More Than 70% of Pre-Retirees Want to Work in Retirement

A growing number of retirees not only work or plan to work after retirement, but more than half say they want to work after they retire, a recent study finds.

Forty-seven percent of retirees say they either have worked or plan to work during retirement, and 72% of pre-retirees age 50+ say they want to keep working after they retire, a Merrill Lynch Retirement Study conducted in partnership with Age Wave finds.

Researchers point to increasing life expectancy, elimination of pensions for most workers, recent economic uncertainty and re-visioning of later life as reasons for the change in views surrounding retirement.


“While some are delaying retirement, a growing number of people are continuing to work after they retire,” researchers say in the study. “In the near future, it will become increasingly unusual for retirees not to work.”

The study also debunked common retirement myths, including that retirement means the end of work, retirement is a time of decline, people work in retirement because they need money and new career ambitions are only for young people.

“Nearly three out of five retirees launch into a new link of work, and working retirees are three times more likely than pre-retirees to be entrepreneurs,” researchers say.


The survey, completed in March 2014, included 1,856 working retirees and nearly 5,000 pre-retirees and non-working retirees.

Access “Work in Retirement: Myths and Motivations” here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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