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How Factoring Can Improve Your Small Business Cash Flow

By Alice Magos Toolkit Staff Writer Extending credit is a great way to encourage sales. But while you wait for the customer\'s payment, you have real needs for that cash: inventory must be replenished, overhead costs aren\'t on layaway and need to be paid, and employees expect their paychecks at the same time every pay period. But where will the cash come from? Factoring is selling the value of what your customers owe you before they pay it. Let\'s say you\'ve made the sale and the customer has taken possession of your product or service, agreeing to pay you for it in a specified time period. You enter an accounts receivable entry in your business\'s books, awaiting the payment. Factoring is the sale of accounts receivable, as opposed to borrowing against them as you would do in accounts receivable financing. By selling your invoices, you generate cash immediately instead of having to wait for your customers to pay you. This can be beneficial to your cash flow situation. The seeds of the modern factoring industry were sown in the 15th century, that hectic era of Joan of Arc, the birth of the Ottoman Empire, the War of the Roses, and--who could forget?--Columbus\' discovery of America? Factoring evolved along slightly different paths in Europe, Britain and America, so the 21st century version described in this article refers specifically to factoring American-style. Accounts receivable represent sales that have not yet been collected as cash. In the worst-case scenario, unpaid accounts receivable will leave your business without the necessary cash to pay its bills. Accounts receivable also represent an investment, which means the money tied up in accounts receivable is not available for paying bills, paying back loans, or expanding your business. This can all be summed up as a lack of liquidity. Your business can make a substantial profit but still suffer illiquidity. Got constipated cash flow. . .? No worries. . . call a factor! Commercial finance companies, some banks, and a variety of other types of financial companies will often factor receivables. For businesses with relatively small accounts (e.g., less than $10,000), it may require some effort to locate a factor company willing to purchase low amount receivables. The good news is that the factor company that purchases your receivables takes title to the invoices and collects them when they are due. That company also assumes responsibility for all of the costs, as well as the hard work and hassle that comes with customer debt collection. The bad news is that factoring is not cheap; the cash price of the accounts receivable is rather heavily discounted by the factor company. Factoring is generally used by rapidly growing businesses that face temporary cash flow problems. Except in certain industries, factoring is not generally used on a long-term basis. Brad Bernstein, CPA and President of Anchor Funding Services, LLC, a factoring firm in Boca Raton, Florida, has estimated that only 3 percent of eligible small businesses are aware that factoring is a very useful cash management alternative. They don\'t recognize a golden opportunity to plug their cash flow gaps by factoring. His firm, typical of many factoring companies, doesn\'t require you to submit rafts of documents, credit reports, tax returns, financial statements or your firstborn son. They are only interested in the creditworthiness of your customers whose accounts they are buying. The advantages to factoring include: Quick cash-- You can receive quick payment in cash after the time of shipment, delivery and invoicing a customer. If a relationship with a factor already exists, turnaround on the sale of receivables should take only about 24 hours. When making a first-time purchase of invoices from a business, factors typically take one to two weeks to check the credit ratings of the customers and communicate a discount price.   No debt-- Factoring is a saleof assets (invoices), not a loan. For businesses that either cannot qualify for traditional debt financingor that simply do not want to incur more debt, factoring is good alternative means of financing.   Elimination of collections-- Most factoring is called \"non-recourse,\" meaning that the factor company purchases all rights in the invoices and the seller has no responsibilities for collection. The factor\'s anticipated cost and time in making collections is computed into the discounted purchase price of the receivables. In some states, however, \"recourse\" factoring is also permitted. In recourse factoring, you are secondarily liable for any invoices not collected. The factor company undertakes debt collection, but you remain ultimately responsible to repay any portion of the cash price attributable to an account that went uncollected. The disadvantages to factoring are: Cost-- Traditional loans will typically be less expensive than the costs of factoring. The upfront cash price for accounts receivable is typically 70 to 90 percent of face value, depending upon the credit history of the customers and the nature of your business. The initial price is treated as a cash advance and you typically receive an additional portion of the face value when (and if) the accounts are collected. Your final price is usually from 90 to 95 percent of the original invoice amount. The longer the invoice period, the higher the rate. Most factors will not take invoices with longer than 90-day payment periods. In addition, the credit history of the customers can affect your final costs. While a 5 percent cost may not seem particularly expensive, remember that most invoice cycles are only 30 to 90 days. Paying a 5 percent discount, once a month, for factoring an average 30-day invoice amount of $10,000 is the equivalent of a 60 percent annual percentage rate.   Possible harm to customer relations-- Collection actions taken by the factor company may endanger an ongoing business relationship with one of your customers. In a small business, there may be circumstances in which you would compromise a debt, extend payment deadlines to a preferred customer, or employ a more lenient collection approach for a specific customer. A factor company has little interest in preserving your future relationship with the debtor and some companies may be overzealous in collecting receivables. Factoring agreements can be quite flexible, and you should always try to negotiate for the best terms possible. Renegotiation for a lower discount percentage is common in ongoing factor relationships; however, the most negotiable charges are often not the initial discount percentage, but other additional charges (such as a fee for expedited wiring of your cash price or an initial user fee) assessed by most factor companies. As an alternative means of filling a short-term gap in cash flows, factoring can be an effective--albeit sometimes expensive--solution. One way to be in a strong position to negotiate with a factor is to plan ahead and anticipate your cash gaps so you\'re not ambushed by a crisis. Here\'s a tool that can help you think through your cash cycles and avoid last-minute calamities. But if a cash flow crunch does happen, remember that you have options. And factoring is an overlooked one. Accounts Receivable Financing This form of financing is a type of secured loan in which accounts receivable are pledged as collateral in exchange for cash. The loan is repaid within a specified short-term period as the receivables are collected. Accounts receivable financing is most often used by businesses facing short-term cash flow problems. The major source of accounts receivable financing for small businesses are commercial finance companies, although banks will also consider receivables as security for a business loan. Accounts receivable are typically \"aged\" by the borrower before a value is assigned to them. The older the account, the less value it has. For example, financiers often lend approximately 75 percent of the face value of accounts less than 30 days old. Some lenders don\'t pay attention to the age of the accounts until they are outstanding for over 90 days, and then they may refuse to finance them. Other lenders apply a graduated scale to value the accounts so that, for instance, accounts that are from 31-60 days old may have a loan-to-value ratio of only 60 percent, and accounts from 61-90 days old are only 30 percent. Delinquencies in the accounts and the overall creditworthiness of the account debtors may also affect the loan-to-value ratio. A monthly interest rate on accounts receivable is calculated by applying a daily percentage rate to the receivables outstanding each day (the less the outstanding receivables, the lower the interest charge). A default on payment can result in the financier seizing the pledged accounts receivable. Some states require notice to the business\'s debtors that their debt has been pledged as loan security. In states that do not have this requirement, some businesses do not notify their customers because the businesses fear that customers might perceive this method of financing as a sign of financial instability.

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Real World Success Story: Turkey Travel Planner Masters an Online Market Niche

Tom Brosnahan started writing about Turkey 40 years ago as a Peace Corps Volunteer and developed a successful guidebook series to \"demystify\" Turkey for American travelers. Though his guidebooks, including Frommer\'s \"Turkey on $5 a Day\" and the Lonely Planet \"Turkey\" are still top sellers, it\'s Brosnahan\'s TurkeyTravelPlanner.comthat turned his business into a miniempire. \"Many travel writers enjoy roaming the entire world, always visiting and describing new places,\" say Brosnahan. \"I realized early that focusing on a particular niche was the best way to run a successful business and more difficult for competitors to overcome your lead,\" says Brosnahan. Turkeytravelplanner.com is laser-focused on Turkey travel and receives two million visitors annually from more than 170 countries. \"My web site stands out from larger travel websites which tend to cover the entire world, but thinly,\" says Brosnahan. \"Because I focus on Turkey with depth and discernment, my website is regarded as a rich resource for planning a trip to Turkey and provides more depth than the competition.\" Brosnahan\'s expertise and voice contribute to the popularity of TurkeyTravelPlanner.com. Brosnahan strives to provide a deep, authentic level of customer interaction. Brosnahan personally answers email messages sand participate in his website\'s online forums, which strengthens his brand among users and provides essential feedback about his marketplace. Brosnahan\'s niche focus helps his web site reach the top of the search engines. Using the common key word phrase \"turkey travel\" in Google consistently delivers TurkeyTravelPlanner.com as the number one search result. Income from Brosnahan\'s web site comes from several sources, including personal travel planning consultations, click-thru and banner advertising, affiliate commissions from other sites provide for sales and leads, and sponsored advertising. Brosnahan credits his multi-faceted promotion strategy, which includes both traditional and online media, as a cornerstone to his success. He\'s published many articles and photographs in leading magazines, including Travel and Leisure, The New York Times and the Daily Telegraph (London), and appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including ABC\'s Good Morning America, NPR\'s Talk of the Nation, and the Travel Channel. He has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution and the American Turkish Council. \"Getting Slightly Famous is not for the ego, it\'s a strategy that serves as the foundation of small-business success,\" says Brosnahan. \"People increasingly gravitate toward niche-focused businesses, versus large corporations, because they hunger for real people who know what they\'re doing. Niche-focused businesses can provide high-touch personal service that cultivates lifelong loyal customers.\" \"My advice is to target a marketplace where you can develop an advantage through knowledge, important contacts and, most importantly, an enduring love for your market niche,\" says Brosnahan. \"For me, getting Slightly Famous is a direct result of maintaining my prominence as a Turkey travel expert. This is a tremendous advantage over generalists who can not compete with my credentials.\"

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RADLEY: Brand Story

RADLEY Brand story via RADLEY Radley was founded in 1998 by Lowell Harder, our Creative Director. Radley is a great, creative British brand, which makes beautiful handbags and accessories that are a pleasure for women to own. Our love for colour and hand-crafted, distinctive design is reflected in our products, as is our slightly eccentric Englishness! We explore the known and not so known cultures and crafts of the world for our inspiration but always delight in the vibrant pulse of our design home London. Company Ethos We will never make a bag just because it sells. We will never make a bag just because it\'s fashionable. We will never make a bag we don\'t feel passionate about. We are devoted to making beautiful things that women can fall in love with. We live for making beautiful things. This kind of zeal comes from heartfelt, individual creativity. We like to think our company is where this kind of creativity feels at home. For every handbag we make we seek out original design, exceptional hand-crafting, distinctive pattern work, extraordinary colour schemes and unusual textures. What Creative Means To Us Hundreds of companies use the word \'creative\' and each one would give you a different definition. That\'s because the word means different things to everyone who uses it.
So what does it mean to us? It means lighting fires of inspiration and doing our job with passion. It means being restless. It means coming to work everyday and loving what you do. Being stimulated by the world outside the window as well as the world inside your head. It means being open minded and listening to others because an idea will not mind who has it. It means cultivating a disciplined eye and a wild mind. And it means thinking of our handbags as works of art and ourselves as artists, because having a vision is our biggest asset. The Art of the Colourful The way we use colour is the essence of Radley. But colourful is more than that. We use colour to capture humour, or display an emotion. To give off attitude or make a statement. To add character and enrich. To bring fun into our lives and onto our products. The Element of Surprise \'Better to fail in originality than succeed in imitation\'. Like everybody, we love surprises. Everyday we go hunting for new ideas that inspire us to create new products. It could be something as simple as a piece of embroidery that turns a handbag into something magical. It might be a swatch of material, an unusual pattern or texture that nobody\'s seen worked in leather before. There are no rules to how we do this. We approach what is possible for Radley with an open brief and an open mind. The results are always surprising. It\'s got to be real From the moment of inspiration to the final construction of a bag, we need to be convinced that the end product will be right. It\'s a process that takes time. We don\'t cut corners, but nor are we extravagant. We take great care to source the right materials and skills needed to make our idea live. The people we do business with have to share our inspiration, so we can work with them as partners.

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Is Ikea For Everyone?

by Elen Lewis [28-Mar-2005] You only need one set of instructions to assemble an Ikea furniture store wherever you are in the world. Abroad, Ikea is not just selling products, it’s also selling its philosophy: this is how things are done in Sweden. This is globalization, Scandinavian-style. Each of the yellow and blue stores sells chairs called by names like Barkaby, Bromma, Ektorp and Tullsta. Each takes its customer on a roundabout, winding voyage past every single Ikea item, which begins with a kids’ play area and ends with a hot dog. Other global brands like McDonald’s make changes to fit in with a local environment. So a fast food chain will sell flat bread in the Middle East and chicken tikka burgers in India. Yet at a time when a “cookie cutter” approach to global branding has fallen out of favor, Ikea is less willing to make concessions. Internally, Ikea likes to joke of the Vikings in terms of its own flat pack empire, which sells Billy bookcases and plates of Swedish meatballs from Pittsburgh to St. Petersburg. There are now 179 stores in 23 countries (202 in 32 countries, if you include franchises), with plans to open 20 new stores over the next 12 months. Every store opening begins in the same way: a Swedish breakfast and a traditional log sawing ceremony, which founder Ingvar Kamprad often attends. The openings always seem to generate a disturbing and fascinating rush from excitable new Ikea customers. Christy Powell, 48, camped out for eight nights before the opening of a new Ikea store on Interstate 10 at Antoine in Houston, Texas. Her quest to claim a US$ 10,000 prize meant she sat through sizzling heat, a violent thunderstorm and the din of builders finishing the car park. By the day of the opening, the queue behind Powell had swelled to 700. After a 192-hour wait, she bought just 12 plates and bowls for $18 plus tax. Sometimes, the frenzy of a new Ikea store can lead to tragedy. In September 2004, two men were trampled to death and 16 shoppers were injured in a rush by 20,000 people to claim vouchers at the first Ikea in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile in February 2005, a riot at the opening of a new Ikea in North London, as shoppers fought over bargains, caused the store to close just 30 minutes after opening. American Dreams In the light of such frenetic excitement from prospective customers, it’s hardly surprising that Ikea never felt the pressure to tweak its offering in new markets. Usually when Ikea expands, it just needs to open the door and boom… sales flood in. However, when Ikea launched into America in 1985, it wasn’t that simple. After two years of trading, business was down and the Swedish furniture dealer was losing volumes; even a big marketing push didn’t have an effect. Ikea needed to change the American attitude to flat pack furniture. Most Americans keep a sofa longer than a car and change their spouse as often as their dining room table (about 1.5 times in a lifetime). America didn’t get Ikea; it was too unswervingly Swedish. Initially, Ikea stubbornly refused to size its beds and kitchen cabinets to fit American sheets and appliances. The Ikea beds were sold in centimeter sizes, whereas Americans are used to king- or queen-size beds. The Scandinavian-styled bookshelves were too small to hold a TV for Americans who wanted entertainment shelving systems. Ikea’s European-style bath towels were too small and thin. Ikea vases were selling out, because its glasses were deemed too small for the super size thirsts of Americans. The European-style sofas were too hard for American bottoms and the Ikea dining room tables weren’t big enough to fit a turkey in the centre on Thanksgiving. This was not the first time this had happened. When Ikea entered Germany in 1974, its desks were a flop because the Germans were used to five legged desks and not four legged ones. A Swedish Diplomat In 1989, Anders Moberg, Ikea’s president at the time, took the rare decision to appoint an outsider to run Ikea US. Goran Carstedt was the president of Swedish car company Volvo in France and Sweden, and understood the difficulties of translating the Swedish culture into international markets. Carstedt wrote a letter to the 3,000 co-workers in the US and Canada using national flags as an analogy. He told them that Ikea in the US was to be blue and yellow mixed up with the stars and stripes. Carstedt’s hardest task was persuading the HQ in Sweden that it was time to tweak the Ikea concept for America. “They were afraid we were going too far. They said we couldn’t adapt to every market and if we went too far we’d become American,” he recalls. Aside from not wanting to unravel its carefully-constructed Swedish package for American consumption, Ikea was also aware that producing variants of its designs in each market would damage its economies of scale. Anywhere in the world, there is normally only a maximum of two percent variation in the Ikea range stocked. As soon as Ikea starts changing things it adds cost. A group of managers recently visited some factories in Poland with founder Kamprad. He wanted to know, “how can we get these mugs from a dollar to 20 cents?” They said it was impossible. So he said, “Well what if we order 10 times as many of them—what then?” And that’s how Ikea drives prices down. It also means that there is less and less variation in the range. If you want ten mugs for the price of one, there’s more pressure for Ikea to sell the same products all over the world. Kurs is a small bedroom table with a drawer; it was a bestseller in the rest of the world but not in the US. Carstedt stood in one of the stores watching American consumers to understand why. They said the drawer was too shallow and that they didn’t like the plastic inside. It took two years to change the product into a deeper drawer with better sides because Ikea Sweden had to find an affordable way to design it, which led to sourcing some suppliers in the US. “The plastic was probably a better solution but the Americans couldn’t get it. We gradually found ways to be cleverer and still keep the identity of the Ikea product. For four years it was a continuous adaptation process,” reveals Carstedt. Some of the changes that Ikea America made have since been introduced to Europe, with great success. For example, the Americans like to sink into a large, soft sofa whereas Europeans prefer to sit on the edge. American-influenced softer sofas have become a number one seller in Europe. Similarly, large entertainment units for TV systems were brought back to Europe, as were thicker and heavier bath towels. Ikea’s system of self service, self assembly and involving consumers in the whole retail process also bewildered Americans. This is a society familiar with slick customer service and customer focus. As for the store layout, American customers felt as if they were caught in a trap when shopping at Ikea. One of the most frequently asked questions was how to get out. For the first time, Ikea produced a three step plan, explaining how to shop at its stores and installed much quicker check-outs because Americans didn’t expect to queue as long as Europeans. Ikea also introduced lots of water fountains throughout the store because Americans like drinking water while they shop. There had been a similar issue in Spain where special ventilated smoking areas had to be introduced in the room sets in Madrid and Barcelona, because the Spanish like smoking. However, the Swedish retailer refused to adapt most vital things. For instance, it was suggested that Americans wouldn’t assemble furniture themselves. Rather than yield its flat packs, Ikea provided better instructions and offered a self-assembly service. But Carstedt believes the most important achievement was keeping and developing the Ikea corporate culture in North America. This was done primarily by importing experienced long-time Ikea ambassadors into key management positions; all now hold high positions in the Ikea group worldwide. It worked. Ikea now has 24 stores in America, with four on the horizon (most are scattered around the perimeter of the country). Ikea America also sells its products online and employs 13,000 co-workers. The US is Ikea’s third biggest country in terms of sales (11 percent). In the short-term, Ikea’s future expansion will be the fastest in the US. Lost in Translation The example of the US is not the first time that Ikea struggled to put a Swedish accent on another country’s way of living. Its first attempt to woo Japanese home dwellers of the joys of flat pack in 1974 failed. Ikea withdrew hastily saying that the Japanese customer was not yet ready for flat pack living and especially not convinced of assembling their own furniture. This time round, thirty years later, Ikea is hopeful that it can seduce the Japanese, who have been battered by more than a decade of recession and are less convinced that they must pay high prices to obtain high-quality goods. Ikea is set to open two shops just outside Tokyo in late 2005, with plans to open eight to 12 more (half in greater Tokyo and half in the Kansai region, which includes Osaka and Kobe) and provide employment for between 6,000 to 8,000 people. While Ikea’s multitude of storage solutions will suit the urban, cramped apartments in Japan; the Swedish retailer will also have to shrink its furnishings to fit the smaller Japanese household. However, it will not be tweaking its designs, saying that Japanese style is quite similar to Scandinavian. Ikea’s biggest barrier this time around is the same as it was thirty years ago. Japan’s notoriously fussy customers will not be open to the idea of building furniture themselves. For this reason, Ikea Japan will be providing an assembly service as well as home delivery. The signs look good—the Ikea catalog has become the latest craze in Japan with consumers actually swapping bootleg copies. Chinese Walls In general, Asia is going to be key for Ikea. China is an important new market because home buying and home decoration has only very recently become a cultural currency. Sales at Ikea’s two Chinese stores in Shanghai and Beijing rose by 50 percent last year, since its arrival in 1998. Changes in China’s government housing policy in 1998 means that the state no longer has to provide accommodation to its people through an employee’s “work unit.” The private housing market is booming. The volume of home mortgages provided by the state’s commercial banks jumped by 145 percent in 1999. With a population of 1.25 billion, China has more consumers than the US and Europe combined. However, Ikea is perceived as expensive in China—a store for the middle class. Since its launch, Ikea has endeavored to cut prices by using more and more local suppliers. Its prices have dropped by ten percent since launch and Chinese sales rose accordingly by 35 percent in 2003. Globally, Ikea expects to source about 23 percent of its products from China in 2005. Despite this, Ikea has made little attempt to adjust its range to local tastes. In a range of around 7,000 to 8,000 articles, only three have been added for the Chinese market—chop sticks, a wok with a lid, and a cleaver. However, there are some other tweaks to the Swedish template. As many Chinese apartments have balconies, there is a special balcony section in the stores. Ikea also offers an assembly service for Chinese shoppers. In Shanghai, Wang Jian Shuo runs a weblog, which among other things delves into his likes and dislikes of Ikea. He writes how, in 1999, as a newly graduated student he spent his first month’s salary on a Billy bookcase. His assessment of the furniture retailer sums up the appeal of Ikea, “Ikea seems to know my life better than any other furniture brand.” Despite refusing to adapt its global model, Ikea’s Swedish formula seems to be seducing consumers across the world.

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The Future Of Work For People 50+ Will Surprise You

“Genius clubs” to channel older workers’ talents. Mandatory retirement — at 80. A “dynamic” work/life path, instead of today’s linear path. The end of the expectation of rising pay as you age. Volunteering: the new status symbol. Unions for older workers. These are some of the fascinating forecasts I’ve just heard regarding the future of work for Americans over 50. Credit: Shutterstock These predictions I just received from experts, which I’ll elaborate on shortly, are part of Next Avenue’s monthlong series on the future for Americans over 50 to celebrate our site’s fifth anniversary. Our previous pieces: “The Future of Health for Americans Over 50,” “Personal Finance Forecasts for Americans Over 50,”  “How People 50+ Will Live in the Near and Distant Future” and “What the Future of Adult Learning Will Look Like.” Coming up: The Future of Caregiving for People 50+. To help set the scene, let me share what Roy Bahat, head of Bloomberg Beta and co-chair of The Shift Commission on Work, Workers and Technology,told the Milken Institute Global Conference I recently attended in Los Angeles: “As much as we like to talk about Millennials, the future of work is much older.” By 2024, his Shift Commission report notes, nearly one-quarter of the workforce is projected to be 55 or older — more than double the share in 1994. What’s more, falling fertility rates and tighter immigration rules mean U.S. employers will likely need to hire and keep older workers just to get the job done in coming decades, according to Andrew Scott, author of The 100-Year Life. As MIT AgeLab Director Joseph Coughlin said at the Milken Institute Global Conference: “We will need older workers to do the work.” In addition, workers 65+ will be attractive to employers because they use Medicare for their primary insurance (if they\'re not working full-time or don\'t otherwise have employer coverage), reducing benefit costs for employers, say futurists Katherine L.Y. Green, of Green Consulting Group, and John Mahaffie and Jennifer Jarratt, founders of Leading Futurists.  (The trio combined forces for their Next Avenue predictions and provided them in writing.) As Paul Irving, chairman of the Milken Institute for the Future of Aging, has written: “Older people have so much to offer as workers, colleagues and mentors. It is in the business community’s self-interest to recruit, train, promote and retain them.” Problem is, Irving notes, right now, “Only a few companies are doing so.” That will change, especially in 10 years or so, according to the futurists and Big Thinkers who shared their visions with me. The key to employment for workers 50+ going forward, say Green, Mahaffie and Jarratt, is “anticipatory careering.” That means, they say, being mindful about if, how and when your skills might become obsolete; anticipating emerging jobs and careers you can transition into; and using your time, money and energy to create a balanced working life that spans age 18 to 80. Here are 15 forecasts for the future of work for Americans over 50, split by time period: In the Next 5 Years Many 50+ workers will delay retirement a few years or work part-time in retirement for extra income, say Green, Mahaffie and Jarratt. “There’s a shift in cultural expectations about when to retire, as it becomes increasingly clear that funding 20 to 30 extra years on a fixed income is both uncertain and risky,” they note. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 32% of Americans age 65 to 74 will be working by 2022, up from about 18% today. Corporate America will greatly expand job flexibility options to keep valuable boomer and Gen X employees, says Lawrence R. Samuel, author of Aging in America. Increasingly, people over 50 will decide when, and how much, they want to work, and employers will adapt to their wishes. Many people over 50 will embark on second or “encore” careers, for financial and social reasons, says Samuel. And their employers may help them do it. In the near future, predicts Jim Emerman, executive vice president for Encore.org, “employers will begin providing those about to retire with both information and experiences to prepare them for second and third acts for the greater good.” They’ll want to be seen, Emerman says, as “not just good places to work, but good places from which to launch a next chapter.” There will be a surge in volunteers at nonprofits and service organizations, as boomers and Gen X\'ers sign up in droves, Samuel expects. Ken Dychtwald, of AgeWave, made a similar prediction in a 2015 study he did with Merrill Lynch: Giving in Retirement, America’s Longevity Bonus. In 10 Years Green, Mahaffie and Jarratt predict “new forms of unions, organizations and alumni groups to advocate and provide services for older workers, that could include job-finding, marketing and legal.” Companies often have informal groups of their LGBTQ, minority and female workers. Why not ones for their 50+ workers? Employers will do a better job finding ways to accommodate older workers. Green, Mahaffie and Jarratt expect to see “special attention to health and safety concerns in both blue- and white-collar jobs.” Millions will transition from full-time jobs to part-time work, predicts Samuel. Look for growing numbers of older Americans in the gig economy, working freelance, with short-term contracts or with pick-up jobs. Older workers will represent “the vast majority of the growth of alternate work and contracting projects,” Bahat told me. Volunteering and service will become “primary status symbols,” says Samuel. These altruistic efforts will be looked on with envy even more than net worth, he adds. Further Into the Future: Jetsons Predictions Working into your 70s will be more common. Credit a combination of health breakthroughs allowing it, financial concerns encouraging it and employers wanting reliable, knowledgeable, mentoring workers. Green, Mahaffie and Jarratt foresee medical advances likely reducing the frequency and severity of heart disease and diabetes, enabling longer working futures. “Over the next two decades, adults 50+ will likely see greater rates of workforce participation into their sixth and seventh decade,” wrote the futurist trio. “The trend of working well into the third quarter of life, for pay and/or satisfaction, will be increasingly expected and common.” But much older workers may be forced to retire by law. Samuel predicts “new mandatory retirement regulations will push 80-somethings out of the workplace.” The key word for workers over 50 will be “alongside.” For instance, they’ll often be working alongside AI-engineered robots (rather than losing jobs to them), say Green, Mahaffie and Jarratt. This echoes the recent Next Avenue blog post I wrote, “Why Robots Won’t Be Coming for All Our Jobs.” Also, \"there may be more situations of volunteers working alongside paid workers, maybe even managing projects or teams,” write the futurist trio. And older Americans will increasingly have positions alongside workers who are much younger — as well as some who are older. Say goodbye to the traditional expectation of earning more each successive year of work.“The idea that we have a steadily advancing pay scale will be questioned,” Bahat told me. “People will be paid based on what they can do.” This may be particularly true for professionals. The three futurists wrote: “White-collar workers who are downsized or displaced will be more likely to find replacement jobs, but often for less money.” Say goodbye, too, to the traditional linear life of education, work and then retirement. Emerman and others expect instead to see “dynamic” lives, where Americans bounce in and out of school, work and non-work throughout their adult years. Green, Mahaffie and Jarratt add caregiving as another interval in this mix. “People will work throughout the life course, with multiple sabbaticals or gap years to learn, retrain or travel,” Emerman says. “Genius clubs” and other forms of organized groups will likely emerge to “organize and channel older workers’ talents, products and services for pay and “do-good” projects, say Green, Mahaffie and Jarratt. And in the next 20 years, the most enduring legacy for people over 50, says Samuel, will be their collective donation of time and money. That’s a nice way to finish this forecast roundup, I think. Incidentally, the Shift Commission just released a fascinating report on the future of work in America, after it brought together 100 experts to study the subject over the course of a year. I encourage you to check it out. Source: The Future Of Work For People 50+ Will Surprise You

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