Guest Blogger – The Retirement of the Baby Boomers….real or fantasy?

My initial thoughts on the pending dilemma of retiring Baby Boomers within my industry were that of alarm.  The knowledge and skill set that would be lost is an  issue that most US institutions face daily.  My background is in the engineering field where I have always worked with the Utility, Industrial, and Government markets.

 Therefore, when I work for a company that averages 36% of their workforce being Baby Boomers, I find myself cringing.  Anyone who works in a diverse age group of people (or to be politically correct, we’ll call it a “multigenerational” workforce) know that these work environments can breed misunderstanding and conflict and may compromise growth.

And as I begun thinking this dilemma through, a few points cropped in this crazy blonde brain of mine….that’s right, I do have real moments of clarity at times!

  1. With the financial and economic crisis these past few years, many soon-to-be retirees are choosing to stay employed.
  2. The trend of salaries for Baby Boomers is significantly higher than that of entry level employees.  Therefore, my company is noticing a decrease in project awards due to the fact we are out pricing ourselves with our competitors.
  3. With the Baby Boomers continuing to work longer, we are not bringing in younger employees to mentor out of college.  The employee pool is becoming stagnant. 

So what is the answer?  Is the issue of retiring Baby Boomers really a crisis or is it just an adjustment period for employers to incorporate new blood?  Dave Bernard of U.S. News stated that retirement can be a time to explore creative new avenues, and put the skills you have cultivated throughout your career to work in new ways (June, 2012). 

He is dead on when I notice that many retirees are returning back into the engineering field as “consultants” or they are reducing their hours to continue their insurance coverage and reducing their pace a little.

However, the demands on today’s knowledge workers are more mental than physical. Many baby boomers, who have already begun to reach age 65, are far from physically exhausted and often have much more to give (Bernard, 2012).  

Whatever happens, the baby boom retirement crisis is bound to have its unexpected turns. As they age, they’ll surely continue to change the economy, though the effects are hard to predict (Gelinas, 2011).   Employers today must strategize on how to best incorporate the knowledge skills from these employees through Mentoring programs or Internships. 

Ultimately, we must stay competitive in the marketplace to keep the jobs here at home.  

References:

Bernard, D. (2012, June).  Baby Boomers Search for Second Careers.  U.S. News.  (http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/On-Retirement/2012/06/01/baby-boomers-search-for-second-careers).  

Gelinas, N. (2011, November).  As baby boomers retire, the times will be a-changin.’   The Los Angeles Times.  (http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/06/opinion/la-oe-gelinas-baby-boomers-retire-20111106).

Please share your comments with this industry leader.

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

 

Brandi Reilly currently works for Mesa Associates, Inc., a multidiscipline engineering design firm based out of Knoxville, TN.   Her experience spans 16 years in engineering, project management, and consulting services.  She graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering and recently completed her MBA at Lincoln Memorial University in 2011.  She has completed her Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation and is currently pursuing her Professional Engineering (PE) license.  

(c) 2012 by Dr. Daryl D. Green

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61 thoughts on “Guest Blogger – The Retirement of the Baby Boomers….real or fantasy?

  1. A formidable share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing slightly analysis on this. And he in actual fact bought me breakfast because I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love studying extra on this topic. If potential, as you turn into experience, would you mind updating your blog with more particulars? It’s highly helpful for me. Massive thumb up for this weblog post!

  2. Brandi,

    Thank you for taking time to lead our discussion!

    Organizations will be able to cope with an aging workforce if they are currently grooming their next generation of leaders. We are continuously seeing progressive training programs in various workplaces throughout the world. For example, many companies are heavily relying on social media, video games and other technology-based approaches to better train younger employees (Garrity, 2010).

    Boomers may be reluctant to hand over the reins of organizational power if there is a lack of trust in predecessors being ready for the responsibility and challenges ahead. Another reason for their reluctance is directly related to savings rates and our current economic situation. Beinhocker, Farrell and Greenberg illustrate this point, “The low savings rate and extensive liabilities of the boomers have left about two-thirds of them unprepared for retirement (2009).” If Baby Boomers are financially stable and confident in their successors, authority and title can be easier to relinquish.

    References

    Beinhocker, E. D., Farrell, D., & Greenberg, E. (2009). Why baby boomers will need to work longer. McKinsey Quarterly, (1), 118-127. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

    Garrity, R. (2010). Workforce Training for a New Generation. Power Engineering, 114(11), 18-184. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

    • Jamie,
      You made an excellent post in stating that organizations have a better opportunity to coping with an aging workforce if they are currently grooming their next generation of leaders. One of the most critical challenges in grooming the next generation is related to work ethics and other factors. Todays younger generations do not want the long hours the baby boomers work. According to Barford and Hester (2011), Generation Y ranked advancement and free-time higher than Generation X and baby boomers together (p.11). Of the five motivational factors: responsibility, compensation, work environment, advancement and free-time, Generation Y ranks free-time highest for workplace motivation correlated with flexible hours and more responsibility. Companies must offer enough responsibilities to fully engage Generation Y while providing flexible schedules. Once they are in the door, the baby boomers can take them under their wing and begin the grooming process. The baby boomers take pride in their work and want to know when they hand over the reigns; it is to the right person. Internships provide opportunities for the baby boomers to work with the younger generations and the company to bring in an excellent employee upon graduation.

      Barford, I. N., & Hester, P. T. (2011). Analysis of generation y workforce motivation using multi-attribute utility theory. Defense Acquisition Research Journal: A Publication Of The Defense Acquisition University, 18(1), 63-80.

    • When speaking with many baby boomers they possess a certain right that should not be shared with anyone else. The idea that no one else can do it better is why as a nation and economy we are suffering. The need for some baby boomers is also the psychological need to realize that their time is done. Many people feel helpless when they retire and are worried about losing something they have grown attached to. Retirement can be symbolized with loss. When someone we love and cherish has passed we feel a void, so is the natural feeling of retirement. According to Dr. Osborne, (2009) “most retirement planning lectures and workshops focus on financial concern. Essential psychological issues are often neglected. Adequate financial resources and good health are very important but are no guarantee to well being and life satisfaction” (para. 1) This is something many do not touch on not realizing that our psychology has always been a part of the human but retirement is a transition which should be dealt with properly.
      Reference
      Osborne, J. (2009). Planning for retirement, psychological issues and the transition retirement. Retirement Psychology. Retrieved from http://retirement-emotional-social.ca

      • Your post is right on point. Many companies feel that no one else can do it better and feel the current people they have are doing great, but the truth of the matter is that new ideas and new logic are what entry level employees bring to the table. Many people I have spoke with that are elder and do not wish to retire state that they do not so that they stay busy. If people continue to delay retirement and continue to work it is going to delay entry level jobs to be stalled because the cycle of promotion and job movement will slowly stop. Friedman tells how it is important that teachers change their teaching along with students learning. “What this means is that students also have to fundamentally reorient what they are learning and educators how they are teaching” (Friedman, 2007, p.280). New entry workers will have this where the elder potentially does not giving new entry workers an updated education and ideas of new things.
        Reference
        Friedman, T. L. (2005). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

      • I also agree with you regarding baby boomers and their “right” that they possess. I found it interesting reading about your analogy of retiring as giving up something they are attached to, like a death of a friend for a family. I have never considered this but it makes perfect sense. The Wisconsin Medical Journal advices retirees that not only do you have to consider the financial cost of early retirement, you also need to determine if you are emotionally ready to retire” (Hansen, 2004). For retirees, it is important for them to think of all things that are included when one retires. This includes planning, setting goals, networking, and considering financial needs. This lack of wanting to let go of security, whether its job security, financial security, or emotionally security is what is holding many retirees back from retiring when they are expected to.

        Hansen, M. (2004). Are you emotionally ready for retirement? Retrieved from http://www.svaplumb.com/financial-services/articles/are-you-emotionally-ready-to-retire

    • Jamie,
      To add to your comment, the jobs that the Baby Boomers are holding are creating havoc in the unemployment numbers of recent college graduates. Also, in accordance with La Toya’s comment, these recent college graduates cannot move out of their parents house because jobs that provide the stability to pay student debt, and support an individualistic lifestyle are held by the parents. This is becoming a vicious cycle. An article in The Atlantic from April 23, 2012 states, “Not nearly enough jobs have been created to accommodate them, which has resulted in falling wages for young college graduates in the past decade, as well as the employment problems we are now seeing” (para.9). Slow job creation and the economic lag in Bommer retirees is leading to the massive unemployment amoung recent college graduates.

      Reference

      Weissman, J. (2012, April 23rd). 53% of Recent College Grads are Jobless or Underemployed-How?. The Atlantic. Retreived from http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/04/53-of-recent-college-grads-are-jobless-or-underemployed-how/256237/

      • Dwight,

        Dwight,

        Unfortunately, this is a trend that will become normality. Therefore, we must now determine the best way to adapt and move forward with an aging workforce. We are being taught to differentiate ourselves in order to stand out in a crowd. Our children and upcoming graduates need to know that they will most likely have to fight for every job opportunity and career advancement. You can’t just stand in line and expect of have your ticket punched for the next step in your career anymore. There is now competition running the full gamut of age and experience.

        The biggest concern right now is that employers are not preparing young talent to take the reins of organizations. Keith Reester (2008) pointed out that, “Organizations are already struggling with how to fill the void left behind by those riding into the sunset, but the organizations that strategically plan for the succession to the next generation of leaders will win the battle for talent and create enhanced productivity over the next two decades” (p. 97). Training and mentoring is improving, but still behind where it needs to be

        Reester Jr., K. (2008). Dynamic succession planning: Overcoming the baby boomer retirement crisis. Journal of Public Works & Infrastructure, 1(1), 97-106.

      • Dwight,
        I agree Baby Boomers that continue to work instead of retiring are causing unemployment numbers to increase amongst recent college graduates. As an educator who has taught for 10 plus years, I have had the pleasure of conversing with former students who today are unemployed college graduates. And, to hear them speak about the countless applications only to land an interview for an entry level sales marketing job selling knives or stainless pots. Then, the new hire is required to purchase a set of the goods to use when selling to potential clients is just absurd. Most of these college grads have moved back home because they fit one of these job scenarios: jobs which requires no degree, part-time job or a low paying hourly job worked while attending college. Here graduates are overwhelmed with monthly bills like student loan payment, insurance payment and caring for automobiles they are forced to live where little or no rent is charged. The graduates are asking when will this vicious cycle end. And, as Jordan Weissmann states in the article it not just about the obtaining the paper any more it is about the skill. So, many of our unemployed graduates have degrees in fields that are over saturated. And, yet there are needs for fields that require skills in subjects like math, science and technology.
        Reference
        Weissman, J. (2012, April 23rd). 53% of Recent College Grads are Jobless or Underemployed-How?. The Atlantic. Retreived from http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/04/53-of-recent-college-grads-are-jobless-or-underemployed-how/256237/

  3. Thanks Brandi for the post.

    You are right; many retirees are choosing to stay employed, especially after the economic crisis. So many of us were affected by the economic recession. As a result, many of the younger generation have moved back home under the protection of mom and dad. “According to 2010 census Bureau data, 5.5 million Americans aged 25 to 34 live with their parents, up 38 percent from 2000.” (Steverman, 2011) In addition, with things like inflation, rising healthcare costs, and not enough put back in savings it just doesn’t seem feasible for many retirees to go without a salary.

    This can be frustrating for someone coming out of college and looking to get their foot in the door with an established company. However, there are many companies who prefer someone fresh out of college. They look at the baby boomers as being “set in their ways.” These companies can shape and mold someone with little experience into exactly what their company needs in order to grow.

    References:
    Steverman, B. (2011, January 06). The financial nightmares facing boomers. BusinessWeek, Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/slideshows/20110105/the-financial-nightmares-facing-boomers

    • In response to La Toya-

      I have some older family members who continue to stay employed because of finances, healthcare, etc. and I completely understand why they chose to continue working (I might do the same in their situation), but it’s also hurting college graduates. It’s amazing to me how many young adults are continuing to live at home today, not only because of the lack of jobs due to positions being held by baby boomers, but also because of what you mentioned – healthcare costs, inflation, and lack of savings. In a Huffington Post article last year, Michael D. Hais (2011) stated, “We tell people they need to get a college education in order to succeed, but then we put all of these roadblocks in their way by then making it practically impossible to repay what you owe.” (Fairbanks, 2011) I’m afraid that if something doesn’t give this issue with baby boomers staying employed and college graduates staying unemployed is going to turn into a slippery slope that hinders our nation’s future.

      Fairbanks, A. (2011, May 13). 2011 College Grads Moving Home, Saddled With Historic Levels Of Student Loan Debt. The Huffington Post, retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/13/college-graduates-moving-home-debt_n_861849.html

    • I understand the frustration of the college graduates coming out of school without a job. But with a proper strategy companies can utilize the older workers as consultants. “Rehiring or retaining older workers may be a viable solution to short- and long-term staffing dilemmas experienced workers can troubleshoot, fix, and work with existing equipment, and they understand customer needs. In this way you begin to ensure that your experienced staff transfers its knowledge and skills to younger workers. You may want to use them in consulting roles to mentor the younger staff coming on board. According to Matlay, organizational leaders of today, managing multi-generational workforces, possess the opportunity to utilize knowledge management for strategic advantage, sharing their knowledge with the newer employees.” (Matlay, 2000).
      Matlay, H. (2000). S/NVQs in Britain: employer-led or ignored? Journal of Vocational Education and Training, Vol. 52 No. 1, pp. 135-47.

    • Latoya,

      You make an excellent point about how students out of college not being able to find employment because of the baby booming generation consuming all of the positions. Majority every peer I have came out of college does not use their degree and companies tell them that they need more experience for the position, they all inquire “how can I get more experience when no one will give me an opportunity to gain any?” The labor force participation rate for those aged 55 and older is higher than its level before the economic downturn. Approximately 68 percent of people 50 and over still working made less than they did in their pre-retirement job, according to a 2008 Families & Work Institute survey (Farrell, 2012). The harsh reality of this is that young adults are missing the opportunity to establish financial security early on and it could possibly create a vicious cycle.

      Farrell, Christopher. “Not Retired: Will Older Baby Boomers Find Jobs?” http://www.businessweek.com. Blomberg Business Week, 14 Mar. 2012. Web. July-Aug. 2012. .

  4. Ms. Reilly,
    Thank you for your post and insight. I think that it is detrimental for Baby Boomers to hang around in the labor force long enough to aclimate the Millinnials in into the current work environment. “Part of keeping this younger generation interested in staying at their current position is to keep their attention. Training must be aimed at their specific needs” (Hamilton, 2011, para. 6). Baby Boomers can facilitate this transition through consultation and teaching as the next generation takes the employment battle field . Baby Boomers will be detrimental in closing the gaps between Millinnial culture and corporate expectations through mentoring, “Partner your new Millennial with one of your veterans. The veteran can show the newcomer the ropes and conversely the newcomer can offer fresh ideas” (Hamilton, 2011, para. P). This will be a mutually beneficial relationship for the boomers and corporate executives because the boomers have taken such a signigicant financial reduction in retirements due to the economic recession.

    Reference:

    Hamilton, D. (2011, January 9th). Millinnials Replacing Baby Boomer Workforce: Meeting Their Unique Needs. Retreived from http://drdianehamilton.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/millennials-replacing-baby-boomer-workforce-meeting-their-unique-needs/

    • Dwight, I share your ideology on what should happen when one group moves out of the workforce. I am not against the baby boomers, but I feel that as a younger person every person’s time comes and goes. With this said I do agree that baby boomers should assist in transitioning. I feel this would benefit many people in feeling wanted and that their skills will not go unnoticed. According to Women in Business, (2012) “Do seasoned employees have anything to offer to the workforce of today? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” – as mentors for these younger professionals. Many people are willing to be mentored by the baby boomers however it is up to the baby boomers to begin realizing that it is time to let go. I mean this in no disrespectful tone, but everything has a cycle and this one is about near its end.
      Reference
      Women in Business. (2012). Benefits of baby boomers as mentor. Mentoring. Retrieved from http://womeninbiz.sbresources.com

  5. I do believe we have some great leaders within our younger workforce. It is a shame to assume that all young college graduates will not be able to assume the work as the baby boomers have. The baby boomers occupied a different era which should not be misinterpreted as better or hard working. The current stance on this matter has left many young hopefuls feeling negatively about this matter, while the older generations tend to brag about how much better they are. According to Kreiter, (2012) “Unemployment in April fell 0.1 point to 8.1 percent, well below the recession/post-recession peak of 10.1 percent in October 2009” (para. 1) The retirement of the baby boomers will only prove strong for the economy as well as job replacements. People have to realize that every phase in an industry or government goes through changes. This should not be focused on as a negative or positive issue, but more likely as a transition period.
    Reference
    Kreiter, M. (2012, May 27). The number of baby boomers retiring is holding down the unemployment rate. Business News. Retrieved from http://www.upi.com

  6. Dinah Wisenberg Brin wrote “While Boomers are more likely than younger workers to have defined-benefit pension plans and certain other advantages — that’s particularly true of older Boomers — many may wind up financially ill-prepared for retirement unless they work longer and save more.” (2012) If the baby boomers are not prepared for their retirement, will anyone be? They have saved and are predicted to still struggle because of the current state of the economy, Social Security, and Medicare. As for the workforce, I believe that companies must incorporate new blood into their companies to generate innovation, however experience is also important. I believe that the majority of this problem lies in the fact that while these “baby boomers” continue to work the natural cycle is thrown off and employment for the younger generation is almost unattainable.

    Brin, D. W. (2012). Retirement Bliss May Turn into Blues for Some Boomers. Special to CNBC.com. http://www.cnbc.com

  7. I agree with what you said Jessica in regards to companies needing to incorporate new blood into their workforce. On the other hand I work with that older generation and can’t help feel for them a little bit. I currently work at a company where we have several Boomers who can’t even think about retiring any time soon. They felt as though they had financially prepared themselves but found that just wasnt the case. Financially they lost a lot of money in the stock market and have unfortunately had to make plans to work longer to make it up. They are just as concerned about their jobs being taken my new grads, as the grads are about finding jobs. An article I read in USA Today said that many Boomers will not be able to retire till they are at least 70 years old.

    What other option do they have but to work longer?

    Wisenberg, D.(2012).Retirement Bottom LIne:Many Will Have to Work Until 70.USA Today. Retrieved July 24,2012 from http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/retirement/story/2012-04-21/cnbc-retirement-blues-for-boomers/54383224/1.

    • I worked in economic development in a former life. As part of my responsibilities, I regularly met with plant managers in the community I worked. One day in discussing hiring issues, to the manager, they indicated their preference for older employees aged 45 and above because they possessed the work ethic that was supposedly missing in the younger generation.

      Not long ago the HR director for my current employer was talking about what valuable resources company retirees are, and indicated he was developing a plan to coax them into staying employed to some degree with the company even after they retire. My current boss is almost 70, although young for her age, and we have several others that are in the 70s still employed here.

      I plan on working in some capacity for several years after I retire. Hopefully it won’t be greeting people at WalMart because I have to, but working part time for a non-profit because I want to.

      Jones, J. (2011). Most workers expect to keep working after retirement age. Gallup Daily, Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/147866/workers-expect-keep-working-retirement-age.aspx

    • I found myself struggling with my thoughts on this subject since I am on the tail end of the baby boomer generation. Although I have a little over 10 years before I reach the “traditional retirement age”, I still feel that I have a lot to offer. I would like to retire but am a little concerned about whether or not that will be feasible when the time comes.

      Today’s workplace is challenging due to the wide range of ages in the workforce. Each generation has unique experiences and skills to offer and are valuable resources to tap into to map out a solution to replacing the aging workforce. I believe that the generations can learn from each other but first must understand and accept the other’s differences. In order to achieve this we need to be more sensitive to the other and work together to form a better understanding. Companies must look to the future and draw upon valuable resources from each generation. With some ingenuity, it should be possible to come up with a succession plan, incorporating young talent.

      Gallager, J. (2005, 02 22). Retirement of baby boomers may reverberate in workplace. Retrieved from Seattle Times: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002185894_boomers21.html

      • Gail,
        I share the same concern as you about having enough money to retire. I read that “as of 2009, in the middle of the housing crisis, 51 percent of U.S. households were unable to maintain their standard of living at the age of 65” (Jackson, 2012). That number is shocking, but it also explains part of the reason why Baby Boomers are reluctant to retire. The cost of living continues to increase, healthcare costs are spiraling out of control and the average human’s lifespan is longer than our presdecessors. We must also consider the declining replacement rate , which is retirement income as a percentage of one’s pre-retirement income.

        The recent financial crisis took a toll on Baby Boomer’s 401k plans and left them financially ill prepared for retirement unless they are able to work longer and save more money. I think we will continue to see people working well into their retirement years, because not only “60 is the new 50,” but also the bottom line is they have no choice.

        Reference:
        Brin, D. (April 13, 2012). Retirement Bliss May Turn to Blues for Some Boomers.” Retrieved on July 25, 2012 from http://www.cnbc.com.

    • Thank goodness that someone came to the defense of the older generation. I was reading other posts and was wondering why nobody was looking at things from the point of the Baby Boomers.” Labor Department figures indicate that the percentage of workers over the traditional retirement age of 65 is at a record high” (Norris, 2012, para. 2).I think this is largely in part due to the fact that many simply can’t afford to retire. If my mother retired right now at age 62, she would draw a big $400 a month. How is a person supposed to survive off of that? She believes woman of her generation would draw lower amounts because many stayed home to raise children and entered the workforce later. Her and my dad are continuing to work because they simply can’t affordnot to. They aren’t trying to be stingy with job openings for anyone else; they just need to keep theirs in order to continue to pay the bills that keep coming even after retirement.

      Norris, Floyd. (2012). The number of those working pat 65 is at a record high. Retireved from New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/19/business/economy/number-of-those-working-past-65-is-at-a-record-high.html

      • Beth,

        You are correct about that. I understand that it is very difficult for graduates coming out of college and having such difficulty securing employment. I do not think that anyone wants to monopolize the job market. I think that the facts are that more older people have no choice but to work longer, if anything to keep their health care insurance.

      • Beth and Marsha,

        I truly believe that is the case. I can’t fathom that anyone is intentionally staying in a job simply so that graduates can not find a job.

        The interesting thing I see is that there are many similarities to when I graduated from college. I had to move in with my grandmother and had to take a lower paying job to get the experience. Few employers were interested in recent graduates because they wanted work experience (other than that which a typical student would have), internships during college were rare and almost unheard of where I was. At the time I finally got hired, I was beginning to look at any job I could get even if it was working in a mail room to get my foot in the door.

        I am concerned that I won’t get to retire, not because we live a lavish lifestyle but because we made the choice to put our two children through college so that they don’t end up in debt before they get a real start in life.

        As soon as I am able to, I will retire, there are too many things I’ve missed out on while working.

    • I also working with an aging workforce, and I love it. Some of my co-workers have actually retired, and then because of the economy, they had to return to work. The change in the economy has alerted everyone to look at their future, especially the baby boomers.

      In my workplace, I try to learn all I can from these experienced professionals before they truly can retire. The younger generations are bringing the new ideas and technology advancement, but the baby boomers, in my opinion, have been through the learning curve. They have been in the workforce longer and have learned from the past.

      So, some are working because they have to financial, but there are some working because they enjoy what they do.

  8. Thank you for choosing such a complicated topic for discussion. As is generally the case with employment issues, there are no easy answers for managers or employees. I have seen firsthand the bias that comes from the retirement age workers as well as from those straight out of college. As a matter of fact I had the opportunity to witness firsthand such a dilemma. an older coworker that had been with the company for several years held a support role within the department that I worked in. She had partially completed her masters degree and had worked in accounting for all of her adult life. Those making hiring decisions continually looked over her for promotions and hired young adults who had recently graduated college. She had both more experience and education than them, but they believed they could learn faster because they were young. The sad fact was, she was usually assigned to help train these new employees. She like many her age, found herself in a situation where she could not retire because of the economic downturn and her need for affordable healthcare. She believes they are trying to make things difficult for her so that she will retire, though that is probably not the case, it is unfortunate that she can not retire and her manager does not have confidence enough in her to promote her. And I am sure there are a long line of young workers just waiting for the opportunity to move into her position. It seems like there is no win/win in a situation like this.

  9. Thanks for joining Brandi!

    I believe its a possibility for a baby boomer to be “scared” of retirement only because they have been working their entire life, they are good at what they do, and are comfortable with expanding that. To be honest I agree with what a few people have previously already said, companies should always be looking toward the future. There are so many things that could happen to not only the company itself but also to the people that work for it. With that being said they should be incorporating younger, fresh from college adults who are prepared to start their career and still have the learning mindset to get whatever job needs to be done, done! There are all types of programs a company can start up, like Brandi mentioned an internship is a perfect way to get familiar with some of the students looking to joining the company or workforce in those specific fields. A company should be open minded to this type of thinking because at some point people will retire and challenges within the company will have to be dealt with.

    • Brandi,
      Thank you for posting an interesting topic!
      As you and Lassiter suggest, internships, a contractor or a temporary position is a good way to put a foot in the door. Those types of employment provide plenty of experience to start career. Recently I found young workforce with potentials that can bring fresh energy and different value to organization. After adding college graduates to our group, Generation X and Y dominate. Baby boomers including me became a minority. I feel my job is to pass on tradition so that they can apply and adapt it to the changing business world. I am currently learning to motivate employees at every level in an organization of multigenerational workforce (Green, 2008). The young generation has different work ethics, but I am impressed by their different skill set. To stand out in a job market, I hope them shine with those potentials that are untouchable by others as Friedman explains.

      References

      Green, D. (2008). Knowledge Management for a Postmodern Workforce: Rethinking Leadership Styles in the Public Sector. Journal of Strategic Leadership, Vol. 1.
      Friedman, T. L. (2007). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

    • Lassiter, I believe that the baby boomers have a right to be scared to retire. In Brin’s article she claims, “As of 2009, in the wake of the housing and stock market crises, some 51 percent of U.S. households were at risk of being unable to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living at age 65” (2012). I think many people are scared to retire, because of finances and they are just not ready to retire yet. It starts to get complicated when there are young workers are waiting on jobs and when there are baby boomers who are capable of still working and are not willing to give up their jobs. The question becomes who is it best to have in a job position, someone with job experience or someone fresh out of school.
      Reference
      Brin, D., (2012, April) Retirement Bliss May Turn to Blues for Some Boomers. CNBC.com. Retrieved from: http://www.cnbc.com/id/46795867

    • Brandi,

      Thank you for taking time and touching such a controversial topic with our class. We really appreciate your valuable time.

      Lassiter and Deidre,

      I agree with both. It is scary for baby boomers to hit their retiring age because most of them are not ready to let go something they have done for years or more than likely because they are not financially secured. On the other hand, most of us think that baby boomers are making it hard on recent college graduates to get a job. The studies of Tang et al. (2012) state that ” In general, people tend to have the stereotypes or perceptions that Baby Boomers place higher value on work itself than Gen-Xers. Gen-Xers are unwilling to sacrifice their personal lives for a career. They tend to consider themselves free agents in the business world, change jobs frequently (on average about every 18 months), and see every company as a stepping-stone to something better, or at least to something else”. The fact that baby boomers are willing to sacrifice their lives to keep their job is what is holding back companies on hiring new fresh college graduates. Yes, I believe that fresh college graduates could be ready to take on a career that could be challenging but companies are not interested on losing money. They are interested on personnel who is willing to stay and help the company reach their maximum potential, not on someone who they will more than likely will have to replace every 18 months, costing them production and profit. That’s why I believe it is so hard for “Gen-Xers” to find a job now a days. Commitment.

      Tang, T., Cunningham, P. H., Frauman, E., Ivy, M. I., & Perry, T. L. (2012). Attitudes and Occupational Commitment among Public Personnel: Differences between Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers. Public Personnel Management, 41(2), 327-360.

  10. Thank you for being our guest blogger during this class. Many have posted referencing younger college graduates having difficulty in finding employment do to baby boomers either wanting or needing to stay employed. Personally, I know of a couple recent engineering graduates that are seeking employment even if it is at entry level positions. However, I have seen the other side to Generation Y which concerns me. Trunk (2007) states, “Generation Y’s new graduates move back to their parents’ homes after collecting their degrees, and that cushion of support gives them the time to pick up the job they really want” (para. 2). Trunk (2007) continues to inform the reader that, “They grew up on the Internet, and they know how to launch a viable online business” (para. 2). I have seen this first hand. The company I am employed with is experiencing a season of growth. Recently, we have hired many young employees in hopes to be trained by some of these experienced and seasoned baby boomers. However, a vast majority only stayed a couple of weeks because they were not interested in a machine shop atmosphere. Baby boomers twenty or thirty years ago were proud and humbled to have these types of positions. They took ownership of the products they produced. Thus, time served represents their loyalty. In some regards with every passing year it is saddening to see some of these craftsmen disappear. Primarily, it appears that our baby boomers have many positive traits that our younger generation has not revealed yet.

    Trunk, P. (2007). What gen Y really wants. Time Magazine. Retrieved July 24, 2012 from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1640395,00.html

  11. Brandi,
    Thank you for sharing your time and expertise on Baby Boomers. As you look around, many of the boomers have lost much of their retirement in the economy bust. There are some extremely compelling reasons to give the concerns of boomer employee’s top billing when the ends of their careers begin to wind down. So rehiring or retaining older workers may be a viable solution to short- and long-term staffing dilemmas experienced workers can troubleshoot, fix, and work with existing equipment, and they understand customer needs. In this way you begin to ensure that your experienced staff transfers its knowledge and skills to younger workers. You may want to use them in consulting roles to mentor the younger staff coming on board. An organization committed to capturing and transferring critical knowledge within their ever-changing workforce demographics is a company that can retain organizational knowledge and improve its workforce. According to Matlay, organizational leaders of today, managing multi-generational workforces, possess the opportunity to utilize knowledge management for strategic advantage. Indeed, growth-oriented organizations increasingly rely upon knowledge-based competitive strategies in which learning, innovation and continuous individual development play crucial roles (Matlay, 2000).
    Matlay, H. (2000). S/NVQs in Britain: employer-led or ignored? Journal of Vocational Education and Training, Vol. 52 No. 1, pp. 135-47.

  12. There is however some positive outcomes following a bull-whip like effect in the supply of younger workers. According to an article on jobs.aol, the younger generation has advantages in technology and entrepreneur spirit (Schepp, 2012). As a trained and nearly instrument rated pilot at the age of 23 I can attest to this. It was often said during training, that younger pilots do better with instrument training and more particularly, glass cockpit. And its true.This is usually contributed to a more general understanding that frequent interaction with video games and simulations have added to this skill set. That is because the glass cockpit is an all digital non traditional round dial configuration. In addition, there are also the inherent advantages to youth. There is now a workforce able to work longer hours, for cheaper! That is because they are not used to the higher pay and are experiencing the recession first hand. There will always be the hurdle of education and mentorship, but that is just the cost of doing business.

    Schepp, D. (2012). Workers 55-Plus To Outnumber Younger Employees For The First Time. Aol Jobs. Retrieved from web: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/07/11/workers-55-plus-to-outnumber-younger-employees-for-the-first-tim/

    • Exactly Nicholas! This mix of employees that is clogging the hiring pipeline will force us to become more creative. As we know, America is a land of ingenuity and the entrepreneurial sprit runs through our veins. Let’s try to change the expectations of guaranteed employment and we’ll continue to see exciting breakthroughs in technology and manufacturing. Flexibility is the key and if we’re not open to it, someone or something will force it on us anyway.

      For example, Anya Kamenetz(2012) wrote an article titled, “The Four Year Career” that chronicles the tendency of Gen X or Gen Y employees who are continual learners happen to change jobs or even careers every three to four years (p. 3). I can relate to this article because I have been switching jobs about every 3 years myself. She also says that the term “Company Man or Company Woman” is an oxymoron. I don’t believe this is entirely true because most of us do have some vested interest in how successful our companies are and even that amount of loyalty can be considered company-centric by nature.

      Kamenetz, A. (2012). THE FOUR-YEAR CAREER. Fast Company, (162), 72-98.

      • Who will take the place of the 80 million baby boomers expected to retire? Women and minorities are the desired demographic to meet the talent shortage. Companies need to get on board and realize that women portray an important source of leadership talent. Women get things done, they posses stability, are quick learners, and adapt to change easily. “A variety of statistics indicate that women managers have the potential to be executives. Over the last 20 years, the number of working women in the United States has grown by 50 percent, according to Michael Silverstein and Kate Sayre in Women Want More.”

        Besson, J., & Valerio, A. M. (2012, February 01). Accelerating the development of women leaders. Retrieved from http://www.astd.org/Publications/Newsletters/LX-Briefing/LXB-Archives/2012/02/Accelerating-the-Development-of-Women-Leaders

  13. Ms Reilly, Thank you for your time.
    Baby boomers are working longer, because people are staying healthier longer and the demands on today’s information workers are mental more than physical (Bernard, 2012). The percentage of 60 – 64 year old employees retiring each year has dropped from 12% in 1998-99 to 7% for the same age group in 2009-10 (Anderson, 2012). This makes it harder for younger people to find a job. In my job hunting experience, it seems that the companies wants to hire someone with experience doing the job. This is where internships are important; I have had to volunteer to gain work experience to be eligible for job openings. I agree with you Ms. Reilly, employers must learn how to pass down the job knowledge to the younger generation. If the U.S. is going to stay competitive in the global market, we have to be experts at the jobs that stay in America.

    References
    Anderson, N., (2012, June) New Retirement Income Options May Allow More Baby Boomers to Retire. Forbes. Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2012/06/14/new-retirement-income-options-may-allow-more-baby-boomers-to-retire/

    Bernard, D. (2012, June). Baby Boomers Search for Second Careers. U.S. News. Retrieved from: (http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/On-Retirement/2012/06/01/baby-boomers-search-for-second-careers).

    • I think it is important that employers start planning on how to take the baby boomers’ experience and train the younger generations. More companies need to use the resource of having these experienced workers in their workplace, and allow more training to take place. An article in Businessweek stated, “Boomers are parents of Gen Y, in most cases, and would clearly know how to handle them” (2008). So, here is a great opportunity for companies to use their resources that they currently have on hand.

      I can see where the younger generations struggle when looking for a job. Everyone wants 3-5 years experience in the industry before taking the chance on hiring that person.

      Businessweek. (2008, August). Generations and the workplace. Retrieved from: http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2008-08-13/generations-and-the-workforce

  14. Brandi, I would like to thank you for being our guest blogger this week. I think you bring up a very good point about needing to train the next generation of workers. This is especially true as baby boomers are staying in the workforce even longer. Having a good bench strength that can step in and take over a role is crucial to the sustainability of any business. As Ben Leichtling wrote business must “have bench players cross-trained for the short term and groomed as the next generation of leaders.” This type of integration between baby boomers and the next generation will help not only the businesses but provide jobs for the next generation and additional purpose for the baby boomers.

    References
    Leichtling, B. (2004, April 11). Build employee bench strength to help company survive. Denver Business Journal. Retrieved July 25, 2012, from http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2004/04/12/smallb3.html?page=all

  15. Brandi, another very interesting point that you brought up is that of pay rates and salaries for the baby boomers versus the next generation. As it continues to become more and more expensive to get the education required to get a job while waiting on a baby boomer to vacate the position, a lower pay rate could lead to even more problems. First, the next generation of employees will more than likely have more student loan debt. “For all borrowers, the average debt in 2011 was $23,300”. (Martin, Lehren, 2012, para 8) This will require them to make a certain amount of money in order to pay back their loans. At the same time, businesses are offering less money to new employees due to the higher pay of baby boomers. Then, as you pointed out, this pay rate situation causes higher pricing to the customer and less staff to complete the tasks and be trained to take over. Do you think that scaling back the pay for baby boomers is the right answer or will the next generation simply have to cope with the current situation and hope to catch up later?

    References
    Martin, A., & Lehren, A. (2012, May 5). A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College. The New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2012, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/business/student-loans-weighing-down-a-generation-with-heavy-debt.html?pagewanted=all

    • I agree. It is not hard to recognize that the baby boomers and the new generation workers have a salary-pay gap. I work in the public sector, and we have what Brandi referred to as a “multigenerational” work force. I believe that each person has an important part in the daily operations of a local government. Yet, some of the younger workers feel that he or she should be paid the same salary as his or her elderly counterpart, because he or she has the same educational background and (sometimes) can complete the job more efficiently. However, I believe it is hard to place a value on experience. Now, the average baby boomer makes approximately $53,000 annually (Baby boomer ‘retirement’ facts, 2008). Unfortunately, like you stated, if the businesses are paying the new workers less money to perform the same job tasks, then it can seem unfair to the younger generation.
      Reference
      Baby boomer ‘retirement’ facts. (2008). Retrieved from WhatsNextInYourLife.com: http://www.whatsnextinyourlife.com/

  16. Ms. Reilly,

    I found your topic of retiring baby boomers, and found one of the points you said popped up in your mind a bit distressing, particularly point three; “With the Baby Boomers continuing to work longer, we are not bringing in younger employees to mentor out of college. The employee pool is becoming stagnant.” I believe there is a tangent of this thought that you may not have thought of. In my particular field, Clinical Laboratory Science, the average of a working Medical Technologist is 43.7. There is a real crisis developing in this field for potential workers in the future, and there will be a need to retain older technologist to work in ever growing, ever larger (and busier!) medical laboratories. There will be a need to generate new employees, and stagnation will not be a problem. At the other end there is the issue of older workers not being able to retire due to changes that have occurred in the economy over the last 5 years and the losses people have in their finances. I suppose the attitude of a younger generation may be, hurry up, retire, and get out of the way for the younger folks, but the reality is this may not be possible. I would hope this would not lead to stagnation.

    References

    The American Society For Clinical Pathology, Policy Statement, The Medical Laboratory Personnel Shortage, http://www.ascp.org/pdf/MedicalLaboratoryPersonnelShortage.aspx

    Hansen R., Ph.D., “Working Beyond Retirement: For Money, Identity, and Purpose”, Quintessential Careers, http://www.quintcareers.com/working_beyond_retirement.html

  17. Brandi,

    Thank you for taking the time to give back to fellow LMU students.

    I really enjoyed your point-of-view on baby boomers. Coincidently, my dad is a baby boomer who recently came out of retirement to start working again. However, it was only because he could not stand sitting around the house doing nothing. I believe this is true for many other baby boomers – some just like working. So, I was not surprised to read that, “83% of baby boomers intend to keep working after retirement” (Baby boomer ‘retirement’ facts, 2008). Yet, that does not bother me, because I feel that staying active keeps you young. What was alarming was, “Mature consumers possess $7 trillion in wealth – 70% of the total wealth in the united states” (Baby boomer ‘retirement’ facts, 2008). That is a lot of eggs in one basket!

    Reference
    Baby boomer ‘retirement’ facts. (2008). Retrieved from WhatsNextInYourLife.com: http://www.whatsnextinyourlife.com/

    • Thank you Brandi for taking time to share your knowledge with us this week.

      As John stated, many believe that working keeps you young. I have personally seen many times where a person “retires” and one of two things happen: they either find another job or slowly begin to wither away. It is this fact that I believe many baby boomers will continue to work. A 2003 study conducted by Shell Oil showed that mortality rates improved in those that worked until age 65. (Woznicki, 2005) I personally can’t even see my parents slowing down when they reach retirement age because working is all they have ever known. But it is up to this generation to mentor those coming behind them so that work can continue after they are gone because the company/society as a whole will still be there long after they are gone, hopefully.

      Reference
      Woznicki, K. (2005, October 21). Early Retirement May Mean Earlier Death. Retrieved from Med Page Today:
      http://www.medpagetoday.com

    • John,
      I think you made a valid point about Baby Boomers wanting to exercise their minds and feel a sense of purpose. In many instances, a worker will retire and learn, only afterwards, that it was a mistake. Those who retire often miss the connection they have with people. From everything I have read, people often feel their mind is not fed enough information to keep them vibrant, alive and abreast of all current issues in the world. “Half of all Baby Boomers expect to work into their 70’s, according to a survey of 400 Boomers by First Command Financial Services in May 2010. The chief reason they gave: a desire to stay busy and intellectually engaged” (Boomers wanting to work past retirement age find limited options, 2008). Retirement goals have changed. People have a manufactured vision as to what retirement is, but will be in for a shock unless they have devised a carefully structured plan. The new retirement dilemma is affecting everyone from all ages and economic level.
      Reference
      Dugas, C. (2010, August 11). Boomers wanting to work past retirement age find limited options. Retrieved July 27, 2012 from http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/2010-08-10-1Aworkinglonger10

  18. Hi Brandi,

    You bring up some good questions. In my opinion, regardless of how people feel about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), I think one very good component of this law is that it allows for more portability when it comes to health insurance. Many people stay in their jobs simply because of health insurance coverage. If changing jobs didn’t jeopardize access to affordable health insurance, then more people will feel more secure moving on to other opportunities in the workforce. This would certainly help stimulate a stagnant jobs outlook.

    Reference
    Lazarro, J. (2011, March 17). Health Care Reform: How Benefits Portability Will Strengthen the Economy. Retrieved from Daily Finance on July 25, 2012: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/03/17/health-care-reform-how-benefits-portability-economy/

    • Grant,
      Healthcare is a huge concern for baby boomers. The Fiscal Times shared a recent report showing a “65 year old couple this year would need an estimated $240,000 to cover medical costs through retirement (and that’s including traditional Medicare coverage)” (2012). Most baby boomers have no idea how much money they need to save for out-of-pocket medical expenses. A survey of baby boomers “guessed they would need about $112,000 total” to cover these costs” (2012). That’s less that half of what the other survey stated. We have to find a way to better prepare for retirement, because there may or may not be any assistance.

      Reference
      Briody, B. 2012. 5 reasons boomers will go bust. The Fiscal Times. Retrieved from http://money.msn.com/baby-boomers/5-reasons-boomers-will-go-bust-fiscaltimes.aspx

      • Meghan, I think it’s not just limited to retirees. According to a study by Hewitt Associates, “60% of workers 20 to 29 years old cashed out their 401(k) retirement plans” (2010). This is very alarming and it does not bode well for the next generation of workers. Also, related to the ACA, many working folks up to age 26 can access their parent’s health insurance plans, which add yet another hurdle to baby boomers retirement planning. The Great Recession really will have long lasting effects on our future economy.

        Reference
        Dugas, C. 2010. Generation Y’s steep financial hurdles: Huge debt, no savings. USA Today. Retrieved 7/27/12 from http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2010-04-23-1Ageny23_CV_N.htm

  19. Companies know what they need to do to for the passing of the guard. This should not be a problem as elderly individuals have been retiring from companies for years with smooth transitions. Mentoring programs are great, consulting contracts are good, therefore keeping the knowledge bank tapped into for a certain amount of time. Leadership is what is hard to replace. A great skill set does not automatically equal a great leader.
    What we are talking about is trying to take the jobs that are already filled by competent older individuals. If someone holds a job and does it well, why should they be forced to retire?
    If a Boomer is looking for a job, they are perfectly suited to be competitive on a global scale just like the GenY generation is. T. L. Friedman talks about a phenomenon his book The World is Flat, A brief history of the twenty-first century, “Globalization 3.0 – the newfound power for individuals to collaborate and compete globally. This phenomenon is enabling, empowering, and enjoining individuals and small groups to go global…”
    Friedman, T. L. (2007). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

    • Heidi, I agree with your post. I think that the job market will rebound in due time as a result of emerging markets created from globalization. There shouldn’t be a panic regarding the impending retirement of the baby boomer generation. In the end, economics will win out and a less expensive, younger workforce will ultimately prevail.

  20. Mrs. Reilly thanks for your post. My previous position, I was a laboratory manager that had employees ranging from the twenty something’s into the sixty something’s. At times it seemed like a zoo. The works itself was stressful enough, but add in the conflicting personalities and you have a textbook example of disgruntle 101. In my chosen profession the average age of employee is the mid-50s. There isn’t a lot of college kids lining up to work in stressful environments, 24hrs a day including weekends and holidays. Baby boomers are relied on heavily to fill positions. “The laboratory personnel labor force is aging at a 78 percent faster rate than the entire U.S. labor market, citing a rate of 4.5 percent compared to the overall labor market’s 2.5 percent of aging (Bureau of Labor Statistics). One of the best ideas I had was to have college students come in and complete their clinical rotations. It brought new blood in an old situation. It was a chance for the staff to teach and influence “pre-employees.” There is nothing like bringing in new blood. New ideas, new ways of thinking, it’s like stepping out into a warm breeze. I admire the work ethic of the baby boomers, but sometimes the torch needs to be passed before it burns out. I had a couple of “on the job retirees” that had already retired, but where still on the job. Trying to find the right mix is like a balancing act. A little more on the left, now a little less on the right and there you go, a perfect balance.
    Reference
    Employer Persons by Detailed Occupations, Sex, and Age. 2000-2003, in “Occupational Employment
    Statistics” (source Current Population Survey), Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  21. Brandi,

    Again, thank you for your time to share with our class on this controversial topic. We really appreciate you valuable time.

    “Boomers hold the majority of major leadership roles in the workplace, and their retirement creates a leadership gap that must be filled by the next generations. The question is whether their successors are up to the challenge?” (Tasler, 2008). More than likely a new college graduate is looking for a job only to gain experience and move on to a higher position. That is acceptable, that is how every job works. But, that brings a question to me, why should a company lay off a boomer after 50 years of commitment only because a younger individual needs a job to pay their college debts and gain experience ? Leadership is essential in the workplace and unfortunately it cannot be bought at a super store. Without leadership, no company or business will be able to succeed and I believe that leadership comes from the boomers. On the other hand, retirement is a fantasy, in my opinion. With the economy like it is and knowing that sooner or later social security benefits will disappear, retirement, in my opinion, will not exist 20-30 years from now. But that is something that we, as a hard working class, do not want to believe. “The future of pensions remains uncertain as even
    employers with financially healthy DB plans consider whether to eliminate them over time” (Butrica, Iams, Smith, & Toder, 2009). In my opinion, the best retirement plan that will exist for us 20-30 years from now will be investing on a safe that we can keep at home, depositing $50 of every paycheck we receive, that way when we hit the retirement day we can actually enjoy what we saved from all those sweat drops from 30, 40, 50 years of work instead of sitting at home wondering where is my retirement pension.

    Butrica, B. A., Iams, H. M., Smith, K. E., & Toder, E. J. (2009). THE DISAPPEARING DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION AND ITS POTENTIAL IMPACT ON THE RETIREMENT INCOMES OF BABY BOOMERS. Social Security Bulletin, 69(3), 1-27

    Tasler, N. (2008). The leadership vacuum: what we lose with the next generation. Central Penn Business Journal, 24(51), 29-30.

  22. I believe that retirement for baby boomers is fantasy. Today’s economy makes saving for retirement almost impossible. Robert Hardaway of Fox News states, “the fact is that retiring baby boomers face few viable options in planning for retirement unless they have been lucky enough to work for the federal government, or who are otherwise entitled to the proceeds of a dwindling number of state or corporate defined benefit plans, many of which face insolvency in coming years” (2012). Social Security will be obsolete within the next 20 years, leaving many Americans with no assistance. Blaire Briody of The Fiscal Times said, “nearly half of Americans are not saving for retirement at all” (2012). A survey suggests that one quarter of middle-class Americans plan to delay retirement until they are at least 80 years old” (Briody, 2012). This is sad since the current life expectancy in the U.S. is 78 years old. With that said, the majority of people will be working until they die.

    References
    Briody, B. (2012). 5 reasons boomers will go bust. The Fiscal Times. Retrieved from http://money.msn.com/baby-boomers/5-reasons-boomers-will-go-bust-fiscaltimes.aspx

    Hardaway, R. (2012). The war on baby boomers. Fox News. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/07/08/war-on-baby-boomers/

  23. Thanks Brandi for sharing this information with us. I personally think it is an adjustment period for employers to have an aging workforce these days. In an article in the Journal of Targeting states, “baby boomers have been pioneers and agents of change throughout their lifetimes” (Coleman, Hladikova, & Savalyeva, 2006, p. 192). The baby boomers have seemed to be the trendsetters with their education, high salaries, and now length of years working. Having the baby boomers prolonging their retirement, employers are faced with having to pay the higher salaries until the baby boomers retires but also gets the benefit of having the experienced worker still employed. The alternative for employers would be having a young inexperienced staff with large investments would need to go into the training departments.

    Coleman, L., Hladikova, M., & Savalyeva, M. (2006). The baby boomer market. Journal of Targeting, Measurement & Analysis for Marketing, 14(3), 191-209.

  24. Brandi,
    Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us this week as a special guest blogger. While reading your blog, I had thoughts about the literature that is out there today encouraging Baby Boomers to continue to work. One article in particular is written by Emily Brandon her title “Tips for Baby Boomers reaching retirement age in 2012.” She writes, “Boomers can claim the full amount of Social Security they have earned, and the penalty for working and claiming Social Security benefits at the same time disappears.” She continues to advise Boomers to delay retirement until age 70 to get more money, the married can claim twice start claim under their spouse’s retirement from age 66-70 and claim their own deferred retirement at a higher payout at 70 and last boomers can work and collect full or partial social security payments at the same time without penalty (December, 2012).
    And, maybe this is why the Baby Boomers are working and there is a Baby Boomer employment crisis. The Boomers look good, feel good and are banking good money. But, one might foresee a new era maybe it could be called the “multigenerational renaissance age” where the senior worker brings the experience and wisdom to the table while the entry level worker brings social media and technological expertise to the table and the result of the infusion is cutting edge innovative product and service. Just think the best talent brought from the best of both worlds performing at their best and the possible side effect America bounces back.

    Reference
    Brandon, E. (2011, December 12). Tips for Baby Boomers Reaching Retirement Age in 2012. US News. Retrieved from http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2011/12/12/tips-for-baby-boomers-reaching-retirement-age-in-2012

  25. Margaret Weigel, a researcher in the field of digital media engagement, warns “We should not judge people rigidly by the years they were born. If we want to define people by categories, it should be by behaviors because this is something each of us chooses” (Brockett, Medina, 2010). The research presents an interesting theory relevant to the discussion on reverse mentoring and mutual mentoring.

    Reverse mentoring is seeking out someone with less job experience, but a significant amount of knowledge/skill. Mutual mentoring involves each person bring a topic to the table that he/she has the knowledge/ability to teach as well as a topic that needs to be learned. A two-way process ensues where each party can give and gain by exchanging mentor/mentee roles.

    Categorizing people does not define them. People choose their own paths. But, there has to be desire to work together, and learn from one another. That is the challenge and the opportunity. We can complain about the situation, or we can unite the best of all concerned.

    The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old. Proverbs 20:29

    Brockett, K., Medina,R. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/LSNTAP/mentoring-through-generational-digital-differences-nlada-july-2010.

    • Kathy, I enjoyed rading your perspective. You mentionted mutul mentoring and I was unfamiliar with that term. I resarched it online and found it very interesting. I think mutual mentoring would be a beneficial way for managers to create a more accepteing workplace environment between the your workers and the older ones. It would make both groups more accepting of the other as well as bring to their attention the attributes the other group brings into the workplace. How much more efficient would the workplace be if the new employees got insight from those with several years of experience, and, on the other hand, the older employees would get insight or innovative information that the new graduates had recently learned in academia. When someone is being listened to then they are more apt to listen to others in return. Mutual mentoring would be a great way to crate a cohesive team in the workplace. Haserot, P (2009). Retrieved from http://www.accountingweb.com

  26. Brandi,
    Thank you for taking time to discuss your opinions and ideas with our class. I agree with the fact that baby boomers are waiting longer and longer to retire. I recently read, “In 1985, 10.8% of people over 65 worked full-time or part-time. By 2011, that figure rose to over 18%” (Stern, 2011). I personally know plenty of adults that could retire right now but don’t because they have job security in this time when the economy is in recession. On the flip side, I know quite a few recent college graduates that are unable to find a job in the focus that they went to school for. Many of them have resulted in waiting tables or working in retail until they are able to find something that is in their field. This is concerning to me and I worry that there will be some long-term repercussions of this situation that we are currently in.

    Stern, G. M. (2001, October 18). Not letting go: Companies hang on to their baby boomers. Fortune, Retrieved from http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/10/18/baby-boomers-retirement/

  27. Brandi,

    Thank you for sharing your article with us.You are correct when you say that the job situation with Baby Boomers is a crisis. According to the Labor Department, it takes younger workers on average six months to locate a job, while it takes older workers roughly seven-and-one-half months. You had mentioned that older workers could consider doing consulting work. Accountants can prepare tax returns, teachers can tutor, and researchers can write reports. It does require a person to use their business skills and resourcefulness in landing those types of positions. This is a good way for older workers to supplement their income, but does not address the issue of costly health care.

  28. As is generally the case with emplyment issues, there are no easy answers for managers or employees. I have seen firsthand the bias that comes from retirement age workers as well as from new graduates. An older coworker that had been iwth the compnay for several years held a support role within the department that I worked. Those making hiring decisions continually looked over her for promotions and hired recent graduates. She had both more experience and education than them, but they believed they could learn faster because they were young. She was usualy assigned to help train these new emloyees. She found herself in a situation where she could not retire because of her need for affordable healthcare. She believes they are trying to make things difficutl for her so that she will retire, though that is probably not the cse, it is unfortunate that she can not retire and her manager does not have confidence enough in her to promote her. There are a long line of young owkers just waiting for the opportunity to move into her position. It seems like here is not a win/win in a situation like this.

  29. Brandi, thank you for sharing your insight with this topic. An article in USA Today stated that statistic shows that most young people don’t realize they’re actually taking home about 75% of their paycheck once taxes, Social Security (Malcom, 2012). I was very interested in this your post since I am fairly new out of undergrad, starting my first job out of college, and I am not extremely financially educated on how to allocate my savings to distribute my check with 401k, HAS, savings, etc. I wanted to research if I was putting enough or too much in my savings in order to live within my means to live comfortably. With the issue of baby boom retirement and bank failure crisis in 2008, what advice would you give a young adult starting out preparing for their retirement to avoid being affected by the economic crisis?

    “Life Stages: First Job, First Paycheck and First Budget.” USA Today. Gannett, 01 Apr. 2012. Web. 29 July 2012. .

  30. Today, you can never avoid the fact that baby boomers are now aging. And because the baby boomers population is one of the largest in the United States, there have been questions about health care and retirement benefits for these people. The fact that the baby boomers population makes up 22% of the American population, and is considered quite a lot in the United States, you will see that the government is taking all the necessary measures to provide retirement and health benefits to baby boomers.

    You should consider that in the past, because of the baby boomers generation population, the United States benefited a lot and is continually benefiting today. The workforce is at an all time high and financial income for the United States is quite also at a high rate. However, in the near future, you will see that the demographic rate will shift. The lower birth rate in the succeeding generation will result in fewer workforce and higher retiring people, generally from the baby boomers.

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