Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How to Find Jobs Late in Life

Many people nearing retirement age will need to keep working until they are in their 60s or 70s in order to have enough money to support themselves and their families.  However, sometimes people lose their jobs in their 50s, or they work in physically demanding jobs and know their bodies will not be able to take the punishment much longer.  What can people do when they need to change jobs late in life?

The good news is that it is quite possible to find new careers or less physically demanding jobs as you age. My husband and I have known a number of people who have started new careers in their later years.  Most of them found the jobs through the normal application process.  However, for those who have trouble finding a new job on their own, there are special programs to help them.

How to Find an Job After 50

Whether you are looking for a new job because you are no longer physically able to handle your current one, or because you were fired or laid off, you may believe you are getting too old to find another career.  Some people talk themselves into the idea that no one will hire them after they have reached a certain age. However, you may be pleasantly surprised to know there are more opportunities than you realize, if you know where to find them.  Below is a list of organizations which could make your job search a little easier.

BankWork$ - This is a free training program which teaches people of all ages how to become bank tellers and customer-service reps.  They will also help you polish your resume and find a job.  You can get more information at bankworks.org.

Department of Labor Job Centers - The Department of Labor operates over 2,000 American Job Centers which are committed to helping workers of all ages who either want to be re-trained or find a new job.  These centers are also called CareerOneStop and you can find more information about them at https://www.careeronestop.org/

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) - Although the Department of Labor program mentioned above is for people of all ages, SCSEP is specifically for unemployed people ages 55 and older who have low household incomes.  The program participants are paid the minimum wage while they get experience working for nonprofits and public institutions.  SCSEP is affiliated with the National Council on Aging (NCOA).  You can get more information on the NCOA website at https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/matureworkers/scsep/ 

AARP Back to Work 50+ - This AARP program works with community colleges, nonprofit partners and workforce boards to help people over the age of 55 who do not qualify for SCSEP because their household income is too high.  You can call (855) 850-2525 for more information about the program.

Where Else Can You Find Help Getting a New Job?

If you have explored the above organizations, but are interested in seeing what other options are available in your community, here are a few additional ideas to help you find a new career, even if you are 55 or older.

Attend job fairs in your community - They may lead you to jobs you never considered ... either full or part-time, permanent or temporary. A wide variety of jobs can often be found at these local events.

Apply to your local community college - Local colleges frequently offer training programs and job placement assistance with businesses in the community.  Many of them offer training which meets the specific needs of factories, industries and businesses in your town.

Contact local unions and trade associations about job opportunities - At the very least, these organizations can often put you in touch with job training and apprenticeship programs.

Visit your neighborhood senior center - Senior centers not only hire senior citizens themselves, but they often know of job opportunities for retirees in your area.

Most important, do not give up your job search.  There are opportunities available, even for people in their 60s and 70s. Go to local retail stores and other businesses and politely ask to fill out an application, just as you did when you were younger.  Look for help-wanted ads in the newspaper and online. You need to keep searching until you find the opportunity which is right for you.  Remember, you have a lifetime of skills and experience to offer a prospective employer.

If you would like an overview of retirement planning, watch for my book Retirement Awareness, which is being published by Griffin Publishing and Watering Seeds in the Fall of 2017.

If you are interested in learning more about financial planning for retirement, where to retire, common medial issues, changing family relationships after retirement and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo courtesy of morguefile.com

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

STEP Program for Overseas Travelers

One of the joys of retirement is the ability to travel virtually anytime you want. You are no longer tied down by your job's allowable vacation schedule or your children's school holidays. You can even move to another country, if you choose. However, when traveling overseas, it's not smart to simply throw caution to the wind.

Make sure you take full advantage of the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), as well as their other services.

Emergency Help from the U.S. State Department

Enrolling in the STEP program will give you the latest security updates. It will also make it easier for the local U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you if there is an emergency. You can either use the internet to enroll at https://step.state.gov/step/ or you can go to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and enroll there.

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service which allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to register their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 

According to the STEP website, the program can help you:
  • Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
  • Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
  • Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
Other State Department Services which Help Foreign Travelers

In addition to signing up for the STEP program, you should regularly check the State Department's website.  It is different from STEP.  Instead of waiting for them to contact you, it is a site where you can check out the current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Worldwide Cautions.  This could help you decide on the best or worst travel destinations before you make your reservations.  If you are planning to retire overseas, it could also help you decide which countries and areas within the countries are best for American expatriots.

One helpful page on the State Department's website is the State Department Travel page.  You can get information about passports and other travel related information there.

If you are planning to move to another country, you can contact the local consulate or embassy for information on a wide variety of services available to U.S. citizens, including passport renewal, obtaining federal benefits overseas (such as receiving your Social Security benefits in another country), transmission of citizenship to your children, documenting their birth overseas as U.S. citizens, and obtaining visas. 

Whether you are planning to spend time in another country for a week or live overseas for decades, it is important that you take full advantage of all the services available from the U.S. State Department, as well as our embassies and consulates around the world.

If you are interested in more information about traveling overseas, moving to another country, where to retire, financial planning or common medical issues, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional topics.

If you are beginning to plan your retirement, watch for my book, Retirement Awareness, which will be available in the Fall of 2017 from Griffin Publishing and Watering Seeds.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo credit:  morguefile.com

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

California Active Adult Retirement Communities

Are you looking for an over-55 active adult retirement community in California?  Do you believe that California is too expensive or has other issues which would make it undesirable for you to live there?  Most of the retirees who currently make California their home have been very satisfied with the decision, including those who have relocated from other states.  Here is some of the information you should know.

Cost of Living in California

Admittedly, parts of California, especially near the coast, can be more expensive than living in other states.  Homes in some areas can cost more than similar ones in other retirement meccas, such as Florida, and California also has a state income tax.  However, there are both condos and single-family homes throughout California which may be more affordable than you expect, including many in the $150,000 to $400,000 price range.  Many of these condos and homes can be found in the large number of active adult retirement communities scattered throughout the state.

In addition, property taxes are lower per $100,000 valuation than in some other states which do not have a state income tax, such as Texas.  Many people have found that the added expense of paying a state income tax on their modest retirement income is offset by the lower property tax rate.  Of course, you would have to talk to your financial advisor or income tax professional to see which of the states you are considering would work out best financially for you.

Weather in California

There are a wide variety of climates in California.  Along the coast in Southern California, you will find mild temperatures most of the year.  The inland desert area around Palm Springs, in the Coachella Valley, is pleasant in the winter, but extremely hot in the summer. It has been a popular place to retire for decades, with everyone from former President Gerald Ford to Sonny Bono and Bob Hope taking up residence there in their later years.

Northern California is colder and wetter in the winter than Southern California, but mild and sunny in the summer.  For those who enjoy winter sports, the California mountain ranges are sprinkled with ski resorts in Southern, Central and Northern California and many people who enjoy outdoor sports have purchased mountain cabins in rural areas, where they have been able to retire very affordably.  Fishing lakes, golf courses, vast park lands and other recreational areas can also be found throughout the state and hundreds of thousands of retirees have found comfortable places to retire near their favorite spots.

Consider an Active Adult Retirement Community

One popular choice is to retire in one of over 100 active adult retirement communities which are scattered around California.  These age restricted communities for people age 55 and over contain homes and amenities designed to be fun, convenient and accessible for people as they get older, even if they have limited mobility.  Below you can learn more about some of the more popular, affordable choices available in California.

A Popular Retirement Community in Southern California


Laguna Woods Village, just outside of Laguna Beach, is one of the most popular retirement communities in the state, with 18,000 residents.  Located just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, it also contains golf courses, swimming pools, tennis courts, gyms, clubhouses, a theater, a stable with horses for resident use, and many other amenities.  Condos are available in a wide range of prices, from $150,000 to over $1,000,000.  The biggest downside to the community is that it was developed in the 1960s and 1970s, which means many of the condos need to be updated, although some of them have already been modernized by the current owners.  There is so much to do in this community that a friend of ours who lives there refers to it as "Camp Laguna."

Other Affordable Southern California Retirement Communities include:

Oceana in Oceanside
Four Seasons in Beaumont
Terra Lago in the Coachella Valley
Sun Lakes Country Club in Riverside County

You can learn more about these communities, as well as others, at 55Places.com.  The article below is a good place to start:

https://www.55places.com/blog/southern-california-under-150k

A Popular Retirement Community in Northern California

Trilogy at Rio Vista has a variety of lovely homes which start in price around $300,000.  My husband and I have several friends who live there and they all love the community, which surrounds a golf course and is near the Sacramento River ... a perfect arrangement for people who love golf, sailing and fishing.  We attended a party at a home on the golf course and the view was gorgeous.  Many of the homes have solar panels on their roofs, which dramatically reduces the cost of heating and air conditioning.

Other Affordable Northern California Retirement Communities include:

Four Seasons at Westshore - near Sacramento
Sun City Roseville
The Vineyard in Redding
Diamond Glen in Folsom

You can learn more about all of the above communities, as well as others, in the 55places.com article below.

https://www.55places.com/blog/5-affordable-active-adult-communities-in-northern-california


Learn More about Other Active Adult Communities in California

Of course, the ten communities listed above are not the only choices in California.  If you would like to see a complete list of over 100 active adult retirement communities in California, including more comprehensive information than can be detailed here, you can download the entire 2017 California Active Adult Community Guide.  It is available free online and will give you detailed information about a wide variety of neighborhoods. 

Do you need a good overview of retirement planning tips? Watch for my book, Retirement Awareness, which will be published by Griffin Publishing and Watering Seeds in the Fall of 2017.

Would you like more information about retirement planning, where to retire in the US or abroad, common medical problems, Social Security, Medicare and more?  Use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo credit:  Photo of the golf course at Laguna Woods Village in Southern California is property of author.