3 Reasons Why You May Never Retire

In today’s changing work culture, retirement is no longer a certainty.

Elderly couple together at the kitchenTraditionally, retirement was something that was more or less expected. You put in the extra hours while you were young so that you would have the freedom to do whatever you wanted in your later years. However, various cultural and economic factors have led to a change in this traditional retirement model.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as noted by Bloomberg, approximately 20% of Americans over the age of 65 are still working.  Twelve percent don’t ever plan on retiring. Given the immense size of the baby boomer generation, this means that the U.S. work force is older than ever before.

Why might you end up working past the traditional retirement age?

1. You Have No Savings

Bloomberg mentions that baby boomers more frequently don’t have any retirement savings to speak of. They were hit by both the tech bust of the late ‘90s and the financial crisis of the mid 2000s, losing what little savings they had just to pay the bills.

Our white paper covers the Baby Boomer retirement situation more in depth.

Millennials are already encountering similar difficulties. As noted by CNBC, a recent survey from finance website NerdWallet found that millennials generally need to save 22% of their pay to have a successful retirement. Other experts say it should be something more like 15 %.

One thing they all agree on is that the earlier you start preparing for retirement, the better. However, millennials are generally unable to save such a high percentage of their income. This is due to a combination of a fairly high cost of living combined with the need to pay off expensive student loans as quickly as possible.

2. You Love Your Job

Many people simply enjoy working.  It gives them a sense of purpose— that they’re truly accomplishing something. They love their work family and environment, and managers go the extra mile to make the office feel like home. The money and benefits don’t hurt either. Work is what you know, work is what you like, and work is what you’re good at. So why not stay in the workforce just a bit longer?

3.  You Have Heavy Debt

Many people choose to stay in the workforce so that they can continue to pay off their debt. They can’t budget enough savings. Given the increased costs of education and housing, as well as the aforementioned tech bust and the financial crisis, it can be hard to allocate funds to a retirement account. Instead of paying off loans and saving at the same time, many workers choose to pay off their loans first. This results in a fairly significant loss of savings.

Retirement isn’t for everyone.

And that’s okay! Some people can’t afford to retire in the first place. Others find retirement dull. And still others want to keep working because they love it.

Regardless of whether you’re just starting out or are looking for a career change later in life, we’re here to help. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S. and Canada. We employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. If you have any questions about the job search, feel free to contact your local Express office or create an express account to apply for jobs online.

Do you plan on working past traditional retirement age? Let us know your reasons why in the comments below!


  1. Kenneth A Kramer

    lost all savings in 2008 with housing bust. And S.S. is a joke, wish I had all I paid into it in a savings of my own I’m 62 and could retire now.

  2. Mary Hunter-Roesgen

    To assist with a down payment to purchase a home for my Millennial child and to continue with structure in my life.

  3. Gidjet192

    I’m not sure if I can retire. I work part time at Chevron and work between 24-40 hours a week and some months my take home $ from my paycheck can be less than $1000. I started out working full time with medical and health benefits bringing home $25k a year. Enough to live comfortably in a 850/month home with utilities and a cell phone bill. Now I get paid part of an e employment check EDD because Im not working full time and I get CA medical which is better than my benefits I was getting. So why would I want a full time job with working less and getting free medical now? It’s only going to get worse anyways. I mean dang, my parents retired at 63 and have nothing to show for but a $10,000 payment they owe to the IRS and a medical bill of $500/each that doesn’t even pay the copayment or visit of the doctors, justs pays a minute portion, so they’re left in debt. It really is not a bright future in retirement regardless of happiness. You do what you have to do until it all runs out, that’s when stuff starts getting scary.

  4. Marylin Ingram

    I’m currently 62 years old and if my health holds out, I will most likely be working until the day I die. I don’t have any savings and have had jobs all my life that didn’t offer any benefits. I am living on a paycheck to paycheck basis with no vacation or sick leave and I hate it! I wish I could retire, I haven’t had a job yet I can’t wait to get to.

    I think my situation is very sad, but I’m blessed to have a part-time job to try and survive.

    God Bless,

  5. Lisa Taylor

    I would LOVE to retire.. However, because of the rising cost of living this effects my adult children also. I now need to help them financially. Research also shows that more grandparents are raising there grandchild now more than ever before. Its a labor of love but I would enjoy retirement when the time comes.. probably not going to happen. Most of us will work until we are dead.. NOT FUN

  6. Alexander Katigoudis

    I will retire!!! First of all, I’m Greek-American so I do not have heavy debt because I do not spend all my money buying useless things. Secondly, I have a personal life and stuff to do outside work. Most important, I will go back to Greece to enjoy the sun, the food, and the communication. FYI Greeks use the same word for slavery and work. Funny?

  7. Susan Morrison

    Thank you for being a temp agency. I retired in 2007, lost my IRAS in 2008, I still have a pension and a little SS (pays my medicare, drug, and supplement). My rent goes up so I work temp to supplement my income. It’s not easy, I do like to eat healthy.

  8. Sarah Anderson

    I don’t plan on retiring. I would rather work less now and enjoy my life. I am saving, but I want to work for as long as I am able at a job I love.

  9. Jerry

    I lost most of my savings plan shortly after 2008 due to a layoff. New opportunities do not offer the security opportunities that others previously offered. Second the health insurance out of pocket cost have gone through the roof. Plus there seems to be no employer loyalty anymore, most want to hire younger employees at a lower rate with less of a personal investment.

  10. Barry Green

    One more important reason was missed. It’s a dirty little secret no one will tell you. I had to do the research myself by recording the age-of-death in death notices for several months. Here it is. Are you ready? 24% of us never live to see the old retirement age of 65.

  11. Connie Barker

    As I read these responses, it saddens me. However at the same time this is a PRIME Example as to why I received my License and educate people of all walks of life on how to save (invest) for Retirement, Long Term Care, College fund, saving for a house and much more. There is an amazing way to save that you never loose money and Tax Free option!!
    If you plan on working as long as possible, Do Not forget the 70-1/2 rule the IRS wants you to forget. There’s also tax traps, don’t fall into them.

    Yes, I plan on retiring, I want to travel and enjoy my later years in my life.

    Best of luck to everyone!

  12. laura hawkins

    I am 62 and can not afford to retire. I have no savings and still owe student loans, if my health holds up I need to work until I am 70 years old…………

  13. Shirley

    Still working because I love my job. I could retire but love being around people. We have no debt and both of us have saved money up. The Lord is Good to us. We are really all Blessed to live in a free country. Thank you for this newsletter. I enjoy reading the articles and the survey’s.

  14. Edna

    I am semi- retired. I can no longer work 40 hours a week which usually turns into 60-80 hours a week. I am now doing part time nursing in the home. I am also receiving my SS this gives me the time I want for things I want to do.

  15. Jennifer

    I enjoy working so I can see myself continuing to work into my 70s if my health holds out and I can stay relevant and useful to my employer or future employer. I have saved for retirement and would be fine financially not working. I intend to do some traveling and pursue some outside interests in the coming years so perhaps a less demanding job than I have now.

  16. Vanessa

    I reached full retirement age of 66 last year and also have worked some contract jobs since then. Right now, I have found a full-time job contract job that I love for a large bank doing their hardware asset management, managing databases, tracking down where all our computers are all over the U.S., Canada, and some foreign countries. I started last October, and the present contract was extended until the end of 2017, and hopefully will be extended again. A great manager, great co-workers. I have some health problems, but it’s a pretty laid-back atmosphere, which I like. I really don’t know what I would do all day at home. This job doesn’t pay what I was used to working at my last full-time permanent job, but what I make here plus Social Security, I’m doing well.

  17. Elden Setter

    I’m 68 and I still have “big boy toys” I still want to buy. I may try retirement in a few year or two, but will I get bored?

  18. Tim Rummell

    My Father worked until he was 82. He was always immensely proud of his work. In fact, Dad missed it awfully, when the grocery store where he worked was sold. Dad passed away June 1st 2013. I often think he would be with us, his many loved ones if that store hadn’t sold.

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