Younger workers and their older compatriots on the job may have a lot of disagreements but in the new post-pandemic world of work there’s one thing they can agree on: work needs to be flexible, and it needs to be at least partly remote.
If you need help with financial planning, consider working with a financial advisor.
Remote Work Rules
According to new research released by AARP, 79% of workers older than 40 say that flexible work hours now are a job requirement, while 66% said they wouldn’t even consider a job offer if they couldn’t work remotely at least part of the time.
One big reason: taking care of a relative. Of all workers older than 40, 36% reported that they cared for another adult – typically a parent or a spouse – with 53% of workers between the ages of 40 and 49 reporting caregiving responsibilities.
“Given the high level of burnout that so many older workers experienced during the pandemic, especially those who are caregivers, it should come as no surprise that work-life balance has emerged as not just a priority but a requirement,” said Carly Roszkowski, vice president of financial resilience programming at AARP.
In order to care for a relative, the survey participants reported turning to remote work, changing their work hours, reducing their hours, use paid caregivers, taking a temporary leave of absence or quitting their job altogether in the last five years.
“During the pandemic, many people took time to reexamine their personal goals and how their job fits into their life,” said Roszkowski. “Given the high level of burnout that so many older workers experienced during the pandemic, especially those who are caregivers, it should come as no surprise that work-life balance has emerged as not just a priority but a requirement.”
One way of finding the flexibility that caregiving requires is though freelance and gig work, and older workers are no exception. While 89% of older gig workers said their primary motivation for working was to make money, 87% said flexible was their motivation.
Not surprisingly, older workers have retirement at the front of their minds when job hunting, with retirement savings, pension benefits, and being able to phase into retirement among the top considerations. And, in addition to flexible and remote work, job stability was a priority for 88% of older workers, while 87 cited competitive pay.
With a potential economic slowdown looming for 2023, older workers are concerned that they’ll be allowed to keep working. Nearly one-third (30%) said they felt likely to lose their job within a year, mostly because of a weakening economy
If they do get a pink slip, many of those workers suspect that potential bosses will hold their age against them. The top reason they worry about finding a job within three months if they’re fired was age discrimination, cited by 37% of the survey participants.
Nearly all of the survey participants found age discrimination to be a problem, with 94% saying bias against older workers is commonplace, with 64% reporting that they believe older workers face ageism. In fact, 41% reported facing some kind of age discrimination on the job in the past three years, with 13% filing a formal complaint.
The Bottom Line
All workers, including older workers, are looking to their jobs to be more flexible and allow for remote work. This started during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is continuing even as life returns to normal.
Financial Planning Tips
- A financial planner can help you make the most of your money. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- Starting a new job? Use SmartAsset’s paycheck calculator to see what you’ll earn after taxes.
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