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Working in Retirement

Survey suggests shifting attitudes on retirement age

The way many adults are living out their retirement has changed considerably over the years and results of a new study show that the whole concept of a retirement age may be shifting as well. The seventh annual Retirement Survey from Wells Fargo & Company found that many middle class Americans plan on working well past 65 to ensure they have enough money saved.

The study polled 1,500 middle class adults during September and revealed a number of surprising findings. In particular, 76 percent of respondents said that having enough money to retire comfortably was more important to them than retiring at a certain age. Additionally, 25 percent of those polled said that they expect to work until they're 80. Analysts say that the results could have a number of significant implications.

"The fact that the vast majority of middle class Americans expect to work well past the traditional retirement age has significant societal and economic implications," said Joe Ready, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust. "Will people be physically and mentally able to work later in life? What will it mean for young people entering the workforce? And, how does our system of retirement savings need to be reformed to help reduce the savings gap?"

Although many of the adults said that they are going to work into retirement, there are others (about 25 percent of respondents) who said that they are planning on working because they want to. Of those planning to work in retirement, 47 percent are expecting to do so in a similar line of work to the job they held in their previous career.

Baby boomers looking for a new job or a post-retirement career may want to brush up on their job-seeking skills because the competition may have changed considerably since you last entered the job market. Most importantly, AARP suggests building your social network if you haven't done so already. Whether it be through Facebook, Twitter or Google+, most companies are using these platforms to advertise open positions.

Even once you've landed a job, experts stress the importance of staying engaged at the company through any number of channels, whether it be volunteering or office activites.

"This is important for the success of every employee, regardless of age," human resources professional Paul Hvidding told AARP. 

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