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Thursday, March 1, 2012

After retirement, I plan to… work

Observation:   Last week, a couple of impressive numbers popped off the page when I glanced at a USA Today Snapshots box:   After they retire, 9% of surveyed workers plan to work full-time, and 44% said they plan to work part-time.

Implications:  We knew that the recent recession wreaked havoc on peoples’ retirement plans.  But these numbers illustrate how people have decided to cope.  And this might not just be the result of the hit people took to their retirement fund (or the thought that their home might not represent the nest egg it once was)… it could simply be a reflection of longer life expectancies.  After all, fifty years ago, life expectancy was much shorter; a retirement fund, therefore, did not have to last as long.  Today, with people typically living into their 80s, 90s, and beyond… that retirement account has to last much longer than a few years.  A little supplemental income might be important!

This trend impacts a lot of different companies in a lot of different ways.  People with jobs continue to spend on workplace apparel, invest in their commute (whether that be buying cars, automotive service or mass transit), and work-related tools (ranging from trade items to laptops and smartphones).  And earning a little extra money might leave these folks feeling as if they deserve a little more of a reward from time to time, whether that’s a night on the town, or more frequent vacations.

Are you paying attention to today’s retiree’s (aka “New Age Seniors”)?  They’re not living your grandparent’s retirement.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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