Why You Need to Plan on Being Self-Employed

A new report from MarketWatch highlights what I’ve known from personal experience. The title of the article says it all:

Jobs are everywhere, just not for people over 55“(1)

The math is also pretty obvious. If you make it to 55, and most people in the US do, you ben_franklincan expect to age

  • 82.7 (males) — 82 years and approximately 8 1/2 months
  • 85.8 (females) — 85 years and 9 1/2 months(2)

You also need to know that

A stunning 33% of job seekers ages 55 and older are long-term unemployed, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute.(1) 

And the job you can find may pay substantially less than you were previously making. Can you handle financially and emotionally a 50% to 75% pay cut or being out of work for 9 months or more? For that matter, will you be in a physical condition to commute to work at age 80?

Remember, the average payout from Social Security per month in 2018 will be $1,258.(3) Will that cover you bills? For most people, living in the US, no it won’t. Rising healthcare costs are eating into that paltry amount.

You have choices, and all of these are options you have to consider:

  • Start saving like crazy. Do you really need that latte? How about downsizing a house or a car?
  • Start taking better care of yourself. Your health matters more than ever.
  • Consider moving to another country and start learning another language.  There are places where you can make ends meet on just your Social Security benefit, and benefits do get paid to people living elsewhere.
  • Start your own business or partner with a competent entrepreneur.

Ageism is less of a problem if you own the company. You can set your own hours and work from home if you want. That makes a lot of sense for the older worker.

However, if you’re in your 20s or 30s, it’s not too early to plan for that future. Barring a nuclear war, meteor strike or super epidemic, you’re going to get to that age. If you want a good life, you need a substantial cash reserve. Build now and let compound interest do its magic.

Welcome to the new America: “no land for old men.”


  1. Richard Eisenberg, Jobs are everywhere, just not for people over 55,” https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careersandeducation/jobs-are-everywhere-just-not-for-people-over-55/ar-BBGpLNP?li=BBmkt5R&OCID=ems.display.welcomeexperience
  2. Social Security Administration, “Life Expectancy Calculator,” https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/longevity.cgi
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/13/medicare-premiums-may-devour-increased-2018-social-security-benefit.html



One comment

  1. […] Click through to read the full text: Why You Need to Plan on Being Self-Employed — CRAIN’S COMMENTS […]


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