I worked from the age of 17, after I finished high school, for 40 years straight with little or no break. I worked hard and made a good wage, particularly the years when I owned my own business. I can hear my father’s voice in my head, always telling me to save money – over and over he said that, and did I listen? Unfortunately not enough, because now that I’m retired (for over 2 years’ now) I realize I don’t have nearly enough money to live another 20 years or so, which is probably as long as I’ll live. Try getting a job at 60 years’ old! No one wants to hire you. Its so unfortunate that companies don’t realize the asset an older employee could be. You don’t have to worry about maternity leaves with someone my age. Over 22 years of owning a business we had 9 maternity leaves – yes, you read that right – 9. And as required by employment law, we held jobs for the girls who had babies. No possibility of a maternity leave with me – that ship has sailed! Any employer knows that working Mothers often have to leave during the workday because they have a sick child who has to be picked up at school. Or these Mothers have to stay home because they have a sick child at home. The only “person” at my home is my cat, and he does not require babysitting. In fact he’s quite happy to be alone all day and sleep on my sofa! In addition, more experienced mature employees bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in the workforce. I’ve applied for jobs I’m over-qualified for, and I’m more than willing to work at these jobs, but employers don’t even call me for an interview. I understand they might think I’m not there for the long run, but in fact I would be a reliable, excellent employee who would show up everyday without fail. One more bonus when you hire a mature person – if they have elected to collect Canada Pension at 60 years’ old, you do not have to deduct CPP from their paycheque, and remit an identical amount. Therefore, the employer saves money! I’m sure any company would appreciate that. You think that years of experience gives you an “in” with almost any company, and that getting a job would be easy. It isn’t and I can tell you from personal experience its a little demoralizing. I have a long list of skills to bring to any job, including internet marketing, virtual catalogues, on-line shopping carts and payment, sales, inventory management, office and staff administration, bookkeeping, tax remittance experience (all taxes – payroll, corporate, GST, PST, etc.), even a fast typing speed and shorthand! I am very experienced with a computer and have considerable knowledge in using all of the everyday programs most companies use. Its very difficult, its sad, its painful, it seems so unfair. When you’re alone and 60 and you don’t have enough money in the bank its hard, very hard, and its a tough thing to go through. I feel lost and scared and worried and I’ve never felt that way before. I’ve taken care of myself for decades and yet at my most vulnerable I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it in the future. In order to maximize my savings I am now facing the possibility of selling my home and moving somewhere else. I love my condo. Its furnished and set up the way I love it, and I can have my family for dinner and entertain my friends. Its just not fair that in my “golden” years my life has to change in order for me to survive, but its all my fault. I did not listen to advice given to me, and I spent money freely when I was making it. BIG MISTAKE! I urge all of you to look at what you’re putting away every year, in your RRSP, or in your savings, and add to it, because old age comes way too soon!
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