This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

June 15, 2005

Double Dipping

No, the Baby Boomer Generation is not going to retire en masse. In fact, most people in this important generational group, born from 1946 to 1964, will not retire for many years. We expect these workers to remain in the job market---full-time, part-time, and flex-time into their seventies, eighties, and even nineties. The incentives for them to continue working are growing.

An important incentive for the Boomers in the United States, and abroad is their own values set. With a belief that being productive members of society is a good thing, they want to continue making a contribution through their work—as employees and as volunteers. There are two other critical factors that will motivate workers now in their forties, fifties, and sixties to stay in the workforce. One is the need for income---particularly among those who have lost money in the stock market and through the unfunding of some pension plans. The other motivator is opportunity---a growing need for skilled and educated workers spurred by economic growth. Faced with an insufficient supply of qualified workers, employers will eagerly recruit older employees.

Workforce shortages are causing serious problems for many types of employers---including in healthcare and information technology. Another vital concern is a teacher shortage. Teachers are leaving the profession, driven by frustration, feeling unsupported, or a desire to teach instead of dealing with behavioral problems and periodic testing. Too many school districts have resorted to placing non-certified workers---even some without college degrees---into teaching positions.

Local school officials will become more creative over the next few years, as they seek ways to attract and hold the quality of teachers needed by today’s fast-thinking, multi-tasking, highly demanding students.

The State of Florida has found a solution. Teachers in that state are encouraged to retire to start their pension income, then return to teaching and again collect their salary. The benefits of the extra income are obvious, as are the benefits of retaining experienced teachers. The opportunity for teachers gets even better: They can even earn a second retirement if they work for six more years.


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