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2024 Expectations | I'm Age 55+..... Do I Work - Or Not?

Updated: Jun 7

Every community is facing a severe employment shortage!

You will feel it soon...for example...who is taking care of your health?


The world is experiencing population decline in most countries. China is the most notable. South Korea is another. Also the United States. On the surface, that may not be alarming when first observed. However, in developed countries, according to a recent Pew Research Study, somewhere between 2030 - 2033, the number of people over age 65 will exceed the number of people ages 0-25. The over 65 crowd is growing much faster than the 0-25 group.

Also, many of these people have not saved much money - at least not enough to independently retire entirely from the work force. Further, the total number of youngsters contributes to the workforce increasingly less. Those age 0-15 are hopefully not employed so that leaves only ages 15-25. In this group an entry level job may not be very exciting, (unless it's Chick-Fil-A which has some very disiplined ways of recruiting and training).

Locally the lines at Chick-Fil-A are long and very regular while another famous fast food spot next door has no one in the lines, or inside for that matter.

What's the difference? We are trying to find out - but, in any case, there are not enough young workers to go around.

Older workers then, are available, even sometimes compelled, to do entry level jobs which puts them in competition with younger workers.

This is something you may have felt in your neighborhood. Statements like: "I can't find anyone to fix my appliances". Or, "I wonder why my local restaurant closed", Or, "It takes me a long time to get into see my Doctor - then I have to get prescriptions, but the pharmacy is closed". There is no way we can hire enough people now, let alone when the full impact of the 2030-2033 wave hits.

Even now, every person charged with hiring for their company expresses tremendous shortages for applicants, and most who apply are not competent in some way. If hired, they may not show up. If they do they need training. After training, there is likely parenting of some sort, or retention efforts if they are mature.

Home Depot is noted locally for interviewing and hiring on the same day to keep a qualified applicant from looking elsewhere. The Navy is now lowering its recruiting standards, as are other government services. As a Navy vet, this is very scary to me - think about who is and will be manning our ballistic missile submarines. (Make it brief).


People become outraged selectively - it's usually when they are personally affected. They are often threatened when comfort is threatened, or their survival. But people are not organized as individuals to deal with the rate of change or the amount of change.

Who do they complain to when there is a fundamental change in their world by- a moving target that will continue to move. We need Wayne Gretsky in charge - "skate to where the puck will be when you want to hit it". How can we do this in our own backyards?

It takes some foresight and planning to think ahead about this demographic nightmare in community action groups.

In my own area we have formed such a group to explore ways to avoid the worst of these issues. Employers are working with government groups and non profits so we support each other within our Metropolitan Statistical Area. Early results are promising, and if you wish to know more about it and how we did it please contact me directly.

My niche in this effort is the age group 50-75. As a "retirement" (and unretirement) coach I'm often helping both spouses find a new "job", whether it is working for money or volunteering. I cannot help people do this effectively unless there is a "job" available in the area. The local employers need to know why people move and how to retain competent long time employees as they gradually "phase out". Just ask an employer if they know what their employees are thinking about "retirement" and you will likely find they have no clue.

Based on practical experience, organizations need to have non-financial planning as a fringe benefit, beginning ideally about 3 years before the actual event. Financial planning also, but the non-financial areas are where they need to concentrate early in the process.

This is typically not done. One day the employee comes to work and the next day they don't, especially in a forced retirement like a merger or plant closing. This is a lose-lose-lose

for everyone involved.


For you as an individual, start realizing your new responsibilities you thought you had covered but now you don't. A Doctor is not responsible for your health any more - you are, in league with his or her senior nurse. Get to know this person very well. Take them flowers, candy, know their kids names, etc. If this sounds like pandering, it is. You want to be first in their heart, because they have too many things demanding their precious time. Learn how to deal with those pesky phone systems so someone calls you back!

For you as a social human being living in groups, I hope you push yourself to be a part of several unrelated groups so you can share efforts to mitigate these changes. Design your efforts and execute the efforts with friends. Maybe you can do this yourself, but even if you can it is less fun and takes a lot longer. Look up the Retirement Coaches Association and find a coach. They are certified to do this and have resources you can use to personalize your efforts.

If you are an employer currently hiring, or job hunting, take a look at the AARP site for recent developments that assist people to find jobs and bolster the interviewing processess.

Our era truly is the "Future Shock" mentioned by Alvin Toffler back in the 70's. I recommend reading it again, if you like reading. If not, you may wish to look up this couple on You Tube: Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein. The You Tube interviews are interesting and provide provocative insight on your adapting to change.

Back to books - their book is called: A Hunter Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century. I hope you have time to read it because more change is coming. I remain an optimist.

There are, I predict,

Happy Days Ahead

Joe Grant, MBA

Certified Retirement Coach

Contact me for a Free 45 minute Conversation at

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