Monday, March 10, 2008

AARP has major article, website on jobs for seniors

AARP Bulletin for March 2008 has a story on p 12, that companies will be looking for older workers with updated skills, despite the current economic crisis. The story, by Elizabeth Pope, is called "They Won't Let Me Retire" and talks about an 82-year-old nurse.

AARP has a webpage that list major employers that work with AARP to look for senior workers. The link is this.

There is even a sidebar box "Uncle Sam Wants You." The AARP lists the Internal Revenue Service, the Peace Corps, and Office of Disaster Assistance (Small Business Administration) was working with the organization.

The latter two of these agencies would probably be most interested in candidates with social work or "volunteer" experience (overseas, Red Cross, etc). The Peace Corps volunteer questionaire asks heavily about previous volunteer experience.

The IRS has extensive data centers around the country (in the DC area, near New Carrolton in MD and in the Potomac Highlands in W VA). They are a large information technology shop with a lot of "old" systems (even in assembler) and tend to take a very long time to implement changes. It would sound likely that sometimes they would look for older programmers with mainframe experience. They also have contracting companies hire workers in the northern VA area, and tend to want specific experience with old assembler systems.

The AARP web page also lists a number of consumer-oriented companies, especially Home Depot, with which AARP has worked for several years. AARP may tend to work with companies with a consumer or lifestyle focus, because some seniors would tend to have experience in or interest in home improvement, even as a "hobby," because of previous experience owning and maintaining real property.

AARP also works with some financial institutions, including MetLife and New York Life. I do know that New York Life sometimes looks for seniors to become agents when they have had other kinds of experience in the insurance industry. But "agenting" requires an extroverted temperament, to go out and prospect for leads and "sell" and this may not be for everyone. They may offer an extensive training program and even a training bonus, but may have a rule that the senior can have no other income (at least from work). I interviewed them in the spring of 2005. I also got a call from Humana but did not pursue it. It is rather easy to get a life insurance license (especially if one worked in the industry and is familiar with it), but other financial planning requires SEC licenses and exams and extensive study (which some people may find useful in maintaining their own money). Life insurance agents can earn renewal commissions, but these tend to work only for agents in the business for a number of years. Some life companies (like PrimeVest) have put a lot of sales efforts into getting people to convert from Whole Life to Term, a measure that many financial planners consider desirable today. (Other interest sensitive "investment" policies -- like universal -- present a more complicated picture.)

I also wrote about life companies on this blog July 10, 2007 (see archive links).

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