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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Top 10 Tips for Older Job Hunters (III)

No. 7: Take Social Security Early, Pay It Back
If you're already 62 and need to take early Social Security benefits to make ends meet, do so. But if you land a new job, consider repaying any benefits you've taken and waiting until at least your "normal" or "full" retirement age (66 to 67 for those born in 1943 or later) to claim benefits. Until that age, you'll lose $1 of Social Security benefits for each $2 of earned income you have over $14,160. Surprisingly, you can pay back benefits without interest and then claim a larger check later.

No. 8: Know Your Unemployment Benefits

The National Employment Law Project offers a comprehensive guide to benefits at www.unemployedworkers.org. The stimulus extended the normal 26 weeks of unemployment benefits for most workers by 20 or 33 weeks. Residents in states with particularly high unemployment may qualify for an additional 13 or 20 weeks beyond that. Another stimulus change: The first $2,400 of unemployment benefits you collect in 2009 isn't subject to income tax. (That's $4,800 per couple if both spouses collect unemployment.)

No. 9: Seek Out Stimulus Jobs

The federal government will soon start lavishing money on certain fields, including energy, education and health care. For example, there's money in the stimulus bill to hire former scientists and engineers to teach science and work in high-need schools.

No. 10: Deduct Your Job Search and Moving Costs
Whether you're unemployed or still working, you can deduct from your taxable income certain job-search expenses, even if you don't land a new job, so long as you're looking in the same field you have been working in. Among deductible costs: employment agency fees and costs for printing and mailing résumés. Travel costs for job-hunting jaunts are deductible too, as long as the trip isn't primarily personal. For details, see IRS publication 529, "Miscellaneous Deductions."

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  1. Excellent suggestions - your blog is a gem! I'll be linking to you from my blog here shortly - so many good ideas for those of us "over 40" that have just been "downsized." Thank you for the bright spot!


  2. Not very helpful...Many over 50 still require real income and do not have funds for insurance. So, while the suggestions are good, many do not play out well in 2011.

  3. Here in South Africa there is not such a strong safety net for older persons.
    We are pretty well left to survive by ourselves. At 63 I have started "GroupFocus", open to anyone older than 50.
    The concept is to dig out that idea which has laid in one's bottom drawer for many years, and put it to the group. They then pool their knowledge and experience to polish the idea into a viable business.
    In return, the proposer MUST invite up to 4 contributors to join in his venture by means of shareholding.

  4. Be aware that Social Security (SSA), in a very sneaky move late in 2010 (December), made it impossible to "pay back" SSA benefits from early retirement. This was an administrative decision made without any publicity, and buried in the Federal Register. There were many objections to this move, but SSA did not relent. What's astounding is that only 100,000 retirees had ever taken advantage of the payback plan, but SSA tried to make it sound like the program was being abused. Nonsense!

    So, if you retired early, the possibility to pay back those early retirement checks prior to claiming full retirement is no longer viable.

    You can check this out with your Social Security office.

    This is a very disappointing decision, because some people retired early with this plan in mind, and were blind-sided by SSA's decision. Really, really unfair. They did not even mail a warning to early retirees, so many people are now stuck with a lower permanent benefit, based on the fact that they retired early (even though they planned to pay it back)

  5. Generally speaking the article has some good advice for those seeking employment. However, Anonymous from South Africa is on the right track. Those of us over 55 should consider starting a business. We have skills and knowledge that we can share as a consultant or in some other capacity. Don't just think "J(ust) O(ver) B(roke)". Think self-employed. There are many ways to create a business. Start with finding a niche that satisfies an itch.


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