To Work or not to Work after Retirement

To work or not to work after retirement

Retirement infers no longer working, does it not? Not necessarily, as the reality of retirement reveals life as it pertains to retirees that have a different status, background or age. Retirement can come as a shock to many people, unless they prepare for it in advance.

“One of the reasons for retirees coming back to work is the loss of the retirement fund.”

Consider some of the other following reasons retirees find to continue working, often much to the dismay of their families. Note that there are numerous, different reasons why people continue working post-retirement and many of them are quite legitimate. They are more than mere excuses for having something to do. Many of them have to do with the retirees self image.

“I want to work.”

All people forced into retirement do not necessarily want to retire and many seek to continue employment in other capacities. For them, their work ethic, work and working are important. It is a good thing, even when it means changing jobs or job descriptions, which is sometimes necessary. At the same time, a different job can offer different opportunities, sometimes ones that are more appropriate in terms of the retiree’s age and health status.

“I need the income.”

Retirement from previous employment may not necessarily guarantee sufficient pensions or other income and thus the retiree seeks ongoing or new employment that will continue to provide the level of income to which he or she has grown accustomed. Perhaps the desires of the retiree include travel, a new home, a new vehicle, etc. Many retirees work to support family members or want to increase a potential legacy for their families. Some will work for the benefits.

“I have to work to stay part of the community.”

Many people who retire feel they should continue to work as a way to stay in contact with fellow employees in the community. Working offers them the life style to which they are accustomed, particularly when the community is primarily a work-oriented one, like a mill town or a mining town.

Employees feel like they belong while retirees may feel like outcasts.

“I work to stay healthy and happy.”

Changing one’s status in life often brings a change in health status. Not working, to these retirees appears to affect their health status adversely and thus in order to stay healthy, they continue to work. Work offers mental, emotional and physical stimulation. They are happy when they are working. For other retirees, it is a way to keep busy and avoid boredom. It gets them out of the house and keeps them active. Spouses often seek to stay employed in order to continue the traditional lifestyle they have had for many years. For example, a man gets up and goes to work while his spouse takes care of the house and garden.

“I want to stay up current.”

Many retirees fear the possibility of becoming ‘obsolete dinosaurs’ with respect to their work. Professionals will choose to continue to work after retirement, sometimes in another capacity, so that does not happen. Research is often an appropriate direction for them to pursue after retirement. These retirees will seek academic education, more advanced skills or training. They may also start new businesses or pursue a previous hobby more extensively.

“I will always work until the day that I die.”

Ambitious people do not lose their ambition simply because they reach retirement age or have to retire. They love and enjoy working, as well as the challenges it has to offer. An ambitious retiree can always find something new and different to do. He or she enjoys life and all that work has to offer.

Each retiree is different and a unique individual. Fulfillment of his or her retirement dreams can come about by making a proactive decision to work or not to work.