Former Marketing Executive Reduced To Flipping BurgersIt’s crazy that he was a former marketing executive who probably had a business degree and couldn’t manage his own money. According to Mail Online
A retired businessman who once enjoyed all the perks that came with his six figure salary job is being forced to make ends meet in his retirement by working two lowly paid part-time jobs. Former high flying marketing executive Tom Palome, 77, now fills his days making $10 an hour to demonstrate food at Sam’s Club and $8 an hour flipping burgers and serving drinks at a golf club in Tampa, Florida. ‘I earn in a week what I used to earn in an hour,’ Palome, who used to fly first class on business trips to Europe, told Bloomberg. While Palome worked hard his entire career, paid off his mortgage and put his kids through college, like most Americans he didn’t save enough for retirement.Damn.In addition, his savings more than halved to $40,000 after the financial crisis struck in 2008. In need of cash to maintain his lifestyle and with years if not decades of life ahead of him, Palome took the first job he could find – not easy to find for someone at his stage in life. Palome’s reduced circumstances are part of a much the larger trend in America in which workers from all wage brackets are being forced to stay on in the workforce as they both live longer and have fewer retirement savings to rely on.
Rather than focus about what he used to have, Palome prefers to be optimistic about his situation. He is in good health, lives independently and he in gainful employment. ‘I tell people I demonstrate food and I do short-order cooking. I don’t mind saying it. What’s important is that I can work today,’ he told Bloomberg. Palome receives $1,200 from Social Security and a $600 a month pension from his last corporate job. Still, his $1,400 in monthly wages allows him to bolster his savings and provides for some extras. He goes to the theater, pays for plane tickets to visit his children and grandsons and takes occasional vacations. ‘I know seniors like me who hardly ever leave their homes because they don’t have money to do anything,’ Palome said. ‘They could work, but won’t take a lesser job.’ Two years ago, Palome saw an advertisement in a local paper for the AARP Senior Community Service Employment Program. He met with Maxine Haynes, the program’s Tampa project director, who helped him get an interview at Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC, which runs food demonstrations for Sam’s Club and other stores. To stretch his income, Palome runs his dishwasher once a week and turns off his hot water heater every morning after he showers. He buys airline tickets six months in advance, booking rental cars for as little as $13.80 a day. If Palome has one regret, it’s that he didn’t get better retirement investing advice somewhere along the line. “I thought I could do it on my own,’ he said.At least he can smile about it. Shutterstock