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For Most Workers, Life After Retirement Looks a Lot Like Life Before Retirement

Workers_Postpone_RetirementBack in the day, retirement actually meant something. Not like today, where it seems more workers are playing fast and loose with the term: A new study from CareerBuilder indicates that the majority of workers plan to continue working after retirement.

According to the nationwide survey, released today, 60 percent of workers age 60 and older plan to look for a new job after retiring from their current companies, up from 57 percent last year.

When asked how soon they think they can retire from their current jobs, 12 percent of respondents said they don’t think they’ll ever be able to retire. Another 27 percent plan to retire in the next one or two years, while another 47 percent believe they will retire anywhere from three to six years from now.

While financial reasons account for many workers delaying retirement, a significant number of workers choose to keep working simply because they enjoy their jobs, the survey found.

The news of delayed retirement plans bodes well for the 48 percent of employers surveyed who say they plan to hire workers aged 50 and older this year. The majority of employers surveyed (59 percent) believe that mature candidates bring a wealth of knowledge to an organization and can mentor others. Mature workers are widely recognized for the virtues they bring to the workplace, such as a strong work ethic and commitment to their jobs, loyalty to the company and wisdom from years of experience.

During a recent SHRM conference Peter Capelli, co-author of Managing the Older Worker: How to Prepare for the New Organizational Order, pointed out some of the ways in which older workers compare to their younger colleagues in the workplace:

  • Older workers quit less, are absent less, and have fewer accidents
  • They have more knowledge and better social skills
  • They have better job performance
  • They tend to be happier

He also pointed out a few ways in which employers can better manage and motivate their older employees:

  • Customize rewards to appeal to older workers: Older workers care less about promotions, stock options or bonuses than their younger counterparts and more about creating meaningful work and forming social relationships
  • Consult and empower them: Leverage older workers’ vast wisdom and years of experience by treating them as consultants, asking them to participate in the decision process. Better yet, take a cue from Deloitte, which empowers older workers’ to bring to light the problems they see in the organization they’d like to work toward fixing. The company’s attitude is: “If you think it’s a good idea, we will too, almost without exception. We trust you.”

What has your experience working with older workers been like? Any advice you can offer your peers?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
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