What risks do mature workers face?

I was recently asked what I consider to be the largest risks people face in terms of finding ways to work later in their maturity. Here’s my response.

  1. High on the short list of risks are people who fail to recognize that work is a part of the career journey and not simply the job “du jour.” Why? Because these are the self-same people who fail to understand that preparation is the ounce of prevention all 21st century workers need in order to guarantee the right to continue to contribute.
  2. People who fail to study the market as it is evolving run the high risk of seeking opportunities that no longer exist.
  3. People who are strangely naïve, as to who will decide the timing of their exits from the workplace, run the risk of receiving an ugly surprise long before they planned to leave. More often than not, it is the employer rather than the individual who forces the timing of this decision.
  4. People who fail to calculate what it really will take financially to retire in moderate comfort run a huge risk of underestimating their financial situations. The Employee Benefit Research Institute states that “only 53 percent of workers 55 and older have even tried to calculate how much they need for retirement.”  They go on to report that 29 percent have less than $10,000 in savings and investments. It’s little wonder that just 13 percent said they were confident they had enough to live comfortably in retirement.

Carleen MacKay
Director, CPI Mature Workforce Initiatives
Career Partners International

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  1. Jim Davidson's avatar
    Jim Davidson
    | Permalink
    You certainly hit many of the key risks mature workers face.

    I would like to add to point #4. In addition to lack of preparation for financial stability very few individuals take time to look at a number of other areas in their lives that they should be planning for. Some of those include health and wellness; family and relationships; leisure and social; and personal development. It is well worth taking the time to speak to a coach to assist you in assessing your planning around those areas.

    Taking the time to invest in your future today will pay dividends later.

    Jim Davidson
    Managing Director of Career Services
    Optimance, a CPI firm.
  2. Brad Taft's avatar
    Brad Taft
    | Permalink
    Jim: Great add-on comment to Carleen’s entry. I can tell you this – most people spend more time on planning their vacation then they spend on planning their personal and professional development.

    Strange, isn’t it?

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