Is it time for you to step down? People reaching retirement age actually have choices these days. It is good to have choices. Many seniors find that they aren’t ready to retire at 62 or 65 years of age. They enjoy their work and retirement age arrived before they were ready. One article will tell you that most seniors don’t feel ready to retire, while another will say that boomers are eager to retire.
I like being retired but found both articles quite compelling. The article by Kathy Read (Star Tribune: Sunday, April 15, 2012) cited statistics that implied that 90% of workers age 60-64 enjoyed going to work. Who are these people? Many of us had to work until we were 67 just to qualify for full social security benefits. Early retirement wasn’t an option. If you worked until you were 67, the last two-three years might have been tough. I am a little suspicious about a statistic that quotes a 90% job satisfaction rate but if I am wrong, I hope they know how lucky they are. Professional or not, I’ve not known many people who felt that good about their jobs. I am very happy for those who found their niche early on, and yes they should keep working on as long as they can. The rest are happy to get away. Older workers are less likely to be laid off these days, but they also have a harder time finding a new job if they are. Work is safe. Work is structured and intellectually challenging. Work provides a social connection like nothing else. Still the other 10% shouldn’t be made to feel guilty because they want to find something more meaningful to do than the 9-5 mentality allowed.
Granted, 20-30 years is too much time to spend just playing golf or traveling to exotic places. You can only stand being a couch potato for so long before you start to feel restless. Some people can’t afford not to work but much of the time people continue working because they don’t want to sit around twiddling their thumbs. Many people enter retirement without any long term plans about what they want to do with the rest of their lives.
The people embracing retirement have their reasons too and start planning for the eventuality early one. Paul Gore (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Tuesday, April 24, 2012) writes that the popular belief that boomers will continue working longer than planned isn’t necessarily true. His statistics show that many retirees like being retired. They understand that they may not enjoy the same standard of living as previously but they are sick of working and want to do something else. These people feel that they have worked all of their lives and are ready to try something new. Each theory comes up with its own set of statistics but they both agree that the choice should be yours.