April 2017

7 ways baby boomers are the rebels of retirement

If there’s one thing we know about baby boomers—the generation born between 1946 and 1964—it’s that they like to change things up. Now that they’re entering their golden years, boomers are skipping the “early bird special” and doing retirement their way. Here are 7 trends to watch.

1.    Some retiring boomers are relocating, but not where you’d expect.
The cliché is you move to warm and affordable cities in Florida or Arizona and you play golf. But boomer retirees want more. They’re not just moving to Orlando and Phoenix anymore, they’re settling down in Boise, Denver, Greenville, Raleigh, and more1. They’re looking for cities with strong economies—so they can work if they choose to—or college towns offering cultural and educational opportunities2.


 2.    Boomers want to volunteer and start businesses.
Baby boomers see retirement as an opportunity for self-reinvention. They volunteer at a higher rate (39.9%) than previous generations at the same age3. People over 50 are also one of the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurs4.


 3.    Many of them want to keep working.
Nearly half of boomers say they won’t retire until after age 665. Some businesses that have difficulty retaining younger employees place a high value on older workers. But, it can be risky to rely on work over savings. Only 27% of retirees actually have jobs6.


 4.    They’re “forever young.” 
The baby boomers started a youth-driven cultural revolution. So it’s hardly surprising that they think old age starts at 727. The last word they would ever use to describe themselves is “old.”


 5.    They’re living longer (but could be healthier).
According to the CDC, U.S. life expectancy has increased by 30 years over the last century. That’s great, but boomers are also in worse health than people their age were a decade ago. In fact, boomers are more likely to be overweight and have chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension.


 6.    Their numbers are legion.
Every single day, for the next 15 years, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 658. By the year 2030, literally one fifth of our nation's’ population will be boomers 65 and up. Those numbers give them political clout they can use to protect benefits like Social Security and Medicare.


 7.    The baby boom generation is self-funding retirement.
While many of their parents retired with pensions, the boomers are more self-reliant retirement savers. As a result, they’re more likely than previous generations to have underfunded retirements. To help them catch up, the government lets investors over 50 make larger annual IRA contributions than their Gen X counterparts.