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What Retirement? Working and Learning for AARP Members in Michigan

Retiring comfortably at age 62 is not a reality for many Michigan AARP members who expect to work well past the traditional retirement age due to increased longevity and rising health care costs. This mail survey of 3,000 members age 50 to 62 explores their plans and motivations for working past retirement.

Of the 832 members currently working or looking for work...

  • 36 percent work full-time and 9 percent part-time
  • 49 percent consider it extremely (27%) or very (22%) likely that they will continue working beyond retirement
  • 54 percent say health insurance coverage is a major factor in their decision to continue working; 45 percent enjoy working, 44 percent need extra income, and 41 need income to pay for prescription drugs
  • 50 percent plan to work part-time and pursue hobbies when they reach the retirement age while 37 percent intend to work at their current jobs as long as possible
  • 30 percent would like to retire and not work at all when they are between 60 and 64 while 32 percent would like to do so between 65 and 69, and 17 percent would like to retire at age 70 or older
  • 23 percent think they will retire at age 60-64 and 37 percent at 65-69; 20 percent estimate retiring at age 70 or older

This report is based on data from a mail survey of Michigan members conducted by AARP from June through July 2007. Further information about the survey may be obtained by contacting the report's author, Erica Dinger, at 202-434-6176. (21 pages)