There They Go….

Earlier this month (on October 15, 2007 to be exact) the first baby boomer in the United States became eligible for Social Security.

The article, First U.S. baby boomer applies for Social Security describes how retired school teacher Kathleen Casey-Kirschling became the first ripple in a “silver tsunami” of retiring baby boomers applying for pension benefits that threatens to overwhelm U.S. government finances. You can also read about her in Social Security hits first wave of boomers.

Kathleen was born in Philly one second after midnight on Jan. 1, 1946, and she will receive her first Social Security check in February 2008. Shortly after the new year, she will be joined by many, many others.

The first wave of 3.2 million baby boomers turns 62 next year — at an average of 365 an hour. About 49% of the men and 53% of the women are projected to choose early retirement and begin drawing monthly Social Security checks representing 75% of the benefits they’d be entitled to receive if they waited four more years to retire. As a result, many of them may consider leaving their current positon for another endeavor like part-time or charity work.

In 2012, those who didn’t take early retirement benefits will turn 66 and qualify for their full share.

So, the Social Security Administration is bracing for some 80 million Americans to apply for retirement benefits over the next two decades.

So what is your organization doing about the impending boomer retirement? What programs do you have in place to capture the knowledge that will be walking out your door in a few months?

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Karl Kapp
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