to the worker seeking a job, it's a challenge to employers as well. A survey of more than 28,000 employers across 25 countries determined that less than a quarter have strategies to recruit older workers and keep them on board. Employers assume that all employees want to leave work as soon as they are financially able to do so. But in the current economic climate, more employees may be willing to work for much longer. A new approach to talent management will impact how workers prepare for retirement. Some countries are already developing incentives to companies for employing older workers, because sustainable growing economies will not be possible without employees in mid- and late-career.
Tom Fallon of Seals Beach has been looking for a sales position for three months. Each day he puts on a dress shirt, carries business cards, keeps his Blackberry handy, and stays ready for a recruitment call. He's not giving up. "Maybe in a year I'll be too tired to do this," he said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "But right now I feel like I'm 39."