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.