A friend was telling me yesterday about her boss. Now in his 60’s, he was thinking about retiring in a few years, but decided to keep working after all. He loves his job, and besides that, he says his body is really only good for working now. My 70-something uncle retired several years ago from a job he loved. He is now experiencing the physical limitations and health issues that come with the age. At 46, my only complaint so far is that I can’t drink as much as I used to.
To quote another blogger’s story of a doctor explaining this to her aging father, “The parts, they break.”
It’s too bad that we have to spend all those healthy years working, and then retire when our bodies aren’t working as properly.
I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately about the “Good News for Boomers: Labor Shortage Coming in 2018.” Maybe this is the answer. This study by Northeastern University Boston found that based on the demographic shift beginning over the next decade, there may not be enough workers to fill the future demand for labor. Hard to imagine right now with the high rate of unemployment, I know.
“This remarkable turn of events is likely to occur as the baby boom generation reaches traditional retirement age. If this generation retires from the labor force at the same rate and age as current older workers, the baby bust generation that follows will likely be too small to fill many of the projected new jobs. Even when the “echo boomers” – the children of the boomers – hit the labor market, those 55 and older will still be the dominant age cohort.
“Between 2015 and 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau projects a total increase in the U.S. population of 47 million. The increase in the number of individuals 55 and older will be more than double the increase of those ages 20 to 54 (an additional 25 million versus an additional 12 million). If this shift in the age distribution to older Americans contributes to substantially reduced labor force participation, long-term economic output and real household income could suffer as jobs go unfilled.”
Sounds like an opportunity to me. According to the study, employers may be “forced to find ways to enhance their jobs to attract older workers to fill them.” Maybe it’s time to move to a more inverted retirement structure, taking time out before “normal” retirement age, and then returning to that job later when sitting at a desk seems more appealing than gallivanting around the globe.
Or maybe there will be opportunities for workers to enjoy part-time careers while they dabble in semi-retirement, perhaps even re-entering the full-time work force as they lose the energy for travel, tennis, and taking care of their grandchildren.
“Not only will there be jobs for these experienced workers to fill, but the nation will absolutely need older workers to step up and take them– to assure continued economic growth and to provide the critical social and government services on which we all depend.”
Welcome news for those that might want to enjoy a bit of the retired lifestyle while they are still young, while the parts, they still work.
"The Coming Labor Shortage Could Be as Bad as the Recession Itself" (Poverty in America)
"30 Fast-Growing Careers for Older Workers" (U.S News & World Report)
"After the Recovery: Help Needed" (Northeastern University Boston-Study)
This is an article from Retirement: A Full-Time Job