“Optimism doesn’t wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time.” – Norman Cousins
Baby Boomer Retirement Facts
Several months ago, Forbes published an article titled “Are Baby Boomers too optimistic about retirement?”1. I have provided the link so that you may read the entire article but I want to summarize the findings presented in the article here.
First and foremost 69% of middle-income retirees would have liked to have worked longer in their careers. Of those who left earlier than they planned to, 39% left because of health problems and 19% were laid off. When asking if people still working in their primary careers say they’d be “willing to take a pay cut” when they move on to another job, only about 21% said they would. Unfortunately, 72% of current retirees surveyed reported earning less than they did in their old careers. In fact, 53% say they earn “much less”.
It is not all bad news. The study2 referenced in the article had a lot of good things to say about working retirees. In the first place, 61% of people working in retirement are working because they want to, not because they have to. Nearly nine out of ten have work arrangements other than full time. A little more than 4 out of 10 are self employed or small business owners. More than three-quarters of employed retirees are as satisfied or more satisfied with their new job and also report less stress and better relationships than nonworking retirees.
For nonretired Boomers, 60% expect to retire at 66 or later or never expect to retire and 60% plan to do some kind of work for pay. Approximately four in 10 employed retirees have completed work-related classes, education or training since retiring, including those who pursued training on their own. More than one-half employed retired Boomers changed industries. The truth is, we just do not want to grow old the way our parents did.
- What is my ideal day?
- What does my ideal week look like?
- How much will that cost?
- Where will the money come from?
- What are my social relationships?
- How will I maintain them?
- What are you doing now to maintain your health?
- How do you plan on continuing to maintain your health?
Robert Laura has written a book – “Naked Retirement” to help you address the questions above in a thoughtful way.
The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has published “Baby Boomer workers are revolutionizing retirement: Are they and their employers ready?” has published six ways for Boomers to improve their retirement outlook. The very first way to improve your retirement outlook is to remain employed. To do this we Baby Boomers need to:
- Stay healthy so that we can work
- Perform well at our current jobs
- Keep job skills up-to-date
- Network and meet new people
- Scope out the employment market and opportunities available
- Go back to school and learn new skills.
I will quickly list the other five ways for Boomers to improve their retirement outlook. These will probably be the subjects of future blogs. The remaining ways are:
- Calculate savings and retirement income needs
- Develop a written strategy for retirement
- Consider seeking guidance from a professional advisor
- Open up a frank dialogue about retirement with family
- Create a Plan B
The rest of this post will be on employment after retirement.
Retirement Employment Opportunities
For those of us who make it to 65, the majority will make it to 80. Clearly social security will not support our working-age income levels. The need for retirement employment opportunities is so great that there are now employment agencies targeting retirement jobs. According to AARP there are many work-at-home jobs available for retirees. They include customer service representatives, online jurors, being a virtual assistant, serving as an online tutor, and acting as a writer/editor. Median pay range for these jobs can vary from $9 to $40 per hour.
Wouldn’t you rather invent your own retirement? Nielsen reports that we Baby Boomers account for 44% of the US population and are projected to hold 70% of the US disposable income and by 49% of total consumer-packaged goods.4 In 2012 the 50+ segment of the population represented close to 100 million consumers. We are expected to grow by 35% by 2030. We accounted for $230 billion in sales for consumer packaged goods. We represent 33% of all online users and spend between 22 and 29 hours a month on the internet. We are, far and away, the best cohort to market.
Baby Boomers are my cohort and according to Malcolm Gladwell’s personality types, I am a maven. I really do want to help solve other people’s problems (usually by solving my own). These facts make my choice for solving my retirement employment opportunity a “no-brainer”.
My goal, over the next seven years is to become the best internet marketer around for my peers. Because less than 5% of the advertising dollars are targeted for our age group, there is dire need for information and products that will continue to support our lifestyle as we grow older. I have found, without a doubt, the best way to educate myself on how to market information to my cohort group is Wealthy Affiliate. Far and away, this is the best affiliate marketing education out there. While you can start your education for free, to fully understand how to market you will need to enroll. The community that exists in this online school is one of the best I have ever encountered and there is no doubt in my mind that with the support of the founders and the established community, I will be successful.
- Fortune.com. Anne Fisher, August 7, 2015. Are Baby Boomers too optimistic about retirement?
- Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement. May 2015. New Expectations, New Rewards: Work in Retirement for Middle-income Boomers.
- Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. December 2014. Baby Boomer Workers are Revolutionizing Retirement: Are They and Their Employers Ready?
- Nielsen and BoomAgers. 2012. Introducing Boomers; Marketing’s Most Valuable Generation.