This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

March 12, 2014

Boomers Finally Retiring?

In recent years, one of the major frustrations for Generation Xers has been the continued presence of Baby Boomers in the workforce. Mostly for a variety of reasons, they had postponed retirement, many because they thought, they "could not afford it". Well, we have good news—sort of.

Some full-time workers who had been putting off retirement plans, or thinking they would never do so, are now finally choosing to take the leap out of their long-term jobs. It is the combination of these delayed retirements and the 15.1 percent fewer people in Generation X that is now creating such a challenge for employers. (See next week's Trend Alert on the struggles of employers to find qualified people.)

Conducted by the Harris Corp. for CareerBuilder, the study found that 58 percent (still over half) of workers age 60+ said they are currently delaying plans to retire. That number is almost down 10 percent from its peak of 66 percent four short years ago. (CareerBuilder.com is an international recruitment and employment website.) Moreover, 50 percent of workers surveyed anticipated being able to retire within four years, a slight improvement from 47 percent last year.

Many put off retirement, when The Great Recession decimated their nest eggs. With 10 percent of workers in this age group having expressed the feeling they will never be able to retire, half (50 percent) said they expected to be able to retire within four years.

Interestingly, two other data points emerged: fewer workers are planning to take on full or part-time work after they retire from their current job. Only 45 percent said they would look for work post-retirement---a significant 15-point drop from 2013 (60 percent). Among those who do plan on working post-retirement, consulting, retail and customer service work are the most popular disciplines. The other point was that women (71 percent) were far more likely to delay retirement than men (49 percent).

Wise employers in all industries will acknowledge and appreciate the contributions that older workers can provide and make additional accommodations for their needs. These accommodations may include reduced physical activity, job sharing, reduced hours, and phased retirement. Older workers can be very valuable assets, if supported properly.


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