What Happens If You Have to Delay Your Retirement?

What happens if 70 becomes the new 65?  How does it affect you, the workplace, and your plans for retirement? Are Boomers re-shaping the economy, or is the economy re-shaping them?

Delay Your Retirement

Could 70 be the new 65?  It may have to be for some!  One effect of the recent volatility of the financial markets is that many Americans are electing to postpone their retirement.  If 70 becomes the new 65, it will result in many changes to the workplace.  These trends could affect you, your employer, and your financial future.

Retirement will no longer be an event.  It will become a process.  If 70 becomes the new 65, more people will probably leave the workplace gradually instead of automatically at age 65.  This may not be that bad for baby boomers that want to stay active and engaged.   A manager or VP who was used to working 50 hours a week may become a consultant or a coach working less than 8 hours a day or maybe three days a week.  He/she might simply want to work less, for less pay, but not be ready to call it quits.  He/she may wish to make a lateral move within a company that would allow an exit on his/her terms.

Will more Boomers have the opportunity to shape their exit?

More and more expect “mature” employees to negotiate the terms of their retirement.  As gradual retirement becomes more common, so will the options and alternatives.

  • How many hours they will work on their way out?
  • How accessible they will be?
  • Will they work from home or the office?
  • Who will take the reins from their hands someday?
  • If a boomer offers a personal exit plan that will help a business to cut labor costs without losing a valued employee, isn’t that a favor to management?

Tough Decisions For Businesses and Government Organizations.

In June 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 23% of Americans employed or seeking work were age 55-64.  The 2009 Retirement Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 51% of Americans age 25 and older now think they will retire at age 66 or older.

Universities, state and local governments and public agencies will probably not see the same kind of retirement turnover they did in the past.  For businesses, who want to pay older workers to retire so that they can stay profitable in this economy, this could become a problem.  Organizationally, what is the economic value of retaining wisdom and experience?  Should they stop or slow down the recruiting of new managers, new faculty, or new administrators for the near future?

Will There Be A Wave Of “Re-hirement”?

In the EBRI survey, of the roughly 1,200 respondents 20% felt they would never retire.  This compares to 11% in the 2007 poll.  Part of that increase reflects what happened in the stock market, but it also may represent a perception shift in progress.  Baby boomers, as a group are doers, proud contributors to society who are re-shaping the old retirement template.

Changes Boomers Can Believe In!

Two distinct phases of American life seem to be emerging.  The first phase is one in which you work for a “living”.  That is followed by the second in which you work for “meaning”.  A wave of mature employees, professionals and entrepreneurs may be one result, but is another possibly return to the past?

Is this a real change to the culture of the recent past where people continue to retire at an earlier age?  Could it result in a cultural change unlike any this country has never seen?  … Or maybe it is simply a return to a work ethic that this country had at one time, …by a large group of  people, who had it, … but for a while seem to have lost it?

Boomers are back and the work ethic taught to us by our fathers is really starting to show.

As for Papa Boomer, I gave it up at 54.  Didn’t have the option of three days a week,  just a lot less money.  Given some of the options above, I might go back in a flash.  In the mean time, … I’ll just spend seven days a week … b%#&ching …blogging about it!  PB.

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