TODAY |

Quarter of Kiwis keep working past retirement age, double that of Australia

New Zealanders have a global reputation for working hard, but it turns out Kiwis also have a reputation for working well into old age.

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Why are so many Kiwis still in the game much later than 65? Seven Sharp explores. Source: Seven Sharp

A quarter of New Zealanders are working long past retirement age.

Comparatively in Australia, only 12 per cent of people work past the age of 65.

The Commission for Financial Capability says around 750,000 of New Zealand's seniors have jobs.

Many people have to keep working, clocking in to keep up with the bills.

But for others, it's a lifestyle choice: the sense of purpose and the social connections are worth so much more than a paycheque.

Real estate agent Jim Mays is one of those who's reluctant to retire.

He turns 83 years old next week and has been working in property for 48 years.

"They're boring old men who play too much golf and have lost their fire for life," he says of his friends who retired at 65.

He says he's always had a passion for property and wanted to keep going, rather than kicking back his feet and relaxing.

Things have changed over the half-century he's been in the game, but Mays says he doesn't experience any ageism.

"People invite me into their homes. They genuinely seem to appreciate age and experience," he says.