Gray Power: Seniors do want to work, despite myth

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Many employers believe that those who can afford retirement should enjoy their retirement and not seek employment, since retirement is the American dream. Why employ older adults who&8217;ll quit as soon as they can or whenever they want?

Reality: Many Older Adults Are Interested in Working.

The love of a challenge, the need to be intellectually engaged, the desire to be with other people, the need to escape idleness, and the joy of feeling productive and helping others motivates many older workers.

Many older adults are interested in continuing to work but have found resistance in the workplace due to age discrimination.

There are strategies for those seeking employment. They include:

-Talk with prospective employers about work options, especially if you want to work temporary or part-time.

-Employers often find it difficult to fill this type of position with qualified, motivated employees.

-Communicate your varied reasons for working during the interview process.

-Let interviewers know that you are motivated by more than money, but don&8217;t let an interviewer compromise your salary or benefits as a result.

Here are some strategies that may help you keep your job:

-Communicate your interest in remaining an active contributor on the job.

-Let others know of your desire to work alternative work schedule.

Take actions in order to overcome this myth.

This information came from the book, UnRetirement by Fyock and Dorton.

Dr. Marvin Copes is Education/Community Service Volunteer for AARP Alabama in Maylene. He can be reached by e-mail at