Are you a member of the Baby Boomer Generation (or perhaps on the older side of Generation X)? Study after study proves that you’re unique.
In terms of population, Boomers are not only more numerous than previous generations, and they not only have higher expectations for life—record numbers are opening businesses or engaging in adventure travel—but they are also likely to live longer than their parents and grandparents.1
All of these factors blend together to create a near-perfect storm of possibility.
With an astounding 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 each day,2 it’s not at all surprising that the very definition of what people enjoy doing once they mature has changed.
How has the wealth, health and high expectations of Baby Boomers altered our perspective on aging? Here are three modern trends that are specific to the work and retirement lives of Boomers.
Trend #1: Retired Boomers are mentoring the young.
According to the Bureau of Labor, in the last 20 years, the percentage of people working who are between the ages of 62 and 67 increased from 45 to 56 percent for men, and from 33 to 45 percent for women.3 This means that roughly half of all Americans of retirement age are still engaged in some form of employment.
Why are Boomers working longer?
When queried, the reasons Boomers gave for working longer was that they wanted to stay active, they appreciated the extra income, and, lastly, they were very interested in teaching younger workers the lessons that they’ve learned throughout their lives.4
Trend #2: Boomers are starting businesses.
“Millennials are the driving force behind entrepreneurship in America.”
I love that quote. It’s also false. The media’s message that only ingenious 20-something entrepreneurs are changing the world, leaving befuddled older Americans in their wakes, is absolutely incorrect. The largest generation of entrepreneurs in America is comprised of Baby Boomers.5 In fact, Boomers are TWICE as likely to launch a new business as their younger peers.
Why are Boomers starting new companies?
First, Boomers have more money than any generation in history.6 Those who have prepared and saved can afford to start a new enterprise. Second, as mentioned above, they are living longer, healthier lives. Third, Boomers have both real world and professional experience. And, fourth, Boomers’ maturity means they are likely to have a better understanding of themselves, and the world around them (i.e. they know the marketplace).
But does any of that translate to success? Apparently so. According to a Kaufmann Foundation study, Boomers are 35 percent more likely to found a successful business (one that they will still be managing after 3 years) than millennialls.7
Trend #3: Many Boomers want to work part time.
61 percent of retired Baby Boomers who work do so at a part-time job, even though 60 percent of those respondents say they don’t need the money, or are working for reasons other than income.8
Why are Baby Boomers working part time?
There are dozens of websites devoted to retirees looking for part-time work. The reasons are plentiful, but aren’t merely a function of supporting ambitious retirees. Employers love part-time Baby Boomer workers. First, they value the accountability of mature people. In a recent survey, retirees were considered “more honest and dependable” than their younger counterparts.9 The fact is, according to the website Psychology Central, that not only are older workers more reliable, but while energy and some cognitive functions naturally decrease with time, younger workers actually have greater variability in cognitive function when performing day-to-day tasks. Simply, older workers are more consistent and more focused employees.9
Growing up, your image of what your 50s and 60s would someday look like may have been a clichéd, media-driven point of view, one where a couple sat sipping tea on a deck overlooking the sea. That still exists … on vacation. The new reality is that Boomers are active and they intend to stay that way.
And that takes preparation.
The odds are that once you retire, you will live a good long time. So if you’re going to work at a part-time job that you love, or if you’re going to start a business just for the fun of it, it’s incumbent upon you to make your money work. Proper savings and investment management is equal parts art, planning, expertise and caring.
Over our 23 years, we’ve watched as the expectations and demands of pre-retirees evolved from sipping tea to second careers, volunteerism, and even, in some cases, bungee jumping and mountain climbing. So, while we can’t book your travel, we can help make your dreams come true. Contact us today and let us help you keep the good times going.