The job market in America? It's tough. Some Americans have quit looking for work altogether. The number of Americans looking for work has declined in recent years except for those 55 and older. That's according to a recent report released by the Government Accountability Office as reported on a LifeInc. article from MSNBC which was brought to my attention by Lance the Canadian.
The percentage of older Americans choosing to stay in the labor force, or get back in it, has steadily been rising over the past twenty years and even continued to increase over the course of the recession and recovery.
About 40 percent of workers age 55 and over were working or looking for work in 2011, the GAO analysis found, compared to about 30 percent in 1990.
That’s in contrast to young and prime-age Americans, who have seen declines in labor force participate rates in recent years.
The study shows that the real increases are coming from some of the oldest workers. closer look at the data shows that the real increases are coming from some of the oldest workers. Phillip Levine, an economics professor at Wellesley University, noted that labor force participation among 55- to 64-year-olds has generally been flat in the last five years, at about 64 to 65 percent. (I fit into that age range; I retired and moved to the Philippines at age 57. I'm now 60.)
But for workers 65 and over, labor force participation has increased from 15.5 percent in 2007 to 18.4 percent now. Levine’s analysis was based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
There are a number of potential reasons why the labor force participation rate has increased for people who we traditionally think of as being in retirement age.
One explanation may be that older workers are choosing to work longer to make up for investment losses and other financial woes as a result of the recession. Some people age 65 and older also may be getting back into the labor force because they can’t make ends meet on Social Security and retirement savings. Count my Dad, who lives in Las Vegas and will be 80 this coming August, in that group.
The GAO report said other factors keeping older workers at work may include better health and life expectancies, the increasing number of older women in the labor force and the need to stay at work to retain health benefits.
That a larger chunk of older people are working doesn’t diminish how tough the recession has been on people aged 55 and over, Levine notes.
The article goes on to state that although the unemployment rate for older workers has generally been lower than the broader population, a job loss in that age range can be particularly devastating. That’s because it generally takes older workers longer to find a new job, and that long gap in employment just before retirement age can have a harsh impact on their retirement plans.
Levine, who has done extensive research into older workers and the recession, said many people in that age range are “limping across the finish line.” The National Employment Law Project noted that many older workers face the double-whammy of a big employment gap and a resume that gives away their age. Both can be a turnoff to some potential employers.
So with more older Americans working, why not retire to the Philippines? Now I'm not recommending that you pack your Carpenters' cassette tapes and hop on (if you can) the next PAL flight to Manila. If you do not have a guaranteed source of monthly income such as a Social Security pension, DO NOT GET ON THAT PLANE!
We've discussed the topic of finding a job in the Philippines in a previous post. If you think you can move to this archipelago of 7,107 islands and find employment in your senior years, let alone any age, put away that crack pipe right now!
Let me clue you in. If you're over 30 years of age in the Philippines, your chances of finding a job, even if you're a Filipino, are next to none, let alone some old geezer foreigner (like I am) trying to find a job in the Philippines.
BUT if you DO have a decent income from Social Security or some other pension plan, you could retire to the Philippines and live a comfortable lifestyle. How much is a "decent income?" That depends on the lifestyle you choose to live and the location you end up in.
Let's throw in one more extremely important factor into the mix: RELATIVES. If your asawa or girlfriend expects you to support her family, extended family, and her slightest acquaintances, you had better have a little talk with her. You need to pull a Barney Fife and "NIP IT IN THE BUD!"
Make clear to your loved one what means of support you are able and willing to supply. But if you have unlimited funds and don't mind being sucked dry, just slap that "ATM" on your forehead right now.
But back to how much money would you need to retire to the Philippines. Can you survive on the $250 a month salary that my Peace Corps friends in Guimaras live on. Extremely doubtful.
How about $1,000 US Dollars a month. Possible, but not, in most instances, the Metro Manila area.
My asawa and I are doing OK on less than $1200 a month. That includes the $140 a month rent we pay for our two-bedroom rental home in our subdivision outside of Iloilo City. Our income will more than double once I can tap into my Social Security pension in early 2014 (and hopefully will still be in existence.) We will be living quite comfortably at that time.
But if you're tired of working and looking for a new adventure, check out the Philippines. My eBook, "Expat Guide to the Philippines," can help you plan that move. Life's too short. I was ready for a change, and I'm happy to spend my retirement years with my beautiful asawa in the Philippines. There's plenty of room for you here, too. You can make the change. It's all up to one person: YOU!