Work in Retirement

Myths and Motivations Career Reinventions and the New Retirement Workscape

A Merrill Lynch Retirement Study conducted in partnership with Age Wave

I wanted share this with you.  It is about hope and the future for older workers and retirement bound individuals.  In my role I see more and more evidence of these events.  I share this because of my many friends and contacts and family members that need to read this.

Retirement used to mean the end of work. But now we’re at a tipping point: a majority of people will be continuing to work after they retire — often in new and different ways. Nearly half (47%) of today’s retirees say they either have worked or plan to work during their retirement. But an even greater percentage (72%) of pre-retirees age 50+ say they want to keep working after they retire, and in the near future it will become increasingly unusual for retirees not to work. This new phenomenon is driven by four forces:

  • Increasing life expectancy, which has produced a retirement that can last 20 years or more.
  • Elimination of pensions for most workers, shifting the burden for funding retirement from employers to retirees.
  • Recent economic uncertainty, which has been a wake-up call for many people that it is not financially sustainable to retire without some employment income.
  • Re-visioning of later life, as new generations seek greater purpose, stimulation, social engagement, and fulfillment in retirement. While some are delaying retirement, a growing number of people are continuing to work after they retire. Because this is largely uncharted territory, pre-retirees who anticipate working in retirement are confronted with many questions and uncertainties: Will I be able to find work in my later years? If so, for how long? How can I balance work with other things I want to do? What kind of work might I be able to do? Will I enjoy it? Will it help me be more financially secure? What can I do now to best prepare for working during my retirement years? These pre-retirees can learn essential lessons from people who are now working in retirement. This landmark study— based on a nationally representative survey of 1,856 working retirees and nearly 5,000 pre-retirees and non-working retirees—is the most comprehensive investigation of the successes, pitfalls and innovative career paths in today’s retirement

Retirement Myths (2)

Busting the Four Biggest Myths

By examining the experiences of working and non-working retirees, the Work in Retirement: Myths and Motivations study dispels important misconceptions.

Myth 1: Retirement means the end of work. Reality: Over seven in 10 pre-retirees say they want to work in retirement. In the near future, it will be increasingly unusual for retirees not to work.

Myth 2: Retirement is a time of decline. Reality: A new generation of working retirees is pioneering a more engaged and active retirement—the New Retirement Workscape—which is comprised of four different phases:

(1) Pre-Retirement,

(2) Career Intermission,

(3) Reengagement

(4) Leisure.

Myth 3: People primarily work in retirement because they need the money. Reality: This research reveals four types of working retirees: Driven Achievers, Caring Contributors, Life Balancers and Earnest Earners. While some work primarily for the money, many others are motivated by important nonfinancial reasons.

Myth 4: New career ambitions are for young people. Reality: Nearly three out of five retirees launch into a new line of work, and working retirees are three times more likely than pre-retirees to be entrepreneurs.

Here is the link to the full Report.


Joe G. White is Owner of MFR Inc. “The Franchise Rainmaker”. He provides professional advice to people looking to engage in franchise ownership He can be reached at 647-724-0742 or

Success through knowledge


Joe White

Joe G. White is Owner of MFR Inc. “The Franchise Rainmaker”. He provides professional advice to people looking to engage in franchise ownership He can be reached at 647-724-0742 or “success through knowledge”