Guest blogger Myron Leff debunks common misconceptions on the employee well beyond retirement age.


By Myron Leff

Bettering your business and benefiting the economy-at the same time-seem like reasonable goals. So, what can you do to accomplish both?

There are valuable human resources available to help you reach these aspirations; these people are like fine wine-getting better with age. Yes, there are seasoned authorities in nearly every profession who are past the traditional retirement age (65) and continue to be productive and hardworking. More importantly, these older go-getters are able to provide expertise and counsel at every level of running and improving a business. Most of these individuals have more than 40 years of business knowledge. There are business consultants, marketing advisors, human resource experts, accounting gurus, tax advisors, finance specialists, serial entrepreneurs, healthcare executives, construction experts-the list goes on-ready to transfer knowledge.

The element that is most important is that these continue-to-work executives are valuable resources. Whether they work within an organization or as a consultant, most can solve business issues, create new revenue sources or make connections with key people who can accelerate the work process. An important point is these folk have decades of contacts and most can accomplish more tasks with a properly placed 10-minute phone call than less experienced people can do with weeks of work.

Younger workers-embrace these people as mentors and resources to improve your results-no matter your position within a corporation, startup or privately held business. It's a myth that older workers will slow your rise or even stop new hires. As Wells Fargo noted in its 2016 Outlook, "Studies show many workers are choosing to work longer, and that trend is benefitting the overall economy. In the US, the real median income for 65-69 year olds increased 26 percent from 1993 to 2013...While common wisdom may suggest a higher percentage of seasoned workers in the workforce crowds out younger workers, the empirical evidence may show otherwise. Unemployment rates tend to be lower where there are greater numbers of older workers employed. Yes, exacting the expertise from knowledgeable senior business executives could raise "the water for all boats."

According to AARP (January-February 2016), "younger bosses should know these points about older workers:"

They can see the big picture

They've got people skills that boost morale

They've learned how to work

They can make you look good

They expect leaders to lead.

Progressive management realizes they need more mature workers. They grasp that the senior worker is in full bloom because he or she has cultivated a lifetime of experience. Certainly, this is an asset that should be engaged at every opportunity.

Myron Leff, is president of Leff & Associates, a business and market consultancy. He is also a serial entrepreneur who is currently involved with three other businesses. During his 50 years in the business world, he has worked for four major corporations in senior executive positions and founded/co-founded seven businesses. Myron can be reached at (614) 460-3532 or myron@leffassoc.com.