Age Discrimination is the New Reality in Job Market Says Guest Expert Dave Opton
Posted in March 11th, 2009
By Dave Opton, CEO and Founder of Execunet, AARP member, exclusive for WWDS.
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If you are anything like me, while you always knew there were laws against age discrimination on an intellectual level, it wasn’t until you got out there in the real world looking to make a change at say 45+ that you came to internalize emotionally age discrimination was more than a phrase you read about from time to time but actually came with raw nerve endings. To understate the case, not a great feeling.
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Unfortunately, you’re right. Exponentially.
From a societal pov, with the market crash killing 401ks and “savings”, as well as the home value crash, “we” as a society have a big problem. “We” are raising the social security retirement age, and more importantly the Medicare age. And, “companies” are shooting anyone under 40 at their first opportunity. How many “consultants” can our economy support?
As you know, I’m advising turkeys that after 50, they will find it IMPOSSIBLE to get another salaried position. (Now that may be a SLIGHT exageration, but NOT MUCH!)
I’ve revised my “emergency fund required” formula. The age component multiplier goes from a one multiplier at ages below forty to a plus one multiplier for every five years of age OVER 40. (That is 40-45 is DOUBLE; 50-55 is quadruple; 60-65 is five times. SHOCKING? You should see the old farts, myself included, who I tell that they will never work again at a salaried job like the old days! Their stunned. Some have high school age or younger kids in second marriages. Are they surpprised!)
This reflects the reality that “jobs” are really hard to come by.
I tell anyone who will listen that: “Success for future generations is: (1) ruthless financial discipline — no bad debt; (2) a life long interest in learning — education — a degree — they can’t take it away from you; (3) a white collar job in order to save big bux; (4) a blue collar skill for hard times — never saw a poor plumber; (5) one or more internet based businesses — your store is always open; (6) a free time hobby that generates income; and (7) a large will-maintained network of people who can “help” you.” Funny how no one believes me?
ERISA changed the corporate behavior of discharging “old” aerospace engineers before their pensions would vest. SO to we will need such a “game changer” to allow us to “bridge” “old age” to retirement.
I suggest that old farts, or those soon to be old farts, like myself, INSIST on an employment contract before they jump to the next opportunity. Can’t get it; be advised! You’ll soon be screwed. We have to change from an “at will” employment culture to something else.
the big fat old turkey hisself
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