For many of us retirement does not occur on the date that we have planned for over several years. Sometimes we are involuntarily pushed into retirement by organizational changes, recessions, or management decisions (possibly motivated by ageism). One feature of the overlapping social safety nets in the US is that we can usually collect state unemployment insurance benefits at the same time we collect ‘retirement’ Social Security benefits from the Federal government.
This makes sense since, after Full Retirement Age, you can work and collect your full Social Security benefit without your earnings reducing that benefit. You may be receiving ‘retirement’ Social Security, but if you’re looking for work, then you’re unemployed.
Few states offset unemployment payments
Almost all states allow you to collect full unemployment benefits at the same time that you receive Social Security retirement benefits. Business interests in some states have encouraged state legislatures to cut (offset) unemployment benefits to someone who also receives Social Security benefits. This usually occurs during recessions when businesses see their unemployment insurance premiums increase after they have laid off employees. While businesses and people struggle during a down economy, you can expect to hear bluster about “double dipping.”
Since the end of the 2008 recession the trend has been for states to abandon Social Security offsets:
However, in the past states have “fixed” budget deficits and placated business interests by reducing unemployment payments to people who also collect Social Security. Check your state’s current rules, particularly during a recession. If you search the internet for <your state’s name> unemployment social security, the search results should provide the information that you need. Look for a link to something like <your state’s name> Unemployment Insurance Benefits Handbook.
Note on Income Redistribution
If you're a conservative, you may refuse to accept income redistributed by government under any circumstances. If so, offsets to either Social Security or unemployment ‘entitlements’ wouldn't affect you.
When you quit drinking alcohol and stay sober for several months, what could you expect? I haven’t had any alcohol for 306 days. Based on my experience you can expect to:
Save Money Sober
We used to buy dinner wine in a three-liter box that would last us about a week. We bought about four or five boxes per month at $20 a pop. That adds up to about $100 a month for table wine. When we went out for dinner or visited friends or relatives, we would bring a good, $25 bottle with us. Figure another $50 or $75 a month for good wine. Total cost per month–about $150 to $175 per month. That’s about what we’re paying in monthly payments for my wife’s new car.
How much money could you save when you quit drinking?
When you have a bit too much wine to drink you may fall asleep faster (or pass out), but you don’t sleep as well. Your sleep may not be as restorative as when you sleep sober. And then there’s the next morning. If you drink too much, you may wake up with a hangover and spend several hours in discomfort. For those of us who wake up in the middle of the night for a trip to the bathroom, falling asleep again can be more difficult and may include worry or anxiety.
When you don’t drink, do you sleep better and enjoy the next morning more?
A five-ounce glass of wine contains 125 calories. Two or three glasses of wine a day equals 250 to 375 calories per day. On a 2,000-calorie per day diet that means that you’re consuming 12.5% to 18.75% of your daily calories from the alcohol in wine. Instead of drinking wine, I’ve started drinking diet Pepsi or San Pelegrino sparkling water. I can drink as much as I want with only zero calories per day.
Public Law 89-73, Sec.302. (a) (1) Allotments 7/14/65
People ages 55 to 74
This age range includes four age cohorts (Yes, that’s what they’re called.), defined by the US Census Bureau. These four cohorts include most of the Baby Boomer generation. This age range spans the audience for Elders At Work.
At the low end of the range, you’re starting to seriously think about the next stages in your active, working life… or perhaps (semi-)retirement. At the higher end of the range, fewer people work, either as part-timers or as volunteers. For example, my mother finally quit her part-time job in a hospital pharmacy at the age of 74.
Social Security’s Age Milestones
In the United States the laws and regulations around Social Security help define “retirement age” for many people.
62: The age at which someone can begin collecting ‘retirement’ Social Security. However, your payments will be reduced by $1 for every $2 earned at work above an annual limit ($15,720 in 2016).
65: The age used in legislation such as the Older Americans Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-63).
66: “Full Retirement Age” for Social Security.The age after which there is no “earning reduction” due to earned income.
70: Beyond this age individuals can no longer increase the amount of their future Social Security payments.
Elder, Not Elderly
I accept the label “elder,” but reject the modifier “elderly.” I suspect many of us do. Here’s part of a definition that addresses the problem with the difference between elder and elderly:
“…(elderly) can imply frailty or diminished capacity, in which case it may sound condescending: was stuck in traffic behind an elderly driver.”
Elder suggests to me a person past middle age, who shares knowledge gained through experience and encourages or guides younger people.
Elderly suggest to me a person of a similar chronological age, whose physical and mental health has substantially deteriorated.
Are you an Elder or Elderly?
At the risk of putting a pop psych spin to it, do you feel that you are an elder or do you feel elderly? If you feel elderly, what might you do to address your frailty or “diminished capacity?“ I ride my bicycle and keep working.
What do you do to reduce the effects of being elderly?
On my old Win7 laptop I installed the venerable FTP utility WS_FTP. Now that I’ve replaced the laptop with an iMac – iPad Air 2 – iPhone 6s set up, I needed a new FTP application. (Google Search Console required some gyrations to verify me as the “owner” of eldersatwork.com.)
I queried Google to see what was available and found Transmit 4, an OS X FTP utility. Although a few reviews called it “expensive” at $34, I wanted a native OS X application, not a clunky port of Microsoft-ness. Transmit 4 was easy to install, configure, and use.
Out with Old Tech, In with New Tech
For some elders the transition from WS_FTP to Transmit would be bad enough, without the additional background of moving from Windows to OS X. But I found the experience encouraging. Based on my prior experience with a similar tool, I was prepared to learn how to use a new tool. If we cling to old tools and methods while refusing to learn new ways, we’ll have to give step aside for others who are willing to learn.
You may not care about FTP at all, but keep learning at work or at play. Learning will change and refresh you.
Today’s route will be out to my current worksite and back, about ten miles on a winding trail through the woods. A pretty route along a creek, but not a fast route.
My goal: get to my worksite in less than one hour on the clock. When I’m in better shape I can get there in 40 to 45 minutes. I massively goofed off during the past winter, so I expect I’ll have to put in some saddle time to reduce my commute time.
I’m old, but I still work. I’m functional and add value or produce energy.
I’m an elder at work…and at play.
Society enables me to stop doing productive work through Social Security, and perhaps a retirement plan, although many of us don’t expect to ever receive significant employment-related ‘retirement’ income.