LOS ANGELES – As a result of the pandemic, many are not as financially stable as they previously were. This may be one factor why many retirees are returning to work, a recent survey shows.
To better understand the current and future employment status of older Americans, ResumeBuilder.com surveyed 500 people ages 62-85 earlier this month.
- 12 percent of retired Americans are likely to start working again next year.
- Top reasons for retirees returning to work are inflation and high cost of living.
- Two-thirds of retirees fear age bias will affect job prospects.
- 1 in 4 Americans ages 62 to 85 say they are currently working.
Inflation and rising cost of living drive retirees to return to work
Twelve percent of currently retired Americans say they are very likely (3%) or somewhat likely (8%) to go back to work next year.
The top reason for returning to work is inflation and increased cost of living (61%). Additionally, retirees (34%) say they may return to work because they did not save enough money for retirement. Others need help to pay debt (34%) and to combat boredom (34%).
The majority (78%) of retirees considering a return to work are very enthusiastic (23%) or somewhat enthusiastic (55%) about the prospect.
“Clearly the driving factor for a majority of seniors returning to work is financial but this is not the only reason for many,” says ResumeBuilder’s Chief Career Advisor Stacie Haller.
Haller said she often meets with retirees who find that they miss the camaraderie of working with others. Many still want to be “in the game and are not ready to just play golf.” Others are excited about trying something new or something they always wanted to explore.
“Additionally, remote work has helped retirees return to work as it creates more opportunities for those who may no longer be able to commute or spend long days in the office,” Haller said.
Two-thirds are concerned about age discrimination
Two-thirds (66%) of retirees who may return to work say they fear age bias will affect job prospects.
The majority (59%) say they will seek out a new job in a new industry. Fourteen percent say they would go back to their previous employer and 27% would find a job in the same industry.
Most retirees want to return to work in-person (45%), while 32 percent would prefer to work fully remotely. Eleven percent say they’d like to be hybrid. The remaining 11 percent say they don’t have a work location preference.
Haller provided the following tips for older applicants:
- Remove anything that may signal they are an older candidate from their resumes and LinkedIn. Examples include using an AOL email address, listing a home address, graduation dates or including a picture. Only the last 15 years of experience should be listed.
- When interviewing, it’s important for seniors to display enthusiasm and focus their answers on why they are the best person for the job.
- Be prepared to highlight their adaptability, ability to learn quickly, technical skills and related work experience. Professional skills that older Americans have learned over their many years of working are one of the reasons so many organizations are interested in hiring seasoned applicants. Companies understand the value this group brings to an organization.
A number of older Americans have already unretired
Overall, 76 percent of respondents report they are currently retired. Seventeen percent say they currently work full-time and 7 percent say part-time.
Of the group of older Americans currently working full or part-time, 25 percent say they had been retired at one point but are now back to work. Seventy-five percent say they never stopped working.
The majority (61%) say they unretired in 2020 or later. Many (45%) say they returned to work due to inflation and the cost of living increasing.
For those who have never tried, the top reason is that they enjoy working (51%). Additionally, 41 percent say they haven’t saved enough yet for retirement.
Only 8 percent of older people in the U.S. who are currently working plan to retire next year.
Overall, 500 U.S. respondents aged 62 to 85 completed the survey commissioned by ResumeBuilder.com. Pollfish conducted the survey, which was launched on November 16, 2023.