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Are Retirees Quietly Rejoining the Workforce?

Are Retirees Quietly Rejoining the Workforce?

  • Human Resources
  • Article
  • 3 min. Read
  • Last Updated: 02/07/2023


It’s been a tough few years economically in the U.S. The pandemic and inflation have upended peoples’ lives physically, mentally, and financially, making retirement seem even more like an improbable dream than before for many young people. As a result, some are adjusting their retirement goals.

But how is all of that affecting people who have already retired? To find out how many retirees are rejoining the workforce and what the experience is like for them and their employers, we surveyed 930 American employees, current and former retirees, and 206 hiring managers about their feelings on the matter.

Key Takeaways

  • 1 in 6 retirees are considering returning to work, and 53% want remote positions.
  • 55% of retirees went back to work because they needed more money.
  • 74% of returned retirees feel judged by co-workers because of their age.
  • 62% of hiring managers are skeptical about hiring retirees.

Among those we surveyed, one in six retirees are considering returning to work after being out of the workforce for an average of four years. With so many preferring to work from home these days, it’s no surprise that more than half of our retired respondents would look for remote work (53%), 27% want a hybrid situation, and only 20% would seek an office job.

Most would want to work full-time (65%) instead of part-time (35%). This could be due to a need for more money — the reason cited by 53% of respondents. But nearly as many are thinking of going back to work because they’re bored (52%).

Boredom is understandable, especially for those who went from working 40 hours per week to not working at all. For the same reason, it’s not surprising that loneliness was the reason that 43% of retirees are considering working again. But the same number are also doing so because they’re concerned about inflation.