Retirees as Job Market Assets. (Business & Finance)
Challenger, John A., USA TODAY
AFTER YEARS OF WORKING as a bookkeeper and 15 years of selling dental supplies, Florence Klein decided it was time to do what she wanted to do as opposed to what she thought she should be doing. She entered Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, N.Y., at age 70 in 1992 with no particular idea of what to study, but quickly found her niche in the mental health and human services curriculum, taking the first step toward fulfilling a lifelong desire to become a therapist.
After receiving her associate degree in 1994, Klein went on to earn a bachelor's degree in behavioral science in 1997 at The City University of New York and New York City Technical Institute. Today, at 80, she has her own practice specializing in grief therapy, helping individuals and their family members cope with the challenges of chronic illnesses and death.
Klein represents a growing new trend among Americans who are living longer than ever and have seen their retirement savings shrink due to stock market turmoil. More and more of these seniors are entering the workforce upon completion of their reeducation. Klein was ahead of her time in this respect, but she is a great example of the vitality and spirit that is driving seniors back to college and back into the workforce.
A survey of workers over 45 by the American Association of Retired Persons found that 69% plan to continue working in retirement. About 75% of those surveyed said money is a major reason why. Fifty-six percent indicated that they will need to work in order to pay for escalating health care costs.
A growing amount of companies are significantly reducing or entirely eliminating retiree medical plans. This may be another factor forcing retirees to return to work. Meanwhile a study by Watson Wyatt found that 20% of employers studied have eliminated retiree medical plans for new hires.
Currently, there are about 4,500,000 Americans 65 and over working or looking for work, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is up 32% from 3,400,000 in 1992.
The ability of seniors to reenter the labor force and find jobs has no doubt been aided by the fact that more of them are enrolling …
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Publication information: Article title: Retirees as Job Market Assets. (Business & Finance). Contributors: Challenger, John A. - Author. Magazine title: USA TODAY. Volume: 131. Issue: 2696 Publication date: May 2003. Page number: 24+. © 2009 Society for the Advancement of Education. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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