Is Working Past Retirement Age An Antidote To Getting Old?

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Nearly half of people surveyed who say they're retired are working or have worked in the recent past. And nearly three quarters of baby boomers say they plan to stay on the job past retirement age.


The word retirement is losing its meaning. A new study finds that almost half the people who say they are retired are still working or have worked in the recent past. Nearly three quarters of baby boomers who are not yet retired say they plan to stay on the job past retirement age. NPR's Ina Jaffe has more.

INA JAFFE, BYLINE: This is a dictionary definition of retirement.

KEN DYCHTWALD: It says, to disappear, to withdraw and go away.

JAFFE: Well, that's not what it means anymore, says Ken Dychtwald. He's the CEO of a research firm called Age Wave and one of the co-authors of the study.

DYCHTWALD: Three quarters of the boomer generation envision some continued work in retirement to be not only good for their nest egg, but also for good for their mind, good for their heart. People are even saying that some continued work is sort of an antidote to aging.

JAFFE: That's not to say that remaining in the workforce is always easy for older adults. Most want to work part-time or have a flexible schedule. David Tyrie, the head of retirement programs at Merrill Lynch, the other co-author of the study, says companies will have to adapt to the growing older workforce.

DAVID TYRIE: They're going to have to increasingly offer things like mentorships, retraining, sabbaticals if they're going to win that war for talent.

JAFFE: Increasingly, older people who don't find what they want in the job market are going to work for themselves. In fact, in 2012, people in their late 50s and early 60s accounted for a quarter of all new businesses. Ina Jaffe, NPR News.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from