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Is 65 Too Soon To Retire? 40% Say Yes.

You’re born, you go to school, and then for 40 or 50 years you work, until, one day — like free falling from whatever mountain you’ve climbed, back to the plains — you retire.

It’s a big change, and a sudden one. Is this the way people want it?

Both theory and observational data suggest not: People prefer life to be “smoothed,” in the language of economists. “We don’t eat all of our meals on Sunday and then starve on weekdays,” says Christopher Tonetti, an associate professor of economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business. We spread out experience; we seek transitions. “And not just for food, but for all consumption.”

Retirement, it turns out, is no exception to this preference.

In a new study conducted with five colleagues, Tonetti found that a majority of retirees would prefer to be working if they could find a job that afforded some flexibility. Though questions remain about why they want to remain employed and what impedes the return to the workforce, the findings, were unambiguous:

A lot of people who are

sitting at home not working

want to be working.

Quantifying the Desire to Work -