Baby Boomers continue to change the work place. #9: 2012
Years of rising consumer debt (like car loans and credit card debt, but not mortgages) are forcing Baby Boomers (someone born between1946 and 1964) to rethink traditional plans to retire by age 65.
A recent insurance industry study of 3,701 employees indicated that 35% of working Canadians can afford the traditional retirement model and fully retire at age 65. More than 45% of those surveyed indicated that personal debt was the critical factor in retirement planning. A decade ago, retiring at aged 65, if not 55, was “a given,” but not anymore. In 2006, the average Canadian held $18,958 in personal consumer debt. By 2010, it had ballooned to $25,169 and has stayed at that all-time high for the last 18 months.
Other factors in deciding when to retire include current economic conditions, rising health costs, escalating education costs, longer life expectancy, and the growing concern that the government plans to increase the age to qualify for Old Age Security from age 65 to 67. Boomers also are carrying larger mortgages as they enter their sixties, which was unheard of 20 years ago when the average homeowner expected to burn their mortgage by their mid-fifties.
The insurance study goes on to postulate that more and more employees will phase in their retirement après 65 by looking for alternate work schedules, reduced hours, seasonal work schedules (e.g. working only in winter), managing special time-limited projects, working from home, or migrating to consulting work. Many libraries are beginning to accommodate these employment options on a larger scale as we adjust to staff members working well into their sixties.
Even at retirement age, the Baby Boomers continue to change the work place.
Kitty Pope #9 March 2012