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Subject: Hard Numbers: Job Participation Plummeting due to Boomers rss

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Mac Mcleod
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http://www.businessinsider.com/baby-boomers-are-retiring-201...

I've been looking for this for a while since it's been one of my positions for a few years or more.

A few choice quotes and then a summary of the hypothesis.
Then a question...

Quote:
Here's What's Really Going On With Baby Boomers And The Labor Force

At 39.8%, the labor force participation rate for those 55 years of age and over is the lowest it's been since April 2009 (chart 1).
...
The monthly Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (from which labor force participation data are derived) actually asks those leaving the labor force why they are doing so.
...
"About 5.5 million more people (a 16% increase) are retired, 2.9 million (a 23% increase) are disabled or ill, and 2.5 million (a 19% increase) are in school.
...
Dividing 5.5 million by 12.6 million suggests around 44% of the drop in labor force participation since 2007 is retiring workers. Add the 2.3 million workers over the age of 50 who have left the workforce because of disability in that time period and the numbers suggest closer to 62% of the drop in labor force participation over the last six years can be attributed to an aging population.


My theory, based on 1945 to 1963 census data was that we were going to see a spike of 1 million extra retirees per year in 2014-2017 and then a spike of 2 million extra retirees per year from 2018 until.. well a bloody long time.

I sort of missed a key piece of data. You see, I retired last year. I'm only 51. Apparently LOTS of boomers are retiring early.

1) A lot of us saved hard and had investments in the market from 1995 onwards.
2) A lot of us are developing health issues which- at the least- mean we can't work 50 to 60 hour weeks (and especially not 70 hour weeks) any more.
3) Companies laid off many workers in 2008, didn't rehire, and have been asking workers to do the work of 2, 3, or even 4 people. In my case, it hit me 2 years before I had my "number." So I had to slog thru it-- and I bet there are millions more like me out there
4) A lot of people qualify for pensions at 58- they don't have to wait until 67. And you can draw on your 401k starting at 59 1/2.
5) Wages have been flat and it costs money to keep working.*
6) Now you can get health care-- it may cost $500 a month- but you can get it.
7) Chronic medical conditions disable more of the older population than I realized. And again- I should have caught this- because I know three people who are disabled. They basically have 3 or 4 good hours in them per day and that's it.
8) Companies have been refusing to hire people over 55 for a decade or more- and much worse since 2009 when SCOTUS ripped out most of our age discrimination protection.

---

So I think my theory is still correct- but not nearly aggressive enough. I think the job market is going to tighten up very sharply.

Labor participation will not increase.

I have very little interest in going back to work unless
a) It's fun or in a fun location (like denver in ski time).
b) It's limited to 14 hours a week- 7 hours a day.
c) It pays at least 25 bucks an hour.
d) things change financially (hyperinflation? I lose a couple hundred G's?)

---

I think the job market will get better for those who need/want to work. I hope it gets better for the 30 year olds especially. And one other data point- if you are 60 and have a job- you might get to keep it. A major houston company has implemented half jobs for people 60 and up because they were having trouble replacing specific skill sets. So two people do one person's job, sharing the salary and can sort of semi retire.


---
* This is an interesting one. My spending has dropped by at least $22,000 per year. My income taxes are going to drop at least $10,000 per year. My social security taxes are going to drop by $8,000 per year. My savings has dropped by $40,000 per year. All told- a $80,000 delta. I still went on my usual ski trip-- still went to the usual conventions- still going to BGGCon (tho rooming instead of in my own room- but even while working I stayed at the Red Roof Inn)- -I'll still be spending 2 weeks at the beach in August, I'm even still giving the same charitable money.

Board game spending is down from $1800 a year to $600 a year (well. he he... maybe $750). The biggest change is almost no $11 low quality lunches and dinners at fast food restaurants. No dry cleaning. Gasoline spending down by half. Car maintenance & new tires much less often. No new dress shirts. No new polo shirts. No new dress pants. I think about $16000 of the $22000 spending cut is purely from not having to work.

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Good news for Gen X, prolly even better news for Gen Y.

edit: I mean as far as career opportunities go.
 
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GLB_Lurchy wrote:
Good news for Gen X, prolly even better news for Gen Y.

edit: I mean as far as career opportunities go.


You are missing a pretty obvious point.

A massively larger proportion of our currently-working population NOT working means an exponential shift in the 'contributing to Social Security (et al)' vs 'drawing from Social Security (et al)'. This likely to result in enormous contribution increases needed from the remaining working population (higher taxes) to pay for it.

Of course, it will go up to vote, but...who votes more reliably? Older people or younger people? I'm sure you can imagine which way that will go...
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XanderF wrote:
GLB_Lurchy wrote:
Good news for Gen X, prolly even better news for Gen Y.

edit: I mean as far as career opportunities go.


You are missing a pretty obvious point.

A massively larger proportion of our currently-working population NOT working means an exponential shift in the 'contributing to Social Security (et al)' vs 'drawing from Social Security (et al)'. This likely to result in enormous contribution increases needed from the remaining working population (higher taxes) to pay for it.

Of course, it will go up to vote, but...who votes more reliably? Older people or younger people? I'm sure you can imagine which way that will go...


You have a good point. If the government was counting on people working until they were 67 and business are laying people off left and right at age 50 .. that's 17 years of extra welfare and 17 years of less social security tax and income tax and people are retiring with pensions at 58 at that's 9 years of less social security taxes and probably 9 years of reduced taxes.

It worries me because several countries have confiscated their retiring senior's retirement funds.

OTH, under employed 20 and 30 year olds might get much better salaries and pay higher taxes than currently so that will mitigate it some.

 
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bjlillo wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
You have a good point. If the government was counting on people working until they were 67 and business are laying people off left and right at age 50 .. that's 17 years of extra welfare and 17 years of less social security tax and income tax and people are retiring with pensions at 58 at that's 9 years of less social security taxes and probably 9 years of reduced taxes.

It worries me because several countries have confiscated their retiring senior's retirement funds.

OTH, under employed 20 and 30 year olds might get much better salaries and pay higher taxes than currently so that will mitigate it some.


Don't worry about that happening, Mac. There's no funds to take with Social Security. We didn't think that setting that money aside and having it do something useful was a wise plan, so we just structured Social Security to spend the money on benefits as it comes in.


I'm talking about 401k and IRA's.

I.e. the government confiscates your 401k,your IRA, and the actual assets saved up to cover your pension and then "promises" to pay you benefits like an annuity from it.
 
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maxo-texas wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
You have a good point. If the government was counting on people working until they were 67 and business are laying people off left and right at age 50 .. that's 17 years of extra welfare and 17 years of less social security tax and income tax and people are retiring with pensions at 58 at that's 9 years of less social security taxes and probably 9 years of reduced taxes.

It worries me because several countries have confiscated their retiring senior's retirement funds.

OTH, under employed 20 and 30 year olds might get much better salaries and pay higher taxes than currently so that will mitigate it some.


Don't worry about that happening, Mac. There's no funds to take with Social Security. We didn't think that setting that money aside and having it do something useful was a wise plan, so we just structured Social Security to spend the money on benefits as it comes in.


I'm talking about 401k and IRA's.

I.e. the government confiscates your 401k,your IRA, and the actual assets saved up to cover your pension and then "promises" to pay you benefits like an annuity from it.


How could that ever happen without it being robbery?
 
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bjlillo wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
maxo-texas wrote:
You have a good point. If the government was counting on people working until they were 67 and business are laying people off left and right at age 50 .. that's 17 years of extra welfare and 17 years of less social security tax and income tax and people are retiring with pensions at 58 at that's 9 years of less social security taxes and probably 9 years of reduced taxes.

It worries me because several countries have confiscated their retiring senior's retirement funds.

OTH, under employed 20 and 30 year olds might get much better salaries and pay higher taxes than currently so that will mitigate it some.


Don't worry about that happening, Mac. There's no funds to take with Social Security. We didn't think that setting that money aside and having it do something useful was a wise plan, so we just structured Social Security to spend the money on benefits as it comes in.


I'm talking about 401k and IRA's.

I.e. the government confiscates your 401k,your IRA, and the actual assets saved up to cover your pension and then "promises" to pay you benefits like an annuity from it.


Really? Who has done that?


Poland
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-06/poland-confiscates-...

Argentina - pension funds and has it's eyes on 401k type funds
Chili - pension funds
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB122460155879054331

Hungary, Bulgaria (20%), Ireland (to support the bank bailout- complete theft here as far as I can tell),
http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Adam-Smith-Institute-B...

Cyprus (tho this was a portion of ALL savings above 100keu- not just retirement money).
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/business/global/cyprus-mak...

Plus some think the EU and the US are moving in that direction
http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/17654-e...

However,
The fool thinks it probably would not take existing funds.
http://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2013/04/21/will-obama...

The Myra has been pointed to as leaning in the direction of confiscation. I.e. "we are going to take your pile of cash that you might get 10% on (btw- just closed the exchanged traded fund RSP for a gain of 11% on a big position in under 6 months!) and give you these nice government bonds which pay 3%".

I'm aware of confiscation as a risk and have mitigated that risk in some ways.

I don't consider it high probability and the negative consequences to me would be modest since I only need a 3.3% return to make my numbers thru age 92 and I'm likely to be dead by 82. Unknown risks which blindside us (I don't know what I don't know) and hyperinflation are more credible / likely risks. BTW, wars are usually neutral to good unless your country loses in a big way.

So if they took my cash and paid me 3% on it, I'd be hurt a little but not too badly. But right now, I'm on track for an increasing standard of living as time goes on so confiscation would be a big hit to my potential lifestyle.
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I'm still trying to figure out what Grace Park has to do with any of this:

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bjlillo wrote:
TheChin! wrote:
We need a big wave of immigration.


Or we could stop murdering babies before they're born.


By the time today's babies are old enough to pay taxes, the baby boomers will already be gone.


My biggest fear about the aging baby boomers is that the number of slow old fucks on the road is increasing.
 
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mlcarter815 wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
TheChin! wrote:
We need a big wave of immigration.


Or we could stop murdering babies before they're born.


By the time today's babies are old enough to pay taxes, the baby boomers will already be gone.


My biggest fear about the aging baby boomers is that the number of slow old fucks on the road is increasing.


I know.. people over 75 have a fatal accident rate as bad as 30 year olds!
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maxo-texas wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
TheChin! wrote:
We need a big wave of immigration.


Or we could stop murdering babies before they're born.


By the time today's babies are old enough to pay taxes, the baby boomers will already be gone.


My biggest fear about the aging baby boomers is that the number of slow old fucks on the road is increasing.


I know.. people over 75 have a fatal accident rate as bad as 30 year olds!


I just want them to get out of the way. The gas pedal is on the right!
 
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XanderF wrote:
GLB_Lurchy wrote:
Good news for Gen X, prolly even better news for Gen Y.

edit: I mean as far as career opportunities go.


You are missing a pretty obvious point.

A massively larger proportion of our currently-working population NOT working means an exponential shift in the 'contributing to Social Security (et al)' vs 'drawing from Social Security (et al)'. This likely to result in enormous contribution increases needed from the remaining working population (higher taxes) to pay for it.

Of course, it will go up to vote, but...who votes more reliably? Older people or younger people? I'm sure you can imagine which way that will go...


Hence my edit.
 
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bjlillo wrote:
TheChin! wrote:
We need a big wave of immigration.


Or we could stop murdering babies before they're born.

(Or shooting each other. Woo yeah. Gozer.)

But adding another layer to the pyramid scheme, by whatever method, is not really sustainable. Either social security is affordable at (bare minimum) replacement rate or it isn't.
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sbszine wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
TheChin! wrote:
We need a big wave of immigration.


Or we could stop murdering babies before they're born.

(Or shooting each other. Woo yeah. Gozer.)

But adding another layer to the pyramid scheme, by whatever method, is not really sustainable. Either social security is affordable at (bare minimum) replacement rate or it isn't.


It's not quite as clear-cut as that, as Social Security IS affordable at the 'bare minimum replacement rate', but like most first-world-nations, we aren't exactly doing a good job hitting that target. Birth rates are continuing to decline, particularly since 2007/2008 (of course, even the recent drop pales in comparison to the staggering drop between the 1950s and 1970s...while much is made of the 'baby boomer' generation, the 70s and 80s were already MASSIVELY short of the pre-boom 1910s-1930s birth rates, nevermind the huge 50s boom)
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XanderF wrote:
sbszine wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
TheChin! wrote:
We need a big wave of immigration.


Or we could stop murdering babies before they're born.

(Or shooting each other. Woo yeah. Gozer.)

But adding another layer to the pyramid scheme, by whatever method, is not really sustainable. Either social security is affordable at (bare minimum) replacement rate or it isn't.


It's not quite as clear-cut as that, as Social Security IS affordable at the 'bare minimum replacement rate', but like most first-world-nations, we aren't exactly doing a good job hitting that target. Birth rates are continuing to decline, particularly since 2007/2008 (of course, even the recent drop pales in comparison to the staggering drop between the 1950s and 1970s...while much is made of the 'baby boomer' generation, the 70s and 80s were already MASSIVELY short of the pre-boom 1910s-1930s birth rates, nevermind the huge 50s boom)



Can I at least finish my MBA before the next kid?
 
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XanderF wrote:
It's not quite as clear-cut as that, as Social Security IS affordable at the 'bare minimum replacement rate', but like most first-world-nations, we aren't exactly doing a good job hitting that target. Birth rates are continuing to decline, particularly since 2007/2008 (of course, even the recent drop pales in comparison to the staggering drop between the 1950s and 1970s...while much is made of the 'baby boomer' generation, the 70s and 80s were already MASSIVELY short of the pre-boom 1910s-1930s birth rates, nevermind the huge 50s boom)

Right, right. The issue is that the amount of payers-in versus the amount of payers out varies wildly. For me, simply adding more people isn't a great solution, because you can end up with a population that is greater than the infrastructure & environment can cope with. Here we are short on housing and hospital beds, for example. You lot are probably short on jobs. And so forth.
 
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XanderF wrote:
GLB_Lurchy wrote:
Good news for Gen X, prolly even better news for Gen Y.

edit: I mean as far as career opportunities go.


You are missing a pretty obvious point.

A massively larger proportion of our currently-working population NOT working means an exponential shift in the 'contributing to Social Security (et al)' vs 'drawing from Social Security (et al)'. This likely to result in enormous contribution increases needed from the remaining working population (higher taxes) to pay for it.

Of course, it will go up to vote, but...who votes more reliably? Older people or younger people? I'm sure you can imagine which way that will go...


Hooo boy, Social Security. There's a sore topic with any Millennial/Gen X'er that pays attention to the news, since we're unlikely to see any of that money. Basically by the time the Boomers have gone through, Social Security will be gone. Which really pisses me off, since a good chunk of my taxes each year go to Social Security. I'm basically throwing money down a drain.
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braveheart101 wrote:
Hooo boy, Social Security. There's a sore topic with any Millennial/Gen X'er that pays attention to the news, since we're unlikely to see any of that money. Basically by the time the Boomers have gone through, Social Security will be gone. Which really pisses me off, since a good chunk of my taxes each year go to Social Security. I'm basically throwing money down a drain.


You're paying attention to the wrong news. Social security cant run out of money since it constantly has money coming in. Even if nothing is done to fix the balance (and there are some fairly easy fixes that can be made), it would still payout bout 70% of what it is supposed to.
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bjlillo wrote:
TheChin! wrote:
We need a big wave of immigration.


Or we could stop murdering babies before they're born.


Sure we could force women to have babies they don't want, because that is sure to create a nurturing childhood that results in a fully functional motivated member of society, or we can let in people who are willing to change everything in their life to make things better for themselves and their families.
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At least all of those wasted handicap parking spaces will start being used.
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braveheart101 wrote:
XanderF wrote:
GLB_Lurchy wrote:
Good news for Gen X, prolly even better news for Gen Y.

edit: I mean as far as career opportunities go.


You are missing a pretty obvious point.

A massively larger proportion of our currently-working population NOT working means an exponential shift in the 'contributing to Social Security (et al)' vs 'drawing from Social Security (et al)'. This likely to result in enormous contribution increases needed from the remaining working population (higher taxes) to pay for it.

Of course, it will go up to vote, but...who votes more reliably? Older people or younger people? I'm sure you can imagine which way that will go...


Hooo boy, Social Security. There's a sore topic with any Millennial/Gen X'er that pays attention to the news, since we're unlikely to see any of that money. Basically by the time the Boomers have gone through, Social Security will be gone. Which really pisses me off, since a good chunk of my taxes each year go to Social Security. I'm basically throwing money down a drain.


By the time you get to that age, they should be able to cover 100% of benefits again. The crunch will have already occurred with a low peak of 75% to 85% with benefit cuts hopefully focused on those with high assets and income. If the system is suffering, why not cut benefits to the person who has $100,000 a year retirement income instead of the person whose entire retirement income is $11,400 from social security.

However, I think the key challenge for Millennial and GenX'ers will be automation. There will be workers-- but will there be jobs?
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jonnylawless wrote:
XanderF wrote:
sbszine wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
TheChin! wrote:
We need a big wave of immigration.


Or we could stop murdering babies before they're born.

(Or shooting each other. Woo yeah. Gozer.)

But adding another layer to the pyramid scheme, by whatever method, is not really sustainable. Either social security is affordable at (bare minimum) replacement rate or it isn't.


It's not quite as clear-cut as that, as Social Security IS affordable at the 'bare minimum replacement rate', but like most first-world-nations, we aren't exactly doing a good job hitting that target. Birth rates are continuing to decline, particularly since 2007/2008 (of course, even the recent drop pales in comparison to the staggering drop between the 1950s and 1970s...while much is made of the 'baby boomer' generation, the 70s and 80s were already MASSIVELY short of the pre-boom 1910s-1930s birth rates, nevermind the huge 50s boom)



Can I at least finish my MBA before the next kid?

That degree is overrated.
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jarredscott78 wrote:
jonnylawless wrote:
XanderF wrote:
sbszine wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
TheChin! wrote:
We need a big wave of immigration.


Or we could stop murdering babies before they're born.

(Or shooting each other. Woo yeah. Gozer.)

But adding another layer to the pyramid scheme, by whatever method, is not really sustainable. Either social security is affordable at (bare minimum) replacement rate or it isn't.


It's not quite as clear-cut as that, as Social Security IS affordable at the 'bare minimum replacement rate', but like most first-world-nations, we aren't exactly doing a good job hitting that target. Birth rates are continuing to decline, particularly since 2007/2008 (of course, even the recent drop pales in comparison to the staggering drop between the 1950s and 1970s...while much is made of the 'baby boomer' generation, the 70s and 80s were already MASSIVELY short of the pre-boom 1910s-1930s birth rates, nevermind the huge 50s boom)



Can I at least finish my MBA before the next kid?

That degree is overrated.


You are not the first to tell me this. Living in a neighborhood full of boomers, I frequently hear how MBAs don't really know anything and are a dime a dozen.
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