When baby boomers were in their peak earning years, most looked forward to “The Golden Years” a time when they were supposed to retire and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Alas, Americans are approaching retirement age in worse financial shape than the prior generation. Shockingly, more than 40% of US households aged 55 – 70 have insufficient resources to maintain their living standard, and that translates to 15 million households according to a Wall Street Journal Study. To make matters worse, 70% of this group has debt, up from 50% twenty years ago.
One of the major effects of this situation will be that boomers will remain in the workforce longer, beyond 70, to attempt to bridge the financial gap. One ramification is that the advancement opportunities of the generations beneath them will be limited, as will the development of a more diverse workforce. However you slice it, this is an emerging megatrend that will have a material impact on our economy and our society, aggravated of course by Washington’s failure to address Social Security, Medicare, and a host of other timebombs.