When Boomers Don’t Retire

Posted On January 31, 2013

Along with widespread discussion about what happens when all those Boomers retire, a parallel discussion has emerged about what will happen if they don’t. As Boomers reach retirement age, many of them just keep on working. Some can’t afford to retire and some just like their work. Remember, this is the workaholic generation.

A debate has begun about what effect the non-retirement of Boomers will have. On one side, some have argued that it will mostly be positive: less demand on retirement systems and more wealth to fuel Boomer consumption, expanding opportunity for everyone.

For the other side, Boomers sticking around on the job presents a series of challenges. A recent US News analysis summarizes them nicely:

  • Fewer opportunities for younger workers, both in employment and advancement, as senior Boomers continue to occupy positions at the top of the chain.
  • Younger bosses and older workers: an issue that occurs with increasing frequency and can be difficult to manage.
  • Conflicts in corporate culture as companies try to adapt to rapid 21st century changes in the marketplace but have leadership that is set in its ways.
  • High health care costs for a workforce with the healthcare needs of seniors.

The likely outcome will likely be a mixture of negatives and positives. Either way, the Boomers will have again redefined a key life stage.

Categories: Baby Boomers, Generations, Work, Workplace