Hard economic times are making it harder to retire. The weakened economy has many Boomers reconsidering exiting the workforce. Add to that the usual retirement challenges, such as longer life expectancies, low personal savings rates and the demise of pension programs, and many older workers face an uncertain future.

This story in the September issue of the Mississippi Business Journal says the impact of rising prices and the declining interest rates on savings (this was written before the Wall Street bailout) has forced retirees to seek employment and made workers who are close to retirement age, forgo retirement.

The article states:

“A recent AARP poll about the economy showed that 16% of workers age 45 and older decided to postpone plans to retire because of the current economic conditions.”

So, what are the implications for businesses? According to this story, hiring older workers or retaining older workers benefits the company because they are experienced, reliable and have a strong work ethic. Most companies are not prepared for the labor shortage that will result when older workers retire, and there is a strong business case for retaining them, especially if they are mid- and high-level management.

A 2006 survey by Corporate Voices, World at Work and Buck Consultants found that of the 487 organizations and companies surveyed, 42% of employers believe that the aging workforce issue is significant.

Findings of this survey implied that businesses need to rethink how to meet the looming worker shortage by adopting practices such as flexible work options, shorter work weeks, telecommuting and various retiree benefits.

For more findings of this survey, visit our website or read it on an earlier post.

By Allison Tomei