The world has a funny way of changing. Gone is the time of rotary phones, VHS, Betamax, the walkman, and bell-bottom jeans. Is retirement the next to the societal process set to fade into the existential process of time?
As time ticks on, more Americans are unable or unwilling to “retire” which by definition is the process of “withdrawal from one’s position or occupation or from active working life.” From mental health and physical perspective, it becomes more advantageous for older Americans to stay active and keep working to main their sanity and physical health. Thus, enters the process of a “transition lifestyle” or “semi-retired” status, which indicates a process to cease one’s primary job or occupation and transition to partial working status.
From a financial standpoint, these topics revolve around a troubling position that identifies a troubling trend of American’s being less financially prepared for retirement. According to a statement by the Government Accountability Office data in 2016, that half of Americans, 48% of 55 and older have no retirement savings, down from 50% in 2013.
A shift in perception and acceptance has lead to a Baby Boomer generation who has resigned themselves to believe that the path forward includes working in some form or fashion in a part-time or full-time capacity well into their 70’s because of this lack of retirement.
This has a serious impact on the function of the American work environment because of the transitional nature of job knowledge and skills. How can we replace the largest generation of American workers if they are not planning to retire? According to the 19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers by the Transamerica Center “69 percent either expect to or already are working past age 65 or do not plan to retire.” This will have a drastic impact on the make-up of the workforce well into the foreseeable future.
Which brings us to our point that the concept of retirement is slowing being obsolete and being replaced with a transitional lifestyle that allows “people of retirement age” the ability to rely less on their financial savings, find ways to supplement health care costs and stay physically active.