I just received the results of a new survey that was conducted by market research provider Vizu Corporation on behalf of RetireeWorkforce.com (courtesy of my friend, Nazli Ekim of SS/PR) in which it is noted that more than three-quarters of people working today say they plan to continue being employed into their retirement years. In fact, almost 40 percent of all respondents report that they anticipate doing so for monetary reasons, either to meet daily needs or to boost their quality of life. These are not surprising results given what’s been happening with the economy today and especially the housing world. Actually, to break this down even more, 34.1 percent of those surveyed claim they will work to “make ends meet,” while another 14.7 percent note they seek employment to “earn extra income to boost their quality of life.” Interestingly enough, 22 percent say that their motivation for working would be “the mental stimulation and challenge” while a scant 4.7 percent explain that it would be for “personal and human interaction.” I always thought that last one was the primary reason. Apparently not…at least, not according to this survey. Joe Salice, the president and CEO of RetireeWorkforce.com, points out that attitudes about work are definitely changing. “People are perceiving work as much more of a lifelong endeavor, rather than simply a lengthy phase.”
Incidentally studies by Merrill Lynch and Ernst & Young confirm the Vizu research, finding that from 74 percent to 85 percent of all Baby Boomers wants to remain in the workforce in some capacity. Yet, from those of my generation who have retired and who love it and those of my kids’ generation (we sandwich the Baby Boomers) who would like to retire instantly if they could, one begins to wonder what it is with the Baby Boomers. They don’t want to pack it in? Of course, going back to Salice, he says that people today maintain their health and earning power longer than ever and that combined with the economic realities of reduced personal savings, self-funded retirement plans, and a more mobile society often “breaks the close-knit extended family and has caused people to re-think what it means to be retired.” On the other side of the coin, what do the employers believe? A study released this year of New York employers by the AARP (conducted by Towers Perrin) showed that 62 percent expected to face a workforce shortage in the next five years. In fact, half of those surveyed admitted that a significant amount of knowledge will be lost and 60 percent said they are having a difficult time finding qualified workers. Keep one final thought in mind. By the time we get to 2050, it is estimated that 90 million Americans will be 65 or older. That doubles today’s senior population and will then create the largest demographic segment in the U.S. Should be quite interesting.
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