Why Baby Boomers Want to Continue Working

Working or returning to work could feel good to you for quite a variety of reasons, if only because it’s hard to wake up in the morning and have no place to go.

And if that’s how you feel, you’re certainly not alone. As of 2012, the older edge of the Baby Boomers to reach retirement age first – those born in 1946 and slightly after – are retiring at an average age of 71. This age is up significantly from just the previous year (2011) when the average retirement age was 69, as well as 2008 when the average age was 68.

In fact the most recent studies indicate that more than 9 in 10 working middle-income baby boomers expect to be working past the conventional retirement age of 65, according to Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement.

Why does Working Matter to Us?

The World of Work provides for many of our most basic needs, far beyond the fact that it sustains us financially or has provided the dollar input collected through the years for the Social Security payments we will someday receive.

Work gives us something to do, which is sometimes simply about passing time but more often about making a difference for others as well as ourselves. Most of us have a very strong emotional connection to working because it satisfies our needs for social connection along with contributing to our strong self worth. [Read more…]

Continuing to Work Through Your ‘Retirement’ Years

Baby Boomers. Our Second Act. The Third Age. Senior Citizens.

We so-called Baby Boomers (born from 1946-1965) make up over 70 million of the US population. Yet for the most part, society doesn’t really know what to call us.

Is it any surprise we are a little bewildered ourselves?

Historically, people have always approached their retirement years with anxiety and measured excitement, and both feelings are understandable. The financial safety net provided by Social Security plus supplemental investments for some has certainly allowed Americans to plan for a more relaxed and enjoyable later life, although what it will really be like as a lifestyle is an unknown until we experience it firsthand.

The models of retirement viewed from afar by Boomers, as lived by our parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc followed a conventional pattern. Long term employment with a limited number of companies was followed by a celebration of ‘the end of work’, and then movement into a routine existence filled with travel, visiting family, volunteering, and relaxing into a less active life.

Today, however, retirement doesn’t look much like it did for our grandparents. In fact, Age and Retirement are being completely redefined.

What does this mean for us?
retired couple relaxing on porch

Retirement these days looks different for most of us. We may still get to enjoy the rocking chairs, but probably later than we planned.

A new paradigm is emerging whereby life after age 50 and our traditional employment years, requires as much thought, preparation, and planning as the previously linear model we were brought up to expect: education-followed-by-job-family-career, then a happy, secure ‘retirement.’

[Read more…]