Many Baby Boomers are nearing retirement age, only to find themselves unemployed or underemployed at the very time when they planned to continue to work and postpone retirement as long as possible. If Boomers hope to have a comfortable retirement, most of them need to wait until their mid to late 60’s before they collect their Social Security and pension benefits. However, if someone is unemployed in their early 60’s, or barely scraping by in a low paying job, they may begin to feel that they have no other alternative but to give up and take an early retirement.
If this describes your situation, it may help to know that AARP and the Society for Human Resource Management has put together a list of companies that have been recognized as having the best practices for recruiting and retaining mature workers … those of us who are over the age of 50.
The companies on the list were chosen because they have fair recruiting practices, opportunities for their employees to receive special training, educational assistance and career development, a willingness to put in place workplace accommodations, excellent health, pension and retirement benefits, and a variety of work options including flexible scheduling, job-sharing and phased retirement. In other words, not only are these great places to work, but they are accommodating about transitioning their employees gradually into retirement.
The Healthcare Industry Has Some of the Best Jobs for Baby Boomers
Insurance companies and healthcare facilities seem to lead the pack as far as offering excellent opportunities for people over the age of 50. The good news about this field is that many community colleges and trade schools across the nation offer one and two year certification programs to train people to work in a variety of healthcare fields. Consequently, if you find yourself years away from retirement and you are willing to be retrained, this may be an excellent area for you to pursue. Over 40 percent of the companies on the AARP list were involved in some aspect of healthcare.
Listed below are the employers who were particularly commended by AARP for their senior-friendly employment practices:
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Mercy Health System
WellStar Health System
West Virginia University Hospitals
Monongalia General Hospital
Yale-New Haven Hospital
Department of Veterans Affairs-Veterans Health Administration
Saint Vincent Health System
SSM Health Care
Mountain States Health Alliance
Central Florida Health Alliance
Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center
Tufts Health Plan
BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina
Ochsner Health System
Massachusetts General Hospital
Pinnacle Health System
If you do not live within commuting distance of one of the above institutions, but you would like to work in the healthcare industry, contact the human resources departments at the insurance companies, hospitals and medical facilities in your community and ask about the opportunities they may have for older workers.
Universities and Colleges
Other organizations that offered great job prospects for people over the age of 50 were institutions of higher learning. While you may be thinking, “I’m not qualified to be a college professor,” universities offer many other types of job opportunities including with their custodial, food services and clerical staffs. Many of these jobs pay well and have good job security.
Here is the list of educational institutions that were recognized by AARP for their great employment opportunities for seniors:
West Virginia University
George Mason University
School Board of Brevard County
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
University of Pittsburgh
Even if you do not live near one of the institutions mentioned about, if you have another college or university in your community, don’t forget to check out their employment opportunities when you are looking for a new job.
Best Private Corporate Employers of Seniors
The AARP and the Society for Human Resource Management also included a variety of private companies in several different industries on their list. If you live near one of these companies you may also wish to explore your employment options with one of them:
The YMCA of Greater Rochester, New York
Bon Secours Virginia
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
FCCI Insurance Group
Stanley Consultants Inc.
Michelin North America Inc.
Securian Financial Group
One Nevada Credit Union
MEI Technologies, Inc.
Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind
Lee County Electric Cooperative
Perkins Cole LLP
Federal Agencies that Made the List
There were also a few federal government and regulatory agencies that made the AARP list, in addition to the Veteran’s Administration and National Institutes of Health, mentioned above:
Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
Whatever your background, there may be companies in your area that are looking for someone with your skill levels. Whether you are looking for full-time work or the best part-time jobs for seniors, you will want to pay particular attention to hospitals, colleges, universities, insurance companies, utility companies, federal offices and financial services employers in your community. These seem to be the types of institutions that have the best attitude towards hiring older workers.
Author Deborah Dian is the creator of Baby Boomer Retirement