I came across an interesting research report I want to share with all of you. According to Pew Research, just over half of all working adults ages 50 to 64 say they may delay their retirement – but here is the surprise: another 16% say they never expect to stop working.
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Pew calls these folks the Threshold Generation, meaning those who are perpetually on the threshold of exiting the workforce. Even those Thresholders who do plan to retire some day say they will keep working, on average, until they are age 66 — four years older than the age at which current retirees report that they stopped working. This is certainly contributing to the shifts in workforce demographics as the participation rate of those ages 65 and older has increased from 12.9% in 2000 to 16.8% in 2008.
What’s driving this commitment to continue working? The Pew Research survey finds it may not be how much you earn but how much you lost in the investment market meltdown that determines whether you are re-thinking your retirement plans, with those that have lost 40% or more of their portfolio being firmly in the Threshold Generation.
If you are the head of HR or Corporate Learning and members of the Threshold Generation are employed at your firm, here are some questions for you:
- Is your organization prepared to have an increasingly aging workforce?
- Do these Threshold Generation members have the skills their employers need to win in the marketplace? If not, are they committed to building new skills in areas such as social media literacy?
- How are these organizations preparing for managing a multiple generation workplace?