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%).
Tapping Into Older Workers’ Experience
Older workers tend to serve as mentors to their younger colleagues, with more than two-thirds (68%) providing advice about a range of topics, including how their younger colleagues can do their jobs better, how to handle professional issues and how to navigate around the organization. Some even provide advice about how to make the most of workplace benefits (26%). Because their single greatest piece of financial advice to a 30-year-old is to "live within a budget," followed by "maximize your 401(k), IRA or retirement account," there may be an opportunity for employers to tap into the wisdom of this group of workers to help promote financial fitness in the workplace.
A majority of older workers express confidence that they will have enough income to be comfortable in retirement (62%), yet their personal finances may not support that; nearly half (47%) have less than $100,000 in investable assets. More workers in their 50s than 60s say they will rely a lot on 401(k) income during retirement.
Older workers are interested in and receptive to learning about how to improve their financial lives. When asked which topics might make the biggest impact on their lives if they could attend a personal finance workshop, their top three choices were "investing [their] money for growth and income," "planning for income in retirement" and "living within a reasonable budget."To see the full survey results, visit schwabmoneywise.com/2012survey.
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