The Hive — “They won’t retire, they can’t afford it!”
By Admin

June 9, 2010

Loosing your Boomers

by Barbara Krecic

Boomers can’t afford to retire, right? Why should you worry about making plans to replace them now?

Why worry?   Because a statement like that could hurt your business immensely!

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Let me tell you something, Boomers have learned these last two years to tighten their belts.  They’ve learned to live lean, go without and still be happy.  And you know what? They WILL retire and then what will you do?

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Thinking because of our economic uncertainties and the financial losses that pretty much affected everyone across the board your mature employees will be with you for a long, long time is naive.  That type of thinking only provides you with an inaccurate and false sense of security.

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Let me tell you something, bad economy or not, the Boomers WILL retire and there just aren’t enough people to fill all the vacancies!   We’ve been telling businesses that for years.  You’ve heard this before elsewhere.  It’s an international problem.  Look at China.  Like the United States, the replacement workforce is too small to fill the spots of the retiring workforce.  So what do they do?  A mature worker isn’t permitted to retire until they find and train their own replacement.  Somehow I don’t think you can enforce something like that here in the United States, do you?

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Jobs are changing, sure.  Technology is replacing manufacturing positions, true. But production of either green products, or traditional products and services must still continue because it’s necessary for our quality of life.  There just aren’t enough people in the current workforce to fill the vacancies.  Look at our most recent census results if you don’t believe me.

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According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics , June 4, 2010 release as of May 2010, there are 210 million employed individuals.  There are only 2 million under the age of 19.  BOOMERS number 70 million.  Look ahead ten years and imagine loosing 68 million workers.  Where are you going to fill their shoes? Free essays format
Now if you were an Apis Mellifera, a honeybee. you wouldn’t have this problem.  You see, from the very beginning they plan ahead.  From the moment an infant bee hatches from her cell she intuitively knows her duties.  She’s a house bee.  She cleans her own cell, and then goes about cleaning the others always preceeding the Queen before she lays the next egg.  In a few days, she then cares for the Queen or the Drones.  She feeds them, grooms them, and answers their every need.  From there she’ll be a receptor of the delivered nectar or pollen stables being brought in by the foraging bee.   She’ll fan the nectar to evaporate the water which makes honey or she’ll pack the pollen in individual cells for future feeding of the next generation. Then she becomes a guard bee protecting the hive from intruders. After about four weeks of cross training, it is expected of her to orient herself outside of the hive in relationship to the sun.  That’s how she knows where home is.   She flies out a little bit and comes back.  Then they fly out a little more and come back.  High up she goes and then back all the while another cycle of life is progressing in the same pattern with the next generation of bees.  Finally the last two weeks of her life she becomes a foraging bee bringing back the necessary sustenance for the colony.  But all along, the hive has planned for her replacement.  They made plans the moment the Queen laid another egg as our little bee was hatching.

So how can you make preparations?   Collaborate now!   Onboard your staffing service to your company’s purpose after all THEY are the experts in recruiting and hiring. Make THEM part of your plan.  Show them what you do, who you do it to, how it is done so they can better understand you and your needs.  Let them know what you’ll be looking for in the future.  Make your plans now.  The better they know you, the better they can provide.  It’s not a nickel and dime situation here; it’s your very survival at risk.  Collaborate.  Make your plans now because your Boomers will be leaving.  If you haven’t realized it by now, it’s a job seekers market right now in spite of the economic reports.  NOW would be a good time to begin the collaboration process with the experts.

How do you think you’ll be affected by these numbers  after all 2020 isn’t that far into the future now is it?


  1. I would be happy to retire early, I just need a stimulus package!

  2. Lots of “Boomers” will be retiring, especially those who have qualified plans or have 401K’s that did not get totally wiped out. Others will retire on SS and live a lean life. First what needs to be done is have Boomers get prepared to stay in the market and make an impact.