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The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work, and Living by Mark Miller

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Chapter 12. The Fifty-Plus Job Market: Good News, Bad News

By Now, I Hope you agree that working past traditional retirement age is critical to improving your long-term retirement security. Now for the real challenge: finding work—or keeping it.

At best, the employment outlook for older workers is mixed. Employers will say they value older workers' experience, knowledge, and loyalty, and it's clear that veteran employees are prized in some fields. But it's just as clear that employment security is eroding for older workers and that age discrimination is a major hurdle to finding a job or staying employed.

The Good News

Even in a tough economy, older workers are valued in some industries. For example, technology-oriented companies that depend on experienced scientists and engineers are very worried about brain drain. More than 50 percent of U.S. engineers and scientists are age 50 or older, and one recent global study showed that 3 million scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematically based jobs go unfilled.[88] Companies are scrambling to implement retention programs aimed at keeping these high-value-knowledge workers on the job as long as possible. Some offer flexible work arrangements that help accommodate the changing lifestyle needs of older employees.

One company, YourEncore, recruits professionals with scientific, engineering, and medical backgrounds to work on part-time consulting projects; the business was founded in 2003 by three blue-chip corporations—Procter & Gamble, ...

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