Data and Research

Americans Looking to Work Past Retirement Age

The latest survey from Gallup finds that most U.S. employees prefer to work post-retirement, rather than needing to. 

By Amanda Umpierrez | May 15, 2017
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A recent Gallup survey found that while most employees plan to continue to work past their retirement age—74% to be exact—most have a desire to work, not because of a need to earn money.

The Gallup Economy and Personal Finance survey found that nearly two in three employed U.S. adults (63%), reported on their plan to work part-time once they hit their retirement age. An 11% of respondents said they would work on a full-time status, and a quarter—an increase from Gallup’s previous surveys—said they would discontinue working at all.

This year’s survey found that more U.S. employed adults plan to leave working altogether, as two prior versions of Gallup’s poll reported only 18% of adults in 2011 hoped to fully retire, and 22% in 2013.

Of those who plan to work past their retirement age, most reported they will out of preference, rather than out of necessity. In fact, the survey found a decline in employees believing they will need to work past retirement, from 9% in 2013 reporting they “will have to” work full-time, to 5% of respondents today. Similarly, those who said they “will have to” work part-time dropped as well, from 26% to 18%. Instead, employed adults who will work part-time as preference increased, from 34% in 2013 to 44% in 2017.

NEXT: Employed Adults Plan to Retire After 65