In the past several years, baby boomers have begun to enter into retirement and are destined to change the way others retire. According to Statistics Canada, “Since 1921, the largest annual increase in the number of births occurred between 1945 and 1946, with an increase of about 15 percent. This marked the start of the baby boom period.”
The baby boomer period began at the end of World War II and lasted for approximately twenty years. There is no doubt that the large numbers of baby boomers has made an impact on Canada, one which will continue to be felt throughout the world in the coming years. For example, economically, the sheer number of retirees alone, will result in a transition with respect to how others will retire in the future. A question arises as to whether or not the Canadian economy can support such large number of people who are or will be eligible for retirement benefits.
One of the major changes that occurred in Canada recently is the announcement of a change in retirement age, or an “increase the age of eligibility for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) between the years 2023 and 2029, from 65 to 67.”
Note that this kind of a transition has future implications for baby boomers as well as others. Some of these are employment related, while others concern their health status. For example, many baby boomers will continue employment rather than retire early. Other baby boomers will seek further academic or skills training because of the necessity to work.
The health status of baby boomers is better than ever before for people of their age. This means they are likely to live longer than their parents, or grandparents. This in turn, will lead to a higher number of older retired people, who will require long-term medical and health care. One of the major concerns in respect to health care is that there is a smaller, post baby boomer population upon whose shoulders will fall the responsibility of caring for the aged baby boomers.
Note that the increasing elderly population phenomenon is not strictly limited to Canada, or even North America, as the growing number of elderly people is a global phenomenon. Perhaps Canada and the United States will help influence the rest of the world with respect to how they handle concerns related to the elderly.
The majority of baby boomers who have begun to retire are proactive, positive and constructive individuals who have been instrumental in shaping the economy on a global basis. Many have made major contributions to the economy, as well as the improvements in technology, education and health care. Progress always involves change, and as baby boomers bring about further change with respect to their retirement, then others may be pleasantly surprised.