Baby Boomers Unretiring
“Will baby boomers unretire?” (beckershospitalreview.com), Molly Gamble, Becker’s Hospital Review
Me: I am seeing this phenomenon happening quite a bit myself with multiple inquiries on job status.
Millions of older Americans have returned to work in recent months, with nearly 64 percent of adults between ages 55 and 64 working in April. Essentially this is matching the share working in February 2020 and marking a more complete recovery than most younger age groups. This report according to a May 19 The New York Times .
The return of older workers, whether by choice or financial need, has surprised economists. Americans ages 55-64 were not any more likely than younger workers to leave the workforce early in the pandemic. Economists had reason to anticipate their slower return and that vulnerability to COVID-19 would contribute to a wave of early retirements.
“But there is increasing evidence that the early-retirement narrative was overblown. ” The Times reports. The fastest inflation in decades has added pressure on people of all ages to return to work.
The portion of Americans reporting retirement increased sharply in spring 2020, but retirement is not irreversible. As the economy has reopened and the public health situation has improved, “unretirements” have rebounded. Older workers have returned roughly to their pre-pandemic participation rate. An analysis of government data from Indeed Hiring Lab as reported by the Times. Returning older workers have been amongst those in their late 50s and early 60s.
This is also an unusual time for many older job hunters. Many have faced hardship in the job hunt due to some combination of their age or time out of the workforce. As one 62-year-old rebounder told the Times,
“Every day I hear about how there aren’t enough workers available. There are a lot of older workers that are being written off, or at least finding it much more difficult to get back into the workplace, who have a lot of years and things to offer.”
The return of workers age 55 and older to hospitals and healthcare would be a noticeable trend given the challenges these workplaces have faced from the loss of older, more tenured employees.
Early Retirement During Covid vs Social Security Data Puzzle U.S. Economists – Bloomberg
For one to retire prior to eligibility for Medicare and Social Security full benefits, then one must be either rich or stupid.
My brother and his wife retired before eligibility for Medicare and Social Security full benefits and are neither rich nor stupid. He was a mechanical engineer, so he knows his way around numbers. He kept a spreadsheet of their expenses for the last year. What they are is extremely frugal. Two years in and they’re still making it work. He’s turning 60 and she’s turning 57.
I was lucky enough to have a career as an engineer that allowed me to maximize my 401k for 30 years. I guess that was enough to make me rich by your standard. Or I am stupid.
Possibly more rich than stupid, but only time will tell. The worse mistake that even smart people make is to plan to die early or live in extreme poverty past their mid-80’s. Depending upon financial markets for too much income can at least be scary. If one examines the deeper economic fundamentals, then there is a looming existential risk hanging over the perma-bull, much of which is dependent upon financialization and the USD$ exorbitant privilege. The US has fantastic long term economic fundamentals since we have been taking so much of our consumption from global resources leaving our own in the ground for about five decades now. We will also have the advantage of new-build production from the latest technology of the day when the unthinkable happens. However, the collapse of the USD reserve currency in globalization would take nearly two decades to adjust production with consumption. It is a matter of despite how inconceivable an economic shock might be, then it will still happen eventually if indeed it is fundamentally inevitable. Britain is our role model for an economy built on little but finance and retail that started from a strong position built on global trade and currency reserve. Castles made of sand…
Of course my family is cursed with longevity of vital health, but there are worse things…
However, my initial comment was intentionally provocative since once size may not even fit most.
To statistically gauge that initial comment for accuracy, then one that might even be positioned to reasonably make that choice for early retirement must have had a lifetime income which might not constitute a wealthy outlier per se, but also would still be of higher income than 1 and 1/2 standard deviations above the mean income and more than that above the median since the income distribution bell curve is crooked.
(Off topic, but what the hell?)
(Mitt Romney being an un-retired aging Baby Boomer of the highest rank.)
We Must Prepare for Putin’s Worst Weapons
NY Times – Mitt Romney – May 21
Fred and the others
You have to understand that some of us take offense when a thread is hijacked by unrelated comments. You have some extremely intelligent people writing at AB (do not include me). It still does not mean I like my posts taken where ever either. A little respect for the authors please.
I know, I know.
But an outrageous op-ed from a political figure like Mitt Romney needs immediate and prominent display, not necessarily parked at the bottom of a stale Open Thread post. (Where it now is, more content than above.)
Otherwise, sorry about that. Thanks for indulging me.
Feel free to relate your article to the post. Does it work in relation to the article? An introduction by you on how it relates does the job of being on topic.
Actually, I posted the original NY Times article on this topic several days ago. There was little interest at the time.
Actually, the only relevance is Mitt Romney being an aging Baby Boomer trying to hold on to his guv’mint job, scaring the bejezus out of people. AS for the others, trying to get back to work, they are categorically somewhat to young to retire, inflation is a bitch, demand for employees is rampant. If you can settle for a low-wage job & you want to work, why not look for one? Is this at all surprising?
Ought an older person feel compelled to go back to work, especially one who retired early due to a layoff from a failing company, with kids to raise & super expensive daycare & a spouse with a solid career, and now a decent retirement income, to the point where most of our social security benefits are taxable.
I think not. It would only further complicate my taxes. And deprive those 15 years or so younger than me from the jobs currently available (say) at the post office. And take time away from lengthy hours I spend doing important but unpaid voluntary work for the local hospital.
Current conditions are no doubt extra-difficult for those who did not make out well in the dot-com high-tech boom of thirty or more years ago.
Assuming the stock market doesn’t fall another 25% or so over the next year or so. I am ever optimistic.
You need to look at the thread below about the Capitol tour. I stopped reading after a couple of comments.
Bloomberg: “Despite the surge in baby boomers saying in surveys they retired … “
My retirement took three times to be real. The first “retirement” was when I was laid off. It took me 7 months to find a job, so I started saying it looks like I am retired. Now I was working temporary jobs. When the contract finished after 18 months I was closer to making funds work, so I talked about it some more. When I did look at jobs, I found one in under 3 weeks. 18 more months on a project and I needed a new contract or to really retire. I might have looked again, but Covid happened while I was still not yet looking for a job.
During that time frame my response to surveys would have confused more than enlightened. Saying you are retired before it is true is not hard.
If they would pay me my salary, I kept working. I was not cheap either; but, it came later in life. I maxed out and I was done. My wife started drawing off of my benefits and we just banked it in funds. Paid off our bills and kept adding to our retirement until we did finally do it.