12 Reasons Why Baby Boomers Aren’t Retiring

Baby boomers often face criticism from younger generations, who sometimes wonder why older folks don’t just retire. However, when you consider their perspective, it becomes clear why many boomers choose to continue working into their golden years.

1: False Promises 

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Dedicated pensions began phasing out during the boomer generation’s prime work years, and some companies went out of business so they allegedly wouldn’t have to pay existing ones. The result? The boomer generation was led to believe they’d have a decent retirement, but many aren’t receiving the pensions they expected. 

2: Unpleasant Surprise 

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It’s not that boomers don’t want to retire, but many can’t afford to. Yes, younger generations are struggling to keep up with rising living costs. But many boomers are stuck in the same shoes, with homelessness even being an all too common issue for younger baby boomers.

3: Hard Knock Life 

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While some millennials think their elders have it made, the reality is anything but that for many boomers. Almost double the number of people 65 years and older were working in 2023 than 35 years ago. They’re also working about 15% more hours than in 1987.

4: Climbing Cost of Living 

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The baby boomer generation is expected to live longer than the past generation, and the cost of living has climbed steeply during their lives. Naturally, that leaves more people 65 years and older needing to work now than in the past.

5: Wait Your Turn 

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Younger generations appear to be impatient when urging boomers to throw in the towel. They won’t even be at full retirement age on the Social Security schedule until 2031. Until that year comes around, it’s not exactly fair to point the finger at boomers for still being in the workforce.

6: Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve 

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The career decisions one makes early on in life can significantly impact their bottom line later in life. The problem? Many of us don’t realize it until it’s too late. Even baby boomers receiving pensions might have one that’s so small it’s unfeasible to live off of without supplementary income.

7: Paying for Others

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Along the pension lines, some baby boomers are understandably upset that they spent much of their lives paying for the pensions of people older than them with having small to no pensions in return.

8: Get Over Yourself 

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While genuine hardships undoubtedly happened for baby boomers, personal responsibility also plays a role in why some boomers are still in the workforce when they would prefer retirement. Some boomers fell into chasing the good life one too many times and trying to keep up with the Joneses. They’re now paying for it in their older years.

9: Not Happening 

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Saving for retirement wasn’t as common of a topic during the heart of baby boomers’ careers as it is nowadays. They also didn’t have the ability to invest as easily, and access to online retirement calculators wasn’t yet a thing.

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Not all retirement-aged people are working because they have to; some are doing it because they love their jobs. Having a routine, connecting with colleagues, and finding purpose through one’s work are totally valid reasons why some baby boomers are choosing to remain in the workforce.

11: Staying Active

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Depending on the job, working at 65+ years old can keep one active. Statista estimates that Americans spend nearly three hours per day watching TV. Even a job as sedentary as working a cash register will burn more calories than binge-watching television on the couch.

12: Working for Two

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Property taxes, utilities, food expenses, and other living costs don’t suddenly stop if the partner of a baby boomer passes away. So, some baby boomers work longer than expected to cover their living expenses if this unfortunate circumstance arises.

Forced Into Retirement 

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In some situations, baby boomers unable to save for retirement from working low-wage jobs may have expected to work their entire lives. But if they become disabled they may have to stop early, forcing them into a retirement they never expected to have.

Inheritance Savior

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For some baby boomers, the only reason they could leave the workforce by traditional retirement age is because of an inheritance they received. Meanwhile, many watch their peers struggling to live off their social security checks.

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If current financial trends continue, middle-class Americans may find things they used to afford unattainable. These are the troubling things that will likely become more difficult to afford in the next five years.

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14 Things Americans Realize as They Get Older

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Some people fear aging, but at least one good thing often comes with it: The wisdom not to do things that sound like a good idea but aren’t. These are some of the valuable lessons many Americans have learned once they have several decades under their belts.

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