Just two weeks from this first day of the 2010 Annual Enrollment Period, the first of the Baby Boomers will become eligible to register for Medicare. That date signals the start of a  wave of 77 million Americans who’ll reach 65 in the next 18 years – one every 8 seconds – the largest single generation in our country’s history.  USA Today just published a long piece on what the aging of the Boomers willmean for the country. The article looks to be the start of a longer series called Senior Moment: Boomers Turn 65.  Interesting reading and worth keeping an eye on to see what comes next.

Towers Watson this week published results of a new survey  on attitudes toward retirement risk. The survey of nearly 9,100 employees shows that 4 in 10 U.S. workers are planning to delay retirement. One telling finding: a large majorty of respondents said they would be willing to pay more now for greater certainty in their future benefits. From the press release summarizing the results:

“The survey, conducted in May and June of 2010, found that 40% of workers are planning to retire later than they were two years ago. Older workers and those in poor health comprise the largest percentage of employees planning to delay retirement. In particular, 45% of employees in poor health plan to postpone their retirement. When asked why they are choosing to retire later, more than two-thirds (68%) of older workers said to keep their health care coverage, while 62% said the higher cost of health care. Six in 10 older workers (61%) blamed the decline in the value of their 401(k) plan.”

It looks like a number of factors are conspiring to keep older people in the workforce longer, and that may be a very good thing for the economy. As a result of the current recession, Baby Boomers are already planning to retire later, or not at all. Over the next ten years, jobs growth will outpace the number of younger people available to fill them by as many as 5.7 million jobs. That means more employers will need to retain and/or hire older workers, and more older workers will continue to pay into Social Security and Medicare. Chris Farrell in BusinessWeek makes the case for an optimistic outlook.