There was a great front page article in the USA Today by Janice Lloyd recently regarding the increasing number of seniors who choose to keep working rather than “retiring.” What better way to avoid problems in your financial plan than to keep working!!
I find this a fascinating trend. Sure, some of this stems from improved health, longer life expectancies (do you really want to be retired for 40 years?) and concerns over the financial markets. However, I believe some people are “wired” and are in situations where continuing to work simply makes them happier. While working later in life isn’t for everyone, it can help many folks manage their looming retirement gap.
Why are people working longer before transitioning into retirement? The benefits of continuing to work into your 70s or 80s (for some even into their 90’s!) start with the financial, but certainly don’t end there.
Financial benefits include:
- The income from the job
- A delay or reduction in the amount of money being pulled from savings, thereby allowing investments to continue to grow
- Larger Social Security payments if you can delay taking them for a few years – this can be more than 25%
But more importantly, for some b work provides much more than a salary, including:
Sense of Purpose
For many business executives, work gives them a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It gives them a purpose – some goals still to accomplish. My father was one of these people. He worked into his 70s by choice in his own business as a manufacturer’s rep. He truly enjoyed helping his clients solve problems in their factories, making sales and the collegial relationships he enjoyed with longtime clients. While my dad had hobbies, including golf, gardening and playing bridge, those alone were not enough for him to be happy in “retirement.” This sense of purpose was very important to him.
Something Greater than Ourselves
Research shows that people who are involved in activities beyond themselves and their families tend to be happier. In the USA Today article, several of the folks working into their 80s and beyond talked about how they were helping others. For some, this “something greater” is helping their clients or merely helping their organization grow and succeed. They clearly are not working for the paycheck – they work for the gratification we get when we help people.