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Retirement Plan: To Keep Working
It's looking as if the whole notion of traditional retirement needs to be retired.
Workers are now saying they can see themselves sticking with work into their 70s and beyond. And those who have retired - well, many of them are coming right back, now called "working retirees.
Those are the findings from AARP's new telephone survey of 2,001 full-or part-time workers ages 50 to 70. Seven in 10 of those who have not yet retired say they plan to work past traditional mid-60s retirement age, with half seeing themselves working into their 70's and beyond. And 15 percent of those polled who did retire have come right back.
While respondents gave various reasons, including the desire to keep productive and physically and mentally active, when asked their prime motivation, 22 percent of the pre-retirees and 35 percent of the working retirees said they needed the money.
"I want to keep busy. And the salary never hurts,” said Shelly Slobody, 79, of Long Beach, who added, "I've been retired twice and went back to work twice."
The Brooklyn native worked about 30 years in Manhattan's garment district, retiring in his early 60s. He then worked 11 years before retiring as a messenger for the Town of Hempstead.
But four years ago he took a mailroom job and now commutes four days a week to Adecco, the Melville-based staffing firm. He negotiated an early start and end to his day – 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. – so he can avoid traffic.
Of those surveyed, 27 percent of pre-retirees said they expect to go into a different line of work. And 54 percent of working retirees say they already made that leap.
That's not surprising, said Anita Lands, a Manhattan career consultant specializing in non-financial retirement issues. People often shift gears to pursue dreams or a change in lifestyle, she said. And global outsourcing will continue to force many out of their fields.
The survey findings represented one more "sounding of the death knell" of traditional retirement, said Jon Dauphine, director of strategic campaigns with AARP. "It shows our whole concept of retirement has been transformed in the last several decades."
AARP also released its list of the best employers for workers over 50.
Drawing on criteria that included recruitment and advancement opportunities, AARP cited companies such as Adecco and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. in Nutley, N.J.