Here is a summary of points in a 131-page report prepared by the AARP Public Policy Institute on Baby Boomers experiences during the Great Recession and soon after.
Study surveys found:
- 47% of Baby Boomers who were unemployed gave job loss as the reason for not working.
What the unemployed perceived as significant job search barriers:
- The struggling economy.
- One-third to one-half felt that age discrimination was a factor.
Feelings of the recently reemployed:
Fewer than 50% felt they were on target for their financial goals.
Reasons why they felt this way:
- Pay at the new job was lower and savings were depleted.
- Debt levels were too high.
- They were hired as temps.
How Boomers surveyed coped with financial setbacks
- Most commonly, they cut expenses.
- They withdrew money from savings accounts.
- Some postponed medical or dental care or stopped taking medications.
Researchers wrote “More than half of the Boomers surveyed stated that they were less confident of having enough money for a comfortable retirement than they had been before the recession started.”
Biggest worries for Baby Boomers:
- Cost of health care and long-term care.
- Unable to leave an adequate inheritance
- Unable to live in their own home.
- The surviving spouse might not be able to maintain their way of life.
A selection of the report’s public policy recommendations:
- Encourage older workers to take advantage of employer training programs. AARP advises employees who are close to retirement to continue to participate in training. They may be forced to stay in the workforce longer than planned or to re-enter the workforce after retirement.
- Offer financial assistance to cover training costs for unemployed workers. Government data on job skills needed and areas of demand needs to be timely, accurate and easy to obtain.
- Increase monitoring and enforcement of age-discrimination laws.
- Let older workers know about government and private programs that offer advice on entrepreneurship. Information should be available about the suitability of considering this as a primary or secondary source of income.
- “As traditional pensions decline, Social Security remains the only major stable retirement income source. It is critical that this program be protected.”
“Boomers and The Great Recession” By the Public Policy team at AARP Public Policy Institute. September 2012. You can find a ink to the PDF of the 131 page report in this article.
Related Posts on Boomers, Markets & Money