Boomers to change outlook on workingPublished 10:46am Wednesday, April 3, 2013
According to radio personality and personal finance expert Chris Farrell, the baby boomer-filled workplace is going to change the way young people think about their lives and careers — and that’s a good thing.
Farrell, a contributor to the public radio show “Marketplace,” “Bloomberg Business Week” and the Star Tribune, spoke to a full crowd at M State-Fergus Falls’ Legacy Hall Tuesday night as part of the Fergus Area College Foundation’s Bigwood Lecture Series.
While there has been concerns about the aging population and its stress on the economy, Farrell demonstrated his optimistic belief that older generations will work longer and, in turn, bring about a different outlook on retirement for younger people.
“The aging of America gives us an opportunity to change the way we think about retirement, about work and about the good life in this country,” said Farrell to the audience.
According to Farrell, the opportunity for boomers to work longer will be prevalent in town’s like Fergus Falls for two reasons: education and entrepreneurial spirit.
“Something that’s always struck me in areas like Fergus Falls is that they’re very entrepreneurial towns,” said Farrell. “There’s certainly not as many opprotunities as in the Twin Cities, but there’s a lot of entrepreneurism because it’s what people have had to do.”
With older workers leaving jobs and entering new ventures, Farrell envisions boomers, and the generations that follow, entering and leaving colleges and universities a number of time throughout their lives.
“Our country is evolving and all the opprotunities are for educated people,” said Farrell. “For entrepreneurial minded people, the same is becoming true.”
Farrell also touched on subjects that have been major political issues for the state and country, including entitlement spending and healthcare reform. While these issues have divided many in the country, Farrell sees opprotunity in the growth of healthcare delivery and believes that entitlements can be fixed to help the aging population as they work longer.
“Entitlement reform is coming,” said Farrell. “The inititives I’d like to see is rewards that encourage working longer.”
But throughout the evening, Farrell made one thing clear: What he calls “work-tirement” is something that will enhance the aging and productivity of the country.
“Living longer is a good thing, but a lot of people don’t believe that. There’s this gloom around aging in this country,” said Farrel. “The gloom about the aging population is wrong. It’s misplaced.”