Sunday, February 3, 2013

Too old to work, too young to retire

Often when we talk to hiring managers and recruiters at the NC State Jenkins MBA, we hear a lot of worries about whether the young talent pipeline will be large enough and good enough to replace the soon-to-retire baby boomers.  Two recent NYT and WSJ pieces suggest that this is a problem that is not going to materialize -- the boomers cannot afford to retire. 

The WSJ piece focuses on a Conference Board survey of 45 to 60 year olds, two thirds of whom say they plan to delay retirement.  The culprits? Depleted portfolios, layoffs and stagnant earnings.  With smaller nest eggs and near-zero returns on safe assets, it makes sense to delay leaving the labor force.  Uncertainty about the future of employer health plans and Social Security also may play a role. 

NYT focuses on problems laid off older workers face, with many of them retiring or going on disability because their job prospects are so poor.  Those who do take new jobs end up making much less than before. 

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