Working Past 50 Can Bring More Satisfaction

If you’re over 50, chances are that continuing to work — and being truly engaged in what you do — will boost your well-being.

Researchers at the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College found that people 50 and older are more likely than younger adults to feel more deeply engaged in paid work, volunteering and education.

But, apparently, it’s not enough to be merely involved in those ventures to feel more satisfied with your life. You have to feel a sense of engagement, which the researchers call your “subjective experience of deep connection to something positive, meaningful, invigorating and inspiring.”

Encore careers embody all of those qualities. In fact, a recent survey by Civic Ventures and MetLife Foundation found that the 31 million people ages 44 to 70 who are interested in encore careers want to gain a sense of meaning and accomplishment through their work.

Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, director of the Sloan Center, says people 50 and older are dispelling the myth that well-being, and the ability to enhance it, fades with age.”Growing old in the 21st century is not what it was in the 20th,” she says. “As life expectancy continues to increase, older adults are healthier and more active than in the past. Yet many people cling to a notion that older adults are disengaged. The results of (the Sloan Center) study show the opposite to be true.”

To read the Sloan Center report, Engaged as We Age, click here.

Go here to read the latest encore careers research.