5 Surprising Reasons Older Americans Want to Continue Working

Nov 7, 2019


Yes, you read that right. Not everyone is itching to retire. More and more older Americans actually want to keep working. But why?

One common myth is that the only reason older people choose to work is to offset a lack of retirement savings. There’s no doubt that retirement eligible workers face multiple financial headwinds that prevent them from retiring. According to the Government Accountability Office, half of households with retirement eligible workers have little to no savings for retirement. These same workers are also faced with maintaining and/or generating income to cover increasingly longer life spans.

But financial necessity speaks to the need to work more than the want. So, what else drives these workers to choose employment over retirement? The answers might surprise you.

  1. They feel good – even excellent. Another common myth about aging is that older adults feel sick or tired most of the time. But in a recent United Income report, three out of four Americans aged 65 or older reported feeling good, very good, or in excellent health. The duration of healthy old age is increasing. The report found that older Americans feel capable and 77% said that there’s no limitation to the kind of work they can accomplish.
  2. It’s easier to start a new business – at any age. There’s a growth in entrepreneurship amongst older Americans. Growth of the Internet and the lower cost of entry to start a new business makes starting a new business less risky during normal retirement age. According to a recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek, 26% of new businesses were formed by people age 55 to 64 in 2017, up from 15% in 1997.
  3. They’re wanted – and needed. With 70 million baby boomers who will continue to retire from the workforce – at a rate of about 10,000 people per day until 2030 – the labor supply is shrinking. Work is being left to smaller generations who can’t fill the talent gap. Companies like WAHVE are adjusting to this trend and offering vintage professionals attractive work-at-home options or the ability to work part-time.
  4. It’s socially stimulating. Maintaining social connections can reduce stress and lower blood pressure, slow health decline, benefit cognitive decline and reduce the risk of developing depression. Those who continue to work often report feeling mentally stimulated. They enjoy keeping their skills sharp and collaborating with others.
  5. They like to work! Oftentimes, people who retire report feeling bored, “out of it” – or like they aren’t contributing when they stop working. They miss connecting and sharing ideas. In other words, they actually miss working when they retire and prefer to stay active, engaged and alert via work.

So, whether you want to keep working or you’re an employer who needs to fill a talent gap, now is a great time to do either. At WAHVE, we bring companies and pretiring professionals together. Companies get professionals who are passionate, experienced and want to work, while pretiring professionals get to extend their careers working from home.

What are some of the reasons you want to continue working into retirement? Share your thoughts below.


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