Age Discrimination and Your Future

Age discrimination is a reality all of us must recognize. Even before we are ready to leave the workplace, we may start to experience a degree of marginalization because of our age. When individuals are discriminated against, excluded, or stereotyped because of age, these practices are commonly referred to as ageism. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ageism “is the most ‘normalized’ of any prejudice and is not widely countered—like racism or sexism.” The WHO mentions a number of ways that ageism directly affects older individuals including being stereotyped by the media, excluded from community activities, and overlooked for…

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Fed UP with Rhetoric That Divides Rather Than Unites

Some of you know that I feel strongly about some issues. One of those issues is climate change. My intention in writing today is not to make a political statement, but rather to make a point on rhetoric that pits younger generations against older generations. I am fed up with rhetoric that separates rather than unites us on climate change and other issues of major importance. Prompted to speak up I’ve never sent an email to a major political candidate before until a few days ago. Last week, I decided I was tired of talk about how younger people are…

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Don’t Let Others Define You Based on Age

I first experienced age discrimination when I started applying for a full-time teaching position after I had turned fifty. Others were defining who I was based on my age. I experienced plenty of humiliation and disappointment until I finally had an opportunity to interview with a hiring committee of peers. Aging Isn’t the Problem—It’s Ageism As is often said, aging isn’t the problem. It’s ageism – or stereotyping and discrimination based on age. The World Health Organization reported that ageism is the most socially ‘normalized’ of any prejudice and is not widely countered—like racism or sexism.Individuals may experience being stigmatized…

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Beyond Youthfulness: Discovering Our Real Worth

I spent a good part of my early fifties in denial. I hadn’t yet realized that worth was greater than youthfulness. When I got ready for work in the morning, I saw the same face in the mirror that I’d always seen. I also felt years younger than my actual age. (Apparently, a lot of us feel this way.)When I first experienced discrimination or different treatment from others because of my age, I was taken by surprise. In my mind, I was still fairly young.The Myth that Our Greatest Value is Our YouthfulnessIt wasn’t until I saw myself on television that…

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The Aging Workforce: The Perfect Storm That Must Be Addressed

A demographic shift has taken place in the workplace. For some employers, this shift has the potential to represent the perfect storm if not addressed.  Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching full retirement every day, but that doesn’t mean these individuals plan to retire in the near future.Why Are Some Older Workers Staying on the Job?What some employers may not realize is that many older workers cannot afford to retire. The great recession, insufficient retirement investments, the likelihood of having to finance two or three additional decades of living, and rising healthcare costs may have affected the financial side of…

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Choose Wisely and Do Your Homework When Thinking About Relocating

Where do you plan to live when you retire or start your next chapter in life? Some individuals and couples hope to remain in their current homes as long as possible. However, this may not always be practical. Choose wisely when thinking about relocating.The amount of upkeep required, the number of levels in the home and overall costs including taxes and repairs have to be considered. Realistically, a move might be a wise option. However, there are certain considerations that must be taken into account before moving; some considerations include proximity to family, the overall cost of living, access to…

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Six Months Into My New Chapter

Many years ago, I had a student from Kenya when I was teaching speech communication courses at Portland State University. During a discussion on cultural differences, I mentioned that in Western culture, we tended to put a high premium on productivity.We discussed how when we first met people in our culture, we tended to focus on what they did rather than who they were.  To some degree, what the other person did either elevated their status or diminished their worth.My Kenyan student quietly waited until our discussion was almost over. Then he said, "In my country, I can sit under…

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Age-defying Messages Come with a Hefty Price. Let’s Be the Generation that Embraces Aging

In a culture that glorifies youth and shuns age, it’s no wonder cosmetic products and procedures that promise to defy aging are globally projected to separate us from $271 Billion U.S. dollars by 2024. Not surprisingly, most of the products that promise to restore our youth are nothing more than that—expensive promises. Even more radical ‘age-defying’ approaches such as plastic surgery have limitations and expiration dates. We really cannot afford to accept the age-defying messages. We need to be the generation that embraces positive aging. Positive aging doesn’t mean we reject looking our best; it just means we recognize the…

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Why It’s Important to Pay Attention to the Long Game

After my children started school, I began thinking about some of my own unrealized dreams. By working part-time, I was able to put myself through college. After college, I felt like I needed to get a good paying job to justify having gone to school against the wishes of my former husband. I didn't have a long-term plan; I didn't realize it was important to pay attention to the long game.  I just worked because that's what I thought I should do. Wishful Thinking Wasn't a Plan My job did provide health insurance -something my family didn't have until I…

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