An Overwhelming 78.2% Majority of Baby Boomers Wish to Continue
Working, of which 15% Want to Start Their Own Business
"Challenge" was the key theme found by NRI's survey
of the baby boom generation concerning their "second lives"
November 18, 2005
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. (NRI: Tokyo; Akihisa Fujinuma, President, CEO & COO) has compiled the results of the "Questionnaire Survey Concerning the Second Lives of the Baby Boom Generation" conducted over the Internet in August, 2005 with a survey sample of 500 company employees and public servants aged 55 to 60 nationwide. The survey showed that 78.2 % of members of the baby boom generation desire to continue working beyond the retirement age of 60, of which approximately 15% wish to start their own businesses. The survey also revealed that about half of all respondents had an interest in travel, asset management/investment and Internet shopping. NRI believes that members of the baby boom generation, a group eager to explore the various possibilities of their post-retirement lives, or "second lives," are likely to have a major impact on the consumer market and consequently Japanese society as a whole.
Approximately 80% wish to continue working to earn money and to have a purpose in life after retirement
NRI's survey found that the overwhelming majority of the baby boom generation—about 80—were considering working past the age of 60, which is the retirement age generally stipulated by Japanese companies. (Figure1), while only 15.6% stated that they did not intend to work past 60. The reasons given for wanting to continue working were various combinations of economic reasons—i.e. the need for money to cover living expenses in old age (60.9%), and to earn spending money, even though living expenses were not a concern (19.9%)—and other reasons such as to stay active physically and mentally (62.7%), to have a purpose in life (48.1%), and to be of more use to society (30.2%) (Figure 2). However, the majority of those who want to continue working (66.2%) do not desire the same level of income as at present, stating that they wished to have a monthly income between ¥100,000 and ¥300,000 (between $833 and $2,500 at ¥115 to the dollar).
Of those baby boomers who wished to continue working, most (39.4%) desired a continued employment system based on extended retirement. Meanwhile, 15.9% wished to work on an hourly basis such as part-time work or the like, and 15.1% wanted to start companies on their own or with friends (Figure 3).
The baby boomers are likely to have a diversity of work modes to choose from in their second lives, such as freelancer, contract employee or employee of a non-profit organization (NPO). What merits attention, however, is that about 12% of the baby boomers wish to start their own business (15% of 80%, the former percentage being those who wish to start a business, the latter those who wish to continue working). Naturally, there is a difference between wanting to start a business and actually doing so. However, if 6% of the 10 million baby boomers population (about half the percentage of those who wish to start a business) actually do start a business in their second lives, new businesses established by 120,000 persons will appear every year. Thus, since only about 90,000 new businesses are started every year in Japan at present, it is possible that such "second life" businesses will substantially increase the number of new businesses started in Japan.
Approximately 70% of baby boomers wish to travel and have an interest in asset management/investment and Internet shopping
The baby boom generation is extremely enthusiastic about "self-realization" in their life after retirement. According to the results of this survey, the overwhelming majority of respondents (68.4%) stated that they wanted to travel in Japan and overseas after 60. The second most popular pastime (38.8%) was short trips to familiar locations, such as strolls through nature, hiking and walking in town. Meanwhile, 23% hoped to live in a foreign country on a long-term basis. Many planned to take up volunteer work (26.8%), community activities (20.6%) and the like. Thus, baby boomers seem to be concerned about stimulating new activities based in the community. Their enthusiasm also appears in the number of those who hope to form new relationships and friendships (20.8%). In addition, about a quarter of the baby boomers have an interest in living in rural areas or pursuing lifestyles that included having houses in both the city and the country (Figure 4).
The survey also revealed that the baby boom generation is likely to bring a change in investment behavior and the consumption styles of the Japanese. A large percentage of respondents (59.2%) expressed an interest in active investment of financial assets, and many already had investment experience: 54.6% in stock investment, 30.4% in mutual funds and 20.0% in foreign currency deposits (Figure 5). Signs are thus emerging that enthusiasm for investment will eventually take root in the senior generation.
Moreover, it is expected that the baby boom generation will form the first group of elderly able to shop by the Internet. According to the survey, 26.4% responded that they often used the Internet to shop, and 49.0% think that their use of Internet shopping will increase in future (Figure 6).
Self-realizing lifestyles will lead to new businesses and social contribution activities from 2010
According to the survey, NRI concluded that the second lives of the baby boomers will center on three living styles: "self-realization," "earning," and "contributing to society." For the present, this generation will pursue self-realizing lifestyles, which means enjoying things they have been unable to do so up to now, and making investments. Thanks to these developments, NRI expects that even as the Japanese economy matures, its vigor will be preserved. However, it will be difficult to achieve a full second life by simply enjoying life, which means that from 2010, the interests of the baby boom generation should gradually shift to more diverse modes of "working." NRI believes that if baby boomers have some degree of success in starting businesses, which as many as 15% of them have a desire to do, the Japanese economy may undergo an interesting pattern of development centered on micro businesses.
In addition, if the baby boomers realize full second lives consisting of work and personal pastimes following retirement, there should be a gradual increase in those persons oriented toward contributing to society. The survey found that about 30% of respondents stated that their reason for continuing work was to be of more use to society and expressed a desire to be compensated for this work by the appreciation and recognition of society. It seems, then, that NPOs and community businesses will probably arise on the strength of the baby boom generation.
NRI will focus its attention on these trends in the baby boom generation and investigate their impact on Japanese society from 2010 onwards. The results of this survey are scheduled to be published in book form under the title 2010-nen no Nihon (Japan in 2010) by Toyo Keizai in the middle of December 2005. (The book is published in Japanese only.)
[For general inquiries, please contact:]
Yukako Seto / Takeshi Nomura
Corporate Communications Department
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
"Questionnaire Survey Concerning the Second Lives of the Baby Boom Generation"
This survey was conducted in August 2005 using NRI's Internet research service "TRUENAVI" with a survey sample of 500 company employees and public servants aged between 55 and 60 nationwide.
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