Delaying Retirement- Part Two
They're known as the golden years, a time to sit back and relax after years of punching the clock.
But thanks to today's shaky economy and rising health care costs, many are re-thinking their retirement plans.
A recent study shows fewer seniors are planning to retire at the age of 66, and they cite the financial crisis as the number one reason why.
Joy Hollowell has part one of a special report on Delaying Retirement.
Each week, Mike Johnson teaches a Computer Boot Camp at the Career Center in Bangor.
"Now, you type in whatever it is that you want to type in," he tells a student.
Johnson is 65, an age when folks typically think about retiring.
"Would that I could," Johnson says with a laugh.
Timing early on his career played a big role in retirement plans.
"At one point, I was planning to, but I had a 32 year career with Delta Airlines," explains Johnson. "But then Delta left."
Johnson had four kids in college at the time and realized he couldn't hang up his hat just yet.
"I didn't just jump into a real good job," says Johnson. "It was apply, get rejected and it's like, how can this be happening?"
Some of Johnson's students are in similar situations. They find themselves back in the job market, concerned that retirement just isn't something they can afford right now.
"There are people that were all set to retire, that had that put aside and now find that they don't have enough in their account," says Ed Upham, the Career Center Manager. "And there are other people who didn't have anything put aside and just find that there is not enough or they cannot live on the small income that they have from social security."
Upham says he's seen an increase in older folks coming in the last few years, and he can relate to their pain.
"When you get close to retirement, you've been looking forward to this for several years and then you find out that you can't. And that is a bit of emotional turmoil," says Upham. "I'm looking forward to retiring and now I'm having second thoughts about it and thinking I may not be able to retire as early as I wanted to."
73-year old Nancy Verrill works part time at the Goodwill store in Bangor.
"I take the older clothes that haven't been sold, and I bring them out and they put out new reductions, new ones," explains Verrill.
Verrill was hired through the Senior Community Service Employment Program.
"To be eligible, you need to be 55 or older, low income, generally have a barrier to employment," says Barry Peaco, worker program manager for Goodwill Industries on Northern New England.
Goodwill has been participating in the employment program for more than seven years now. In that time, Peaco has seen larger numbers of applicants. so much so that "we do have a waiting list."
Verrill admits she pictured herself retired by this time in her life.
"It would be nice," says Verrill, "but I need the extra money and I like working with people a lot. And so it helps with the bills, with the economy, the rent is high, food is high, gas."
And Verrill knows, she's not alone.
"My boss was 83 before she retired. And she kept right on working, nice lady," says Verrill with a smile.
The Tri-County Career Center in Bangor has a number of programs and services specifically geared toward seniors, and they're free.
For more information, log onto www.mainecareercenter.com