Are you a baby boomer? Were you born between 1946 and 1964? If so you represent about 77 million people in the U.S. population. What does this mean? It means that boomers are still the driving force of economic growth. By 2029, when all of the baby boomers will be 65 years and older, more than 20 percent will be ready for retirement.
Today there are fewer workers available to replace baby boomers who are expected to retire by the year 2029. This is causing what is referred to as a retirement knowledge gap, wherein a high demand exists for specialized experience. It is related to young people who are currently in or about to enter the workforce but have not received the necessary training to replace more experienced workers like the baby boomers.
To enhance the workforce with the proper skillsets, baby boomers must be willing to train and develop younger generations in specialized areas. Offer programs that provide coaching and mentoring to develop younger people. Many agencies are recruiting and employing college graduates for upward mobility programs. These programs give younger generations the opportunity to develop core competencies for critical positions needed within the workforce.
Bridge the retirement knowledge gap through:
- Teamwork – Build relationships that are most conducive to perform at high standards
- Retention – Take every opportunity to participate in continuous learning
- Achievement – Think of creative ways to meet the needs of your organization
- Integrity – Strive to do the right thing with the right resources
- Network – Communicate with others across the organization
Last but not least, baby boomers must pass on wisdom and knowledge about money management for younger generations to be financially stable. It is essential to provide guidance about how to invest for the future, pay off student debt and take care of aging parents, or baby boomers.
As boomers look towards retirement, they still hold true to their traditional work values as being hard workers, ambitious, goal-oriented and competitive.
If you are a baby boomer, you must know that you add value to the economy with an increase in demand for consumer goods and services. Plus you love to shop on the internet. Although technology can be a little intimidating and challenging for boomers, they are still considered digitally savvy. At best they are known for being the biggest consumers of media such as television, radio, magazines, journals and newspapers. And they love staying connected with others through various media platforms, especially for our children and grandchildren, the younger generations.
- GEN X (Latchkey Babies)
- Born between 1965 and 1979
- Represent 65 million in U.S. population
- Digitally savvy and closely identifies with boomers
- GEN Y (Millennials)
- Born between 1980 to 1995
- Represent 72 million in U.S. population
- Known to watch about 95% television and Netflix
Baby boomers, as you transition into your retirement years, ask yourself the question: What can I do to bridge the retirement knowledge gap so that the younger generation can be successful in the future?
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Wanda Dandridge is a subject matter expert on financial management systems for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Her government career spans over 15 years, starting as an Army intern in financial management, then subsequently emerging as a transformational leader with DLA specializing in budget analysis, logistical support and employee development. Wanda’s greatest career accomplishment is receiving the Federal Employee of the Year Award with DLA Energy Pacific in 2012. Her philosophy is to lead by example while fostering others for their desired purpose. She is a Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM) who enjoys volunteering in her local community.