Elaine Silvestrini, Annuity.org Writer
  • Written By
    Elaine Silvestrini

    Elaine Silvestrini

    Financial Writer

    Elaine Silvestrini is an advocate for financial literacy who worked for more than 25 years in journalism before joining Annuity.org as a financial writer.

    Read More
  • Edited By
    Kim Borwick
    Kim Borwick, Financial Editor for Annuity.org

    Kim Borwick

    Financial Editor

    Kim Borwick is a writer and editor who studies financial literacy and retirement annuities. She has extensive experience with editing educational content and financial topics for Annuity.org.

    Read More
  • Published: February 24, 2020
  • 4 min read time
  • This page features 11 Cited Research Articles
Fact Checked
Fact Checked

Annuity.org content is meticulously reviewed to ensure it meets our high standards for readability, accuracy, fairness and transparency.

Annuity.org articles are spellchecked, grammatically correct and typo-free. Annuity.org editors may revise content for clarity, logic, flow and meaning. Annuity.org only uses credible sources of information.

This includes reputable industry sources, select financial publications, credible nonprofits, official government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts.

Cite Us
How to Cite Annuity.org's Article

APA Silvestrini, E. (2022, November 21). Aging Baby Boomers Delay Retirement. Annuity.org. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://www.annuity.org/2020/02/24/aging-baby-boomers-delay-retirement/

MLA Silvestrini, Elaine. "Aging Baby Boomers Delay Retirement." Annuity.org, 21 Nov 2022, https://www.annuity.org/2020/02/24/aging-baby-boomers-delay-retirement/.

Chicago Silvestrini, Elaine. "Aging Baby Boomers Delay Retirement." Annuity.org. Last modified November 21, 2022. https://www.annuity.org/2020/02/24/aging-baby-boomers-delay-retirement/.

Why Trust Annuity.org
Why You Can Trust Annuity.org
Annuity.org has provided reliable, accurate financial information to consumers since 2013. We adhere to ethical journalism practices, including presenting honest, unbiased information that follows Associated Press style guidelines and reporting facts from reliable, attributed sources. Our objective is to deliver the most comprehensive explanation of annuities and financial literacy topics using plain, straightforward language.

Our Partnerships, Vision and Goals

We pride ourselves on partnering with professionals like those from Senior Market Sales (SMS) — a market leader with over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry — who offer personalized retirement solutions for consumers across the country. Our relationships with partners including SMS and Insuractive, the company’s consumer-facing branch, allow us to facilitate the sale of annuities and other retirement-oriented financial products to consumers who are looking to purchase safe and reliable solutions to fill gaps in their retirement income. We are compensated when we produce legitimate inquiries, and that compensation helps make Annuity.org an even stronger resource for our audience. We may also, at times, sell lead data to partners in our network in order to best connect consumers to the information they request. Readers are in no way obligated to use our partners’ services to access the free resources on Annuity.org.

Annuity.org carefully selects partners who share a common goal of educating consumers and helping them select the most appropriate product for their unique financial and lifestyle goals. Our network of advisors will never recommend products that are not right for the consumer, nor will Annuity.org. Additionally, Annuity.org operates independently of its partners and has complete editorial control over the information we publish.

Our vision is to provide users with the highest quality information possible about their financial options and empower them to make informed decisions based on their unique needs.

A lot of baby boomers either don’t want to or can’t afford to retire.

Although an average of 5,900 baby boomers are leaving the U.S. workforce every day, the generation is still working longer than previous generations, according to a report from the Pew Research Center.

The report defines boomers as U.S. adults born between 1946 and 1964, meaning the youngest in the generation are turning 56, and the oldest are 74 this year.

And the oldest among the generation are staying in the labor force at the highest annual rate for people their age in more than 50 years.

The report says that 29 percent of Americans aged 65 to 72 were working or looking for work in 2018. The previous two generations, at the same age, were in the labor force at the rate of 21 percent and 19 percent respectively.

Part of the explanation is that a higher rate of women in the boomer generation participates in the labor force than those of previous generations. The report says 25 percent of boomer women and 34 percent of boomer men between 65 and 72 were in the labor force in 2018.

Men of that age have not participated in the labor force at that rate since the early 1970s, according to the report.

Reasons for Longer Work Participation

The Pew Report doesn’t delve into the reasons older workers are staying in the workforce longer. But a researcher at the U.S. Department of Labor wrote in 2016 that there were several reasons that people aged 55 and older were continuing to work.

According to a blog post by Teri Morisi, by 2024, nearly 25 percent of workers are projected to be 55 or older. In 1994, that percentage was 11.9. The reasons are both the aging of the large baby boomer generation and increasing labor force participation among boomers.

The reasons boomers keep working, Morisi wrote:

  • They’re living longer and healthier lives.
  • Fewer jobs offer pensions, while more offer voluntary retirement savings plans, leaving retirees more uncertain about their finances.
  • The Social Security retirement age was raised in 1983.
  • Social Security was changed in 2000 to allow workers at full retirement age to continue working while collecting Social Security without penalty.
  • Fewer businesses are offering retiree health insurance, forcing some employees to remain in the workforce until they reach age 65 and are eligible for Medicare.

Another reason may be a fear of outliving retirement savings. With longer lifespans, many worry their retirement savings may not last long enough. This risk, however, can be mitigated with the purchase of a life annuity, which guarantees a lifetime stream of income, no matter how long the retiree lives.

All of this aligns with 2018 data from Gallup that show average Americans planning to retire at age 66. During the 1990s, Americans planned to retire at the age of 60.

Interestingly, the percentage of people who want to retire before 60 has dropped from in the last 25 years from 27 percent to 12 percent.

Thinking About Buying an Annuity?
A financial expert can talk to you about your specific financial needs and determine whether an annuity is right for you.

What Effect Will Boomer Retirements Have on Those Left Behind?

How the aging workforce and the inevitable cascade of retirees will affect the U.S. labor market is the subject of debate and study.

On the one hand, surveys have shown that companies are bracing for the wave of retirements and figuring out how to replace the experience and skills boomers will take with them when they leave.

On the other hand, Bloomberg columnist Conor Sen says the boomers’ workforce participation should begin to shrink soon. But he wrote in a column last year that the timing may actually be fortuitous because it could mitigate the effects of any potential recession.

This, Sen declared, is the opposite effect the generation had during the great recession.

“Baby boomers acted as a drag on the economy in the aftermath of the great recession because it occurred during the peak saving years of the generation. Saving rates tend to be higher for older workers because older workers have higher incomes than younger workers do, they’re more focused on saving for their approaching retirements than younger workers, and because the bulk of their spending on raising families may be behind them.”

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: November 21, 2022

11 Cited Research Articles

Annuity.org writers adhere to strict sourcing guidelines and use only credible sources of information, including authoritative financial publications, academic organizations, peer-reviewed journals, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts. You can read more about our commitment to accuracy, fairness and transparency in our editorial guidelines.

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019, May 29). Labor force participation rate for workers age 75 and older projected to be over 10 percent by 2026. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/labor-force-participation-rate-for-workers-age-75-and-older-projected-to-be-over-10-percent-by-2026.htm
  2. Fry, R. (2019, July 24). Baby Boomers are staying in the labor force at rates not seen in generations for people their age. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/24/baby-boomers-us-labor-force/
  3. Fry, R. (2018, April 11). Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/11/millennials-largest-generation-us-labor-force/
  4. Fry, R. et al. (2018, March 16). How Millennials today compare with their grandparents 50 years ago. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/16/how-millennials-compare-with-their-grandparents/
  5. Mathur, A. (2019, February 8). The Baby Boomers Are Doing Just That. Booming. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/aparnamathur/2019/02/08/the-baby-boomers-are-doing-just-that-booming/#31de597720c4
  6. Morisi, T. (2016, November 18). Why More People Ages 55+ are Working. Retrieved from https://blog.dol.gov/2016/11/18/why-more-people-ages-55-are-working
  7. Munnell, A.H. (2015, March). The Average Retirement Age – An Update. Retrieved from http://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/IB_15-4.pdf
  8. Newport, F. (2018, May 10). Snapshot: Average American Predicts Retirement Age of 66. Retrieved from https://news.gallup.com/poll/234302/snapshot-americans-project-average-retirement-age.aspx
  9. Sen, C. (2019, January 4). Boomer Retirements Will Blunt the Next Recession. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-01-04/baby-boomers-may-leave-workforce-just-as-jobs-disappear
  10. Toosi, M & Torpey, E. (2017, May). Older workers: Labor force trends and career options. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2017/article/older-workers.htm
  11. Van Dam, A. (2019, March 1). Baby boomers upend the workforce one last time. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/03/01/baby-boomers-parting-gift-workforce-one-last-mess/