Since 2011, around 10,000 people of the Baby Boomer generation turn 65 every day. Now, the Baby Boomers have to ask themselves: what does retirement look like for me?
Research and statistics centers have been studying the exodus of Baby Boomers since the mid-2ooos. According to Bloomberg, this exodus trend plateaued for most of 2016, but picked back up again towards the end of the year. Bloomberg writer Luke Kawa states,” The number of Americans aged 65 or older without a disability that aren’t in the labor force rose by 800,000 in the fourth quarter of 2016.”
Nowadays, we are living longer than ever before. Baby Boomers face decisions and situations their parents and relatives never did and are changing the rules just like they did when they entered the workforce. Due to longer life expectancy, Boomers will likely find that they are able, creative, and fruitful for years longer than their parents. They feel younger than their parents did at that age and don’t feel the need to be retired for more years, especially with the pressure of finances for a longer period of time.
With age comes new priorities. Their goals are changing from being at the top of the corporate food chain, confined in an office, to desiring to make a difference in the world and being a part of something bigger. Forbes writer Robert Laura describes this change as, “In the past, retirement was defined as freedom from the workplace. Now boomers are redefining it as freedom in the workplace.” Freedom IN the workplace could mean changing jobs, changing fields, or starting a new business venture. The possibilities are endless.
These changes will likely put more pressure on human resource departments and professionals because of the Baby Boomers’ wants and needs in the workplace. These needs and desires include more flexible hours, time off, or pay for their experience and expertise. Finding the right balance between a sense of semi-retirement and being an employee will be a challenge for many HR departments and Boomers. Consider developing an employee retirement program that covers training in multiple bases, such as starting new businesses, overall wellness, volunteering, and more.
Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t one right way to retire. Everyone’s retirement story, desires, and plans are different. Working and retirement doesn’t have to operate in a linear format, but rather writing new chapters. “People won’t just retire once, they will retire multiple times from different areas of life,” argues Laura. “They will no longer see longevity or their careers in a linear format, and will be encouraged to use their financial resources to create the best possible life now, instead of just letting it just sit there with them in their rocking chairs!”