While it’s widely accepted that a decision to retire is not just a financial one, two factors can stand out among the other considerations, according to the Center for Retirement Research: the worker’s on-the-job experience and the allure of retirement activities.
Those can outweigh even the oft-cited financial needs that keep older workers on the job, it said. In fact, it said, Labor Department statistics show that those staying at work the longest tend to be already the most financially secure in their age group. They also tend to be better educated, have fewer health problems and thus better employment opportunities, it adds.
Also, more educated persons tend to “get more non-financial rewards from work, and these rewards have a significant effect on their work and retirement decisions.”
It said that several studies have concluded that “those who enjoy going to work — reaping non-financial rewards from employment — are more likely to remain in full-time employment and less likely to retire.” Their jobs also tend to be less physically demanding, as well.
Another factor is where–by retiring or by continuing to work–older workers think they can achieve goals such as personal growth, meaningful relationships, a sense of identity and passing one’s knowledge and values along. It cited a study finding that those planning to retire later than their co-workers see themselves as more likely to achieve those objectives by remaining employed, and as unlikely or only marginally likely to achieve them should they retire.