The Baby Boomers
The baby boomers are those born between 1946 and 1964, according to the United States Census Bureau. At seventy-seven million strong, what this generation does has a significant impact on the nation.
Every day in the United States, approximately 10,000 boomers turn 65, the traditional retirement age. Not all of the baby boomers are retiring at age 65 however; the recession of 2009 has caused many people to delay retirement. More adults age 55 and older are in the workforce than at any other time since 1948, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began recording the ages of the American workforce.
Besides the baby boomers stuck with reduced retirement savings, there are individuals who are not retiring because they see their fifties and sixties as a time to start a new career. Boomers see many healthy years ahead of themselves, with the freedom to pursue new careers. Without a growing family to support and no mortgage, it is now time to try a new career that may not pay well, but is rewarding. Community colleges are increasingly seeing baby boomers that are reinventing themselves, taking classes in subjects that are entirely different from their previous careers.
With the population living longer, plans for retirement have changed drastically. Before, many people used to plan an extended vacation to an exotic location that they always wanted to see, then perhaps, spending some time with their grandchildren. The baby boomers however, are facing twenty to thirty years of retirement, so a new career looks especially attractive.
Late in life careers not only help the baby boomers resurrect interests put aside for better-paying careers, they help baby boomers live longer. Numerous studies, including a major study by the Longevity Project, show productive people live much longer.
As our society’s workforce is becoming increasingly gray-haired, there is no more silver ceiling for older workers. The baby boomers of today can expect ageism to practically disappear, as more employers will need to depend on older workers to fill positions. More and better jobs will be open to the baby boomers that are looking for a new career in what used to be considered their retirement years. Postponing retirement has definite financial rewards.
The baby boomers who keep working, either in their old career or in a new career, continue to build their retirement nest egg as opposed to drawing on it. This nest egg can then fund retirement dreams that were not possible with Social Security’s penalties for retiring early. Waiting until at least age 67 to retire makes economic sense if an individual wants to be financially secure in retirement.