According a new MetLife Mature Market Institute® study, older workers are changing the concept of retirement as they live longer and work well past traditional retirement age--some returning to the workforce after they "retire" and/or opting for "portfolios" of paid and volunteer positions. The study--Living Longer, Working Longer: The Changing Landscape of the Aging Workforce--was conducted by David DeLong & Associates, Inc. and Zogby International and examines the actual work experiences of employees age 55-70.
The study found that 78% of respondents age 55-59 are working or looking for work, as are 60% of 60-65 year-olds and 37% of 66-70 year-olds. The "working retired"--workers have actually accepted retirement benefits from a previous employer and then chose to return to work or seek work--represent 11% of 55-59 year-olds, 16% of 60-65 year-olds and 19% of 66-70 year-olds.
Among other things, the survey found that motives for working differ significantly by age, with economic incentives taking precedence among workers age 55-59 (72% of them citing "need income to live on" as a primary reason for working), but narrowing for 60-65 year-olds (60% citing this reason, followed by a desire to "stay active and engaged" (54%) and "do meaningful work" (43%)), and nearly disappearing among 66-70 year-olds, 72% of whom cited the desire to "stay active and engaged" as a primary reason to work, followed by "the opportunity to do meaningful work" (47%) and "social interaction with colleagues" (42%).
Source: Press Release MetLife (April 3, 2006)