New research from global advisory firm Willis Towers Watson is a wake up call for those nearing retirement: one in four now say they won't be able to retire at 70, and maybe never will be able to. That same research found that the average American expects to retire at 65, but 50% say they may have to work until 70.
Interestingly, it's not just Americans who think this way. Other research from Willis Towers Watson says that 40% of Australians expect to work to 70 or older.
Just what can the 70+ crowd productively work at? There's the question. The reason for the need is obvious - inadequate retirement savings and or pensions - and the solution is just as obvious: work longer.
Another motivator: many seniors want to stay and feel relevant, useful. And work is a primary means to get there. Not everybody wants to spend all day on the golf course or watching reality shows on TV.
But face facts. A lot of companies really are not interested in hiring the 70+ worker, said Andrew Miller, CEO of executive recruiter BrainWorks in New Providence, N.J.
It might be illegal, but age discrimination in hiring - said multiple experts - is pervasive. That just is reality.
But, said Miller, smaller companies often are unbothered by age if the candidate brings experience the company needs. That's all the truer in small companies, because most want a fast ROI on new hires, and they also rarely have in-house training abilities.
This is key advice: tailor the work search to organizations that are likely to be senior friendly. Also hunt for jobs that are known to mesh well with seniors. But don't think that only means greeter. Kristin Scarth, career services manager at Employment BOOST in the Midwest, added: "With ageism becoming a bigger issue every day, many who are older think that they have to settle for the 'Door Greeter' job at a big box store, and we want them to know that that isn't the case. Jobs that can leverage your years of wisdom, life experiences, education and work experience are always good places to target."