Recession Delays Boomers’ Retirement Plans

By:  Carrie Rossenfeld

NEWPORT BEACH, CA—A new survey from real estate recruiting firm RETS Associates reveals that more than 120 diverse Baby-Boomers who work in real estate were more affected by compensation loss than job loss during the Great Recession. More than one-third (37%) of respondents—which included more than 120 diverse Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 who work in the real estate sector across the nation and were surveyed on their position, compensation, retirement plans and more—reported that the personal financial impact of the recession will delay their retirement.

In addition, 23% of those surveyed indicated that they plan to work at least 10 more years due to the financial hardships caused by the severe economic downturn. In fact, the vast majority (84%) of Boomers plan to keep working part-time after retiring, either for need or enjoyment.

Jana Turner, a principal with RETS, tells, “Twenty-three percent of the respondents knew they were going to have to work at least 10 more years, so considering that many of them will have to work until they’re 66, the amount of time left to work in the workplace is a problem.”

Turner says it’s interesting that the results revealed that the Great Recession did not cause as much job loss as it did compensation loss. “Perhaps the greatest challenge facing Boomers in the post-Great Recession employment landscape is compensation.”

While 92 respondents (74%) said that they did not become unemployed as a result of the recession, the downturn definitely affected their compensation, says Turner. More than half (52%) of the 92 respondents attempted to move to a new job during the recession, but when they did, they realized a decrease in their compensation of 6% or higher.

Compounding the compensation issue, more than a quarter (26%) of respondents said that they felt age discrimination from a prospective employer during their most recent job search. However, a deeper look into the anecdotal feedback from these respondents in the survey shows that many of those employers specifically cited that they were “not willing to pay more for an experienced worker” as the primary reason for not hiring the Boomer candidate.

“In cases where survey respondents felt discriminated against due to their age, being passed over for a position seems to be more of an issue of compensation than age or qualifications,” says Turner.

On the other hand, 72% of respondents reported that they are satisfied with their current job, and 59% stated that they are optimistic about the current job market, according to RETS. Despite this optimism, however, 56% indicated that they have not interviewed even once for a new job in the last year.

As reported in November 2014, significant jumps in base salary for each year of experience are leading top-performer real estate financial analysts to move from company to company in order to get ahead, according to a survey by RETS Associates. The recruiting firm found in its third-annual survey of real estate financial analysts that a clear progression in base salary for each year of professional experience is driving top financial analysts to job hop.