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The New Addition to the Workforce: Seniors

There is a large group of people, aged 50+ that are currently financially supporting their children and their parents, making it harder for them to make ends meet. There are over 3 million seniors or near-seniors looking for full-time employment and millions more looking for part-time work. Seniors are finding that to make ends meet and have a financially secure retirement they need additional income especially now that people are living longer than ever before. The good news is jobs are available, companies are hiring “seasoned” workers, and there are programs to help those aged 50 and older find the type of work that is right for them.

If you are age 50 or more, the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) runs a program called BACK TO WORK 50+ that targets workers who previously worked at moderate-income level jobs but who may lack the education level and computer skill sets that presents a barrier to employment in situations that lead to better economic security. There is also SCSEP, the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which is the only federal program targeted to help older workers. AARP works in conjunction with SCSEP and provides employers with qualified candidates who are pre-screened for placement. These programs support the employer in finding a skilled worker at a low cost and allow the senior to bypass the interview process. Both of these programs will train seniors to give them the skills and confidence they need to find a job so that they can provide for themselves financially. According to AARP, senior employment is becoming so prevalent that by the year 2022, workers aged 50 or more will comprise thirty-five percent of the workforce.

If you are a senior with a college degree and solid computer skills, AARP can also help place you in a meaningful work environment. More than 500 companies nationwide have signed the AARP Employer Pledge “We believe in equal opportunity for all workers, regardless of age, and that 50+ workers should have a level playing field in their ability to compete for and obtain jobs. Recognizing the value of experienced workers, we pledge to recruit across diverse age groups and to consider all applicants on an equal basis as we hire for positions within our organization.” This pledge affirms the value of an experienced senior worker and many companies are on board. The belief is that a workforce that leverages talent from all age groups is a stronger workforce. Jobs AARP and other employer resources connect 50+ job seekers with employers who recognize the value of experience that comes with a more senior and seasoned worker. These companies who have signed the pledge are on the AARP job boards, in the job search tools, and even participate in online recruiting fairs.

As more seniors are becoming computer savvy, remote work opportunities are becoming more popular and mainstream. Companies do not have to provide a physical workspace and employees have no commute and no need to spend money on proper work attire; overhead is lower for the employer and the employee. Seniors can use the AARP tools to find legitimate online job prospects. If a senior prefers to work with people for socialization purposes as well as earned income, the senior living industry has excellent opportunities and needs workers. Senior living facilities management acknowledges the expertise, dependability, and worth ethic that is common in the mature workforce. Currently, there are high rates of staff turnover in senior living environments, and a senior employee can make a positive difference in the rate of employee retention.

There is an undeniable benefit to remaining active as you age and work is a significant component of that activity. Old notions of ageism are changing at precisely the right moment to help you create a better retirement living situation for yourself through additionally earned income. If you are 50+ and looking for work, take advantage of these national programs to identify the right job for you.  There is no better time than now to look forward to your own retirement needs and have the peace of mind that additional income brings.

It is essential to meet with an ElderCounsel attorney to ensure that you are increasing income without reducing benefits available to you. You don’t want to cross a threshold that would deny you a government benefit unless it would be financially beneficial.  Many components need to be considered to plan a successful retirement. Please contact us today at (570) 288-1800 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal matters.

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