More Americans Will Work Post-Retirement…Because They Want To

Additionally, 39% believe they will retire after age 65. 

A recent Gallup survey found that while most employees plan to continue to work past their retirement age—74% to be exact—most have a desire to work, not because of a need to earn money.

The Gallup Economy and Personal Finance survey found nearly two in three employed U.S. adults (63%), reported they plan to work part-time once they hit their retirement age. Eleven percent of respondents said they would work on a full-time status, and one-quarter—an increase from Gallup’s previous surveys—said they would discontinue working at all.

This year’s survey found that more U.S. employed adults plan to leave working altogether, as two prior versions of Gallup’s poll reported only 18% of adults in 2011 hoped to fully retire, and 22% in 2013.

Of those who plan to work past their retirement age, most reported they will out of preference, rather than out of necessity. In fact, the survey found a decline in employees believing they will need to work past retirement, from 9% in 2013 reporting they “will have to” work full-time, to 5% of respondents today. Similarly, those who said they “will have to” work part-time dropped as well, from 26% to 18%. Instead, employed adults who will work part-time as preference increased, from 34% in 2013 to 44% in 2017.

NEXT: Employed Adults Plan to Retire After 65 

While survey respondents remain unsure about when they will specifically retire, 39% believe it will be after age 65. Additionally, one in four U.S. employed adults plan to retire exactly at 65, and 29% expect to leave the workforce before that age.

While responses remained quite steady in the last decade, Gallup reported a large turnaround since 1995, when 14% of employees said they expected to retire after 65, and 49% believed they would before that age. Gallup states the flip in percentages can be attributed to the later age Americans started to collect Social Security, at 67, and the financial need that more employees face in working.

Furthermore, Gallup believes the shift with non-retirees reporting a “want to” work post-retirement age rather than a “will have to” suggests the decrease in Americans viewing work as a need, either because of the post-Great Recession economy, or because of an excessively positive mindset concerning retirement finances.