SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Unretirement. It’s a concept most have probably not considered, but it’s a reality for many in the current economy. Some retirees are watching inflation rise while the stock market sinks and are reconsidering the plans they made just a short time ago.
Gesher Human Services held a “Returning Retiree Boot Camp” Wednesday in Southfield. Bob Rubin, 81, was one of the attendees.
“I found myself where I once had a great pile of gold, that the gold wasn’t there anymore, and the goose that laid the egg, he left town,” explained Rubin.
Rubin said he’s an expert in the mortgage business and did tremendously well until the mortgage crisis. Now, he is looking for new ways to find gainful employment. He said he showed up at the "Returning Retiree Boot Camp" for insight into how his skills can be best used.
“Are there niches? Are there areas in these desperate times that I can do well?” asked Rubin.
He said he was looking for help reaching out and connecting with those in need of his specialty. He admits, that common online resources just haven’t cut it for him.
“I found that using Indeed and that other such source does not work for me. People are looking for specific skills. I never worked for anyone. I was an entrepreneur, I had my own business,” Rubin explained.
Tim Parsons, 61, also showed up for the boot camp.
“I recently accepted an early retirement package and haven’t decided if I’m truly going to retire or if I’m going to continue to look for work,” explained Parsons.
He said he has been looking at the stock market and the possibility of a recession and wondering if he would be able to find a job again.
He explained the questions he had been thinking about.
“Whether I could financially afford to officially retire. It’s about two years before my normal plan. Even though my financial advisor says I could, you’re always worried about money,” admitted Parsons
It doesn’t matter if it’s part-time work or full-time work.
“I’m open to either one. You know you got to bridge health care coverage until you’re 65. So, if a part-time job came along with healthcare coverage, I would consider that,” Parsons explained.
The "Returning Retiree Boot Camp" hosted by Gesher Human Services aims to help people like Rubin and Parsons get some of the answers they are looking for right now. The program is about offering people options and helping them recreate themselves for the 21st-century workplace.
Take resumes, for instance. Most people are used to presenting chronological resumes, year-by-year, to establish their history of experience. However, Gerard Baltersaitis, internship employment specialist with Gesher Human Services, who was conducting Wednesday’s boot camp, said that could work against older individuals. Instead, he said they should create a functional resume that highlights the skills the employer is looking for.
Jason Charnas, the director of business and career services at Gesher Human Services, said the goal of the program is to help people get to the next step of their careers. He believes the retired workforce could be a great solution for the tight labor market.
“I think this is a great moment for us to really help people to find that match. The match of retirees looking for something, something meaningful, something to keep themselves busy, something and a way to earn a paycheck. And, the general community saying, ‘We have a different need. We have a need, we have job openings,’” said Charnas.
He said everyone could benefit.
“It’s really a great way for all those factors to come together and to help some of our local employers that have openings and for us to help retirees find what that can look like for them,” Charnas said.
There will be two more free in-person workshops held at Gesher human services on October 19 and November 16. More information can be found at https://jvshumanservices.org/
Mike Duffy and Brian Schwartz at WXYZ first reported this story.