Weekly Update 7/22/13 Best employers for older workers

The following article was written for financial advisors by columnist Bob Powell. Bob addresses an important issue that is slowly changing the role of financial advisors.

Best employers for older workers

What are best employers for workers over age 50? Well, AARP and the Society of Human Resource Management in June released its list of employers that have the best track record retaining, retraining, engaging and recruiting the older workers who will be increasingly crucial to their success and the success of the U.S. economy over the coming decade.

The 2013 list can be found at AARP Best Employers for Workers Over 50.

The list of 2013 winners includes employers from a variety of industry sectors, including for-profit and nonprofit, health care, universities, financial services, construction, aerospace, and federal and county government.

According to AARP’s blog, National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world’s premiere medical research institution, earned top honors among the 50 winners for 2013. Scripps Health of Southern California was runner up, and three other health-care related organizations round out the top five: Atlantic Health System of Morristown, New Jersey (#3); the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (#4), and Mercy Health System of Janesville, WI (#5). Notice a theme here?

NIH, a four-time honoree in the Best Employers program, provides generous health benefits and a “Fit Plus Program” that strongly supports the needs of employees 50 and over who are beginning or maintaining a fitness program. Full-time employees are eligible to move to part-time work on a permanent or temporary basis.

Beyond the top 5 there was more diversity among the winners, from educational institutions (Cornell University, #11 and George Mason University, #13) to for-profit corporations (Southern Company,#22 and Michelin North America, #24). A small non-profit, the YMCA of Greater Rochester, #6, proved that you don’t have to be big or have big money to create a winning workplace.

Of note, if you are trying to help a client look for a job or contemplate “what’s next” in terms of work, visit www.aarp.org/work. That site has job-hunting tips and resources and encore career advice. You can also help your clients get connected with employers who value experience via Life Reimagined for Work. You can also find on that website information to help you help your clients start or grow a small business.

Can you serve as a career coach for your clients?

According to John Nelson, co-author of What Color Is Your Parachute? For Retirement, career coaching is just as complex and specialized as financial planning and that advisers should not try to do it. “And it’s doubly complex for clients after age 50,” he said.

The short answer, according to Nelson, is this: “You’re doing a disservice to your clients if you think you can do a little career coaching, based on your observations, and truly help them.”

On the other hand, career coaches and counselors are notoriously squeamish about getting to the real money questions with clients. They may not ask: Can you really afford to not work? Do you have to take a job you don’t like as well, to get more pay? Or can you really afford to take that lower paying job that is more fulfilling?

So what’s the planner’s career coaching role? Their unique and very valuable role is to frame the possibly unpleasant reality of the need for earned income in the client’s financial retirement plan. For example, setting the income objectives, timeline for paid work, and the like.

The adviser/planner brings the “why” work. But then make sure the client works with a career coach. Because giving the client the motivation to work, without the skills and knowledge of how to find meaningful and fulfilling paid work, won’t get the desired result. The coach brings the “how to.”

How much will you earn while working in retirement?

Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 102.6 million full-time wage and salary workers were $773 in the first quarter of 2013, not seasonally adjusted, according to a recent BLS report based on Current Population Survey data.

Women who usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $704, or 81.2% of the $867 median for men.

Among men, those ages 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly earnings, $1,015 and $983, respectively. Usual weekly earnings were highest for women ages 35 to 64; weekly earnings were $757 for women ages 35 to 44, $758 for women ages 45 to 54, and $771 for women ages 55 to 64. Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings, at $459.

Among those age 65 and older, men had median weekly earnings of $889 while women had median weekly earnings of $645. These are from the Current Population Survey.

Have a productive week.

Please let me know if you would like to be taken off this distribution list.

Ron Mastrogiovanni
HealthView Services, Inc.
150A Andover Street
Danvers, MA 01923

mobile: 617-875-9313
fax: 978-561-1857


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