Whoa, you say? Not all working women are grandmas. Yes, and some never had children to care for. But bear with me now. Women everywhere, children or no children, are getting close to the age where they have some serious decisions to make. Those who did not have children by far are the most likely to have saved their money for retirement, but even they could face circumstances they did not plan well for. Some women are retiring, while others are going to work for the first time in their lives. There are many reasons why Grandma is going back to work! You have already thought of some. And this raises all kinds of questions: Will you be able to save enough money to last you? What unforeseen circumstances might occur that would eliminate your savings? Are any of us ever prepared for the worst? And so on. The list is endless.
Retirement comes early these days for women today who planned to retire at the age of 65. By some estimates they still have 30% of their lives to live. Life expectancies differ for each of us. Ask your doctor to help you with yours or for fun, complete the analysis on the life expectancy website. In either event, remember that both are just estimates.
Married women also face the unenviable fact that their husbands will likely die before they do. Many husbands were thoughtful enough to have life insurance in place to help their wives with this, but more did not. They have found that acquiring insurance at this stage of life is expensive, as the rates are based more on history. The average term life insurance policy on older men today does not meet the budget of those nearing retirement on a social security income. Term life insurance payments increase every year and have an expiration date. Whole life insurance beginning at the age of 70 is for the rest of your life over a certain age, but the payments do not increase, and the policy can later be borrowed against. Some examples of average costs on men for term insurance:
- Age 60 – $28.62/month
- Age 69 – $67.60/month
- Age 70 – $96.74/month
- Age 75 – $151.29/month
For those women venturing toward work for the first time or returning after a long hiatus, there has got to be considerable fear. These women have the same amount of time to prepare for the rest of their lives but less time to earn it. They may or may not have other financial support that could be dwindling. Many think they just can’t do it. It is hard to face interviews because regardless of equal opportunity, there is age discrimination. Being a woman makes it more so, and being a woman of color definitely brings it on. Yes, it still exists, and in many places, even though you may get a job, you may still face discrimination. As Oprah says below, “Think like a queen…” In your own world you are a queen. You are the queen of what you do and how you do it. And you are going to build that experience, ability, and enthusiasm into your resume.
Women Sometimes Lack the Necessary Education and Training
College degrees are not necessary for getting a good job, but they do help. Also helpful is having skills, whether it be on the job training or through technical schools. Skills you once learned are often passe today. Take journalism: The actual writing hasn’t changed much, but take a look at the current day presentation! Who would have thought the use of newspapers would have declined like it has.
Women are finding that it is easier to change careers than it used to be. Yes, it is hard work, but it is definitely worth it. It is always helpful to hone the skills you have or seek additional skills. You would be surprised at the number of scholarships available for technical training at the various technical schools or for college classes. Online training and college courses are available also. Look for on-the-job training. The important thing to remember here is that you are never too old to accomplish what you want.
Financial Problems in Older Families
Things are different now: We hear of many families having to raise their children and grandchildren, some of whom also have children. Grandparents are living with their children more often. These families are struggling. Roughly five times as many married women or women with partners survive their husbands, who for the most part made more money than they did and had larger social security checks or retirement pensions. Unless their husbands planned well, taking unforeseen events under consideration and including good insurance policies, they will have less income when their husbands die. If the wife or a single woman is left with only a single social security check, they are likely to have to struggle endlessly, depending on children who may or may not be able to help them.
Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then –Diana Ross
Women Are Looking for Fulfilment
It is never too late to go for the job that gives you the most satisfaction in life, whether it is taking care of children in a daycare facility or counseling people who are having problems in their lives. This goes along with the theme of meaning and purpose previously covered on this site. Don’t forget about the volunteering possibilities in your area. You will find them online and in the newspaper.
There are women like me who want to travel but lack the necessary funds to do so in retirement. I will not bore you with why I am unprepared to travel long distances in my retirement, because in the end, it was my responsibility to protect myself, and I am embarrassed to say that I failed. On the other hand, I am happy to say that I have recovered from allowing myself to be victimized. I believe in myself, and I am going to fulfill those dreams one day! I want you to do the same.
Regardless of the reason for having or wanting to work, the very word “work” conjures up all kinds of issues:
- Transportation costs, e.g., gas, parking, automobile cost plus insurance
- Clothing and maintenance of
- Transportation for any young children at home
- Babysitting for young children or much older adults in the home
- Education or training
Trust me, getting hired at our age (65+) is difficult to say the least, but aging women everywhere are working into their 70’s and beyond. When I decided to get back into the workforce at the age of 60, I faced many problems: I had been self-employed for 10 years in the antique business–NOT the best experience for a resume. Before that, I had been involved in government contracting, a job I loved but did not want to return to for several reasons. I knew how to type, file, run an office, etc. but got no job offers. When I finally got a job, I worked at it for almost 10 years, earning a degree simultaneously during the last four. The important thing is to put yourself forward. Show a little self-confidence. Don’t worry about those wrinkles. You earned them!
If you have not left your job, look into being able to do the same or a similar job on a part-time basis by suggesting that to your supervisors. Chances are they would be willing to advertise for another employee who would like very much to work the remaining hours on your shift. The downside of this is usually a loss of benefits like health insurance. Insurance might be a negotiable where you work. On-the-job training for the same job is definitely a plus in your arguments for change. Who is better qualified to train someone than the person performing the duties.
“Because you are women, people will force their thinking on you, their boundaries on you. They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go. Don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgement. Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom.” Amitabh Bachchan
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One of the better solutions for working is to do it at home. There are many online jobs, some of which are outlined in a book entitled Work at Home Now. The authors also offer suggestions for getting your supervisor to approve your doing a lot of the work you currently do at home on the computer. It is not a big deal to network your computer with theirs.
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