Why Baby Boomers Believe Now is the Right Time to Leave the Workforce.
Updated: Feb 20, 2022
We have all heard about the "Great Resignation," the trend of people quitting their jobs to pursue better paying and more meaningful opportunities. But we're now seeing the "Great Retirement," a swarm of Baby Boomers leaving the workforce.
During the early days of the pandemic in 2020, nearly 30 million Baby Boomers left the job market and retired, according to the Pew Research Center. The study showed that COVID-19 heavily contributed to the rapid increase of boomers not only getting sick-but being forced out of the labor market.
A year later, a survey from Coventry showed that over 75% of respondents said they are planning to retire early. The effects of the pandemic has made older people think twice about what is really important to them. So, many of them have come to the realization that they'll be happier and live a more fulfilling life by leaving their jobs.
Just as younger people were laid off and loss their jobs, their mission was now to find more meaningful work. Some of them are interested in starting their own businesses. Baby Boomers also saw the pandemic chaos as an opportunity and want to use their remaining years to enjoy traveling, visiting more with family and enjoying quality time without all of the stress of a demanding job.
There are older Boomers who want to retire, but may not be able to. A big challenge is that the vast majority of Americans lack the money needed to sustain them in retirement. The Federal Reserve Bank says that around 44% of Americans are not on track and 25% don't have pensions or retirement savings.
Black Baby Boomers
About 83% of Black Seniors do not have the assets they need for retirement. In the past, many workers could rely on pensions-guaranteed sources of retirement income funded and managed by employers.
The retirement landscape has shifted in recent decades toward defined contribution plans, such as 401(k)'s, which require workers to choose from a number of investment options.
Research shows Black American are less likely to participate in these plans than White Americans.
In general, Black Americans also have lower incomes, which means less money to invest for retirement. Many of them also work part-time and for employers who do not offer any retirement plans. Amongst others, this in particular is a very serious concern.
The COVID-19 outbreak has changed so many things in our society. For the Baby Boomers, after many years in the working-world, they now have to contemplate their next move. Their choice is to either ride out this never-ending time period of uncertainly in their jobs or calling it a day and quitting.
The pandemic has made us all face our own mortality, which opens the door to thinking deeply about what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Since we all are getting older, it's important to pay attention to what's happening with the Baby Boomers. Especially, the importance of building a retirement plan in that you have enough to funds you cannot out live once you call it quits.