12 Reasons Why Workers Aged 65 and Older Haven’t Retired Yet

The average retirement age was considered to be around 65 for men and 63 for women. Senior citizens, after a certain age, were expected to stop working. However, this may no longer be the case in the future. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2028, nearly 23% of people aged 65 or more will continue to work. This number is set to increase further in the coming years, and there may soon come a time when it won’t be uncommon to see an elderly employee working past the age of 65.

There may be several reasons for people to delay their retirement, right from a lack of retirement savings or financial stability to wanting to maximize your Social Security benefits, or having significant debt to pay off. If you wish to have a comfortable retirement, it is advised that you consult with a professional financial advisor who can help you boost your savings and ensure you are on the right track to meet your retirement goals.

Let’s read further to understand why certain elderly employees won’t retire by 65.

12 reasons why seniors above the age of 65 may continue working

1. They aren’t financially prepared for retirement

A major reason why workers aged 65 and up continue working past 65 is because they haven’t been able to accumulate sufficient savings to retire comfortably. As per a recent study, 22% of adults have less than $5000 in retirement savings, whereas 15% of seniors have no savings at all. As these seniors are financially unprepared to retire, they may prefer to stay in the workforce.

2. They don’t have an additional source of income

With rising inflation and medical costs, having a single source of income may not be sufficient. You may need to take up part-time or full-time employment post-retirement to make ends meet. Some seniors who earn a pension or have enough retirement savings also opt to work either part-time or seek full-time employment to have an additional layer of financial stability.

3. They have pending debts or mortgages

As per a recent report, over 41% of households comprising seniors aged 65-74 are burdened by credit card debt. Another report reveals that over 45% of older Americans are saddled with a mortgage spend of over 30% of their income on housing costs.

Mortgages, debts, and credit bills may severely impact one’s decision to retire. Moreover, if you use your retirement corpus to clear your dues, your funds may not be enough to cover your expenses in retirement. Thus, you may be left with little to no choice but to continue working even after 65.

4. Their savings are impacted by recession

A recession, in simpler terms, can be defined as a slump in the economy. A recession can make the current corpus insufficient, thus pushing retirees to continue working to replenish their savings. They may also have a harder time finding gainful employment due to lack of job opportunities. 

5. They don’t have a retirement account

A significant number of workers are dependent upon Social Security benefits. This is because nearly 50% of private employers do not offer employer-sponsored retirement plans. In the absence of retirement accounts, retirees may find it extremely difficult to sustain themselves post-retirement. This, in turn, can force retirees to continue working in their retirement years.


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6. They wish to support the financial needs of their family

There is a growing trend of parents supporting their children long after they officially reach adulthood. This can include paying for their higher education costs, fronting money for starting a business or paying the first downpayment for buying a house, etc. Some seniors may also support their ailing parents or other family members by taking care of their medical expenses. To support the needs of their family members, seniors may push forward their retirement age.

7. They are retained by their organization for their experience and qualifications

Seniors are often experts in their fields due to having amassed significant experience over the years having tackled all kinds of situations. They are also reliable and may make for great mentors. This makes them coveted resources for organizations. They are often retained by their organizations they were serving before retirement, allowing them to continue earning a living with dignity.

8. They fear loneliness in retirement

While there is a lot of discussion around the physical aspects of work and retirement in late adulthood,the mental aspect is not discussed as much. Having worked for the major part of their lives, following a daily routine and then having to readjust to the more laidback routine of a retiree may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Some folks may not welcome the move and may wish to return to work in some capacity or the other.

9. They have excessive free time

After continuously working for decades, suddenly finding ample time on hand may leave a lot of retirees confused. While most individuals cannot wait to retire, this may not be true for a significant number of people. Many retirees may not know how to utilize their free time post-retirement. To avoid this, many seniors tend to rejoin the workforce, even if they have to work at a lower pay and fewer hours. They may also actively look for self-employment options alongside their job, to earn additional income.

10.  They enjoy working

Love for work and their profession can drive seniors to continue working even after they reach the official retirement age. Many seniors who enjoy working may also move to a part-time working model after retiring. This allows them to do the work they enjoy without straining themselves, either physically or mentally.

11. They wish to explore new fields

Many individuals in their 20s-50s do not follow their dreams or pursue what they like because of their work and other obligations. When these people retire, they may want to use the opportunity to try their hands at unrelated fields. This may also bring a sense of fulfillment to retirees as they no longer depend on others for income and are utilizing their time well while pursuing their dreams and ambitions.

Many elderly employees also may want to work for a cause after they retire. For instance, they may volunteer at a welfare program to work toward the betterment of the community and the underprivileged folks in the society. This apart from giving them a sense of purpose and satisfaction, it is also a great way to fill their time and ward off loneliness.

12. They want to stay mentally and physically active

Having no physical or mental activity to replace a pre-retirement routine, can lead to mobility issues and a decline in mental sharpness of retirees. To keep themselves physically and mentally active, retirees may opt to work post-retirement.

To summarize

There are varied reasons why an elderly employee won’t retire that can range from lack of finances to personal goals, difficulties, and more. Due to the turbulence in the job market, inflation, and fear of recession, many seniors are forced to work despite reaching the established retirement age. If you are planning for your retirement and wish to avoid any hassles, it is a good idea to plan your finances well in advance. Working with an experienced financial advisor can help you plan a stable retirement and live your golden years comfortably.

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2 responses to “12 Reasons Why Workers Aged 65 and Older Haven’t Retired Yet”

  1. This article is very relevant and accurate. Plan early before retirement to ensure a smooth retirement transition.

  2. Good article! I want to share what my financial advisor told me many years ago. He said, ‘Retirement is not about stopping work; it’s about doing something that you find enjoyable, fulfilling, and life-affirming.