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Many Baby Boomers Expect To Remain In Workforce

By CityTownInfo.com Staff
September 9, 2009

Several studies point to a growing trend in the workforce: Baby Boomers are increasingly expecting to delay retirement, and those who have already retired are considering returning to work.

Reuters reports that the Real Life Retirement quarterly survey from Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., which was released Tuesday, indicated that 35 percent of unretired respondents planned to delay retirement. Moreover, 17 percent of those retired are considering returning to work, at least part-time, as a result of the economic downturn.

Similarly, Business Week reports that according to a new study by the Center for Work-Life Policy, 62 percent of employed Baby Boomers expect to remain in the workforce well into their golden years, with more than half planning to delay retirement by nine years.

Meanwhile, a Pew Research survey released last week found that nearly four in 10 workers over age 62 have delayed retirement because of the recession.

"Retirement is kind of an elusive dream at this point," said Barbara Petrucci, 58, a dialysis nurse in Atlanta who was interviewed by The New York Times. She had hoped to retire soon but chose to remain on the job after losing 35 percent of her savings to the downturn. She said she and her husband joke about "someday having to go around at the hospital with our walkers."

Business Week notes that delayed retirement is resulting in an older workforce. The percentage of working Americans age 65 and up rose to 16 percent this year, up from 12 percent 10 years ago.

The Times points out that the trend is also contributing towards American companies' reluctance to hire new workers: Since less employees are leaving their jobs, there are far less positions to be filled. And the situation is exacerbating unemployment for young workers in particular; indeed, the Pew Research survey noted that more than four in 10 jobless youth ages 16 to 24 said they've attempted to find work but cannot.

"The current state of the economy has influenced nearly everyone's calculations about work to some extent," said the survey. "But the recession appears to be having a very different impact, depending on age--keeping older adults in the labor force and younger ones out of it."

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