Working Over-65s Making The Big Bucks

According to a new study from Scarborough, the 6.2 million American adults over the age of 65 who are employed fulltime or parttime are financially sound, philanthropic, enjoy the arts. and have robust investment portfolios. These "Retired for Hire" consumers are slightly more likely than the average adult to have an annual household income of $150K+ and are 51% more likely to live in a home valued at $500K or more. Trending upward in technology adoption, the Retired for Hire tune into local news and have a passion for keeping up their homes.

The Retired for Hire consumer group also has a wide range of investments and uses a potpourri of financial services. They are more likely than the average American to have: 

·      Stocks or stock options as a household investment (23% more likely) 

·      Second home or real estate property (36% more likely) 

·      Mutual funds (27% more likely) 

·      Money market funds (46% more likely)

Retired for Hire exceeds the national average when it comes to utilizing financial services such as accountants, financial planners, and fullservice stockbrokers in their household.

Howard Goldberg, senior vice president, Scarborough notes that "...banking and financial advertisers have a niche, but powerful market opportunity in Retired for Hire..." 

Household Financial Profile Index


Index (vs. Other Adults)

Home value $500K+


Home value $350K+


HH income $150K+


Source: Scarborough Research, March 2011 (e.g. Retired for Hire are 51% more likely than other adults to have a home valued  at $500K+)


Index of Financial Services Used by RFH Household



Full service stock broker






Financial planner


Money market account




Source: Scarborough Research, March 2011

In addition to the banking and financial industry, office supplies providers and home improvement stores have a robust base in Retired for Hire. Retired for Hire are small business owners, self-employed or work mostly from home. Perhaps because of this status, they are more likely to be the decision makers for a wide variety of company needs, from business travel to overnight delivery services.

Index of RFH Business Status

Business Activity

Index (vs. Average American)

Small business owner


Self employed


Work at Home


Source: Scarborough Research, March 2011

This group is frequently making purchasing decisions for their companies. Retired for Hire are 32% more likely to make information technology corporate decisions:

·      38% more likely to make hardware/software choices, and they also select vendors for overnight delivery services, business travel and office equipment

·      22% of this consumer group shopped Walmart for office supplies during the past three months, making it the leading office supply store for this consumer group

·      19% are more likely than average to shop Office Depot

·      18% are more likely to shop Staples

Local news broadcasts are popular among Retired for Hire. They are more likely than the average adult to watch morning or evening local news, and also enjoy national or network news. Religious broadcasting and game shows are also popular among Retired for Hire.

Index of Television Genres Watched by the RFH Consumers

TV Genre

Watching Index (vs. Average American)



Local evening news


National network news


Game shows


Local morning news




Source: Scarborough Research, March 2011

Their interest in news is reflected in their radio listening habits as well. Retired for Hire consumers are more likely to listen to the All News and News/Talk/Info radio formats. On the entertainment side, they also enjoy Adult Standards, Classical and Classic Country.

Index of Radio Formats Listened to by RFH Consumers

Radio Format


Adult standards




Classic country


All news








Source: Scarborough Research, March 2011

Retired for Hire are avid newspaper readers. They are 54% more likely to read the daily newspaper. Additionally, they are more likely to read every section of the newspaper measured by Scarborough.

Top 5 Newspaper Sections Read by RFH Adults

Newspaper Section

% of RTH Reading

Main news/front page


Local news


InternationalNational news






Source: Scarborough Research, March 2011

The study offers additional detail in the PDF report "Retired for Hire" available here

4 comments about "Working Over-65s Making The Big Bucks".
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  1. John Hicks from Gulfbridge, Inc., March 14, 2011 at 5:31 p.m.

    I question the term "Retired for Hire." Who's retired here? It looks like the numbers are describing business owners and executives who have never bothered to retire.

  2. Lawrence Aaron from Lawrence Aaron Media, March 15, 2011 at 1:31 a.m.

    Retired for Hire --- This is a nonsense rhyme, not Truth. By your own description 1.) they WORK part time or full time; 2.) they run small businesses and WORK at home; and 3.) they are actively seeking and available for WORK. They are not retired. The wordplay is a contradiction of the facts you presented. Maybe these 65-ers are no longer on the payroll of former longtime employers, but "retired" is a misnomer. The term "retired for hire" describes some pensioners I encountered when I lived in Central Florida --- they were bagging groceries in Publix to supplement Social Security. The folks you describe apparently live comfortably, but they may have to WORK to bolster their assets and maintain their lifestyle without resorting to Publix checkout line.

  3. Pamela Richardson, March 24, 2011 at 6:16 p.m.

    I have many retired people attend our conferences. They are retired, but they mystery shop or do merchandising to supplement their incomes. Some of them only perform mystery shops that are reimbursement only jobs so they can have luxuries such as nice dinners, visit theme parks, movies, etc., knowing the money will be reimbursed. Since it is reimbursement only, it does not change their tax status. Maybe some of these small business owners were a part of this study.

  4. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, April 10, 2011 at 10:17 a.m.

    A retired doctor and his retired receptionist do not have the same benefits after retirement.

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