Retirees Back To The Workforce?

A Barron’s article this morning tied into the shortage of prospective employees being encountered in the country and especially in my hometown area today.  I was just talking with a good friend who is in the staffing business and he confirmed that there is a decided shortage of experienced prospective employees to fill the openings currently available.  It seemed as though the Barrons people had been listening in on our conversation.  I passed retirement age a while ago and had no intent then, and still have no intent, on ‘retiring’.  That is reserved for the time when I am physically or mentally (or both) unable to work.  So far that has not been the case despite what some might think.

In the area in which I live, there literally are more jobs available than there are people to fill those positions.  That results in excessive overtime, staffing issues of all types, lost business opportunities, etc., etc.  It seems a shame that an arbitrary date should mean that able-bodied, healthy and willing people are ignored as potential applicants for these jobs.

I know that people are living longer today than when the retirement age of 65 was established.  I know that this age was designed to assure that new workers would be able to find employment but that seems now to have been turned on its head.  That is coupled with people being in better health than their contemporaries decades ago at the age prescribed as ‘retirement age’.  And, there is a wealth of experience that has been accumulated by those at and beyond retirement age that is simply going to waste.

The employment of an already-once-retired person might be a blessing for employers, too.  Part time positions might become more easily designed.  Benefits already funded by prior employers would cut costs in that area.  The experience gathered over the years could be a real boon for the new employer especially if it came from a similar industry.  There are also issues created by local, state and federal governments that might not be applicable to the employment of retirees.

Those of us who have reached and/or exceeded retirement age have had experience in a wide range of things, not the least being how best to get along with people which sometimes seems in short supply these days.  There might be good opportunities to create shared jobs with a couple of retirees sharing a particular job they had been doing for years already.

Are there exceptions to the rule?  Absolutely just as there are with any ‘rule’.  An employer can get a good feel for the person he or she is interviewing and especially when he or she is interviewing a person who has been there and done that.  If the position is viewed to be potentially temporary in nature, who better than a retiree looking for a few hours of work a day or week?

If you are an employer, maybe you could benefit from this phenomenon.  If you are retired looking for some additional funds for new toys, maybe you can benefit from this need.  I always had concerns about how I’d feel about self once no company wanted me anymore.  I’ve found that this fear goes away very quickly when I do some writing for others, for example.  I volunteer for more activities that help others.  We ‘retirees’ represent a wealth of talent, self-excepted, that are simply waiting to be asked to participate again.  Along with this comes a whole new definition of loyalty to employer, by the way.

This is very definitely a huge win-win!  Especially when jobs are begging for employees.

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