New Study: Boomer Retirement and the Job Market

by Sharlyn Lauby on July 27, 2011

My father-in-law retired at age 55.  He then spent over 35 years enjoying his retirement life by playing golf, tending his gladiolas and eating pork chops with potato chips.  He was able to do this because he planned and saved for retirement.

Many people today won’t be able to enjoy the same kind of retirement my father-in-law had.  I question whether I’ll have the same kind of retirement, baby boomers, economy, rectuitingretirement he did.  The effects of the Great Recession have dwindled – or eliminated – people’s savings.  And then there are the current discussions about changes to Social Security and Medicare. Let’s just say they are making folks a bit nervous.

That’s why I was particularly interested in the latest report by The Conference Board titled “Delaying Retirement” [PDF].  The report shares what’s currently happening in the workplace with respect to retirement.  While conceptually we all knew that people’s retirement savings were impacted by the Recession, The Conference Board report explains how much.  And it was significant.

For example, the report says that households’ net worth dropped from $66 trillion during the peak in 2007 to $48.5 trillion in 2009.

That’s a pretty big chunk of change.  Which explains why parents are moving in with their kids and rethinking when they plan to retire.

From a work perspective, it’s given human resources a little bit of a reprieve.  A few years ago, we were all running around like Chicken Little talking about the Boomers retiring and the labor shortage.  Now, Boomers are delaying retirement.  So the sky isn’t falling . . . yet.

But make no mistake, Boomers will retire at some point.  Some of them are making plans right now.  They are figuring out what the new normal is for their retirement.  They’re getting comfortable with the change.

The Conference Board report talks about developing a workforce plan taking this new retirement data into consideration.  You can grab a copy of the report here [PDF].  It’s well worth your time to understand this new retirement dynamic and how it will potentially impact your workforce.

Image courtesy of trekkyandy

Previous post:

Next post: