Adults over age 60 who take on a nontraditional job — defined as one without employer health and retirement benefits — can see a substantial improvement in their retirement security, according to a research brief from the Boston College Center for Retirement Research.
The analysis uses data from the Health and Retirement Study from 2002 to 2016 to study workers who are in traditional jobs at age 61. The sample is divided into three groups based on “post-62 work status” and includes those who, at ages 63 to 68, engage in nontraditional work, traditional work or no further work.
Although the results do not find that workers who are financially underprepared for retirement are more likely to use nontraditional jobs in late career, they do suggest that underprepared workers who switch to such jobs see a substantial improvement in their retirement security, according to researchers.
“These results provide further evidence that working longer is financially beneficial to those who are healthy enough to do so,” authors Matthew S. Rutledge and Gal Wettstein said in the brief. “The novel finding is that even jobs that do not offer health and retirement benefits can help substantially in closing the retirement security gap. Workers who do not feel capable of maintaining their career job, or who desire more flexibility and autonomy, can take heart that even a nontraditional job can bring them closer to their retirement goals.”