Nonprofit Resource Connection Newsletter
Second Quarter 2010
Baby Boomers and Retirement
Myrna Meadows, Nonprofit Resource Specialist, International Falls
Considering the impact baby boomers have had as they passed through each age, it should be no surprise that their retirement will also affect the entire culture and every community. From protesting to parenting the sheer numbers of this population have changed policies, created products, required more highways and schools and now will retire in new and different ways.
Nation-wide, there are more than 77 million baby boomers according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 1950 there were 230,000 Minnesotans considered baby boomers which was 8.2% of the population. By 1970, we were 1.5 million strong and nearly 37% of the population. In 2000, the numbers were the same but amounted to only 28.7 % of the population because of overall population growth. (State Demographer).
The North Dakota State Data Center projects an increase of 59% in social security-eligible persons between 2008 and 2020.
Research suggests that the baby boomers who will make up this "age wave" may differ from previous generations in more ways than numbers. According to a brochure produced by the Carver County (Minnesota) Office of Aging, these include:
* Increased quality of life/health
* Increased level of education
* More affluent
* More traveled (out of country)
* Increased professional level
* Larger number of working women
* Larger number of women drivers
* Two income families
* Fewer children
* Children will be more geographically dispersed
* Increased rates of divorce
* Marriages later in life
* More plan to continue working
* More women have handled own finances
* Fewer people with pensions
* More communal living experiences
* More formal exercise experiences
* Less disability
* Psychologically and emotionally aware
* Actively involved and advocate for own health care needs
* Many more do-it-yourselfers
* Increased number of people interested in volunteering
* Fewer smokers
* Technology savvy
In terms of nonprofit organizations, retirement of boomers could require you to offer more, less or different services. It could also offer you a new pool of highly skilled volunteers with different expectations.
Your community could shrink or grow depending on its appeal to this age group. Segments of the economy (for instance farming and other family businesses) will be altered as elders leave and youngers choose other careers. In housing, this age group may well have a different preference than now exists for seniors.