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Key motivator for working in retirement: Staying healthy

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Close to half of workers plan to continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, according to new research.

John Hancock Financial, a unit of Manulife, discloses this finding in its “2014 John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey,” a quarterly poll of affluent investors. The survey measures investors’ views on the current economy and what they believe to be a good or bad investment in the current environment. 

The report reveals that more than four in ten investors (45 percent) plan to work during their retirement years. More than one-third (34 percent) of this group plan to take a new part-time job and 29 percent intend to continue to work at their existing job on a part-time basis.

When asked why they plan to work in retirement, significant percentages of respondents cite the following reasons:

  • Working in retirement will help them to stay mentally and physically healthier (70 percent)

  • They like feeling productive (60 percent)

  • They would be bored without work (51 percent)

Just over a third of those polled (35 percent) want to keep contributing financially to their families. And about a third (32 percent) enjoy their current job.

Whether working or not, many investors (65 percent) expect their quality of life in retirement to be better than their parents’, with three in ten (31 percent) saying it will be much better. However, opinions toward their children’s quality of life in retirement are evenly split, with a third saying it will be better (33 percent), the same (34 percent), or worse (33 percent).

More than 4 in 10 investors surveyed (42 percent) are content with their retirement preparation and would not change anything. Nearly three in ten (27 percent) wish they had saved more from the beginning. And 16 percent wish they had started planning earlier.

As for retirement age, sixty percent will retire completely between the ages of 60 and 69, with a third (33 percent) planning to retire and stop working altogether between the ages of 65 and 69. The median expected retirement age of investors in the survey is 65. But a surprising number plan to keep going: 14 percent say they will retire between 70 and 74 years of age. And four percent say they will retire at age 75 or older.


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