New Expectations, New Rewards: 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, and middle-income Baby Boomers who work in retirement describe an experience very different than their work experience before retirement.

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 employed in retirement or have been employed for pay previously in retirement.

Of retired Boomers who are not currently employed, half (48%) would like to work but cannot, most often because of health reasons.

More than three-quarters (78%) of employed retirees 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%).

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