How The Pandemic Changed The Rules of Personal Finance

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In the last half of last year, we heard a lot of talk (and we at NPR did a lot of talking) about the Great Resignation, aka the Big Quit. This was a trend that started right around the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and saw — anecdotally, at least — large numbers of people leaving their jobs voluntarily. There was some controversy about the Big Quit, not the least because some reporting on the trend made it sound as though many of these workers had decided to leave the labor force forever.

But the hard data — particularly here in the U.S. — suggests that in fact the labor force participation rate, which plunged at the beginning of 2020, recovered pretty quickly. That included workers close to retirement age. Which suggests that people weren’t actually quitting work altogether, but were, rather, just switching jobs — in many cases leaving jobs that paid well but required long hours, and finding jobs that perhaps paid less but gave them more control over their lives. In other words, it was less the Great Resignation and more the Great Reshuffle.

That’s certainly the conclusion that Jill Schlesinger reached. Schlesinger is a certified financial planner and a business analyst at CBS News. She’s also the author of a new book, The Great Money Reset, which draws on her experience talking with callers to her personal finance podcast, Jill on Money. Many of those callers were considering their own Big Quit, but they weren’t sure whether they could do it, or how to go about it.

Schlesinger says questions about switching jobs with a view to achieving better work-life balance aren’t unheard of in the personal finance world, but they became a lot more common during the pandemic. She describes herself as inundated. And she says that is the first in a number of big changes that she thinks will affect the personal finance world going forward.

“Amid the pandemic, people who called my show were seeking more control over their time and work conditions,” she says. “With the benefit of time and the quiet of the pandemic, many concluded that they want to work less or differently, enjoy more flexibility in their jobs, work at a less stressful job, or shift to a new career. They don’t necessarily wish to forgo the comforts of life, but they are willing to make at least some financial sacrifices in order to do it.”

It’s not only about the numbers

Financial sacrifice! That’s not a phrase you hear much in the personal finance world. That’s because, for the most part, personal finance specialists and planners are focused on increasing assets, with an eye on a long-term time horizon: retirement. In that world, the concept of financial sacrifice doesn’t really fit.

Schlesinger believes the pandemic has changed that because investors have been made acutely aware that they may not make it to retirement, and it’s a good idea to think about how to enjoy some of that money now. To factor that into the financial planning process, Schlesinger says, advisors are going to have to get to know their clients better.

“What’s hard for a lot of financial planners is they don’t like to get into the emotional stuff,” Schlesinger says. The best — and most expensive — planners do, of course: they see their clients as complex human beings, who have diverse needs and messy lives. Most of the financial services industry, however, is geared towards treating people as widgets that are expected to have a certain life span, punctuated by a specific retirement point.

There’s not much room for the human factor there. Schlesinger says good financial planners were already turning against that approach before the pandemic hit. “They realize that you cannot just hand a client a list and say, please populate the assets, liabilities, income expenses,” Schlesinger says. “You actually have to learn about who they are. And I think that the pandemic has accelerated that trend.”

The reserve fund is the most important thing

Schlesinger says that before the pandemic, she would give people some pretty standard advice about their money. She would start by telling them about the three mainstays of personal finance.

“I would say to people, you’re just starting out. Here’s what you have to do: You need an emergency reserve fund, you need to pay off your debt, and you need to try to put money into retirement. And I would often give those things equal weight.”

People saw the wisdom of paying off debt and saving for retirement, of course. The emergency reserve fund? That was a harder sell.

“People would yell at me and say, ‘How can you tell people to keep six to 12 months of their living expenses in an account that’s paying no interest?’ Because remember during the pandemic and early days, it really was 0% interest,” she says. But the pandemic underlined the importance of having some kind of cash cushion. “The people I spoke to who had emergency reserves, had funds that they could tap into, went through the pandemic in a very different way than people who were relying on stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits.”

Now, she says, she still touts the three mainstays, but today the emergency fund gets much more attention. And not just from her. “I think post pandemic, more people understand that having an emergency reserve fund — having access to money that you can rely on — has become number one, two, and three.”

Everyone wants to talk about estate planning now

For most financial planners, the hardest part of conversations is talking about the end game. People are happy to discuss retirement all day long. After all, they’re anticipating a good time, when they can travel, or see family, and do all the things they’ve put off doing for forty years. But talking about what happens to their money and their assets when they die? No one ever wanted to talk about that before the pandemic.

They do now.

“I no longer have to fight with people about getting estate planning,” Schlesinger says. “It’s been a fascinating shift.”

Schlesinger says COVID-19 put end-of-life considerations onto the front burner for a lot of people. She heard an especially painful story from one caller, who told her about a blowup over a family business. “Someone died and there was a small business involved and there was no instruction. Like, ‘what are we doing with this business? Well, dad would’ve wanted us to keep it, but mom really needs the money.'”

A family fight erupted because the parent who died left no instructions. Presumably not what the parent had wanted to leave as their legacy. And certainly not what the grieving relatives wanted to go through.

“Everybody knows somebody who has a terrible estate story,” Schlesinger says. The upside is that those people paid attention to those stories. Now they want to discuss estate planning. But those are tough conversations that force people to make hard choices, and the challenge now, Schlesinger says, is actually getting her clients to put those plans in place.

The triggers have changed

It wasn’t unheard of for people to make big changes in their lives before the pandemic, of course, but Schlesinger says it wasn’t particularly common. Most people had a career and predictable trajectory to retirement that they did their best to stick to. There were usually only a handful of life events that could shift people from that trajectory. Divorce and death were the big ones, she says, but the pandemic brought a lot more triggers to the fore: Mental health; adverse work events; isolation.

“You’re living this very bare, stripped down life, and you’re with your thoughts, and you’re hearing about terrible things and it’s really scary,” she says, noting that in that context, suddenly a lot of the decisions we made in order to reach a faraway financial goal didn’t seem to make sense. “And maybe that’s the moment you say, ‘why do I live a thousand miles away from my parents? Why have I chosen to work so hard that actually I’m not sure I really like my job; but I know I really love my kids, and I don’t really think I want to work this way anymore.'”

The big barrier to making change — even when it seems the obvious choice — is fear. But the way Schlesinger sees it, the pandemic forced change on a large number of people. And they had to face those fears.

“I just was so overwhelmed by the number of people who were fearful. But who, once that fear started to dissipate, really saw opportunity amid all this chaos. And I’m not talking about market opportunity, I’m talking about life opportunity. What is it that I really think I wanna do?”

She says personal finance specialists and financial planners are going to need to come to terms with the fact that, in a weird way, the pandemic made people feel they needed to take control over their lives in a more active way, and to advocate for their more immediate needs and wants. Now it’s okay to look at your career goals and your financial plans for retirement and all the rest of it and say … What about me? Where does my in-the-moment happiness fit into this?

Schlesinger has made big, bold shifts in her own life in the past: she gave up a lucrative financial planning career to become a writer, journalist, and podcaster — so she knows what’s at stake. But it was the experience of a friend of hers, Maureen, that really brought home to her the importance of understanding what the real motivations are for making changes in your life. And how to respond to them.

“Maureen was diagnosed with a very deadly cancer and she had a four month horrible illness and died on November 30th,” Schlesinger says. “Everyone has a momentous event that shakes up your life. Everybody does. And you feel the stress. You feel emotions I think even in myself as I went through that event with her, my own ability to understand how the choices we make matter, was amplified. And what I can tell you is that when you have the ability to plan in advance and use that to open up pathways for yourself, it’s really beneficial.”

Lighten up a little

Wild investing strategies have been around for as long as markets have existed, but the pandemic coincided with some of the craziest, including the meme stock explosion and the crypto craze. Schlesinger thinks this had much to do with people being locked down, without much to do, while there was a lot of money sloshing around the system.

“When I say a lot of money sloshing around the system, remember that we had trillions of dollars of excess savings that built up. Mostly that came from the upper, highest net worth people, but a lot of people were knowledge workers working at home who got stimulus checks and had a lot of time to futz around and had a few bucks in their accounts.”

She says the communities that fueled this kind of trading weren’t new, but they exploded during the pandemic, and they will likely diminish once COVID and its variants recede. But they won’t go away. And that’s okay. It’s even okay to spend some time on your choice of subreddit and surf the occasional meme stock or crypto asset wave. So long as you do it responsibly.

“I’m not constitutionally against people taking flyers,” Schlesinger says. “I mean, have fun, but don’t have fun and risk the farm. Have fun and say, ‘All right, I put 5% of my total investments in some crazy stuff. That’s fun.'”

In other words, personal finance doesn’t have to be all asset allocation, income optimization, estate planning and taxes. It can be fun too — if you choose. That’s a new rule that everyone can get down with. Jill Schlesinger’s new book is The Great Money Reset. It’s out now.

By: Paddy Hirsch

Source: How the pandemic changed the rules of personal finance : Planet Money : NPR

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New Research Shows Remote Work Essential For Caregivers

Work from home...Surface/Unsplash

Work from home jobs for caregivers have been on the rise in recent years, and for good reason. A recent study by Mother Honestly and Care.com found that 73% of caregivers use the time they save from working from home to care for their children, and 70% use it to spend more time with their partner or spouse.

This report shows that remote work can be vital for work-life balance, and employers must take note of these findings before deciding to eliminate remote work. Having helped 21 organizations as a consultant in implementing hybrid work, I talk to a few leaders every week about how to manage their workforce talent strategy. And inevitably, parents and other caregivers come into the picture.

One of the main benefits of work from home jobs for caregivers is that it levels the gender playing field. Traditionally, caregiving responsibilities have been shouldered by women, but the ability to work from home has made it easier for men to contribute to child care and household chores.

The study found that 47% of men with a child under 15 felt they could spend more time with their kids and better help out their partners. This is a significant shift and it means that more opportunities are opening up for women to slow down on the homefront and ramp up on the workfront.

Additionally, managers and caregivers are on the same page when it comes to remote work. The study found that 77% of managers and 76% of caregivers agree that remote work improves workers’ overall quality of life. This is a significant shift as it shows that remote work has finally proven itself after three years of uncertainty from leaders.

It’s important to note that remote work doesn’t have to have a downside. Many workers and leaders are worried about the threat remote work poses to career advancement. The study found that 58% of women and 64% of men say remote work limits their career, while 48% of managers believe showing up to the office equates to more advancement opportunities. However, if employers truly commit to implementing a flexible and inclusive workplace, remote work can be a win-win for both employees and employers.

One of the challenges that companies face when implementing remote work is cognitive biases. Attentional bias can play a role, as managers may only pay attention to the negative aspects of remote work and ignore the positive benefits, despite the new research about the benefits of remote work for caregivers.

Another cognitive bias that can impact companies is the status quo bias. This bias can lead managers to prefer the status quo, even when it’s not the best option. For example, a manager may prefer to keep their employees in the office, even though remote work would benefit both the employees and the company through helping caregivers stay at their jobs.

Functional fixedness is another cognitive bias that can impact the remote work discussion. Managers may view remote work as a fixed concept and may not consider different variations of remote work, such as a hybrid model, that may better suit the company’s needs and help to provide work-life balance for caregivers.

The empathy gap can also play a role in the remote work discussion. Managers may not be able to fully understand the challenges that caregivers face and may not fully appreciate the benefits of remote work for caregivers.

It’s important for employers to understand that remote work can level the gender playing field, with men stepping up more than ever before due to newfound flexibility. Remote work also improves workers’ overall quality of life and can be a win-win for both employees and employers if implemented correctly.

However, employers must also be aware of the potential downsides of remote work and how cognitive biases can impact their decision-making process. It’s essential to consider different variations of remote work, such as a hybrid model, that may better suit the company’s needs.

Additionally, employers must understand that remote work can also have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line. A recent study from Stanford found that companies that offer remote work options have lower turnover rates, which in turn can save the company money in recruitment and training costs.

Work from home jobs for caregivers are becoming increasingly important as the need for work-life balance becomes more pressing. Employers must take note of the benefits of remote work for caregivers, and be aware of the potential downsides and how cognitive biases can impact their decision-making process. By implementing a flexible and inclusive workplace, employers can reap the benefits of remote work for both employees and the company.

I help leaders use hybrid work to improve productivity and retention while cutting costs as the CEO of the boutique future-of-work consultancy Disaster

Source: New Research Shows Remote Work Essential For Caregivers

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Related contents:

New Research Shows Remote Work Essential For Caregivers Forbes

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5 Secrets To A LinkedIn Profile That Can Compete In The 2023 Job Market

In a job market saturated with candidates, a strong LinkedIn profile may just be your saving grace...getty

The new year has arrived, and for the career-oriented go-getters, so has another list of professional goals to tackle. Double the size of your professional network, promote your organization externally, find a new job after getting laid off, increase your annual salary, get a mentor…

Would you believe me if I said you could check any of these items off your to-do list just by giving your LinkedIn page a facelift? It sounds shallow, but it’s true: the likelihood you’ll receive a job interview or have a career-changing conversation within the next year rely heavily on the caliber of your LinkedIn profile.

You may as well shove those high heels back in the closet and forget about ironing that shirt because you can propel your career forward just by laying down on your couch with a laptop while wearing yesterday’s sweats. It may not be a professional nor ergonomic look, but in today’s age, it works. The phrase “getting your foot in the door” has never stood further away from its literal meaning.

Shiny LinkedIn profiles will dominate the 2023 job market

If the thought of rewriting your LinkedIn bio or brainstorming a catchy headline makes you want to run in the opposite direction, trust me when I say you should think again. With more than 875 million users worldwide, LinkedIn’s role in the hiring process is nothing short of massive.

Jobvite’s 2020 Recruiter Nation Survey reported that 72% of recruiters use LinkedIn to hire new candidates. Every second, 101 job applications are submitted through the platform. Eight people get hired every minute.

But don’t be deceived – the prevalence of job listings does not equate to a surplus of work. According to LinkedIn’s December 2022 Workforce Report, hiring across all industries fell 4.9% from October to November and is 20.5% lower than it was during November of last year. Even more concerning, current hiring has fallen 11.9% below pre-pandemic levels – a clear indicator that the job market is entering a shift we haven’t experienced in years.

A Looming Recession And How It May Affect Tax Collections

Job hunters looking to work from home face an especially competitive battle. Remote work makes up only fifteen percent of the jobs listed on LinkedIn, but receives 50% of the platform’s applications. The Washington Post dubs the growing clash between employees’ interest in remote work and the employers who are willing to allow it “the great mismatch.”

In a job market saturated with candidates, those with sleek shiny LinkedIn profiles rise to the top.

5 steps to glam-up your LinkedIn profile

1. Structure your profile around your career goals

Whether you partake in New Year’s resolutions or not, the beginning of a new year comes with the inevitable urge to imagine the future that lies ahead. Use this time to think about the career goals you have for the upcoming year. Doing this before you dive into a full-on LinkedIn makeover will help you structure the changes you do make around a specific purpose. A cohesive profile gives recruiters a clear message about who you are and what you have to offer.

Here are a few questions you can help you define the career goals you have for the new year:

  • Where would you like to see yourself by the end of the year?
  • What skill set are you primarily using in your career this year– and what key words reflect those skills when used on your profile (remember! Recruiters search by key words)?
  • How would you like your brand to change over the next year?
  • Think of a dream company you’d love to work for. What impression would you want to give in a conversation with a recruiter?
  • What topics and skills would be beneficial for you to learn and develop?

2. Revamp the details

A sparse or crusty LinkedIn profile gives recruiters little faith someone will perform at a high standard in the workplace. It’s just a fact of life: aesthetics matter, and this is especially true in the job market. Take the time to make sure the details of your LinkedIn profile are all straightened out. Photo lighting, punctuation, job descriptions – these may seem like small things, but recruiters notice when they’re done sloppily.

Look at the content you already have on your page and see how it can be improved or updated:

  • Profile Picture
  • Use a photo that closely resembles your current appearance
  • Avoid using photos with poor lighting or additional people you need to cut out
  • Wear business-casual attire, take the photo from the chest up in front of a plain background
  • Headline
  • Avoid the default headline that shows your job title under your name
  • Instead, give a wide scope of who you are by including skills, certifications, future goals, and your own interpretation of what it means to do the work you do
  • Use your headline to explain where you want to go. If you’re in tech, transitioning into communications, lead with what you want to go into.
  • About info
  • Make sure your bio is written in the first person (use the words “I” and “my”)
  • Double check for grammatical mistakes and punctuation errors
  • Avoid casual language, fragmented sentences, and an excessive use of emojis
  • Background photo
  • Make your profile pop by adding a background photo in the space above your profile picture
  • Avoid personal photos and group photos
  • Consider using a subtle image related to your career
  • New accomplishments
  • Add the jobs, awards, or major achievements you’ve had since last updating your profile
  • Previous work experience
  • Treat this section of your LinkedIn Page like your resume by describing the work you did with a few bullets led by strong action verbs
  • Format text consistently across all job entries

3. Reassess your keywords

This is the part where strategy comes into play. You can create the most aesthetically pleasing profile LinkedIn has ever seen, but it won’t be seen by recruiters if you don’t leverage keywords correctly. Keywords are terminology commonly used in a specific industry.

Recruiters hiring for job candidates through LinkedIn will often filter results by entering keywords that relate to the position or industry into the platform’s search feature. The more keywords you include in your profile, the better chance you have at being approached by a recruiter looking to hire someone in that related field.

Think about some keywords that relate to the goals you brainstormed in step 1. If you’re looking to change jobs, you can probably benefit by rewording your profile’s “about” section and previous job descriptions to better reflect the skills sought after in your preferred job or industry. But make sure you avoid using keywords that stretch the truth – you may think this gives you an edge over candidates, but it will only be a detriment to your credibility later on.

4. Expand your network with LinkedIn groups

Scrolling through a seemingly infinite reel of LinkedIn posts makes it easy to forget that the platform, at its core, is a network of professionals. Passively consuming posts from college peers will rarely be enough to propel your career forward. Instead, you need to use LinkedIn to actively seek out professionals with valuable connections and opportunities in your field of work, and the finding right LinkedIn group is a total gem.

The easiest way to do this? Join more LinkedIn groups and take note of which one has like minded professionals and positive engagement. There’s a LinkedIn group related to just about every occupational field and professional development topic out there, including several for job seekers. You can read more about which ones I recommend here.

5. Become more active and explore creator mode

Your posts, comments, likes, and shares all play a role in shaping a hiring manager’s impression of you. In essence, they’re part of your personal brand. While some people may think it’s safer to avoid leaving a trail of activity, this path can be even more detrimental.

A lack of engagement on LinkedIn reads as a lack of interest in professional development and few, if any, achievements in the workplace. Of course, this may very well also not be the case, but it doesn’t change the fact that a recruiter has no reasons to believe otherwise.

If you’re anxious about engaging with other professionals on LinkedIn, dip your toe into the water by liking and commenting on posts that come up in your feed. Keep in mind that comments that prompt a follow-up answer will spur more engagement than comments that just affirm the post.

You don’t need to make your own LinkedIn posts overly complicated. A quick update on a team project or a post highlighting your company’s community involvement is a short but positive contribution to people’s timelines. Do your best to remain active and consistent on the platform. Consider giving yourself a certain number of posts to aim every week or month.

Above all else, make sure the content you do contribute to LinkedIn stays classy and avoids conflict. There are better places you can go if you’re looking for tension, namely Facebook and Twitter.

I’m a career coach, keynote speaker, podcast host (You Turn Podcast) and author, here to help you step into a career you’re excited about and aligned with.

Source: 5 Secrets To A LinkedIn Profile That Can Compete In The 2023 Job Market

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Growing Anxiety On LinkedIn, With Marketing And Tech Workers Most On Edge

Woman leaves work with her possessions after being laid off....getty

More than 30% of professionals on LinkedIn self-reported feeling anxious about their jobs, fearing that their employers are planning budget cuts and layoffs. People working in marketing, product management and tech are more concerned than those in legal, administration or accounting.

LinkedIn, the go-to social media platform for job seekers and career-oriented professionals, released its latest Workforce Confidence Index. The report gathers data from the nearly 900 million members to find out if people are confident or not in their jobs. The concerns, however, are not widespread. The data cites that “in relative terms,” professional services, including consulting, staffing, legal, recruiting, administrative support, and healthcare, have a higher confidence level as people.

People working in these sectors “are likely to have clients across the full sweep of U.S. industries, including areas such as retail or oil and gas, which have seen upturns in this year.” The recruiting inclusion raises some questions as headhunters are one of the first groups to be laid off when hiring stalls. LinkedIn News editor-at-large George Anders added that attorneys have less anxiety during tough times as people look to lawyers to help with issues such as property foreclosures, layoff-related litigations, bankruptcy filings and more.

People working in the military and protective services, community and social services, accounting, and administrative roles have lower anxiety over being laid off or worrying about budget cuts. On the flip side, people working in product management, quality assurance, and marketing are nervous about the state of affairs. These roles are usually correlated with new product rollouts, which decline during periods when customer demand wanes.

The data indicates that Wall Street and the tech sector professionals are less confident and becoming increasingly anxious as layoffs, hiring freezes, and job offer recessions are announced regularly. Historically, these cohorts experienced ever-increasing compensation and job growth. Record levels of runaway inflation, interest rate hikes, and a contracting economy doesn’t bode well for the white-collar tech and finance professionals.

The positive side, LinkedIn points out, is that the overall economy is still holding up. Recent monthly U.S. job reports indicate a solid job market. Hiring continues despite the doom and gloom. The unemployment rate remains at a 20-year low of about 3.7%; there are still 1.7 jobs posted for each unemployed person seeking a new role and 10.3 million available positions open.

What Is Happening On Wall Street

Wall Street investment bankers, brokers, traders, deal makers and money managers are not immune to market forces. According to Bloomberg, JPMorgan, Bank of America BAC +0.2%, Citigroup C +0.6%, and other financial institutions are considering cutting bonuses by up to 30%.

Compensation management consulting firm Johnson Associates reports that incentive pay may fall by more than 45%. There is a fear that some low performers will get “donuts,” the harsh term for not receiving any bonus payout.

The largest five United States investment banks saw their revenue plunge by nearly 50%, representing around $19 billion during the last three quarters of 2022. The decline in mergers and acquisitions, deal-making activities and initial public offerings caused management to reconsider paying big bonuses.

This hurts the wallets of white-collar Wall Street professionals who earn a large portion of total compensation in their yearly bonus. For high performers, in a good year, they can take home six to seven-figure bonus payments.

Top-tier New York City-based investment bank Goldman Sachs is planning to let go of around 4,000 white-collar professionals. The reductions will impact around 8% of the bank’s worldwide workforce. Goldman had laid off 500 employees in September as the economy started to falter.

Similar to the way tech companies purportedly conduct performance improvement plans and stack rankings to cull out low performers, securities industry firms usually ease out a small percentage of low-impact workers, or neglect to offer a bonus—which represents a significant portion of the total compensation—as a nudge for them to seek employment elsewhere.

It’s Not Just Goldman Laying Off People

The tech sector experienced more than 150,000 layoffs in 2022. The once invincible big tech companies such as Twitter, Amazon AMZN +1.7%, Meta laid off personnel, saw their stock prices plummet, hiring freezes put in place, and some job offers rescinded. Additionally, a contagion effect seems to occur as more companies are laying off workers across a wide array of industries.

Elon Musk’s first order of business after his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter was indiscriminately firing an estimated 50% of the social media platform’s workforce. To make matters worse, Musk reportedly gave the existing employees an ultimatum: commit to the new “hardcore” Twitter 2.0 or leave with a severance package. The expectation is for his staff to put in long hours and work with intensity, as Musk desires only those who exhibit exceptional production.

According to internal estimates, 1,200 full-time employees left ahead of Musk’s commitment deadline, reported the New York Times NYT +1.2%. In the blink of an eye, Twitter’s workforce dwindled from 7,500 to about 3,700 after the separations from payroll.

Likely, other tech companies will closely follow Musk’s strategy in trimming the fat. Tech giants seeing their stock prices fall and are worried about the harsh economic climate ahead know they need to lay workers but may have held off because of the negative backlash associated with large layoffs. If Musk’s methodology works—enacting job cuts or making employees’ lives so difficult that they’ll leave on their own accord—other businesses will be encouraged to downsize too aggressively.

There is a herd mentality amongst corporate leadership. If a business leader at the helm of a bellwether company is conducting layoffs, others will follow. There will be concern by boards of directors that if everyone else is downsizing, why isn’t their company? Major shareholders will contend that management is not judicious in making tough decisions. By reducing headcount, shareholders and the board will benefit, in the long term, by saving money to help navigate a predicted upcoming recession.

What To Expect, And What You Should Do Now

As Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve Bank, follows through with his program of cooling down the economy and job market to thwart inflation; the intended result is to cause job losses. When people lose their jobs, they are less apt to spend money.

When this happens at scale, the economy will contract, along with inflation, as consumers cut their expenditures. Powell’s objective could take a year or two to reduce inflation to 2% from a nearly 40-year record high. Some economists and Wall Street professionals are concerned that the Fed’s program can cause a recession, hurting workers and businesses.

With this backdrop in mind, heading into the new year, you must be thoughtful about your job and career. This is not the time for acting your wage, quiet quitting or cyberloafing. You want to make yourself indispensable, so you’re immune from being let go.

In addition to working hard and smart, simultaneously plan a career cushion escape plan. If things go wrong at your company, you don’t want to start searching for a new job from a dead stop. Find recruiters, career coaches, resume writers, mentors, coaches and others who can introduce you to the hidden job market, cutting through the interview red tape and getting in front of decision-makers.

Put aside time to freshen up your résumé and LinkedIn profile. Seek out top headhunters in your field. Scope out ‘reach’ positions on job boards and target companies’ careers sites. Don’t be demure at Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years’ parties. Reach out to strangers and friends and ask them if they know of any job openings or business opportunities they could share with you.

You might decide to make a career pivot or reinvent yourself. This may require taking online courses to learn new skills or taking a step back to move forward in a new and different direction.

Most people discard their job hunt in December and put it off until the new year. While they sit on the sidelines, you’ll be charged up and stand out in the hiring process, as there is substantially less competition.

I am a CEO, founder, and executive recruiter at one of the oldest and largest global search firms in my area of expertise..

Source: Growing Anxiety On LinkedIn, With Marketing And Tech Workers Most On Edge

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Related contents:

‘A Failed and Broken System.’ Tech Layoffs Set the Clock Ticking for Foreign Workers The Tribune, California

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Working In Retirement Often Is More A Dream Than Reality

Many older workers are not proactive about taking steps to help ensure they can work as long as they want or need, one expert said. (Photo: Getty Creative)

Many workers are staying on the job longer or plan to before going into their golden years. More retirees said they retired at ages 66-69, rising from 11% in 2021 to 14% in 2022, according to the latest annual survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald Research.

And 7 in 10 workers expect to work for pay as a source of their retirement income, and 1 in 5 are counting on it as a major source, according to the EBRI poll. A growing percentage of workers say they will never retire – 15% in 2022, up from 10% in 2021, according to the EBRI survey.

Unfortunately, expectations of working in retirement can backfire. For workers who plan to work in some fashion for pay after they retire, that desire still appears to be more of a nice notion than a reality. Only 27% of retirees have employment income, according to the EBRI poll.

‘Sad commentary that health insurance has to be such a big factor’

That desire to remain employed is backed up by other recent surveys. More than half of workers (57%) plan to work in retirement citing a variety of reasons ranging from the income to keeping their brains alert, or the social connection, according to the most recent study by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

The specter of soaring medical costs alone is stomach-churning. The average couple age 65 retiring this year and enrolled in Medicare may need approximately $315,000 saved (after tax) to cover healthcare expenses in retirement, according to the Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate.

That’s what motivated Russ Eanes, an author, to get back in the workforce after retiring five years ago from his job as chief executive at MennoMedia, a book publisher. A year ago, he went back to work at GetSetUp, an interactive website that delivers virtual education to older adults.

The impetus: A steady paycheck and access to a health insurance plan.

“It’s a sad commentary that health insurance has to be such a big factor in these decisions,” Eanes told Yahoo Money.. “I’m on Medicare as of February, but my wife is a year behind, so we have to scramble to figure out how to have her covered for another year. While I was making out okay as a freelancer, it can be feast or famine.”

Older workers are not always ‘proactive’

But getting back to work or staying employed is not always easy, and in some cases, it can be the workers themselves who short-change their ability to stay on the job longer.

“Many 50+ workers are not proactive about taking steps to help ensure they can work as long as they want and need,” Catherine Collinson, CEO and president of nonprofit Transamerica Institute and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, told Yahoo Money. “Among those employed by for-profit companies, our research showed that only 62 % are focused on staying healthy so they can continue working and just 44% are keeping their job skills up to date.”

Only a small percentage are networking and meeting new people (16%), taking classes to learn new skills (12%), scoping out the employment market and opportunities available (10 %), attending virtual conferences and webinars (9%), or obtaining a new degree, certification, or professional designation (5 %), Collinson said.

Meantime, more than 2 in 5 workers expect a gradual transition to retirement, according to the EBRI survey.

In reality, “only a fraction of companies offer employees the option of a phased retirement,” Collinson said. “Our most recent employer survey finds 27% of employers offer a formal phased retirement program.”

Forced retirements

Even more troubling– nearly half of retirees retired earlier than they planned.

“Back-to-work plans can be upended by unexpected health challenges and caregiving demands,” Nancy Collamer, a retirement coach and author of “Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement,” told Yahoo Money.

The median expected retirement age for workers — age 65 — and the reported retirement age of retirees —age 62, according to the EBRI survey. Two-thirds said their early retirement was for a reason out of their control, such as a health problem or disability, company downsizing or reorganizations, or caregiving for a loved one.

Some of those reasons were amplified by the pandemic.

Since March 2020, 1.1 million more Americans between the ages of 55 and 74 retired earlier than what would have been expected during normal times, according to a recent report from The New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis. The number of those who retired involuntarily a year after losing a job was 10 times higher than pre-pandemic times, the report found.

‘Beginning to feel the impact of inflation’

This trend may be shifting. As of March 2022, 3.2% of workers who were retired just one year ago are now employed again, according to research by Nick Bunker, the director of economic research at Indeed Hiring Lab.

One caveat: while the EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey was conducted as the inflation rate had already begun its rapid rise, and at that time, the majority of workers and retirees reported being confident that they had enough money to keep up with inflation in retirement, the economic picture is grimmer now.

With the inflation rate at 8.3% in April of 2022, down slightly from 8.5% in March, which was the highest since December of 1981, and the S&P 500 index off its January peak by 16.6%, that exuberance may be fading.

“Some workers are beginning to feel the impact of inflation, and the number is likely to grow,” Copeland said. “How the economy evolves over the next few months is likely to result in workers reconsidering where they stand regarding retirement. If inflation continues at historic rates and the stock market continues falling, more workers will be reevaluating their retirement plans.”

https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/k0mEoxgrd_Sb3B5ZGXas0w--~B/aD00ODA7dz00ODA7YXBwaWQ9eXRhY2h5b24-/https://o.aolcdn.com/images/dims?image_uri=https%3A%2F%2Fs.yimg.com%2Fos%2Fcreatr-uploaded-images%2F2022-03%2F57a5f580-a3cd-11ec-b1fc-d323fa628773&compress=1&progressive=1&quality=75&client=hawkeye&signature=0a3ee751f5347042b1db35967bc33eb3c2ad9692.cf.webp

By:

Source: Working in retirement often is more a dream than reality

.

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