You are not alone if you are in your 60s or 70s and have no urgent plans to retire. In reality, you are in decent company. Warren Buffett, at age 92, is still recognized as one of the most brilliant minds in finance. Jane Fonda, at 85, is as active as ever as an actor and campaigner. Bob Iger has just resumed his position as Disney’s CEO at 72. In her recent victory speech at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Jamie Lee Curtis stated, she is 64 years old, and this was amazing.
And for the rest of us “mere mortals,” a large number of older folks are actively involved in their jobs. The number of workers aged 65 and older has been increasing significantly, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The share of workers aged 65 to 74 is anticipated to increase from 17.5% in 1996 to over 30% in 2026. And among employees aged 75 and older, this percentage is projected to approach 11% in 2026, a significant increase from 4.7% in 1996.
Working beyond retirement age
In light of this, why do so many people continue to work long after they should retire? In contrast to the Buffetts and Fondas of the world, money seems to be the primary goal.
According to recent research by the non-profits Easterseals and Voya Cares, 92% of respondents indicated they needed or wanted more money for retirement. 60% of respondents claimed they had less than $500,000 in retirement savings. 22% of respondents firmly agreed they had enough money to retire well.
60% of respondents stated they worked because they were still physically and mentally capable, 58% because they wanted to keep their brains busy, and 56% because it provided them a feeling of purpose.
Even though ageism is prevalent in the workplace and the labor market, an older workforce carries many potential benefits for companies. Several studies have demonstrated that older employees possess knowledge, experience, and competence. Older, more experienced entrepreneurs are more successful, and those over 40 are three times more likely to establish profitable businesses than their younger colleagues.
In addition, contrary to the widespread belief that older workers are less productive and offer less value to the workplace, older people lower company costs and provide value in ways other workers do not.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, for instance, tens of thousands of retired medical personnel returned to overcrowded hospitals.
The research of the employment consulting firm Mercer demonstrates that older workers bring more emotional intelligence to the workplace and have a lower team turnover rate on teams they supervise.
Unsurprisingly, an increasing number of firms, over 1,000 in the United States, have signed the AARP Employer Promise to encourage equal opportunity for all workers, regardless of age. Companies are beginning to recognize that hiring and retaining older personnel makes financial sense.
Working after the retirement age can have a number of health benefits, including:
- Reduced risk of cognitive decline: Studies have shown that staying mentally active can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Working in your 70s can help keep your brain engaged and active and may help slow down cognitive decline.
- Improved physical health: Many jobs require physical activity, which can help keep you in shape and improve your overall health. Regular physical activity has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
- Increased social interaction: Working can provide opportunities for social interaction and networking, which can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Social interaction has also been linked to improved mental health.
- Financial security: Continuing to work in your 70s can provide financial security and stability, which can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
- A sense of purpose: Working can contribute to a sense of fulfillment and well-being as well as mental health.
It’s important to note, however, that the health benefits of working in your later years may depend on the nature of the work and your personal circumstances. In addition to consulting with your healthcare provider, you should consider factors like physical ability and job satisfaction when deciding whether to continue working.