I got to view the most recent ACS salary survey and
interrogated it differently.
What happens to chemists’ salaries after they are 45?
Figure 1 in the report indicates that BS and MS
degree holders remain flat after 20-24 years of
experience. Ph.D. degree holders are faced with
only modest “cost of living adjustments,” if any,
after about 25 years after their BS– their late 40s.
This is a general trend, seen in not only chemical,
materials and pharmaceutical firms, but also many
other sectors, including high wage earners,
specialists and managers, Schultz and Silver-Greenberg
reported. This affects lifestyles, retirement planning
and long-term investment planning for most of us.
Action items to consider:
1. plan your retirement savings using worst case
2. live on a lower income scenario over the last
ten working years; save the difference in income
3. assess your employability at age 50. If your industry
is weak, your company will not survive or your skills are
not competitive, consider changing (careers, companies,
line of profession).
[Many people I know were caught short. They
are paying the price as their children are in college.]
4. develop new, advanced learning skill sets that may
borrow from your experience, technical know-how,
and business savvy. (dividends from these investments
may not come right away and may be smaller.)
5. devise an estate plan, investment plan and a
retirement income plan in your early 50s to deal
with the inevitable. Delay taking your pension,
social security, dipping into your retirement savings,
and extend medical and wellness benefits.