The Unexpected Benefits of Delaying Retirement

Photo by Stocklite / Shutterstock.com

More older Americans have returned to work or are working longer in recent years, in many cases to rescue their retirement savings. Earlier this year, the share of Americans age 65 or older who are still working reached 19 percent — the highest it’s been since the 1960s.

It turns out, however, that older workers are getting more than money out of their extended time in the workforce. Many are finding satisfaction at work, according to the latest American Working Conditions Survey by the nonprofit think tank Rand Corp.

Delaying retirement for meaningful work

Meaningful work may be reason enough for some older workers to delay retirement. As Rand puts it, “There are many reasons to help older Americans stay in the workplace, but the best reason could be that they still want to be there.”

More than 3,100 workers ages 25 to 71 were polled for the survey. It found several differences in how older workers (age 50 and older) and prime-age workers (ages 35–49) feel about their jobs.

For example, more than two-thirds of older workers feel satisfaction over work well-done and feel that they are doing useful work. In comparison, about two-thirds of prime-age women and only 54 percent of prime-age men feel the same.

Compared with their prime-age peers, older workers are also:

  • More likely to say they apply their own ideas in their work.
  • More likely to say they solve unforeseen problems in their work.
  • Less likely to say they perform monotonous tasks.
  • More likely to set their own work hours.

Older workers are more likely to consider social support lacking in the workplace, however. They also report less opportunity for career advancement.

Other reasons to delay retirement

Rand’s findings are reminiscent of what Kerry Hannon, author of “Getting the Job You Want After 50 for Dummies,” said earlier this year about nonfinancial benefits of delaying retirement:

“People go into mourning when they retire. Your whole identity is caught up in who you are and what you did. Continuing to work provides social benefits, including feeling relevant.”

Still, the financial benefits of delaying retirement are numerous. They include that:

  • Working longer gives you more time to build up your retirement savings.
  • The longer you wait to claim your Social Security benefits, the larger your monthly checks will be, as we detail in “14 Ways to Maximize Your Social Security Checks.”
  • Every extra year you earn a paycheck is one extra year you aren’t tapping your retirement savings, which gives those savings more time to grow.

For more tips, check out “Ready to Rescue Your Retirement in 2017? Here’s How.”

How do you feel about the prospect of working longer, whether due to financial need or simply because you enjoy meaningful work? Sound off below or over on our Facebook page.

Find the right financial adviser

Finding a financial adviser you can trust doesn't have to be hard. A great place to start is with SmartAsset's free financial adviser matching tool, which connects you with up to three qualified financial advisers in five minutes. Each adviser is vetted by SmartAsset and is legally required to act in your best interests.

If you're ready to be matched with local advisers who will help you reach your financial goals, get started now.

Read Next
5 Reasons You Should Retire Sooner, Not Later
5 Reasons You Should Retire Sooner, Not Later

Waiting until age 70 to retire isn’t for everyone. Could you be waiting too long?

Avoiding These 5 Foods Could Save Your Vision as You Age
Avoiding These 5 Foods Could Save Your Vision as You Age

Millions of Americans may be able to prevent an incurable cause of blindness by making a basic change.

Secret Ways to Save on Netflix
Secret Ways to Save on Netflix

These little-known savings tactics can help whittle down what you pay for your streaming video subscription — every month.

The 5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
The 5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

3 Easy Ways to Get Laundry Soap for Nearly Nothing
3 Easy Ways to Get Laundry Soap for Nearly Nothing

Not using any of these methods for saving on laundry detergent? Then, you are washing money down the drain.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most
10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most

No state is immune from the coronavirus. But statistics show that some places are especially dangerous for older residents.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You probably don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus
5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus

You likely already have some of these products at home.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

The dollar store has great bargains on these purchases.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

12 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
12 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

The Top 11 Jobs That Employers Want Retirees to Do
The Top 11 Jobs That Employers Want Retirees to Do

Tired of age discrimination? Businesses are clamoring for older workers to fill certain roles.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

9 Things That Are Cheaper Due to the Coronavirus
9 Things That Are Cheaper Due to the Coronavirus

The pandemic has a silver lining.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.