Many financial plans are built around the notion that individuals typically exit the workforce at a specific age. However, a Harris Poll survey of 1,500 American workers between the ages of 54 and 72 found that 72% of survey participants preferred semi-retirement. This suggests that numerous baby boomers are contemplating the benefits of a more gradual transition to retirement.
Survey findings also revealed that only about 50% of baby boomers have a specific age in mind with regard to retirement, while 23% have no specific age in mind and 11% have not yet given any thought to retirement at all. Approximately 9% claim they will never retire, stating that they essentially cannot afford to do so.
Naturally, the most obvious advantage of semi-retirement is a longer period of time to earn an active income. However, according to Rosemary Venne, an associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan, it can also be beneficial for one’s mental and emotional health, as working keeps both the body and mind active in most cases.
The Harris Poll also indicated that among the 72% who found semi-retirement appealing, 58% preferred a flexible schedule and part-time hours, even if it meant a reduction in benefits, such as health insurance. Interestingly, 56% also stated that they preferred consulting roles, where the primary duty is training up-and-coming workers. Less than half of survey participants said their employers have an adequate successor in place to take over their job responsibilities if they do choose to retire.
In a press statement, William Stoller, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, urged corporations to be more flexible with those on the cusp of retiring, stating that if baby boomers leave the workplace in mass numbers, they will also leave a major knowledge vacuum.
Our estate planning attorneys in Orange County have also learned that life expectancy may also play a role in people retiring later in life. For example, as of 2018, the average life expectancy for males and females in North America was 80 and 84 years old, respectively. This is a stark difference from the same statistic in 1965, which was 66 and 74, respectively. Baby boomers retiring later in life may consult an estate planning attorney to create a plan that reflects this diversion from the formally accepted “norm” with regard to retirement age.