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Giving up the job search in your 60s

Sandra Miller, right, and others wait for their turn to enter the Village at Gulfstream Park job fair in Hallandale, Fla.

Kai Ryssdal: We've been trying to humanize the job market this week. Hearing from people at various stages of life, and how they feel about looking for a job in times like these.

So far we've had a 20-something, a just-past-40-something. We wrap up today with a woman in her 60s who's not near done yet.

Kay Grubola: My name is Kay Grubola and I'm from Louisville, Ky. I'm in my 60s, and I left my job almost four years ago. I was the artistic director for a community arts center.

When I first lost my job, my level of frustration was very high. I was forced out a position that I really loved. And I wasted a certain amount of time, I think, just sort of tossing around, figuring out what my next step was.

I am not out actively looking for a position anymore. And I think it's very hard for somebody in their 60s to be taken seriously as an applicant now. I have children in my 20s, and I think we have to move aside for the younger generation. But there's an older segment of the working population that brings experience and a certain wisdom. And the younger generation brings a wonderful vitality. And you need both of those things to really have an optimum workforce.


Ryssdal: We found Kay Grubola through our Public Insight Network. Share your stories at PublicInsightNetwork.org.

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Retire? At any age? At age 56 I was laid off from "the most secure job" at my previous employer (their words, not mine). In an effort to keep my house, I foolishly threw my entire 401K at the mortgage company while job hunting only to lose the house to foreclosure. Citibank had the gall to accuse me of being irresponsible with my money while my tax dollars bailed them out (they still declared bankruptcy). Here I am today coming up on 61 years of age, delivering pizza for shrinking tips (sometimes for no tip at all) while not even getting paid minimum wage, as I adjust to my new life, post-heart attack and having been shocked back to life. At least I have a job but give up after 60? Not likely. Retire ever? Also, not likely. Thanks for the party line fights, politicians. Having tasted death, I can honestly say there is something to look forward to.

This piece is an argument in favor of adequately funding Social Security so we can all retire at 60, right? And an utter repudiation of the neo-conservative, pro-business, economic globalization treadmill we’ve been on for the last thirty years?

What was the point of the story on giving up the job search in your 60s? Certainly you people have to realize there are millions of us who cannot afford to do that. What are our options? Maybe you could do a follow-up on the least painful (and least messy) ways to end life. I'm not being facetious. If you think this comment is uncivil, that's too bad. This is going to be the reality for millions of people in this country. Maybe my Native Americans ancestors had the right idea: Get old, get lost.

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