A Series on Benefit Preferences – Retirement of the Boomer Generation

Benefit Trends Executive Health August 21, 2019

Who is the Boomer generation?

The oldest and wisest generation in our workforce, Baby Boomers are classified as adults born between 1946 and 1964.[1] Many Boomers are now surpassing the threshold into retirement age. Even so, a significant portion of the Boomer generation has elected to remain in the workforce much longer than generations that came before them. From now until 2029, 10,000 Boomers will reach the age of 65 each day, but their high labor force participation rates mean that a fewer 5,900 Boomers are estimated to actually retire daily.[2]

The Value of Baby Boomers

Boomers entered the labor force at a simpler time, without the conveniences (and complications) of the technology we enjoy today. This means that many possess grassroots knowledge of their field that only hands-on experiences can provide. Due to this generation’s longevity in the workforce, their traditionalist values, and comprehensive knowledge, their mass exodus will inevitably leave big shoes to fill in every industry.

Employees of the Boomer generation are known for their outstanding work ethic and leadership abilities. They are strong team players but are less adaptable than their younger counterparts.[3] In many companies, these Boomers are the top executives or key leadership. And with their wealth of company knowledge and wisdom, many employers want to keep these important assets with the company. As we discussed here, understanding what Boomers value most in a career experience will be critical as they contemplate retirement.

What Baby Boomers Value

Baby Boomers have two main priorities when it comes to benefits: retirement savings and healthcare. Even though Boomers are the closest to retirement, a large percentage do not have significant retirement savings, contributing to their decision to remain in the workforce longer. Therefore, 401k matching and similar programs are of utmost importance for this generation.

Likewise, comprehensive health plans could tip the scale for Boomers toward remaining in the workforce longer. As need for medical coverage may become more imminent as they inch closer to retirement, it’s no surprise that health insurance is a top priority. According to survey data collected for the AICPA, 71% of Boomers believe that health insurance is the top benefit that would help them achieve their financial goals.[4]

Differing from younger generations such as Gen Z and Millennials, Boomers place less value on lifestyle benefits such as remote work and casual dress. Instead, Boomers prefer paid sick days, dental insurance, and bonus opportunities, all of which have a positive impact on their long-term financial wellbeing.[5]

How Can Supplemental Plans Benefit Boomers?

We’ve discussed how few primary plans are cutting it in terms of reducing out-of-pocket cost of care. As this generation advances toward retirement, financial wellness is crucial. Supplemental health insurance can balance out rising costs and create a true value-add for your executives. It can also be what sways Boomers from participating in the growing gig economy.

Consider ArmadaCare’s Ultimate Health plan to diversify your benefit offerings to senior execs. This unique benefit will ensure retention of your leadership and keep them happy, healthy and productive. Learn more here.

[1] https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/24/baby-boomers-us-labor-force/

[2] https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/24/baby-boomers-us-labor-force/

[3] https://www.score.org/resource/generational-differences-employee-benefit-preferences

[4] https://www.aarp.org/work/working-at-50-plus/info-2018/older-workers-job-benefits.html

[5] https://s3.amazonaws.com/mentoring.redesign/s3fs-public/Paychex-SCORE-generational-differences-benefit-preferences.pdf

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