Working Longer, Staying Stronger

By Kristen Consillio
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The baby boomer generation — the oldest now entering their 70s and the youngest in their early 50s — are working past the traditional retirement age, many of them out of necessity.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Debbie Morikawa found her passion after becoming an entrepreneur at the age of 58, following a lengthy career in the private and public sectors.

The former director of the Institute for Human Services, Cabinet member for Mufi Hannemann and head of human resources for the parent company of Island Movers, is among the 17 percent of residents between the ages of 50 to 64 who start their own businesses — double the rate of younger people, according to a study by the AARP. (Only 8 percent of those 25 to 49 are entrepreneurs.)

After decades working for other people, Morikawa started a mobile personal training franchise, GymGuyz, in June to stay in the workforce longer.

“I thought I was just too young to retire,” she said. “I do need to work in the sense that you just don’t know what the situation’s going to be. You never know whether or not you’re going to have enough savings. The cost of living goes up, sometimes you have medical conditions. Sometimes there’s just a change in your lifestyle.”

Redefining retirement age
The baby boomer generation — the oldest now entering their 70s and the youngest in their early 50s — are working past the traditional retirement age, many of them out of necessity.

“They are not living the same life as their parents. Their lives are generally more active. They tend to start businesses later in life,” according to AARP’s national Longevity Economy report. “Some like working and continue to work in their jobs or find new careers. Some are forced to continue working as long as they can because they didn’t have access to traditional retirement plans like pensions and didn’t save enough.”

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