Many workers are planning to continue in the workforce longer than their counterparts of prior years and their best prospect for doing so might be to change jobs late in a career, the Center for Retirement Research has found. It added, though, that prospects for getting a new job decline sharply past age 50.

It said that factors behind the trend for longer working careers include longer life expectancies, the less-physical nature of work, and the desire to improve financial stability in retirement–both by increasing savings before retirement and effectively shortening the expected period over which those savings will be drawn down.

See also, Job Search After 50 at ask.FEDweek.com

“Voluntary job-changing is a way for workers to move to a job they prefer, which may allow them to work longer … a voluntary job change is associated with a large and statistically significant increase in the likelihood of remaining in the labor force to age 65,” it said. The difference–an 11 percentage point increase for those in the most-educated quarter of workers in the sample and an 8 point increase for the least-educated quarter–“is quite large, given that only 44 percent of all workers in the sample remained in the labor force to age 65.”

However, it added: “While it seems clear that switching jobs helps both more and less-educated workers extend their careers, not all workers in their 50s may be able to do so eas¬ily. A key constraint is the narrowing of job options as workers age past their prime working years …  job opportunities do narrow for workers seeking jobs after age 50. The pattern is relatively mild for those in their early 50s. But it becomes more pronounced for those at older ages.”