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The term "retirement brain drain" (RBD) has been applied to IT and other industries in reference to generational workforce changes that can have a negative effect on companies. The idea of a retirement brain drain is that natural outcomes of generational retirement can create a kind of "talent vacuum" or lack of available talent for businesses.
One main component of the retirement brain drain involves the wisdom and experience that a career worker accumulates over his or her lifetime. The idea is that a larger-than-usual amount of retirement takes away more of this aggregated knowledge, and companies have to replace this talent with a series of beginners or less skilled and experienced workers.
Some experts predict that the worst instance of retirement brain drain will happen over the next 5 to 20 years as the baby boomer generation retires. However, these predictions can be qualified somewhat by the idea that, in a down economy, individual workers may choose to work past their normal retirement ages.
In general, the idea of retirement brain drain is a part of assessing how companies look at human workers that power their business operations. Some executives and company leadership boards tend to put too much of an emphasis on a workforce as a collection of resources, rather than thinking about the people involved as individuals. Part of the challenge, for many businesses, is to find new ways of connecting with individual potential employees and putting more of a "human" emphasis on human resources.