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This is my first question here so I apologize if the format is not quite correct. However because even is this specific situation multiple people are affected, I thought it could be a relevant question in general.

Relevant country is in North America

My father has worked as a senior compounder in the fashion industry at a single company for over 37 years. He has been generally satisfied with the work. Over the last year a number of drastic changes have been taking place at the workplace due to the company's decision to remove the manufacturing department at the location where my father works. Employees were offered a severance package or the ability to try to stay at the location on probation but switch to a completely different type of work (distribution) at reduced pay. Despite my advice, my father remained at the job.

Currently the probation period is still going on, but by his description the new work is menial, stressful, and very physically demanding. I am concerned for his mental and physical health remaining at this job and I want to try to help him find something better. Whenever I have mentioned something along these lines to him he says that he is 'too old to be hired elsewhere' and 'jobs are scarce', etc.

So the main question: For someone who for whatever reason is forced to leave work when very close to retirement, and who's past work skills are generally obsolete or very specific to the company which they are leaving, what kind of livable options are there that I could suggest? Are their any organizations or government programs that could help?

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    It sounds like this bothers you more than it does him. Unless he wants to change something, there is very little you can or should do. – keshlam Nov 6 '16 at 2:09
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    If he wants to try and find a new job similar to his old one, his bet bet is to start with all of his company's competitors in the area. – Kaz Nov 6 '16 at 3:28
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Realistically he's a grown adult and has to make his own decisions.

However, many people do not want to retire and vegetate and I don't blame them. A common solution is to start a little business, a grocery shop, nursery, upholstery, there is an endless list of possibilities. They get to work at their own pace, organise things to their hearts content and even make a bit of money. They also get to complain about everything in sight while at the same time possibly being as happy as they can be.

It's important for a working man to keep busy and interested. I have seen people retire and a few weeks later I'm attending their funeral.

  • @JoeStrazzere I don't really know anyone who planned it well, especially those who worked with their hands and didn't amass a lot of resources. I'm sure you're right in some instances though. – Kilisi Nov 6 '16 at 14:36
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Employees were offered a severance package or the ability to try to stay at the location on probation but switch to a completely different type of work (distribution) at reduced pay. Despite my advice, my father remained at the job.

So the main question: For someone who for whatever reason is forced to leave work when very close to retirement, and who's past work skills are generally obsolete or very specific to the company which they are leaving, what kind of livable options are there that I could suggest? Are their any organizations or government programs that could help?

First, make sure your dad wants your help.

He was given the option of a severance package but chose to stick it out. Now you are looking for ways to help him leave (presumably without any severance). It may be that he has already made a firm decision and doesn't want you to work toward undoing that decision.

Talk with him about it. And support whatever decision he chooses, as it's his decision to make.

If he does actually want to leave, do some quick internet searches. With the huge numbers of baby boomers retiring, you'll find that the topic of "new job/career after 50" has been written about many, many times recently. Show these to Dad and let him think about what they say.

Much of this depends on finances and how close he is to retiring for good. If Dad is financially secure, his options are wide open. He can look for a job doing something he would actually enjoy, rather than something that pays enough. Many well-off seniors volunteer with an organization that interests them.

If your dad needs the money, then the choices are more limited, but still numerous. Depending on how much money he needs and what he's willing to try, your dad might look to:

  • Consult, often with the same company or a company similar to the one he left
  • Work part time in a similar role
  • Work part time in a less stressful role
  • Work full time at a company that hires seniors
  • Start his own business based on a hobby or other interest/skill
  • Move to a locale where his skills are in more demand

Again, you can search the internet for senior-friendly employers. You'll find many almost no matter where you live. In my home town, there is a hardware store known for hiring seniors. These men and women know their stuff. While this isn't the cheapest store around, I shop there because I know I'll get lots of help and great advice on any home project.

Some search terms:

  • "Senior-friendly employers"
  • "Working after 50"
  • "Second act careers"

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