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Are Baby Boomers Holding On As Long As Possible? Is Telework a Driver?

Forget the long-predicted retirement tsunami of Baby Boomers. They just might be here to stay.

I was reading a post by a colleague of mine and this quote from a podcast interview struck me:

At DHS...20-25% [of our workforce] are at retirement eligible age, or soon to be. But what we noticed in 2012 is that people are not retiring as quickly as they did in the past. Teleworking is a big reason for that. It allows employees the chance to work a more flexible schedule so they aren't retiring as early as before.

I've long been an advocate for telework as I believe it enables this kind of flexibility for a remote workforce - and I've argued that it's not just a recruitment tool for the next generation of government employees, but that it's a way to retain Boomers whose knowledge and experience are critical for workforce continuity.

That being said, I am wondering if the trend identified in this interview is more widespread.

Are you seeing Boomers staying on beyond a typical retirement age?

Is telework the driver or some other factor?


Related Resources

  • Be sure to check out these related blog posts on telework.
  • You might also appreciate the telework calculator we created to help you determine the potential cost savings achieved through teleworking.

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Tags: human resources


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Comment by Karen "Kari" Uhlman on January 16, 2013 at 6:11pm

I appreciate the link to the callahantics blogspot Rebecca. This is exactly why I am unable to retire. I would not have health insurance if I did. I am still socking away my money in the Deferred Compensation plan in hopes to use that money to purchase my health insurance once I retire. I don't have enough saved should I live to be 90.

Comment by Rebecca Callahan on January 16, 2013 at 4:58pm

Are Baby Boomers Retiring Only as Metaphors?


Comment by James V. Pritchert on January 16, 2013 at 7:43am

Telework is nice to have but I am raising my grandchildren and I have to continue work. Bypassing the commute twice a day is a blessing but I can manage.

Comment by Carolyn Moeger on January 15, 2013 at 1:06pm

My parents are both state employees, and have been at the same agency for 20+ years. My dad said he would retire when I started college. Senior year in my Undergrad, and he says he'll retire when I graduate. I think for many baby boomers kids are an issue. They have a drive to keep working to support their kids, even when their kids don't need supporting.

Comment by Janina Rey Echols Harrison on January 14, 2013 at 2:22pm

I don't have a mil, but, budget is such a thankless job and I have a business prospect to pursue so planning to pull the chute soon.  Telework would certainly improve my prospects of staying, but this was a second career, the mortgage is paid off, and I found out I make dynamite peanut brittle and candied jalapenos that people want to buy.  Off to a third career.

Comment by David B. Grinberg on January 11, 2013 at 6:23pm

Check out and weigh-in on my earlier blog post:

How to Make Telework Actually Work Government-wide

Comment by Andrew Krzmarzick on January 11, 2013 at 2:33pm

My colleague Brittany Ballenstadt at NextGov just opened a similar thread over there is anyone's interested.

Also, my friend Camille Roberts penned a related post here on GovLoop as well.

Comment by Andrew Krzmarzick on January 10, 2013 at 3:34pm

@Peter and @Bill - Great points on the contractor opps drying up. That was the default, wasn't it? Retire, collect your benefits and go back to keep contributing and make a bit more. Not so much these days, so might as well stay put.

@Stephen and @Kevin (hey bud!) - Totally agree with the financial pressures on people right now. Imagine being a Boomer: you are likely in a sandwich of financial constraints, covering the cost of both aging parents AND debt-strapped college graduates who are having a hard time getting into the workforce. (And the cynicism was not intended - I really do sympathize and agree with this comment from Twitter:

@Bryan - Per my previous comment, it's kind of a vicious cycle right now. How do we break out of it?

@Barry - Great attitude. Spoken like a hard-working, "we're gonna solve this problem" Boomer (I say with the utmost and sincere respect).

Comment by Karen "Kari" Uhlman on January 10, 2013 at 2:44pm

I agree with Kevin Curry. I am unable to retire due to the cost of medical insurance.

Comment by Barry Everett on January 10, 2013 at 11:36am

They will have to pry my smartcard from my cold, dead fingers. :-)

Seriously, though, telework, a vigorously pro-active management chain and generally supportive Executive Branch have all contributed to my longevity. However, the most important factors are my co-workers, and my work. Even though we are going through tough times now, (or maybe because of them) there is much to accomplish here. Quitting is not yet an option, but ask me again in 2016...

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