October 07, 2010
--- A new study finds one in five workers age 50 or above has retired
from his old employment and moved into a new paying position, which
researchers dub a “retirement job.” ---
The study, “Working In Retirement: A 21st Century Phenomenon,“
contends the notion of retirees staying in the workforce is becoming the
“new normal.” In the future, before entirely withdrawing from work,
having a retirement job “is a bridge that tends to emphasize working by
choice and for enjoyment,” the report said.
The research from
the Families and Work Institute and the Sloan Center on Aging &
Work found 75% of workers age 50 and older anticipate having retirement
According to the study, generating income isn’t the only reason
for the working-in-retirement trend: 31% report that they are working
to stay active, and 18% say they want to contribute and be productive.
Less than one in five report working because of insufficient income; the
typical median yearly income among those working in retirement is
$21,000 less than those who have never retired.
Not only that, according to the research, most working retirees
like what they do and are engaged with their employer. They more
positively rate their workplaces for work-life fit, supervisor task
support, and climate of respect and trust, and are most likely to be
engaged in their jobs when their jobs are challenging and provide
The majority of working retirees report working full time and
wanting to work the same or more hours, and more than half say they have
no plans to leave their current employment situation for at least
another five years. Nearly 10% of those working in retirement state that
they will continue doing the same work until they die.
"Traditionally, we have conceived of the life cycle as a ladder
where we move from education to employment to retirement,” said Ellen
Galinsky, president of Families and Work Institute, in a news release
about the research. “That is not the reality today. We need to
understand that the employees of today and tomorrow will cycle in and
out of education, employment, and retirement. The better we understand
this new paradigm, the better we will be able to plan for and manage
The study used data from Families and Work Institute’s 2008
nationally representative study of the U.S. workforce, the National
Study of the Changing Workforce.