Working "Unretirement" into Retirement/​Financial Plans

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “Working "Unretirement" into Retirement/​Financial Plans”

"Unretirement is becoming more common, researchers report. A 2010 analysis by Nicole Maestas, an economist at Harvard Medical School, found that more than a quarter of retirees later resumed working. A more recent survey, from RAND Corporation, the nonprofit research firm, published in 2017, found almost 40 percent of workers over 65 had previously, at some point, retired."

"Economists refer to this sort of U‑turn as “unretirement.” (In “partial retirement,” another variant, an employee cuts back to part-​time status but doesn’t actually leave the workplace.)" Paula Span writes for The New York Times.

We definitely see evidence that retirement is fluid,” said Kathleen Mullen, a RAND senior economist and co-​author of its American Working Conditions Survey. “There’s less of the traditional schedule: work to a certain age, retire, see the world. We see people lengthening their careers.”

This phenomenon is an important consideration for those planning for retirement. The newest AudienceSCAN survey found 10% of Americans set personal goals to be more proactive in planning their retirement this year.

"A Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics supports that observation. It reported that the proportion of Americans over age 65 who were employed, full-​time or part-​time, had climbed steadily from 12.8 percent in 2000 to 18.8 percent in 2016. More than half were working full time."

"Even more people might resume working if they could find attractive options. We asked people over 50 who weren’t working, or looking for a job, whether they’d return if the right opportunity came along,” Dr. Mullen said. “About half said yes.”

Retirement planners and financial advisors can educate Americans about this "unretirement" trend through newspaper advertising. The latest AudienceSCAN study found 28% of Retirement Planners took action after seeing ads in newspapers during the past month.

"Dr. Maestas pointed out. “You hear certain themes: A sense of purpose. Using your brain,” she said. “And another key component is social engagement.” Earning money, while welcomed, rarely proved the primary incentive."

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.