Nearly Retired Workers Staying Put

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2009-03-18 Print this article Print

Job site Careerbuilder released a study yesterday showing, not surprisingly, that workers over 60 years old are having to stay working for a lot longer than they wanted or expected given the economy and state of their retirement savings.

This story has been done to death by the mainstream media, but it's still interesting to see the issue further validated by numbers--even in an online poll. The online survey done by Harris Interactive for Careerbuilder polled a total of 8,038 full time employees. That's a pretty large sample size.

Here's some pertinent info from the press release:

One-in-ten workers (11 percent) over the age of 60 who are putting off retirement say that the decrease to their savings may now cause them to never retire, while 73 percent think it will take them up to 6 years of extra work to recoup their lost savings. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) feels they can make their money back by working an additional year or two.

"Mature workers may be feeling the pinch of this difficult economy more than others because of their impending plans for retirement," said Jason Ferrara, Senior Career Advisor at CareerBuilder. "Mature workers who are returning to the work force to offset their retirement losses will likely encounter many of the same challenges that workers of any age are facing today. However, their level of knowledge and experience and network of professional contacts will work to their advantage in a competitive job market."

I agree that having a strong, seasoned network of contact can only help, but it doesn't necessarily get to the heart of the matter for these folks which is how do you start over again when you know your age is the elephant in the room? No doubt that it's scary for everyone looking for work right now, but for those over 60 who expected a certain nest egg to be there for the rest of their days, it's got be an incredibly difficult time right now.

I know this was not the point of this specific study, but I wish these studies would address those kinds of age issues more directly and help give advice on how to use age to your advantage. Talking about the depth of a network is good, but it's really not enough.

The elephant in the room for Careerbuilder is that they want press for their mature worker site, PrimeCB, which by all means has good information and a smart place to post your resume, understand trends and get some advice. Job sites are an important piece of any job search, and this may be a totally new experience for those "mature" workers. But again, it would be refreshing to see one of these sites tackle ageism head on, and not saturate the content and research with advice that applies to everyone. |

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