Create a free Diverse: Issues In Higher Education account to continue reading

Baby Boomers and the Retirement Dilemma

In 2006, the group of Americans known as baby boomers (1946-1964) turned 60 years old. Now almost a decade later, a number of them are either heading toward or have entered the retirement phase of their lives. The fact is that this is a transition that is not always as serene as many boomers envisioned.

Ameriprise Financial released a report earlier this month of its findings of those more than 1000 baby boomers ages 60 to 73 years old who have already made the transition into the post-career stage of their lives.

Among the more interesting findings of the report were:

· 69 percent of boomers polled stated that they had challenges adapting to the changes in their lives

· 32 percent had difficulty adapting to new and different routines

· 37 percent missed the day-to day social connections with colleagues

· 22 percent have trouble finding ways to give meaning and purpose to their days

On the other hand:

· 76 percent stated that they felt in control of their decision to retire

· 52 percent felt that they were more than emotionally prepared to retire

· 97 percent argued that they somewhat are very satisfied with their retirement lifestyle

From a psychological standpoint:

· 47 percent felt ready to retire but had mixed emotions

· 25 percent made the point that they felt stress after being retired for some time

· 21 percent were uncertain or realized that they were not ready to retire after the fact

Financially speaking:

· 22 percent said that they were spending more money in retirement than they had anticipated

· 24 percent came to the realization that they had underestimated tier income needs

· 28 percent reported that they were spending less money than they had anticipated

Among other survey findings:

· 17 percent felt financially ready to retire

· 16 percent no longer had a desire to work

· The same percentage, 16, were forced to retire to by their employer, were offered early retirement incentives or lost their full-time jobs

It was evident that many of the poll’s participants made it clear that it was important to be emotionally prepared for retirement before making the leap to do so. Moreover, Marcy Keckler, vice president of financial advice strategy at Ameriprise Financial, says that it is important for people to be in control of their retirement decisions, make sure that they secure solid and precise financial preparation, as well as be emotionally and socially prepared to embark upon such a potentially life-changing decision.

For those of us who have not even hit our 50th birthdays, the thought of retirement is a distant, if not long-term thought whose bridge we will attempt to cross when we arrive at it during the next decade(s). Whether we are baby boomers, Gen Xers or millennials, there is no doubt that a person should prepare well in advance of retirement and strategize before they actually execute plans to do so.

Such long-term, meticulous planning can be a very effective tool in avoiding the potential psychological, social, financial and other related pitfalls associated with effectively saying goodbye to the workplace.

A New Track: Fostering Diversity and Equity in Athletics
American sport has always served as a platform for resistance and has been measured and critiqued by how it responds in critical moments of racial and social crises.
Read More
A New Track: Fostering Diversity and Equity in Athletics