No more Freedom 55: Why Millennials are increasingly considering mid-career breaks

No more Freedom 55: Why Millennials are increasingly considering mid-career breaks

In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, a series of Canadian television commercials featured people suddenly transported to an exotic location with their future self who had managed to achieve career retirement by the age of 55.

The reality over the intervening years, however, has not been the same as in those idealistic commercials. Statistics Canadahas found that over the last decade, the average age of retirement has climbed from 61 to 63. Ten years ago, fewer than 1 in 13 Canadians worked past the age of 65 while today, it’s one in eight. The most recent Sun Life Unretirement Index (2015) shows that for the first time, more Canadians expect to be working at the age of 66 than those who expect to be retired.

Millennials are as divided as previous generations about retirement – with 33 percent planning to retire between 65 and 69, and 10% saying they will likely “work until they die” — according to a survey of 19,000 Millennials globally by employment firm Manpower Group. The same survey, however, showed tremendous agreement among this emerging demographic about an alternative to Freedom 55: with four in 10 Millennials saying they plan to take significant breaks for relaxation, travel or vacations and 84% putting leisure and personal wellbeing at the forefront of their career plans.

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