"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
~ Mary Oliver
The "Old" Retirement
The whole concept of retirement is in flux. The old model of retirement stressed kicking back, relaxing, and a lifestyle of leisure. The fantasy of retirement was golf courses, sunny beaches, time for fishing, and maybe a job as a greeter at Wal*Mart.
The reality, for many people, was that a leisure retirement was not all it was cracked up to be. Sure, having time for leisure was welcomed, especially after working for years in high stress jobs. However, many people found they missed aspects of their work. They missed the sense of accomplishment from a job well done, having important goals to meet, and working together with others on something that would have impact.
Furthermore, working retirements are becoming more common as a way to add much needed income and stretch retirement savings. Instead of relying on the traditional three legged stool for financial security in retirement (social security, pension, and savings), many are opting for ways to maintain earnings into the retirement years.
The "New" Retirement
The new retirement landscape holds many possibilities for people. Today’s workers are forging new retirement paths through work models such as phased retirement, consulting, project and intermittent work, new careers, and even starting new businesses in retirement. These ventures are sometimes for pay, but often they are unpaid volunteer jobs.
In fact, the majority of Americans expect to work in some capacity into their later years. However, the way they want to work is different than at earlier career stages. Studies find that older workers stay in their jobs when they can control their hours, have flexibility, autonomy in how they do their work, and opportunities to learn and grow (Families and Work Institute).
Expectations for the Retirement Years
There is much to be excited about as people approach retirement age. Retirees can expect long and relatively healthy later years. Certainly genetics play a role in longevity and health. However, other factors are also important, such as having meaningful work to do, connecting with supportive people in our lives, and choosing a lifestyle that nurtures wellness. By clarifying goals and making choices based on priorities, we can expect to live full and rich lives in this new frontier called retirement. And, we can continue to contribute in meaningful ways.
Contact Kate Schaefers for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org www.encorelifeplanning.com