Not only are we older than comparable professions, we are aging at a much faster rate according to Rebecca Lenzini in a feature article for Searcher entitled “Graying of the Library Profession” .Lenzini, RT Graying of the Library Profession: A Survey of Our Association and Their Responses. Searcher 10(7) July/Aug, 2002 http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/jul02/lenzini.htm Last accessed 4/27/10Stanley Wilder, U of Rochester Libraries in 2000
Lenzini interviewed Carla Funk, MLA Executive Director, for the article and was told that the 1998 MLA salary survey showed that the numbers of 30 year olds in the profession had declined by half, the number of 40 year olds had increased to comprise 50% of the profession and the number of 50 year olds now comprised 30 percent of the profession. By the 2001 salary survey, those from 50 to 59 years of age comprised 40% of MLA members. In an interview for the same article, Carol Jenkins, past President of the Association of Academic Health Science Librarians and the Medical Library Association, stated that the AAHSL 2000 survey revealed that 50% of the AAHSL directors planned to retire before the end of the decade. AAHSL began the Future Leadership Initiative with an internship/mentoring program in 2002/3. And the Medical Library Association appointed a Task Force to Plan Recruitment for the Twenty-First Century Workforce. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) earmarked ten million dollars to educate and train librarians, anticipating a 68 % loss of the current cohort of professional librarians by 2019. Have these efforts been effective? What is the status of the profession today?Lenzini, RT Graying of the Library Profession: A Survey of Our Association and Their Responses. Searcher 10(7) July/Aug, 2002 http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/jul02/lenzini.htm Last accessed 4/27/10
A decade later, the 2008 Hay Group/MLA Salary Survey stated that the average planned retirement age of respondents was 65-66 and that 21% of the membership is 60 or older and 44% is between 50 and 59. This gives you some idea of the upcoming retirements in the next decade. Based upon responses to MLA's annual member phone-a-thon, about 3% were not rejoining MLA due to retirement in 2005 while that number almost tripled to 8% who were not rejoining due to retirement in 2008. Carla Funk email 1/4/10 To help meet the need for emerging leaders, MLA began the Emerging Leader’s Program about which Carol Jenkins will speak later in today’s program.The AAHSL Mentoring Program has mentored dozens of leaders since 2002, with most advancing in their leadership positions. During the same period of time, the Institute of Museum and Library Services made grants through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program to develop faculty and library leaders and to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians. 24 programs to graduate schools of library and information science to build institutional capacity and 21 programs to provide doctoral level educators and 88 grants to recruit students at the masters level. http://www.imls.gov/results.asp Accessed 4/26/10 Which is a good thing because, as mentioned previously, the number of MLA members over the age of 50 has increased dramatically from 40% only a decade ago, to 65%.
As we ‘gray’, we are in good company as 25% of the entire US workforce is nearing retirement age which equates to 10,000 per day reaching retirement age for the next 20 years. By the year 2030, 72 million Americans will be over the age of 65 years. Baby Boomer Retirement March 2008 Liber 8 Economic Info Newsletter from Federal Reserve Bank of St LouisBrandon, E. The End of Traditional Retirement. US News & World Report 146 (6):18-20, July 2009
And yet, internationally the US will still be a youngster as many of the industrially developed countries will have a far greater percentage of their populations older than 65 in 2050 as portrayed here: US 21%, UK 26%, Germany @ 30% with Japan leading the way @ 34%.Aging Baby Boomers. CQ Researcher 17(37):865-888, Oct 19, 2007
As we all know too well,the economic conditions have changed dramatically in the past decade. Amy Buttell’s article entitled “The Great Recession Creates a New Retirement Reality” published in the December 09 issue of the Journal of Financial Planning discusses the impact that declining home values, lower retirement plan values and economic uncertainty in general have on one’s retirement plans.Lower rates of return in the stock market presented a real wakeup call. Most predict that projected inflation of 3% to 4% in conjunction with an increasing national debt will make inflation more of a factor in the fact in the future than it has been in the immediate past and encourage all to budget and pay down debt. A 2009 survey conducted by National Financial showed that 40% of those persons surveyed who were at or near retirement were planning significant changes in their retirement plans by delaying their retirement date, going back to work if they were already retired, and significantly adjusting their lifestyle.Buttell AE. Great Recession Creates a New Retirement Reality. Journal of Financial Planning; Dec 2009 http://www.beaconhilladvisory.com/pc_recession1209.htm Last viewed 4/26/10Brandon, E. The End of Traditional Retirement US News July 2009 http://www.allbusiness.com/society-social-assistance-lifestyle/work-leisure-lifestyle/12522112-1.html Last viewed 4/26/1oAging Baby Boomers. CQ Researcher 17(27): 868-888, October 19, 2007
AARP calculates that seniors spend 30% of their income on post-retirement healthcare costs.Buttell AE. Great Recession Creates a New Retirement Reality. Journal of Financial Planning; Dec 2009 http://www.beaconhilladvisory.com/pc_recession1209.htm Last viewed 4/26/10while a First Command Financial Service Study in 2009 states that Americansgrossly underestimate healthcare costs, estimating a need of $33,000 when in fact they need $166,000 if they are retiring in 2009 and live to be100.In 2009, Fidelity Investments predicted that a 65 yr old couple retiring in 2009 need $240,000 for medical expenses not covered by Medicare, up 6.7% from 2008.Brandon, E. The End of Traditional Retirement. US News & World Report 146 (6):18-20, July 2009
Thus, it should come as no surprise that a recent Merrill Lynch study shows that retirees are more afraid of living than dying when 48% fear major illness, 53% fear the ability to pay for illness and 48% fear the ability to pay for long term care while only 17% fear death itself.Merrill Lynch About.com Senior Living: How Baby Boomers Will Change Retirement
As we retire, we’re going to have a lot of years to fill with activities since the average longevity of men aged 65 is 17 years and of women is 20 years. How will we fill those twenty years after we retire?Brandon, E. The End of Traditional Retirement. US News & World Report 146 (6):18-20, July 2009Thus, when one combines the fear of one’s ability to meet health care abilities with facing many years to fill with activities, it is no surprise that Americans are working longer than ever before. Since 1985, the number of Americans working into their late 60s has increased by 60%; from 2008 to 2009 that number has risen from 63% to 78% of those retiring according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Indeed, given the current economic conditions, 80% of the baby boomers intend to work past the age of 65, many in entirely new second careers.About.com Senior Living: How Baby Boomers Will Change RetirementAging Baby Boomers. CQ Researcher 17(37):865-888, Oct 19, 2007Brandon, E. The End of Traditional Retirement. US News & World Report 146 (6):18-20, July 2009
Eventhough we will have people eligible to retire in record numbers, the vast majority of these people plan to delay their retirement. Working longer is quite effective in preserving one’s assets. Each year that retirement is postponed results in a 5% reduction of savings needed.Social Security payouts rise by 7-8% each year you delay claiming between ages 62 and 70. Buttell AE. Great Recession Creates a New Retirement Reality. Journal of Financial Planning; Dec 2009 (11-26 baby boomers ) Congressional Budget Office Report;The Effects of Delaying Retirement 2003 ;Financial literacyA longer time period in which to save will greatly assist those with potential shortfalls in retirement income.Brandon, E. The End of Traditional Retirement. US News & World Report 146 (6):18-20, July 2009
Congressional Budget Office Report;The Effects of Delaying Retirement 2003
While employees want to work longer to preserve their assets, employers are also becoming increasingly in favor of phased retirement to delay the brain drain. Sixty-one percent of the companies surveyed by Hewitt Associates felt that phased retirement will be a critical point of HR strategy in the next five years and were looking for part-time workers. Forty-six percent of the companies are interested in rehiring employees. Employers need to delay the brain drain and document key processes. Buttell AE. Great Recession Creates a New Retirement Reality. Journal of Financial Planning; Dec 2009 10 pPhased retirement keeps boomers in the workforce by Stephen Miller HR Magazine December, 2008 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_12_53/ai_n31152984/ Last viewed 4/27/10Baby boomer retirement Liber8 Economic Information Newsletter 2008
As so many experienced workers retire, how does one make sure that you retain the valuable knowledge they’re taking out the doors? Will you codify it in writing? Hire retirees as part-time consultants? This is going to be a bigger challenge than most organisationsrealise.Are Your Prepared for Baby Boomers Retiring 2008-2015? By Mark Geary HR Magazine p 38-9http://www.iesf.com/user_files/48/baby_boomers_article.pdf Last accessed 4/27/10IBM, which maintains a stable of retirees who mentor and pass on knowledge to younger workers, also has a consulting service to help companies assess how they will be affected by baby boomer retirementsBaby boomers exodus by Michael Kinsman April, 2006 San Diego Union Tribunehttp://www.careersinaging.com/careersinaging/babyboomerexodus.pdf Last accessed 4/27/10
Retired part-time workers will fill the gap. Since fewer jobs today require manual labor there is rarely a physical reason most people must retire at age 65. Many lucrative jobs will be well within the physical abilities of retirees. Most professors, lawyers, office workers and even trades people have the physical capacity to remain in the workplace if they choose to do so. This could help to fill the expertise gap that might otherwise constrain businesses around the world. Kinsman predicts that 4etirees will actively seek part-time work, new careers and different ways to contribute to society because our social programs were not designed for the life expectancies of todayBaby boomers exodus by Michael Kinsman April, 2006 San Diego Union Tribunehttp://www.careersinaging.com/careersinaging/babyboomerexodus.pdf Last accessed 4/27/10
In 2008, more older Americans are employed now as retail salespersons than in any other occupation., but baby boomers are expected to find other things to do besides being store clerks . An Urban Institute Study predicts that boomers are likely to land in growth fields that welcome older workers. Workers in these fast-growing occupations will require brainpower, computer savvy, and a knack for working with people.PLANNING TO RETIRE The 20 Fastest-Growing Jobs for Aging Boomers By EMILY BRANDON in US News & World ReportPosted: July 25, 2008 http://www.usnews.com/money/blogs/planning-to-retire/2008/07/25/the-20-fastest-growing-jobs-for-aging-boomers.html Last accessed 4/27/10
Wilson and Steele of the University of Maryland Center on Aging found that 60% of older adults say that “feeling valued and needed” is important for personal fulfillment while 53% talk about the need to be intellectually challenged. Organizations are beginning to realize the need to repackage the way volunteer opportunities are presented by designing and managing volunteer work more like paid positions with more challenging job descriptions and better training and supervision. Rather than focusing on volunteer tasks, they would show the potential volunteer the personal and community impact which the volunteer opportunity could afford them. Marketing Volunteer Opportunities for Baby Boomers by Laura Wilson and Jack Steele, University of Maryland http://nationalserviceresources.org/files/legacy/filemanager/download/727/boomers.pdf Last accessed 4/29/10
Merrill Lynch’s “The New Retirement Survey” showed that mental stimulationand financial preparedness were major factors in the decision to work longer whereasAbout.com Senior Living: How Baby Boomers Will Change Retirementthe Cornell Retirement & Well Being Study (Moen, 1999) provides a variety of reasons why retirees continue to work after their official retirement to fill free time, maintain professional contacts , develop social contacts and, to keep active.Marketing Volunteer Opportunities for Baby Boomers by Laura Wilson and Jack Steele, University of Maryland http://nationalserviceresources.org/files/legacy/filemanager/download/727/boomers.pdf Last accessed 4/29/10
As we prepare, let’s look to our colleagues who have gone before us and learn from their experiences as we compare them to the national trends we’ve just reviewed. In a recent survey of MLA members who have retired within the past five years, I found that:
Developing new interests, spending time with family and taking care of my health
Would you have preferred to retire sooner or later than initially?
To review, our colleagues have suggested that as individuals we need to begin planning now. Most of our colleagues highly recommended using the skills of financial planners. And some even suggested tailoring one’s wardrobe in advance to more causal attire. Organizations who wish to engage retirees in their activities need to ensure that the activities contain interesting content that makes one feel useful, has flexible schedules, and affords opportunities for collegial interaction.
Many of colleagues mentioned the importance of consulting financial planners as does Jane Quinn who states that they are very helpful in working with budgets and projecting how much you can afford to spend when you retire. But work with fee-only planners, who don’t sell products and who charge only for their advice. Planners who take commissions on products could steer you wrong (for example, by selling you those awful, complex annuities). Jane Bryant Quinn. Do It Yourself Financial Freedom. AARP Bulletin print edition | April 1, 2010
When will you retire? This is a personal decision that, as we have seen, has many parts. I tend to relate best to a kindergarten teacher once told me that she would continue to teach as long as she could get down in the floor and play with the children. How do you know when you have reached that point? And what will you do after you retire?
As you plan, you may consider joining MLA’s Retired Librarians SIG as one way to stay connected with the profession.listserv http://retiredlib.mlanet.org/mailman/listinfo/retired-mla_retiredlib.mlanet.orgpeople can fill in the form.website should be: http://retiredlib.mlanet.org but is it not yet active. It will be linked from the SIG page on mlanet when activated. Bob is on 2 weeks vacation.from our formation statement;Vision: form a community of retired librarians to continue to contribute to the profession, transfer of knowledge to the next generation, continue to work and socialize with other librarians and provide service to the larger community Potential member: MLA members within five years of retirement and those who are already retired. I say: Just because we are retired, we are not brain dead. We want to remain active,
Graying of the Profession: Personal & Professional Implications Mary Fran Prottsman, MLn, AHIP Assistant Director Collection Resources Division Health Sciences Libraries, University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
Older than comparable professions Aging at a much faster rate Librarians
Medical Library Association (MLA) 40% are over 50 Association of Academic Health Science Librarians (AAHSL) 50% are planning to retire in 10 years Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 68 % loss of librarians in 20 years The Way We Were in 2000
MLA-Emerging Leader’s Program AAHSL- Mentoring Program IMLS-Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian The Way We Are Today
25% US workforce nearing retirement age 10,000/day reach retirement age next 20 yrs 2030>72 million Americans over 65 We Are Not Alone