Babyboomers working in retirement
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Keep Working In Retirement

By Steve King, SmallBizlabs.com

Why You Should Keep Working in Retirement

There have been several interesting articles over the past couple of weeks on working in retirement and/or working later in life. And on how babyboomers should continue working in retirement.

The consensus of these are those working full or part-time instead of fully retiring are happier, healthier, more engaged and in better financial shape.

Some examples:

Next Avenue’s 4 Traits of the Happiest Retirees report all 4 happiness traits are related to working during retirement. Key quote:

If you want to be happy in your retirement years, here’s my advice: don’t retire — at least not in the traditional sense.

The North Dallas Gazette’s Studies Show Retirees Should Continue to Workreports on a University of Miami study that found older adults who continue working tend to be much healthier across multiple health outcomes than those who don’t work.

Several article pointed to the study Late Life Working and Well-Being. This study found working later in life potentially has all sorts of benefits – as long the work provides flexibility. Key findings include:

  • Voluntary part-time workers have more life satisfaction and less stress and are more satisfied with their jobs than full-time workers.
  • Flexible approaches to retirement and to part-time work are linked to higher levels of well-being, at least in labor markets where flexible work is a choice.
  • Workers who remain in the labor force after retirement age are more satisfied with their health and are happier than their retired counterparts.
  • Flexible work times and retirement schemes can enhance well-being—which is linked to better health and higher productivity—and also reduce unemployment and pension burdens.

And Bankrate’s Trending: Working longer, retiring later reports on an Aon Hewitt study showing the average retirement age has been increasing and more people are working well into the traditional retirement years.

So folks are getting the message – working past the traditional retirement age makes sense.

This trend will continue and we expect the workforce participation rate for older Americans to continue to increase over the next decade.

Baby Boomers learning Technology
Being Freelancer, Education-Training

Baby Boomers in the On-Demand Workforce

I am an optimist: Old foggies and Baby Boomers – those over 50 years old – will be an important part of the On-Demand Workforce in the coming years. Even though this group already plans to continue to work out of necessity (AARP says four out of 10 baby boomers plan to work in retirement), they will be an important part of the on-demand workforce. Some companies will require their skills and experience and others, especially the smart ones, will want their wisdom and knowledge. For example, they will want them to mentor younger works. This is what Google is doing; some groups are hiring older workers to mentor to the freshly minted MBAs and BAs, who are smart, have lots of energy, but don’t have any scars or scabs from working in the trenches.

As the chart below indicates,  even though some of these grey haired foxes might be slower to adopt new technology, but companies can hardly ignore their numbers. The 55+ segment is significantly larger that 18-24 or 25-34 years old groups. The challenge, however, is to quickly help them master Smartphone and On-Demand technology, so they can keep up to speed with the younger whipper snappers around them. They can accomplish this by attending online courses (MOOCs) or by just teaching themselves online.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project, 54 percent of workers older than 65 are still employed because they want to be—not because they need the money. This means that they’re motivated by desire or passion and are less likely to be a job hopper. The survey also found that 54 percent of workers age 65 and older say they are “completely satisfied” with their jobs, compared with just 29 percent of workers ages 16 to 64.

This Pepsi Generation (the 50-70 crowd) can’t take this need for granted. They will need to learn how to use these on-demand technologies, which will include Uber, Nest and eventually Self-Driving. To be an effective On-Demand Worker, they will have to embrace the Internet of Things. Yes, I know that they are not novices when it comes to technology. Still, however, they need to remember it’s a game of the Survival of the Techeist. While email usage and cell phone ownership by nearly all adults is relatively high, smartphone ownership of older boomers (age 57 to 65) is two-thirds of that younger boomers (47 to 56) and one-third that of millennials. The same goes for iPod and tablet (iPad) usage.

If you are over 50 and want to be a freelancer, you need to make the investment to learn how to handle your smart phone in one hand, learn how to use at least four different apps, and reach out to a Gen Yer and asked to be tutored in the latest and greatest mobile / internet of things. Otherwise, it will take a while to jump start your second career.