Have you been paying attention to the fact that the aging population is working more? It’s true that the average retirement age has only fluctuated so much since 1970 but currently, the retirement age could be more likely to reflect that of the earlier 1900s. Today, the average age that you can expect a senior to retire would be 65 for men and 62 for women. In 1910, for example, the average retirement age was 75, in 2000, it was 62.
In 2023, it hasn’t strayed too far from that but the thing is, more seniors are looking to work longer with there being at least 10.6 million people 65 and older in the workforce. Florida, specifically, is one of the top retirement destinations in the country and has long been a destination for potential retirees seeking a warm climate, beautiful beaches, and a relaxed lifestyle. In recent years, though, more seniors are coming out of retirement or delaying their retirement.
We’re going to talk about why so many seniors are deciding to come out of retirement and stay in the workforce longer, and we will also discuss some of the top reasons that have been influencing this trend.
This is one primary area that influences seniors to continue working. In today’s society, working toward high salaries, or 6 figures in particular, isn’t enough. Even the retirement age minimum before retirement distributions can be accessed continues to rise. For example, the original age used to be 70 before you could withdraw from your 401K or IRA. Later, that minimum age increased to 72 and as of 2023, the age is supposed to rise to 73.
What is even more surprising, or potentially not so surprising, is that the minimum age will continue to increase over the next 10 years to 75. Beyond that, who knows how the retirement and distribution system will look in terms of age minimums, auto enrollments, and value? The real issue is that for some, retirement benefits and social security aren’t enough to sustain the way someone may want to live in general depending on where you currently reside or plan to.
Luckily, the state of Florida is relatively affordable in terms of housing and overall cost of living. However, with medical expenses, unplanned incidents, the desire to save, travel, etc….these factors are what may worry seniors about their financial security with age. For many seniors, the high cost of living and healthcare expenses have made it difficult to retire comfortably. Some seniors have found that they need to continue working to make ends meet and this has actually started to become more of the new norm in society today.
Longer Life Expectancy
With advances in medical technology and healthcare, seniors are living longer and healthier lives. This has created a desire to continue working and stay active in the workforce. If you haven’t heard of the longest-practicing physician, Dr. Howard Tucker, who is currently 100 years old, you should refer to his story for top tips on how to live longer while also being active and healthy both physically and mentally.
Another good example would be the longest-practicing attorney, John Morton-Finney, who practiced until he was 106 and got his final degree at the age of 75. Stories like this are showing that anything is possible regardless of age as long as your health is your top priority.
Did you know that to have a more robust sense of well-being, we should be having at least 6 hours of social interaction per day? Of course, this isn’t something everyone can do every day considering remote work models or general preference. However, seniors often need more interaction than other populations at times and while this mainly depends on personal situations and circumstances, it’s still beneficial to mental well-being. Working provides seniors with a sense of purpose and social interaction that can be difficult to find in retirement. For many, working is an opportunity to build a healthy social life, meet new people and build relationships with colleagues.
Many seniors are passionate about their careers and find fulfillment in their work. A lot of the time, you will notice that in some cases seniors will return to what they were previously doing before retirement, or they will enter into completely different industries and roles. Rather than retire, they choose to continue working and pursuing their passions. Some seniors are turning their hobbies into monetary opportunities both supplementing their monthly income and enhancing their day-to-day activities.
Seniors today are more active and engaged than ever before. Many see retirement as a new chapter in their lives rather than the end of their careers. This is why many seniors living in Florida will choose to work during retirement or to temporarily come out of retirement.
Working provides seniors with an opportunity for personal development and growth. It can be a chance to learn new skills, take on new challenges, and continue to develop professionally. Believe it or not, continuing to work in later years of life helps to improve mental health levels and even lowers mortality rates.
Many seniors choose to continue working for access to employer-sponsored health insurance. This is especially important for those with pre-existing conditions or chronic health issues. While seniors get access to great benefits, insurance premiums alone, depending on where you live, could cost hundreds of dollars per month. If this is taken from your daily living and savings funds, this can be difficult to keep up with. Continuing to work allows for better access to more affordable insurance options and other benefits included with your employment and this has been continuously appealing to not just the senior population, but the American workforce as a whole.
Some seniors are choosing to start their own businesses or pursue freelance work in retirement. This allows them to continue working while also enjoying the flexibility of being their own boss. Thousands of seniors are jumping into entrepreneurship by honing in on their skills and interests.
This is often a smart move because many younger generations are currently doing this alongside their traditional 9-5’s as an additional source of income making it a great option for someone looking to supplement their monthly earnings or to have a primary focus where they have access to reliable funds and earning opportunities since the potential is completely uncapped.
The baby boomer generation, now reaching retirement age, has a different attitude towards work than previous generations. Many boomers see work as an essential part of their identity and a way to continue contributing to society. From now until at least 2030, 10,000 Baby Boomers, daily will hit retirement age. Even younger generations such as the millennial group are preparing for retirement by working a lot now and more than likely will have the intention to work in later stages of life as well if able but mainly by choice and not by need.
Recognizing What Works Best for You
Seniors everywhere are coming out of retirement or delaying retirement for a variety of reasons. From financial insecurity to personal development, many factors are driving this trend. A lot has to do with securing more income while you’re able to do so and giving yourself more to look forward to during the day.
Depending on what you do or start, it could be something that you share with family or teach to others, extending the opportunity to tap into better financial safeguards and reliability. Whatever the reason, it is clear that seniors are not slowing down anytime soon and are continuing to play an active role in the workforce.