8. They’re finding new opportunities in the job market. As the economy picks up, the need for experienced professionals is greater, says John Fulcher, director of MRINetwork’s Bauer Consulting Group Inc., an El Paso health-care recruiter. “We are seeing the need for more seasoned professionals who require less ramp-up time and are able to make a larger impact in a shorter amount of time,” Fulcher said in April.
9. They prefer to keep working as long as they’re physically able. Boston College researchers note that one in five workers 50 and older has retired from a career job but currently works for pay in a new role—what the researchers call a “retirement job” and others term a “bridge job.” In the future, according to separate research from the college and the Families and Work Institute (FWI), 75 percent of people 50 and over expect to work in some type of second act job.
10. They want to make a difference. Aside from financial reasons, many people keep working because they want to stay active or “contribute and be productive,” researchers at Boston College and FWI found. More people are using the second half of life to take on second careers, start businesses or follow long-delayed dreams to serve their communities, social entrepreneurship pioneer and Civic Ventures CEO Marc Freedman writes his book, “The Big Shift.” “It’s a time,” he writes, “when many have insight about what matters, a special impetus to act on this wisdom, and the ability to do so. In this respect, it’s a potential sweet spot, a confluence rather than a reinvention.”
Working longer has a variety of economic and social benefits, according to this report by Emily Brandon. “At the bottom end of the socioeconomic scale, people need the money and the insurance to make ends meet, and at the upper-end people are working because they want to,” says Joseph Quinn, a Boston College economics professor.