What’s happening at your house since the Great Recession?

by midlifecrisisqueen on November 7, 2012

Is anyone else feeling extra anxious about what the future holds as we look towards retirement?

If so, you may be stunned to find out exactly how NOT alone you are by reading this recent AARP study: Boomers and the Great Recession: Struggling To Recover, or at least the Executive Summary on page 1.

They conclude that we boomers have had a rough ride over the past several years.  The recession hit everyone hard, but boomers harder because they have less time to recover from job loss, stock market losses, declining home values, etc.

In their study, they surveyed Americans aged 50 and older in October 2010 and followed up again in August 2011.  They included those who were in the labor force when the recession hit.

Job loss has been a big problem for older workers in recent years.  47% of respondents said they had lost their jobs, 26% because of “sickness, disability or medical treatments.”

One third to one half of boomers who had been looking for work recently said that age discrimination was a barrier they faced in finding work again, while some said age may have been a factor in why they lost their job in the first place.

Keeping our skill sets up-to-date is critical for older workers to remain competitive, and for many re-training is in order, with 4 out of 10 reporting engagement in re-training or some other educational or certification programs to refresh or enhance job skills.

Financial hardship was reported by most of those surveyed, with fewer than half of the reemployed feeling that they were “back on track” financially.  Before the recession and leading up to it, one half of boomers “experienced a time when they they had difficulty making ends meet.”  Afterwards, 70% reported similar difficulties.

And, in summary, four-fifths of boomers now expect to retire at a later age than previously planned, and five out of six doubt they will achieve a similar standard of living to that of their retired parents.

In other words, your future may look more grim since the Great Recession, but you are sure not alone in that perception.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon Greenthal November 8, 2012 at 10:12 am

It’s been a midlife shock for so many of us boomers. We’ve had to re-evaluate so many things in our lives because of bleak financial picture we face. Let’s hope things will improve over the next four years!

tom sightings November 9, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Hah! Well, I retired earlier than I expected . . . because, as they say, I couldn’t possibly work for my employer after what they said to me, which was: “You’re fired!” Nevertheless, I read recently that the Great Recession has been harder on the 20-something cohort than on Baby Boomers, because they’re saddled with a lot of school debt at the same time that good jobs are few and far between. I dunno, seems to me that few people have been able to avoid the hard economic times, and that a lot of people are hurting these days.

midlifecrisisqueen November 10, 2012 at 9:00 am

Yes, it is surely a case of us all being in this together. Sure hope that creates some cooperation now instead of hatefulness…Compassion unities! – LLC

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