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Motivation to work in retirement

Posted Oct 23 2008 6:18pm

Getting a handle on older workers is complicated by the many ways to measure them.

Harold_1 Two surveys offer some insights.  While some boomers are headed to senior-citizen-friendly employers such as Home Depot and Borders Books, most plan to keep going in their careers, the research shows.  Even so, they want to slow down a little.  Some seek more flexible or part-time schedules.

And many share one big motivator to work: 44 percent of the people who retire and then return to work in their 70s are still paying off their mortgages, according to a survey released recently by Putnam Investments, a money management firm. 

The 1,700 Putnam respondents turned out to be relatively well off, with average household incomes of $87,000. The average age was 61.  Most of the survey respondents took jobs similar to the ones they'd left, although more than half worked part time.  About two-thirds said they worked because they wanted to; a third said they had to.  But six out of 10 still were carrying mortgages, with average home equity of 47 percent.

The National Study of the Changing Workforce, looked at a cross-section of U.S. workers age 50 and older.  The study found that those 50 and older who keep working are disproportionately self-employed or small-business owners.  The study also found that older workers were most likely to want to keep working  if they had some control over their hours and job autonomy and could continue learning, according to the poll by the Families and Work Institute in New York, a nonprofit research group.

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer , January 9, 2006

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