Quite by chance, I participated recently in a lively discussion about life after retirement, and more specifically, to working after retirement. It probably will not surprise you that baby boomers see working after retirement as a viable and desirable option. Unlike previous generations that considered retirement as the end of work, boomers are redefining it as continuing to work, albeit in different ways. A recent AARP survey found that of those who were retired, 13% are either still working or looking for work. Another study, this one conducted in 2013 by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research noted that 8% of people 65 or older are working in retirement now.
Why do people still work after retiring? The reasons are as varied as individuals, but generally can be grouped in key categories, as follows:
Added income to pay for necessary expenses or to support leisure activities such as traveling or hobbies
Personal fulfillment: working contributes to their sense of self-worth, to staying engaged and active
Giving back: For some, teaching/working for community non-profits provides a vehicle to give back, to contribute to help others
Self-development: Learning a new profession or a new trade and once mastered, taking those new skills to the job market, provide a vehicle for self-expression and self-development. Included in this category are boomers who are staring their own businesses.
Working during retirement also has downsides, including limiting the flexibility for priorities like family and travel. And frankly, working during retirement may not be possible for a host of reasons.
The key lesson I took away from that lively conversation is that seniors today have options to work during retirement. And as we’ve learned again and again at Amazing Care, having options is a key factor in aging well.
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