If you are considering adding “work” to your retirement “to do” list, you are not alone.
A recent report by the Families and Work Institute and Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging and Work stated that a growing number of older Americans not only feel they need to work after retirement – for additional income – but are looking for work to because it makes them feel good.
The study further reported that the part of the graying population that goes back to work tends to find more rewarding jobs than they previously held. These so-called working “retirees” found themselves with a better “family-life” balance than those who had not yet retired.
Two of the three primary reasons for continuing to work after retirement were:
To keep earning money to retire more comfortably.
To keep working because income from other sources is not enough.
However, 31 percent reported their main reason was to avoid becoming bored. In fact, almost half of cited reasons for working went beyond the bank account. Instead they were linked to maintaining a joyfully, active and fulfilling life.
Additionally, those employees working in jobs after retirement were committed to their work: the study found that age did not affect employee engagement. Retired workers were just as “a positive, enthusiastic and emotionally (connected) with work” as workers prior to retirement. Employee engagement measures what “motivates an employee to invest in getting the job done, not just ‘well’ but ‘with excellence’ because the work energizes the person.”
The Department of Labor calls this the “demographic metamorphosis” of America. The department expects between 2006 and 2016, the number of workers 55 and over is projected to increase by 36.5 percent. The Department of Labor’s Aging Worker Initiative has underwritten grants to develop multiple programs in areas of the country that face possible labor shortages. The programs also help train older workers in regions with high-growth industries.
For many retirees, the challenge first is understanding retirement and handling the transition.