Forget Retirement: Older Single Women Love Their Jobs

Survey finds single female boomers are happy, healthy and confident

About 37% of boomers are single women, Del Webb says. About 37% of boomers are single women, Del Webb says.

Work has its satisfactions, and for many single women of the baby boom generation it means staying on the job well past retirement age, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Del Webb, a builder of active adult communities, reported that 51% of single, working female boomers planned to continue working in their current job for at least five more years, and a third planned to retire between the ages of 65 and 69.

(The boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, are currently age 50 to 69.)

Del Webb, citing U.S. Census data, reported that as many as 28 million, or 37%, of the country’s 76 million baby boomers were single women.

The survey was conducted online in December by Harris Poll on behalf of Del Webb’s parent, PulteGroup, among 1,020 single U.S. women ages 50 to 68, 330 of whom were currently working full time.

“We’ve seen that single female boomers are happier, healthier and more confident than ever, and our survey results show that those who are still working aren’t rushing to retire,” Del Webb division president Lindy Oliva said in a statement.

 “At our Del Webb communities, we know a growing number of these empowered women continue to work well past the age of 65, simply because they love their jobs. These single boomers are carving their own paths professionally and personally.”

Although 49% of survey participants had already reached their personal career goals, many were now pursuing their career passions.

Among those working full time, 20% planned to begin an “encore career” in their retirement years in a job that could provide both greater meaning and purpose and a continued income. 

The study found that for the single female boomers working full time and planning to retire, 73% were looking forward to more time for themselves, while 47% planned to retire so they could spend more time with family and 46% so they could have more time for social activities. 

Del Webb said smart savings habits may be one reason 40% of those surveyed had already retired.

The study found that 49% of single female boomers ranked saving as their most important priority — over a new home, travel or a new car.

And if given an extra $100 this week, 41% said they would save it. 

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