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Americans are choosing not to retire — but not for the reasons you think

As retirement looms for many Americans, some are deciding to take a retirement hiatus or not retire at all — but not for the reasons you think. 

According to a new survey by TD Ameritrade, there are many Americans between the ages of 40-70, who are not retiring even though they are financially able to because they enjoy the routine, it staves off depression, or are pursing a new dream. TD Ameritrade polled 2,000 adults for its survey.

“They're working longer not just for financial reasons, but they're also working longer, because they want to keep their mind sharp, because they don't want to be bored. So there's very positive reasons behind working longer,” Christine Russell, senior manger of retirement at TD Ameritrade, told Yahoo Finance. 

The survey found that one in three Americans 40 or older have or plan to have a job in retirement, and that 92% Americans in their 40s and 86% in their 50s plan to continue to work 20 hours a week in retirement. A majority of those polled saw continuing their career as a plus in beating depression. Sixty-two percent believe going back to work will keep their mind sharp, and 60% believe it would help stave off boredom. 

Americans are choosing not to retire — but not for the reasons you think (Photo: Getty)

Whether out of financial necessity or as a way to keep busy, more Americans are working well into their 60s and 70s than in the past: In 2018, 27% of workers 65 to 74 held a job, up from 17.7% in 1998, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.The labor participation rate for those 75 and over has almost doubled, climbing to 8.7% in 2018 from 4.7% in 1998.

Additionally, four out of 10 of people polled in their 40s and 50s said working later in life isn’t about how much is sitting in the bank. However, for those looking for “encore careers,” it doesn’t come without its own challenges. 

“It can certainly be difficult, so you want to plan ahead that you've thought through what other industry you'd like to go into,” Russell said. “But we do see about 4 in 10 people who want to join a new industry, try something new. Again, think about these un-retirees as folks who want to challenge themselves intellectually. They want to keep their minds sharp. So trying something new in a new industry gives them that opportunity. It might even have been a job that they would have liked to have done but their career took them in a different direction.”

Ashley is a Production Assistant for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @actuallynelson.

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