The trend is changing…and it’s time for Corporate America to do more.
A century ago, when life expectancy was mid-40s, most people worked till the end. As lifespans increased over the next 50+ years to the early 60s, retirement advocates encouraged people to “retire from work”, collect Social Security if possible and enjoy the few remaining “golden years” in leisure. Over the next 50+ years, and lifespans increased another 20 years, retirement advocates added those years into the “retirement stage of life”.
Age Brilliantly followers take a different perspective. We view the entire 60-80+ years of adulthood as time you can spend living an integrated, fulfilling life as long as possible. You choose how much time throughout those years goes to passion, purpose, relationships, career, travel, etc. and have the ability to pivot from the initial plan to others when you want. You do what makes sense for you: you can “retire from work” when you’re an early adult (e.g., FIRE – Financial Independence, Retire Early), during the middle-age or later years (when you’ve accumulated enough to support yourself, or even never: by integrating the life essentials throughout the journey, with time used for GROWTHH – Goal Re-Orientation with Time for Health and Happiness, and pivoting to the next part of the adventure.
The Federal Reserve just released data showing that Older Workers accounted for All Net Employment Growth in the past 20 Years. Total U.S. employment grew by 11,767,000, or 8.5%, in the 20 years ending in December 2020.1 All that growth—11,879,000, or 101% of the total—was due to increased employment of people age 60 and older. Meanwhile, the net employment change over the past two decades of people ages 16-59 was -112,000 (-1% of the total change), despite this younger group being 3.8 times as large as the older group in December 2000 and still 2.4 times as large in December 2020.
In other words, while AARP and other organizations focus retirement messages to people 50 years of age and older, and are influencing attitudes of young and middle age adults, older workers are increasingly choosing to stay productive. The numbers are even more remarkable given the sizable amount of anecdotal reports that age-discrimination exists!
The Federal Reserve notes that “the basic trend of rising employment among older workers is likely to continue for some time for the following reasons:
- The older population is likely to continue growing faster than the younger group.
- The Employment-to-Population ratio of the 60 and older group is likely to increase further as the health and educational attainment of older people continues to improve and the demand for older workers persists.
Many older workers can contribute even more than younger workers in some areas. They have more experience with many of the soft-skills that are so critical to our knowledge-wisdom economy. As SharExers (sharing their experiences and expertise) they offer extra value as potential leaders, negotiators, collaborators and facilitators within our economic and political system, etc.
The implications are clear: Corporate America should increase its ability to hire older workers – especially when they can capture the extra value of SharExers. For more information about how to do so, contact us.