How Long Can You Really Work In Retirement?

My colleagues at the MIT AgeLab are conducting an informal survey of Americans across the nation asking them to identifythree things they’ll be doing in life after 65 . We don't use the "R” word in our question because asking specifically about "retirement” tends to elicit familiar, if not trite, images of gardening, golf and family gatherings.

While those responses certainly make the list of the thousands of people who have taken a moment to answer, the overwhelming answer for most participating in this informal "person on the street” study, regardless of age or gender, is working.


More rigorous surveys indicate that this may not be an artifact of a quick response to a quick question. According to one study conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research "retirement isn't only coming later in life, but for many it no longer represents a complete exit from the workforce." Why work? Working in retirement is often for the money, the meaning and, for many, to stay socially connected.

A longer work life is certainly one way to extend your accumulation years but while many people and their financial advisers estimate their lifespan and income needs in older age, how many of us that plan to work longer have estimated our work span — our actual capacity and desire to work beyond traditional retirement age?


-By Joseph Coughlin -

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