Work and retirement have been the path of life for many years—but not for the present baby boomers. It seems age is just a number, and life? It’s about making an income.
Baby Boomers at Work
Baby boomers, or those born from 1946 to 1964, comprise a significant population in the United States. It comes second to the millennials. And they’re not getting any younger. This explains why at least 10,000 of them are retiring each year.
Leaving the workplace in droves can have severe implications on the country’s economy. One, it can decrease the productivity levels of companies, especially since many of these baby boomers may already be experts in the field. Second, a lot of older adults don’t have enough savings or pension. It can increase healthcare costs by millions.
Fortunately, the United States is seeing a different trend in the past few years. More baby boomers decide to stay in the workforce. According to the Liscio Report, almost 40% of workers 55 years old and above were still in their jobs or the market in 2018. This level was similar to the 1961 data. It’s also a far cry from the September 1993 report where only 27.9% of them remained.
Many factors encourage seniors to continue working. These include a higher cost of living, the decision to age in place, and increasing healthcare costs and insurance premiums. The government also adjusts the retirement age to help build more funds for Social Security benefits.
Older Adults in Business
If they’re not working, many seniors are looking into franchise opportunities. In a report by Forbes, over-50 entrepreneurs now compose over half of the total small business owners in the country. Among the older adults who now run their companies, about 4% are already 70 years old and above. More than 15%, meanwhile, are at least 60 years old.
Most of these businesses are independent or bought from another company or entrepreneur. Around 14% of them are franchises. Seniors are also doing well in their companies, even if they’re small or startups. Unlike the younger generation, older adults might have already built some funds to begin one. These include pension funds, 401(k) plans, and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).
They might also have easier access to both secured and unsecured loans due to their extensive credit history. Most of all, they already have technical know-how and network. Thus, while 32% of them are solo entrepreneurs, more than 40% of the baby boomers have at least two employees. Around 12% now run a business with ten workers. More than 65% of them said they are profitable.
Make no mistake about it: whether they do business or work, baby boomers encounter challenges. For example, many people struggle with using technology or interacting with their younger colleagues. Health can get in the way of their desire to work full-time. Not all companies are open to hiring older workers.
These data, however, must remind those nearing retirement that it’s not the end. They can still be productive, income-generating, and even more satisfied. Options, after all, are already abundant.