Retirement, as i have come to know from my childhood, consisted leisure and fun activities. The first picture I can remember of a happy retiree is that of a couple sipping on drinks sitting on a beach chair and looking at the sea. I always wanted to do social and community work in my retirement part from fulfilling my hobbies of travelling, photography, etc.
Working during retirement to earn a living never came across my mind. I even thought about early retirement option. But, today as I see it around me, in this country, growing number of workers continue to work in their retirement. And as per various study and trend analyses done, this phenomenon will only increase over time.
Welcome to 21st century retirement scene. Where people would not really have a retirement phase in their life.
How will it look like?
- 20% of workers aged 50+ does a job today; 75% of workers aged 50+ is expected to have retirement jobs in the future.
- People work in retirement for a variety of reasons, including the opportunity to earn more money and uncertainty over social security, inflation or lack of family support.
- Rising mortality and improving medical care will enable people extend their work-ability beyond retirement age
- Advent of internet and new age jobs that require less physical activity and even ability to work from home will make working in old age a lot easier. Which does include self-employment option.
As per the surveys conducted, many working in retirement are satisfied. Nearly half of those have no retirement plans in place and they are not planning to quit any time soon either. Almost 10% of respondents stated they wanted to work till they die.
Is working in retirement likely to continue?
If I just think about my situation here. I have a challenging job which requires me to be online almost 12 -13 hours a day. I have option to work at home on as many days I wish. We have people in offshore location such as India and China who work in the same project and do the similar job as I do.
Yes, this job requires a lot of mental exercise and application, which a 70-year-old might have difficulty coping with, for hours a day. But if they can there’s nothing that can stop them. So When I cross my retirement age, I surely can continue some sort of work as I am doing today. Even if I will work with 40 -50% efficiency compared to today, I’ll still be able to manage sizable chunk. plus the experience I’ll gain by then will be enormous.
So, why should I stop if I can earn 50% of what I am earning today working from remote (vacation) places and working with similar efficiency and intensity as working from office cubicle?
I expect that we may be witnessing a new cultural phenomenon related to aging and work, working in retirement is becoming the “new normal.”
Why to retire if we continue to work?
Because, it’s not certain if your expertise would still be relevant in job world by the time you are approaching 60. I am using Java technology, object-oriented languages and web application to do my day-to-day job. If tomorrow new technologies makes developers job redundant, what should I be doing? Quit my job and trying other fields!
Yes, I’d be retiring from my software development job and switch over to something new which I can continue to do, enjoy doing and my health permits me to do.
What are the implications for employers?
It is going to be beneficial for employers as well. Pool of eligible workers will increase. The competition to get the job may bring down the salary as well. They may want to recruit young dynamic employees in management positions but, the positions where retention of knowledge is required may go largely to more experienced senior employee.
Companies may start allowing more and more work at home positions. healthcare cost for the employers may increase but the depth of knowledge these old workers may bring in would offset that cost.
Today when a 60 years old retires he/she takes a wealth of knowledge away from the company, that can be prevented by offering ever more flexible work for those employees.
21st century is bringing in a new sets of rules, where people are no longer trying to “go up the ladder”. Quality of life and flexibility is the new essence. Ease of stress and job satisfaction matters most. Our generation no longer work for the same company throughout the life. We do not stick to same company and same department and wait for our turn to be promoted when everyone else, senior to us, either retires or get promoted.
We switch companies, based on the pay we get, perks we get and quality of life the work and work place brings to us. We even switch between departments in search of better growth option or even to get rid of a difficult boss (to be very honest).
We know we will be able to work long, even beyond 60 -70 years of age. So, we do not just go on working days in and days out. We enjoy life while working our very best. We take regular vacations, we visit places. We party hard and work harder.
We do not wait for retirement to happen, we finish up on our bucket list whenever we can. I already put together my thoughts and reasons to not retire early, if you want to know more.
I guess this is not just my opinion, you can resonate with me as well. Do write a comment about what you feel about your life and your retirement.