Baby Boomers – Retirement is Coming
Retirement is coming for the Baby Boomers, and it may be coming faster than some would like. To their parents retirement meant a gold watch, and a comfortable if not affluent life after work, but baby boomers have a different perspective now. They may not be ready to retire financially, but more importantly, they may not want to quit working for mental or emotional reasons.
The AARP reports that 79% of the boomer generation doesn't plan to stop working at age 65. This number is far greater than both the generation before them and the one after. Why is this and what does it mean?
Some will argue that it is because they are not prepared for retirement financially. While this is true to some extent, they are much better prepared than the generations following who don't save much at all and want to retire earlier.
Baby Boomers are concerned about Social Security. They most likely don't have as much to be concerned about as Gen X and Gen Y, but that doesn't mean there is no concern. Social Security started in 1935, and at that time only slightly more than half of workers lived to reach the retirement age of 65.
These days, though, life spans are much longer (boomer's average lifespan may approach 90), so we now have only two workers contributing to the system for every one withdrawing from it. Social Security has been identified by many experts, and I think correctly, as a Ponzi scheme since the day FDR started it in the 30s.
Many people think they withdraw the money they paid in, but this has been shown not to be the case. There really is no Social Security trust fund.
Medicare faces the same demographic challenges as Social Security, but additionally must cope with the rapid expected growth in health care costs. Baby Boomers have reason to worry here as well.
Add to this that Baby Boomers are known for an almost unquenchable desire to look and feel young. They are quite fond of most other creature comforts as well.
Will Baby Boomers Retire?
But maybe the most important reasons that Baby Boomers don't want to retire are their strong work ethic and their personal identity being tied up in what they do. Steven Rothberg at the CollegeRecruiter.com blog says "The shorthand description that I like to use is that Baby Boomers live to work and Gen Y'ers work to live."
Baby Boomers like to work, and they like to do it their own way as they get older even if they were always an employee when younger. Paul and Sarah Edwards in their book The Best Home Businesses for People 50+ describe several reasons why those over 50 choose to work at home. Two of those reasons are "We want to try something new, stimulating, and challenging," and "We want to spend our second half 'our way,'"
Attempts are being made to keep workers in the traditional workplace in some industries. Among the options likely to grow more common in order to retain our aging population of workers are part-time positions, job sharing, flex-time, consulting arrangements, and extended time off when possible. As baby boomers age these types of arrangements may be beneficial both for maintaining the workforce as well as satisfying the desires of the boomers.
But some Boomers are more independent, and have or are considering striking out on their own. An ever more attractive option for this generation may be to work form home. Online businesses fit in nicely with the boomer lifestyle, too, because they allow a more flexible schedule than running a traditional storefront type business. They can be reasonably successful part time at least initially, and often can be started with relatively low initial investments.
Studies have shown that nearly 72 percent of boomers age 51 to 59 go online, while 54 percent of 60- to 69-year-olds surf the net. So the boomers have mostly embraced the internet, and are much more comfortable with computers than the proceeding generation.
The trend in most age groups is to more self-employed jobs as the economy changes from the old industrial model to a more information based society. The traditional job really is becoming rarer and not just shipped overseas as we are told by the media and our politicians.
Home-Based Businesses as a Solution
But for the Baby Boomer, who is even more likely to be downsized because of age and the perceived lack of modern skills (whether that is true or not), home-based businesses are becoming very attractive. Some are taking a preemptive approach to this and not waiting for the pink slip.
For those who are looking for a business finding your niche is probably the hardest part. In Paul and Sarah Edwards 2004 book mentioned above, the authors discuss many businesses in several categories including "Serving Business Clients," "Helping Individuals and Families" and "Turning Your Hobby into Income." You can find everything form Aromatherapy to Wedding Consultant and Planner there.
A Harris Interactive study found that 62 percent of boomers are concerned they won't be healthy during retirement. Businesses that help them stay healthy, such as health food and nutritional supplement stores (even on-line) or health clubs focusing on low-impact exercises could be in increasing demand.
If you are looking for a home-based business, my advice would be not to overlook the network marketing businesses as well. With the new internet models of attraction marketing to generate leads for your business, good income can be made with very little initial investment, and without even having to talk to friends and family. The business can be very much automated over the internet.
In the early stages of the business when income is very low, you can even use affiliate income as you build your clients. If this sounds difficult and you have no idea where to start, there are several great programs out there to teach you how to do this. And they don't have any connection to a certain networking business. You can choose your own.
You can see a list of my favorite resources for guiding you through the business set-up process by going to my attraction marketing blog. Again, you won't find any recommendations for a network marketing company here, just a list of low-cost resources that can give you step-by-step instructions on setting up a complete business, generating leads to business clients to business associates, that even a computer novice can understand.
There has never been a better time to establish a profitable home-based business than right now. Check it out today; I'm sure you'll be happy you did.