How do I take care of him?

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Due to the number of rule-breaking comments this post was receiving, especially low-quality and off-topic comments, the moderation team has locked the post from future comments. This post broke no rules and received a number of helpful and on-topic responses initially, but it unfortunately became the target of many unhelpful comments.


1) first and foremost: be gentle with yourself. Speak kindly as you would to a friend in this situation. You have no reason whatsoever to be embarrassed. 2) you are not alone in entering the workforce later in life. Plenty of people do for varying reasons. 3) I can understand why you would feel a sense of panic and think that you just need to fling a handful of spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks (I got that assumption from the “nothing is beneath me” comment). However, I would suggest being more methodical in your approach. What do you WANT to do? What do you enjoy doing? What are you good at? 4) you need to understand your numbers. How much money do you need to have before you can retire? What are your monthly expenses? What is healthcare costing you? Do you need healthcare coverage through an employer? Will your husband’s healthcare needs increase your monthly costs? 5) don’t count yourself out for having an “old” bachelors or no social media. Neither of these things are bad. You can absolutely get into a masters program with your degree, but it all goes back to #3. What do you want to do? Real world experience counts. I would highly suggest reaching out to some career counselors and a resume building service to help you get started on the job search. Even if you go to a masters program, that time will be well spent since you’ll eventually need a resume. Think also about any wardrobe updates you might need to do- depending on your chosen profession, you may need different clothes than what you have now. Don’t hesitate to job shadow men and women who are in fields that you may be interested in.


The best thing to do is to get back into the workforce now before your husband is forced to retire. Take whatever you can get (and EVERYONE is hiring right now) once you’ve been employed for a while and have references, professional jobs won’t care what you did for 20+ years before that.


First off, is your husband truly going to be “retiring” or leaving the workforce due to disability? Have you explored whether he will be eligible for disability pay? Second, what is your current financial situation? Savings? Retirement? Etc. What assets do you have? Do you have a home, and if so, is it paid off or close to paid off (such that you may be able to finish paying it off before he retires?) Have you assessed how much of his income you need to replace and what your long-term goals are for income? Since there is a good chance that your income may be less than his, now is the perfect time to explore whether you can cut expenses to live with lower means so it is less of a shock later when his income is lost. Career advice is tough for me to give. I will say that personally I wouldn’t go the masters route – at least not in education, social work, etc. There is no guarantee of a well-paying job afterward. What do you like? Do you want to work with people? Do you want a physical job or a desk job? Would you like to work in the medical field (e.g. a rad tech which can be done via a certification program)? Anecdotally, I know a couple of women personally who have been in your shoes in recent years and both started home cleaning businesses from the ground up. As a homemaker it would be a natural sell to potential clients (“I’ve been a homemaker for many years and have perfected my art and want to share my skills to help others with their homes” or whatever). They have good control of their schedules, can take on more clients as their needs change, etc. I like this idea for you because it doesn’t require too much of a major investment other than supplies – no education that may or may not pay off, flows naturally from your background, and could give you a starting point if you shift elsewhere in the future (instead of saying “I was unemployed” you’d be saying “I own my own cleaning business but I am looking to branch out”). Once established you can expand into cleaning businesses etc. in addition to homes as well (though that usually requires more evening/weekend hours than house cleaning). One other note – have you explored whether there may be options for your husband after nursing to still bring in an income but in a different role? Maybe a desk job in medical administration? Finally, don’t let your lack of professional experience crush your hope on this. When I hear stories like yours I always think of my grandfather – who pursued a GED at 53, got an associate’s degree at 56, and got a bachelor’s degree at 59. Prior to getting the GED he was sheepish in this journey – I think it crushed his soul to tell us grandkids that he didn’t have a high school diploma – but as he turned 60 he confidently and proudly entered the workforce, finally seeing that his dedication alone this late in life was a testament to his character and value as an employee.


This sounds like a tough situation and I hope you get to a good outcome. I’d just like to suggest something I have seen recommended to other people. If you can be structured and write clearly (which you obviously can) there can be opportunities to work in the legal profession, for instance as a paralegal. There are training and certification programs and some positions are open to those without specific legal qualifications. I’m afraid it’s not an area I know much about, but it may be worth exploring. Good luck.