More than half of all Americans expect their retirement years to include some sort of job.
According to a new survey from Voya Financial, it’s estimated that nearly 60 percent of Baby Boomers still working expect to still have some sort of income from employment in their retirement. Furthermore, the survey states that 60 percent of Gen Xers and 49 percent of Millennials also believe they’ll have a job after they retire. Between these three generations, about 54 percent of all Americans expect to have a job in retirement, further squashing the traditional definition of retirement of “going from work to no work.”
Voya Financial polled about 1,000 Americans in a phased study that spanned from March to July. Noting this, it is important to take into account the financial uncertainty that’s being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as reason to believe that these numbers are higher than they may normally be in economically stable times. Even so, one of the main reasons for continuing to work post-retirement doesn’t have much to do with money.
So just what are some of the reasons for Americans to want to continue working in some capacity into their golden years? There are two main reasons – with one of them being very obvious and the other one perhaps a bit surprising.
Let’s start with the obvious reason more Americans are likely to work into their retirement years: financial security. In fact, nearly 40 percent of all Voya’s respondents indicated that this was the main reason behind their desire to continue working – much of it to have money to cover unexpected expenses. For instance, it’s estimated that the average retired couple will need about $300,000 just for medical expenses. With Social Security in limbo, it’s understandable that more Americans would want to make sure they’re covered and not falling behind if health issues – or any other issues, really – were to arise.
Then, there is the more surprising reason indicated by about 54 percent of respondents to Voya Financial’s survey: mental well-being. When many Americans officially retire from a long career, they’re lost on what to do and how to spend their suddenly abundant amounts of free time. And while some are content with enjoying the finer things in life and completely removing themselves from any sort of job, others need it. Not only does it help them stay mentally sharp, but they find it gives them a sense of purpose. For some, it’s merely something to do to stay occupied and feel like a contributing member of society.