Posts Tagged "London"

Older US Workers of Color at a Disadvantage

As workers age, poor health or disabling physical conditions can interfere with holding down a job. Sometimes people are forced to quit working if things get really rough, whether they’re ready to retire or not.

But race also figures into this predicament, because workers of color are already in poorer health and tend to have more vulnerable employment situations than White workers. A new study compares what’s it’s like to be an older Black, Hispanic or Asian person who is trying to keep working in two countries with similar cultures: the United States and England.

The United States does not come out on top.

The building blocks for this research are basic comparisons of White and minority workers’ health and employment rates in each country. In both cases, the gaps between the races are largest in the United States.

People of color, ages 50 to 70, in both England and the United States are much less healthy than Whites their age. But the researchers find the health disparities are larger here than in England, where the National Health Service provides universal healthcare. The differences between the two countries persisted in analyses using individuals’ own reports on their health in a survey and using medical diagnoses like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The racial gap in employment is also larger in the United States. The employment rate for older American men of color is 10 percentage points lower than for White men and 5 percentage points lower for older women of color. In England, the researchers said, the differences are “modest” after taking into account the fact that Whites and minorities in England have different health and education levels than older workers here.

The disadvantages of being an older worker of color are compounded if they suddenly experience a new medical condition or injury. But when this occurs, the researchers concluded, “the [negative] impact of health shocks on employment is larger for nonwhites than for Whites and is larger in the U.S. than England.”

Comparing women of color in both countries illustrates this dramatically. A sudden worsening in health is responsible for 19 percent of the drop in employment for older women of color in the United States, compared with 13 percent for White women, the researchers found. This negative effect on employment for women of color in this country is three times larger than in England. …Learn More

Retirees Do a Stint in London – and Why Not?

Joanna McIsaac-Kierklo in Dublin

Joanna McIsaac-Kierklo in Dublin

Many retirees, freed from their work obligations and looking for adventure, dream of living overseas. Edward Kierklo and Joanna McIsaac-Kierklo don’t dream. They just do.

In May 2021, the couple, feeling trapped by the pandemic in their sleepy town in the Sierra Foothills east of San Francisco, decided to break out and trade rural life for 11 months in London. Joanna’s always been a risk-taker, starting at 22, when she moved to Idaho to be a Vista volunteer. London was her idea.

“Joanna says, ‘I’m tired of looking at these floors and cleaning an 1,800-square-foot home,’ ” Ed, 73, recalled. “She said, ‘Let’s sell the place and go to London.’ I said okay.”

The pandemic played a starring role in their big move. “We felt isolated and a little itchier than we might’ve been so we traded an almost-rural area for a distinctly urban setting,” he said. They relocated to London, vaccinated and boosted, in November 2021.

Edward Kierklo in Warsaw

Edward Kierklo in Warsaw

The couple, who married in their 50s, have the two things that are critical to an ex-pat adventure: fun money and their health. From their new home base, they were able to take weekend getaways all over Great Britain and on the Continent. But it took a lot of planning to move overseas.

Joanna, a former project manager in the healthcare field, is the planner in the family too. She found a London real estate specialist and figured out how to ship their Birmin cat, Suzette, across the pond – for $4,200. They flew to London and found a fifth-floor apartment in a concierge building in the borough of Ealing. The trains, shops, and restaurants were within walking distance so they didn’t need a car, and Joanna went online and bought the furniture, pots, pans, and all things necessary for the new place.

“I take the reins,” she said about their adventure. “I lift all the boxes,” Ed said.

They sold the house in California’s hot real estate market to a cash buyer 18 hours after putting it on the market and booked a nice profit. “Anyone who owns property in California is a millionaire,” said Joanna, 72.

Ed, a retired information technology professional, quickly learned that renting in London is complicated. Retirees must go through an “intrusive” and “bureaucratic” process requiring six months’ rent upfront and disclosure of numerous financial documents, he said. But he was born in England – his parents emigrated from Poland – so his British passport smoothed the path to getting a bank account. Having a passport also meant he didn’t need a visa to live in London.

Joanna, on the other hand, did. She obtained a six-month tourist visa, which required her to leave the country and return to California before her six months ran out. She then flew back to London to restart the visa clock.

During their stay, the couple enjoyed sinking into the local culture. …Learn More