Work after the age of 65 has been gaining strength and, consequently, retirement is gaining a new meaning. As in other countries, social and work environments have been shown to be more inclusive in Canada. The growing appreciation of continuous learning and the flexibility of work arrangements offer the elderly new spaces and new possibilities in the labor market.
In a society where people live longer, it is necessary to produce more to maintain individual and collective well-being, now and in the future. But, will it be that easy?
According to data published by the WHO in 2020, the life expectancy of Canadians is among the highest in the world, with rates of 80.4 years for men and 84.1 for women. (Source: Life expectancy in Canada, worldlifeexpectancy.com). Either by choice or by necessity, postponing retirement has been a growing decision. For some, it appears as an opportunity for social interaction and expansion of personal fulfillment. For others, however, it points directly to a need for greater financial security.
A Changing Scene
Retirement used to be seen as a well-earned rest after a lifetime of hard work. However, with advances in healthcare and a better understanding of healthy aging, many seniors are redefining their productive years ahead. Working beyond age 65 is no longer a necessity motivated solely by financial constraints, but also a conscious choice based on personal fulfillment, social engagement and continual mental stimulation.
For those who are at retirement age, but have not yet decided whether to stop working or not, we present below some points that indicate some benefits of working after the age of 65.
5 benefits of working after age 65
- Financial security – While it is true that many seniors have saved for retirement, additional income from a job can provide a “little extra” and help financial security for many families. Working after age 65 allows people to maintain their quality of life, face unexpected expenses and ensure a more comfortable future.
- Physical and mental well-being – Staying active in the workforce can contribute to better physical and mental health. Engaging in meaningful work helps seniors stay physically active and mentally alert, reducing the risk of cognitive decline and related health problems.
- Social Interaction – The workplace provides a valuable platform for social interaction and networking. Elderly people who continue to work can establish new relationships, share experiences and contribute to a sense of belonging, combating social isolation.
- Personal Fulfillment – Many seniors find purpose and fulfillment in their careers. The sense of accomplishment derived from contributing to a team, solving problems and achieving professional goals can greatly improve overall well-being and increase personal fulfillment.
- Skill utilization – Years of experience bring a wealth of knowledge and skills that can be valuable to employers and peers alike. Seniors can act as mentors, sharing their experiences and contributing to the development of the team.
Employment trends for seniors in Canada
Many employers are recognizing the productive value of seniors and offering part-time, remote, and flextime work options. This trend makes it easier for seniors to balance their work life rhythms and personal commitments.
It is worth remembering, however, that although the benefits of working after age 65 are often substantial, the major challenges must be considered. Policy adjustments may be necessary to accommodate the evolving needs of seniors, such as health benefits and retirement plans tailored to different work arrangements.
A study developed by Angela McEwen, from the Canadian Center for Policy Alternative, in 2012, analyzes a scenario very close to what we are experiencing today. The paper “Working after age 65. What is at stake?” presents a series of considerations that emphasize positive and negative aspects regarding the continuous work of the elderly, mainly in relation to government policies to postpone the eligibility of pensions.
According to Angela McEwen, many Canadians are delaying retirement and choosing to work longer. However, an important subset of seniors over 65 years old needs to continue working, as they do not have enough savings to retire. “Working longer by choice is one thing. But forcing Canadians without pensions or deep financial reserves to work full-time or even part-time after age 65 is unfair. Especially given the high likelihood that they will only will be accepted into poorly paid jobs”, emphasizes the author.
The government’s role in the quality of life of citizens aged 65 and over
Government actions to push back the age of eligibility for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and Old Age Security (OAS) will result in significantly reduced earnings for those who are unable to replace OAS/GIS income with earnings in low-paying jobs . It would take many hours in low-paying jobs or self-employment to replace the maximum OAS/GIS benefit, or even the basic OAS benefit. Raising the eligibility age is also problematic for seniors in physically demanding and stressful jobs, and for those with health problems who cannot continue to work.
Job Tips for People 65+ in Canada
In Canada, job opportunities for 65-year-olds are constantly evolving. They reflect changes in relation to population aging and workforce diversity. This means that new opportunities can arise as trends change. It is always wise to explore different options, seek guidance and adapt your approach to finding the best job opportunity for you after age 65.
Consulting and Freelance
With years of experience and accumulated knowledge, many older individuals choose to work as independent consultants or freelancers. They can offer advice in their areas of expertise, provide strategic guidance to companies and startups, or offer specific services based on their skillset.
Mentoring and Training
Many seniors have valuable skills and a wealth of knowledge to share. Offering mentoring, training or coaching services in areas such as business, entrepreneurship, personal finance, professional development and interpersonal skills is one of the ways to stay active in the job market.
Teaching and Continuing Education
Many educational institutions value the experience and mature perspective of seniors. Becoming a teacher, online instructor, guest speaker, or workshop leader at colleges, technical schools, or continuing education centers is a way to share knowledge while staying engaged.
Some seniors choose to start their own businesses. In-depth knowledge of a specific industry or market can lead to a successful business launch. The startup environment in Canada is becoming increasingly supportive of entrepreneurs of all ages.
Contributing to non-profit organizations and volunteering is a rewarding way to continue being active in the community. Many institutions value the experience and wisdom of seniors to guide projects and assume leadership roles.
Financial Advice and Planning
Given the growing need for financial guidance, older people with experience can work as financial advisors or retirement planners. Helping others manage their finances and plan for the future can be a meaningful way to contribute.
Health and Wellness Sector
Health professionals such as doctors, nurses and therapists can continue to work in positions that meet the growing needs of the older population. In addition, the wellness industry, including yoga instructors and holistic and other therapists, also offers opportunities.
Customer Service and Sales
There is an ongoing demand for customer service and sales professionals across a variety of industries. Communication skills and empathy developed over the years can be an asset in these fields.
Tourism and Hospitality Industry
For those with a love of travel and hospitality, positions such as tour guides, hotel receptionists, travel consultants or airport workers may be suitable.
Cultural and Arts Sector
Older people who have an interest in culture, art and history may find opportunities as museum guides, storytellers or participants in creative and cultural projects.
SOME JOB SITES IN CANADA
indeed.ca – This is a popular job search engine where you can filter jobs based on location, industry and job type.
LinkedIn.com – Create a LinkedIn profile highlighting your skills and experience. Many employers and recruiters use this platform to find candidates.
Workopolis.com – A job search website offering a variety of job postings.
SimplyHired.com – Another job search platform that aggregates job postings from multiple sources.
CharityVillage.com – Offers opportunities in non-profit organizations.