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Why Aren’t New Jersey Baby Boomers Retiring? [AUDIO]

A growing number of older baby boomers in New Jersey are continuing to go to work, instead of making retirement plans.

Flickr User Scott Halleran

So why is this happening?

“Following the Great Recession, they found that if they did lose a job they probably lost a lot of money, they may have depleted their savings, and, in some cases, they may never be able to retire. They just can’t afford to do it,” says the Director of the Rutgers University Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Carl Van Horn.

He says for some ‘boomers’ who can and do retire from careers, “that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to spend a life of leisure only. Of course they want to spend more time relaxing and spending time with their family, but they also want something more meaningful in the workplace.”

Van Horn points out more and more older Americans are living longer healthier lives, and that means they can look forward to a number of additional years.

“And there’s only so much golf and cards and other things you can do to fill up that time.”

He also says the overall concept of retirement has definitely changed, because most Americans today and certainly in the future are not going to have a pension to look forward to that guarantees them a stream of income.

Van Horn adds as the boomers get older, if they want to remain in Jersey- where the cost of living is very high, “they relocate, they downsize, they sell their house or they move into a smaller apartment and find a way of living on the money they have.”

He also says while many baby boomers may think about heading south to enjoy their golden years, “when you move out of your social network and your family network, you may find out you’re lonely at that other place you thought was nirvana.”

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