My driver was working for the furniture business for 40 years and was laid off in July 2020. He trained his 25-year-old replacement. I told him our stories were not dissimilar. He is going to meet with a financial planner, he wants to know how soon he can start drawing off his 401k without penalty. (Likely it will not be before 65 or 66; I had to drain my 401k completely while I was waiting for my disability hearing, so I know a little bit about this.) He misses the projects he was in charge of including Phoenix Children’s and Banner Baywood. This means that he was responsible for those buildings from top to bottom and making sure that every room that was meant to have a piece of furniture had furniture. He got to know his clients well, and he really liked working with hospital staff.

A question that comes up often for drivers or workers who are older but not quite old enough to retire is, what is the next step? Do you continue driving for Uber, or do you try to get back into a traditional work role? We talked about how I was laid off at age 40, and my employer was obligated to include language indicating that I would probably face age discrimination. And I did. So if I had that experience at age 40, what was he up against in his early 60s, and what, if anything, could he possibly do about it? Is he destined to work as a contractor with no benefits? Is he going to be driving for Uber until he retires, or is he going to be driving for Uber past when he thought he would be retiring because he didn’t hit his financial needs or goals? There is no simple answer. His generation was the last to make it to retirement without changing careers if they wanted to. (Side note: He had an acrylic divider up for added safety.)

Looking for the perfect gift for a retiree? Want to brag about your life of leisure? Here’s some ideas:

Happy Retirement Wall Art

Retired 2020 T-shirt

Goodbye Tension Hello Pension Shower Curtain