Oh, those Boomers!!! #22: 2012
There seems to be much in the news lately about retiring Baby Boomers: where they are going and what they are doing. Really, this is no surprise. We have long anticipated that the mass of Baby Boomers, born between 1944 and 1964, is changing the face of retirement.
Look at what I found so interesting:
- A 2011 Bank of Nova Scotia survey predicted a whopping 70% of workers plan to work beyond the traditional retirement age.
- Reuters reported that 21% of employees over 65 were still working in 1990. By 2011, employees over age 65 represent over 31% of the total workforce.
However, that’s not the interesting part. These Boomers are not staying in their full-time, corporate jobs after age 65. Rather, they are embarking on some type of entrepreneurship or self-employment. They are healthy, inquisitive, and still excited about learning and engaging the world. They want to pursue a passion, not just coast into old age. These Boomers are heading out on a totally new adventure!
Why? It is definitely driven, at least in part, by economic need. Many Boomers have enough savings, their inheritance, and an adequate pension that will provide the basics. However, unlike their parents and grandparents, they still have a mortgage, are still buying and amassing “stuff,” and are supporting a parent, child, or grandchild. A part-time job provides for these responsibilities, but more importantly, self employment will provide the intellectual stimulation they have come to know and the quality of life they have come to appreciate. A study by the Bank of Canada called Recent Developments in Self Employment in Canada showed that pre-retirement careers primarily responsible for the rise in self-employed Boomers include the professions (doctors, engineers, and architects), the education sector (teachers at all levels), and information workers (such as librarians).
What are these folks doing? A vast majority is moving into consulting, establish niche businesses that are an offshoot of their previous career, or transforming a hobby into a business, like opening a wine business or bookstore. (See http://www.matilijapress.com/articles/boomerretirement.htm.)
As we watch these early Boomers in their first few years after 65, I am confident we will learn much about the changing nature of work, health care, and what makes us all tick.
Oh, those Boomers!
Kitty Pope #22 July 2012