Baby Boomer Retirement Plan – Work | DCR Workforce Blog

Baby Boomer Retirement Plan – Work

In what may come as a surprise to companies that offer retirement packages to older workers, a recent survey involving 412 employers found that 45% of them expect positive results from baby boomer employees prolonging their careers past the age of 65. With life expectancy in the USA having gone up from 70 years in 1960 to above 78 years today, this change in mindset in employers as well as employees could make retirement at age 65 a relic of the previous century!

Retirement Due:

Many baby boomers are concerned with the state of the economy.  Over the past few years, they have watched the value of their savings decline to a point that is insufficient to maintain life at the level they are accustomed to. There is also the concern about finding something to fill time in a fulfilling manner.

Employers are equally concerned at the thought of losing the skills and experience the generation represents.  In this information age, the most “in demand” skills are those of knowledge workers, particularly in math, science, technology and engineering.  The continuous decline in graduates pursuing careers in these fields increases the value of the existing technical professionals. This has resulted in companies adopting new strategies and processes to derive the maximum out of their senior workforce.

Strategies to Manage:

Advancements in medicine and focus on healthier lifestyles not only result in individuals living longer, they remain active and healthier longer. In addition, older workers seek coverage for fewer dependents.  These factors eliminate employer concerns regarding the higher costs of healthcare. Older workers also typically are no longer attempting to balance career demands with those of raising a family, resulting in fewer distractions and unplanned work absences.

However, many senior workers are looking for the career equivalent of a “staycation” – they want to extend their career, but may desire to blend the best attributes of retirement and working.  This often translates into demands for shorter work hours, flexible schedules, more time off, and reduced management and administrative responsibilities.

Organizations which choose to re-employ baby boomers who are returning to the workforce may need to plan their working conditions to accommodate these demands.

  • Senior workers with invaluable experience and skills are a fount of knowledge offering skill development opportunities to others at the workplace. If not taken advantage of earlier, the second stint offers a chance to rectify the error and have the senior employee mentor and guide the junior staff and gain insights which only experience can offer.
  • Work assignments that focus on the individual’s core knowledge, while reducing the administrative aspects of the job, will result in greatest value to the employer and the highest level of employee engagement.  Focus on tapping into the knowledge and experience that is most important to the employer.
  • There may be a tendency on the part of some people to stereotype older workers as ineffective.  Workplaces may need to adopt policies which discourage unwarranted and unlawful discrimination towards older workers. Employees may have to be trained on age awareness and help eliminate prejudiced attitudes through information and education.
  • Transition to full retirement can be achieved through a gradual transition using flexible working patterns with flexi-time.  Skilled workers can be enticed to return to companies offering a compressed work week, reduced work hours, options to work part-time or from home, to serve as a consultant or have job rotation or seasonal shifts. They can also choose to be on-call.

Without doubt, when an experienced baby boomer chooses to continue working, it is bound to prove a welcome relief to the Human Capital team; dreading the unpleasantness of losing skilled workforce to retirement – with no suitable replacement to hand.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.

2 responses to “Baby Boomer Retirement Plan – Work”

  1. Gary Woodard says:

    This about covers it for us mid-boomers working into our ‘golden years’.  The only thing I saw missing that would have an impact on the senior workers ability is the health of a spouse and the need to provide attention to them.  Once you are as old as we are so are our spouses.  Flex-time and work from home options can help with this.

  2. admin says:

    Thank you Gary, for your endorsement and the additional input. It makes a lot of sense.Totally agree with you.

Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.