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Millions of Retirees Returning to Work; Looking for Extra Income

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Retired Americans are scared, and so they are, basically, unretiring – looking for jobs in case Social Security payments get rolled back and they end up outliving their savings. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Retired Americans are scared, and so they are, basically, unretiring – looking for jobs in case Social Security payments get rolled back and they end up outliving their savings.

Over 50% of elderly employees told Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) in a survey that they have returned to work, or never stopped in the first place, because they want the income.

Another research project, this one conducted by AARP, found that 13% of respondents aged 45 and older said they were retired but still looking for work.

As part of its just-released research, TCRS asked Americans what retirement means to them. What they found was that workers most often associate

retirement with the words “freedom” (55 percent), “enjoyment” (53 percent), and “stress-free” (43 percent), despite the magnitude of preparations and challenges involved.

The study, titled What Is “Retirement”? Three Generations Prepare for Older Age found that “Retirement is no longer associated with a gold watch and metaphoric sunsets. Today’s workers expect to extend their working lives beyond age 65. Their vision of retirement balances continued work with freedom and more time to pursue personal interests,” according to Catherine Collinson, CEO and president of Transamerica

Institute and TCRS.

Other research highlights include:

  • Eighty-six percent of workers cite positive word associations with “retirement,” compared with only 37

percent who cite negative words.

  • Fifty-five percent of workers plan to work after they retire, including 41 percent who plan to work part time and 14 percent full time. Among workers planning to work in retirement and/or past age 65, most plan to do so for financial reasons (80 percent) and almost as many for healthy-aging reasons (72 percent).
  • Forty-four percent of workers envision a phased transition into retirement during which they will reduce work hours with more leisure time to enjoy life (27 percent), or work in a different capacity that is less demanding and/or brings greater personal satisfaction (17 percent). Another 22 percent plan to continue working as long as possible until they cannot work anymore.
  • The most often cited retirement dreams are traveling (67 percent), spending more time with family and friends (57 percent), and pursuing hobbies (48 percent). Thirty percent of workers dream of doing some form of paid work such as pursuing an encore career (13 percent), starting a business (13 percent), and/or continuing to work in the same field (11 percent). Twenty-six percent dream of doing volunteer work.

“Workers must take greater action in saving, investing, financially planning – and protecting their health – to successfully transform their visions of retirement into reality,” said Collinson. “In addition to preparing for longer lives and more time spent in retirement, workers are increasingly expected to self-fund a greater portion of their retirement income as a result of the evolving retirement landscape.”

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