Single Boomer Women: Half Are Still Working and Loving It

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Many single Baby Boomer women -- in fact half -- are still working. Of those, half again say they plan to stay on the job for five years or more. And by and large they are happy with their “third act.” In a TED Talk in 2011, Jane Fonda said it’s a matter of attitude.

“It turns out, most people over 50 feel better, are less stressed, are less hostile, less anxious," she said. "We tend to see commonalities more than differences. Some of the studies even say we're happier,” Fonda said. “You realize, you're still yourself -- maybe even more so. Picasso once said, ‘It takes a long time to become young.’”

Even though 49% of Boomer women have already achieved their career goals, 51% are still on the job, according to a Harris Poll commissioned by Del Webb homebuilders. And they are happy to be there -- fully 79% are satisfied with their current job position.

“We’ve seen that single female Boomers are happier, healthier and more confident than ever, and our survey results show that those who are still working aren’t rushing to retire,” said Lindy Oliva, Del Webb’s division president, in a statement.

And these working women are a part of a massive economic force. With a net worth of $19 trillion, Boomer women control more than three-quarters of the nation’s wealth, according to research by Mass Mutual.


Among those single female Boomers working full-time, one-third (34%) of the respondents to the Del Webb survey plan to retire between the ages of 65 to 69. And 20% plan to use their retirement years to remain active and socially engaged with an “encore career,” a job that can provide continued income, as well as greater meaning and purpose.

It’s a trend spanning both genders of the Boomer generation. In recent research conducted by the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement, nearly one-third (28%) of retired Boomers are currently working or have been employed during retirement. And about two-thirds (61%) say they are working because they want to, not because they have to.

But there is a tradeoff. Most Boomers, male and female, admit they have taken a cut in pay in order to gain flexibility, according to the Bankers Life report.

A large majority (88%) of employed Boomer retirees are reporting to work less than full time, including part-time (59%), freelance (18%) or seasonal (7%) employment. And with that comes reduced compensation. Almost three-quarters (72%) say they’re making less per hour than before retirement. More than half (53%) say their pay is much less than before retirement.

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