Changes at 49? Help! xpost

msmagooFebruary 16, 2013

I work in the financial services field and am so burnt out I don't know what to do. Also, the company has made some significant changes (closing an office), managerial changes so I don't feel like I have a future. All upper management are now male, previous management was pushed out and forced to retire. I know I need to change and although we could probably cut back so that I could quit, I have a soon to be senior in high school and don't know if i want to stay home full time.
I don't have a degree, but have worked my way up to a middle management job with this company. Believe me, I have taken all the job training offered and feel like I have had to work twice as hard on a stressful job for 20+ years to get the promotions.
Thing is because I don't have the degreeand although I would like to change to a less stressful and better environment, but feel like I am worth more that an entry level/minimum wage job. That to me, feels like starting over.
The other thing I have thought about is going back to school to get an AAS degree in the medical field(Phys Ther Asst, Dental Hygiene, etc) My oldest DD works in the OT field, makes a good salary w/flexible hours and for the most part likes it.
Has anyone had a similar experience? How did you make the decision to change/and or stay? I have a difficult time making a decision anyway and at 49, it is scary to me.
Thank you for any help/comments/experience you all can give!

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I have a friend who drove a school bus for many, many years. She got tired of the low pay and rowdy kids, so she quit and went to nursing school at age 50. She now makes 3 times as much money as she did as a bus driver and LOVES it. You can do anything you put your mind to - where do your intersts lie at the present time?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 12:11PM
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I changed jobs within a university at 48, again at 54 and retired from all the stress at 57 and went to another field. I worked at that university for 22 years and felt I had to stay their because of their generous retirement plan. Now I am happy I did. At 63, I moved from CA to Iowa and got a job here for 2 years until I retired at 65. I got my AA degree when I was 20 and always felt I had options, no matter what.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 12:25PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I would rather start all over at the bottom rung at something I really liked than to sit spinning wheels in a job I didn't like. But you just might be surprised where you land.

Gather a little team together to help you pull together a smart resume. Someone with proven organizational skills is a valuable commodity. I don't think that you'd be a tough sell.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 12:33PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

I began college at age 47. The classes were held on the weekends, so I could keep my full time job. My boss at that time gave me some real words of wisdom - "that time is going to pass whether you do something with it or not".

Took me 6 years, but I got my BA.

While working, you could start taking evening courses in something you are interested in. Just start with one class and see where it leads you.

Good luck. I agree with trying to find something you really enjoy doing.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 1:05PM
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Why not try to "hang in there" and see what develops. You may prove valuable to the new managers with all the time in grade so to speak Above all dont do anything in a hurry

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Four years from now you'll be 4 years older with that training or without it - which would you rather it be? At the rate things are going today, people are living longer and working longer both because they need the money and because they enjoy it. Why slog for the next 10-20 years in a job you're not happy with when you could be doing something you enjoy. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Do you have a college near you or an adult education system? Some areas have places you can go and talk to counselors and find out how to use the skills you have either in the same field or another similar. You might consider going to college and at least get the AA and you might even find work at the college. There are so many new fields opening up that could use your training. I noticed it here in the oil fields talking to people Computer people are used heavy even during the drilling as we use the fracking system. Many medical centers are using computers to record your information instead of files and the Dr/nurse sometimes will put the information directly on the computer, other Dr. will dictate so someone else will enter it and some will make notes for others to put on the computer. Just look around and see what you can look into using your talents whether they are job related or hobby related.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 3:46PM
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Are you totally fed up to the teeth with everything connected with the financial field?

I was drummed out of being a clergyperson at 51, drove a school bus, worked in a bar, etc., took the course that stockbrokers take, and went looking for work, back about 82, just after interest rates had been really high - Canada Savings Bonds had paid 19%!

Stockbrokers weren't interested ... I took on with a mutual fund broker (not the kind that can sell only stuff that their company manages) ...

... but the compensation was by commission only ... and I didn't sell a lot in my first year ... so my immediately superior manager said that I should stay, that I was doing O.K., though not the hard sell type, to give me time ... but the guy next above him said that I couldn't sell ... so I was "decommissioned".

A guy who had come on board the brokerage at the same time as I, who had operated as a fee-for-service financial consultant for a time ... said that that course was a good way to starve.

I was intereested in the financial field, so operated as a personal financial consultant selling no financial products (no conflict of interest) for about 20 years or so ...

... and I can agree with the earlier guy's suggestion.

Many people say that they'd like unbiased advice ... to not have to look at your advisor's face carefully to see whether s/he was talking out of the side of the mouth telling of stuff that was good for you ... or the side that deals with stuff was good mainly for her/him.

But they don't want to pay directly for such service (even at the modest rates that I asked).

One psychiatrist, who had asked whether he could retire early, always wrote a cheque for more than I asked ... but he asked why he shoud pay me for a service that he could get elsewhere for free.

I suggested that much of the info, for any situation, would be somewhat similar ...

... but that the recommendations could well be quite different.

For example, almost all of the folks that sell mutual funds have not received the level of training required to say one solitary word about individual stocks ... and in many areas would be forbidden by their regulations of mutual fund sales professionals from doing so, in any case.

Same for many in the insurance (dare I call it a "game"?).

ole joyfuelled

P.S. At the beginning, many, especially seniors, chortled at how pleased they were to have been getting about 18% on their financial instruments - bonds, GICs, etc. ...

... and when I asked how they liked earning about $3 - 4,000. per hundred thousand ...

... looked at me as though I had two heads!!

I said that they had to pay income tax on their interest earnings annually ... and if they were in the 25% bracket, that'd cut their after-tax retention to about 14.75%.

And ... did they know what the rate of inflation had been, in those years? Most didn't ... and when a person has invested where the number of dollars invested can't shrink (as in a bond, when held to maturity [but not in a bond fund]) ... the number of those dollars can't increase, either ... which means that one must pull the rate of inflation from the value of one's asset in order to find how much the real value is at the later time.

Plus ... in Canada, dividends on Candian stocks are taxed at a lower rate.

And when one sells an equity for more than one paid ... one isn't taxed on the increase until the year of sale (or death) ... and then at a lower rate.

(Or, if one chooses to transfer them to a charity ... avoids tax liability altogether: I like them apples!)!

o j

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:47PM
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First off, it's perfectly normal to be afraid. Don't deny your feelings and talk about the fear when you need to.

What aspect of financial services are you in? Do you work with the public, do you work in some part of operations? Would you be willing to describe your job? What kind of future do you want to have in your job?

I'd spend time over the next few weeks with a pad and pen handy. Make 2 lists: 1) Make a list of the pros and cons of what you do now. Avoid including individual people on this list. Take your time with this list. Include things such as I like being part of a team, I like receiving commendations for what I do, I hate spending all my time on a computer etc etc etc. 2)make a second list of your strengths and weaknesses - what you are good at/like doing and what you aren/t strong in/dislike doing. keep this list focused on personal characteristics and avoid tasks. I like managing people or I perform better when I don't have to depend on others to get my job done. Make these lists with gut wrenching honesty.

By the time you've finished these lists, look at them together. You will be able to figure out if it's worth staying where you are and tweaking YOUR approach to your current job, whether you should try to move to another area in financial services, whether it's worth taking the risk of going back to school in another field, or whether you should start revising your resume to start looking right away for a massive change.

You don't seem like you HAVE to rush. Do this self analysis thoroughly. I think the answers will be pretty obvious.

I'm also in financial services. I've been laid off twice - 10 yrs apart - and both times I had the blessing of outplacement services. Each time, the outplacement had me go through this exercise. i've ended up staying in financial service, but what I do today is not even close to what I was doing 10 or 20 yrs ago. However, what is very much in common is that I am doing the type of work that uses my strengths and that I truly like I have alot of experience to draw on.

Yes, change is scary!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:31PM
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