Instead of looking foward to retirement, a majority of workers between ages 50 and 69 are looking to further their careers. In new research that assessed the attitudes of older workers, it was found that three-quarters of workers over 50 wanted to stick with their job because they enjoyed working. Nearly 30 percent of workers said that this was the happiest time in their career and an additional 11 percent believe the best is yet to come in their careers.
According to the poll, nearly 60 percent of respondents said they liked what they were doing at work while nearly 50 percent of people liked who they worked with. A majority of these workers also felt that their years of experience put them ahead of the competition. Additionally, workers felt they were being intellectually stimulated and working to their potential.
"Working is clearly about more than the money," Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president of Schwab Community Services, said. "Being in this age group myself, I can say from my own vantage point that the older segment of the work force has a wealth of experience, perspective, talent and energy to offer their employers, and it’s great to get that validation from our survey. The majority of older workers are very engaged and productive in their jobs, and employers should be pleased to see that they’re happy in them, too."
Surprisingly, the research found significant differences in the feelings of workers in their 50s and 60s. Workers in their 60s more often said they didn’t plan to stop working or didn't plan on retiring. Workers in their 50s, however, felt stuck in their jobs and were working simply for the money more than counterparts in their 60s.
Although a majority of workers said they were having a good time, nearly 40 percent of workers were worried about their finances. The poll found that workers were as concerned about saving for retirement and the amount of debt they owe as they were about their physical fitness. However, one thing that workers are not worrying about is their ability to leave an inheritance to their heirs, which ranks between climate change and a meteor hitting Earth in importance.
Even though many employers have been looking to add youth to their work force, the survey found that many workers over 50 are able to help organizations in a variety of ways. Most notably, workers benefit from having older workers who serve as mentors in the workplace.
"We know that employees who are knowledgeable about personal finance and who embrace good money management habits tend to be more focused and productive at work — probably because they have less to preoccupy and distract them," Schwab-Pomerantz said. "I also believe the workplace is an ideal classroom for adults. Employers might do well to consider recruiting and educating their older employees to serve as financial ambassadors to their younger workers. Peer influence can be a very positive, powerful force."
The Charles Schwab Older Workers and Money Survey was based on responses from 1,004 workers between ages 50 and 69. The research was conducted by Koski Research for Charles Schwab.
Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.