business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post this morning has a story about how “more people older than 55 are employed than ever before, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics” - this despite the fact that the Great Recession has raised the overall unemployment and under-employment level in this country.

A major factor in the decision is the simple fact that economic factors - the diminishment of 401(k) plans, the rising cost of goods and services - have conspired to create a level of fear in this generation that its members do not have the means “to support their retirement needs.”

According to the story, “An August survey by the AARP Public Policy Institute of people older than 50 showed that 57 percent reported that they were less confident than before the recession that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years. Similarly, 61 percent of the respondents said that their savings had fallen since the recession ... The number of people older than 55 who are working has actually risen by 3.1 million, or 12 percent, since the beginning of the recession, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The phenomenon extends even to people 75 years and older; there are more of them working today than before the recession, too.

“By contrast, the number of people between the ages of 25 and 54 who are working has shrunk by 6.5 million, for a drop of 6.5 percent.”
KC's View:
This shift is germane to marketers who might be employing such people, as well as those selling to such people - working people probably have somewhat different needs from those who are retired.

I get the whole economic insecurity thing. But I’m more interested in the part of the Post story noting that “the statistics show as well that a growing proportion of older people are interested in work.” And not just for economic reasons; there seems to be a sense that the notion of retirement is evolving, and while older people may not want to stay in the same job into their seventies and eighties, they want to be doing some job. For the money, but also for the stimulation.

I know I feel that way. I may want to do this somewhere warmer, and I suppose at some point in the distant future I might not want to do this every day, but I think that in one form or another I’m going to be doing this until I drop...or my fingers fall off. (Assuming, of course, that anyone wants to read it.)

There is, by the way, one other thing that upsets/annoys me about this Post story - the idea that it seems to equate “older workers” with people over the age of 55.

Give me a break.