By Art Koff
Nearly three out of four pre-retirees over the age of 50 say their ideal retirement will include working in some capacity. But most say that rather than holding full-time jobs, they'd prefer temporary, part-time and flexible jobs, according to a study by Merrill Lynch conducted in partnership with Age Wave.
For comparison, nearly half of all current retirees have worked or are planning to work during their retirement years, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Today it is becoming increasingly common for retirees and boomers approaching retirement to work rather than “retire” the way their parents and grandparents did.
The study found that people working in “FlexCareers” are nearly five times more likely to work part-time (83% vs. 17%) and three times more likely to be self-employed (32% vs. 11%). In addition, more employers are hiring workers on a temporary, part-time and seasonal basis, primarily because it's more cost effective than hiring full-time employees.
Part-time and temporary employees do not generally receive company paid benefits and unemployment insurance and the on-boarding and off-boarding process is both easier and much less expensive.
Employers in many cases are focusing on older workers as they find this demographic to be reliable and hardworking, and they tend to take less time off than their younger counterparts. Older workers also can more readily accept jobs that do not pay benefits than when they were younger and had children.
The BLS information also reveals that during the past seven years, workers age 55+ accounted for virtually all workforce growth. And recent data shows that 40% of all people age 55+ are still in the workforce.