Age discrimination part 2

Social Security Poster: old man

Image via Wikipedia

If Mitt and friends have their way, eligibility for Social Security and Medicare will both be delayed til later in life. Some of us work at jobs that are too physically demanding to continue working until age 68 or 69 or 70. Standing 8 hours per day or straining lower back muscles or developing carpal tunnel syndrome are all debilitating. Not all jobs involve sitting in soft, supportive chairs while counting one’s money. That is work that most of us would welcome.

Many people delay their retirement until they are eligible for Medicare, because private healthcare insurance is so expensive. If you lose your job after age 50, jobs are very hard to find due to age discrimination. It’s illegal but surprisingly prevalent. Most people think that it won’t happen to them, until it does. I know from personal experience that management is tempted to replace the experienced older worker with a young worker who will work for less, sometimes much less. And how is the laid-off older worker to survive between age 50 and his/her eligibility for Social Security and Medicare? If the home mortgage is paid off, those years after age 50 are the years where one is planning to save for retirement.

Please see Age discrimination | Retirement

Age discrimination

RIP Homeless person

Image by Matt From London via Flickr

Age discrimination in job hiring and firing is very widespread here in the US, much more so than most people believe. And most people believe that it can’t happen to them, until it does. I would still be working at age 70 if my most recent employer had not pushed me into retirement just before my 70th birthday. Not everyone is able to work to age 70 if their job requires strength and stamina. Fortunately my strength and stamina lasted until about 6 months before my retirement.

In a robust economy, it is often difficult for adults ages 50 and up to find employment. In this economy, I believe that it may be almost impossible. Discrimination because of age is illegal, but the law is difficult to enforce, even if the government wants to enforce it. Some of our legislators favor increasing the retirement age upwards toward 70 with eligibility for Social Security and Medicare happening later in life. I personally know several people who want to retire, but continue to work only because they are too young to qualify for Medicare.

As we enter our “golden years,” those of us who continue to work block promotion for younger workers. And what are the unemployed between ages 50 and 70 to do during those 20 years? Facing discrimination, they must feed themselves and their families until they reach age 70, if they are able to reach age 70 while denied adequate housing, nutrition and healthcare.