Millions of workers have left their jobs looking for better opportunities, and it’s putting retirees in great demand. We’ll discuss how that may impact you today on MoneyWise. AN UNPRECEDENTED EMPLOYEE SHORTAGE We’ve talked about the Great Resignation before. Due in part to the pandemic and increasing work from home opportunities, folks have been resigning in historic numbers. That’s led to an employment gap at all experience levels that employers have yet to fill. A recent report by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce calls this a workforce crisis and says The most critical and widespread challenge facing businesses is the inability to hire qualified workers for open jobs they need to fill. There are now more than 11-million open jobs in the U. S. That’s nearly twice as many as the number of unemployed workers. So it’s not surprising that employers would look to retirees as one solution to the worker shortage, if they can get them to un-retire. There’s even a name for retirees returning to the workforce: . BOOMERANG EMPLOYEES And in many cases, hiring back the boomerang employees is actually preferred over taking on younger, entry level employees. Retirees, especially recent retirees, already have the skill-set needed for the job and experience at solving problems. They also tend to have lower training costs and greater productivity. But why would retirees return to a job they’ve already decided to leave? Well, some do it for financial reasons. They simply need the money as today’s high inflation rate eats into their buying power. Others discover that retirement isn’t all it was cracked up to be and they feel unfulfilledor bored. Employment experts say the high demand for retirees gives them a definite advantage in these negotiations and they know that they can be choosy about what conditions they’ll accept. And just because retirees get calls from their former companies doesn’t mean that’s where they end up. Less than half of retirees thinking about going back to work would consider their past workplace. Nearly two-thirds said they’d look for opportunities somewhere else. They can do it, too, because again, the pandemic has enabled millions to work from home who didn’t have that opportunity before. Employers have accepted the fact that many jobs can be done anywhere there’s a wifi connection. OPPORTUNITIES You don’t necessarily have to be a recent retiree to benefit from this trend, either. Many employers are offering training opportunities, especially technology training, to those who’ve been out of the workforce for longer periods of time. The Great Resignation is giving retirees opportunities they’ve never had before without having to go look for them. In many cases they just need to keep their resumes and LinkedIn profiles up to date. Employers are coming to them. WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU? So if you’re retired and thinking about going back to work, how do you decide what’s best for you? Answering a few questions first can help. Do you want to work full-time or just part-time? How flexible do your hours need to be? Working from home, many people have found they can pretty much set their own hours, just as long as the job gets done on time. You also have to think about compensation. If you’re receiving Social Security benefits but haven’t reached full retirement age yet, your benefits will be reduced $1 for every $2 you earn above $19, 560. You’ll get that money back after you reach full retirement age, at which point you can earn any amount without your benefits being reduced. So the pandemic led to the Great Resignation, which led to a big increase in boomerangs. There’s a sentence you never thought you’d hear. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Does it make sense to withdraw money from a 401k early to pay off a home loan? ● How should you invest a lump sum of cash on behalf of a teenager? ● Should you prioritize paying off a mortgage or investing more for retirement?