Unretirement: Why Retirees are Going Back to Work

Studies in both the UK and United States have found that upon finally retiring many find it less satisfying than expected — so they’re clocking back in at work. 

The phenomena of these retirees returning to work in part-time positions has been termed by economists “unretirement.”

The UK study, headed by researcher Loretta Platts, found that most of those who return to work do so within five years of leaving their job.

It also found that men are more likely to return to work than women, and that financial problems can be a motive.

Unsurprisingly, those reporting financial issues are more likely to “unretire.”

Platts commented:

Access to paid work in later life may enable retirees to supplement their pensions, stay mentally and physically active, and maintain contact with others. Given future labour shortages, the skills and experience provided by older workers are a crucial resource for business. Our research highlights how retirees are often ready to be re-engaged in the workforce and that government and employers should not forget about them.

A similar 2010 study in the United States by Harvard economist Nicole Maestes found that more than a quarter of retirees later returned to work.

More recently, a 2017 study by the RAND Corp. found that almost 40% of workers over 65 had retired in the past.

Considering future labor shortages, the wealth of knowledge and experience held by older workers is not to be sniffed at: It represents an untapped resource for many businesses.

As the research shows, many of these retirees are ready to be reengaged in the workforce and should not be forgotten about.

“We definitely see evidence that retirement is fluid […] There’s less of the traditional schedule: Work to a certain age, retire, see the world. We see people lengthening their careers,” remarked Kathleen Mullen, senior economist at RAND and co-author of the 2017 survey.

Positives of work

As the studies show, there is a range of factors motivating both Americans and British to return to work. However, the need for income is not the sole motivator.

In fact, the studies show that the return to work represents an intentional choice to return to work in order to reap a variety of benefits.

These include a sense of purpose, social engagement and intellectual stimulation. “Unretirees” show a different attitude to work. Not hankering for the paycheck but seeking autonomy, control and meaning in their employment.

Maestas pointed out that longer lives and better health are making these benefits more pursuable in old age.

You hear certain themes: a sense of purpose. Using your brain […] And another key component is social engagement,” Maestas notes.

Warren Buffett’s Favorite Indicator Suggests a Stock Crash Is Coming

Anyone in the realm of finance or the stock market knows Warren Buffett. He is the billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and has been one of the world’s best investors

Some Expected a Junk Bond Explosion. The Data Says Different.

It has been well documented that much corporate debt has been downgraded by the rating services over the course of this pandemic slowdown. However, the actual data shows it not

Iaccino: Some Quick Stock Ideas for an Unsettled Market

RealDaily's Bob Iaccino recently appeared on the Alpha Trader podcast (available here). Co-founder of PureXposure Growth Series and Chief Strategist at Path Trading Partners, Bob writes The Stock Think Tank

biden wins

What I’m Telling Investors to Do If Biden Wins the White House

The value of our Bulletproof Wealth Report model portfolio declined modestly over the past several trading days ending Sept. 27, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 822 points

Options: Meandering Market Tamed by Using a Straddle or a Strangle

When you hear talk of markets trending, people think of uptrends or downtrends. However, markets often get stuck in a trading range. This is the condition where there is no

Warning! Market ‘Death Cross’ Appears

A death cross! According to Investopedia: The death cross is a technical chart pattern indicating the potential for a major selloff. The death cross appears on a chart when a

5 Best Stocks to Buy If Trump Wins the Election

If President Donald Trump wins the election on November 3, 2020, you might want to consider adding these five equities positions to your portfolio: LMT, BAC, AMZN, XLE, TWTR. Why?

5 Best Stocks to Buy If Biden Wins the Election

If Vice President Joe Biden wins the election on November 3, 2020, you might want to consider adding these five equities positions to your portfolio: XLU, TSLA, XLV, MLM, and

TGIF — Ending the Week with a Whimper

Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen. In Monday's "The Week Ahead — 200,000 Deaths Weigh Heavily on the Market," we knew the 200,000th American death would put Covid back

Even If the Overall Market Continues Lower, This Staple Could Maintain Its Upward Trend

Since peaking in early September, the main indices have all three stumbled for the last few weeks with the S&P and Nasdaq falling over 10% from their highs already. Three

tesla stock

TSLA Too Volatile? Two Option Strategies for Tesla Stock

Tesla Inc. (TSLA) is one of the most popular stocks amongst investors. Led by CEO Elon Musk the electric vehicle manufacturer has disrupted the transportation industry, bringing hype to a

pot stock

Pot Stock ‘Blood in the Streets’ Buy Signal Is Here

The cannabis market has been a volatile space in recent years. A wave in legalization, particularly in Canada but also through parts of the United States, led to significant growth