The Reality of Working in Retirement

Before we get into the core topic for this article, which is “working in retirement”, I want to point out some statistics that explain why most people don’t retire when they had originally planned to:  

Why did 58% of Women and 56% of men retire earlier than expected?

  • 34% Personal Health Problems

  • 26% Sufficient Resources

  • 24% Lost Job

  • 15% Wanted More Family Time

  • 9% Look after Family Member

*Some respondents indicated more than one reason

I’m guessing that many of you were thinking that most people were retiring later than planned since statistically speaking, Americans aren’t saving like they should. The reality is that as we age, it is much more difficult to retain a job then most of us care to admit.

Okay, unexpected statistics aside, let’s examine the topic of working in retirement.  I say it often…
Many people are not motivated to retire because they cannot mentally, emotionally and financially frame living 30 years beyond their careers. One quick remedy for the fear of retirement is simply to go ahead and plan to keep working in some way shape or form after retiring from your core career.

What do you know about work and retirement?

Many Americans plan to work part-time or even full-time during retirement. There are many reasons that retirees choose to stay employed: extra income, daily social interaction, a sense of purpose, and many others. Test your own perceptions by taking this 2-question quiz.
1.  What percentage of working people expects to continue working after retirement?

a.  25%

b.  34% 

c.  47%

d.  69%

2.  What percentage of retirees work for pay?

a.  25%

b.  34%

c.  47%

d.  69%

The answer is that 69% of working people plan to continue some work in retirement and only 25% of retirees actually work for pay.

The point here is that there are stark differences in perception and reality when it comes to the topic of working in retirement. Unfortunately, retirement isn’t always a personal choice or preference.

One final statistic to digest…

401(k) participants spend twice as much time annually researching their next automobile purchase or their next vacation then they do on retirement planning. 

Too many people take a “go with the flow” approach to their personal finances. Or worse, they kick the can down the road and put it off until a later day. In business, you will never stand apart, sustain profitability and grow your business if you go with the flow or kick the can down the road. Why would you do it differently with your personal vision, mission, and finances?

The path to retirement is easier when it is a long slow climb. Don’t wait until it becomes a desperate rock climbing expedition. If you are interested in learning more about our approach to walking a steady path to comfortable retirement, please reach out to the Pathfinder team.