The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of workers aged 75 and older to increase by a whopping 96.5% by the end of the decade.
That study dovetails with my suspicions that the wave of early Boomer retirements we're seeing right now may not be permanent. Many of today's seniors feel every bit as energetic, curious, and passionate about work as they felt in their 40s and 50s. After a few months away from work, I'm guessing some folks are going to roll out of bed on a random Monday morning feeling like they need a new challenge and a renewed sense of purpose at this stage of their lives. And as retirement planning continues to adapt to improving health care and longevity, a post-retirement career could very well become a standard transition for the next wave of retirees.
Here are three things seniors should be thinking about as they plan for their second or third professional act.
In response to the Great Resignation, many companies are going out of their way to create flexible working arrangements as a way to attract and retain top talent. Work from home is becoming increasingly standard, but seniors should also be on the lookout for positions that offer flexible work hours. Scheduling your work week your way could allow you to start enjoying some more traditional retirement R&R while you're still earning a paycheck. Flexibility also gives you the power to focus your time on tasks that are important to you and that you enjoy doing.
Another benefit that's gaining popularity is sabbatical time. Stepping away from your job for a week or two can let you explore other passions, take a deep dive into a new technological innovation, or just reassess what work means to you as you head into your Golden Years.
Many new retirees really miss the team dynamics and camaraderie of their old workplaces. Sure, you might still meet up with your work friends for dinner or a round of golf. But it's not the same as spending 8 hours every day with the same group of people, solving problems and managing complex responsibilities.
Maintaining those connections at your current job or building new ones at a different organization should be a high priority when thinking about your post-retirement career. Pay particular attention to companies that pride themselves on building a diverse, multigenerational workforce. There's a growing body of research that suggests diversity can be a major competitive advantage for forward-thinking businesses. There's also an advantage for senior workers who will have opportunities to learn from and mentor the next generation, gaining new perspectives and a broader understanding of the world along the way.
No one loves absolutely everything about their job. And many folks spend their entire careers clocking in and out every day not because their work invigorates them, but because they're doing what's necessary to support their families and secure their retirements.
A post-retirement career could be an opportunity to find a stronger sense of purpose in work. If you have a nest egg and a financial plan that can support you even if you're not working, you'll be free to take a job just because it's exciting, or interesting, or meaningful to you. You might find that the work you do is more fulfilling if you're helping a nonprofit that you care about meet its annual fundraising goals or repurposing your professional skills as a mentor or teacher.
Post-retirement could also be the moment when you finally go all-in on that idea you haven't been able to let go of during your career. With proper management of your time and financial resources, retirement could be your moment to start that dream company and sit in the big chair as CEO.
We talk a lot on our blogs and podcasts about how retirement planning has to be adaptable. Sometimes, that means incorporating new laws into how we crunch your numbers. But the most important changes to a financial plan start with you and your life goals. If you’re starting to think about a post-retirement career, call up my team at Keen Wealth and let’s talk about where work fits into your overall retirement vision.
Bill Keen is a CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR℠ and independent financial advisor with more than 25 years of industry experience. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm, he specializes in providing personalized retirement planning designed to help people thrive before and during their retirement years. With a passion for educating others, Bill regularly blogs about retirement planning, hosts the podcast Keen on Retirement, and has contributed to U.S. News and World Report, Reuters, Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, Yahoo Finance, and other publications. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Bill and his team work with clients throughout the greater Kansas City area and across the nation. To learn more, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.keenwealthadvisors.com.
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