Older adults are returning to the workforce for ‘gig work’

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We took a look at “gig work” as part of our monthly AARP-sponsored segment that highlights issues important to older adults in Arizona. Previously retired workers are going back to do gig work, as independent contractors doing on-call, temporary or part-time work. For some, it’s due to their financial situation, for others, it’s just something to do. We learned more from Wayne Goshkarian, with the Association for Entrepreneurship USA.

How common is it for retirees to return to work?

“It’s really, extremely, common today…I think about my grandparents who landed in Ellis Island and they worked somewhere for 30 years and they had a nice pension plan and felt security and they sat in a rocking chair and their house was paid off and life was good but ya know, so much has changed since then,” Goshkarian said.

For many, the goal is to, “stay at a company for a long period of time” but then they,  “get bought out, our pension plans are not funded properly, one thing or another. Or…because of putting kids through school for an education and life’s challenges, we didn’t save as much as we used to,” Goshkarian said.

Then older adults, “get to 65 and we look at that social security notice” and they’re not provided with substantial funding to get through life monthly. Retirees then realize that they need to return to work to earn another income.

But for higher income retirees who don’t have to go back to work, some actually do.  According to Goshkarian’s own experience, the reasoning behind this is that, “we literally spend most of our entire life, adult-age, working. Getting up in the morning, being productive, social contact with co-workers, having a purpose and to get up one day and say ‘you don’t need to do that anymore’…it’s boring.”

Wayne Goshkarian, Director of Communications, Association for Entrepreneurship USA

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