Boomers, Markets & Money

A Down-to-Earth Discussion of Financial and Lifestyle Information for Baby Boomers


Summary of “Boomers and the Great Recession: Struggling to Recover”

AARP also recommends that older workers keep up-to-date with the latest job skills.

AARP recommends that unemployed workers receive government help with job training. (Click to Enlarge)

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.
  •  Inflation
  • 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.”


SURVEY METHODOLOGY  (Click to Enlarge)


“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.

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Articles for Baby Boomers Around the Web

Here are a few articles that I found interesting and helpful.

1. Good news for Boomers—we are becoming more content. The New York Times Article “Why Am I Getting Mellower?” Psychology professor Jerrold Lee Shapiro said that as we age we tend to become more accepting of ourselves and more empathetic to others. The New York Times Jan. 17, 2013

2. Baby Boomers are looking for ways to adjust to retirement by working with retirement coaches and senior life advisors. This article talks about the emotions that people experience as they navigate through this stage. One person interviewed earned his doctorate at the age of 60 and is enjoying teaching college at 63. “Baby Boomers Reinvent Retirement to Fit Their Needs” January 15, 2013

3. Forbes blog post “7 Steps for Baby Boomers to Take NOW” lists changes that this generation should be making in their financial behavior. Erik Carter suggests that parents put their own needs first. An American Financial survey found that 93% of parents provide financial support to their adult children. He also suggests inputting an early retirement date in your retirement calculator in case you are forced to retire earlier than you planned. Jan. 9, 2013

4. I thought this article did a great job collecting articles about retirement, financial preparedness, and the elderly. Unfortunately, some of the numbers are quite sobering in “35 Shocking Statistics That Should Scare Any Baby Boomer?” For example, number 35 is “A study conducted by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research found that American workers are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire comfortably.” ETF Daily News January 18, 2013

5. A Blast From The Past: “Jane Pauley to Host Baby Boomer TV Specials”. I remember watching Jane Pauley when I was stuck in the house when my oldest was a newborn. She’s teaming up with AARP to produce two programs on the Baby Boom generation –a documentary and a public forum. Hollywood Reporter by Eric Jan. 17, 2013