Boomers are rewriting the rules for retirement

tracy05.jpg
CBS

BUCKEYE, Ariz. - When we hear the word "retirement," some of us picture bingo and shuffleboard, reports CBS News national correspondent Ben Tracy.

Well, retirement - boomer style - is something else.

Gordon Fjeld and his equally adventurous wife Peggy spend their days zipping through the Arizona desert.

"This is what retirement should be," says Gordon.

When asked where the shuffleboard is, he replies, "Nah, that's for old people."

The couple owns a home in a retirement community called Sun City Festival, 45 miles from Phoenix. Developments like theirs cater to boomers concerned about cost and lifestyle. The average house sells for about $200,000.

And $100 a month buys the amenities many boomers demand.

"They're highly educated," said Deborah Blake, director of marketing at Del Webb. "They have high expectations of what they want in their life and they expect to live a long time."

In fact, 86 percent of boomers say they'll be more active in retirement than their parents were. But to pay for it, 70 percent will keep working at least part-time; 42 percent are delaying full-time retirement because of hits to their retirement accounts and home values during the recession.

"To make up the shortfall, they're having to work longer trying to rebuild their investment portfolios and their 401ks," said John Schleimer, president of Market Perspectives.

At age 62, Jerry Axton is still running his hand-made furniture business, even though he's been living in a retirement village for two years.

"Doing nothing doesn't sound very exciting," said Axton, "and retirement borderlines to me -- doing nothing."

But while there is still work for some, there is also plenty of fun on tap.

Mimi Miller is simply looking to forget about getting older.

"We're still kids at heart," she declares.

Because most of these boomers feel their sunset years are still a ways down the road.

  • Ben Tracy
    Ben Tracy On Twitter»

    Ben Tracy is a CBS News senior national and environmental correspondent based in Washington, D.C.