Job-hunting boomers, un-retiring seniors: today's employment scene

Coming un-retired is suddenly popular. Out of boredom or (more often) out of necessity, increasing numbers of seniors are reportedly re-entering the workforce. And in the words of one job-seeking 66-year-old friend, “It ain’t much fun, and it sure ain’t easy.”

There are allies in unlikely places. AARP, customarily focused on things like leisure time activities and senior fitness, now offers career transition seminars, and features a job search engine that directs its members to “age-friendly” employers or companies seeking the “skills and experience” of the over-50 population.

And about those over-50s who haven’t reached Medicare age yet?

You’re 50, recently laid off, and now forced to figure out what work you’ll do for the next 15 years or more and how you’ll ever retire.

You’d dreamed of leaving your job at 65, vacationing in Tuscany, taking a trip around the world, or perhaps spending your afternoon on the golf course. But the reality is the economic downturn has tripled the number of unemployed workers ages 55 to 64 over the past two years, compared with a doubling in the overall unemployment rate.

That means right now, for you, Job Number One is figuring out the next career you’ll embark on. This is the “new retirement” that many Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) must now envision.

A recent CNBC action plan has both harsh facts and good suggestions for Boomers in this all-too-common bind.

The rise in job losses, grim prospects for Social Security benefits, and paltry personal savings has created a situation where many Boomers must put off retirement from the workforce because they simply cannot afford it. Even before the recession, the Congressional Budget Office predicted the Social Security Administration would be doling out more money than it took in by 2020, which would deplete the trust fund and cause a severe cut in benefits by 2043.

The action plan, one lead-up to a Tom Brokaw Reports: Boomer$ program airing on CNBC in early March, offers advice both practical (if you’re lucky enough to have a job, forget about retiring) and strictly financial (contribute the max to your 401(k)). And among the potential steps to consider: start a little side business of your own. It’s a good time for entrepreneurs, and one thing is indeed certain — you won’t have any trouble finding potential workers.

via News Headlines.


  1. It’s so tough out here in this southern california county we have:

    1. a judge retired on a $122,000 pension seeking to be county treasurer-tax collector

    2. a retired CHP on $155,000 pension seeking to be county clerk

    3. retired assistant DA seeking to fill her husbands shoes, when he retires as a judge

    Things are tough all over: it is so tough here in california we don’t have enough available beach homes for the 10,000 state and public school employees who are bringing home $100,000 plus pensions

    And there are just not enough good high paying second government jobs for these folks

    1. My suspicion, Andy, is the the tough times that ARE happening for a lot of Boomers and Beyonders have some relationship to the hardly tough times you cite. I think a constitutional convention might be the only route California can take to get out of the ridiculous mess we’re in… but I’m not holding my breath.

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