Three-quarters of people in their 50s and 60s say they are sticking with their jobs because they want to, not because they have to, according to a survey by Charles Schwab. In its latest families and money survey, Schwab found that only 24 percent of those with incomes between $40,000 and $90,000 stayed employed because they were stuck and couldn’t leave.
So why are older workers happy to keep working? According to the survey, money is the leading factor, followed by people liking what they do, liking the people they work with or are simply not ready to retire.
One in four said this is the happiest time of their working career and another 11 percent said they believe the best is yet to come.
”Working is clearly about more than the money,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation and senior vice president of Schwab Community Services. “Being in this age group myself, I can say from my own vantage point that the older segment of the workforce has a wealth of experience, perspective, talent and energy to offer their employers, and it’s great to get that validation from our survey. The majority of older workers are very engaged and productive in their jobs, and employers should be pleased to see that they’re happy in them, too.”
While a majority of those interviewed said they are doing OK financially, others are struggling. Thirty-one percent said they felt they were just getting by and another 8 percent said they are falling behind. Only 10 percent said they were doing well.
Sixty-two percent of those surveyed said they believe they will have enough money to retire comfortably, but their financial reality may not support that: nearly half, 47 percent, have less than $100,000 in investable assets.
”We know that employees who are knowledgeable about personal finance and who embrace good money management habits tend to be more focused and productive at work—probably because they have less to preoccupy and distract them,” said Schwab-Pomerantz. “I also believe the workplace is an ideal classroom for adults. Employers might do well to consider recruiting and educating their older employees to serve as financial ambassadors to their younger workers. Peer influence can be a very positive, powerful force.”