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Staying Ahead of the Curve 2003: The AARP Working in Retirement Study

Although the age of 65 has customarily been associated with retirement, previous research has suggested that many workers who are approaching the customary retirement age plan to continue working well beyond the age of 65. AARP recently conducted a nationwide telephone survey of 2,001 workers between the ages of 50 and 70 years old to explore their vision of retirement and to better understand the types of jobs that workers who plan to work in retirement imagine holding and the types of jobs currently held by today's working retirees.

Findings reveal that most preretirees still cling to traditional images of retirement, such as spending more time with loved ones and receiving pension and Social Security benefits; however, the majority also report that their personal definition of retirement includes some form of work. Those who expect to work in retirement are considering a variety of occupations, including positions related to teaching, office support, crafts, retail sales, and health care.

Financial concerns represent the primary reason that many preretirees expect to work in retirement. Other common reasons for working in retirement include the desire to remain mentally and physically active and the desire to be productive and useful.

The phone interviews were conducted by RoperASW, using random digit dialing, from April 9 through June 5, 2003, and the report prepared by S. Kathi Brown of AARP Knowledge Management - Strategic Issues Research, who may be contacted for more information at (202) 434-6296. (150 pages)

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