Survey: More People Plan to Keep Working After Retirement

63 percent of self-employed American workers describe themselves as “looking forward” to retirement, and 26 percent say that they are “very much” looking forward to their post-working lives. The importance and form of retirement is also variably defined based on different demographics, and incorporates an increasing trend of of continuing work into a person’s senior years post-retirement.

This is according to a new study called “Self-Employed: Defying and Redefining Retirement,” released by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (TCRS).

“Only 26 percent are ‘very much’ looking forward to retirement,” the survey’s results read. “63 percent of the self-employed are looking forward to retirement, including 26 percent who are ‘very much’ and 37 percent who are ‘somewhat’ looking forward to it. The self-employed are less likely than employed workers (72 percent) to be looking forward to retirement.”

What constitutes retirement itself is also shifting. Based on the survey results, nearly 60 percent of all respondents plan to keep working even after retiring from their primary job. There is a slight dividing line between those identifying as “self-employed,” and those who are employed by another entity.

“62 percent of the self-employed plan to work after they retire, including 15 percent who plan to work full-time and 47 percent who plan to work part-time,” the survey results read. “Fewer employed workers (55 percent) plan to work after they retire.”

The reasons for intending to continue working after retirement among the self-employed also appear to be more health-related than finance-related. Many of the respondents related a desire to remain active in their retirement years, and see work as a path to help facilitate that desire.

83 percent of self-employed respondents say their desire to continue working is healthy-aging related, and 59 percent offer “staying active” as their primary reason. 54 percent also state that they wish to have the income that comes with their work.

Interestingly, the self-employed are less likely than employed workers to cite financial reasons for desiring to remain working in retirement, and 71 percent of the self-employed say that they are actively saving for retirement, though they typically start at a later age than their employed counterparts.

Read the full survey results for detailed breakdowns and respondent sample information.

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