Work Might be the Retirement Model of the Future


Believe it or not, the oldest members of the Millennial generation are starting to turn 40, and with that milestone comes a new focus on retirement.

And it’s not looking good for them.

In fact, according to a new report from CNBC, 61% of older Millennials expect to be working at least part-time during retirement. It’s worth noting that a similar percentage of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers expect to work in retirement too, per a TransAmerica survey from last year.

Quote: “For the longest time, I really was just kind of chunking just a very small amount into my 401(k), because I only have so much money. Now, being 37, it’s like, something’s got to give, you’ve got to get serious about this.” — Marissa Hathaway

By the numbers:

  • As of 2014, roughly 40% of retirees were working or actively looking for work, a trend that is expected to continue at least through 2024. There are about 4.6 million men and 3.7 million women over the age of 65 currently in the U.S. labor force.
  • Why do they work? The most common reasons are: they need the money (56%), they enjoy what they do (47%), they want to stay active (47%), they want to keep their brain alert (34%), or they want a sense of purpose (27%).
  • But, of those who are working, 56% said it was because they wanted the income, as opposed to needing it. Still, about 73% of retirees aren’t satisfied with their retirement nest egg and want to supplement it.
  • Healthcare costs are a concern too. Remember, a couple aged 65 as of 2020 will need at least $295,000 in 2020 to cover medical expenses during their retirement, and that figure is only expected to rise going forward.

Retirement is Changing:

The fact is, the definition of retirement is evolving with the times. Those older Millennials also say that they aren’t planning to work after retirement solely because they don’t have savings but also because they want to be able to do work that matters to them. That’s increasingly common across all generations.

According to, an organization dedicated to helping retirees find careers, there are more than 4.5 million people between the ages of 50 and 70 working in so-called social impact careers. The same survey found that 21 million soon-to-be retirees are “waiting to transition from a job done for a paycheck to a flexible career “with a purpose.”

That’s a different kind of retirement calculus and will have an impact on planning going forward.


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