As baby boomers begin to turn 65 on Jan. 1, seven in 10 (71 percent) Americans say they should be encouraged to keep working past normal retirement age, according to a national multi-generational survey (PDF) conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which was commissioned by Home Instead Senior Care.
Broken down by generation, 75 percent of baby boomers, 79 percent of the Greatest Generation, 65 percent of Gen X and 62 percent of millennias believe baby boomers should stay in the workforce past retirement age.
The boomers, born between Jan. 1, 1946 and Dec. 31, 1964, number 77 million. Their biggest concerns about life after 65 are finances (48 percent) and health (34 percent).
Almost assuredly, the two are intertwined.
According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 65-year-old men will need anywhere from $65,000 to $109,000 in savings to cover health-insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses in retirement — that’s if they want a 50-50 chance of having enough money.
To have a 90 percent chance of having enough money for such expenses, they will need to save between $124,000 and $211,000.
And women, because they tend to live longer, will need even more.
For many of those older workers, this recession has thrown them a curveball. Some many have lost their jobs and found it extremely difficult to find new ones.
Lengthy stays on unemployment seem to be the norm for older workers, possibly because of intentional or unintentional age discrimination, but also because such workers are generally at higher levels and are higher paid.
As HREOnlineTM columnist and Wharton professor Peter Cappelli writes in a recent column, hiring managers and HR leaders would be more willing to hire older workers if only they thought of them as ”experienced” instead of “old.” Cappelli’s latest book, with Bill Novelli, former CEO of AARP, is Managing the Older Worker.
Another aspect of boomers working longer is the subject of an upcoming story in Human Resource Executive® magazine — dealing with conflicts between older employees and younger supervisors. Having the right programs and policies in place can help stem that tide. But you’ll have to wait until late January to read it on HREOnline.