Younger workers have been known to kvetch that baby boomers are hogging the upper rungs of the ladder in the workforce. By their sheer numbers, they dominated throughout their careers, but the Great Recession that began in 2008 put the kibosh on retirement plans for many. (See Encore Careers) Well, the recession is behind us now and so, apparently, is the reluctance of baby boomers to retire. As of 2015, there were still some 45 million baby boomers in the workforce, but as an age group they are now a third-place minority, behind the so-called Generation X and the Millennial generation.
That’s according to an analysis of the American workforce by Pew Research Center, based on the latest U.S. census data. On the Road Again If you want to know what those retirees will be up to, you’ll need satellite tracking. A new survey from AARP says that fully 99% of baby boomers are planning to travel for the fun of it in 2016, and they have an average of four to five trips in mind. That’s a lot of moving around, since there are 76 million of them, or about 28% of the population.
Downsizing, Downschmizing Once again, baby boomers are defying expectations. As they approach or surpass retirement age, Americans are expected to “downsize,” trading their big family homes for smaller, more efficient houses, apartments or units in “senior communities.” But baby boomers seem to be staying put. In fact, a report from Fannie Mae concludes that there is no statistical evidence to date that the current generation of older Americans is inclined to abandon their family homes. In the words of The Washington Post, this is serving to “clog up the real estate pipeline.” It is causing a shortage of homes for sale, and a corresponding increase in prices. Real estate agents complain that the boomers are sitting on a vast inventory of desirable real estate. To which baby boomers, from a comfortable perch by the backyard swimming pool, probably reply with an unprintable phrase picked up at a Rolling Stones concert circa 1972.