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7 Surprising Reasons Why People Over 65 Haven’t Retired Yet

Have you ever considered the reasons why people have not yet retired despite reaching the age of 65?

In a world where everyone seems to be so fixated on reasons to be eager to get to retirement age so they can leave the workforce, we can see a bizarre paradox. More and more Americans seem not to be eager to leave the workforce. Whether it is a strange byproduct of workaholism or not, there are more reasons than people would like to believe at first glance.

A lot of those reasons are linked to financial instability, while about a third of them are linked to the personal reasons of those seniors. Despite this, there are still a lot of people aged 65 and older who are either choosing to remain permanently employed or have still chosen to work part-time, despite being expected to make the most of their golden years.

In order to understand their reasons better, we have gathered some of the most important reasons for these seniors, so maybe we can all understand them better, and like-minded people can see that they’re not in it alone!

Let us know if you’re one of the seniors who is still working and why in the comments!

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Reason 1: Worrying over income

The main reason that older workers end up staying in their jobs is income security. And if you don’t end up retaining any other information from our list, we are sure this one will stick with you. After all, even if you’re older, you know just how valuable fixed income is, and losing those hard-earned dollars could be a pretty big hit to their financial security.

Finally, you may be wasting money without even realizing it, and losing a job you’ve had for decades can be a big blow and a change that many seniors don’t think they can handle, no matter how many savings they may have.

Reason 2: Loneliness

It may not have run through most of our minds, but there is a small chunk of seniors who end up choosing to stay in the workforce due to loneliness. Be it that they no longer have family around or that they live too far from any loved ones (friends or family), there are a lot of seniors who find the camaraderie and acquaintances from their workplace irreplaceable.

It gives them a sense of belonging and social interaction that retirement may rob them of. And while it may sound weird now, it does put things into perspective. The reason makes a lot of sense when studies have shown that a lot of people between the ages of 50 and 80 suffer from chronic loneliness, which has been directly linked to older adults’ memories and physical and mental health!

Not to mention life expectancy! Just as stress can kill, so can loneliness, and it seems like more and more seniors have to face this problem. which makes staying in the workforce a very understandable choice when you put it into perspective.

Reason 3: Paying off a debt

A survey taken by Provision Living found that about 8% of seniors who have remained in the workforce (be it full-time or part-time) are actually doing so because they have to pay off a mortgage.

Considering how hard it is to pay a mortgage, it makes sense that people prefer to pay off their house debt before they leave the workforce, as they will have to rely on pensions and personal savings for their livelihood.

What’s more, an additional almost 12% said they are working to pay off another type of debt but did not specify what type it is. This could mean anything from credit card debt to even car or school loans! With how many people are taking out loans and how hard it is to pay them off, it is no wonder that even seniors struggle with them, especially if they’re trying to help their children.

Reason 4: Cannot afford to retire

While it may not be your case, it doesn’t mean that everyone is in the same boat as you. Almost a quarter of the working seniors in the United States have said that their reason for staying in the workforce is the fact that they “simply cannot afford to retire.” As much as they calculated, they couldn’t see a way in which they could make ends meet, so they were forced to keep working.

One never knows if their savings are enough, and a rocky financial situation, as well as how inscrutable inflation has been in the last few years, have made many not want to take the risk. These financial reasons and the lack of retirement affordability keep a lot of seniors employed, sometimes even when they would like to quit.

Reason 5: Fear of boredom

There are more seniors still working part-time or even full-time than you may think. And while the first reason they still do so in our minds generally has something to do with their financial situation, in some cases, we’re quite off. Many people over the age of 65 who have lost their spouse succumb to boredom.

After working the majority of your life, it is hard to go back to not doing much. And since capitalism has pushed a lot of us to not have time for much besides work and spending some time with our families, the idea of having so much time on our hands is scary to others.

Retirement is not all it’s cracked up to be, and definitely not all sunshine and rainbows, and some prefer not to get bored, so they stay employed for as long as they can.

If you want some fun activities that will also improve your memory, this book might be a good start: 399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young

Reason 6: They simply enjoy working

Despite many thinking they cannot wait to leave their place of employment, there are just as many people who merely love their jobs and enjoy going to work every day. Whether it ties in with some of the other reasons we have listed here or not (after all, financial reasons are always the ones that weigh in the most), it is not a reason that we can just ignore.

Others simply left a workplace that they had hated for a while and got to work somewhere that brought them joy. And because of that, they choose to keep working, as it truly puts them in a good mood, and being active is never a bad choice. Whatever their reasoning would be, it’s still something about 20% of seniors still in the workforce cite when asked why they are still working.

Photo by Inside Creative House from

Reason 7: Support their families

People used to expect their children to reach the age of 18 and be able to leave the nest and make a living for themselves. Those days seem to be from the distant past now, and this is part of the reason why seniors choose to continue working.

More and more parents choose to keep being employed because they can help their children by doing so, despite their official status as adults. It may not seem like a good reason to you, but the financial situation of their kids may be dire, and most parents would do anything they could to help their children.

This situation will not last forever, and some seniors do not mind continuing to stay employed just to help their kids through rough times. Even so, you should not put your retirement and health on the back burner because of this.

And if you want to know more about the best places to retire, we recommend you read the following article: 8 Best States to Retire With Under $1 Million Saved

One Response

  1. I will be 69 in December and I still work full time including an additional 5 hours on Sunday for overtime. I do plan on retiring in December 2023 or February 2024. The reason that I haven’t retired yet is because I want to wait until I am 70 years old to be able to get the full benefit maximum amount from social security. I am eligible for full pensions from my company as I have been there for 31 years. Right now I still enjoy working and when I retire I really would like to travel but I need to find a travel companion to go with me.

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