Private and governmental studies, as well as common sense, tell us the so-called Baby Boomers are exiting the workforce in increasing numbers. For several years it might have been possible to attribute this phenomenon to normal attrition. Since the mid 2000s, however, many in that cohort of maintenance professionals are being forced out of jobs for reasons that have more to do with the state of the corporate economy than with almost anything else.
Joel Leonard, the Maintenance Evangelist, has been warning industry of the even greater difficulties this country will face if those maintenance professionals flee the scene in favor of a beach-front lounge chair in Cancun. Ever since April of 2006, he has been penning the Crisis Corner feature in Plant Services. On this soapbox, Leonard argues that the mechanical workings in our mines, mills, and factories might grind to a halt without excellent asset care and there will be a shortage of such trained folk available when that happens.
That got me thinking about the people involved, those who bailed out voluntarily as well as those who were summarily tossed to the wolves. In the interest of helping them deal with the financial fallout that accompanies such change in lifestyle, I present a few online resources that they might find useful. Many of them have additional links, so many to the point that one could probably make investigating them a full-time job in itself.
The first is “5 tips to surviving a bear market” that appears on the Reuters website. This one presupposes that a person already has a portfolio that needs protection.
Lauri Saarinen, who compiled the WebEc site from Finland, says it “was an effort to categorize free information in economics on the WWW.” This site might be useful for those maintenance folk who have a certain entrepreneurial flair they wish to develop. I don’t think it will be suitable for those on the Cancun beach. Keep in mind that Saarinen stopped maintenance on this site in 2007, so it’s quite possible that some of the many links offered are now nonfunctional.
Then, of course, there’s the Social Security Administration, the organization that ostensibly will fund our so-called Golden Years,. As one would expect from our hired hands in Washington, the page titled “Plan Your Retirement” has quite a bit of material for your perusal.
The next resource, “A retirement mistake Boomers should avoid” by Jeanne Sahadi gives a detail-free, big-picture view of the benefits you might expect to receive from SSA.
Finally, a key variable that affects your decisions about what to do with whatever portfolio you have is your life expectancy. The Wharton School offers “How long will I live?” Answer a series of some 40 questions and submit the data with a single click and you’ll get an answer to that key question.
I hope these resources can help alleviate some of the anxiety out there that worries those maintenance folk who need to make some serious, important decisions.