More Younger Workers Think Economy Is Hurt by Older Workers Not Retiring

By Andrew Soergel | June 10, 2019

  • June 10, 2019 at 9:18 am
    De-classifying Isn't a Cover-up says:
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    Older workers today are more healthy and fit than their predecessors in prior decades, and they are clearly more experienced and productive than younger workers. This trend by workers to work until later in life, and by management to retain older workers until they are ready to retire, is a no-brainer decision by all involved.

    Younger workers are upset they receive lower wages than more experienced workers. There’s no surprise there in regard to their motive and their attitude.

    • June 10, 2019 at 2:44 pm
      Agent says:
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      Absolutely correct. Younger workers think they deserve more before they earn it. Inexperience makes mistakes that can be costly to a company. The experienced worker has been there, done that and knows what to do and when to do it.

      • June 11, 2019 at 8:14 am
        rob says:
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        Why not use your vast wealth of knowledge and experience to mentor a younger worker, that way when you retire you know you’ve left the industry in good hands? Don’t write someone off just because they’re young and inexperienced. I’ve met quite a few of our college helpers who I’m pretty sure could be my boss some day. I’m sure someone took you under their wing at some time. Remember, at one point you (and I, and everyone else reading this) were that young hotshot who thought they knew absolutely everything about everything. Yeah, we made our share of mistakes, but someone believed enough in us to show us the way.

        Bottom line is that we’re not getting any younger. I’m probably not quite as old as you, but I do have 20 years in the industry now and I figure I might as well try to leave the place a little better than it was when I got here. It’s the least we can do, because someone did it for us.

        • June 11, 2019 at 9:54 am
          De-classifying Isn't a Cover-up says:
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          I do mentor youths and instructed others as direct reports. Why would you assume otherwise? My comment referred to the improved capabilities of older workers with plenty of experience, relative to the same group in prior decades.

          I am always interested in teaching others so I may take on added responsibilities, thus advancing the careers of myself and subordinates and co-workers. Companies should always be supportive of such employees who contribute to corporate goals.

          • June 11, 2019 at 10:43 am
            rob says:
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            sorry for the misunderstanding Yogi, my comment was directed towards Agent, but that’s great that you’re mentoring others and taking it upon yourself to do more. We need more of that. Although I don’t always agree with you politically or on other issues, I do respect your experience.

        • June 11, 2019 at 1:26 pm
          Nancy G says:
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          I was mentored in my career by many men and women. Today as I creep closer to retirement, I continue to give back what was so freely given to me. I don’t know many insurance professionals who don’t mentor, at least informally.

  • June 10, 2019 at 10:50 am
    Nebraskan says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    Let’s be honest, Baby Boomers aren’t more healthy and fit, per se….they just have access to more medicine that keeps the ol’ ticker ticking.

    • June 10, 2019 at 1:31 pm
      Healthy "older" adult says:
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      I think both comments are over generalizing. There are some aging Americans that truly should consider retirement but for whatever reason they decide to stay in the workplace. However, the fact remains there are numerous of us past 60 that are healthy because we work at it and have worked at it for most of our lives. I’m a female executive that takes no prescription medicine, eats healthy, run 3-5 miles a day and does weight bearing exercises 3 times per week. My health has nothing to do with having access to more medicine. In fact I personally believe the perception that a “pill” can fix poor behavior is what has caused a lot of unhealthy people; young and old. At over 60 I can and regularly achieve far more physically and mentally than even some in their 30’s and 40’s. So folks let’s look at personal responsibility, not generalization.

      At the end of the day, you are what you put

      • June 10, 2019 at 4:22 pm
        Joseph S Harrington, CPCU says:
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        Yes, let’s not over-generalize. I, too, exercise regularly, eat well, never smoked, AND I take medication for a condition that is common in my family and many others. Barring an accidental injury, I should be able to work for many years beyond age 65. I’m grateful for that, but diet and exercise alone would not have been enough.

        Generally speaking, our culture needs to re-embrace the classic human condition: People gradually become more productive, then gradually see their productivity taper off as they age. That’s the way it was for millennia, until the notion of stopping work suddenly at age 65 was adopted in the 20th century.

        I think we can adopt our retirement systems and work cultures to the “old” new reality.

      • June 17, 2019 at 5:34 pm
        RMCN says:
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        Bravo for you! I have been in the industry for about 33 years and prior top that in 15 yrs in retail management. I am still working because I can and because of a pre-existing illness (genetic), and I need to continue to work. My prescriptions with supplemental co- pays are close to a $1,000.00 a month. I take exception that you stated some of us take medication because of bad behavior. Some of us were not blessed with good genes. You know your are guilty of generalization.

    • June 10, 2019 at 1:46 pm
      Dave says:
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      Access to better medicine and care may be helping, but a large number of the boomers are eating better and exercising more. Not all, but the healthier ones.

    • June 11, 2019 at 9:56 am
      De-classifying Isn't a Cover-up says:
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      You’re not ‘being honest’. You’re offering an opinion which doesn’t seem to be substantiated by any facts / data. But, IF medicine is the differential, what’s the problem with that?

  • June 10, 2019 at 1:18 pm
    Meg says:
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    I will be 70 when I’ve finished paying off loans I took to send my 20-somethings to college. I dare them to say I’m harming their economic opportunities by not retiring!

  • June 10, 2019 at 1:43 pm
    rob says:
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    I tell my kids that when they have a job, they need to do it to the absolute best of their ability and to make their employer feel like they got the better end of the deal by hiring them. Otherwise, it just gives their boss an excuse to replace them with someone younger and more willing to work twice as hard for half as much. They’re only 8 and 11, but I’m hoping it sinks in at an early age.

    • June 10, 2019 at 1:47 pm
      Dave says:
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      Great lesson Rob. I too hope it sinks in.

  • June 10, 2019 at 1:45 pm
    Mike Urbanek says:
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    Sorry kids, I’d like to explain all of this knowledge and experience stuff to you, but it’s a truism of the ages: it’s hard to tell someone what it is that they don’t know. Or that some of what they do know is wrong.

  • June 10, 2019 at 2:50 pm
    Craig Cornell says:
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    Younger workers can whine about not getting promoted as fast as they might because older workers aren’t retiring as quickly as before. But “hurting the economy”???

    Employers would be glad to replace older workers with younger ones if they were as competent, especially because the younger ones are usually cheaper. There is just no way older workers are “hurting the economy”.

    Younger workers should just Compete. Man up. Especially in the best American economy in 50 years or more.

    And recognize one benefit: the longer the older workers stay employed, the less Social Security and Medicare gets used up, and the more likely Social Security and Medicare might remain solvent for the senior years of young people.

    • June 10, 2019 at 4:55 pm
      Agent says:
      Hot debate. What do you think?
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      Younger workers want everything handed to them. Guaranteed income, free healthcare, free this, free that.

      • June 11, 2019 at 10:01 am
        De-classifying Isn't a Cover-up says:
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        I disagree. Some do, but many I’ve seen are hard workers, interested in taking on new responsibilities. You need to look for them; they’re out there, and should be productive over their careers. Hopefully, they set an example for their same-age peers. Perhaps you see a larger sample of the less motivated millenials, for some reason, or those you see have lesser experience than others?

      • June 12, 2019 at 10:24 am
        rob says:
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        You’ve mentioned your difficulties finding the “right” young person, but what does your office bring to the table? Are there lots of opportunities for training, ie does your company offer incentives for passing exams such as the CPCU, RPLU, etc? Are there other younger or energetic “go-getters” in your office? Do the co-workers genuinely like each other, or is it “all business, all the time”? Are your technological systems outdated, or are they user-friendly and easy to navigate? If you were just getting into the real world, what would be the incentive to work for your agency as opposed to your competitor down the street? There’s no right or wrong answer here.

        I’ve worked with several insurance agents over the years where the average age is greater than 50. They were happy to just maintain the status quo as long as they kept getting paid, and really didn’t seem interested in branching out into different areas. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re looking to attract the “right” young people who will eventually become leaders in your organization, sometimes YOU need to be the one to change..

  • June 10, 2019 at 6:12 pm
    Jimbo says:
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    Lets also not forget that many older workers can’t afford to retire, they don’t have a pension or health care other than Medicare.They might not have done any retirement planning at all.

    They are facing the same rising costs as younger and middle aged folks, but if they work until their 70’s they will get a little more social security and maybe a little more of any retirement benefits they can get to survive on in their non-working years.

    I’ve met a few seniors who retired from one job and either started another a short time later or in a few cases started their own business. Some people just want to stay active.

  • June 11, 2019 at 8:08 am
    Auto Industry et al says:
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    It was not uncommon for an autoworker to retire when he could, so a younger union member with a family could keep working.

    Obviously, on many micro/macro levels, the younger generation likes to see the older generation step aside for the youth’s immediate and long term benefit. For example, people that grew up during the depression are often very conservative on using leverage for capital expansion – that’s not right or wrong it’s just how they were raised.

    One time a neighbor called me a “young whipper snapper,” when I suggested how he handle a certain mechanical issue.

    I’ve seen in an insurance office where a younger agent left because the older agents hung well past 65 and the youth spent a lot of time servicing their accounts and the seniors had no conscience when it came time to farm out new business.

    Conversely, today’s youth have little work experience, especially if all they did was play video games and maybe were on the school’s soccer league. They can learn a lot about ‘nonbook stuff’ by hanging out with older and many times, wiser workers. Wasn’t the liberal Deniro in some movie to this effect?

  • June 11, 2019 at 11:40 am
    KP says:
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    I had to wait so you can wait too.

  • June 11, 2019 at 1:27 pm
    Nancy G says:
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    We need to go to a national 4-day workweek to open up more jobs. That would solve a lot of problems and I, personally, would live longer due to less stress.

    • June 17, 2019 at 11:45 am
      FFA says:
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      I let my right hand work 4 10’s.Also gets in the office about 10:00 am so as to avoid traffic. My admin also flexibility around her family / kid things. When it boils down to it, I care more about getting the work done as opposed to when it gets done.

      • June 18, 2019 at 12:26 pm
        Agent says:
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        I care more about service being timely and accurate and with a smile to the paying customer.

        • June 18, 2019 at 2:47 pm
          FFA says:
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          Rule #1 – Certs done before close of business.
          Contractors cant work with one, they cant get paid, they cant pay their premiums.

  • June 11, 2019 at 1:55 pm
    KP says:
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    I’m sure they’ll feel the same way in 30-40 years when they’re the old workers, not.

  • June 11, 2019 at 3:35 pm
    Auto Industry et al says:
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    People live a lot longer so they can work longer; if you had heart problems in the 70’s you probably went out on disability; now you have bypass surgery and go back to work on Monday.

  • June 14, 2019 at 1:32 pm
    FFA says:
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    Younger workers should worry more about paying their dues and climbing the ladder instead of when I am going to retire. The govt blew my SS funds that I paid into and now I need to continue working into later life.

    • June 17, 2019 at 3:47 pm
      Agent says:
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      FFA, a wise man makes plans long before retirement and does not depend on SS. It was never intended to be a retirement plan, just a supplement to it. By the way, LBJ moved the Trust Fund where it was not to be touched into the General Fund so he could use it on his War on Poverty which was a massive failure. Then, Clinton-Gore started taxing proceeds. They never saw anything they couldn’t tax.

  • June 17, 2019 at 11:25 am
    Sarah says:
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    We live in a society of immediate gratification. We are taught that we need to climb the ladder as fast as possible because the only “good” jobs are those at the top of any industry. I see our newer workforce often coming in with attitudes that make them think they will be management within 5-10 years, which is not reality in many cases. There appears to be a common belief that a 4 year degree gets you to that level automatically, some even believing that is where they should walk in at immediately after school. Teaching, mentoring, and setting proper expectations for the newer workforce is where we start. Whining about the overly generalized views of the younger generation will not help solve the issue.

    • June 17, 2019 at 12:44 pm
      Agent says:
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      In our business, those BA degrees don’t do a lot of good. Marketing and Business Degrees help to an extent. They still have to be trained into insurance since it is an intangible. Most young people that stick are generally inheriting from a Dad and learn the ropes from him. Happy Fathers Day everyone.

  • June 17, 2019 at 11:35 am
    older in texas says:
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    Hey it’s the government–I will be happy to leave my job for a younger person as soon as I hit that magic number of 66 years old plus so many months the govt. moved my SS up to –till then I will sit right here and clog up this seat till my SS come in.



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