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For More Americans, Retirement Can Wait
Newhouse News ^ | 6/23/2008 | Ted Roelofs

Posted on 06/24/2008 1:47:23 PM PDT by Incorrigible

For More Americans, Retirement Can Wait

By TED ROELOFS
  Image

Julie Johnson, 68, of Grand Rapids, Mich., has been helping a nonprofit to organize and fill new residential space for the homeless. (Photo by Emily Zoladz)

   

[Grand Rapids, MI] -- At age 68, Julie Johnson is something of a fixer for the Heartside neighborhood nonprofit housing agency in Grand Rapids, Mich. Give her a tough job, and she will find a way.

"I like to get things done,'' said Johnson, a former community college administrator.

As the American work force continues to gray, millions of workers are rewriting the rules of retirement. And in the bargain, many employers are finding that experience trumps youth.

Findings from AARP say the number of workers age 50 and older will only increase — no surprise, as most of 76 million baby boomers enter their 50s and 60s.

It is estimated that in 2012, nearly 20 percent of the work force will be age 55 and older, up from 13 percent in 2000. It also found that 68 percent of workers older than 50 who have not yet retired plan to work into their retirement years or not retire at all.

"It's a different world we are living in,'' said Jacqueline Morrison, associate director for economic security and work for AARP Michigan.

"Retirement as a gold watch is actually being redefined by the boomer generation. The scenario of just retiring at 62 and playing golf is not as attractive as it used to be.''

To be sure, work is not all milk and honey for older employees. Many return to or remain at work because they have no choice. Others struggle to find their way in a fast-changing marketplace.

"They are going back for monetary reasons,'' said Jackie O'Connor, assistant director of the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan.

"They are people who, when they first retire, there are no major expenses. Then the car starts to break down, the house needs a new roof.

"Suddenly your nest egg is being used for more essential things. The pension isn't going to cover that. The savings aren't going to cover that.''

Judy Dalson, a 67-year-old former missionary to Argentina, returned to the United States in 1999 to care for her mother after open heart surgery.

With a Social Security income of just $638 a month, Dalson has no choice but to keep working.

"If I had enough money to retire on, I probably would retire,'' Dalson said.

For the past eight years, Dalson has worked for the Diocese of Grand Rapids, where she is employed as an administrative assistant in its Hispanic ministry office. Dalson considers herself fortunate that her health is good enough so she can.

"I enjoy my work,'' she said. "I will probably keep working as long as I am able to.''

Grand Rapids resident Liz VandenBrink, 70, retired five years ago from her job at a floral distribution center.

Divorced, with a house payment and just a small amount of savings, she discovered soon enough her finances were pinched.

"It just wasn't enough for me to make it on my own,'' VandenBrink said.

She found a job as receptionist for the Area Agency on Aging, bringing her not only much-needed cash but a new purpose in life.

"I really hope it is going to be a long time. I love it here,'' VandenBrink said. "The friends you make on the job, the people you see when you come in every day — it's just part of your life.''

Former West Virginia resident Sunny Pasquariello, 68, spends her days trying to help low-income workers older than 55 find jobs. She knows firsthand that isn't always easy.

Pasquariello quit a social service job in West Virginia at age 59 to take care of her ailing mother, then struggled to find anything worthwhile after her mother died a couple of years later. She moved to Florida at the urging of a friend, found work with an AARP jobs program — and now runs the program for the Grand Rapids area.

She is a tireless advocate for what older workers can offer an employer.

"They have that old-school work ethic. They are not going to be out partying. Our people are content getting a job and will show up on time.''

AARP's Morrison said companies, mindful of what they are missing, are finding creative ways to attract these workers.

The Borders bookstore chain offers older workers a "snowbird'' package that employs them in Michigan in summer and Florida in winter. Some firms offer subsidized emergency backup elder care for the aging parents of older workers.

"You have to be flexible as an employer,'' Morrison said.

And in some cases, smart employers dip into the retirement pool for what they need.

In 2003, Spartan Stores Inc. looked to the Florida Keys to bag a retired grocery executive named Craig Sturken, 59, in the hope he could revitalize the ailing firm.

The former A&P regional CEO inherited a legacy of woe that included losses in three straight quarters, closed distribution centers and layoffs. But By 2008, the company was reporting a fiscal-year profit increase of 36 percent over the previous year, with sales up 12 percent to $2.5 billion.

(Ted Roelofs is a staff writer for The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press. He can be contacted at troelofs(at)grpress.com.)

Not for commercial use.  For educational and discussion purposes only.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: babyboomers; retirement; seniors
 

All indications are that Baby Boomers (in general) have NOT saved enough for retirement.

 

1 posted on 06/24/2008 1:47:23 PM PDT by Incorrigible
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To: Incorrigible
If this nation takes another giant leap into socialism I'm retiring no matter what.

No more busting my butt just to drag along the wagon-load of freeloaders.

2 posted on 06/24/2008 1:50:55 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Incorrigible

Not here. In four years, one month, we are out of the “Northeast Cesspool of Libs” and heading for greener pastures and early retirement. Now we just have to figure out where the greener pastures are....


3 posted on 06/24/2008 1:52:35 PM PDT by alice_in_bubbaland (Obamamaniacs idiot's one and all !)
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To: Incorrigible
"They are people who, when they first retire, there are no major expenses. Then the car starts to break down, the house needs a new roof".

You mean life goes on? Perish the thought!

4 posted on 06/24/2008 1:52:35 PM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: BenLurkin

No more busting my butt just to drag along the wagon-load of freeloaders.
:::::::
Exactly. Me too. That is why I AM RETIRING in about 4 months!! We Boomers are the leading edge of what will happen the generation that is our children. Socialism will drain them of any ambition and initiative and many will just lay back. That is usually the death of socialism, because it cannot pay for itself.

It destroys the productivity of those that the socialist leaders think are going to pay for it, just like The Obamination, who thinks the top 3-4% of wage earners are going to fund his WORKERS SOCIALIST PARADISE of kept souls who will not pay ANY taxes....It has, and always will be, self-defeating. Just ask Russia, France and Germany.


5 posted on 06/24/2008 1:56:57 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: Incorrigible

I like my job as much as Teddy Kennedy likes his.


6 posted on 06/24/2008 1:57:07 PM PDT by Steely Tom (Without the second, the rest are just politicians' BS.)
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To: Incorrigible
All indications are that Baby Boomers (in general) have NOT saved enough for retirement.

Retirement is OK for a while, then most people wind up dying early while in retirement. Retirement basically means your done, used up, basically good for little.

I don't mind working, as long as I call the shots, take time off when I like, and don't have some no nothing 30 year olds around me.

7 posted on 06/24/2008 2:07:14 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Incorrigible
I am a Boomer, 61 and will not retire. My savings were okay, I just hadn't planned on a wife going nuts and abusing our son!

Once the divorce is finally in place, I will have a modest home with a 30-year mortgage and a son to get through high school and college...and an ex-wife to provide alimony to for another 10 years or so.

As Von Moltke, The Elder once said, "No plan survives contact with the enemy!"

Semper Gumby!

8 posted on 06/24/2008 2:11:25 PM PDT by Redleg Duke ("All gave some, and some gave all!")
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To: dragnet2

Know nothing too!


9 posted on 06/24/2008 2:13:50 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Redleg Duke
Divorces are expensive...BECAUSE THEY ARE WORTH IT!!!

Alimony is an archaic practice. It dates back from the days when women couldn't support themselves. Time for family court to SCRAP alimony. Child support is one thing, but giving alimony payments to an able bodied woman is RIDICULOUS!

10 posted on 06/24/2008 2:14:07 PM PDT by Clemenza (No Comment)
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To: Redleg Duke
I am a Boomer, 61 and will not retire.

Hanging around the home 24/7 get very old, very quick. And unless you have a million laying around to travel on...Well, it gets old.

Not only that, I traveled all over when I was younger. I hate hotels, and living out of a suit case. And now with the punitive air travel it's like visiting a high security prison. I have absolutely little desire left to travel anywhere except for short trips where I can drive myself.

11 posted on 06/24/2008 2:20:05 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Incorrigible
My target income in retirement is $7000 a month for the two of us. If SS is still around, it'll just be gravy, but it's not part of my calculation. Plus, the house will be all paid off and there are no other debts. I think we'll be able to manage.
12 posted on 06/24/2008 2:45:51 PM PDT by AlaskaErik (I served and protected my country for 31 years. Democrats spent that time trying to destroy it.)
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To: dragnet2
Not only that, I traveled all over when I was younger. I hate hotels, and living out of a suit case. And now with the punitive air travel it's like visiting a high security prison. I have absolutely little desire left to travel anywhere except for short trips where I can drive myself.

That's about the way I look at it, although I don't hate hotels as much as you do. 17 years as a C-130 loadmaster took me all over the world. I've literally got years in hotels and billeting. And I also detest flying today because of the crap and boarding gate Nazis you have to deal with.

13 posted on 06/24/2008 2:49:31 PM PDT by AlaskaErik (I served and protected my country for 31 years. Democrats spent that time trying to destroy it.)
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To: Redleg Duke

Hang in there, Redleg. I won’t be able to retire either...I’m 7 years younger than you, and son # 2 just turned 6. By the time he makes it through college, I’ll be a septuagenerian...but a young septuagenerian at that.


14 posted on 06/24/2008 2:52:36 PM PDT by Night Hides Not (John McCain is Lucy, McCainiacs are Charlie Brown, and the football is a secure border.)
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To: Incorrigible; abb; Milhous; SierraWasp; tubebender

Too many of the Boomers and my generation, the forgotten generation didn’t pay attention to their retirement investment programs and let others shred their savings under the guise of managing their money.

Many got wiped out or suffered large losses during the Clintoon bust in his last year. Or they believed the bs the sellers of retirement plans were pushing re “Follow your dreams!”

Others didn’t listen to reason and logic and loaded up their 401k’s and Iras with the stock of the company they worked for. When their company did an Enron, they took severe hits in their retirement savings plans. The losses from these hits will never rebound and in most cases will only get worse.

As many retirees and early buyout guys/gals don’t change their lifestyles when they retire. They keep their same expensive cellphone, upgrade their computers, buy the big screen HDT tvs, get the most expensive satellite or cable system and become the sugar daddy/mommy for their adult kids.

After a year or two, they have burned through their savings and can often be in bad financial situations. We know of many who refied their homes for a luxury car, cruises for their families and them or buying a larger home with no children at home in expensive closed gate communities. They bought the biggest and most expensive SUV’s or luxury cars they could get credit on. Now many of those people are maxed out on their credit cards and not making their high mortgage payments. Most of the time the job market is really brutal for these dreamers.

Another factor with women is their possible longevity. Many in their 60’s have Mothers alive or who lived until their late 80’s or 90’s. So many of these women with the long life family genetics are saying no to retirement. Their employers are wisely letting them work full time or 2-3 days a week. This gives them something to do and with a purpose, money to spend for them and their grandkids and not having to listen to their husbands, who retired and never grew after retirement.

My wife is in great health and at 68 has zero plans to retire. Her employer, a boomer doctor, took early retirement and came back after 9 months to pay the bills and to get back to being busy. His wife’s dad is 96 and still working, taking cruises and enjoying his young 80 something second wife, who owns her own realty company and works 3-5 days a week.


15 posted on 06/24/2008 2:53:28 PM PDT by Grampa Dave ( Kerry was a Uber Liberal, Hussein ObamaMessiaHamas makes Kerry look like Jesse Helms!)
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To: dragnet2

Retirement is OK for a while, then most people wind up dying early while in retirement. Retirement basically means your done, used up, basically good for little.
++++++++++++++++++
Depends on the person. I don’t feel “good for little” at all. I found I don’t need a job to feel a sense of self worth. I keep busy, have time for almost all that needs to get done, have time for my loved ones, my pets, my health.
When I worked I had no time for anything even putting off doctor and dental visits, was exhausted at the end of my 11 hour day as a dept. head and never truly got away from the job. I’m not dying at all. I’m living for the first time in 40 years. Corporatations will kill you a lot faster than retirement.


16 posted on 06/24/2008 2:54:00 PM PDT by Joan Kerrey
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: Joan Kerrey

Depends on what you do.

I don’t work for a corporation, never have, never would...I don’t have a boss, and I am basically self employed, and contract with others if it works for me. Keeps me sharp, makes money, is interesting, plus I have time for whatever.

I much prefer working 2 to 4 days a week. Retirement is not for me.


18 posted on 06/24/2008 3:29:13 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: AlaskaErik
And I also detest flying today because of the crap and boarding gate Nazis you have to deal with.

Testify! I loath going to airports.

19 posted on 06/24/2008 3:30:57 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: Incorrigible
When I retire in a year, I'm gonna turn Democrat and yell, holler and scream to my new buddies at the AARP "Where's my money?".........

Won't make much sense to keep on paying maximum SS payments, increased taxes because of income, increased capital gains taxes, etc....

Actually, I'd never do that, but it is nice to think about sometimes. What I'll do when the increased taxes come is to reduce the percentage of work time enough so that the time off vs. income after taxes is maximized....

20 posted on 06/24/2008 3:38:19 PM PDT by Gaffer
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To: Incorrigible

I worked in an insurance office for 25 years and I hated every single nano second of it. I retired early and have not been bored one second in 15 years. I love housework, cooking, cleaning, running errands. My house is immaculate and it is totally organized from top to bottom inside and out. To me homemaking is productive, satisfying work. I sometimes think I am the only woman in America who loves housework and hates being in an office away from home.


21 posted on 06/24/2008 3:41:51 PM PDT by Hound of the Baskervilles ("Nonsense in the intellect draws evil after it." C.S. Lewis)
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To: Gaffer; qam1
When I retire in a year, I'm gonna turn Democrat and yell, holler and scream to my new buddies at the AARP "Where's my money?".........

I'm old.  Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

 

22 posted on 06/24/2008 3:47:45 PM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: EagleUSA
Socialism will drain them of any ambition and initiative and many will just lay back.

I disagree. Some will succumb, others will go on the black markets, and still others will leave if possible.

23 posted on 06/24/2008 4:09:08 PM PDT by rabscuttle385 ("Facts are stubborn things." –Ronald Reagan)
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To: Incorrigible
When I retire in a year, I'm gonna turn Democrat and yell, holler and scream to my new buddies at the AARP "Where's my money?".........

This article obviously does not sample from the public employee population. Most public employees have a birthright to early retirement no matter how much it costs the taxpayer, nor how much longer the private sector worker must be employed to pay the taxes to provide their regal retirement. Many public employees return to work part-time, essentially receiving full-time pay (with built-in inflation protection) for 1/4 time work.

Please do not argue that lavish retirement benefits compensate for lower public sector compensation. Most states have laws indicating that public sector employees should be paid prevailing compensation. However, the compensation surveys deliberately under report the huge advantage that public sector employees have in retirement compensation. These surveys sometimes claim that public sector employees receive less retirement compensation than private sector employees.

Despite all of the talk about working longer, public sector employees are not listening except to double dip. Any talk of raising the retirement age for public employees is met by howls from public employee groups and their rat allies.

24 posted on 06/24/2008 4:13:22 PM PDT by businessprofessor
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To: Grampa Dave
But, but, but... What about that school teacher I heard about just the other day that on the day she retired after teaching for 25 years, she fell over dead just like Tim Russert!!!

Your reply/post was excellent and loaded with good information. I'm just feeling nutz today after thinking about all the notorious people dying of heart disease lately and the effect on their family's lives... When that old ticker times out, it's lights out on all those retirement dreams and schemes!!!

25 posted on 06/24/2008 4:39:55 PM PDT by SierraWasp (No fool like an old fool! Juan McGore, the Republican McMaverick hates the media's challenging!!!)
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To: rabscuttle385

I disagree. Some will succumb, others will go on the black markets, and still others will leave if possible.
:::::
Certainly those are alternatives. And the bottom line to socialism is the same. These people STOP PRODUCING WEALTH that goes to the socialists’ confiscatory taxation. The sad part is that the damage to the country the socialists will do, will take DECADES to repair after socialism goes broke. The criminal infrastructure that socialism encourages will continue to plague the country for an extended period of time.

Socialism is pure poison and only serves the short-term power madness of those that foster it.


26 posted on 06/24/2008 5:02:02 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: Incorrigible
More than likely correct.

This 62 year old didn't have but modest savings in a IRA with 6 month emergency fund to boot when I retired 3 years ago.

The key, for me at least, was being in the position that I was servicing absolutely no debt.

It really would blow most folks minds to find out how little one can really live on without debt.

27 posted on 06/24/2008 5:02:32 PM PDT by ImpBill ("America, where are you now?")
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To: EagleUSA
When AMERICAN NANNY/WELFARE STATE SOCIALISM is complete, the US middle class is gutted, and the remaining top 20% of earners and arse-busting THINKERS and PRODUCERS tire of pulling the wagon full of leechers, lowlifes and illegals w/their endless free education food stamp anchor babies and a corrupted egalitarian voting populace, I predict many of them will come to the conclusion that the laissez faire, economic freedom incumbent in the American Dream is pretty much dead (except that which can be pursued beyond America's shores). They will start to offshore their properties, investments, and their very selves to get away from such a draining bolshevik handout system taking upwards of 50 to 70% of their earnings--and it is then they will have a rude awakening, about the Financial Berlin Wall the US has been quietly constructing to keep people in the United States and stifle any brain drain or folks seeking their economic freedom. It is coming folks.
28 posted on 06/24/2008 6:52:31 PM PDT by AmericanInTokyo ("Ma'am! Poll captain! Got a printing error on my ballot! See? It has an (R), after McCain's name..")
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To: Incorrigible; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; InShanghai; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.  


29 posted on 06/25/2008 1:06:19 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1

I’m a gen Xer and I’d like to retire someday. My calculations show that I can do it around age 80.


30 posted on 06/25/2008 5:58:08 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Clemenza
"Child support is one thing, but giving alimony payments to an able bodied woman is RIDICULOUS!"

I agree on all points!

It is like being told that since a parasite has been feeding off of you for some amount of time, you need to continue to let it feed off of you for an additional amount of time until it can find another host!

31 posted on 06/25/2008 7:07:58 AM PDT by Redleg Duke ("All gave some, and some gave all!")
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To: alice_in_bubbaland

Missouri.


32 posted on 06/25/2008 10:46:56 AM PDT by gura (R-MO)
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To: gura

My daughter lived in St. Louis county, they taxed everything, your car, sales tax changed depending where you lived. I’m looking to simplify....maybe Utah. :0)


33 posted on 06/25/2008 12:15:11 PM PDT by alice_in_bubbaland (Obamamaniacs idiot's one and all !)
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