Sunday, October 24, 2010

Never too Early to Plan Ahead!

I'm gonna switch gears here for a bit and talk about something else that has been on my mind -a lot -of late.

Job security.

Now, I'm retired -have been on social security for seven years now. Initially, I wasn't considered to be retired but rather on Social Security Disability because after my first go-round with cancer 7 years back, I had a few other problems then too and well, it made the prospect of working even part-time pretty much out of the question.

But now -for the past year -I am officially considered to be retired because of my age status.

Back when I was a lot younger and working full-time, plus usually having a part-time job then too, I didn't really give much thought to retirement, much less to the possibility I could become disabled and unable to work. You know how it is when you're in your 20s and 30s, those thoughts rarely enter one's mind.

In my 40s though, I did start to think a bit about how in blazes I would survive alone once I was of retirement age but I still usually brushed those thoughts aside because after all, that was 20 some years down the road and heck, I had time to try to find a better job, one with benefits and all those nice things some people manage to glean from their employment.

But seeing how quickly those years passed me by, now I do worry about my younger daughter, Mandy.

Right now, she works part-time at an establishment about 5 miles from where we live and she averages about 20, sometimes 24 hours a week. While I understand her issues for staying in this job (aside from the fact that she really does enjoy working there -most of the time) but right now, because of the various issues that crop up frequently with her two small children, she needs a job like this with the flexibility it does afford her.

But, at the same time, she also needs to start now in terms of planning for her future -and that future may very well still involve helping her children too because autism is such a tricky disorder that regardless of how well the kids may be doing now, we still don't know how well they will be able to manage on their own as adults.

I'd really like to see her look into the health care jobs field. It's a career field with a whole lot of options, including some jobs that don't require years and years of education and training too.

My older daughter took the course to become a Certified Nurse Assistant a couple of years ago now and this past winter, got hired, full-time, at a nearby hospital as a CNA. She makes a very good wage now, has benefits, including hospitalization (very important for everyone to have THAT benefit, isn't it) plus vacation and other little incidentals too.

And the really nice thing about her working in this field is that she discovered by working for some home health care agencies that offer minimal help to enable people to stay in their homes, that she really likes this kind of work. Truth be told, I think it's probably quite safe to say that she loves it and has found her niche now after a goodly number of years of working and floating from one food service position to another or taking on menial office work that she found boring.

And, Mandy's disposition towards working with people is very much in line with that of her sister's. They both are very empathetic individuals and are always willing to go the extra distance too in trying to help people, so I think Mandy would be well-served down the road if she were to look into what types of classes would be required to enable her to use her talents in this field.

Just start looking at these issues now though -before they hit you full in the face with the need for training, a better job and such some time in the future.

That kind of planning ahead, in my opinion, will never let you down.


Woman In The Midst: Raw said...

I couldn't agree with you more Jeni. And I too feel the health care field is the way to go. You will always have a job, sadly, because people will always be sick, always need tending to and it pays so well and the benefits are wonderful too.
I'm sure Mandy will find her way..
You have an amazing family, by the way, I just thought I'd share that with you. :)

nick said...

Most kids don't think about retirement. But get them into a plan quickly and they'll enjoy seeing the $$ grow each month.

Debbie said...

You are so right. And I worry about my kids and what the job market will be in their lifetimes. It's a lot to think about.

Maggie May said...

Yes, you are definitely right. I wish I had listened to advice like yours. People rarely ever do when they are young. ......Sigh.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Linda said...

We offer a CNA program at the company that I work for and I was wondering whether or not it might be something good for Jamie to get into being that she's having a hard time finding a job around here - especially at only 17 years old. However, I'm not sure if being a CNA would really appeal to her. It takes a special person to want to work with sick people and I'm just not sure that would be Jamie's forte. Good for your daughter, though, that she's doing so well with it!

Linda said...

I just had to say that the last word verification that I had here made me laugh as it was "bleck". Perfect for how I've felt this weekend!

Suldog said...

Always a good idea to ponder what might happen, etc., and then have some plans. Good advice, Jeni!