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Local programs help seniors find jobs
Mid-Valley follows national trend of adults working into retirement years
950 Tharp Road, Suite 1000, Yuba City
1114 Yuba St., Marysville
The economic downturn exacerbated long-term factors that were already eroding the financial standing of aging Americans: an inexorable rise in health-care costs, growing debt among older Americans and a shift in responsibility from employers to workers to plan for retirement.
The consequence is that the nation is facing a huge retirement savings deficit — as much as $6.6 trillion, or about $57,000 per household, according to a US Senate report.
A recent survey by the Conference Board found that nearly two-thirds of Americans ages 45 to 60 say they plan to delay retirement. Two years earlier, 42 percent said they would work longer.
— McClatchy Newspapers
Yuba-Sutter is following the national trend of more Americans working later in life, either to help make ends meet or to stay active and engaged in their community.
Stacey Quackenbush, the region's employment training coordinator for Experience Works, said she is seeing more people in their 50s, 60s and 70s seeking work in the Mid-Valley.
"The majority of my folks are receiving Social Security but are not seeing ends meet," she said. Others are short of the minimum Social Security age threshold of 62 and not yet eligible for the benefit.
The US Department of Labor-funded employment program for ages 55 and older operates of out the One Stop offices in Marysville and Yuba City, providing resources, instilling confidence and placing people in paid training programs with the goal of landing a job.
"They think no one will hire them because they are an older worker," Quackenbush said, countering with observations that dependable, reliable employees are highly sought after.
A boost in confidence, a résumé and skills training and classes can make all the difference, she said.
A One Stop office computer course brought opportunity for Jane McCarthy, 56, after she left behind a 21-year career in the financial industry on the East Coast to come to the Mid-Valley for family reasons.
Unemployed at 55, the now-Oroville resident said she was referred to Yuba County One Stop by a friend and was up against the common mentality of "I've never done this before, I'm a little ashamed," before embracing resources and being placed as Quackenbush's Experience Works office assistant in Yuba City.
Working toward a second career in casework, McCarthy said if someone comes to One Stop but isn't eligible for Experience Works, she refers them to career resources and Job Central's employment opportunity board.
In Yuba-Sutter, about 50 people are on the waiting list for one of the program's 32 spots, Quackenbush said. Two hundred are waiting in Chico.
"People are calling me all the time wanting to come onto this program," she said.
And McCarthy and Quackenbush said they recognize a large community need that is only likely to grow as baby boomers edge toward retirement age.
For Rob Ryan, principal for 16 years at Ryan Wealth Management in Yuba City, a lack of early and thorough planning is usually the culprit for having to delay retirement. While he couldn't comment on if the trend has become more common locally, Ryan cited national figures indicating an increase.
"From what I read about in the government's numbers, this is becoming more and more a factor that people need to work through retirement to be able to meet ends," he said.
Relying on labor to compensate for a lack of savings, however, can end up being beneficial, Ryan said, as some studies show working after retirement improves quality of life.
"It's still important to be involved in work, even if it's volunteer work," he said, pointing out earning even some money reduces what people pull from savings.
The type of situation resonates with Quackenbush, who said her 73-year-old mom still works full-time at a hospital and exercises three times a week — symbolic of a generational shift that may continue nationally and in Yuba-Sutter.