Retirement Doesn’t Equal Slowing Down

Changing economic forces are shifting the definition of retirement. It used to mean that before age 60, you stopped working, went home with a pension that would carry you through the “golden years,” and took up a hobby to fill your days.

This is no longer the case. What adults in the baby boom generation, those aged 50-68, are realizing, is that retirement for them starts later in their life and might even include a part-time job or second career.

According to an April study by Bank of America, more than half of respondents older than 50 were going to push off their retirement. That number is up 36% from a 2011 survey. Both actual age of retirement and the expectation to retire at a certain age is up from just 10 years ago.

Gallup poll showed that the average expected age of retirement is 62, up from 59, and the average actual age of retirement is up to 66 from 64 in 2004. While many seniors are working to shore up their retirement finances, some are just not ready to quit the workforce. Advances in healthcare have made it possible for people at retirement age to continue their active lifestyles for years beyond what they used to.

A recent article on LinkedIn touted several good reasons companies should seek out and hire employees over 50 years old. While some older adults are staying in or returning to the workforce because they have to, others are doing so because they want to. Both can be valuable assets to companies who are looking for loyal employees who plan to stay at one place for five or 10 years.

Another unique position Baby Boomers face during their retirement age years is caring for both their aging parents and their adult children. A recent study by the Pew Research Center shows that the population living in multi-generational households has doubled since 1980—because the millennial generation is opting to stay or move back to their parents’ homes.