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Sunnier Prospects for Working as A Senior

September  2019

In recent years, a steady stream of articles has appeared, questioning baby boomers’ hopes to keep working part time in their retirement years. These articles have tended to take a skeptical view of such ambitions. Well, maybe it is time to sweep some of the skepticism away.

In August, the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute published a study on a group of Americans aged 55 to 71 who had either retired within the last two years or planned to retire in the next two years. Twenty-seven percent of pre-retirees thought they would keep working part time after their careers ended; 17% anticipated they would gradually phase out of working. These assumptions are not far off from reality: among the retirees surveyed, 19% were working part time, and 17% said that they were cutting down their work hours on their way to a traditional retirement. Catherine Collinson, CEO and president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, told PBS’ Next Avenue website in September that she was encouraged by the results, noting that “that the gap between pre-retirees’ vision of transitioning into retirement compared with the experience of recent retirees is finally starting to close.” She theorizes that the job market is becoming “more conducive to workers extending their working lives, and pre-retirees planning a transition to retirement.”1,2