As Baby Boomers Start Turning 65, Optimistic Outlook for the Future says AARP

Even after surviving a brutal economic recession, Baby Boomers remain optimistic about their future and pleased with their life choices according to a new AARP survey on the attitudes, feelings and outlooks of Americans born in 1946 at the beginning of the Baby Boom Generation.

The “Boom” begins on January 1st when approximately 7,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 each day and many plan on continuing working for the foreseeable future.

While just more than half (54%) of leading-edge Boomers are retired, more than one-in-three (34%) are still in the workforce. Of these Boomers who are currently employed or looking for work, 35% returned to the workforce after having retired from a previous career. Almost three-in-ten (29%) of these working Boomers expect to retire at age 70 or later, and only 55% plan to cut back on their work hours in the next few years. Four-in-ten (40%) say they “plan to work until [they] drop.”

“Baby Boomers will be a fixture in the workplace for years to come,” said AARP executive vice president Steve Cone. “Some are staying on the job to shore up their nest eggs; others just can’t imagine life without work. Either way, Boomers are changing the math on what ‘retirement age’ is.”

In the near term, many of the respondents said they feel uncertain (51%) and anxious (43%) about the next five years, the overwhelming majority feel hopeful (87%) and confident (84%) over the long term.  Boomers feel that the next five years will be fulfilling (84%) and exciting (70%). Only 25% think the coming years will be boring.

The survey of 801 people turning 65 next year was conducted by Woelfel Research Inc for the AARP. The results could have significance for companies facing an aging workforce and for real estate markets as the vast majority said they plan to stay where they are and grow old in their homes.

This early cohort of the Boomer generation likely will also dispel the myth that most retirees want to move to retirement havens in warmer climates. Few leading edge Boomers have plans to relocate (2%), or to buy larger (3%) or second homes (4%).

“This is a generation that started identifying who they are with what they do, so it’s no surprise that they plan on staying active for as long as they can,” added Cone. “The ‘tune in, turn on, drop out’ crowd never got around to that last part.”

To view a copy of the report, see here.

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