Older Americans Change Financial Course Fearing Retirement Future

Baby Boomers are less confident that they will experience a retirement as secure as that of their parents, and many have made financial decisions in light of the economic climate that cannot be reversed. The Great Recession of 2007, along with a number of factors stemming from economic frailties have caused boomers to fear even their own children’s futures. With social security benefits dwindling and inflation on the rise, it is no wonder why boomers feel insecure, says AARP.

Job loss has been a major problem for many Americans given the economic recession, and for boomers aged 50 to 64, holding onto jobs has proven more difficult than actually working their jobs, according to a recent report by the AARP Public Policy Institute. Of the 5,027 interviewed boomers ages 50 to 64, nearly 47% have claimed job loss as their main reason for not working, whereas 19% cited an “inability to find work.”

One-fourth (roughly 26%) of the subjects attributed their unemployment to sickness, disability or medical treatment. One belief held true in all interviewees’ comments, that a “bad economy” was to blame for workers’ unemployment.

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What’s more, however, the recession has driven many baby boomers to make financial decisions they may not have made given a better economic environment. Of those surveyed, 11% reported having tapped home equity as a way to make ends meet, while nearly a third say they received financial help from family or friends and more than half, or 57%, withdrew from a savings account. The most often action taken to help improve their financial situation was to cut back on expenses. 

Still, the lack of job opportunity for older Americans is the biggest hurdle, AARP reports. In a tech-driven world that is rapidly finding new ways to alter businesses, training is needed to keep up with the constant flow of technology. Insufficient training has become a key factor in unemployment, where many workers experience layoffs and replacement because they lack the required skills for their professions.

Boomers have become victims of age discrimination when trying to find re-employment, mainly because businesses are more likely to hire younger workers, ones more apt to learn and retain new skills at a quicker pace than older workers. The problem lies in the idea that many boomer-employed businesses do not offer training programs to further the generation’s skills, so naturally, boomers find themselves out of work.

View the report.

Written by Jason Oliva

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