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Age discrimination is a touchy subject with the 50-plus audience. I asked Newt Gingrich his opinion on dealing with this issue at the AARP 50+ Expo on October 1, 2010.
Julia Valentine: What do you think can be done about age discrimination on a policy level, and what would be your advice to anyone who is completely discouraged trying to find a job at, let’s say, 60 or 65?
Newt Gingrich: I think it is challenging for everyone to find a job right now, at any age. We have 9.6% unemployment, almost 20% underemployment.
One of the things I would urge you to look at is the ability to create your own job, to do things with variety. I thought it was amazing [when I found out] several years ago, that there were more people who actually were working through E-bay as retailers than there were working for Walmart. I thought that was kind of an amazing number.
I think, second, we have the laws that make it illegal for age discrimination, and if you have a case, there are ways you can legally pursue it.
However, I think most of the time you are better off to find the kind of thing you can do well and go find a way to do it. In some cases, it may mean creating your own small business, rather than working for a corporation.
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BOTTOM LINE FOR RETIREMENT PLANNING
Creativity and flexibility in getting work opportunities should be a part of your retirement planning.