AARP Research

AARP Work & Jobs Study

AARP's latest study on work and career shows that many older workers are interested in working into retirement, with a focus on flexible work arrangement such as part time work and consulting.


  • In total, more than one-third of working Americans age 50-64 (37%) anticipate working for pay post retirement from their current career.

    • Among those who will seek employment post retirement, almost half (44%) will be looking to work in new fields of interest; 23% will stay in the same field, and 33% are undecided.

    • Regardless of the field, respondents are hoping to work part-time (73%), with over half expecting to work for someone else (57%) vs. being a contractor (21%) or starting their own business (19%).
  • Training is a key need for those who plan to work in retirement. Among those who plan to enter a new field, training is seen as even more important to success (46% vs. 36% among those staying in the same field).

  • Personal contacts and job listings are the primary avenues respondents plan to use to find post-retirement work (49% AND 43%, respectively). Professional networking is also a popular way people plan to find work.

  • When asked about their dream job, many respondents talk about a profession, for others it is about a particular type of working lifestyle.

    • Jobs in the sports, creative, hospitality and education fields are mentioned frequently.

    • Lifestyle mentions include flexibility, lucrative, offers travel opportunities, and has a charitable aspect to it.
  • The majority of respondents surveyed plan to retire at or after age 65 (45% plan to retire between age 65-69 and 23% plan to retire after 70).

  • When asked about what they enjoyed most about their current career, top mentions included income, benefits, and the schedule/work-life balance.

For more valuable information, tools, and programs that help Americans age 50+ stay competitive in the marketplace, check out AARP Work & Jobs (

This survey was fielded online from July 27 to August 3, 2015 and conducted among adults age 50-64 who are currently employed full time.  A total of n=4,975 surveys were completed. The final data has been weighted to U.S. Census for analysis. For more information, contact G. Oscar Anderson at

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