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Retirement and the Economic Crisis

compiled by Betty Cohen

August 2009—Three-quarters of adults aged 50-64 say that the nation’s current economic problems will make it more difficult for them to afford retirement (harder to meet retirement needs). The recent economic crisis, combined with changes in life expectancy and cultural expectations, have caused a significant shift in retirement age, and thereby, in workforce demographics. Such a dramatic shift in the retirement age reflects the current flux in the workforce of the United States and could have a profound effect on a company’s hiring practices.

To accommodate the various needs of all workforce groups and to ensure seamless employee transitions, employers must keep abreast of shifting population trends. Difficulties associated with employee turnover such as transfer of knowledge make it necessary for employers to remain as prepared as possible for workforce changes. Since many causes for employee turnover cannot be predicted, it is all the more important for employers to anticipate employee retirement. Seventeen percent of adults recently surveyed by the AARP reported postponing their retirement, and other data shows many adults returning to work after previously retiring.

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