Have you noticed, or is it just me, how many servers at restaurants are senior citizens? How about baggers at the local grocery store? Does it seem that more and more people of retirement age are working in the service industry than there used to be? It could just be my perception, but it appears that seniors are, for whatever reason, taking part time jobs to supplement their incomes.
We could perceive this phenomenon in several ways. First, we can ignore it because, again, maybe it’s just my perception. Secondly, it could be perceived that many people from multiple generations ARE working in the service industry. After all, seniors must not have prepared sufficiently to live out their golden years without needing to work. In other words, sometimes the perception is that they’ve done something “wrong.”
A third possibility for why older people need to work could be due to their expenses having increased more than expected. Again, that would imply that they were unprepared for situations that life hands out. Unless, of course, the expenses are medical-related; in that case, we can’t really blame them.
The next question is: What if these people are coming out of retirement due to situations beyond their control? After all, our country’s financial structures are taking a beating. (see Macroeconomic article) Some of our country’s largest pension plans are in jeopardy, interest earnings are non-existent, and the prospect of increasing inflation is an almost constant threat. These elements leave many retirees or soon-to-be retirees anxious about whether they will have sufficient funds for their golden years. What would I do if I were in their shoes?
The best way to relate these situations to our own situations is to take an introspective view. Consider what you would do if you were in their situations. Would you know when to take action? Would you know your next step? Would you know where to look for employment? Would you have the skills? What if this situation happened to me?
Having an alternative plan for major aspects of our lives just makes good sense. Having a “Plan B” doesn’t mean we don’t commit to the road we’re on. It means that, for whatever reason, if the current situation changes, then we at least have some idea of what we could do to lessen the negative impact and fill the gap if something happens that savings and retirement income are not going to be sufficient.
Comments are always appreciated.