While the last post on this blog was about the up and coming Millennial Generation, this one will focus on the Baby Boomer generation and their gradual transition out of the working world and into retirement.
A recent US News article brings up an interesting comparison between the way people retired just ten years ago, and how the Baby Boomers, who are beginning to retire now will spend their so called golden years. The article mostly focuses on where Baby Boomers are choosing to retire, but these trends shed light on larger issues, like the economy, the state of 401ks, pensions, and other safety nets, as well as changing values of retirees.
Before the economic downturn of 2007, many people on the verge of retirement were saving in order to transition into what was essentially an open ended vacation. With many would-be retirees extending their careers due to financial concerns, more and more people in that age group are choosing to stay put. In fact, a recent study shows that about 50% of those in their mid to late fifties are not planning to move at all, never mind relocate to a different region of the country. Those who do plan to move are considering smaller accomodations such as condos in place of large suburban homes with yards and other maintenance requirements.
Since many of these decisions are influenced by a wariness of retiring without enough savings to live on, many Baby Boomers are continuing their careers in nontraditional ways. Professionals are choosing to offer their experience as indepedent consultants or freelancers in order to continue cashflow without being subject to the corporate grind. One of the unexpected consequences of this trend is that Baby Boomers are choosing to retire in college towns which provide both a demand for their services and a more serence lifestyle than a major metropolis.
This is definitely a trend to watch as more and more Baby Boomers retire.