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Very Sad Story, 55 And Washed Up


Redcellar
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Luck, chance and timing. Once people can see the skills shortage and direction of the economy and start retraining in response the ship's already left port with the lucky few who happened to have been around when it set off. They will be the ones benefiting as they are the ones with the better developed skill set and experience.

very hard to tell what skillsets are best looking forward

I suspect genuine entrepreneurs will be one of them, not sure about the rest...

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There is a law that says you cannot work while claiming- so you would need to stop claiming and then, once that work ended start the claim process all over again, which is quite a complex procedure.

You can continue to claim JSA/HB/Council tax benefit whilst working under 16 hrs a week however it does reduce JSA entitlement and might reduce it to £0 depending on hourly wage. As you said, if it's only odd bits of work the continual adjustment of benefits would be a nightmare especially as any adjustment to benefit leaves you vulnerable to DWP error and ending up with nowt.

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I'm a few years away from 55 and from time to time I think about this age as being significant because, in my humble opinion, this is the age you need to have sorted out a great deal of your life.

First and foremost you have to be debt-free and own a property, then your outgoings are significantly reduced, you need to have enough savings to last you 6 months to 1 year and you need to be able to survive without a car and be ready to live frugally. This might sound a bit sad but I have 'practice runs' a couple of weeks of not going out, not drinking, shopping at Lidl to see how much I need to live on.

I say all this because I work in IT, an industry that is notoriously ageist, I was asked in an interview did I have a problem working with people in their 20s because none of the team are over 30, I didn't get the job.

A neighbour of mine got divorced, they sold their house, he was 55 and I said to him "at least you have a bit of equity in the house", err no, his share was £10,000, they had MEW'd and not really thought about the consequences.

Im 56 and just started claiming working tax credit...first time on benefits for nigh on 30 years...absolutely amazed me that I could claim, and I now get free dental treatment, free prescriptions...no wonder the Uk is broke !

I could genuinly get by without them as I live frugally and have a small mortgage but hey ho...I joined the club!

Edited by GinAndPlatonic
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I'm a few years away from 55 and from time to time I think about this age as being significant because, in my humble opinion, this is the age you need to have sorted out a great deal of your life.

First and foremost you have to ... own a property,

or have equivalent capital in another form

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There are lots of these same people out there, not classed as unemployed. No one will touch them. Why couldn't it be you at 55?

You see these people will not allow Employers to take the p**s out of them and the Employers know it, so, they prefer to employ the yes guv, straight away guv, sorry I`m not quick enough guv. Although that generation have no qualms in believing a fair days work for a fair days pay. ;)

Slave labour is now the norm among British Employers. :rolleyes:

Although I must admit there are still decent Employers out there. <_<

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Of course that's a sad story but it's not a new story.

Lack of employment (and being on the scrapheap) in the UK after age 50 and by many accounts sometimes even after age 40 has been a theme for at least the last 30 years. It's definitely not a new thing.

Possibly in the last few years of the recent "boom" it eased off a bit but it's been an underlying theme for at least the last 3 decades. Likely it's going to get worse now. I always thought people taking on huge debt in later years were taking on an enormous risk if they didn't take that point into account.

The economy is so bad now with houses being supported at unaffordable levels with FTBers averaging about 35 years and lack of employment increasing for the over 50s. It's total farce of an economy, a crazy economy. Basically a 15 years window for buying a house? What a way to run things.

Then retraining and getting an MBA yet finding no work. That's so reminiscent of the 90s when so many people were made redundant in the UK but people with a bit of go retrained in subjects like IT only for the IT bubble to burst and that lasted for a few years.

Well that's the desperate casino economy and even if you get your retraining timing right very likely there's a younger perhaps more suitable and most likely cheaper candidate and if not then there's the good chance they'll prefer an incomer. Mind of course he shouldn't give up if he wants that job but eventually he might have to accept a more mundane job - but then don't advertise the MBA etc as it makes him overqualified.

Think positive, think Casino.

Edited by billybong
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The company where I work has about 2 general managing people type jobs for every person doing "real work".

+1 - This is pretty common problem across most of UK industry. Saw it first hand in my last job - the people who decide on cuts are managers. By definition therefore the managers do not get cut. The baby boomers have 5-10 years left until pension and will do anything to get there with professional status (and pension) intact. They don't care that the company may get destroyed - why should they?

My last job had regular 'non-decision making meetings' where 5-6 high level managers paid in excess of 100K per year sat in a room and discussed the work and output of a junior staff member paid £18K. The cost of these meetings added up to more than her salary. This was obviously insane for the company, but the people who should have been controlling the process, were themselves the process. Mad.

Makes you wonder what goes on in all the retail firms heading for the wall right now doesn't it...

Edited by JonnyTomes
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very touching interview..

I could be also in the same position at the age of 50 .. Someone should air this to whole of public and could use these against the public servants who are worried about the pension pots !!

..soon there will not be pension pots for PSs if those without work or little work are not generating tax revenue.... :rolleyes:

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Have you tried getting 'a shit job'? They ask what qualifications and experience you have. And when 100 people are chasing the same job, why would they give it to someone overqualified? They don't. And that's the real world.

Self employment is often the only route out, and that is not easy and not guaranteed success.

Listen to what he says. He is trying to work and not claim benefits. Yet people on here criticise that. They even criticise him getting education with his own money. At least it was his own cash and he's tried to better himself and wants to contribute. Rather than demand a council house and benefits. Please think about that rather than slagging him off.

+ 10

Of course some people on here criticise him. Because one of the fab things about this site is that it's full of people who have never had anything go wrong in their lives, who always exercise brilliant judgement, made the right academic choices and always had a plan in place for every eventuality.

What a pleasure it is to be in such company! :D

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+ 10

Of course some people on here criticise him. Because one of the fab things about this site is that it's full of people who have never had anything go wrong in their lives, who always exercise brilliant judgement, made the right academic choices and always had a plan in place for every eventuality.

What a pleasure it is to be in such company! :D

Yes I've noticed that! Also how people who are thrown out of work after years of service, somehow become lazy and feckless overnight! :)

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I sympathize with the guy, but big [email protected] deal...

he's got loads of options open to him as long as he locks away his ego and his high expectations

I got a good friend dying of cancer, 38 years old leaves behind two toddlers. THAT'S what I call a tragedy.

perspective

So unless you're dying of cancer you've got nothing to complain about.

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So unless you're dying of cancer you've got nothing to complain about.

pretty much, yeah

only 3 things in life worrying about...health, your loved ones and time

rest is all crap

he needs to get a sense of perspective. he has 1000 rejection letters because nobody needs his particular skill set in this economic climate. he needs to forget all his expectations and break out of the mould he has forced himself into. what's wrong with retraining for a trade, or something similar.

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pretty much, yeah

only 3 things in life worrying about...health, your loved ones and time

rest is all crap

he needs to get a sense of perspective. he has 1000 rejection letters because nobody needs his particular skill set in this economic climate. he needs to forget all his expectations and break out of the mould he has forced himself into. what's wrong with retraining for a trade, or something similar.

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Quite.

I'm surprised at the sympathy here, he sounds like a complete & utter fool to me - MBAs are nigh on useless, always have been, always will be - if he's so 'clever' why didn't he invest that money in starting a business or try something similar now? I know I'll get whacked for this but he strikes me as a total nobber ...

+1 got to say you are spot on. He appears to have been in computers but cannot make a living? He is one website away fron creating a reasonable income stream in terms of support/advice/recurring contracts of about £40-£50k a year within two years easy.

The truth is he probably wasn't 'in' computers i.e he doesn't know how the infrastructure works. He is missing two key skills: How to operate and how to sell his services. Very typical and since being looked down on by 'white collar' workers whilst I fixed their pa's typewriters not much sympathy really.

Edited by Greg Bowman
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very touching interview..

I could be also in the same position at the age of 50 .. Someone should air this to whole of public and could use these against the public servants who are worried about the pension pots !!

Not it wasn't it was a middle class goon with a sense of entitlement but you felt touched because he wasn't an inarticulate youngster.

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+1 got to say you are spot on. He appears to have been in computers but cannot make a living? He is one website away fron creating a reasonable income stream in terms of support/advice/recurring contracts of about £40-£50k a year within two years easy.

The truth is he probably wasn't 'in' computers i.e he doesn't know how the infrastructure works. He is missing two key skills: How to operate and how to sell his services. Very typical and since being looked down on by 'white collar' workers whilst I fixed their pa's typewriters not much sympathy really.

You don't get it. After a couple of decades as an IT contractor, few people want you. You have worked in the banks and corporates, big and small development houses. You know more about databases C++, Java, analysis and every tool there is. You have spent the years using such things every day. Website and E-commerce development is not hard, I wrote one of the biggest in the country. Yet, they don't want you. You are too old, your face does not fit. It has nothing to do with ability or personality. Look for yourself, where are the grey haired developers?

In today's NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/us/bay-area-technology-professionals-cant-get-hired-as-industry-moves-on.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&src=rechp

In an interview, Norman S. Matloff, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who has studied hiring patterns in the technology sector, said workers over 35 regularly face discrimination by technology companies.

Kris Stadelman, director of NOVA, the local work force investment board, which released a survey of human resource directors at 251 Bay Area technology companies last July, said that in her experience, candidates began to be screened out once they reached 40.

You do not have a future in IT, nobody does. Just because you are on £150k a year now, you will not be soon. IT people are like soccer players. They get a short career.

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The whole question of unemployment/underemployment needs a radical rethink. Too much supply not enough demand, we need something more than the typical political rhetoric that denies economic reality.

And meanwhile many of those who are in work are run ragged, doing two billion hours of unpaid overtime a year - the equivalent of one million full-time jobs (Labour Force Survey Summer Quarter 2011 found 5.3 million workers put in an average of 7.2 hours of unpaid overtime a week last year, worth around £5,300 a year per person)

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