Naturally, it has occurred to people who do not have the money to retire that they shouldn’t. As the baby boomers reach traditional retirement age, they have, not terribly far behind them, a shattering three-year recession and a collapse in housing prices that wiped out the net worth of many middle-aged Americans. What is not so evident, however, is that many baby boomers want to continue to work for years to come, even if they do not have pressing financial needs.
True to their “live to work” reputation, some baby boomers are digging in their heels at the workplace as they approach the traditional retirement age of 65. While the average age at which U.S. retirees say they retired has risen steadily from 57 to 61 in the past two decades, boomers — the youngest of whom will turn 50 this year — will likely extend it even further. Nearly half (49%) of boomers still working say they don’t expect to retire until they are 66 or older, including one in 10 who predict they will never retire
As the number of people who are healthy until they are over 80 increases, some Americans may work two decades beyond the date when they begin to get Social Security.
One of the effects of the plans of baby boomers is that their reluctance to retire will make the job markets tougher for people younger than they are, particularly if unemployment remains historically high:
As the largest generation born in U.S. history, baby boomers’ sheer numbers coupled with their reluctance to retire will likely ensure that their influence endures in the workplace in the coming years. Although the first wave of boomers became eligible for early retirement under Social Security about six years ago, the generation still constitutes about one-third (31%) of the workforce, similar to percentages for millennials (33%) and Generation X (32%).
What may be good for older Americans is not necessarily good for the young.