Baby Boomers Are Not Retiring
Baby boomers are not leaving the workforce as evidenced by the freelancers involved with
this project. The recent financial crisis coupled with Boomers not being good savers
(Newman, 2011) is keeping them in the workforce longer than even they anticipated:
About 80 percent of Boomers have not saved enough money to retire comfortably in
their early 60s, and recent financial crisis has only made things worse. As a result,
Boomers intend to keep working well past the age of 54 in far greater numbers than
previous generations. In 1982, about 20 percent of those in the 65-69 age range
were in the labor force. By 2007, that number was 30 percent, and by 2015, more
than half of all people 65-69 are expected to be in the labor force. (Newman, K.,
2011, p. 136)
For those employed as creative contributors in media, they are inherently up on trends and
are avid consumers of popular culture. All are comfortable with technology, blogging, and
multitasking. They are part of an industry that has been catering to segmented marketing
and all the participants know how to enter divergent cultures. As they age, they sense that
they are treading in new territory as someone who is older. Alan McElroy, a screenwriter,
voices the reality of aging in youth-obsessed Hollywood.
Alan McElroy, a screenwriter who just received a six-figure deal for his last screenplay, is
still thriving and that is a testament to not only his creativity, but also the power of having
sustainable relationships that include friends, family and colleagues. He discusses how
advancement within the industry is precarious and whimsical even without the age factor:
I’ve watched a guy go from bringing coffee within five years to becoming the
president of production in the now defunct Kirshner Locke. There is a progression.
People get on people’s desks. Then they end up taking that job. Then they move
up the ranks of development. Before you know it, they’re president of production at
some company. It happens very quickly. But it’s like shark’s teeth, they’re all 27-
years-old. I get older and all the executives are twenty-seven. (LAUGHS) It’s brutal.
You have to stay current because they want to hire people who see things their way.
They don’t want to hire a dad – they want to hire a buddy – somebody they have a
When asked how age, creativity, and experience are valued in your industry Alan responds: