Losing a job in your 50's...

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samsoes
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by samsoes »

randomguy wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:14 pm
samsoes wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:44 pm
bUU wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:32 am
KlangFool wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:09 amUnpaid overtime beyond 40 hours per week.
You're being cagey. Let's assume that we're talking about a salaried employee, not an hourly worker. In that context, you seem to be saying that working more than 40 hours a week is "working for free" and people shouldn't do that. However, most salaried employees can help you understand that their co-workers who refused to go the extra mile and got a reputation for working-by-the-clock ended up the first to be let go in the layoffs.
"Extra miles" don't mean squat. For years, I worked weekends, late nights, all-nighters, and answered overnight calls and had to go in to the data center in the middle of the night to save the day. I won multiple company awards, including the highest the company offers.

I still got whacked.

No more extra miles for me.
But were you the first or the second person whacked? In the companies I have been in that have done general layoff (i.e. not cutting a project), the first round was always the underperformers. By the second round you started cutting solid people. And the 3rd was painful. I never made the cuts but have ranked team members. I can tell you age never mattered. If we could ship without you mattered a lot. Nobody is irreplaceable. But some are a lot more painful to replace.

The group that gets laid off skews towards underperformers. That doesn't mean everyone in the group was an underperformer. It is easy to look at the numbers and realize that most people make it past 60 without becoming drastically underemployed. But there is a big chunk that does end up there.
New CEO who came in like Rambo parachuting into a war zone. The body count was quite high.

My point is that extra miles are irrelevant. It wouldn't have made a difference if I only worked 40 hours. I fully intended to retire from that company.

Now I suffer a crushing interstate commute by car to a job which is soul-sucking. I only put in 40 hours. I'd be elated if a layoff should come my way. But, alas, I received a glowing review and my bonus was greater than 2x the target. But, I digress...
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visualguy
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by visualguy »

bUU wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:58 pm What we really need is a requirement for BLS to gather data necessary to show what percentage of older workers versus younger workers are laid off. The evidence would be clear from the statistics. They report layoffs by industry and region, but not by age of employee. And we won't see such statistics coming from BLS because those who have a vested interest in keeping such data from being reported will do what they can (read: campaign donations) to ensure that BLS is not given that mandate. And given how many apologists there are in this regard, I'm rather glad I'm getting out of the race.
I think there's a lot more age discrimination in hiring than firing.
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bUU
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by bUU »

samsoes wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:59 pmMy point is that extra miles are irrelevant.
And our point is that they have been relevant. That doesn't mean 100% of the time it will mean job security - nothing will. If your threshold for relevance is 100% perfection that nothing will ever be relevant to anything.
visualguy wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:04 pmI think there's a lot more age discrimination in hiring than firing.
I agree completely.
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samsoes
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by samsoes »

bUU wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:04 pm
samsoes wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:59 pmMy point is that extra miles are irrelevant.
And our point is that they have been relevant.
I respectfully disagree.

With or without extra time and effort ("extra miles") I put in over the years, I still wouldn't be working at that company, which is 3.5 miles from my front door. Instead, I work for its primary competitor 44 miles away in another state in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
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bUU
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by bUU »

samsoes wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:13 pmWith or without extra time and effort ("extra miles") I put in over the years, I still wouldn't be working at that company, which is 3.5 miles from my front door. Instead, I work for its primary competitor 44 miles away in another state in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Fair enough. I suppose there is nothing wrong with making your threshold 100%. I don't personally have such high standards for the things I encounter. Perhaps I'm settling too much.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by visualguy »

bUU wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:24 pm
samsoes wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:13 pmWith or without extra time and effort ("extra miles") I put in over the years, I still wouldn't be working at that company, which is 3.5 miles from my front door. Instead, I work for its primary competitor 44 miles away in another state in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Fair enough. I suppose there is nothing wrong with making your threshold 100%. I don't personally have such high standards for the things I encounter. Perhaps I'm settling too much.
It's not a matter of 100% vs 0%. The question is how much the "extra miles" help you, and it varies, of course. Since many layoffs are project-based or related to organizational changes, "extra miles" often don't help you unless you impressed some other group that may save you by pulling you in before the layoffs.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by stoptothink »

bUU wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:58 pm
stoptothink wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:56 pmI can tell you that age never even crossed my mind as a possible influencing factor.
Then your company was far too "small potatoes" to reflect the kind of environment that most Americans face. And of course denial of the problem just exacerbates the problem. What we really need is a requirement for BLS to gather data necessary to show what percentage of older workers versus younger workers are laid off. The evidence would be clear from the statistics. They report layoffs by industry and region, but not by age of employee. And we won't see such statistics coming from BLS because those who have a vested interest in keeping such data from being reported will do what they can (read: campaign donations) to ensure that BLS is not given that mandate. And given how many apologists there are in this regard, I'm rather glad I'm getting out of the race.
You state that my former employer (with over 20,000 employees) was "too small potatoes to reflect the kind of environment that most Americans face," then go on to admit there is no data to support your claim? That's an interesting way of framing an argument. I'd love to hear your conspiracy theory as to why the BLS would proactively keep data which supports your argument from being reported.

I've just resigned to the fact that people have different definitions of the word "discrimination". "Discrimination" against higher compensated employees? Sure, but I've yet to see anything empirically or anecdotally (in my own experience) that suggests chronological age has anything to do with it, and it certainly makes no sense from a business perspective.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by corn18 »

Oblivious wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:35 pm
corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:28 pm How many of the BH on this thread have direct reports and had to let people go? I ran a division in a megacorp with 168 direct reports. It used to be 221. We were not profitable. We got things fixed up and we are now more productive with 168 than we were with 221. Never once did age factor into the terminations. And I can tell you that every single one of them affected me personally. Gut wrenching, to be honest. A data point of one.
I believe you when you say that age did not factor into the equation directly, but were the factors that contributed to who was laid off highly correlated with age? Was there people that happened to be there 20+ years, that made quite a bit more but did the same job as a person with 5 years of experience. Did the 20+ year person possibly not contribute more than the 5 year person, so from a production/cost standpoint, they were easy to identify? So age did not factor into the terminations directly.

Then if you ignore the factors used to choose who to layoff and look at the average age of the people that were laid off, was the average age of the people laid off higher than the average age of the 168 left?
My Mega Corp has Over 40,000 employees and we always run the demographics like you mention. I don’t have the data in front of me and don’t feel the need to go find it for you. I can say that all protected classes are looked at and if one is heavily weighted in the lay-off, it has to be justified in writing. Baffles me how so many who have not been on the laying off side seem to know exactly what is happening. I’m sure the people I let go felt the same way.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by Bacchus01 »

samsoes wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:32 pm
corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:28 pm How many of the BH on this thread have direct reports and had to let people go? I ran a division in a megacorp with 168 direct reports. It used to be 221. We were not profitable. We got things fixed up and we are now more productive with 168 than we were with 221. Never once did age factor into the terminations. And I can tell you that every single one of them affected me personally. Gut wrenching, to be honest. A data point of one.
If I had to produce a list of direct reports to get laid-off, I'd submit a list with one name: mine.
Well, part of being in charge also means making these hard decisions. Part of being in charge means budget control. Part of being in charge means managing resources to optimize profitability.

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samsoes
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by samsoes »

Bacchus01 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:51 pm
samsoes wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:32 pm
corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:28 pm How many of the BH on this thread have direct reports and had to let people go? I ran a division in a megacorp with 168 direct reports. It used to be 221. We were not profitable. We got things fixed up and we are now more productive with 168 than we were with 221. Never once did age factor into the terminations. And I can tell you that every single one of them affected me personally. Gut wrenching, to be honest. A data point of one.
If I had to produce a list of direct reports to get laid-off, I'd submit a list with one name: mine.
Well, part of being in charge also means making these hard decisions. Part of being in charge means budget control. Part of being in charge means managing resources to optimize profitability.

Thanks for the advice. Deeply appreciated.
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Oblivious
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by Oblivious »

corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:58 pm
Oblivious wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:35 pm
corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:28 pm How many of the BH on this thread have direct reports and had to let people go? I ran a division in a megacorp with 168 direct reports. It used to be 221. We were not profitable. We got things fixed up and we are now more productive with 168 than we were with 221. Never once did age factor into the terminations. And I can tell you that every single one of them affected me personally. Gut wrenching, to be honest. A data point of one.
I believe you when you say that age did not factor into the equation directly, but were the factors that contributed to who was laid off highly correlated with age? Was there people that happened to be there 20+ years, that made quite a bit more but did the same job as a person with 5 years of experience. Did the 20+ year person possibly not contribute more than the 5 year person, so from a production/cost standpoint, they were easy to identify? So age did not factor into the terminations directly.

Then if you ignore the factors used to choose who to layoff and look at the average age of the people that were laid off, was the average age of the people laid off higher than the average age of the 168 left?
My Mega Corp has Over 40,000 employees and we always run the demographics like you mention. I don’t have the data in front of me and don’t feel the need to go find it for you. I can say that all protected classes are looked at and if one is heavily weighted in the lay-off, it has to be justified in writing. Baffles me how so many who have not been on the laying off side seem to know exactly what is happening. I’m sure the people I let go felt the same way.
Appreciate the insight. Not all megacorps are built equally but yours seems to be handling things in a better way.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by slyfox1357 »

visualguy wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:04 pm
bUU wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:58 pm What we really need is a requirement for BLS to gather data necessary to show what percentage of older workers versus younger workers are laid off. The evidence would be clear from the statistics. They report layoffs by industry and region, but not by age of employee. And we won't see such statistics coming from BLS because those who have a vested interest in keeping such data from being reported will do what they can (read: campaign donations) to ensure that BLS is not given that mandate. And given how many apologists there are in this regard, I'm rather glad I'm getting out of the race.
I think there's a lot more age discrimination in hiring than firing.
I respectfully disagree. For many of these looking for job 50+ they have been fired/laid off. Especially in certain professions, say IT, firings / layoffs for those in there 50's+ is high (in house IT professionals 50+ are dinosaurs) , jobs are being outsourced like crazy, and then of course these same individuals then look for jobs and are on the 'hiring' age discrimination. side.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by HomerJ »

corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:28 pm How many of the BH on this thread have direct reports and had to let people go? I ran a division in a megacorp with 168 direct reports. It used to be 221. We were not profitable. We got things fixed up and we are now more productive with 168 than we were with 221. Never once did age factor into the terminations. And I can tell you that every single one of them affected me personally. Gut wrenching, to be honest. A data point of one.
168 direct reports?

You don't even know all their names, let alone spend any time "managing" them.

Don't get me wrong, corn, I think you're awesome, but I can't believe you are effectively managing 168 direct reports.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by corn18 »

HomerJ wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:34 pm
corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:28 pm How many of the BH on this thread have direct reports and had to let people go? I ran a division in a megacorp with 168 direct reports. It used to be 221. We were not profitable. We got things fixed up and we are now more productive with 168 than we were with 221. Never once did age factor into the terminations. And I can tell you that every single one of them affected me personally. Gut wrenching, to be honest. A data point of one.
168 direct reports?

You don't even know all their names, let alone spend any time "managing" them.

Don't get me wrong, corn, I think you're awesome, but I can't believe you are effectively managing 168 direct reports.
Wow, seriously?

I was the president of the division. It was my job to lead them. And I tried hard to know all of their names. I had a stack of index cards with their names, titles and pictures on my desk that I studied often so I could. Has no one on this forum ever had a good leader?
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by il0kin »

corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:04 pm
HomerJ wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:34 pm
corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:28 pm How many of the BH on this thread have direct reports and had to let people go? I ran a division in a megacorp with 168 direct reports. It used to be 221. We were not profitable. We got things fixed up and we are now more productive with 168 than we were with 221. Never once did age factor into the terminations. And I can tell you that every single one of them affected me personally. Gut wrenching, to be honest. A data point of one.
168 direct reports?

You don't even know all their names, let alone spend any time "managing" them.

Don't get me wrong, corn, I think you're awesome, but I can't believe you are effectively managing 168 direct reports.
Wow, seriously?

I was the president of the division. It was my job to lead them. And I tried hard to know all of their names. I had a stack of index cards with their names, titles and pictures on my desk that I studied often so I could. Has no one on this forum ever had a good leader?
I think the confusion is in the understanding of "direct reports," surely you had management staff under you and did not do 168 personal performance reviews each year. Signed off on them maybe, but I can't imagine you sat in a conference room with all 168 staff to review their performance... right?
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by corn18 »

il0kin wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:21 pm
corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:04 pm
HomerJ wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:34 pm
corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:28 pm How many of the BH on this thread have direct reports and had to let people go? I ran a division in a megacorp with 168 direct reports. It used to be 221. We were not profitable. We got things fixed up and we are now more productive with 168 than we were with 221. Never once did age factor into the terminations. And I can tell you that every single one of them affected me personally. Gut wrenching, to be honest. A data point of one.
168 direct reports?

You don't even know all their names, let alone spend any time "managing" them. I guess my cornfusion comes from the difference between leadership and management.

Don't get me wrong, corn, I think you're awesome, but I can't believe you are effectively managing 168 direct reports.
Wow, seriously?

I was the president of the division. It was my job to lead them. And I tried hard to know all of their names. I had a stack of index cards with their names, titles and pictures on my desk that I studied often so I could. Has no one on this forum ever had a good leader?
I think the confusion is in the understanding of "direct reports," surely you had management staff under you and did not do 168 personal performance reviews each year. Signed off on them maybe, but I can't imagine you sat in a conference room with all 168 staff to review their performance... right?
That is correct. I lead 168 people.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by scubadiver »

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Bacchus01
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by Bacchus01 »

corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:04 pm
HomerJ wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:34 pm
corn18 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:28 pm How many of the BH on this thread have direct reports and had to let people go? I ran a division in a megacorp with 168 direct reports. It used to be 221. We were not profitable. We got things fixed up and we are now more productive with 168 than we were with 221. Never once did age factor into the terminations. And I can tell you that every single one of them affected me personally. Gut wrenching, to be honest. A data point of one.
168 direct reports?

You don't even know all their names, let alone spend any time "managing" them.

Don't get me wrong, corn, I think you're awesome, but I can't believe you are effectively managing 168 direct reports.
Wow, seriously?

I was the president of the division. It was my job to lead them. And I tried hard to know all of their names. I had a stack of index cards with their names, titles and pictures on my desk that I studied often so I could. Has no one on this forum ever had a good leader?

I just have to tell you, I’m stealing this idea. I have more than 2,500 employees that I lead. I have skip-level lunches every other week to meet and discuss with as many as possible. At the main office I meet with probably 400 people a year. I am terrible at names. I have a huge seating chart in two spots in the building to help people identify a location for someone. I use that prior to these lunches but honestly, I look like a moron standing there studying an org chart for 10 minutes.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by bUU »

visualguy wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:43 pm
bUU wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:24 pm
samsoes wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:13 pmWith or without extra time and effort ("extra miles") I put in over the years, I still wouldn't be working at that company, which is 3.5 miles from my front door. Instead, I work for its primary competitor 44 miles away in another state in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Fair enough. I suppose there is nothing wrong with making your threshold 100%. I don't personally have such high standards for the things I encounter. Perhaps I'm settling too much.
It's not a matter of 100% vs 0%. The question is how much the "extra miles" help you, and it varies, of course. Since many layoffs are project-based or related to organizational changes, "extra miles" often don't help you unless you impressed some other group that may save you by pulling you in before the layoffs.
Which is why "extra miles" is relevant to the matter of whether an employee gets "whacked", to use the term samsoes used.
stoptothink wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:01 pmYou state that my former employer (with over 20,000 employees) was "too small potatoes to reflect the kind of environment that most Americans face," then go on to admit there is no data to support your claim? That's an interesting way of framing an argument. I'd love to hear your conspiracy theory as to why the BLS would proactively keep data which supports your argument from being reported.
If you don't believe that what the BLS is directed to and precluded from reporting on isn't politically driven then we have a very different view of how our nation's government works. Even the research of the NPS and the CDC is affected by political winds.
slyfox1357 wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:33 pmFor many of these looking for job 50+ they have been fired/laid off. Especially in certain professions, say IT, firings / layoffs for those in there 50's+ is high (in house IT professionals 50+ are dinosaurs) , jobs are being outsourced like crazy, and then of course these same individuals then look for jobs and are on the 'hiring' age discrimination. side.
I agree that it is two sides of the same coin - one leads to the other. However, I think there's a lot more age discrimination in hiring than firing based on data that is available: Overall unemployment, which is still categorically lower for older workers than for younger workers. Yes, some of that is older workers leaving the labor market, but some of that is that there are still some companies left that value the institutional knowledge that their own older workers possess. They may not value generalized experience and maturity as much as in past generations, but some still recognize that someone working at a company for twenty years knows how things work, and may even possess knowledge that no one else has and isn't written down anywhere. I know that of the experienced workers in my department who have been laid off in the last year, we've had at least a dozen occasions so far where the question, "Well, if there is no documentation and no one can figure out how to handle that, who knows how?" was answered with the name of one of these laid off workers.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by thx1138 »

scubadiver wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:23 pm Anyway, one of two attributes could be associated with the employees caught in that round of layoffs. Either a history of bad performance or history of decent, maybe even great, performance followed by series of promotions to a level of seniority (and commensurate pay) that outweighed their value to existing or new business. They were promoted during times of good business because the company needed to retain their skills, but when things went south, those promotions worked against them. Their performance was now being rated against others at their same level in the organization and lets just say that the air gets thin as you move up the mountain.
This is a very real problem to be aware of if we are talking about later career job loss.

On the one hand you really can't just sit around filling out TPS reports getting raises and not expect to be laid off. Someone else who is paid less can learn to fill out TPS reports with minimal training. Perhaps not quite as efficiently as you but as long as their cost per TPS report is lower than yours it doesn't matter that they fill out fewer of them in a day than you do. So of course most folks know they need to be continuously building up skills that can only be developed on the job over a long period of time. Such positions simply can't be replaced by a junior worker because those junior workers haven't had the opportunity to learn those skills. So if you want to still be employed after 30 years on the job then you really better have skills that only someone who has been in the industry for 20-30 years could possibly have. Then it is impossible to be replaced by someone with 5 years of experience.

But as the quoted post points out this strategy is also not without risks. On the way "up the ladder" you can end up exposed - especially during good times - to being overcompensated compared to your competition. And that can end up being pretty bad as it means first on chopping block when the bad times come and then having a inflated compensation bogey when trying to find a new position. The situation is often worse if rather than just a promotion within an organization you also hopped into a new company while making the leap up the ladder.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by stoptothink »

bUU wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:27 am
stoptothink wrote: Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:01 pmYou state that my former employer (with over 20,000 employees) was "too small potatoes to reflect the kind of environment that most Americans face," then go on to admit there is no data to support your claim? That's an interesting way of framing an argument. I'd love to hear your conspiracy theory as to why the BLS would proactively keep data which supports your argument from being reported.
If you don't believe that what the BLS is directed to and precluded from reporting on isn't politically driven then we have a very different view of how our nation's government works. Even the research of the NPS and the CDC is affected by political winds.

I don't disagree with your statement, but please, do tell: why would the BLS have a vested interest in keeping evidence of systematic age-discrimination under wraps?
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by jbranx »

Moderator Reminder: Political commentary is prohibited. See Forum Rules 4 (a) Unacceptable Topics: Politics and Religion.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo »

jbranx wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:45 am Moderator Reminder: Political commentary is prohibited. See Forum Rules 4 (a) Unacceptable Topics: Politics and Religion.
Thank you, jbranx! :beer

My desire in creating the thread - since I experienced it - was for those who have been through a layoff in their 50's and the immediate steps and follow up steps one could take in the aftermath. The hope was it would be a thread where others could share their stories of what immediate steps they took financially, and how they bounced back (if they did) with any replacement income and their new "norms" post layoff.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by visualguy »

thx1138 wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:54 am So if you want to still be employed after 30 years on the job then you really better have skills that only someone who has been in the industry for 20-30 years could possibly have. Then it is impossible to be replaced by someone with 5 years of experience.
I think most industries aren't like that, though. Maybe not 5 years, but 10-15 years are typically as good as 20-30 years.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by jbranx »

CyclingDuo wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:21 pm
jbranx wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:45 am Moderator Reminder: Political commentary is prohibited. See Forum Rules 4 (a) Unacceptable Topics: Politics and Religion.
Thank you, jbranx! :beer

My desire in creating the thread - since I experienced it - was for those who have been through a layoff in their 50's and the immediate steps and follow up steps one could take in the aftermath. The hope was it would be a thread where others could share their stories of what immediate steps they took financially, and how they bounced back (if they did) with any replacement income and their new "norms" post layoff.

CyclingDuo
Thank you, CyclingDuo, you're very welcome. With 377 posts to date, I'd say you have accomplished your objective very well. There were some remarkable reports in the thread and I'm sure more to come. Thanks for the topic.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by thx1138 »

visualguy wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:29 pm
thx1138 wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:54 am So if you want to still be employed after 30 years on the job then you really better have skills that only someone who has been in the industry for 20-30 years could possibly have. Then it is impossible to be replaced by someone with 5 years of experience.
I think most industries aren't like that, though. Maybe not 5 years, but 10-15 years are typically as good as 20-30 years.
Yes I think that's a fair assessment. Or perhaps more broadly stated - the positions in which you can distinguish 20-30 years of experience are rarer and there aren't nearly enough of them to support full employment for that age cohort.

In my company we have labor rates we charge to our government customers which specifically call out experience levels over 25 years and a number of specific skills unlikely to be acquired in less time than that as well. So we contractually can't charge those rates with less experienced employees and some of the contracts from the customers demand access to those higher labor categories. But in general a given contract will have far more hours allocated to less experienced labor categories so again there isn't necessarily as large a pool of positions requiring long experience. And you better be darn effective and able to apply that experience as needed...
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo »

jbranx wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:37 pmThank you, CyclingDuo, you're very welcome. With 377 posts to date, I'd say you have accomplished your objective very well. There were some remarkable reports in the thread and I'm sure more to come. Thanks for the topic.
I wanted to add an excellent pertinent article to this thread from The Atlantic entitled "Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think. Here’s how to make the most of it."

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... ne/590650/

I thought the author captured a lot of the key elements surrounding the issue of what can happen in your 50's! :beer

Heck of a graphic...

Image
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by rj342 »

Cycle wrote: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:08 pm If u opt to bike instead of drive the annual 10,000 in savings earning 8% over 34 years will total 1.7MM.
Let's say u would drive a beater at 5k per year, but opt to bike instead. The savings are still $800k by age 56.
The "Just bike to work" is of very limited practicality outside of certain areas, depending on commute distance, busy-ness/safety of roads regardless of distance, and *climate*.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by rj342 »

thx1138 wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:54 am ...
But as the quoted post points out this strategy is also not without risks. On the way "up the ladder" you can end up exposed - especially during good times - to being overcompensated compared to your competition. And that can end up being pretty bad as it means first on chopping block when the bad times come and then having a inflated compensation bogey when trying to find a new position. The situation is often worse if rather than just a promotion within an organization you also hopped into a new company while making the leap up the ladder.
The other subtle trap is advancing by doing something important that only your employer really cares about -- say being an expert on some proprietary system, product, etc. In theory you might think the concepts should translate, but sometimes that just doesnt sell.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by rj342 »

In my situation about 3 years ago, at then 51 I was 8 years into a new career and doing well (software). Changes in leadership brought in some trendy but counterproductive changes forced from the top (one size fits all thinking), made them lose several top engineers and deeply frustrating me (I was one). New CTO realized a course change was needed (vs the recent changes forced by CFO of all ppl) and I had an understanding with him, but then he lost HIS job.

Back to the steamroller. I got chewed up and spit out, fired for cause having stepped on some toes earlier, well after I 'd thought the dust had settled.

Good thing I found and started a new job 3 weeks later (nontrivial pay cut but at least zero politics and bureaucracy here) as the crap they used against me meant it turned out I was NOT eligible for unemployment in my state. I appealed but got nowhere. Dirty pool (holding me accountable even though I was explicitly denied any actual authority over a newly formed team created around me), but in a right to work state a wrongful termination suit is something you would lose even if you unlikely won, if you know what I mean.

I didn't get out sooner under my own power because few similarly paying alternatives locally and unable to move for various family reasons.

It has taken me these almost 3 years for the anger to fade away (mostly but not entirely).

They are *still* rewriting key applications and building them around the proprietary tools relevant to everything they do that I invented that make the engineers more productive AND the software much, much more efficient in a critical path.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by Cycle »

rj342 wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:32 pm
Cycle wrote: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:08 pm If u opt to bike instead of drive the annual 10,000 in savings earning 8% over 34 years will total 1.7MM.
Let's say u would drive a beater at 5k per year, but opt to bike instead. The savings are still $800k by age 56.
The "Just bike to work" is of very limited practicality outside of certain areas, depending on commute distance, busy-ness/safety of roads regardless of distance, and *climate*.
Yeah, like biking to an oil platform obviously isn't practical. But one can usually do some multimodal transportation to reduce sedentary travel.

Like biking to the helo pad for that oil worker.

In my case, I bike 4.5 miles to an express bus and that takes me 12 miles to my work.

Others may keep a bike in their trunk and bike the last few miles of a trip. Others may develop a habit of always parking in the back of a parking lot to get more steps.

After doing this multi-modal schenanigans though, one quickly realized the optimal housing location has work and all typical daily activities within walking distance. Sadly this doesn't exist for most in car-centric 'merica.

Edit:
how this is on topic is that I believe Americans spend too much on housing and transportation, reducing their savings and making employment in ones 50s a requirement.

For folks who have had good incomes, which is a great minority of Americans but probably a majority of Boglehead forum readers, getting Retired in ones 50s by a layoff shouldnt be a catfood diet situation.

I just survived yet another layoff at my megacorp, which is the 5th one in the last 11 years. I have a 50 year old coworker who is constantly talking about retirement at 60. This co-worker of mine probably should not have relied on high paying employment in his 50s, as the odds of him making it through another 5 rounds of layoffs are very slim. But he's got it all... Cabin on a lake, high end bass boat, 60k truck (5 cars for 2 people large :oops: ) estate in the middle of nowhere with a septic system... Except FI, he's still working on that one.

It seems like a reasonable goal for a moderately high income BH is to achieve FI and retireability prior to ones 50s.
Last edited by Cycle on Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by KlangFool »

Cycle wrote: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:05 am
rj342 wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:32 pm
Cycle wrote: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:08 pm If u opt to bike instead of drive the annual 10,000 in savings earning 8% over 34 years will total 1.7MM.
Let's say u would drive a beater at 5k per year, but opt to bike instead. The savings are still $800k by age 56.
The "Just bike to work" is of very limited practicality outside of certain areas, depending on commute distance, busy-ness/safety of roads regardless of distance, and *climate*.
Yeah, like biking to an oil platform obviously isn't practical. But one can usually do some multimodal transportation to reduce sedentary travel.

Like biking to the helo pad for that oil worker.

In my case, I bike 4.5 miles to an express bus and that takes me 12 miles to my work.

Others may keep a bike in their trunk and bike the last few miles of a trip. Others may develop a habit of always parking in the back of a parking lot to get more steps.

After doing this multi-modal schenanigans though, one quickly realized the optimal housing location has work and all typical daily activities within walking distance. Sadly this doesn't exist for most in car-centric 'merica.
Cycle,

A truck driver kept a folding bike in his truck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1eRIsq5WhQ

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by Charon »

Cycle wrote: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:08 pm Let's look at just one of these levers, not owning a car. Assume your car costs $10k per year (u get a nice one you've seen 10,000 commercials/billboards of). You buy it when u get your first job out of college at age 22.

If u opt to bike instead of drive the annual 10,000 in savings earning 8% over 34 years will total 1.7MM.

Let's say u would drive a beater at 5k per year, but opt to bike instead. The savings are still $800k by age 56.
I'm not disputing your point that avoiding car ownership is a great way to save money. I was car-free for 15 years until a new job and living location required one (and even now I bike to work, when the bike path isn't under a foot or two of snow).

But your numbers sound inaccurate to me. I splurged on a brand-new car, a more expensive model than I needed, and if I only keep the thing 10 years I'll still have ended up spending less than $4k per year on it. If I'd gone with a good used car - not a beater - that would be under $3k/year, with a substantial chunk of that being insurance. If you drive a lot, increase those numbers by ~$1k for the extra gas, but I think you're substantially overestimating the cost of a car. (I'm using a 10-year estimate for keeping my car because I expect to get an electric vehicle about that time, not because I'll have any actual need for a new one. Lots of vehicles on the road are older than that, and mine will have less than 50k miles at that point.)

Also, 8% real return sounds... optimistic.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo »

Cycle wrote: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:05 am
rj342 wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:32 pm
Cycle wrote: Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:08 pm If u opt to bike instead of drive the annual 10,000 in savings earning 8% over 34 years will total 1.7MM.
Let's say u would drive a beater at 5k per year, but opt to bike instead. The savings are still $800k by age 56.
The "Just bike to work" is of very limited practicality outside of certain areas, depending on commute distance, busy-ness/safety of roads regardless of distance, and *climate*.
Yeah, like biking to an oil platform obviously isn't practical. But one can usually do some multimodal transportation to reduce sedentary travel.

Like biking to the helo pad for that oil worker.

In my case, I bike 4.5 miles to an express bus and that takes me 12 miles to my work.

Others may keep a bike in their trunk and bike the last few miles of a trip. Others may develop a habit of always parking in the back of a parking lot to get more steps.

After doing this multi-modal schenanigans though, one quickly realized the optimal housing location has work and all typical daily activities within walking distance. Sadly this doesn't exist for most in car-centric 'merica.

Edit:
how this is on topic is that I believe Americans spend too much on housing and transportation, reducing their savings and making employment in ones 50s a requirement.

For folks who have had good incomes, which is a great minority of Americans but probably a majority of Boglehead forum readers, getting Retired in ones 50s by a layoff shouldnt be a catfood diet situation.

I just survived yet another layoff at my megacorp, which is the 5th one in the last 11 years. I have a 50 year old coworker who is constantly talking about retirement at 60. This co-worker of mine probably should not have relied on high paying employment in his 50s, as the odds of him making it through another 5 rounds of layoffs are very slim. But he's got it all... Cabin on a lake, high end bass boat, 60k truck (5 cars for 2 people large :oops: ) estate in the middle of nowhere with a septic system... Except FI, he's still working on that one.

It seems like a reasonable goal for a moderately high income BH is to achieve FI and retireability prior to ones 50s.
You are right on target when it comes to two of all of our most expensive categories: housing and transportation.

Spent many years living in NYC, Houston, Vienna, East Bay of San Francisco, etc... where the mode of transportation involved a lot of walking, bus, subway, bike, cab which cost less than car ownership. Of course, housing costs are higher in those HCOL areas, so it is hard to claim that saving on one of the big three expenses resulted in more savings due to pouring the money that would have gone to transportation costs into housing and food instead. In our current area, it is in reverse where housing costs and food are where we are able to save, but the transportation costs involve 50 mile+ round trips each day due to no local transportation infrastructure and jobs being away from the city we reside in at the moment.

Insert typical "Dave Ramsey" type of reality here where one would own and drive something that did not incur any debt if car ownership was required to get to and from work. We have no debt on our cars, minimal insurance, and lower fuel prices thanks to the costs of fuel in Iowa and driving the speed limit to improve fuel efficiency.

We do have neighbors on our block that have no less than 5-6 rather high priced vehicles in their garages/driveways. Makes me wonder what their household cashflow is like under those circumstances, but I think we can all guess.

That being said, we did manage to get in 161.22 miles this past week on our bikes (in spite of not riding today due to rain). We had planned on a 40 miler today since we both had the day off, but ended up seeing the documentary Pavarotti at matinee prices instead. None of that bike riding for the week was commuting or errand related, just simple training and enjoyment riding as a couple.

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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by fru-gal »

ClevrChico wrote: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:21 pm Technical staff can work for a long time if they have the passion for it.
Dream on. How many 50 or even 40 year olds do you think make it into interviews by a twentysomething let alone survive the interview.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by visualguy »

fru-gal wrote: Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:54 pm
ClevrChico wrote: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:21 pm Technical staff can work for a long time if they have the passion for it.
Dream on. How many 50 or even 40 year olds do you think make it into interviews by a twentysomething let alone survive the interview.
For generic hires, this can be a problem, but if there's something about your specific experience that is truly desired/needed, the picture is different. This leaves the question of whether you really want to work for someone who is half your age, but that's a different issue...
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by 7eight9 »

53 years old. I lost my job in March when the company was sold. All corporate employees were let go upon closing of the transaction. Thus far one phone interview that went nowhere. And a lot of automated rejection letters.

There are a lot of people looking for jobs right now as MGM had some significant layoffs as part of their MGM 2020 plan.
https://www.fox5vegas.com/mgm-resorts-a ... d956c.html

Frankly, I would be really happy to get a job paying 50% of what I made. None of my coworkers who were let go with me have been able to obtain a job thus far.

The good news is my wife has a stable job with good benefits. And our expenses are ridiculously low at $18K/year excluding vacations. If I don't land another job we are going to think more seriously about calling it quits early next year and retiring. I would like to work a couple more years but the way things are going I'm not overly optimistic.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by bUU »

CyclingDuo wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:58 pmI wanted to add an excellent pertinent article to this thread from The Atlantic entitled "Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think. Here’s how to make the most of it." https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... ne/590650/
It is such a good graphic that it is getting airtime in so many more places than the typical personal finance article. I've seen it on several other forums that have nothing to do with personal finance (in their "Community" forum) as well as making the rounds on Facebook.

The question I've had to ask myself is whether there is a way to change my life so that I can do without muddling through those small bars labeled "60" and "70", in light of that phenomenon cited in the article "the memory of remarkable ability..., might, for some, provide an invidious contrast to a later, less remarkable life". I believed I couldn't afford to "JUMP" when I should have, and so have spent the last year and a half struggling through this less remarkable life. I'm getting ready to "JUMP" now, making room in my life for serving, worshiping and connecting.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by visualguy »

CyclingDuo wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:58 pm
jbranx wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:37 pmThank you, CyclingDuo, you're very welcome. With 377 posts to date, I'd say you have accomplished your objective very well. There were some remarkable reports in the thread and I'm sure more to come. Thanks for the topic.
I wanted to add an excellent pertinent article to this thread from The Atlantic entitled "Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think. Here’s how to make the most of it."

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... ne/590650/

I thought the author captured a lot of the key elements surrounding the issue of what can happen in your 50's! :beer
For the author, the prospect of decline leads to switching from a position as the president of a think tank to becoming a university professor, and that's his big "JUMP". I'm sure it's a big transition in his mind, but I found it hard to relate to it as being such a big deal, or a good example of what can happen in your 50s.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by thx1138 »

fru-gal wrote: Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:54 pm
ClevrChico wrote: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:21 pm Technical staff can work for a long time if they have the passion for it.
Dream on. How many 50 or even 40 year olds do you think make it into interviews by a twentysomething let alone survive the interview.
You are conflating two things that aren’t actually linked.

Indeed if in your 50s you are doing work that can be done by a twenty something then you are doomed.

Not all technical work can be done by twenty somethings though...
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by bltn »

CyclingDuo wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:58 pm
jbranx wrote: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:37 pmThank you, CyclingDuo, you're very welcome. With 377 posts to date, I'd say you have accomplished your objective very well. There were some remarkable reports in the thread and I'm sure more to come. Thanks for the topic.
I wanted to add an excellent pertinent article to this thread from The Atlantic entitled "Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think. Here’s how to make the most of it."

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... ne/590650/

I thought the author captured a lot of the key elements surrounding the issue of what can happen in your 50's! :beer

Heck of a graphic...

Image
Interesting reflections. Part of the tendency people have toward depression in response to the general debilitation, both physical and mental, that people suffer with advanced age.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by anakinskywalker »

corn18 wrote: Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:27 pm This is what catchup looks like. If I had been saving 15% the whole time, I would be in the same spot.

Image
Don't be so hard on yourself. You sound like you've been a good father and husband. Spending money to provide a good life and opportunities for your family/children is not the worst use of your income. I'm glad you have started saving aggressively. I read the Millionaire book too (around 2004-2005) and found it very enlightening.

Best of luck!

Anakin
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by anakinskywalker »

KlangFool wrote: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:24 am
Chris42163 wrote: Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:09 am It occurs that we're going through a major disruption in the industry we're talking about. As cars start driving themselves, services like lyft & uber will be the norm. They will own all of the cars. No need for expensive parking in congested downtown areas, because the cars will drive off to the next customer. Without the human cost to operate vehicles, the price for a ride goes down. People no longer need to own a vehicle. They simply program a schedule to go to work. Most likely, people will care less about distance from work, as they can sleep/eat/work/relax on the ride each day. A 2 hour ride to/from work isn't so bad when you can be productive or get rest during the commute.
Chris42163,

If there are no jobs for folks, there is no market for products and services. If there is no market for products and services, there are no good paying jobs that folks need to commute to. The system will balance itself out.

Someone's fat/cost is someone's else livelihood.

Imagine what would self-driving truck do to the truck drivers.

KlangFool
Klang, to balance itself the system should have negative feedback loops. Your feedback loop above is a positive feedback loop. Fewer jobs, smaller market, even fewer jobs. Even smaller market. And so on.

Could you clarify? Perhaps there is a negative feedback loop you meant to post instead.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by KlangFool »

anakinskywalker wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:19 pm
KlangFool wrote: Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:24 am
Chris42163 wrote: Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:09 am It occurs that we're going through a major disruption in the industry we're talking about. As cars start driving themselves, services like lyft & uber will be the norm. They will own all of the cars. No need for expensive parking in congested downtown areas, because the cars will drive off to the next customer. Without the human cost to operate vehicles, the price for a ride goes down. People no longer need to own a vehicle. They simply program a schedule to go to work. Most likely, people will care less about distance from work, as they can sleep/eat/work/relax on the ride each day. A 2 hour ride to/from work isn't so bad when you can be productive or get rest during the commute.
Chris42163,

If there are no jobs for folks, there is no market for products and services. If there is no market for products and services, there are no good paying jobs that folks need to commute to. The system will balance itself out.

Someone's fat/cost is someone's else livelihood.

Imagine what would self-driving truck do to the truck drivers.

KlangFool
Klang, to balance itself the system should have negative feedback loops. Your feedback loop above is a positive feedback loop. Fewer jobs, smaller market, even fewer jobs. Even smaller market. And so on.

Could you clarify? Perhaps there is a negative feedback loop you meant to post instead.
anakinskywalker,

I do not understand what do you mean by negative and/or positive feedback loop. Eventually, all system will hit a limit and it will balance itself out.

KlangFool
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by skor99 »

Closing in on to 50 , so a very useful thread with very good information. In case of longer term unemployment for people over 50, and no ( or limited )second income , wouldn’t it be pertinent to keep track and use the assistance provided by the government, local , state and federal. For example, wouldn’t medicaid be an option for folks with limited income in case of a job loss instead of paying for expensive Cobra ? There is generally no asset test for Medicaid so it can be claimed if there is a job loss and no income coming in. Subsidised ACA plans could be another option. Full use of unemployment payments as well as any available food / transportation etc assistance can also be used.
Think it would be good for folks with knowledge and experience in using government assistance to share their thoughts. Some people are ashamed to use govt assistance such as Medicaid etc but my view is that if it is available, you should use it as you have paid for it with your taxes while you were working.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by CyclingDuo »

skor99 wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:38 pm Closing in on to 50 , so a very useful thread with very good information. In case of longer term unemployment for people over 50, and no ( or limited )second income , wouldn’t it be pertinent to keep track and use the assistance provided by the government, local , state and federal. For example, wouldn’t medicaid be an option for folks with limited income in case of a job loss instead of paying for expensive Cobra ? There is generally no asset test for Medicaid so it can be claimed if there is a job loss and no income coming in. Subsidised ACA plans could be another option. Full use of unemployment payments as well as any available food / transportation etc assistance can also be used.
Think it would be good for folks with knowledge and experience in using government assistance to share their thoughts. Some people are ashamed to use govt assistance such as Medicaid etc but my view is that if it is available, you should use it as you have paid for it with your taxes while you were working.
Yes, I posted up thread on March 1st, 2019 Pete the Planner's Part II of the article about losing your job in your 50's which was what to do about insurance (which includes seeing if one qualifies for assistance as you mention):

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=273092&start=250#p4411041

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/losing-j ... 03764.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/co ... 009336002/
"Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist." - Morgan Housel
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

No one enjoys losing a job... well maybe those that hate their job are actually happy about it...

Multiple income streams and jobs is the key to balancing you life and keeping a check and balance for when things get turned up side down.

Losing a job is a blessing for me... It gives me time to go look for new opportunities... I love and embrace change...

Losing 2 or 3 jobs would start to strain my lifestyle... I don't foresee that happening but one can never know..

I wouldn't mind a nice long 2-3 year vacation here at some point!! :)

Embrace change.. Take the time to start a business, change careers, do something you always wanted to do.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by Tamalak »

I'm planning to retire at 40 and this is a big reason why.

Unfortunately that requires not having a woman or children.. but I guess that's what society wants us to do now :|
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by sasquatch12 »

I used to work in HR at various companies and when layoffs occur ageism can definitely be a factor. Usually because upper management believes we can hire a bunch of young people and pay them very little while working them to death. I saw many older highly compensated employees laid off because they "made too much." Of course they always struggled for years because the employees that had all the experience and knowledge were gone.

At one IT software firm I worked at they ended up laying off the majority of the older employees and suffered no consequences. Although several people sued they ended up losing in the end. It did not matter what skills they had they even laid off the chief architect of one of the software programs even though he was the only one who really understood the programming. Needless to say that company is really struggling and will go under soon because of bone headed moves like this to save money in the short-term.

The last job I worked at was during the last oil downturn in 2014, they also laid off many older highly paid employees. They did have a great severance program and paid out bonuses and Long-Term incentive pay to those affected. About a year later the CEO wanted the numbers to show how much we had saved with the layoffs, so I had my staff put them together. I knew what the numbers would say ahead of time, that the company saved absolutely nothing. With all of the severance and bonus payouts it cost us more money during that year to lay them off than to keep them. In late 2015 they ended up having to rehire most of the positions they eliminated and cost them a great deal of money.

In my experience most layoffs don't save any money in the long-term. Finding and hiring new employees is expensive in time and money, you have to wait usually 6 months before they even start to be productive as they learn the new environment. Layoffs are just to boost the short-term stock price to give the Executives big bonuses.
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Re: Losing a job in your 50's...

Post by fru-gal »

thx1138 wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:51 am
fru-gal wrote: Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:54 pm
ClevrChico wrote: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:21 pm Technical staff can work for a long time if they have the passion for it.
Dream on. How many 50 or even 40 year olds do you think make it into interviews by a twentysomething let alone survive the interview.
You are conflating two things that aren’t actually linked.

Indeed if in your 50s you are doing work that can be done by a twenty something then you are doomed.

Not all technical work can be done by twenty somethings though...
One of the problems is twentysomethings think they can do work as good as the 50somethings who have much more experience. That's why some companies that have gotten rid of their older, experienced employees now produce crap, with bugs and interface problems than an older employee would never have let see the light of day. Sometimes they get away with selling this stuff, sometimes they don't.
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