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Generation “U”: Unretired & Inspired

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Generation “U”: Unretired & Inspired…
and Reverse Mortgage-Ready!

Seniors Staying In The Workforce Longer

Workplace expert Lynn Taylor, who coined the term “Gen U” for Generation Unretired, believes today’s seniors and soon-to-be seniors represent a sea change for both business and the reverse mortgage industry. She says, “With the growing number of people seeking greater financial security to address longer life spans, Gen U will be highly receptive to financial incentives such as reverse mortgage, which will allow them to continue to thrive.”

The author of the workplace conflict resolution book, Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant (TOT): How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job notes that Gen U will make up almost all the growth of the U.S. labor market over the next seven years. According to AARP, eight out of 10 of the 80 million Baby Boomers will work part- or full-time rather than retire.

Seniors Staying In The Workforce,“Gen U’s contributions reside not only in their skills sets garnered over many years, which can be passed onto Gen X, Gen Y, and Baby Boomers. They’ve also learned a thing or two about people skills -something often lost in today’s frenzied, high-tech workplace,” observes Taylor, who has watched this evolution from within corporate America and as a consultant over the past three decades.

Henry Alford, author of How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People, concurs with her assessment. “In general, the more technological a culture, the less the wisdom of elders is valued; in a world in which megabytes and artificial intelligence are the coin of the realm, skills like passing on traditions and providing cultural context are perceived to have diminished worth.”

But Taylor believes we err if we cast off the older generation.

“Because Gen U has the maturity of experience, they are often more adept at ‘humanizing the workplace.’ They’ve seen sandbox politics come and go and have witnessed that nice guys really don’t finish last. They are often the ‘anti-TOT’. That’s not to say that all of them make great bosses. But they can be a major asset to a more interpersonal, motivational workforce.”

Unretired Reverse Mortgage Prospects

This is also why a reverse mortgage may be key to helping Gen U workers thrive: remaining in the workforce, or reinventing themselves for an entirely new encore career, “presents an opportunity to re-apply their knowledge, pay off expenses, ‘give back,’ and feel a renewed sense of purpose,” says Taylor. While a sense of community can be created in a yoga class or golf game, for many mature workers, building something that directly impacts the livelihoods of others can be even more rewarding, she notes.

“This Gen-U-ine shift will become a win-win-win for companies, the reverse mortgage industry, and the unretired in the months and years ahead.”

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8 Comments

  1. ok… please explain how older generations staying in the workforce helps younger generations?

  2. The term, there is no substitute for experience does have some merit. That’s not to say that Gen Y, X and Boomers don’t equally contribute value. But Gen U offers a vast resource of knowledge and experience that only years of proven business practice can yield. We must examine the thinking that once people reach retirement age they are no longer “helpful” to younger generations. That is proven false each day.

  3. I think Ms. Taylor says it all; I’ll just reiterate what she stated in the blog post: older workers can bring a sense of balance and perspective to the workplace that their younger counterparts may lack, due to the latter’s zeal to perform well and climb the ladder. The more we can open to learning from one another across the age spectrum (as well as across all other perceived boundaries/differences), the greater the opportunity we foster for harmony and business/personal success.

  4. LOL, ok. Meanwhile unemployment is at 8.4% (true unemployment being around 10.3% when factoring those who are unemployed but are not considered “looking”), and 75% of college graduates being UNDERemployed and burdened with student debt.

    To ignore this and say that older workers are good for younger workers in a mentoring sense; sure, i’ll buy that. But in an economical sense, which is how one should analyze the relationship when speaking about a topic that deals with economics, older generations are not good staying around the work place.

    If you honestly believe that the experience of older generations somehow trumps the economic principle of supply and demand… well, I just don’t know what to say anymore. Except, “what has this world come to…”

  5. First off, Ernie, thanks for your wise one-word response. I concur wholeheartedly!

    Um…What?: I appreciate your perspective; however, I encourage you to think beyond the economic box. Perhaps both groups (older and younger workers) can collaborate in ways that expand the existing framework, such as new directions for the business that generate not only additional revenue, but new jobs as well.

    If we jettison older workers, their experience and insight is lost. In a sense, we lose a company’s “memory” when its older workers retire or are laid off: the essence of what the organization has been, and how this history can help the future (such as by not repeating past mistakes, or reinventing the wheel).

    I’d venture to guess you’re at the younger end of the age spectrum right now; would love to hear your views when you’re 55+, full of ideas, rarin’ to go, still in good health — and told you’re being let go. I highly recommend books such as The Big Shift by Marc Freedman, which offers a plethora of ideas (many of which I’ve woven into recent posts on this site) for how older adults can contribute to the workforce and to life in the third millennium.

    Blessings ~

  6. I hope I didn’t miss something, but how would more seniors staying in the workforce contribute more to reverse mortgages?

    It would seem to em that would slow down the applications…right?

  7. Hi Tony,

    Thanks for your comment! The article focuses on how older workers contribute to the workplace overall. Reverse mortgages may be useful in freeing up funds to get additional training in order to stay current, or move into an entirely new field in later life, which we discuss in depth in our recent “Pressing the Reset Button” series of posts. Here’s the link to the first article in that series: https://www.hecmworld.com/reverse-mortgage-news/aging-americans-gap-market-demographic


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