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Retirees are returning to the workforce in droves: Here's why

"Un-retiring" is the hottest trend among seniors
89-Year-Old Retiree Earns Physics Ph.D. From Ivy League School
Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-27 06:32:18-04

It used to be when you turned 65, most people put down the work and retired.

But the newest trend is "unretiring" with as many as 20 percent of older workers rejoining the labor market in their 60s and 70s.

One example: walk into an ACE Hardware store and you might find an associate like Ed Rooch.

This 74-year-old has been the "helpful hardware man" since retiring from a computer job in Silicon Valley almost 10 years ago.

After a couple of years at home, he decided retirement wasn't for him.

"Well, I've always been handy," Rooch said. "So this seemed like a perfect fit."

So like a growing number of people over 65, he returned to the workforce — in his case for 30 hours a week.

And he's loving it.

"It's no pressure," Rooch said. "But it's also very challenging because everyone who comes in has a challenge."

Carly Roszkowski of AARP said that given the tight labor market, it makes good business sense for employers to hire older workers.

"We have seen an increased interest in hiring older workers nationally," she said.

A major reason is inflation, which is battering the value of their 401k and monthly Social Security checks.

What to know before you apply

Roszkowski said a majority of older workers feel age discrimination can hurt their chances of getting a new job.

So in your resume, highlight your skills, not your age, she said.

"Make sure you are highlighting your most recent experience," Roszkowski said. "And while you want to include your credentials, you don't have to include graduation dates."

And if you’re hanging on to an old HotMail or AOL email account, upgrade to something more modern like Gmail.

She also said it’s never too late to create a LinkedIn profile.

Whether for the money or just to stay active, millions of retirees like Ed Rooch are now working again.

"It's something to do, or I wouldn't know what to do," he said.

And that way you don't waste your money.


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