Tribal Knowledge Feature Articles

September 2008

PetroAlum Exclusive: Boomers Reinvent Retirement

Our current economic and stock market conditions forces a closer view of a 2005 survey sponsored by Merrill Lynch. In essence, the study focused on an emerging trend among retirees - cycling through periods of work and leisure. The study proposes that this new retirement model is unique among baby boomers.

Some of the survey findings capture not only changes attitudes towards work, but also the chronicles changes associated with women entering the workplace.

Survey highlights include:

  • "The new retirement "turning point." While 76% of boomers intend to keep working and earning in retirement, on average they expect to "retire" from their current job/career at around 64 and then launch into an entirely new job or career."
  • "Boomers reject a life of either full-time leisure or full-time work. When probed about their ideal work arrangement in retirement, the most common choice among boomers would be to repeatedly "cycle" between periods of work and leisure (42%), followed by part-time work (16%), start their own business (13%) and full-time work (6%). Only 17% hope to never work for pay again."
  • "It's not about the money. While 37% of the boomer generation indicate that continued earnings is a very important part of the reason they intend to keep working, 67% assert that continued mental stimulation and challenge is what will
    motivate them to stay in the game."
  • "The transformation of the "me" generation into the "we" generation. The "me" generation has grown up - now with deep concerns for the well-being of their children, their parents and their communities. Boomers are now 10 times more likely to "put others first" (43%) than "put themselves first" (4%)".
  • "Boomer women are better educated, more independent, are simultaneously juggling more work and family responsibilities and are more financially engaged than any generation in history. Married boomer women are more than six times more likely to share responsibility for savings and investments compared to their mothers' generation (33% now vs. 5% then)."
  • "Boomer women are dreaming of retiring to Mars while boomer men hope to retire to Venus. Boomer men are looking forward to working less, relaxing more, and spending more time with their spouse. While boomer women view the dual liberations of empty nesting and retirement as providing new opportunities for career development, community involvement and continued personal growth."

Part 2 - Transforming Financial Preparedness