Let’s start a dialogue about fairness in the workplace for the active baby boomer!

The Boomer Effect

A Baby Boomer is a person born during the Post WW II demographic birth boom.

Seventy-six million American babies were born between 1946 and 1964. The baby boom cohort represents 26% of the total population. However, by the end of the birth boom in 1964, some 42 percent of the population was in this group. More than 80 million people will reach age 65 between 2006 and 2030. In fact, starting January 1, 2011 every 8 seconds a baby boomer will turn 65 years old totaling 10,000 boomers a day turning 65. That exceeds one-fourth of the current U.S. population. The “Boomer Effect” is the impact aging baby boomers will impose on the U.S. Economy and the society as a whole. The effect of this phenomenon was revisited in a serious way in 2006 when the first crop of Baby Boomers turned 60. At that time economists began predicting what impact the aging Baby Boomers entering into retirement would have on the U.S. Economy. However, since the flurry of studies and statistics released in 2006, the severe economic downturn and collapse of the U.S. financial infrastructure happened in 2009. Some predicted the baby boomers entering retirement contributed to the economic slow down.

Due to the current economic environment many boomers remain employed in traditional careers full time so they can recoup lost dollars in retirement accounts and continue receiving health benefits. This poses a problem for the maturing baby boomer that has gained valuable knowledge over a lifetime and is now inclined to give back to society but needs to remain in the workforce fulltime. Unfortunately, there are no policies in place today that create formal programs to encourage baby boomers, which due to their life experience should be considered valuable assets, to remain productive members of society at a level somewhere between a full time employee and full retirement. On the face this seems to be a non-critical pursuit until one considers the fact that as a group they will be healthier than previous cohorts and that contemporary medicine will enable more boomers to live longer. The fact that boomers have the ability to work well in to their 70’s and 80’s means that at some point the population of people (mostly boomers) reaching the “traditional” age of retirement will outnumber those entering the workforce. This will potentially trigger both social and economic inequalities economists have only just begun to look at!

Do you know the age demographics of the organization you work in, or the community where you live?

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JoAnne