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There are many benefits of working, volunteering in retirement

September 13, 2013

Working past the traditional retirement age has become a common aspect of senior living. In years past, older adults may have left the workforce in their early 60s, but today it's not unusual to see adults working until they're 70 - and not out of financial necessity either. There are a number of reasons why delaying full retirement is a good idea, according to U.S. News and World Report.

One of the biggest reasons why retiring later is a smart move is because life expectancies are considerably longer than they once were. Now, if adults retire in their early 60s, they're often faced with the challenge of making their nest egg last at least two more decades. Not only does this present some financial challenges but it also adds to the difficulty seniors have in finding meaning to their lives once they leave the workforce, the news source reported.

There are certainly not just financial incentives. Researchers have found that delaying retirement may provide some considerable mental health benefits. Some of the most compelling evidence comes from a 2009 study out of the University of Maryland which found that both men and women who worked past the traditional retirement age saw a boost to both their mental and physical well-being. Additionally, they saw the benefits regardless if they worked part- or full-time.

Volunteering is often an attractive option for seniors, especially those who do not need the financial benefits of working in retirement. According to the Administration on Aging, the number of 65-and-older adults is on the rise. Specifically, their numbers rose from about 7.7 million in 2002 to 9.1 million in 2009.