Pattie Lovett-Reid: How 'flexforce' workers can secure their financial future
A recent survey from TD Bank reveals that 64 per cent of Canadian “flexforce” workers – gig workers, those who jump jobs and postponed professionals – believe they’ll need to work in their golden years because they won’t have enough saved for retirement.
The top barriers this group named as preventing them from contributing to their retirement include day-to-day bills and expenses (49 per cent), paying off existing debt (32 per cent), and the cost of their lifestyle (27 per cent).
As a result, this leaves flexforce workers feeling uncertain (47 per cent) and worried (34 per cent) about their future, with only 11 per cent feeling secure about saving for retirement.
The lack of consistency can be really challenging for flexforce workers who may be hesitant to committing to retirement down the road when they aren’t sure tomorrow will be financially viable.
This speaks to today’s changing workforce, uncertainty and a whole host of variable and unpredictable realities. A classic example is the retail landscape where we have witnessed a number of closures due to margins being squeezed, less foot traffic and increased competition.
No matter what your job status is today, it could easily change tomorrow. So what do you do if you are a flexforce worker or full-time employee finding yourself looking at a mid-career shift?
1. It might be tempting to keep it to yourself that you are looking for work, but confront the facts head on. Good people lose their jobs and contracts all the time. You might just be surprised how people will reach out and try to help you.
2. It may sound counter intuitive, but spend some money to further or upgrade your skill base. Enrolling in a course or two can help to beef up your resume. Sometimes you have to spend money to make a little more money.
3. Create a personal spending plan and know where your money is going. Tighten up where you can as soon as possible.
Acknowledge your emotions. Finding work at any stage of your career is hard to do. Build a narrative around your skills and create a personal business plan with a timeline tied to it. Think of yourself as a giant fly wheel: You are the hub and each spoke represents an element of your financial life. Further your education, stop spending, begin networking, examine you strengths etc.
The more spokes you build, the more traction you will get, and the sooner you will be employed again.