For workers in their 50s, the career trajectory to retirement can start to look less like a straight track and more like the lift hill of a roller coaster — just before a series of scream-inducing drops, twists and rolls. Are your finances ready for that ride?
To be sure, the current job market is rosy. Yet 56 percent of older workers experience at least one involuntary job loss after age 50, according to a new joint analysis from nonprofit newsroom ProPublica and Urban Institute, a think tank that focuses on economic and social policy research.
ProPublica and Urban Institute analyzed data from the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration that tracks older adults. Researchers focused on employer-related separations such as layoffs and business closings, among other reasons, and particularly looked at instances that were "financially consequential" with either long periods of unemployment or sustained, substantial wage loss. (Early exits due to issues including caregiving and poor health — which can also be a financial concern — weren't included.)