I have been trying to figure out who I am at 60. After several lay offs over the past six years, I am unemployed.
It all began when I was laid off from my job of 9 years in 2006. Yes, right in the middle of all the other lay offs. I thought maybe it was time to make a career path change, so I took some training and certification to work in the senior care industry. I liked the change, but it was also very saddening. The short staffing, the low pay, and a lot of bad employee attitudes make it a very depressing career. I tried this change for a few years and was laid off. After a year, I finally found a job as a receptionist. I worked there for 9 months and was again laid off when the company did a reorganization. It’s been 3 years now and I am one of those who gave up looking for a job. The job market may have improved, but for a person my age, it will never be the same. I do not have a college degree, and that limits me to entry level jobs with minimum pay. At 60 I do not want the late shift and weekend jobs. I want to be home in the evenings with my husband and family. I want to visit my grandchildren over the weekends. I get tired easier, and I am not the sharp tack I used to be in my younger years.
I understand there are young people coming into the market with a need for jobs. It makes sense that the Boomers need to move on and make room for the new blood. But I cannot afford to draw SS until I am 63, and really, it should be as late as possible for me to benefit the most.
Young people tell me at least I HAVE SS to draw. This is a fair complaint, but it is only in the past 20 yrs that SS has not been a reliable source of income for retirement. And, benefits have been cut so dramatically. At the same time within my life, pensions no longer exist. So much has changed from the time I was born till now, and we Boomers have been caught in this change. Mid-stream in our lives the map changed, and we had to make wild adjustments, which may not see us through.
I am VERY fortunate. My husband has a job and benefits. He does not make much, less than 35k per year, but we do have a supplement to our income that keeps us afloat since I am not working.
Since I have not been working, I don’t do much. My family has become concerned about my lack of interests, and inertia. They think I should be volunteering and could do so much more with my life. When I look at it from their perspective, I can see what they mean. They think I am depressed. Maybe I am. I do have a lack of interest in investing in life now. I don’t mind my quiet life. I feel like I have lost the “fire in my belly” if you will.
And, I don’t know how to get it back….