By Laurie Kellman, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Feel like the office geezer? Age may be an asset at work, or no issue at all, according to an AP-LifeGoesStrong.com poll.
Nearly half of those born between 1946 and 1964 now work for a younger boss, and most report that they are older than most colleagues. But 61% of the baby boomers surveyed said their age is not an issue at work, while 25% called it an asset.
Only 14% classified getting older as a workplace liability.
In fact, most of those who have reached age 50 noted that co-workers seek their counsel more now than when they were younger. And a third said their employer treats them with greater respect.
"You need to find something you love doing and in a field that you're comfortable in," said Cynthia Forwerck, 54, the director of a Charlotte, N.C., church preschool for the past 18 years. She said her age helps when it comes to applying day-to-day experience with young children. But Forwerck still must work at balancing nearly two decades of first-hand knowledge with learning new trends in education.
About two-thirds of poll respondents said they were able to stay abreast of developments in their field and keep up with technology.
"You have to be somewhat creative and adaptive over many years," Forwerck said.
A small but significant group of boomers report work-related struggles that they attribute to their age. Those who earn less or have fewer savings were least likely to report satisfaction at work. About 1 in 4 boomers still working say they'll never retire, and about the same fraction say they have saved no money for retirement.
And some are still climbing their own learning curves: One in 5 boomers have been in their current field for less than a decade, the poll found.
The first post-World War II baby boomers reach 65 this year. But two-thirds say they'll work at least part-time past retirement age for financial reasons, either because they'll need to or because they'll want extra spending money. Another 29% said they'll keep working just to stay busy.