Older workers have suffered terribly during this recession. On average it takes an older worker much longer than their younger counterparts to find new employment and employment that pays at least a living wage. And unfortunately, the number of unemployed older workers has increased dramatically.
The number of unemployed workers age 55 to 64 has nearly tripled since the recession began, to about 1.6 million of the nation’s 15.4 million unemployed as of November, according to the Labor Department. These unemployed job seekers say it is even harder for them to find work because of what they see as age bias.
Age bias in the job market is apparent for many older workers; but what may not be readily apparent is how that bias may negatively impact their finances and even force them into bankruptcy. The longer an individual remains unemployed, the more precarious their finances may become. Credit cards become delinquent, mortgages go unpaid and eventually a foreclosure notice and/or lawsuit may be filed against the individual. Many of those older workers may choose to file bankruptcy as they realize that no new or viable job prospects await them in the near future. For older workers who want to be prepared, after a job loss it is important to assume that your job search may be a little more difficult. Right now it takes about a year to find new work and if you are facing age bias, it may take even longer. If your finances are already damaged, (delinquent debts etc.) you may want to consider bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will stop creditors from pursuing you in court, filing a foreclosure against you or seizing your assets. Bankruptcy will also protect your retirement savings which will be critical to your financial recovery.