Some do it to supplement income, others to feel productive
More senior citizens are saying, “I’m too young to retire.” Some simply can’t afford to retire; others remain in the workforce because it makes them feel productive. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that by 2028, nearly one in four seniors 65 years old and older will be working. They will be staying on the job, or they’ll come out of retirement in search of work that can give them a sense of accomplishment.
The senior living company, Provision Living, conducted a survey of more than 1,000 seniors between the ages of 65 and 85 who were working full time or part time. The poll found that 47 percent of respondents wished they could retire but were still working to make ends meet. Meanwhile, 53 percent said they chose to stay on the job, full time or part time, because they could. Among the old timers who were still working, most of them (45 percent) said they enjoy it, 18 percent said they would be bored were it not for their jobs, and 6 percent work for social engagement.
A more recent poll conducted by CNBC focused on people who quit or lost their jobs during the height of the pandemic, among them a significant number of retirees (https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/08/many-who-lost-jobs-during-pandemic-would-return-for-the-right-pay-and-position-cnbc-survey-finds.html). The poll found that 94 percent of them would consider getting back to work but only for the right job and the right pay. Meanwhile, 68 percent of retirees who participated in the survey said they would consider getting back to work for the right pay and a flexible work schedule.
There was a time when older workers found it hard to find a job. These days, however, hiring seniors seems to be a trend. The Great Senior Living website reports that “many employers now actively look to hire seniors. More and more of them are starting to recognize that experienced and mature workers often have strengths that some younger workers lack. For example, many older workers exhibit strengths like loyalty, a strong work ethic and a good attitude.”
The online job site, Indeed.com offers the following advice for seniors who are deciding to go back to work. “If you’re returning to work out of a desire to keep busy, interact with your community or explore a new career field, your job out of retirement may look different from your previous career,” Indeed writes. “This can be an exciting opportunity to discover new occupations or develop existing hobbies. If you’re an avid gardener, you could explore part-time employment at a local gardening center. If you’re a golf enthusiast, consider applying to a sporting-goods store or golf course ... Those with extensive experience in an industry may even choose to capitalize on their background and begin an independent venture. Starting your own business can be an exciting opportunity.”
John Grimaldi writes for the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), a senior-advocacy organization with 2.4 million members. He is a is a founding member of the board of directors of Priva Technologies, Inc.