As I continue to read about all these companies bemoaning the baby boomer exodus to retirement, two things continue to confuse me:

Conflicting Messages.  While we never know for sure on this, there is some evidence that some of these very same companies that are crying about losing their legacy talent and institutional memory are the same companies that are directly or indirectly practicing age discrimination.  Yes, I realize that this is a subject open to much debate.  Nevertheless, it is hard to deny that it is happening to some degree when the messages being sent are so relentless.  “We need mature, experienced, qualified people.”  Simultaneously, so many of those “mature, experience, qualified people” remain unemployed.

Retire And Do What?  While I fully recognize that some baby boomers are forced into retirement by virtue of the economy, personal health, family demands, or disability, I remain baffled by those who choose to embrace retirement to do nothing.  I cannot imagine retiring that way.  The research has been extremely clear on this.  It is never healthy to disengage your life to the point that you have no purpose for jumping out of bed each day.  I have no problem with restructuring your life or changing career direction.  However, to simply sit and do nothing makes no sense to me.

Well, as the baby boomer exodus continues so too will these questions of mixed messages and the efficacy of retirement.  The questions are probably only going to become more interesting before we figure them out.  Yet for all our sakes, I hope we figure them out soon.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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