By Warren J. Rutherford
Almost all members of the baby-boomer generation—i.e. those born between 1946 and 1964—are now over 50 years old. Many are thinking about how their life will change after a long career in business. This is especially true for those who have left or lost their previous gainful, productive employment during the recent economic downturn. They may feel out of sync with the changing job market, but need to work again before they can afford to retire.
Fortunately, looking at today’s labour market statistics, there is reason for optimism. Baby boomers who have been laid off and feel like they are losing focus after a period of unemployment and many attempts at getting another job are far from irrelevant to the new economy. The same is true of other baby boomers who are still employed and enjoy the fruits of their labour, but are looking over their shoulders with the worry they could become irrelevant before their time.
On the contrary, baby boomers’ talents, values, behaviour and experience in managing a variety of business situations are all increasingly in demand—just not necessarily in the same areas they may be used to. They can instead excel in franchising.
You are relevant
It is fair to say many baby boomers today feel uncertain, insignificant and disconnected to their work. Their parents retired at 65 years old, so they thought in turn they would retire at a similar age, roughly between the years 2011 and 2026.
Why should they retire, however, when they still have the ability to contribute, serve and share? Why should they simply accept what they have been told in the past?
Their parents’ logic regarding retirement does not need to apply to them anyway. Just because someone turns 65, that does not mean their brain and body stop functioning well. Many 68-year-olds, for example, are excited about continuing to work for quite some time yet.
Also, statistics suggest if too many baby boomers were to retire today, there would not be enough workers to serve many parts of the economy. Due to such demographic employment trends, the percentage of the labour force that is 55 years or older is instead expected to continue to increase between 2012 and 2020.