7 Reasons Workers Age 65 and Older Have Not Retired Yet

A senior worker in eyeglasses stands in his carpentry workshop
Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

It seems like more and more Americans can’t get enough of work, whether it’s for enjoyment or necessity.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2028, about 23% of people age 65 or older will be in the workforce.

Money Talks News even points out some signs that might mean it’s time to get back into the workforce in “8 Signs That You Should Leave Retirement.”

Provision Living, which operates senior living communities in three states, recently sought to find out why seniors continue to work. It surveyed more than 1,000 people between age 65 and 85 who work full- or part-time.

The responses indicated that 62% of these folks work for financial reasons while 38% work for personal reasons.

Following is a closer look at the findings. The percentages we report indicate the share of all surveyed seniors who cited a particular reason.

7. Loneliness

A senior woman looks out the window of her home
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Surveyed seniors who said this is the main reason they continue working: 2.3%

The Provision Living survey found that a small share of working seniors stay on the job out of loneliness. Specifically, these seniors “say that their workplace provides invaluable camaraderie and they would feel too lonely if they stopped working,” according to the survey.

These seniors might be on to something. The findings of a 2018 survey of people ages 50 to 80 from the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging suggest that chronic loneliness can affect older adults’ memory, physical well-being, mental health and life expectancy.

6. Saving for a big expense

A senior couple enjoys their retirement savings
Ruslan Guzov / Shutterstock.com

Surveyed seniors who said this is the main reason they continue working: 2.5%

Older workers adding to their income by working must also be smart about not wasting those precious dollars.

While that sounds like common sense, you may be wasting money without realizing it. Money Talks News outlines several ways that seniors blow money needlessly in “7 Surprising Ways Retirees Waste Their Savings.”

5. To avoid boredom or fill time

A black senior man drives a forklift at work
sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

Surveyed seniors who said this is the main reason they continue working: 11.4%

The Provision Living survey found that about 6.8% of working seniors remain in the workforce out of boredom and about 4.6% work to fill time, although the survey did not explain the difference between these two responses.

Many people relish the thought of never having to work again, but for some, retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. All those hours once spent commuting and working have to be filled up somehow.

For folks who can relate, Money Talks News lays out a game plan for making retirement fun and constructive in “7 Things You Should Try If You Regret Retiring.” And only one of the suggestions involves a job.

4. Supporting family

A senior Asian couple with their grandchild
Eastfenceimage / Shutterstock.com

Surveyed seniors who said this is the main reason they continue working: 14.3%

The days of kids financially being on their own at age 18 are quickly fading into the past, with more parents helping support their kids well after they officially become adults.

This should not delay your retirement, though: There are numerous ways you can help grown kids financially without sacrificing your own finances, as we detail in “6 Ways to Help Adult Children Without Going Broke.”

3. Paying off a mortgage or other debt

Happy seniors
By michaeljung / Shutterstock.com

Surveyed seniors who said this is the main reason they continue working: 19.9%

The Provision Living survey found that about 8.1% of working seniors remain in the workforce because they are paying off a mortgage. An additional 11.8% said they are still working because they are paying off debt, although the survey does not specify what type of debt.

At least seniors’ average debt load of $70,633 is less than the national average of $93,446, according to a 2019 analysis from credit reporting company Experian.

If you’re carrying debt, whether as a senior or a younger person, check out “8 Surefire Ways to Get Rid of Debt ASAP” for advice. If you need help digging out of your debt, try the Money Talks News Solutions Center, which can direct you to a trustworthy credit counselor.

2. Can’t afford to retire

Confused senior
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Surveyed seniors who said this is the main reason they continue working: 22.9%

About 22.9% of working seniors “say they simply can’t afford to retire at the moment,” according to Provision Living.

That easily makes retirement affordability — or rather, lack thereof — the most commonly cited financial reason for which seniors remain in the workforce. The second-most common financial reason, supporting family, was cited by only 14.3% of survey respondents.

1. Enjoy working

Tyler Olson / Shutterstock.com

Surveyed seniors who said this is the main reason they continue working: 23.2%

The survey found that of seniors who still work either full-time (17.1%) or part-time (6.1%), nearly a quarter do so because they enjoy it. That makes enjoyment of work the most commonly cited reason, whether financial or personal, among survey respondents.

Are you a senior who is still working? What are your reasons for delaying retirement? Share them with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Have You Heard of This Best Place to Retire in 2020?
Have You Heard of This Best Place to Retire in 2020?

The best place to retire in America is one you likely are not familiar with.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Countries Where You Can Retire on $2,000 a Month or Less
5 Countries Where You Can Retire on $2,000 a Month or Less

These tips on retiring overseas come from someone who’s been helping American expats for decades.

15 Purchases That Make Life Easier As You Age
15 Purchases That Make Life Easier As You Age

There are many products that can make getting older — or any time of life — a little easier.

How to Prepare Your Finances for Retirement in 7 Steps
How to Prepare Your Finances for Retirement in 7 Steps

Here is how to get your finances in shape for your golden years, one step at a time.

View this page without ads

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

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money
17 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money

You probably don’t realize these items are worth decent cash.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

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.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

These 5 States Are the Most Expensive Places to Retire
These 5 States Are the Most Expensive Places to Retire

If you expect to have modest retirement income, you may want to avoid spending your golden years here.

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.