The over fifties are doomed to be indefinitely unemployed with no sign of the situation improving in the post recession period. The younger lot is scrambling for jobs – how can the older group with fewer skills in latest expertise get a share of the pie? With rapid advances in technology the experience of the older group is not carrying any weight. Meanwhile a bleak old age stares them in the face with reduced pension benefits and high medicare costs. Foreclosure and unemployment are directly related.
There are presently 14.9 million on the unemployed list; of these 2.2 million to the 55 plus group. More than half of this group has been unemployed for over six months. Unemployment in this age group is 7.3% - it being a record. One of the victims is Patricia Reid who is 57. She has a college degree and experience as auditor and analyst with Boeing for two decades. Now she is without a job tired of applying and being shoved aside.
The recent recession has made it all the more necessary to stretch employment years. The value of property, the most reliable and valuable asset of any family, has got a battering. According to an April Gallup poll, over a third hoped to work even after 65 years of age. In 1995 only 12% had nursed this wish.
Enforced early retirement causes acute financial problems – more so in the lower income category. The recession in its trail has pushed down many senior workers.
According to the Census Bureau poverty rate has gone up among those in the age group of 55 to 64 from 8.6% as noted in 2007 to 9.4% as noted last year, 2009. The middle class are not being spared having dipped into their savings or the income of the spouse; they too are going down the ladder.
Reid contends that her entire life has been spent in running after security. Till the last couple of years she had never felt insecure. She felt exhausted and drained after losing her job that fetched her $80,000 annually. She spends most of her time with her laptop on the garret of the house that her husband had built in the 90s. It commands an awesome view of the Puget Sound. Reid tries not to think.
Her fear is that if she did seriously think she would lack the energy to get out of bed in the morning. Her husband's business relating to house repair has nose dived since the downturn and their bills are piling up. Although the house is free from mortgage there are repairing expenses to be addressed together with property taxes. Given the condition of the housing market selling the house would not be a solution for them – and for many others.
Karen Anne, has been working on RealEstateForeclosureBlog.com studying the foreclosures market, helping buyers on the finer points of foreclosed homes.