With people living longer than ever before – and many Americans' retirement savings battered in the late-2008 market downturn – working later in life is an imperative for many. But staying employed is also popular because people enjoy the sense of accomplishment that work brings.
CNN Money, citing Labor Department data, says this week that 18 percent of people older than 65 will remain in the workforce in 2010. In 1998, that was true of just 11.9 percent of seniors.
It's not always money that motivates people to keep working, though: The news site quotes a Barclays Capital report as saying that half of high-net-worth individuals over 65 plan to never stop working.
Dr. Steve DeGolia, a geriatrician in Cleveland, explained to a Cleveland-area news station recently why people are opting to stay in the workforce. "It gives them meaning; it helps focus their life and their work," he suggested.
What does this have to do with young workers? For a young person, it can be useful to frame one's career goals by imagining whether a job will still be appealing decades in the future. If you're doing something just for the paycheck, it probably isn't the ideal career for you. Yet a job you can see yourself doing well past retirement age may be worth striving for.