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Statistic Confirmed: 10,000 Boomers Really Do Retire Every Day

By Paul - August 7, 2014

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The Baby Boomer Generation is one of he largest in recent history, with about 76 million born between 1946 and 1964. This is a 19-year period, which means that retirement will likely occur in a 19-year period, too. And with a bit of simple dividing, figuring out 76 million Baby Boomers into 19 years, the result is just about 11,000 a day. Sounds pretty simple so far, but let’s take a closer look at the numbers recently written in the Washington Post to see just how they square up, and if this statistic really is true.

Exploring the Statistic of 10,000 Retirees

We briefly got into the number crunching above, with an average of just over 11,000 Baby Boomers retiring a day. Of course, this number can’t, and won’t, stick, as death will reduce this number down. Accounting for pre-retirement deaths, it’s pretty reasonable to say that an average of 10,000 Boomers will retire each day. Not all days will be the same, of course, as not all Baby Boomers were born in equally-spaced intervals and will retire like dominoes, but it’s a good general number with which to start working.

We can also account for differences in retirement age, such as some Boomers retiring at 62 instead of the average of 65 or 66. That gives us 80 million Boomers retiring over a 20-year period, which still yields — accounting for premature deaths — an average of roughly 10,000 a day.

This represents a huge amount of the workforce, as Baby Boomers will account for almost a third of retirees by next year. This is, of course, dependent on whether or not Boomers choose to retire, with a number of factors influencing their decisions:

  • Some Boomers will die prematurely before they reach the early retirement age of around 62.
  • Some Boomers will choose to keep working because they enjoy it, feeling that having the structure and steadiness of a daily job will continue to benefit themselves positively in terms of physical, mental and emotional health.
  • And some Boomers will be forced to keep working for financial reasons. Pew reports that 55% of Boomers feel that their incomes aren’t enough to prepare them for the cost of retirement, while just 43% of younger Americans think the same.
  • Do Baby Boomers Even Want to Retire En Masse?

    According to a recent Pew research study, 21% of Boomers say their current standard of living is lower than their parents’ was at the age they are now, which inspires a fairly bleak outlook on life. Compared to non-Boomer adults, only 14% feel the same, which means they both recognize they have more time to turn things around and possibly feel the extra time has a direct impact on how they feel right now. In terms of how Boomers feel a good standard of living will affect their children, just over a third (34%) feel their children’s standard of living will be even worse than what the Boomers are currently faced with. And when comparing this to non-Boomer adults, just 21% echo the same sentiment.

    The good news is Boomers feel that retirement and old age are more ways of thinking or feeling than concrete numbers. When a typical 65-year-old Boomer looks in the mirror, they don’t feel old or that they’ve hit old age. Instead, the typical Boomer feels that 72 is a more accurate number to mark the beginning of old age. Further, when it comes to reporting feeling younger than they actually are, nearly 50% of all Americans agree that they are chronologically older than they feel inside. And when it comes to Boomers, this number rises to 61%.

    The Effects and Consequences of the Boomers’ Retirement

    This is going to put a huge strain on the economy, and one that we’re already feeling now. The economy works best when there’s a general balance throughout, tempered by slow, steady, even growth. When there’s a huge spike in the system, such as tens of millions of Americans all retiring really close in time to each other, it creates an upset that takes drastic measures to amend.

    Some of the areas we’ll be seeing massive changes in will include:

  • Healthcare: Very generally speaking, Boomers/seniors tend to face more health issues than their younger counterparts, which means they’ll need to dip into their insurance, Medicare and/or Medicaid more than others.
  • Social Security: With a limited income, Boomers/seniors will be relying more on Social Security than other Americans.
  • Social Living: Teens and young adults use technology and social media heavily to stay in touch with each other, while Boomers/seniors are more reluctant to do so because they haven’t grown up with these devices at their fingertips. If not managed carefully, this can lead to isolation, which in and of itself necessitates the need for more social programs (and more spending).
  • Standard of Living: Many Boomers/seniors are concerned that the recent recession has impacted their savings for the future, leaving them without a cushy savings that’ll see them through the years. It’s not just a case of a small handful of Boomers/seniors not having enough money to maintain a decent standard of living once they retire, but a big enough portion that the federal government will feel stretched financially.
  • So are Boomers ready to retire just because they’re near the age of retirement? It seems to depend on who you ask, but one thing’s for sure: the equivalent of a small town will be retiring every day for the next 20 years.

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