You had a plan in mind. You were going to work for several more years and head gleefully into retirement. However, your plan did not follow through. Your company decided that it was time for you to halt everything. Then you found yourself laid off, feeling lost and wondering what is your next move.

The job market for older generation is pretty harsh. If you happen to be just few years away from the intended retirement date, this might be overwhelming for you as uncertainty starts crashing in. Should you retire early? Are you able to retire early? What if you can’t retire early? Will there still jobs out there suitable for you?

Every one’s situation may be different, however, do not feel too disheartened as there are some alternatives available for older generation who find themselves laid off before the supposed date.

Look for a new full-time job

There is no doubt that folks over 50 years old are facing difficulties in job hunting. Ageism exists and it is an every day challenge for them. This prejudice is common in workplace as most employers assume young generation are more qualified and skilful as compared. On the other hand, it might not be entirely impossible to find a new job. There are companies out there that value older generations, as they believe that they have the experience and knowledge.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) takes a serious view of ageism in the workplace. Under the Retirement and Re-employment Act, it is unlawful for employers to dismiss employees who are below 62 years old. MOM works hand in hand with employers and unions through the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), which supports the employability of older workers and increase awareness of the significance older workers bring to the workforce.

Look for an enjoyable part-time job

They say, do what you love. How about experiencing what you weren’t able to do when you were younger? If you have to bring income to the household, you don’t necessary need a full-time job. Try finding jobs that channel your passion and interests. If you are able to find an ideal job you love and get paid for it that may be even better than a full-time job.

Seek consulting gigs

Whilst companies are not very eager to hire older workers on a full-time basis, they still engage them on contract basis. Some companies do rely heavily on older workers as they are equipped with institutional knowledge and relevant experiences that can value add to the team. If you realise yourself getting laid off, perhaps you can consider marketing your services on contract basis. Due to the economy downturn, companies in Singapore are cutting down on full-time workers quota. Instead they are sourcing more free-lance and sourcing workers on contract basis. Always on your toes as you may be surprised at how lucrative some opportunities are. Or there could be some job flexibility that will help you transit into retirement for good.

Adjust your monthly spending budget

I guess being laid off has its own positive values, in a way that it forces one to manage their monthly budget wisely. Tracking your expenses allow you to know which categories you can cut your cost. Thankfully, by this age, you should have already set up an emergency funding that helps you to get by till you get a new job. Or if you ever need money urgently to pay off some bills, you can try approaching licensed money lender in Singapore. Although it is not the best option for you as the interest rates can be too overwhelming for you especially at this age in time, you might need them someday.

Go ahead and retire

Perhaps, you’ve decided that it is fate and you should retire. Even though you had done up a retirement timeline and scheduled to stop working at the age of 62. Yet you were laid slightly before. Maybe you thought that you might need to keep working till you hit your retirement savings goal. But, actually you already did. Retiring slightly earlier might not eventually be a bad thing. If you engage a financial advisor, you may wish to discuss with them about how to grow your money for now. You may have interests in venturing investment or property. But be careful; always consult others before you throw your money in.

Be an entrepreneur

Ultimately, this could be an opportunity for you to start a business. Perhaps you spent your whole lifetime wishing you could be a boss of your own but the stars never aligned and never had the right time to do it. Now it is the perfect time for you to take a leap of faith and take the plunge and be an entrepreneur. No doubt, when starting a brand new business, there will definitely be some risk. Consult your family members and get some advice from them as the younger generations might have some brilliant ideas that you can learn from. After all, in today’s context, it is all about creativity and innovation. If you are too close-minded in doing business, it might not work out well.

All in All

Getting laid off can crush one’s self-confidence and disrupt your personal finances. Getting fired could create a long-lasting negative impact in you. Keep your chin up, everything happens for a reason. Maybe it’s God telling you that its time for you to enjoy life and rest. Do not be discouraged, as there are always other alternatives in life. Perhaps you will discover a new side of you along the way that you wished you discover earlier.