Part-time employment is one way to catch-up with savings for slackers like me. Others use a part-time job or a second job to deal with a recurring Retirement Nightmare, namely the threat of running out of money after only 10 years into retirement. That’s a reality faced by James Barajas of California, according to an article by Julie Connelly for AARP magazine .
Barajas, age 57, worked at Verizon and earned a salary of over $50,000. His division was eliminated in 2006, but his retirement savings were not enough to cover his expenses, especially not health care insurance. The solution: he found a $27,000 a year job working as a school custodian. The new salary fills the gap and provides additional benefits.
My secret fantasy involves working at Starbucks. I'm quite serious and in the last few months, I have even walked into a Starbucks in South Beach and requested a job application. The deal-breaker: I don't really have an extra 20 hours a week, especially since I have enrolled in graduate school.
But here's why I would like to work in Starbucks:
"Partners that work full time or part time (20 hours or more per week) may participate in a variety of programs, and make choices based on individual needs and interests."--Starbucks employee benefits1)Health Plan: Employees that work only 20 hours a week qualify for health insurance. Forget earning a minimum wage. I would actually pay Starbucks a minimum wage if they would let me into their health plan. The health care package includes:
"Healthcare Benefits: (Medical, Prescription Drugs, Dental and Vision)"-- Starbucks employee benefits
2) Access to interesting people: A shot of java-drinking people would really jump start my fiction career. It would be fun just to watch, observe and take notes on the different people and conversations that I would encounter at Starbucks. Great people watching!
3) Retirement benefits: In addition to saving my Starbucks part-time paychecks in a retirement account. I would also qualify for some retirement benefits at Starbucks.
4) Additional, non-compete income: As a freelance writer, I work a zillion different jobs: I have taught, tutored, written articles, hammered out news releases, fine tuned radio copy, reviewed books and even stood on my head.
It would be great to have an additional source of income that did not fry my brain and serving coffee fits that bill. I speak from experience. I have been a waitress and I have worked at Rizzoli bookstore in Manhattan and I loved it. Smile, take money, smile. Okay: it's not always easy, but it's way easier than other brain-draining employment efforts.
5) Free bag of coffee: All Starbucks employees get a free bag of coffee each week. That would save me at least $8 a week. We buy Eight O'Clock Coffee beans, which are great and cheap. But for free, I would drink Starbucks.
6) Coffee training program. Listen to this: "Coffee Education – A course focusing on the Starbucks passion for coffee and understanding our core product." Starbucks employee benefits There are other training programs available through the company. Here's a sample:
Business and Communication – The Starbucks Support Center (SSC) offers a variety of classes ranging from basic computer skills to conflict resolution, to management training.7) Future Career Path: One of my former neighbors began working at Starbucks as a teenager. She even made a coffee for me at a Starbucks in downtown Miami. Ten years later, she has an important Starbucks management post in South Florida and raves about the company. Maybe if I don't get to be a college professor when I grow up, I can be a Starbucks Manager. Here's the company's description of its leadership training program:
Learning to Lead – A three level program for baristas to develop leadership skills. The program also includes store operational and effective management practice training.
8) Interesting Staff: The paid cast is pretty diverse at Starbucks. With my wild, long and graying braids, I would fit right in. The company obviously does more than pay lip service to diversity in hiring and training.
9.Free New York Times: I always see copies of the NYT (and other newspapers) at Starbucks. My fantasy: during cleanup after the shop closes each day, I could recycle a NYT copy and read it at my home.
10) Starbucks has a book club: With a book due to be published in May, I could hope and pray that Starbucks would put me on their book club menu. My book is called The Frugal Duchess of South Beach and it should be out in May. Publisher: DPL Press. I'll have more details later.
Here's a quick summary of Starbucks menu of employee benefits:
Meanwhile, it's never to late to save, but there are a few helpful tips for those of us playing catch-up. While visiting my parents, I found a copy of AARP magazine which had some great tips for late-starters in the savings game. Basically, the article (from the Sept./Oct 2007 edition) featured several individuals (ages 50-60) who had not saved too much in the past. I'm writing a series of posts based on the strategies featured in the magazine.
Depending on job and personal situation, a partner’s
total pay package may include:
Progressive Compensation Package
Healthcare Benefits (Medical, Prescription Drugs, Dental and Vision)
Retirement Savings Plan
Stock Options and Discount Stock Purchase Plan
Income Protection Plan
(Life and Disability Coverage)
Management Bonus Plan
Adoption Assistance Plan
Domestic partner benefits
Referral programs and support resources for child and eldercare
Discounted Starbucks merchandise
And of course, all
partners get a pound of coffee each week.
Here's Part 1 of this series.Top Tip: No more recreational shopping at the mall!
Part 2: Tapping a Side Business for Savings: Late Bloomers... Top Tip: Develop a small business for extra income.
The Frugal Duchess Booktique
The Frugal Duchess of Beauty Store
Book Shop of Fear
The Poetry & Drama Queen
Frugal Jazz & Blues
Frugal Comic Book Connection