Step aside, old age – this generation isn’t ready (Guest Commentary)

Retaining older workers no longer an option – it’s a necessity
By Barb Jaworski
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/11/2011

A funny thing that happens when we turn 50. Employers start asking about retirement, we’re left out of succession plans and our kids raise an eyebrow when we mention the next ski trip or white water adventure.

We’re neither young nor old yet society expects us to pack it in, pull up a rocking chair and take up cross-stitch. But an entire generation-and-a-half is saying, “No thanks” to societal expectations surrounding the 50-plus crowd. Composed of the veteran and boomer generation — whom I call “KAA-Boomers” — this group is radically redefining what it means to be in that time between middle age and old age.

There is a difference between age as a number and aging. Age has often been viewed as a disability but the concepts of age and disability need to be separated to truly understand this modern approach to aging. Being old doesn’t mean being infirm and those between 50 and 80 have a very good chance of being in excellent health. These people want to live their lives with impact, leave a legacy and give back to their communities.