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Why are more seniors working past 75?

## Introduction

Retirement has long been seen as a time to relax, enjoy life, and reap the rewards of decades of hard work. However, a shift in retirement trends is taking place, with an increasing number of seniors choosing to work past the age of 75 or even never retire at all. This shift can be attributed to various factors, including financial considerations, changes in the job market, and shifting attitudes towards retirement. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this trend and its implications for both individuals and society as a whole.

The Changing Retirement Landscape

Traditionally, retirement was seen as a milestone to be reached in one's early 60s. However, recent data suggests that more seniors are choosing to delay retirement and continue working well into their golden years. According to a survey conducted by American Advisors Group, nearly one-fifth of respondents aged 60 to 75 stated that they plan to work past the age of 70, while another 12% said they have no plans to stop working full-time.

The decision to work past 70 or never retire altogether can be attributed to a combination of factors. Firstly, the pandemic has had a significant impact on retirement plans, with 30% of seniors stating that it had a negative impact on their retirement plans. This has prompted many aging Americans to rethink their strategies and seek additional sources of income to maintain their desired living standards.

Secondly, financial considerations play a crucial role in the decision to work longer. With the rising cost of living, the disappearance of traditional pensions, and concerns about the future sustainability of social security benefits, many seniors feel the need to continue working to secure their financial well-being. In fact, a surprising fact revealed by the survey is that almost half of the respondents (47%) have paid off their homes and have no mortgage burdens, indicating that their motivation to work is not solely driven by housing expenses.

Factors Influencing the Decision to Work Longer

Several factors contribute to the increasing number of seniors choosing to work past 75. One significant factor is the improved overall health and vitality of older individuals. Advances in healthcare and a greater emphasis on maintaining an active lifestyle have enabled seniors to remain physically and mentally capable of working longer than previous generations. Additionally, modern jobs are often less physically demanding, making it easier for seniors to continue working in their chosen fields.

Another factor is the changing nature of the workforce. As the U.S. population ages, the number of older workers is expected to increase significantly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of Americans aged 55 or older in the labor force is projected to reach 42.1 million by 2026, making up almost one-quarter of the total workforce. This shift in demographics means that older workers are becoming an asset to employers, who recognize the experience, knowledge, and work ethic they bring to the table.

The Impact on Job Seekers

The increasing number of older people remaining in the workforce may have implications for job seekers, particularly those entering the job market or seeking career advancement opportunities. As seniors choose to work longer, there may be a reduced number of available positions and increased competition for jobs. Younger job seekers may find it more challenging to secure employment or advance their careers if older workers choose to remain in their current positions for an extended period.

However, it is essential to note that older workers can also bring benefits to the job market. Their experience, expertise, and strong work ethic can be valuable assets to employers. Additionally, their continued participation in the workforce can contribute to the overall economic growth by increasing tax revenues and stimulating consumer spending. It is crucial for job seekers to adapt to the changing job market dynamics and leverage their unique skills and qualifications to stand out among the competition.

Generational Differences in Retirement Expectations

The decision to work past 75 or retire early is not only influenced by external factors but also by generational differences in attitudes towards retirement. Baby boomers, who are currently reaching retirement age, may have different expectations and motivations compared to younger generations. Baby boomers grew up during a time when retirement was widely seen as a well-deserved break after a lifetime of work. They may have planned their finances and lifestyle around the expectation of retiring at a certain age.

In contrast, younger generations, such as millennials and Gen Z, are facing different economic realities. They are more likely to have student loan debt, face higher living costs, and have limited access to traditional pensions. As a result, they may be more open to the idea of working past 65 or even never retiring, as they seek to ensure financial stability and a comfortable retirement.

Factors Influencing Retirement Duration

Several factors can determine how long individuals choose to work compared to previous generations. One crucial factor is financial preparedness. Those who have saved and invested wisely throughout their working years may have more flexibility in choosing when to retire. Adequate savings and investments can provide a financial safety net and reduce the need to rely solely on social security benefits or work beyond the traditional retirement age.

Individual health and job satisfaction also play a significant role. Seniors who are in good health and enjoy their work may be more inclined to continue working past 75, as it provides them with a sense of purpose and fulfillment. On the other hand, those facing health challenges or working in physically demanding occupations may be more likely to retire earlier.

Additionally, changes in social security benefits and pension plans can influence retirement decisions. Concerns about the future sustainability of social security benefits, along with the shift from traditional pensions to defined-contribution retirement plans, have led individuals to reassess their retirement strategies and consider working longer as a means to supplement their retirement income.

The Importance of Retirement Planning

Given the changing retirement landscape and the increasing number of seniors choosing to work past 75, retirement planning has become more critical than ever. It is essential for individuals to start planning and saving for retirement early in their careers to ensure financial security and the flexibility to make choices about when to retire.

Financial advisors and retirement planning resources can provide guidance on creating a comprehensive retirement plan tailored to individual goals and circumstances. This plan should include strategies for saving, investing, and managing expenses to build a retirement nest egg that can sustain a desired lifestyle. Additionally, individuals should stay informed about changes in social security benefits, pension plans, and other retirement-related policies that may impact their financial well-being.


The trend of working past 75 or never retiring at all reflects the changing dynamics of retirement in modern society. Seniors are reevaluating their retirement plans and choosing to work longer to maintain their living standards, secure their financial well-being, and find fulfillment in their careers. While this shift may present challenges for job seekers and younger generations, it also brings opportunities for the economy and the workforce.

As retirement expectations continue to evolve, it is crucial for individuals to adapt their financial plans and retirement strategies accordingly. By proactively saving, investing wisely, and staying informed about retirement-related policies, individuals can ensure a secure and fulfilling retirement, whether they choose to work past 75 or embrace early retirement. The key is to plan ahead, take control of one's financial future, and make informed decisions about when and how to retire.


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