We’re at the 4-year mark for Richard being unemployed, and it’s becoming harder and harder to look ahead with optimism. We know that the reason is his age, everyone knows that it’s hard for 60-year-old men to find jobs, but it is hard to believe that corporations can’t see the value in the years of experience–and a person who has kept up with the skills in his field. He’s had contracts during the four years, but our lives always seem so precarious now, and with so few options to fix things. We have maneuvered our way through financially by selling investments that were earmarked for retirement, refinancing our home, and taking help from the state on our health insurance for two years.
It feels as if we have been painting a floor, and now we are painted into a corner and the paint won’t dry. What action can we take? Are people supposed to sell their homes, cash in their retirement funds, and get on an ice floe and float away? What are the options when you simply cannot pay your bills?
I never thought, back in 2004, that it would not be possible for my husband to find work. It almost seems as if there is a hidden black list or something that prevents him from getting a job. He goes to the interviews, answers the questions, is personable and enthusiastic, doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, and is a person who feels as if he represents a company even when he is on his own time. I have listened to him in telephone interviews, written and rewritten his resume, dumbed it down, made it into different styles, added keywords, had it looked at by professional human resource people. The only thing we can point at is his age.
To make it worse, Rich is a person who can ramp up on new technology in a heartbeat. But at some point keeping current seems futile. And we have begun to ask ourselves: Is his working life over? Should we be planning for continuing unemployment? How do you plan for that? We can’t live on our retirement at this point and certainly the crash has taken its toll on our assets. Companies with jobs outside his field won’t take a chance on him. He’s tried applying for lower level jobs with a synergy to his skillset, but they think he’ll leave when something better comes along. He tried applying for jobs driving shuttles and vans, but no one will call him back. He tried ambulance transport. What do people do?
There must be many of you out there with similar stories. Please write and give me some ideas and some hope.