While “gig” type jobs do not provide the level of benefits offered in traditional jobs, they do “give workers a way to extend their careers and improve their financial situations,” says a report from the Center for Retirement Research.
The study looked at considerations surrounding taking such jobs at age 50 or later—often done because of a job loss or health problem that prevents full-time work—or after retirement, noting that “lacking health and retirement plans for a significant amount of time could jeopardize retirement security.”
It found, however, that many such workers have those either through prior employment or through a spouse’s employment and that in some cases they take such jobs to help fill shortfalls in retirement savings. Looking at persons with retirement income of less than 75 percent of pre-retirement income—commonly called the “replacement rate”—at ages 61-62, it found that the average replacement rate was higher by ages 67-68 after performing either traditional or nontraditional jobs after age 62.
The increase in the replacement rate actually was slightly greater for those who did nontraditional work, possibly because they continued such work longer than those who had done traditional work after age 62. Meanwhile the average rate for those who had no further work income after that age slipped by several percentage points.
“The results suggest that nontraditional jobs did improve workers’ finances. Indeed, those who held nontraditional jobs in their late-60s saw a considerable boost, roughly in line with those who stayed in their traditional jobs . . . These jobs clearly do help workers in their 60s improve their financial position,” it said.