It seems that, although we are living longer and healthier lives, our employment may not continue as long as we are willing and able to work. In the last few decades I have seen a pattern of “downsizing” once employees hit their mid to late 50s. Perhaps it is because the people around me have been hitting this age group, but the pattern seems pretty set these days. I continue to marvel that employees in this demographic are surprised when their pink slips come in. It does not seem to be anything personal, but it does seem predictable.
So what do we do prepare for this unpleasant event?
First, recognize that there is a good chance that it will happen to us.
- Whether written or unspoken, most companies recognize that our “experience” comes at a cost and we can be replaced by more than one “youngster” for the salary we are being paid.
- The “experience” we evidence through our gray hair is constantly weighed against the benefits of technological prowess of those who are younger than us. All that technology that we fight to master seems to just flow in the veins of our younger co-workers.
- Younger workers do not follow the work patterns that older employees do and they are often able to accomplish more in the time given.
Second, prepare for the inevitability of life after employment.
- Whether we retire on our own schedules or have retirement thrust upon us, we need to face the responsibility of preparing for our futures. The pennies we have saved in prior years should have grown into dollars by now, but have we put enough of them aside?
- We need to take a very honest assessment of our financial picture and, if it is not as rosy as we would like, we need to create a plan to salvage what time is left to us.
Third, we need to get a very clear picture of our health.
- If we have postponed medical exams, eye visits and dental appointments, get them scheduled now. Coverage under employer plans is normally richer than what we are able to purchase individually.
- We need to create a plan for continued good health. Mastering techniques that help us create discipline in the areas of diet, exercise and stress will pay huge dividends in our futures.
- Remember that the quickest way to sink our financial boats is by incurring medical expenses. Making proactive choices to improve our health now will help us to avoid having to make expensive crisis-driven decisions later.
We at CDA Inc. are here to help you on your road to the inevitable time after work ends. We are here to educate you, challenge you and support you on your quest to a successful retirement.