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Majority of Americans Plan to Continue Working in Retirement

November 13, 2019

New survey highlights the rise of unretirees

OMAHA, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Employees age 65 and older currently make up the fastest-growing segment of the American workforce1. In fact, according to a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of TD Ameritrade, the majority of Americans age 40 and older plan to continue working in a paid position after retiring. Often with a longer lifespan in mind, some are continuing to work to help make financial ends meet, while others are doing it to stay busy and keep their minds sharp.

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Majority of Americans plan to continue working in retirement (Graphic: TD Ameritrade)

Majority of Americans plan to continue working in retirement (Graphic: TD Ameritrade)

“Gone are the days of retirement being seen as an essential, defined life stage, where an employee could expect to work for a company long-term and be taken care of after retiring,” said Christine Russell, senior manager of retirement and annuities at TD Ameritrade. “As the workplace landscape continues to evolve, Americans are going to need to make an assessment about what their retirement trajectory may actually look like, and plan accordingly.”

The rise of the unretiree
Many unretirees, those who plan to continue working in retirement or have gone back to work after retiring, plan to work 20 hours per week or more.

  • When it comes to working in a paid position after retiring, more Americans in their 40s and 50s are planning to work than those in their 60s and 70s:
    • Ages 40-49: 92%
    • Ages 50-59: 86%
    • Ages 60-69: 66%
    • Ages 70-79: 52%
  • On average, those in their 40s and 50s plan to work 20 hours per week in a paid position after retiring, and even those in their 70s plan to keep working 10 hours per week.
  • Americans age 40 and older are not only looking for paid work after retiring, they’re also looking to volunteer: 46% have volunteered or would consider volunteering at a non-profit/community center after retiring.
  • Many are investigating mini-retirement breaks and “unretirement” options:
    • More than half (53%) would rather work longer in their lifetime and have small one-year mini-retirement breaks than work without a break until retirement
    • Nearly 3 in 10 (28%) have done or would consider intermittent retirement

What forces are driving unretirees?

  • Almost 4 in 10 Americans in their 40s (37%) and 50s (37%) plan to continue working in retirement even if there is no financial need.
  • The leading motivational factor for unretirees to continue working in retirement is to stay mentally fit:
    • To keep mind sharp: 72%
    • To keep from being bored: 67%
    • Make ends meet financially: 59%
    • Social interaction with others: 58%
    • Challenge themselves intellectually: 46%
  • Three in 10 retirees (29%) say they lost a sense of their identity when they stopped working.

The effects of living longer
Americans are living longer than previous generations2, which is shifting their employment timelines, along with their spending and saving behaviors.

  • More than half (55%) of unretirees plan to continue working until the end of their lives.
  • Unretirees did or are planning to do the following before retirement to prepare for a potentially longer life span:
    • Reduce overall expenses to save more: 59%
    • Increase income outside of full-time job: 35%
    • Get help from a financial advisor on how to plan: 27%

About TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
TD Ameritrade provides investing services and education to approximately 12 million client accounts totaling approximately $1.3 trillion in assets, and custodial services to more than 7,000 registered investment advisors. We are a leader in U.S. retail trading, executing an average of approximately 800,000 trades per day for our clients, more than a quarter of which come from mobile devices. We have a proud history of innovation, dating back to our start in 1975, and today our team of 10,000-strong is committed to carrying it forward. Together, we are leveraging the latest in cutting edge technologies and one-on-one client care to transform lives, and investing, for the better. Learn more by visiting TD Ameritrade’s newsroom at www.amtd.com, or read our stories at Fresh Accounts.

Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA (www.FINRA.org) / SIPC (www.SIPC.org)

Source: TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation

About The Harris Poll
The Harris Poll is one of the longest-running surveys in the U.S., tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963. It is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that strives to reveal the authentic values of modern society to inspire leaders to create a better tomorrow. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible. TD Ameritrade is separate from and not affiliated with the Harris Poll, and is not responsible for their services or policies.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of TD Ameritrade from August 30 to September 10, 2019, among 2,000 U.S. adults ages 40-79 with at least $25,000 in investable assets. The audience was divided into four decades: 40-49 (n=500), 50-59 (n=500), 60-69 (n=500) and 70-79 (n=500). Of those survey, 653 identified as unretirees, which is defined as those who plan to continue working in retirement or went back to work after retiring.



For Media:
Becky Niiya, 402-574-6652
Director, Corporate Communications
For Investors:
Jeff Goeser, 402-597-8464
Managing Director, Investor Relations

Source: TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation

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