Many Boomers Want to Keep Working in Retirement

par Andrew Rickard | May 18 2015 08:58AM

A survey of more than two thousand retired Baby Boomers in the United States has found that nearly half of them would like to find work but cannot do so.

photo_web_1547A study commissioned by the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement in Chicago surveyed 2,293 retired Baby Boomers between the ages of 51 and 69 with an annual household income between $25,000 and $100,000. It found that 48% of retirees would like to keep working but cannot, either due to their own health reasons (35%), the health of a loved one (5%), or because they are unable to find a job (8%).

Of those who have found work after retirement, many of those surveyed said that money was the main reason they keep working, 59% said they kept working for non-financial reasons, for example because they want to stay mentally alert (18%), to remain physically active (15%), to have a sense of purpose (14%), or to stay socially connected to others (7%). Furthermore, 49% of working retirees say they plan to keep working past the age of 70 or as long as their health will allow.

The survey also revealed that 72% of Boomers, who are working after retirement, are earning less than when they were younger, and 53% described their hourly compensation as "much less" than what they were paid before. Most retirees are working less than full time; 59% are working part time,18% are freelance, and 7% are seasonal workers.

"Despite lower compensation, working Boomer retirees say they are happier and more satisfied with their job than non-retirees," concludes the report. "An overwhelming 78% are just as satisfied or more satisfied with their job now than they were with their job before retiring. One-third (32%) report being much more satisfied now."

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