/Nearing Retirement But Just Laid Off? Do This.

Nearing Retirement But Just Laid Off? Do This.

Almost 17 million Americans, one-tenth of the workforce, have become unemployed in the last three weeks. It’s a frightening prospect for all, especially for those nearing retirement. 

Worse still, this demographic is more likely to face age discrimination when looking for gainful employment.

Fortunately, there are practical steps you can take. Here’s what financial advisers suggest Americans who aren’t quite ready to retire do, starting with determining their financial situation: (MarketWatch)

Workers need to assess where they stand financially, so that they can know what it takes to retire. Thomas Duffy, a financial adviser at Jersey Shore Financial Advisors, suggested asking a few questions, the first of which is: Can you maintain your lifestyle without working?

If the answer is yes, determine all sources of income, what health insurance will be used until Medicare kicks in, any major expenses coming up (like a wedding, trip or home renovation) and how inflation may impact cash flow in the next five to 20 years. Also, what are the unexpected expenses that may arise, like a broken down car or a roof that needs to be replaced?

If the answer is no, individuals should still figure out what their cash flow needs are, but also research benefits they’re entitled to and determine expenses that can be eliminated for the moment. Workers of all ages should also consider how much in salary they’d be willing to accept at a new job, he said.

The government’s recently passed stimulus package, known as the CARES Act, expanded unemployment benefits. Under the $2 trillion package, part-time and self-employed workers, including gig workers, are eligible for unemployment benefits, and state benefits are boosted with an additional $600 a week. Anyone whose workplace was closed due to the coronavirus crisis, who had to quit their job because of the disease, or who were supposed to start working but the job fell through because of the crisis are covered. Family caregivers also qualify.

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