Age 50+ workers are seeking money and meaning

Age 50+ workers are seeking money and meaning

SmartCounseling2020-01-14T07:00:52+00:00December 6th, 2019|Workplace Mental Health|
A Merrill Lynch study says that nearly three out of four (72%) pre-retirees over the age of 50 say that their ideal retirement will include working. Whether because of longer life expectancy, the decline of employer pensions, financial need, or search for fulfillment, it is increasingly common for people to reject the old model of a work-free retirement. Instead, older workers are seeking meaningful work with flexible hours, part-time schedules, or self-employment.

A Gallup study of people in 150 countries found that career well-being is the top determinant of overall well-being, even more so than social, financial, physical, and community well-being [2]. Here are some actions that career experts recommend:


A common saying among career counselors is, “Individuals are different and those differences matter.” A job that is fun for one person might be completely wrong for another person. Before choosing a career path, invest some time evaluating your interests, strengths, personality, and values. If you are going to spend a lot of time doing something, it should be something that is a great fit for you.


The web is a treasure trove of information that is easy to access. Some of the best career resources include the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the O*NET Career Exploration Tools, both published by the U.S. Department of Labor. For people interested in self-employment, Entrepreneur publishes information about starting a business.


You can save a lot of time and money if you learn from people who have already pursued a career path you are considering. Talk to people who are just starting out, people with a couple years of experience, and people with a long tenure in their career field.


Sometimes it is difficult to imagine the reality of what something will be like so it is smart to try it out before committing. Volunteering is one of the best ways. Sites like and are two of the most well-known to help you find an opportunity.

Get help.

If you feel overwhelmed or stuck, help is available. A counselor can assist you with self-exploration, action planning, and troubleshooting problems. Online counseling is affordable, convenient, and effective.

Gallup reports that only 15% of employees worldwide feel fully engaged in their work [3]. If you focus on finding or creating work that is meaningful, you will increase the chance that you will be among the satisfied few.

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[1] Merrill Lynch study finds 72 percent of people over the age of 50 want to work in retirement
[2] The business case for wellbeing
[3] The world's broken workplace