Work in Retirement for Middle-Income Boomers

A generation ago, retirement meant moving from a life of full-time work to one focused on full-time leisure.

Today, however, the views and expectations for work and retirement are rapidly changing. With life expectancy on the rise, it isn’t a far-fetched possibility that a Baby Boomer who retires at age 65 will have a 30-year retirement!

What is a baby boomer to do?

In order to finance a retirement that may last decades on a middle class income range, many Baby Boomers are turning to working after retirement. What is middle income? For our purposes, middle income are those with an annual household income between $25,000 and $100,000.

Can you still work after you retire?

The answer is yes! Many Baby Boomers are going back to work after retirement to help their nest eggs last longer. And even if their finances are in good shape, many Baby Boomers are still choosing to work after retirement in order to stay physically and mentally agile, as well as for social aspects.

Can I take early retirement and still work?

If you’re asking yourself, “Can I retire at 62 and still work part time?”, the answer is yes! If taking an early retirement appeals to you—or you’re forced into an early retirement due to health reasons or layoffs—working after retirement is an option for you!

Working after retirement—a different experience

Going back to work after retirement can be a very different experience than a work experience before retirement. Many retirees go back part-time, leaving more time for leisurely activities. Others are choosing consulting jobs or are taking advantage of the gig economy, providing a more flexible schedule and control.

With implications for both consumers and employers, New Expectations, New Rewards: Work in Retirement for Middle-Income Boomers brings quantitative insight to the rapidly changing role of work in the new retirement equation and explores how Boomers are blurring the lines between working for pay and retirement.

Key Findings

One-third (28%) of retired Boomers are either currently working after retirement retirement or have been employed for pay previously in retirement.

Of retired Boomers who are not currently employed, half (48%) would be interested in going back to work after retirement, but cannot, most often because of health reasons.

More than three-quarters (78%) of retirees working after retirement report they are as satisfied or more satisfied with their job compared with their pre-retirement work. One-third (32%) report being much more satisfied now.

Among retirees who retired earlier than expected, nearly eight in ten (79%) retired early for reasons that were not in their control, such as their health (39%) or being laid off (19%).

Featured Charts & Data