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Recession behind them, boomers retire in droves

Many baby boomers put off their retirement plans because of the ravages of the Great Recession. Now they're feeling more confident about quitting work.

By MSN Money Partner May 30, 2014 1:29PM

This post comes from Karen Datko at partner site Money Talks News. 

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyThat scary time called the Great Recession caused many baby boomer to put off their retirement plans or go back to work. The sharply declining value of their investment portfolios and their homes made working longer a necessity.

Suddenly, in the last two years, the number of baby boomers dropping out of the workforce has taken a big jump, Bloomberg reports. It's one reason the U.S. jobless rate has dropped to 6.3 percent.

Retired couple © Photodisc Red/Getty ImagesWhy is this happening? It appears that after five years of robust stock returns, many boomers -- those born between 1946 and 1964 -- feel more comfortable about giving up work and careers and figure it's finally time to get on with the rest of their lives. We wish them well!

Things have gotten better for many people. Bloomberg says:

Household wealth in the U.S. climbed by $2.95 trillion in the final three months of 2013 to an all-time high. Average 401(k) balances almost doubled from 2009 to reach a record $89,300 last year, with 78 percent of the annual increase due to the stock market rally, according to Fidelity Investments, the U.S.'s largest provider of 401k retirement assets. For pre-retirees 55 and older, the average balance was $165,200, Fidelity said.

No doubt some of the boomers lost jobs, never found another again and are now scraping by with the help of Social Security. Some say the boomers' participation in the workforce has fallen simply because this massive population group is aging every year.

And let's not forget that many boomers are still working. Bloomberg says, "About 8 million people aged 65 and older are working, a 72 percent jump from a decade ago."

Still, it seems that many more boomers are feeling able to retire. USA Today reported  earlier this year, "About 76 percent of those leaving the workforce in 2013 … represented people over age 55 who say they don’t want jobs, the Labor Department estimates."

Are you feeling more comfortable about your prospects for retiring?

More from Money Talks News

May 30, 2014 1:59PM

a)  The 'great recession' has not ended.

b)  It is NOT 'retirement' just because they haven't been able to find a job for 4 years.

May 30, 2014 2:48PM
We are not in the work force because once out, no one will hire us back in, even with advanced degrees.
May 30, 2014 2:09PM
They are retiring because they can't get a full time job that will pay them more than SS and part time work.
May 30, 2014 2:41PM
One thing Bloomberg does not consider is the hostile work environment. Since the great recession, the bosses are treating the workers worse. The mentality is you are lucky to have a job. So go get my coffee and dump my trash. If you don't like it, too bad.
May 30, 2014 2:58PM
The next MSN spin story about the economy is "Recent College Grads Show Strong Family Values As They Decide To Stay Home After College and Take Care Of Parents Instead Of Moving Out And Finding Jobs"
May 30, 2014 3:28PM

I'm taking a break from my 5 year job hunt for a position requiring 40 years of accounting management experience so I can read and comment on this article while I eat my second bowl of store brand oatmeal today because I can't afford anything else.

I'm not retired.  I'm unemployed.
May 30, 2014 2:07PM

They are retiring because they lost their jobs a few years back, can't find anyone to hire them because they are too old, then reach 62 years and hell yes they "retire" Obama care is too expensive to buy so they use their Social Security to buy it and live off investments/401K etc. If no investments/401K investment then they depend on their VA or just plain old welfare. Has nothing to do with "feeling confident" it's they simply need the money to survive until they can get on Medicare.

May 30, 2014 2:57PM
Its been five years since Obama's $800 Billion economic stimulus started, based on his promise of "SHOVEL READY JOBS".   
That should have been a economic boost equal to what happened when the $341 Billion spent during World War II resulted in full employment.  

Question for you... How many people do you know personally that benefited from the $800 Billion stimulus with some type of 'SHOVEL READY JOB"  .... or any new decent job for that matter?  None?  No ... i didn't think so... I don't know anyone either.

This shouldn't be a Democratic or Republican issue. I'm just saying that a hellva lot of money has been borrowed in our name on the promise of jobs ... and our COLLECTIVE economic well being is at stake.

Where did all the $800 BILLION of stimulus money go?... DOESN"T ANYONE CARE! .....
THAT SHOULD BE THE QUESTION ... not how much we pay people to flip burgers!  

What did we get for our money?  I would kinda like to know.  Everybody should.... and you should too . You are going to help pay it back ...for years... and years .... and years!

So, why doesn't MSN spend some time and report on the benefits of  Obama's Economic Stimulus?  ... Ought to be a short article!

May 30, 2014 4:25PM
I got kicked out... when IBM came out with their new dress code...No Gray Hair...!
May 30, 2014 2:11PM

addendum to the original post:

c)  Calling the people born from 1946 to 1964 as a single group ('baby boomers') is stupid.

 A person born in 1946 was raised on 'howdy dowdy'. A person born in 1960 was raised on Vietnam war protests.   A person born in January of 1946 could have gotten pregnant at age 18 and again at 19, and had 2 children that were also 'baby boomers'. Exactly what the phuck would those two kids have in common culturally with their mother? The era that is called the baby boom era produced two very distinct generations, with NOTHING in common culturally. So please don't try to pretend that it is one group. It only makes you look foolish.

May 30, 2014 3:38PM
I involuntarily retired in December 2007 when my job was outsourced overseas and then the local unemployment rate jumped to nearly 20%, and stayed there for years. Needless to say as an over-55 employee with disabilities who was not conversant with social media, I was not on anyone's must hire list. In fact, I couldn't find jobs I was both qualified for and physically able to do. I finally had to take social security. This was not my choice. I had planned to work until 70, not 57. My retirement funds, more precisely what was left after the stock market crash, went to keeping me alive until I could collect my very minimal SS. In Iran they execute bankers who defraud the public. Here we reward them. I'm not advocating capital punishment, but the banking industry needs to be held responsible for tanking the economy.
May 30, 2014 3:06PM
May 30, 2014 2:32PM
Is anyone else tired of hearing HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN...month after month as bad economic news is explained away as "unexpected"???  6 years of Obama has left us with less than what we had and lowered expectations for future prospects (disclosure: that is NOT a racially motivated observation).  The time has come where we need the hope for change from the change and hope.
May 30, 2014 2:04PM
so glad to hear, it really is alot to work beyond age 62 full time for alot of people. if you and and want to GO FOR IT, if you cannot and want to RETIRE !!! only country in the world where they want u to work till u die is AMERICA!  its bullcrap...
May 30, 2014 2:47PM
That's right!!!! You young whipper snappers work hard to pay our social security and medicare!   We did our part  now it's your turn.
May 30, 2014 1:54PM
They are retiring because they can now get health insurance.  No job lock. 
May 30, 2014 1:54PM
If it is a "double dip" recession will the retirees be okay?  Last time the economy tanked there was absolutely NO WHERE to put the money; everything lost value.  Will the money retirees put away be safe where it is?  We are, BTW, at some point going to have to face easing back QE.  Last time, just discussing the implementation of scaling QE back caused the market to drop.  They tabled the move and the market re-stabilized.  We are going to have to give up that 85 billion of unsupported money at some point...and it ain't going to be pretty!  Good luck to the new retirees; enjoy!

P.S.  Best regards to the incoming work force filling the vacancies of the new retirees.
May 30, 2014 4:59PM
Nice spin on a sad story.   I have been a financial advisor fro over 32 years, and I work almost exclusively with retirees.  This story is pure fantasy land. Yes, boomers are "retiring" in droves, but it certainly isn't because they are confident. In many cases they simply have not been able to find jobs to replace the ones they lost 5 years ago, and they went through their severance and unemployment benefits.  Many are seeking social security disability as a way to pay their bills until they reach 62.  
May 30, 2014 2:01PM
I wonder what they'll do if the stock market corrects...
May 30, 2014 3:04PM
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