Boomers Helping Boomers

Good Morning Boomers! 

     There has been much talk lately about high unemployment among older workers.  They are not alone in feeling the negative effects of our current economic problems.  Every age group has been impacted and many of us are feeling it personally.  But just how bad is it for older workers?  

     The Urban Institute reports the 2009 unemployment rate for 55-64 year olds at 7.2% for men and 6.0% for women.  These numbers, while bad, are lower than for younger workers.  However, once laid off, workers aged 55-64 are finding it much harder to get back into the workforce and remain unemployed much longer than younger workers.

     We know that prolonged periods of unemployment severely impact the financial security of all workers.  But older workers have fewer earning years left to contribute to retirement accounts and less time for those contributions to grow.  So what does the economic downturn mean in terms of the future financial health of older workers?

      The Urban Institute reports that a job layoff for those in their 50’s and 60’s typically reduces total household wealth by 21% for couples and 33% for singles.  Prolonged unemployment for older workers today means substantially fewer dollars to support them during retirement.  When you add the loss of income and saving ability on top of the recent drop in retirement account balances, it is easy to see that this downturn is reducing the ability for many to create a “comfortable retirement”. 

     So just what does a “comfortable retirement” look like in terms of the savings required?  Georgia State University says that men need savings equal to 4 to 6.8 times and women need 4.5 to 7.5 times their annual salary of the earning years just before retirement.  Now that you have the calculation, how does your retirement nest egg look? 

     You may have noticed some cracks in it.  You are not alone.  Many Boomers still have a lot of years to work before reaching “retirement age” and need jobs from “Boomer Friendly Employers” who appreciate what Boomers bring to a company in terms of skills, experiences, and abilities and who are willing to pay salaries that reflect those benefits.  Boomers also need to actively support other Boomers when it is time to buy a product or service.  Many businesses are “Boomer Friendly” either through Boomer ownership and operation or through the goods or services they provide. 

     If Boomers stick together to “Buy Boomer Friendly” or to be “Boomer Friendly Employers”, we can reduce Boomer unemployment, increase the success of Boomer entrepreneurs, and help put Boomers back on track to achieve a comfortable retirement.  That’s what myboomer2boomer is all about – Boomers supporting other Boomers.  If you are “Boomer Friendly”, why not let other Boomers know it?  Contact me to discuss what myboomer2boomer can do to help. 

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