Older Workers Want to Work

April 24, 2012 ( - 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.

By Rebecca Moore | April 24, 2012
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In addition, one in four workers in this age group (27%) say this is the happiest time of their working career, and another one in ten (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% vs. 56%).   

The majority of workers ages 50 to 69 say they like what they are doing (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 when it comes to overall contentment in the workplace. A higher percentage of 60-somethings than 50-somethings say they don't plan to stop working (34% vs. 25%, respectively). Nearly twice as many workers in their 60s as 50s say they just don't want to retire (32% vs. 19%).   

The study shows that people in their 60s are more likely to be working part-time and enjoying the flexibility of doing so, liking the people they work with, feeling they would be bored if they were not working, and not feeling ready to retire or simply not wanting to.   

Conversely, more 50-somethings than 60-somethings feel "stuck" in their jobs, perceiving greater barriers to making a job change. They say they are sticking with their current employer because they need the money (64% vs. 55%), because they feel it would be tough to switch jobs in this economy (52% vs. 29%) or because they do not want to start over and lose seniority (29% vs. 17%).