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Starting Over Again in Midlife

Editorial Team

Last year brought setbacks for many people. In this essay in The New York Times, lawyer Beverly Willett writes that in 2009 she ended her 25-year marriage, watched her savings disappear in divorce litigation and faced a mountain of bills. To make ends meet, she accepted an online job taking web and phone orders for T-shirts, mugs and teddy bears. She has never worked harder. “It might turn out to be the best job I’ve ever had.”


  1. DLittle

    I am 57 years old and was unvolitarily dismissed almost 2 years ago after 28 1/2 years of very dedicated years of a quality control lab technician for a chemical company. I am finding out that in these troubled times it is very hard to find work. even after so many years of experience. I have gone back to school online to be a Pharmacy Technician, but have not quite finished the course. It sure has not been a cake walk to try and go back to shcool at my age, but I do have the comfort of my own home to work in, and pretty much my own time to do it in. It makes me so warey to try and seek work to do at home, because of so many scams out there. It would be perfect to do some work at home and be able to study in the comforts of my home. My unemployment has run out and my husband is retired, so makes it hard on us financially. I heard the story on GMA again this morning, and thought I would check out their website. Maybe someone could give a correct direction to go.
    Very dicouraged

  2. Shelley

    DLittle, Like you I am middle-aged and trying to figure out how to reinvent myself so I can be financially stable. The story from this morning was like she was speaking to me. Now all we have to do is figure out what to do next!

  3. Angel A

    After 13 years with my company, I was terminated. At the age of 57 and single I am trying to sale my home, relocate and find a new job. Question: Do I move without selling my home with the idea of finding a job in the desired location? I have some savings, but money is getting tight
    What’s the best way to make this transistion

  4. MargieT

    Hi, I can definately appreciate what is being said and the fear that goes with it. I am almost 60 and have been in customer service most of my life. Back in October I was hired by a company for customer service and 8 weeks later was layed off, right before Christmas. They gave me a $50.00 gift certificat on Thursday and layed me off on Friday. What was that all about!
    My husband is on permanent disability and I’m out of work. He wants to move to another state but our family is here.
    I keep getting the e-mails from companies that want me to sell insurance, that’s not for me.
    Thanks for listening, I’m just down, these are supposed to be the best years!

  5. melissa

    I was dependent on my husband my entire marriage even though in the early years I had a design and manufacturing business which he effectively encouraged me to close so that I could be the homemaker. Now his business is failing, we are in debt, he has been abusive and blaming and I need out! I have no savings, and all of this debt incurred without my knowledge. I encourage women to always know what is going on in the financial end so that you never end up in this situation. Do not be so trusting. Keep your own bank account.

  6. With gainful employment out of reach for so many, people are now exploring entrepreneurial options that, prior to this, did not seem terribly practical. Now, out of necessity or sheer frustration, they are.
    Think back to thoughts you may have had about what, if given the opportunity, you would love to do, rather than what you were doing. What would be satisfying for you? What will offer you a sense of fulfillment?? Cooking?? Pottery?? Give it a lot of thought and see if you can earn a living from whatever your PASSION is! Keep repeating I CAN DO IT! (and you will!)

  7. Charlotte

    I too was laid off April 24, 2009. It has been 9 months (long enough to gestate a baby!) and I am no closer now then I was April 25, 2009! Unfortunately, I live in Michigan. Need I say more? During the holiday months, I (along with a friend) decided to try Craft Shows selling our hand-made jewelry and other accessories as a means to generate money. As it turns out, so did A LOT of others. Long story short: it didn’t work and I ended up $50 in the hole. But, you never know til you try!

  8. Debbie Farr

    I am 55,been a home maker all my life, no wrk experience, living with my daughter after a bad abusive relationship and now they want me to leave. I’m so lost. No job no home now scared, any one have any advice for me please?

  9. Debbie Farr

    Just don’t know who to get ahold of for help, I live in no.calif Redding area, would like some information if anyone has some

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