Personal Finance: Ask the Experts

Get advice on money matters from The Bee's Claudia Buck and a panel of local experts

September 3, 2013
What opportunities are available for an older worker looking to retrain for a new career?

Q: I am a 60-year-old desperate to find a full-time career after being displaced several years ago (working two part-time jobs now). A career college in Rancho Cordova offers optical assistant training courses. Do you feel this would be a wise career path? Or could you offer an alternate suggestion? I have management and sales skills and am quite comfortable with various software apps. Thank you. Rick - Roseville, CA

A: Honestly, I don't think that the Optical Assistant training program will offer the results that you are looking for in a full-time career. According to forecast information provided on CareerGPS.com,, there will only be 6 new jobs a year for Optical Assistants in this region through 2018.

One of the best industries offering employment growth is the Administrative and Support Services sector, which includes office jobs such as clerks, administrative assistants, customer service representatives and bookkeepers.

With a background in management and sales, you should consider employment in the administrative services sector, especially since you are comfortable with software applications. It sounds like you may not need to be totally retrained to gain employment as an office technician or accounts receivable clerk, but may need to take a few short-term courses in computers or bookkeeping.

It could be helpful to visit your local One Stop Career Center where you might be able to qualify for a training grant to assist with the courses or program that you decide to pursue. For more information about services offered by your local One-Stop, visit servicelocator.org or call (916) 865-2440.

Additionally, here are some helpful resources:

CareerGPS.com
Provides detailed information about which jobs are in high demand in the Sacramento region, how much they pay, what type of education or training is recommended, and where you can go to get it. Check out the site's Interest Profiler to help you identify your strongest work-related interests. Knowing your work interests can help you decide what kinds of jobs and careers you want to explore.

The Senior Job Bank- Employers who are interested in attracting talented, dedicated people over the age of 50.

Area 4 Agency on Aging Senior Employment Program offers free job search assistance for seniors 55 years of age and older. For more information call (916) 486-1876 or visit http://www.a4aa.com/

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Meet Our Financial Experts

Claudia Buck

Claudia Buck is The Sacramento Bee's personal finance columnist. Read all her columns here. Contact her at cbuck@sacbee.com

Terri Carpenter

Terri Carpenter offers advice on job hunting, retraining and career counseling. Carpenter works at Sacramento Works Inc., the career and job training arm of the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA). With 15 years in the field, she has hands-on experience with everyone from first-time job seekers to career professionals seeking advice after a layoff or looking for a mid-career change. Ask her a question.

Carlena Tapella

Carlena Tapella is a partner in the law firm of Webb & Tapella Law Corp. in Sacramento. The firm specializes in estate planning and probate, such as estates, trusts, conservatorships and litigation. She is a past president of the Sacramento County Bar Association's Estate Planning & Probate Section. Ask her a question.

Kimberly Foss

Kimberly Foss, certified financial planner, is the founder of Empyrion Wealth Management in Roseville. With nearly 30 years in the financial industry, her clients include women in transition, small business owners, retirees and "pre-retirees." Ask her a question.

Jesse Weller

Gregory Burke, a CPA and tax expert with John Waddell & Co. in Sacramento since 1984, worked as an IRS tax auditor for six years. He’s a past chairman of the California Society of CPAs. Ask him a question.

Daniel Tahara

Daniel Tahara takes your questions about California taxes. Tahara, a spokesman for the state Franchise Tax Board, has 10 years of experience as a tax auditor. Ask him a question.



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