Working past retirement: 75% will do it, most because they want to

Three out of four Americans say they expect to work past retirement age.
(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

Three in four American workers say they intend to work past retirement age. Slightly more of them say it’s because they want to do so, not because they have to, according to a new poll from Gallup.

Among employed Americans, 40% said they will voluntarily work into their upper 60s and beyond, while 35% said they will be forced to do so by financial necessity. Two years ago, eight in ten workers expected to labor during their golden years.

The majority of respondents -- 61% -- said they plan to work part time, mostly out of some personal desire. But among the 15% who said they’ll likely work full time as seniors, most said they’ll have no other choice.


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Among income groups, those earning $75,000 or more annually were most eager to stay in the workforce, according to Gallup.

A growing body of research suggests that Americans can expect an extended tenure in the office instead of an endgame involving relaxation funded by Social Security and savings.

A poll this spring from the Employee Benefit Research Institute showed that 28% of Americans are downbeat about their chances at a comfortable retirement -- the most pessimism ever recorded in the study’s 25-year history.

A separate report, revealed this month by insurer Northwestern Mutual, found that 32% of Americans expect to work into their 70s, while one in 10 think they’ll toil away into their 80s.


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