After Retiring, Bored Into Working

BY Elizabeth Shell  June 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM EDT

David Thompson is “semi-retired.” After his official retirement, the NASCAR buff decided to take a part-time job at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.

“I just did not want to totally quit working.”

David Thompson didn’t want to sit around in retirement. A fan of NASCAR since he was a kid, the 66-year-old now shares his knowledge and passion for the sport with others as a part-timer at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

“It gives me a chance to get out, meet the public, and enjoy life,” Thompson told us. “It’s just a fun place to come to and work everyday.”

Thompson is one of many once-retired Americans who have decided to head back to work because they enjoy it. They want to feel useful and have something to do.

So, is retirement as we know it a thing of the past? How long are we likely to work? We have spent the past year looking at the factors — demography, economics and just plain personal preference — that help explain what’s happening to the American workforce as it ages in our special project, New Adventures for Older Workers.