BOOMERS STILL WANT TO WORK
As was expressed in 2004-5 surveys and again in 2014, Boomers want to keep working beyond traditional retirement age. Now there’s evidence they mean it. A recent study by Merrill Lynch in partnership with Age Wave of workers over age 50 revealed these findings:
- 72% say their “retirement” will include some form of working. Obviously we need a new word to label this non-retirement.
- Twice as many respondents say the most important reason to work is for the mental stimulation (62%) rather than money (31%).
- 80& of those working say they are doing it because they want to.
- 83% say working helps keep them more youthful.
- Why do they want to work? – Boomer continuing workers fall into 4 categories:
- 33% are “caring contributors” desiring to give back and make a difference
- 24% are “life balancers” who want jobs that allow them to keep valued social connections
- 15% are workaholics – still driven to achieve and feeling in their prime
- 28% are “earnest earners” who need the income and would not choose to be working otherwise.
- 58% of those working have transitioned to a different line of work from their major career.
- Their advice to others;
- Be open to trying something new (76%)
- To do something you really enjoy, be willing to earn less (73%)
So assume Boomers will be in the work world for some time. Understanding their motivations for working and what they are looking to contribute and get out of their work is valuable in getting the most productive outcomes for both solo work and multi-generational teams. A continuing challenge will be achieving effective cross-generational conversation and collaboration.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot www.pdcounsel.com