Poll: Half Predict Post-Retirement Careers

September 2, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Retirement won't mean sitting quietly on the porch with a mint julep in hand for many Americans who predict they will stay on the job, according to a new Strong Retirement Plan Services survey.

The Picturing Retirement Survey found that about half (49%) of those polled expect to continue some sort of paid employment during retirement, with six out of 10 of those anticipating working 20 or more hours per week. When asked why they expect to work during retirement, two-thirds of respondents say it’s a matter of financial necessity or a combination of financial necessity and a desire to continue to work. A third said they will keep working because they want to.

The respondents who expect to stay at their desks during retirement are split evenly about whether they will career-hop after retiring. When asked why they would choose a different career field, 44% say they want to try something different or something they always dreamed about. One in five say they want a less stressful career field and 10% want a career field more closely related to their hobbies and/or interests.

“The strong American work ethic and our upwardly mobile society keep us striving to either increase or maintain our standard of living-even in retirement,” said Elli Dai, Senior Vice President of Strong Retirement Plan Services in a statement. “That work ethic is admirable; however, feeling compelled to work because of financial need is not a comfortable way to spend the ‘golden years.'”