Quest for Supplemental Income, Love of Job Main Reasons for Working in “Retirement”


Over the last couple of decades, the definition of “retirement” has changed significantly. Gone are the days that 30 years of service to a company meant a gold watch and company-funded pension upon retirement.

Today, the burden of funding retirement, for the most part, has shifted to the individual in the form of defined-contribution plans (401(k) and 403(b) plans), IRAs, Roth IRAs, etc.

This also means that, without a guaranteed source of income in retirement, individuals face greater anxiety as to whether they will have enough money to achieve the lifestyle they want in retirement.

Weekly Poll Question:

To get an idea of how our readers expect to fund their retirement, we asked them the following question last week:

What is your primary current or expected source of retirement income?

Here is how they responded:


In all, 2,525 readers responded to our poll as of 7 a.m. on Sunday, October 23.

Among those who responded, 35% said their primary source of retirement income is or will be 401(k) or 403(b) plans or IRAs.

The second-highest primary source of retirement income is company-funded pension plans, garnering 26% of the votes.

In third place at 21% was savings or investments.

Another 12% said that Social Security is or will be their primary source of income upon retirement.

Only 2% said they will need to rely on working in “retirement” as their primary source of income while only four respondents said they will have to rely on the equity in their home as the primary source of retirement income.

Special Question:

While only 2% of respondents said that working in retirement would be their primary source of income, a growing trend among “retirees” is to still have a job.

For those that said they either are retired and have a job or expect to have a job when they retire, the biggest single reason (23.1%) was to supplement the income they receive from their retirement account, pension, Social Security, etc.

Coming in a close second as to why someone would continue to work in retirement, with 21.6% of votes, was for the love of their job.

Those that said that having  a job in retirement was one way to stay active or to avoid boredom accounted for 17.8% of respondents.

Another 11.5% said having a job in retirement was one way to stay mentally fit and alert while 11.1% said working in retirement allows them to maintain social interaction with friends and colleagues.

Here is a sampling of the responses:

  • “I have been retired for nearly six years and still work part time. I do so to increase my earning for social security which I do not plan to take until I am 70. I also use the money for vacation and paying down on my mortgage.”
  • “No, I am not planning to work after retirement. If I do, I probably will if I have to. If the United States and the world economy totally collapses I might have to but maybe then there wouldn’t be any jobs. I might work to keep busy. I will have to see.”
  • “To keep my mind active and remain engaged with the people I work with. I retired at the end of 2015 and remained so for nine months. I’ve started back to work part-time and I’m glad I did.”
  • “To keep from being bored out of my gourd.”
  • “Staying connected to an industry I love and the people in it…I also think that in the right salary range (lower) and with my experience, I can contribute to developing careers of younger people coming up through the ranks.”
  • “To keep up to date, stay sharp, and have a feeling of usefulness.”
  • “Too busy in retirement; no plans to work.”
  • “I flunked retirement!!! I work to prevent boredom.”
  • “Why would you retire and still work? Must be a lack of leisure skills!”

And in the brutally-honest-answer category:

  • “So my wife and I don’t kill each other.”

Everybody has an opinion! Why not give us yours? Participate in our weekly member poll, updated every Monday, and see the results online at


1 Reply to “Quest for Supplemental Income, Love of Job Main Reasons for Working in “Retirement””

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