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View Diary: My 62-year old father was let go yesterday (295 comments)

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  •  Let go at 59 (7+ / 0-)

    Just after turning 59 my company relocated our product line to a plant in Europe (it's easy to close plants here, not so in most of Europe) and I was out of a job.  In 2 years of looking for work the only interviews that I had were a result of some HR person not adding up my work experience and thinking that I was younger.  I was luckier than most, I have 2 (smallish) pensions and a 401k that gave me some security.  Despite that though, what I really wanted was a job and, silly me, I thought maybe Obama and the Dems in Congress would do something along the lines of job creation.  I guess not.
    Now the republicans seem determined to destroy the value of my 401k, Obama talks about raising the age to qualify for Medicare and just about everybody thinks Social Security benefits are too high.
    When I was let go I realized that the chances of finding a job like what I had been doing and making the money that I had were very slim.  I had to face the idea that I just may have worked my last day and that I was a de facto retiree and I think that helped as the rejection letters and e-mails started to add up.  After 2 years I decided that I was "officially" retired and over the last month I've started to shift into that mode.  It's depressing, it's going to be difficult but since retirement has been a long time goal I guess I'll try to make the best of it.

    •  I guess I'll jump in here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      midwesterner, Seamus D

      I just turned 60 this year, but I've seen age discrimination for at least 10 years or more.  I have help very senior technical executive positions in the past, making nice 6 figure incomes.  Those days are long gone.  I currently have a "job" working as an engineer at a very small company where my boss (an old friend) is in his 70s, making me the young one :-).  But this company is struggling, slowly gaining, being in the video surveillance business, which in this day and age, almost everyone wants more cameras.  Anyway, I've worked for this company for the last 5 years, 2 paid, 2 laid off, and 1 now volunteer.  I finally told my boss that unless he paid me something, I was going to need to stop volunteering because I would need to sell my house as I can't afford the property tax here in California (I live in a rich neighborhood).  So my boss has agreed to pay me a fraction of what I once was paid, much less than would be expected in Silicon Valley, but I do have a degree of freedom that a normal working stiff doesn't.  I really appreciate my boss's support.  He is a nice guy and is exceptionally driven even at his age.  I know this is a strange situation and not one that most people could get, but it seems to be working now, allowing me to stay relevant, keeping my mind active and doing useful stuff that some younger, better trained in this specific discipline, but still able to get the job done.  I wish your father well.

      "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

      by dangoch on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 09:44:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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