What will you do if you find yourself alive and well at 90 or even 100 years of age? This idea isn’t as far fetched as you might think. Advances in science and medicine are making health and longevity a very likely prospect. The biggest concern is how you are going to afford to keep yourself in the manner you have become accustomed.
Work is a good thing. A job not only provides intellectual stimulation but often makes up the bulk of your social network. Many people can’t wait for retirement, but others find the idea frightening and socially unacceptable. If you want to work longer but find your job too physically or emotionally challenging you could be caught in the middle. For your own mental health you might need to consider working part time or looking into a second career. Delaying retirement is certainly something many have thought about.
Is working in your first career field even an option? Pilots, military personal, police officers and others have mandatory retirement laws. High stress careers such as nursing, teaching, or corporate leadership roles are difficult to sustain. It isn’t unusual for people to want more sanity in their lives as they grow older.
Some businesses are good about adapting the work environment to meet the needs of older employees, but others just want to have them gone. However, recent articles in business journals are reporting that there is a growing demand for temporary and contract work. This type of work might be perfect for the mature worker who would love to be able to take breaks between assignments. Hopefully, by the time the baby boomers reach their 80s mandatory retirement laws will be changed so that older workers will have more options.
If you retire at 65 what are you going to be doing in your 80s, 90s and possibly longer? Some will delay retirement, plan for a second career, do volunteer work, or just quite working altogether. Some will return to school, turn a hobby into a career, work at something mindless but socially fulfilling, or end up being a caregiver for a spouse or grandchildren.
Those who are able to stop working altogether will have time to enjoy sports, hobbies, and travel as well as spending quality time with their families. Some people are eager to pursuit advanced degrees or take life long learning classes for the sheer joy of learning. The increasing availability of college courses provides wonderful opportunities for the senior student.
Hopefully you will have a ready answer when someone asks you what you are going to do with all of your extra time. It would be nice if you could be enthusiastic when you near 100 as you were when you were 50.