Work in Retirement: From Full Time Engineer to Part Time Van Driver

Hats off to Andrew!

Last night I took the Nashville Airport Express parking van from the terminal to my car. My driver was Andrew, a retired aircraft engineer. What is he doing driving a van? He wants to work in retirement to keep engaged while earning extra money. This is the story of the new unretirement trend.

On the positive side, The American Working Condition Survey compiled by the Rand Corporation on employment found that older Americans are able to have the flexibility they want from a job. On the negative side, they report having less support from their employers.

Older Workers Want Work Flexibility

“More older workers report having meaningful work and a fair amount of workplace flexibility compared with their prime-age counterparts, according to the American Working Conditions Survey (AWCS).” This may be because older Americans are choosing jobs in retirement that offer this flexibility. They are no longer on the career track, so they are willing to speak their mind and ask for the employment conditions that work best for them.

Older Workers Want Better Relationships with The Boss

“Though existing research found that older workers want constructive work relationships, the AWCS found that older workers perceive that they have less support than younger workers do.” This may be the negative side of no longer being on the career track. Less attention may be paid to the ideas and needs of older employees.

Older Americans Want to Work in Retirement

“More than half of retirees would return to work under the right conditions — and a large number already have.” Despite the drawback of having less supportive employers, older Americans are deciding to return to work. Some are just waiting for the right opportunity.


Employers who are considering hiring those who want to work in retirement should keep in mind that older workers want flexibility but also a mutually respectful relationship with their employer.


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