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Where older folks work
Old 06-02-2008, 07:10 AM   #1
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Where older folks work

Just one word for older job-seekers: retail - Los Angeles Times

Retirement-age people are most likely to be working in stores, an Urban Institute study says.

In recent years, the question of exactly where older workers were employed has baffled those who have seen conflicting trends ripple through the nation's job sites: More older Americans say they want or need to work past traditional retirement age, but employers are still reluctant to retain or hire them.

One result is that there has been little solid information about where people beyond the average retirement age of 63 work in greatest numbers, a critical issue especially now as benefits shrink and recession looms.

But statistics from the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research group based in Washington, show for the first time that those 65 or older and still working in America are statistically most likely to do retail, farming or janitorial work, in that order.
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:10 AM   #2
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"Welcome to Wal-Mart!"

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Old 06-02-2008, 08:12 AM   #3
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Interesting article. Thanks!
It do seem that the seniors I have seen working at Home Depot seem mighty happy. Maybe they're on to something?
My father and grandfather retired at 82. Both in retail for long periods of their life. Of course, they owned the stores (big difference, I suspect). But they enjoyed their lives, I do know that.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:49 AM   #4
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"Welcome to Wal-Mart!"



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Old 06-02-2008, 12:04 PM   #5
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I wouldn't mind w**king, even in retail, if I just had time...
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:52 PM   #6
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I know around here that during the week, retail store clerks are mostly my age or older. The sackers at the grocery stores too. Our new grocery store even hires older guys to hand pick your grocery cart as you walk in the door. I'm sure those fellows really like their jobs, but I really don't need anyone picking out my grocery cart. I like the little ones and they always want to give me the BIG ones.
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:10 PM   #7
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I know around here that during the week, retail store clerks are mostly my age or older. The sackers at the grocery stores too. Our new grocery store even hires older guys to hand pick your grocery cart as you walk in the door. I'm sure those fellows really like their jobs, but I really don't need anyone picking out my grocery cart. I like the little ones and they always want to give me the BIG ones.
It's a bit weird to go shopping and realize many of the employees are older than yourself (and I'm 57).
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Old 06-02-2008, 05:56 PM   #8
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I know around here that during the week, retail store clerks are mostly my age or older. The sackers at the grocery stores too. Our new grocery store even hires older guys to hand pick your grocery cart as you walk in the door. I'm sure those fellows really like their jobs, but I really don't need anyone picking out my grocery cart. I like the little ones and they always want to give me the BIG ones.
Same where I live. Everyone at all grocery stores near me (except management) is either very young or very old, no one in between. And not all of them by any means, but many of the older employees have a 'damn unhappy to be here' attitude, very sad.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:23 PM   #9
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I guess that I have seen a few older retail folks and they seem to have a good attitude...I suspect that not all HAVE to be there but might be looking to get out of the house...
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:54 PM   #10
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I have talked with a few of the people at Lowes, Home Depot, and the grocery store who are my age and older about why they're there, because I was thinking about it.

All said they just wanted something to do, that they got bored. One spoke of another who was a multi-millionaire and just got bored with traveling. He just wanted something to do. One was a lady in her 50's who worked a 20-hour week for the medical benefits for her and her daughter, but she seemed to like her job. Most worked part time during the hours they wanted.

The ones who seem unhappy to be there must be in it for health insurance, I've seen a few of those too.

I'm going back to work because yeah, I got bored, and for some pricey toys. If fuel prices make a travel trailer unreasonable then maybe I'll get a Harley or a light sport airplane. It pays a lot better than Lowes. That is, if the federal government ever gets the paperwork right. Whoever heard of the feds screwing up the paperwork! But working is now forever optional so it's a whole different perspective.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:40 PM   #11
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I suspect that not all HAVE to be there but might be looking to get out of the house...
You must have spoke to my wife (she works; I'm retired, at home )...

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Old 06-03-2008, 04:19 PM   #12
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Thanks for posting this interesting article. While I sympathize with those older workers who have to work (and hate it), the article makes me feel a little better because I know that if I had to go back to work, the only type of job I could get would be retail. When I read some magazines about fantastically rewarding second careers for "retirees," I often feel badly about myself and my lack of such opportunities. But as a more realistic person points out in the article:

"These are not exactly the pictures of reinvention that you get in your monthly issue of Fortune, Money or AARP magazine," said Marc Freedman, author of "Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life." This is "an object lesson in the dangers of what could happen if we don't develop a compelling human resource strategy for an aging society."

I always worried about being employed in my field as an occupational therapist as I got older (this was back when I thought I'd want/have to work until 65). You seldom see physical therapists in their fifties and sixties. Yet another thing I didn't consider when choosing a career.....
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Parttime job in retirement
Old 06-04-2008, 02:10 PM   #13
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Parttime job in retirement

I plan on getting a part time job at a bookstore in order to earn my last few Social Security credits, so that I will be eligible for Social Security when I turn 62. After all, I have worked for the Feds since I was 19 years old. It will be reduced by the so-called Windfall Elimination Program, but something is better than nothing. Besides I can wander around a bookstore for a couple hours before I realize the time. So I might as well get paid for it.

My other plan is to get a job at Walmart; contact the United Food and Commercial Workers Union; start a union organizing campaign; Walmart will fire me for that; then when the union finally wins before the National Labor Relations Board, I will collect all my back pay and get my Social Security credits without having to work for it.
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Old 06-04-2008, 02:40 PM   #14
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"These are not exactly the pictures of reinvention that you get in your monthly issue of Fortune, Money or AARP magazine," said Marc Freedman, author of "Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life." This is "an object lesson in the dangers of what could happen if we don't develop a compelling human resource strategy for an aging society."
I've read his books, and he can't be considered even remotely anything approaching unbiased or objective. In addition he can't spell "ER", let alone consider the possiblity of retirement.

He's the guy who has real job insecurity. I think his own personal human resource strategy is to work until he drops at his desk.

If that works for him, and makes him happy, then I'm content to let him keep donating his payroll taxes to my SS/Medicare recovery fund.
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Old 06-13-2008, 06:23 AM   #15
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He's the guy who has real job insecurity. I think his own personal human resource strategy is to work until he drops at his desk.
I just finished Encore: Amazon.com: Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life: Marc Freedman: Books

This is the first of Freedman's books I've read, and the first of this genre. I disagree with your summary of his philosophy. Shifting from working for income maximization to working for 'positive impact' maximization is far different than 'working until you drop [dead] at your desk'. The Encore book is particularly strong in describing the history of the concept of retirement, and how it is evolving as Boomers 'retire'. It's not heavy reading, and you can finish the book in an evening. Recommended.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:09 PM   #16
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I plan on getting a part time job at a bookstore in order to earn my last few Social Security credits, so that I will be eligible for Social Security when I turn 62...... Besides I can wander around a bookstore for a couple hours before I realize the time. So I might as well get paid for it.
Be prepared to work nights and weekends where the biggest demand for part timers resides. And bear in mind most positions are for cashiers, shelf stockers, etc. Not many openings for "wanderers."
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:22 PM   #17
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I just finished Encore: Amazon.com: Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life: Marc Freedman: Books

This is the first of Freedman's books I've read, and the first of this genre. I disagree with your summary of his philosophy. Shifting from working for income maximization to working for 'positive impact' maximization is far different than 'working until you drop [dead] at your desk'. The Encore book is particularly strong in describing the history of the concept of retirement, and how it is evolving as Boomers 'retire'. It's not heavy reading, and you can finish the book in an evening. Recommended.
I've just started to look at this book; the following quote jumped out at me. It's from the Kindle free sample so I can't give a page number. The author is making his premise while ignoring obvious demographics:

"The shift toward much longer working lives is already underway. Since the mid-1990s, this inclination has emerged as a significant new pattern, reversing a decades-long trend toward earlier and earlier retirement. Between 2003 and 2005, workers over 55 comprised the fastest-growing group of employees in the country, with employment among those older workers growing 10.5 percent. The group with the second-fastest growth rate, workers 45-54 years old, grew by 4.1 percent. The number of workers between 25 and 44 actually declined."

Am I mis-reading it?
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:26 PM   #18
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The end of June will mark two years of happy ER for me! With the sad economy giving me a few concerns (probably unfounded) about portfolio survivability, I've thought about part time work but a few brief job searches have always come up with:

1. If it looks like fun the pay is so low it hardly seems worth locking myself into a schedule....... Or........

2. If it pays decently it involves reviving rapidly fading MegaCorp skills I'd rather let drift away. (Some professional certifications have expired, others are approaching expiration with less than zero interest on my part to renew, etc.)

DW, on the other hand, enjoys a part paid, part volunteer Mon - Thurs schedule (summers off, no nights or weekends) working with special ed children in a nearby school district. I'm hoping the 2009/2010 school year will be her last. The school district and parents feel otherwise....... It's hard to keep myself from trying to influence her!
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:13 AM   #19
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Here are the quotes from Freedman's book that I thought were worth saving:

p.11 This book tells the story of an incipient movement of individuals who embody a powerful alternative, who are living out a distinct and compelling vision of work in the second half of life, one built around the dream of an "encore career" at the intersection of continued income, new meaning, and significant contribution to the common good.

p.56 ...these pioneers are not celebrating their freedom from work, but rather their freedom to work, in ways that hold the promise of personal fulfillment, economic benefit, and social renewal.

p.105 Laslett's new map of life is built around the emergence of what he called the "third age," which follows the first age of childhood and adolescence and the second of child rearing and midlife careers, but precedes the fourth age - the time of frailty and decline. Defying conventional wisdom, Laslett views the development of the third age as an individual and societal triumph, "the crown of life." At the heart of his thinking is the simple insight that individuals at this juncture have, for a protracted period and in large numbers, both experience and time.

Marc Freedman, Encore

Comment: I'm a 'third-ager' and didn't even know it. I guess I should look up Laslett one of these days.
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:04 PM   #20
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All said they just wanted something to do, that they got bored. ...

But working is now forever optional so it's a whole different perspective.
I find this to be true also. Working because I WANT to work rather than because I HAVE to work is liberating. Not having anything to do (that has to get done) does get boring after awhile.

If I ever end up in a bad work situation now, I can just not renew my contract when it's completed and move on. If it takes a while to find another assignment, I only have to make the minor adjustment of using investment income to pay living expenses for awhile. Otherwise, my investment income is left to compound while I use job income to pay living expenses and come home every night exhausted and happy.
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