Ask Joan: Older adults in the workforce
March 25, 2024

Q: I’m 67, and lately people have been asking when I am going to retire. I am happy working full time and see no reason to stop. I enjoy getting up each day and spending time with my coworkers and clients. Is that so unusual? Should I have to think about retirement just because I’m over 65?

Joan Hatem-Roy
CEO of AgeSpan

A: I think it’s wonderful that you have a job that fulfills you and that you want to continue doing. People should be supported to age their own way, and that includes choices around working. People are living longer, and yes, more adults stay employed well beyond retirement. In fact, workers aged 75 and older are the fastest growing age group in the U.S. workforce.

There are more older adults aged 60 and over than ever in the workforce. They have higher levels of education and are working longer hours for greater pay per hour on average than in previous decades, according to the Pew Research Center.

There are lots of reasons why people stay in the workforce. Many need to work full or part time jobs to pay bills. Others, like yourself, enjoy the sense of connection and purpose that comes with having a job. Even those who have retired from one job find themselves continuing to work in other roles for years. At AgeSpan, we work with older adults who are balancing jobs and caregiving, running their own businesses, taking on new ventures, or picking up part-time or gig work.

The kinds of jobs available for older adults has also changed over time. There more “age-friendly” options that don’t require strenuous physical activity, such as positions in customer service, finance, ride sharing, or work from home roles with flexible schedules.

Also, a growing number of employers are seeing the advantages of hiring older adults as they bring a wide variety of skills and experience, a strong work ethic, and often stay in positions longer. Massachusetts was the first state government in the nation to be certified as an age-friendly employer, which means it supports and promotes the participation and inclusion of adults aged 50 and older in the workforce.

Whether someone retires early or works into their 90s, is a personal decision. However, with more older adults staying in the workforce, I am encouraged to see more support for those choices. You are in good company, and I wish you continued success on the job!

Are you caring for an older adult or need help locating healthy aging resources? Our experienced staff is available to help. Visit us online at You can also call 800-892-0890 or email Joan Hatem-Roy is the chief executive officer of AgeSpan.

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