Many people around the globe want to work in retirement, but money isn't necessarily the most important reason, according to a study released Wednesday.
"The Future of Retirement" survey, conducted on behalf of the London-based HSBC banking group, found that 25 percent of those surveyed in 20 countries and territories said that money would be their main objective for working in retirement.
But others sought different rewards, from giving them something meaningful to do with their time to keeping them physically active and providing mental stimulation.
The results come as the world's population is aging fast, and the survey results indicate there's a disconnect between what individuals and companies are planning for the future. The survey covered more than 21,000 individuals and 6,000 employers.
The survey found, for example, that about two-thirds of the people interviewed would like some form of flexible working schedule as they near and enter retirement _ perhaps working fewer hours or taking extended breaks between projects.
But just 30 percent of employers offer older workers the opportunity to work fewer hours, and only 37 percent say they offer older workers the opportunity to pursue "new kinds of work."
"When it comes to retirement, are we hearing one another?" asked Martin Glynn, chief executive of HSBC US.
Ken Dychtwald, a San Francisco-based specialist on aging who was an adviser on the survey, said that employers were "beginning to realize that pushing everybody out the door may not be the wisest thing to do" because they risked losing highly skilled workers that could prove difficult to replace.
Instead, he said, employers needed to consider the "wants" of future retirees to balance work and leisure. This, he said, would require more programs allowing phased retirement, part-time work, sabbaticals and opportunities to mentor younger workers.
Asked who should pay for retirement, 43 percent of respondents said individuals should bear the cost. About 30 percent said it should be the responsibility of the government; 20 percent, families; and 5 percent, an employer.
One surprising finding was the role individuals believe the government should play in financing aging populations.
Some 37 percent said they favored some form of "enforced" additional private savings, while just 13 percent supported increased taxes. Seven percent favored reduced pensions, 24 percent supported raising the retirement age and the rest said they were unsure.
"Their message to the governments is, `Help me to save,'" the report concluded.
The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive between October and December. Countries in the study ranged from the United States, Canada and Japan to China, India and Malaysia.