The Baby Boomer Redefines Retirement
Baby Boomers are healthier and better educated than their parents were at this age. And they're living longer, well into their 80s. That's a lot of time to sit back and take it easy. But Boomers aren't interested in relaxing.
A 2005 study by Harris Interactive for Merrill Lynch found that 76 percent of Baby Boomers intend to continue working and earning in retirement. However, not all want to work full-time -- 42 percent plan to cycle back and forth between periods of work and periods of leisure, while 35 percent who plan for regular full or part-time work. Only 17 percent expected to be done with working altogether once they retire. This is a generation that intends to stay active.
Aside from work, one way Boomers are staying active is through volunteering. The web site http://www.getinvolved.gov, sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, specifically appeals to Boomers who grew up in the age of John F. Kennedy, who famously called their generation to service.
And the appeal seems to be working. A 2005 study by researches at RTI International found that nearly one-third of all Baby Boomers serve as volunteers in one way or another. This involvement spreads across both genders. The study found that while women are 25 percent more likely to volunteer than men, Baby Boomer men were more likely to volunteer than men in any other age group.
This Baby Boomer Volunteering Boom is being felt in all areas of the non-profit world. Boomers have a lot of experience, and are spreading that experience around. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Boomers are more apt to volunteer with more than one organization than any other generation of volunteers. So not only are more Boomers volunteering, but they're involved with more organizations, and helping more people.
So as the oldest Baby Boomers cross over into their 60s, the "Me" Generation is turning into the "We" Generation.