The Seattle Times profiles Sloan, a 65 year old accountant who has been out of work since mid-2009. She's rather enjoying the lessening of the stress caused by 12 hour workdays with her previous employer but her unemployment will be ending soon and she's worried about her future.
This story hit home because Sloan is just a few years older than myself, has saved about $60,000 less than me, and is also diabetic. She has considerable equity in her home, but she still owes $130,000 on it. I'm guessing she took a 30 year mortgage when she bought her home 16 years ago, so she will be 80 years old before it's paid off. Still, she has no other debt, which puts her ahead of me on the credit card front.
Assuming the author of the article is correct, I was interested to learn that Sloan could get Social Security under her ex-husband's account, and let her own Social Security ride until she turns 70, at which time she would get maximum payments on her own account. If this is true, it makes me regret never marrying (though apparently I would have had to have married and stayed married for ten years for this to work).
The article also highlights an issue for older workers who have the work experience but not the educational credentials--Sloan is called an accountant but she never graduated from college. I'm wondering if this makes her more like a glorified bookkeeper? This was fine so long as she was with one employer, as she was for some 20 years. Yet it makes moving to a different job more difficult for her.
I thought it was smart of her to take courses that would allow her to prepare taxes professionally because that would allow her to earn money on a part-time (or part-year) basis.
I was glad to see that though her financial planner had concerns, he also had plans for Sloan that would lead to a successful, though frugal, retirement.