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Top Ten Reasons Why Older Adults Continue to Work

May 26, 2016



According to a new study from the Families and Work Institute in New York and the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, “Work in Retirement—A 21st-Century Phenomenon,” many non-financial objectives motivate older people to continue working. The growing number of older workers will help change how employers structure jobs and redefine how we think of careers.


“Traditionally, careers were conceptualized as a linear progression through a series of jobs, each with successively more responsibility.” The study indicates. “However, the realities of the workforce and workplaces no longer fit with the notion of straight career paths or ladder.”


The researchers asked people age 50 and older the reasons for continuing to work in their retirement years. Here are the top ten reasons they gave:

  1. I want to keep earning money to retire more comfortably (53%)
  2. I would be bored not working (31%)
  3. I keep working because income from other sources is not enough (18%)
  4. I want to feel productive, useful and helpful (18%)
  5. I have a job that is fun or enjoyable (15%)
  6. I want to interact with people (13%)
  7. I want to stay physically/mentally active (12%)
  8. I need health insurance (6%)
  9. I am pursuing my dream: I have a job doing what I want (6%)
  10. I want to learn new things (2%)