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Flexible Job Schedules for Boomers-and Employers

Oct 9, 2007
Baby Boomers, those Americans born between 1940 and 1960, make up about 50% of the US population. They represent a significant part of the American labor force. These men and women are not ready to stop working and they are set to change the definition of "retirement".

Q: What will happen when the Baby Boomer generation retires? Who can replace them?

A: This is a pertinent question because one out of every four workers will be reaching the age of retirement in the next ten years. Certain industries may take a hard hit when these valued employees retire. There is a risk of a huge knowledge gap as the highest leadership positions may soon be empty.

Luckily, studies have shown that many Baby Boomers do not want to quit working at age 65. A survey by The Associated Press found that while most Baby Boomers expect to "retire" at about age 63, more than two thirds expect to work after retiring. Forty-three percent will work because they want to, 27 percent will keep working to make ends meet, and 19 percent will work to have extra money.

This generation is healthy, well educated, and living longer. This longevity gives Baby Boomers the opportunity to continue pursuing their passions and working past retirement.
With this trend, you will not have to replace your "retiring" employees! But do plan on finding ways to accommodate their changing needs.

Q: What can I do to keep my employees who are nearing retirement age happy and working?

A: Baby Boomers are less interested in working long hours and are defined less by their careers. They are looking for alternative work schedules that provide them flexibility to adapt to their changing lifestyles.

As you have noticed, corporate America is slowly realizing the value of their Boomers. Companies are beginning to place an emphasis on retaining Boomers by creating a favorable work environment for them that includes all variations of flextime. Offering alternative work schedules like job-sharing and part-time work benefit your employees and you.

Q: How can I explain to my family the benefits of continuing to work part-time past retirement?

A: You are not alone! Most people reaching the age of retirement do plan on continuing to work. Whether this is for financial reasons or because they simply want to keep working for personal satisfaction, these workers prefer a flexible schedule that will allow them to gradually retire.

Baby Boomers are changing what it means to "retire". You and many others are on the path to reinventing retirement into a combination of part-time, flextime, telecommuting, and consulting work.

Just explain to your family that you are on the cutting edge!

Q: How do I benefit from allowing Baby Boomers to work flexible or part-time schedules past retirement?

A: Employers may enjoy financial perks by retaining experienced employees on a flexible, part-time basis. Some flextime employees may not need the same health benefits as full-timers and this allows employers to save some money.

Baby Boomers have a wealth of knowledge, skills, and work experience. If you are ready to move from a 9 to 5, 40 hour per week schedule for them, you could retain motivated, loyal employees. These workers will continue to contribute to the workforce as they enjoy working flextime that fits their lifestyle.
About the Author
Kathleen Wiant started Needlestack Jobs with her friend and co-worker Carol Clark. She believes the optimum balance is achieved when she is able to spend ample time enjoying and raising her children while still pursuing a professional career. Visit us!
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