How baby boomers can extend their working years

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The job market might not be as tight as some people think. One reason: For many baby boomers, retiring at age 65 isn’t part of the game plan.

Almost 40 percent of people age 65 and older worked part time in 2016, compared with just 17 percent of workers ages 16 to 64, according to Wells Fargo Economics Group (PDF). Only 4 percent of the seniors aspired to full-time employment.

Perhaps a major reason behind this trend is that many workers haven’t saved enough for retirement:

Check out our retirement calculator to see if you’re on the path to achieving your goals. If you’re not, open a savings account or CD and start saving!

3 tips for boomers who want to keep working

Workplace consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas has some tips for older workers looking to extend their working years:

  1. Don’t apologize for your age. Employers want workers who are confident and have an attitude focused on success. Experience (and hopefully a bit of wisdom) are prized attributes in the workplace.
  1. Stay current and embrace technology. Among the suggestions here: Take a night class to better understand computers and other technology. The community college in the county where we live, outside Washington, D.C., offers free classes. You also can watch YouTube videos to learn a lot about technology.
  1. Don’t look down on younger workers. Being a source of generational-related conflict in the workplace won’t end well. Embrace diversity, and that includes your younger co-workers. Successful businesses need well-qualified workers of all ages.

Consumers taking Easter spending to the egg-streme

Consumers are expected to fill up their (shopping) baskets more than ever to celebrate Easter this year.

The National Retail Federation says spending for Easter is expected to reach $18.4 billion, a record high in the survey’s 14-year history. Those who are celebrating plan to spend an average of $152 per person, up 4 percent from last year.

What are they planning to buy?

  • Candy (89 percent)
  • Food (87 percent)
  • Gifts (61 percent)
  • Clothing (50 percent)
  • Flowers (39 percent)

Where are they planning to purchase?

  • Discount store (58 percent)
  • Department store (46 percent)
  • Online (27 percent)
  • Local/small business (26 percent)

Late Easter too late for cratering retailers

With Easter scheduled three weeks later than last year, it will take something more powerful than the Easter Bunny to rescue the troubled retail trade. A cascading avalanche of store-closing announcements will translate to thousands of current or impending job losses and a huge amount of vacant commercial real estate.

Sears Holdings, the parent of Sears and Kmart, is indicating it might not be able to remain open much longer. (I’ve been thinking for years that this could happen, but maybe now the end is finally near.)

Discount shoe retailer Payless is reportedly in discussions to close as many as 1,000 stores. Women’s clothing seller Bebe plans to close its brick-and-mortar locations with hopes to survive online.

Consumers are driving these changes, with fewer trips to malls and more clicks benefiting Amazon and other online shopping destinations. Expect more going-out-of-business sales in the traditional retail world.

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Mark Hamrick

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