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Redefining Retirement

(May 31, 2006) Today's Bugler contains 25 excerpts from articles about the way that Retirement is being redefined. Somewhat obviously, the articles are largely about the American aspects of the problem. What's interesting is that there are echoes of the American trend in China, Ireland, India, Britain, Australia and Canada.

The wave of baby-boomers entering retirement is going to completely reposition and reinterpret all of our notions about age, financial need, and all of the other aspects associated with being over 50. As this enormous cohort (76 Million) moves into its prime living years, we'll get to see stories about the realities of age. They'll be nothing like our stereotypes.

Why are we getting all fussed up about the shifts in the meaning of retirement?

There are three forces that will drive the availability and deployment of talent over the next quarter century:

  • Aging baby boomers and their increased needs for workplace flexibility;
  • Generation Y (the Millennials) and their needs for workplace flexibility; and,
  • The utilization of workforces outside of traditional company boundaries (from PEOs to offshoring)

On the baby boomer front, there is an explosion of resource availability and rethinking in the marketplace. As it becomes clear that the labor shortage is as real as the healthcare rationing problem, the very nature of retirement is being reframed. Employers need workers to stay put with their knowledge and wisdom. Employees need more challenge and reliable income.

As one of the articles cited in today's Bugler suggests, Work is the New Retirement.

Everyone, including the state Department is issuing helpful guidelines about dealing with the phenomenon. Stay away from the use of words like old, mature, elderly, gray, senior and so on. Emphasize challenge and flexibility.

If you want to see the process in action, look closely at the campaigns generated by and for customers at RetirementJobs.

Here's what you can know for sure.

Work is changing. We need more bodies but have not (re)produced them. Workers over the age of 50 have different values and plans. The workplace and those workers need each other. This is a recipe for broad cultural transformation

It's already started.

 John Sumser (remove nospam) . - .  Permalink . - . Today's Bugler

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