Click here for mentoring and coaching tips.Baby Boomer Retirement Tips

Baby Boomers are becoming aware that they are experiencing a different type of retirement than the previous generation.

Compared to other generations, these confident and independent Baby Boomers admit that:

+ They need more money than their parents' generation to live comfortably.

+ Their generation is more self-indulgent than their parents'.

+ They will be healthier and live longer.

Most Baby Boomers (the cohort of Americans born between 1946 and 1964) believe that they will still be working during their retirement years. The oldest, born in 1946, will reach 62 in 2008 as they begin retirement age over the next 20 years.

 

8 in 10 Plan to Work at Least Part-Time

Eight in ten say they plan to work at least part-time--and others envision starting their own business or working full-time at a new job or career--according to an AARP Segmentation Analysis: Baby Boomers Envision Their Retirement.

The fact is older boomers, those born between 1946 and 1955, had a median household net worth of just $146,050 in 2001, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by AARP. Half of this net worth was accounted for by savings accounts, mutual funds and other financial assets with the rest tied up in home equity.

Financial stress is the dominant theme of a Putnam Investments survey of 2,000 people who retired between 1998 and 2002. Some 70% said they wished they had saved more, and 59% regretted they didn't start investing earlier to meet their higher-than-anticipated expenses.

According to a survey by John Hancock Financial Services, the average 401(k) participant expects to retire at about 64 1/2 years old. That's up more than three years from a 2002 survey, and up nearly five years since 1995.

If these workers carry through with their plans, they would reverse a 50-year trend toward earlier retirement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men retired at an average age of 62 between 1995 and 2000, and women quit at 61 1/2. In 1950, the average retirement age was 67.

Governments and companies around the world are shifting retirement risk to individuals. The troubling news is that neither workers, retirees, nor the financial world are adequately prepared. Few Americans realize how long they can expect to live, or how much retirement will cost. Don't expect to rely on the government or your former employer as you plan for your retirement years. There will still be a safety net, but proceed as if you are on your own.

Today, many seniors have been forced back to work by financial need. The impact of the new global economy and the financial effects of the lengthy bear market on 401(k) plans have affected thoughts of retirement. A staggering half of households headed by 50-to-59-year-olds have $10,000 or less in their 401(k) accounts even as public and employer retirement benefits are being trimmed. With little net worth to fund retirement, there is now an exodus out of retirement to working. Most are healthy go-getters who would rather work than scrimp and save in an idle retirement. By 2015, estimates the National Council on the Aging, 20% of the U.S. work force will be over age 55, up from 13% in 2000.

This "phased retirement" of Baby Boomers will shape the American workplace and compensate for a severe talent gap due to a shrinking supply of new workforce entrants. Phased retirement will allow Baby Boomers to engage in work they enjoy while providing needed income.

Managing money well is important. But for many people, the most important investment they can make during their working years is in gathering the skills, education and contacts they need for the work they want to do in retirement. Start today asking yourself what kind of life you want to lead? What do you want to do?

Before retirement is the time to dream about what you would love doing--and--invest in that dream by being specific as to what, where and how to make your dream a reality.

If you are about to retire, now is the time to get smart by shaping your phased retirement and deciding how you want to live the rest of your life. 

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As Boomers seek the next great chapter in their lives, they often feel adrift. Many have lost their greatest fans: their parents. At work, they sense that they're being marginalized. Or they're bored. Unemployed job-searchers have become the generation's most active soul-searchers.

Near the end of their career, it's clear many boomers don't have a clue about what's next. 80 percent to 90 percent of workers who believed they would enjoy retirement find they feel unhappy and unfulfilled once retired. He prefers to live in Florida to play golf all winter long. She favors Maine. Neither know how to overcome the difficulties of making their previous separate lives mesh now that careers are over and retirement has begun.

Retirement is not an "on-off switch" where you weren't retired and then you are.

"Retirement is as major a transition as getting married or becoming a parent," says Phyllis Moen, a University of Minnesota sociology professor who has studied how couples prepare for the sunset years. "Like becoming a parent, retiring transforms the marital relationship, puts it out of kilter for a while. You have to renegotiate."

Figuring out how to use close to 25 years in this new phase of life takes some guidance--preferably working with a personal coach. This work should be done when people begin thinking of retirement, preferably 10 years before and no less than five. Answering the questions of where you want to live and how you want to use these bonus years to have a meaningful life without regrets.

If there is one thing we know about the Baby Boomer generation, its that their retirement will be very different from the generation before them. Living 25 years of leisure, watching TV and playing golf is bound to make them restless, rudderless and without a purpose.

Later-in-life career changers don't care about taking it easier and often work as hard or harder than they did in the jobs they left behind. A Merrill Lynch retirement survey of more than 3,000 Baby Boomers reported that 83% intend to keep working....and....56% of them hope to do so in a new profession.

If you are seeking a new life direction, like a career change or becoming a free agent, we should talk. Mid-life coaching conversations can help you clarify where you are and where you want to be---and how to get there. Our personal coaching plans normally cost $500 per month with a 3 month minimum and lower-cost limited personal coaching services are available for as low as $200 a month.

Coach John Agno knows that sometimes our thoughts aren't crystal clear and we can be diverted from our goals. As a personal coach, it is his job is to help people achieve greater awareness, purpose, competency and well-being, which often translates into greater compensation, job satisfaction and better use of personal skills and abilities.

Only you know what's important in achieving your vision of success during these 25 bonus years. However, we all seek shared outcomes to provide a foundation for where we want to be. Here is one client's definition of the foundation for his success:

"Have you ever watched, listened, and felt someone tuning a guitar or other string instrument? That is what it is like to have the good fortune of connecting with John Agno. He is a living tuning fork and you're that string instrument. Today, I have greater self awareness, am more in step with my calling, and better able to appreciate the journey, including the valleys, than ever before. Thanks, John for helping me get attuned with my life signature."


Call 734.426.2000 (US Eastern Time Zone) or email info@coachthee.com for a free 20-minute telephone consultation to discuss where you are heading.

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The decades-long trend toward early retirement among 50-something's may be over.

In 2000, about 69 percent of men ages 53 to 61 were working according to a University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study that surveys more than 22,000 Americans over the age of 50 every two years. "Job demands are a factor in early retirement," says David Weir, associate director of the study, "and these kinds of changes in job characteristics bode well for keeping older Americans working longer. The physical demands of their jobs may not push people out as much as in the recent past."

However, the corporate definition of "over the hill" is getting younger. Not too long ago, workers closing in on the traditional retirement age of 65 were considered to be past their primes. Now it's the 50-something Baby Boomers who are holding on tightly to their full-time jobs.

There has been a dramatic change, since the mid-1980s, in the labor force participation of older workers. In the 65-to-69 age group, about one-third of men and almost one-fourth of women were working in 2004. The percentage of men in that age group still working rose to 33 percent in 2004 from 27 percent in 1994; the percentage of women in that age group working rose to 23 percent from 18 percent. According to AARP, almost one in three workers will be 50 or older within five years.


The AARP's list of the "Best Employers for Workers Over 50" is published in September and rewards those firms that offer training, phased retirement or return-to-work after retiring programs. AARP's Deborah Russell says more than 200 companies have asked for registration papers for the 2004 contest; only 73 applied in 2003.

Coaching Tip


The Best Years of Their Lives

Retirement is increasingly regarded as a transition to another work life--a work life that is more in tune with who you are and what you enjoy doing. Before retirement is the time to dream about what you would love doing and invest in that dream by being specific as to what, where and how to make your dream a reality.

In 2000, 37% of men and 31% of women age 55 to 64 were employed full or part-time while receiving pension income, according to investment firm TAA-CREF. Those proportions are likely to go higher with 8 out of 10 baby boomer saying they plan to work in retirement according to an AARP study.

A 2003 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found almost seven in ten (68 percent) organizations say they employ older workers who have retired.

A survey by Allstate Financial of Northbrook, IL of 1,004 Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1961, found 82 percent believe that retirement will be more fun and rewarding than their parent's retirement. Others believe it will be more active (65%) and the best years of their lives (63%).

The population bubble caused by the baby boom keeps floating up: Proportionately, there are more people over the age of 50 than ever before. Most Baby Boomers (the cohort of Americans born between 1946 and 1964) believe that they will still be working during their retirement years. Eight in ten say they plan to work at least part-time--and others envision starting their own business or working full-time at a new job or career--according to an AARP Segmentation Analysis: Baby Boomers Envision Their Retirement.

This "phased retirement" of Baby Boomers will shape the American workplace and compensate for a severe talent gap due to a shrinking supply of new workforce entrants. Phased retirement will allow Baby Boomers to devote more free time to community service/volunteer activities and their grandparent role by living near at least one of their children.

A greater percentage of those over 55 are working today than a year ago. In part, because older workers are prized for their corporate experience, personal relationships and stability. "It's not at all surprising that we're seeing people who have come from the Old Economy set of values becoming more attractive again now," says Barry Honig, president of New Jersey-based executive search firm Honig International.

According to a survey by ExecuNet, an executive career services firm, 61% of senior managers believe age discrimination is a bigger problem than it was just one year ago---and a whopping 84% say it starts around age 50. If you are a Baby Boomer, looking forward to a phased retirement, suggest you check out these job seeking tips.



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