Insider's View of Baby Boomer Retirement

Coincidence, I suppose. Today I had a long talk with my older brother about retirement. We’re both boomers, born in ’46 and ’48. I get off the phone and back to the computer, and there’s an email from BNET announcing this article:

Are Boomers Happy to Forego Retirement? | The View from Harvard Business.

And maybe it’s not coincidence at all, because baby boomer retirement is a real issue, with significant economic repercussions. Just do the Google search for "baby boomer retirement" and you’ll see how many times it comes up (about 345,000 results).

The BNET story quotes a Harvard Business blog post by Tammy Erickson, with what I think is the general truth on the issue:

Yes, people certainly want to work in different ways — with more flexibility and control. Most do not want to work as hard or as long as they are in their 50’s for another thirty years. But most want to work.

My brother’s almost 62 and retired at the beginning of the year, same month I turned 60. He’s a lawyer. He was a public defender, a tax lawyer, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur lawyer, and, for the last 15 or so years, an assistant district attorney specializing in white collar crime, especially Internet related crime. And — I don’t think he’ll mind my writing this — he isn’t liking the retirement thing. Last night he sat as a judge in traffic court. He’s already looking for some other things to do.

And I’m on the other side, not retired, working as much as ever, but doing things like this blog, things related to my long-term career, but things I like to do.

I’ve been pretty sure, all along, that I didn’t want to retire. And today I’m certain. Maybe in another 10 years … and you could check with Steve King, of Small Biz Labs, who seems to have more research on this than anybody else, but in that I think I’ve got a lot of company.


  • MartinZwilling says:

    This article bolsters what I have been preaching for some time – that boomers have a real place in startups. See my article titled "Engage Boomers in your Startup" for the specific roles I see as best fits.

    Marty Zwilling, Founder & CEO, Startup Professionals, Inc.

  • Rita says:

    I write a boomer consumer blog called The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide at

    I've read a lot about boomer retirement since I started my blog in January. While it's nice to decide if you want to work when you retire, a lot of people don't have a choice.

    The estimate of the number of boomers who are ill prepared for retirement has increased from 33 percent to nearly 50 percent since I started writing my blog.


  • Denise Clarke says:

    Hi Tim,

    Enjoyed your blog. I am 55 and have been retired for 7 years and I couldn't agree with you more. Retirement, no, re-invent yourself, YES!

    I don't know if I would have time to fit a JOB in now with my busy days.


  • Steve says:

    Tim: Thanks for the kind words. I'm talking on this topic tomorrow. For baby boomers working in retirement is about passions and making a contribution. They also want work flexibility and respect. Many would like your "retirement."


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