What’s In Store for Boomers and Retirement?

April 23, 2022

The pandemic has added a new factor to consider when considering whether to retire. After losing their employment, some near-retirees chose to call it quits. Others were more concerned about their health and decided that it was preferable to retire while they were still healthy. Others, however, have utilized the crisis to re-evaluate their careers and re-prioritize their professional interests. Surprisingly, it might be a good moment for near-retirees to explore starting a new profession. One reason is that businesses are yearning for experienced workers due to the labor shortage, which provides aging baby boomers more power. 1

Over the previous six months, we’ve heard a lot about the “Great Resignation.” Job leaving is, unfortunately, a luxury enjoyed mostly by young individuals with financial support from their parents, adults with no debt, and high-income professionals who have saved well and have means to take time off. According to a recent survey of U.S. worker resignation rates, the following are the highest: 2

-Among employees in their mid-career

-In the fields of technology and health care

You can envision how those situations play out: mid-career employees and computer professionals may have enough funds to take a break and consider their options; health-care workers are likely to be burned out. While a pandemic may not have been on anyone’s financial bingo card, it has arrived, and many people are taking stock of their life at this moment. This type of crisis can strike at any time, and you may lose your job or lose your drive to keep working. 3

In the past, most persons above a certain age would retire after leaving a work. However, new research suggests that some older employees are looking at the epidemic as an opportunity to take a break. Many people say they want to return to work at some time, either because they can’t afford to retire or because they just want to build a better financial foundation for their retirement. Others, meantime, intend to return to work since their brief retirement isn’t precisely what they had hoped for. 4

Surprisingly, one research revealed that baby boomers in their 60s were no more likely than persons in their mid-to-late 50s to leave their occupations. In reality, from a pre-pandemic average of 12 percent to 13 percent in 2020, the retirement rate among employees aged 55 and above scarcely altered. 5

A research conducted by the Federal Reserve Board indicated that one-third of retirees return to work full- or part-time, a phenomenon known as “reverse retirement.” Again, this is most common among the lowest-paid workers and the highest-paid workers – both at 35%. 6

Regardless matter why you’re returning to work, there’s evidence that working longer may be rewarding for reasons other than money. “Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is hollow without it,” Stephen Hawking is quoted as saying. Even volunteering gives a satisfying sense of giving back to people and the community. A job frequently provides an automatic network of coworkers, friends, and acquaintances, as well as a way to channel your mental and physical energies. 7 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has even shown a link between being jobless or retired and having the worst health. 8 If you’re thinking about returning to work now or after the epidemic has been contained, you might be concerned about ageism in the workplace. However, there is some positive news to report. After the age of 30, research has revealed that “mental horsepower” begins to wane. Knowledge and expertise, which are often considered to be significant determinants of work success, however, continue to improve even beyond reaching the age of 80. Furthermore, personal characteristics such as curiosity motivate late-adults to master new abilities. There is no formal age restriction for learning new skills, so don’t be put off by new technology or methods. Be inquisitive, ask questions, and expand your knowledge.

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.

Abhinav Chugh. World Economic Forum. Nov. 29, 2021. “What is ‘The Great Resignation’? An expert explains.” https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/11/what-is-the-great-resignation-and-what-can-we-learn-from-it/. Accessed Dec. 27, 2021.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Dec. 21, 2021. “COVID Hasn’t Pushed Boomers into Retiring.” https://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/squared-away/covid-hasnt-pushed-boomers-into-retiring/. Accessed Dec. 27, 2021.

5 Ibid.

6 Will Kenton. New Retirement. June 28, 2020. “Reverse Retirement: Find Out Why So Many Retirees Are Going Back to Work.” https://www.newretirement.com/retirement/reverse-retirement-find-out-why-retirees-are-going-back-to-work/. Accessed Dec. 27, 2021.

7 Josh Bersin and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. Harvard Business Review. Sept. 26, 2019. “The Case for Hiring Older Workers.” https://hbr.org/2019/09/the-case-for-hiring-older-workers. Accessed Dec. 27, 2021.

Gary Foster. Booming Encore. 2021. “How Not To Waste A Retirement.” https://boomingencore.com/en/article/how-not-waste-retirement. Accessed Dec. 27, 2021.

9 Josh Bersin and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. Harvard Business Review. Sept. 26, 2019. “The Case for Hiring Older Workers.” https://hbr.org/2019/09/the-case-for-hiring-older-workers. Accessed Dec. 27, 2021.