Source : stuff.co.nz
By : PHELAN M. EBENHACK
Category : Hotel Internet Marketing
It seems like another life. At the height of his corporate career, Tom Palome was pulling in a salary in the low six-figures and flying first class on business trips to Europe. Today, the 77-year-old former vice president of marketing for Oral-B juggles two part-time jobs: one as a US$10-an-hour (NZ$12) food demonstrator at Sam’s Club, the other flipping burgers and serving drinks at a golf club grill for slightly more than minimum wage. While Palome worked hard his entire career, paid off his mortgage and put his kids through college, like most Americans he didn’t save enough for retirement. Even many affluent baby boomers who are approaching the end of their careers haven’t come close to saving the 10 to 20 times their annual working income that investment experts say they’ll need to maintain their standard of living in old age. For middle class households, with incomes ranging from the mid five to low six figures, it’s especially grim. When the 2008 financial crisis hit, what little Palome had saved – US$90,000 (NZ$108,760) – took a beating and he suddenly found himself in need of cash to maintain his lifestyle. With years if not decades of life ahead of him, Palome took the jobs he could find.
The youthful and perennially optimistic grandfather considers himself lucky. He’s blessed with good health, he said. He’s able to work, live independently and maintain his dignity, even if he has to mop the floors at the club grill before going home at 8pm and finally getting off his feet. “That’s part of the job,” he said. “You have to respect the job you’re doing and not be negative – or don’t do it.” Low-income Americans have long had to scrape by in old age, relying primarily on Social Security. The middle class, with its more educated and resourceful retirees, is supposed to be better prepared, with some even having the luxury to forge fulfilling second acts as they redefine retirement on their own terms. Or so popular culture tells us. The reality is often quite another story. More seniors who spent much of their careers as corporate managers and professionals are competing for low-wage jobs. For these growing ranks of seniors with scant savings, it’s the end of retirement.
Source : stuff.co.nz/business/money/9223254/Former-VP-flips-burgers-in-retirement