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The image of American retirees lounging by the pool or playing golf may disappear as nearly three-quarters of older workers say they plan to work past the traditional retirement age, a study issued Tuesday said.

A survey by AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, shows 7 in 10 Americans plan to work past the once-typical retirement age of 65 and nearly half expect to work well into their 70s and even 80s.


Interviews this year with 2,001 people aged between 50 and 70 showed that the main reason for working past retirement has more to do with financial need than fulfillment of professional goals, enjoyment or a desire to stay active.

When forced to choose one main reason for staying employed, the majority -- 22 percent of those near retirement and 35 percent of retirees -- said it was to make money.

Higher health care costs, insufficient retirement funds and recent investment losses feed the need to keep earning, AARP said. "I suspect it's because people have really taken a (economic) hit in the past two years," said Love.

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