Why Older Americans Are Returning To Work

Many older Americans are “unretiring” and returning to work.

In the September 19, 2018 edition of Money Watch, author Jillian Harding shares results of a recent survey commissioned by senior care provider, Home Instead. The survey drew responses from more than 1,000 “unretired” people, as well as those nearing retirement in the U.S. and Canada.

Why are seniors returning to work?   

Highlights from the article:

  • The #1 reason given by seniors for choosing to return to the workforce is MONEY.
  • The #2 reason given by seniors is fighting BOREDOM.
  • A third reason given for coming back is regaining an IDENTITY. For example, instead of being “a retired school teacher,” a person can now identify as “a valuable caregiver.”
  • A recent Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies report estimates that workers’ median retirement savings is only $71,000, far short of what experts say is needed to retire comfortably.
  • Only 30% of workers report saving up $250K or more.
  • The number of older Americans filing for bankruptcy has increased five-fold since 1991.
  • A 2017 report from the Rand Corporation revealed that more than 50% of retirees 50+ are open to working again if the right opportunity comes along.
    • (Editor’s Note: Similar to study commissioned by SHRM a few years ago that reported 75% of current employees are open to pursuing a new with career with a different employer, once they are made aware of the opportunity.)
  • 39% of currently employed workers age 65+ had previously retired.
  • Of those that came back, nearly two-thirds changed their line of work.


John Mitton is Founder/President of the full-service recruitment advertising agency, Mitton Media®. Providing multimedia recruitment advertising strategies and tactics that blend traditional and non-traditional media platforms to give employers the competitive edge needed for recruitment success in today’s multi-generational workplace.

Pinnacle Award winner, Mitton co-authored and teaches the highly entertaining and informative SHRM-accredited HR training workshop, “Beyond Post & Pray: Effective Recruitment Advertising Strategies for Today’s Multi-Generational Workplace.” Author of several industry articles and creator of the popular JOBSPIPELINE® podcast series, Mitton is also a frequent guest speaker for professional, industrial, and educational organizations on a variety of recruitment-related topics.

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