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January 2021

Boomers in the Workforce in 2021

OntheClock Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 2.18.08 PMIt will come as no surprise that the number of Boomers who retired in 2020 increased dramatically. In the third quarter of 2020, 3.2 million more Boomers retired than in the third quarter of 2019, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center. In Q3 2020, 28.6 million Boomers said they were now retired.

Behind the sobering statistic is, of course, pandemic-related job losses. Just as important, however, is the continuing ageism that exists in the American workplace. In some ways, the pandemic has provided convenient cover for companies to practice age discrimination. It is completely acceptable and even desirable for companies to eliminate Boomers first when reducing their workforces. It's almost always a financial decision, but as I've written about many times in the past, this is largely a short-sighted strategy. Boomers are typically the most experienced and often the most loyal workers. If they have been at a company for several years, Boomers also represent an invaluable knowledge base. By eliminating Boomers, companies are discarding a brain trust that is not easily replicated. Replacing such talent and depth with less experienced, less expensive workers is downright senseless.

Still, it happens with alarming frequency. The problem is compounded by corporate hiring practices which, again, are discriminatory on the basis of age.

So what's a Boomer who wants to work in 2021 supposed to do? Many Boomers will be forced into full-time positions of lesser responsibility that pay far below what their earning history should command. Others will have to restart their career in another field, facing entry level work. Some Boomers will find part-time work more attractive, even if it's menial. A growing percentage of Boomers will go into contract work or start their own businesses. Sadly, some Boomers will simply give up and involuntarily retire from the workforce.

Thankfully, there are organizations and resources filling an important need in assisting Boomers who want to continue working. One of them is AARP, which offers a number of resources, including the following:

  • The Work Reimagined website, a central point of information for older workers
  • The Job Loss site, with information for those who have suffered job or income loss due to the pandemic
  • The AARP Job Board, listing jobs from employers pledged to hire older workers

Do an internet search to find additional resources for older workers.

On the positive side, America's population is gradually aging, so employers who need workers may find they have no choice but to consider Boomers for open positions. Hopefully, that means we'll see more Boomers in the workforce in 2021.

Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

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Pandemic-Induced Thinking About Aging in Place

OnYourOwn Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 1.15.38 PMAdjusting to the "new normal" of life during a pandemic can make you think about aging in place. Boomers who have been self-isolating or at least largely staying put while COVID-19 rages around them have already experienced what aging in place may feel like. The impact of the pandemic on assisted living and nursing home staff and residents only reinforces the desire of many Boomers to remain in their homes for as long as possible.

Research conducted by AARP suggests that an overwhelming percentage of aging seniors -- more than 90 percent -- want to stay in their current homes as they age. However, there are all kinds of things related to aging in place that should be taken into consideration. Aging in place can have both a positive and negative side when it comes to home safety, for example. On the positive side, wise Boomers are making a concerted effort to modify their existing homes so they are safer, more secure habitats. On the negative side, some Boomers adamantly refuse to make needed modifications if they do not want leave their homes, creating a situation that could easily result in tripping, falling, or severe personal injury.

Another area for serious consideration is caregiving. Aging in place means living independently, but the older you get, the more likely it is that you will need some form of help. According to the National Aging in Place Council, half of all men 65 and older and 60 percent of women will need a high level of personal care at some point. The Council indicates that three-quarters of seniors with long-term care needs live at home, and nearly two-thirds of them receive all of their help from family members and friends. If you need compensated care, more than half of the cost for that care is typically paid out-of-pocket -- unless you have long term care insurance.

While long term care insurance can be expensive, it may be a wise investment that ensures peace of mind for the future by covering assisted living care and services. Long term care insurance policies also may have additional benefits. Age Assured is one innovative example. According to Assured Allies, the provider, Age Assured is "a free, voluntary program for insurance policyholders who want help continuing to live at home while they age, made available through their long term care insurance provider. The program pairs people who want support with an 'Ally'- an experienced aging professional - who learns about their specific needs and coordinates a personalized aging plan. The program includes access to ongoing support from a trained Ally, services at home and support for caregivers. Aging specialists are able to pinpoint what’s needed, starting with the simplest and easiest fixes." 

An increasing number of products and services are rapidly coming to market as America's population grows older. If you're a Boomer who plans on aging in place, be sure to do some research and find out what's available to you. A good place to start is knowing what it costs to grow older. Below is a link to a PDF of a free comprehensive handbook, The Costs of Aging, from the National Aging in Place Council.

Download CostofAgingHandbook is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

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How to Navigate Post-Career "Retirement"

BooksI've long been a fan of the concept of "rewirement" instead of retirement. If 2020 taught Boomers nothing else, it is that the word "retirement" needs to be retired and thrown into the lexicon dustbin. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. The pandemic required many of us to reconsider our work lives. Our jobs may have ended prematurely, or the financial hit of the pandemic was severe enough to cause us to need to work beyond traditional retirement.
  2. Pandemic or not, many of us want to continue to work beyond traditional retirement because it gives us additional financial security and/or purpose in life.

Still, younger Boomers approaching that magical retirement age of 65 may be pondering exactly how they can navigate their post-career retirement years -- if indeed they retire at all. I've read several books that address this very subject. One of the more engaging ones is the new book, Retirement Heaven or Hell: 9 Principles for Designing Your Ideal Post-Career Lifestyle by Mike Drak.

When Mike involuntarily left a career after more than three decades in financial services, he entered what he calls "Retirement Hell." Through trial and error, he found his path to "Retirement Heaven" and decided to write a book about his experience to help others navigate this challenging transition. Typical of the wry wit in the book is Mike's pronouncement, "Think of me as a retirement crash test dummy." Mike shares some excellent advice, offering nine specific principles designed to help readers enjoy "an exceptional retirement." He discusses each principle in detail and lays out an action plan for how to move forward into new territory.

Interspersed throughout the book are Mike's salient observations about his own journey. He also includes numerous snippets concerning how the pandemic shaped his thinking and the impact it inevitably has on retirement planning. These elements make the book both personal and timely. In the end, Mike encourages us to strive to become "Retirement Rebels." Mike suggests these folks "are the trailblazers who have regained the curiosity and wonder of a child, traveling the world to see and experience new places, entering marathons in different cities, learning to use new technology, volunteering, starting new businesses, and posting all about it on social media."

Retirement Heaven or Hell is a worthwhile read for any Boomers about to take their next step or those who have already entered their post-careers and need some guidance and encouragement. If you want to order the book from Amazon, I've included a direct link below. is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

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Stay Informed in the New Year

OntheHouse Screen Shot 2020-12-22 at 11.32.49 AMOne of the best things Boomers can do in 2021 is stay informed about aging and longevity. Our generation is living longer than previous generations and the implications are significant. Probably the two most important aspects of increased longevity for Boomers are our health and our finances. Our primary concerns are remaining healthy and being able to live comfortably (i.e., without serious financial worries) in our later years. Some of us are likely to live well into our 90s, so these are of vital importance.

One very valuable source of information is the Longevity Project, whose mission is:
"We foster research and public conversation to build awareness of the implications of longer life, and bring together leaders from business, government, and the social sector to plan for the transitions in healthcare, retirement planning, the future of work and more. Together with our lead content collaborator, the Stanford Center on Longevity and other leading universities, think tanks and media organizations, our goal is to support a new awareness of the longevity challenge and support change so that people around the world can live healthier, more secure and more fulfilled lives."

This past December, the Longevity Project, in collaboration with Stanford Center on Longevity, sponsored the "2020 Century Summit," a four-day virtual symposium (free of charge) featuring world-class speakers who discussed "the implications of the 100-year life." Numerous panel discussions provided rare insight into longevity. The four days featured the following broad areas:

  • Rethinking Longevity in the Age of Pandemics
  • Longevity & the New Map of Life
  • Funding the 100-Year Life
  • Longevity Next

I attended several of the sessions and found them to be fascinating. The speakers were outstanding and in many cases they shared visionary ideas about aging and society, both in the United States and worldwide. Whether you are concerned about aging in place, working in your later years, financial security or what the "longevity economy" will look like globally, you are bound to benefit from the information that was shared during the 2020 Century Summit. All of the sessions were recorded and are available here:

The Longevity Project is a leading example of the kind of information gathering and sharing that will help our generation make better decisions and be able to live more successfully in our later years. As the world's population grows older, more research organizations are focusing on aging. In addition, more products and services will increasingly become available to Boomers. Staying informed is one of the best weapons we have as we age. is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Read about 156 best and worst brands of the 50s and 60s!