UpFront | Published in July 2012

Working It

Older workers want to stay employed

By Rebecca Moore | July 2012
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More than three-quarters (76%) of middle-income Americans between ages 50 and 69 say they are sticking with their jobs because they want to. In addition, one in four workers in this age group (27%) say this is the happiest time of their working careers, and another one in 10 (11%) believe the best is yet to come, according to the Older Workers & Money Survey released by Charles Schwab & Co.

Older workers generally start their workdays in a positive frame of mind, feeling engaged, respected, valued and happy. Women are even more likely than men to stay with their jobs because they like what they do (63% versus 56%).

The majority of workers aged 50 to 69 say they like what they do (59%) and the people they work with (49%). More than two-thirds (67%) consider themselves ahead of the game when it comes to job skills and report being “intellectually stimulated,” “still learning” and “working to [their] full potential” at their jobs.

However, there are some differences between people in their 50s and those in their 60s regarding overall contentment in the workplace. A higher percentage of 60-somethings than 50-somethings say they don’t plan to stop working (34% versus 25%, respectively). Nearly twice as many workers in their 60s as 50s say they just do not want to retire (32% versus 19%).

The study shows that people in their 60s are more likely to work part time—and to enjoy the flexibility of doing so—to like the people they work with, think they would be bored if unemployed and feel unready to retire or simply do not want to.