* Many turning 65 next year plan to continue working
* A significant number plan to pursue education
* About 7,000 boomers a day to turn 65 next year
By Donna Smith
WASHINGTON, Dec 22 Despite the economic turmoil
of the last few years, the leading edge of baby boomers turning
65 next year are content with their lives and many want to
continue working for as long as they can, a survey released on
While many boomers turning 65 next year have concerns about
financial security and health, the survey found 82 percent are
optimistic about the next five years, according to a survey
released by the AARP, an influential advocacy group for older
Seven in 10 said they achieved all or most of what they
wanted in life and 78 percent said they were satisfied with the
way things are going in their lives, the AARP survey said.
"They are pretty satisfied with what they have accomplished
so far," said Steve Cone, AARP executive vice president.
"They are looking forward to being around for a good many
years to come and unlike previous generations, 40 percent of
(those working) say they never are going to retire. They are
going to work until they drop," Cone said.
The survey of 801 people turning 65 next year was conducted
by Woelfel Research Inc for the AARP. The results could have
significance for companies facing an aging workforce and for
real estate markets as the vast majority said they plan to stay
where they are and grow old in their homes.
The more than 76 million-strong baby boom generation is
generally defined as those born from 1946 to 1964. The first
wave will turn 65 next year at rate of about 7,000 a day and
become eligible for the Medicare federal healthcare program for
They will not be eligible for full Social Security
retirement benefits until age 66 as the United States has begun
gradually raising the retirement age from 65 to 67.
About half, 54 percent, of those turning 65 next year have
retired, while 34 percent are still in the workforce. About a
third, 35 percent, of those working said they returned to work
after retiring from a previous career, the survey found and 40
percent said they plan to work as long as possible.
A significant number of those surveyed, 44 percent, said
they plan to take classes or learn something new, while 61
percent said they want to travel more.
The desire to continue working, travel or continue with
education reflects an attitude that has defined the baby boom
generation and longer life expectancy than previous
generations, Cone said.
"Baby boomers think they're much younger than they are,
they always have," he said.
The survey showed that the average baby boomer expects to
live until at least age 85, just a few years shy of the 89
years they want to live, the survey said.
Only about 2 percent of those surveyed said they had plans
"This is a generation that started identifying who they are
with what they do, so it's no surprise that they plan on
staying active for as long as they can," Cone said.
"The 'tune in, turn on, drop out' crowd never got around to
that last part."
(Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by Eric Walsh)