Lookin’ for adventure

Last fall, social scientists at the University of Southern California and the RAND Corp.  published a study that looked into the factors that influence older people to retire.

Not surprisingly, they found that economic drivers were better predictors of who stayed employed in their 60s than personality characteristics.

The simple fact is that most people—whether outgoing, introverted, confident or worriers, stay employed because they want the health insurance.  Older respondents covered by an employer-provided health insurance plan are more likely to remain in full-time employment than those who don’t have it.

People also stay for the money; a higher hourly wage is associated with a higher probability of remaining in full-time employment at retirement age and a lower probability of moving to part-time work or leaving the labor force altogether.

But there was one finding from the study jumped out at me:

The probability of staying in a full-time job at traditional retirement age decreases with the level of openness to experience.   If I interpret this correctly, it means that people who consider retirement as an adventure, who are ready to try something new and are looking for a good challenge, are willing to leave the security of a full-time job, no matter how good the pay or how generous the benefits

Bravo, I say. It’s time to retire retirement.  The better option is to create a fun future with the right combination of components: travel, volunteering, physical activity, part-time or project work, and a variety of intellectual activities, from chess to learning a new language to going back to school.


Click here for the full study:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to George's Newsletter!

  • Articles on Life After 50
  • New Ways to Look at Retirement
  • Planning for Retirement When the Old Rules No Longer Apply

Stay up to Date!