Healthy Ageing

Breaking the retirement myth: Retirement in seniors

Debunking the common misconceptions about retirement among seniors
Seniors choosing not to retire shows that retirement is a myth.

Retirement. The word makes you think of leisurely days spent sipping chai on the verandah, pursuing hobbies, and enjoying well-deserved rest after a lifetime of hard work. While this may be the dream for many older adults, the truth is that not everybody wants to retire. In fact, more and more seniors are choosing to continue working well into their golden years.

The retirement age in India is between 58 to 60 years, among the lowest in the world. At this age, you would still be looking forward to at least 20 more years of post-retirement life. You would also be physically and mentally fit to perform the skills you’ve acquired over the years or explore an entirely new career.

A study in the International Journal of Creative Research Thoughtslooks into this phenomenon among the older population in India. It finds that a significant number of retirement-age workers choose to remain in the workforce for reasons such as financial stability, fitness and health, and not surprisingly, pleasure.

As you age, your interests and priorities may shift, but that doesn’t mean you lose your passion for work. As a senior choosing not to retire, you have much to gain — learning new skills, making meaningful connections, and making a difference in your community — and much to offer — your knowledge, experience, and unique perspectives can be invaluable assets in any workplace. Additionally, staying mentally active and engaged in work can help combat memory loss and keep your mind sharp.

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why some older adults choose not to retire, the benefits of staying engaged in work, and the different career options available for those who decide to continue working. We will also address common retirement planning myths and provide insights into navigating the complexities of retirement withdrawal.

Retirement myth: All seniors choose to retire

Higher life expectancy
+ Better standards of living
+ Less physically demanding jobs
= Working past the retirement age is more feasible in today’s world.

Society may tell you that you must retire at a certain age. But what if retirement doesn’t align with your personal goals, passions, or financial needs? What if work brings you fulfilment, purpose, and a sense of identity? There is a growing movement towards active ageing and working beyond the traditional retirement age. This shift challenges the retirement myth and opens up new avenues for seniors in the workforce.

Retirement has long been seen as a milestone for older adults, a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of one’s labour. But reality would tell you something else — retirement is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Many older adults out there are choosing not to retire and are leading active, fulfilling lives in the workforce. Retirement myth is just that — a myth.

Retirement reality: Seniors are choosing not to retire

Retirement has become a myth with older adults choosing not to retire thanks to wider senior career options.


Retirement may be the ultimate goal for some older adults, but everyone is different. Some individuals find great satisfaction in their careers and simply don’t want to give it up. They may have worked hard to build successful businesses or establish themselves in their professions, and stepping away from it all can feel like abandoning something they hold dear.

For these individuals, work provides more than just a paycheck. It offers them a sense of purpose, structure, and social connection. It gives them a reason to get up in the morning and contribute to society. And who are we to deny them that? So let’s break this retirement myth once and for all — not all older adults want to retire, and that’s perfectly okay.

According to a paper in the Journal of Population Ageing:

  • More than one-third of older adults in India are working.
  • You are more likely to work beyond age 60 if you live alone, do not have a chronic disease, and lack opportunities for higher education, health insurance, or pension coverage.
  • Your wealth status does not matter. The wealthy are almost equally likely to work as the less wealthy in urban India.

Benefits of staying in the workforce

If you’re not convinced yet, there’s evidence that not retiring can have numerous benefits for older adults.

  • You are more likely to be financially stable and independent.
  • Work will give you a sense of purpose, a sharp mind, and wider social connections.
  • A study found that working past retirement leads to a lower risk of dying.
  • Another study found that staying employed in old age is linked to a lower risk of being diagnosed with serious health problems like cancer, heart disease, or dementia.

Senior career options

Now, you might be wondering what kinds of career options are available for seniors who choose not to retire. Well, let me assure you that there is no shortage of opportunities out there. Many companies are recognizing the value of experienced workers and actively seeking them out. They understand that older adults bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, and expertise to the table.

Staying in the same occupation:

You may choose to pursue part-time or consulting roles within your field of expertise. This would allow you to continue doing what you love while also having more flexibility in your schedule.

Venturing into new fields:

You may explore an entirely new career path that aligns with your passions or interests. It’s never too late to start something new!


You may even take this opportunity to become an entrepreneur and start your own business. You have the experience and wisdom to navigate the challenges that come with running a company, and you will for sure find great success in doing so. It’s truly inspiring to see seniors embrace their entrepreneurial spirit and create something meaningful.

Planning for active ageing and work

The image shows a middle-aged Indian man counting money. Choosing not to retire also requires financial planning.


Retirement planning myths can create confusion or uncertainty. You may be wondering if choosing not to retire will negatively impact your finances or your ability to enjoy life. The truth is that if you are healthy, working after retirement is more likely to keep you financially stable for the next two decades of your life.

Financial planning experts can help you manage your finances and ensure that you have enough savings to support your chosen lifestyle. They can help you explore options such as part-time work, freelancing, or even working remotely. The key is finding a balance between work and leisure that brings you joy and fulfilment.

Conclusion: Breaking the retirement myth

In conclusion, we have to debunk the retirement myth and acknowledge that not all older adults want to retire. Many seniors are embracing active ageing, physical health and brain health by finding fulfilment in continuing their work or exploring new career options. By choosing not to retire, they are challenging the stereotypes associated with ageing and showcasing the diversity of choices available to them.

If you find yourself among those who prefer to stay engaged in the workforce or pursue other passions, know that you’re not alone. Breaking free from the retirement myth means understanding that your desires and goals may differ from societal expectations – and that’s perfectly okay.

To further explore your options and plan for a fulfilling future, there are resources available to support you. Consider reaching out to organisations like Ivory, where you can find valuable information, community support, and mental workouts tailored specifically for older adults. The interactive tools on will help you keep your mind sharp and ready for active ageing and work well beyond retirement age.

You can also benefit from finding out your cognitive age and how it compares to your actual age!

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