Several studies have identified a trend which indicates up to 70% of Boomers will continue to work past the typical retirement age. There are a number of reasons which contribute to this phenomenon - loss of financial assets, the desire to stay mentally active, social/professional network, etc. In spite of these trends, 10,000 - 12,000 Boomers retire every day.
In an effort to stem this loss of work place experience/institutional knowledge, employers are implementing flexible work weeks and/or telecommuting programs. Employees are able to maximize their productivity while minimizing the time spent commuting to work. In many instances, remote staff have become a viable option for companies seeking to retain talented employees. This transition to a more mobile and far flung work force allows employed Boomers to explore rural communities as a viable option to begin enjoying a transitional retirement lifestyle. Too that end, rural communities previously considered too remote from urban employment centers are seeing increased interest from Boomers looking to escape traffic congestion and higher crime rates, cost of living, taxes and housing in their retirement community.
Communities looking to attract and appeal to these new residents must promote their Boomer friendly amenities including quality healthcare, IT infrastructure, recreation opportunities, continuing education and transportation services. More importantly, they need to focus on safety, lower cost of living and higher quality of life. Communities must also reach out to regional employers and discuss opportunities for senior retention programs that benefit the company and region. Additionally, companies with aggressive senior retention strategies may welcome and promote rural communities which offer the quality of life sought by retirees while allowing the employer to retain the institutional knowledge/experience of the employee. These programs take advantage of workplace and social networks to spread the word among senior employees about opportunities to begin transitioning to retirement while maintaining their professional lives.
A well conceived promotional program will highlight the community’s quality of life, Boomer friendly amenities and connectivity to the larger world while taking advantage of the Boomers’ natural tendency to be attracted to ‘other people like me’. An equally beneficial outcome of a Boomer recruiting program results in improved retention of all segments of a community’s social and economic base.