Baby Boomers: Not Ready for Retirement but Don’t Have a Job?

My parents might get upset if they ever read this.

They are very private people but one of our readers recently asked me to elaborate on my mom’s experience of being laid off when she was 64-years-old. I believe it’s an important story to share because it offers hope to anyone of any age who is unemployed. It’s not always easy but you just need to be patient, tenacious and positive that it will all work out in the end.

Being unemployed, laid off or fired at any age is tough, but even more so when you’re older – a Baby Boomer – and not yet ready for retirement. There are bills to pay, mortgages to meet and, yes, mouths to feed (no matter how old your children are, they will always come home hungry!). Plus, your competition is younger, extremely tech-savvy, confident, ambitious… and usually comes with a lower price tag. These were my mom’s biggest obstacles when her company closed in 2006 and she found herself unemployed.

Before she was laid off, the only reason my mom used a computer was for work — and that was something she took classes for a few years ago! We had to teach her how to use a laptop, check email, search for jobs and send out resumes. She worked with headhunters and reached out to former coworkers from years past to see if they knew of any openings. She went on a lot of interviews and waited patiently for the phone to ring on the days employers said they would call. When they asked about her retirement plans (which I’m not sure is actually legal), my spunky mother told them she had too much energy to retire any time soon!

She tried really hard to find a job but soon found that six months had passed. She had to request for her unemployment compensation to be extended. Needless to say, it was very hard for her and a stressful time for my dad, too. Money is a necessary evil and they fought frequently. It’s understandable, too, when you see the bills piling up and the money going down, down, down.

Eventually, mom received a job offer at a lab that was 45 minutes away and paid a little less than what she was used to. She accepted, of course, and worked there up until recently (1 1/2 years) when it was bought out by a bigger company. She had to re-interview for her position and was offered a second shift (4pm-midnight).

The day she was supposed to start, on a whim, she called up a company with whom she interviewed in the past. They told her they were hiring ASAP and asked her to come in right away. Within hours, she had a job offer that paid more, had normal hours and 12 minutes from home! She called up her old job and told them she wasn’t going to come in that day… or ever. She’s very, very happy right now and is a firm believer that things always work out somehow!