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Herman Trend Alert: Retirees Must Continue Working October 13, 2010
Americans seem destined to keep on working into what would have been their
retirement years. A new MetLife study shows Americans will continue working
out of financial necessity, beginning with the "Early Boomers".
Though MetLife reports their findings as "startling news", most of us will
not be surprised by these results. Years ago, we forecasted the end of
retirement as we had known it, but not out of necessity---rather out of the
desire to keep contributing to society. The challenging economic times have
changed that landscape---significantly---for retirees all over the world.
The study, called "The MetLife Report on Early Boomers" defines these Early
Boomers as those born between 1946 and 1955. Due to economic circumstances,
they will forego the traditional leisurely retirement and stay in the
A mountain of college debt, second mortgages, and sometimes, second home
ownership, have piled up. Dealing with these financial obligations, greatly
diminished nest eggs, and fearing outliving their savings Early Boomers are
in the position of having to work---whether they want to or not. On top of
that, 25 percent have "Boomerang Kids", mature children living with them.
Over the next 10 years aging Early Boomers will result in a 50 percent rise
in the number of people 65 to 74 years old, a growth rate not seen in 50
years. By 2020, women will be head at least one-third of households, ages 65
to 74. Many of these women will have the additional responsibility of
raising their grandchildren.
The labor force participation rate of Boomer men and women is at a 15-year
high (65.2 percent); trends suggest that it will rise further in the future.
High percentages of working Boomers have had white-collar jobs that were
less physically demanding. Their high educational attainment and continuing
fitness will facilitate more of them staying in the workforce over the next
This continued labor force participation by these Boomers will create
considerable challenges for Human Resources professionals both in
accommodating their increasing needs and the larger issue of dealing with
the younger generations who want to move ahead.
Joyce Gioia is a workforce futurist concentrating on relationship aspects of the future. This arena includes workforce and workplace trends, as well as consumer, education, and business-to-business trends. Ms. Gioia is also CEO of Employer of Choice, Inc, a distinction earned only by companies whose leadership, culture, and best practices attract, optimize, and hold top talent. Employers of Choice® enjoy "a higher level of performance, greater workforce stability, and the level of continuity that assures preservation of the knowledge base, customer loyalty, employee satisfaction, and stronger profits". Ms. Gioia can be contacted at 336-210-3548 or firstname.lastname@example.org