Could Working in Your 70s Be the New “Dream” Retirement?

Let’s face it: most of us are freaking out about retirement. Last month, in fact, the Global Retirement Index told us that one in four Canadians believe “it’s going to take a miracle to retire.”


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Let’s face it: most of us are freaking out about retirement. That’s not an exaggeration. Last month, in fact, the Global Retirement Index told us that one in four Canadians believe “it’s going to take a miracle to retire.” Couple that with a survey conducted on October, which said more than three-fourths of Canadians are worried about having enough money to retire, and you can see why around 67% of Canada is on the brink of a retirement crisis.

But what if you don’t have to retire? In fact, what if you can be happier if you didn’t? What if we have this whole retirement thing wrong, what if you can—and should—work into your 70s, indeed, as long as you can work?

Well, for many Canadians, whether they have the retirement income or not, working into your 70s could be a retirement dream. How does that work? Let’s take a look at why you might want to work later than the common retirement age.

Here’s why you should work in your 70s

Perhaps the best reason to continue working in your 70s is to stay at a job that you love. If your job gives you a sense of fulfillment, whether it comes from the work itself or the people you work with, why give it up?

But many retirees do. And, unsurprisingly, many realize quite early on they made a huge mistake: the retirement hours feel longer, every day is filled with them, and the sense of purpose from a job becomes more desirable than sitting around drinking coffee by yourself.

Besides, with remote work becoming more universal, working in your 70s isn’t as difficult as it used to be. For retirees who have too much time on their hands, remote work can give you that sense of purpose, not to mention income, while also allowing you to work wherever you want and, sometimes, when you want. Remote work can feel like retirement, even though you’re not technically retired.

There’s also the extra cash. Working in your 70s can take pressure off of your retirement fund. If you can’t amass a million or so dollars to retire at 65, working into your 70s can help you put more money aside, while also increasing your pension payouts later.

Finally, some studies suggest a correlation between working longer and strong cognitive abilities. In simpler terms, the longer you work, the stronger your brain.

Here’s why you shouldn’t work in your 70s

Of course, not everyone should work into their 70s. If your job doesn’t give you a sense of purpose, if it’s burning you out or making you feel indebted to a company you don’t like, then working in your 70s will be a nightmare.

Likewise, if you’re certain you can fill your retirement days with unpaid work or hobbies that you enjoy, retirement might be the right next step for you. In fact, if you have enough money to be financially independent, your retirement can empower you to do something you truly enjoy doing. You might have made a fortune working 30 years as an engineer, but now could be the time to write that memoir you’ve always wanted to write.

Foolish bottom line

If you’re struggling to put money aside for retirement, maybe it’s time to consider postponing your golden years. Alternatively, you could plan to find part-time, remote work in retirement, a job that keeps you mentally sharp. Who knows — you might find a job that gives you a strong reason for waking up in the morning, something that can fill your retirement with a deep sense of identity and purpose.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

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