The growing number of Baby Boomer retirements nationwide is accelerating, raising concerns locally about losing a large chunk of the workforce sooner than expected.
Data shows nearly 6 million more Boomers in the U.S. retired from October 2020 through March of this year than the same period a year prior, creating a larger void than anticipated in an economy seeking to fill jobs across an array of industries and recover from the woes of the coronavirus pandemic.
In early April, when my husband, Neil, and I had both secured vaccine appointments, he suggested a road trip.
He had been fixing up a sporty old car — one of his many pandemic sanity projects — and wanted to put it to the test, driving it from our home in Chicago to a serpentine stretch of road called Tail of the Dragon, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, straddling the Tennessee and North Carolina state line.
At the same time, I had been thinking about how much I would love to see a couple of friends in North Carolina, a state I had never visited. And why not add places we had been meaning to explore to the list? Nashville, Louisville, and Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park rounded out the itinerary, and our first trip since December 2019 started coming together.