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TroveStreet® Wisdom

TroveStreet® Wisdom: Working in my later years

The reason older adults decide to keep — or go back to — working differs for everyone, but there is one common trend: traditional retirement is being redefined.

Maybe you’re working now and looking for something that better aligns with your passions. Maybe you’re retired but want to pick up a full- or part-time job again. Or maybe your financial situation requires you to go back into the workforce.

Whatever the reason, there are countless opportunities to find paid work that speaks to your gifts and fulfills you as a person. You owe it to yourself to find the right fit.

Earning income in retirement doesn’t have to look like a traditional job, either. Mentorship, apprenticeship, and entrepreneurship benefit you and others — while putting money in your pocket.

A new vocation can also be a source of renewed energy in midlife and beyond. For many, new passions aren’t uncovered or pursued until later in life: Julia Childs hit her stride in cooking, Colonel Sanders in chicken, and Samuel L. Jackson in acting.

Did You Know?

Someone just starting a career can expect to work for 60 years or more. As the baby boomer generation ages, it’s now common to have four or five generations in the workplace:

Adapting to Today’s Workforce

If you are planning to re-enter the workforce or change jobs, you may need to add to your skill set. Some level of technological skill is required just to apply for many jobs. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help:

  • AARP has a trove of advice for job seekers, including a list of age-friendly companies, specific job listings, and advice on upgrading job skills.
  • Encore.org, a resource community built on helping people find maximum fulfillment in their second act, features both inspiring case stories, practical advice, and connections.
  • Indeed and Monster provide resume tips to help keep your resume updated, relevant, and competitive.

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination in the workplace is very real. We hear story after story: The manager who negatively described you. Not being considered for that promotion opportunity. The higher performance standards you were held to. The assumptions someone made about your abilities that perpetuate aging stereotypes. The after-hours event you weren’t invited to.

Sometimes, age bias isn’t always obvious. It can also show up in the day-to-day details like:

  • Culture (e.g., tone and quality of relationships)
  • Communications (e.g., accessibility of images, fonts, language)
  • Physical office (e.g., furniture and equipment)
  • Professional development (e.g., opportunities and teaching tools)
  • Recruitment
  • Benefits
  • Expectations and accountability
  • Retirement transitions
  • Organizational structure
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Misconceptions
  • Perks and offerings

You deserve to have the best work life possible. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against any individual age 40 or older with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training.

If you have not reached full retirement age, make sure you understand how much income you can earn without jeopardizing your social security.

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