Unretirement is the phenomenon of people returning to work after retiring from their careers or jobs. It’s a trend that’s becoming increasingly common. This might mean returning to a former position or starting a new career or business. It might also mean working part-time or taking on consulting or freelance work. People are living longer, healthier lives. This means that some retirees continue to look for the emotional, social, and financial fulfillment that work brings – but on their own terms.
Joe and Lindsay discuss that there is no cookie-cutter idea of retirement. It should be different for everybody. They recognize they are seeing the trend of unretirement with their own clients. They touch on how thinking around traditional retirement is changing. They also imagine what future retirement might look like (think longevity meets variety). They want you to walk away knowing that unretirement means having enough money to sleep at night and enough purpose to get you up in the morning.
What You’ll Learn in Today’s Episode about Unretirement:
- What are your options when considering unretirement?
- The advantages of unretirement.
- Obstacles you may face.
- Finding your purpose & what will help you live your best life.
- The end of our traditional concepts around retirement.
- The retirement of the future.
Ideas Worth Sharing about Unretirement:
- “I don’t think there should be some cookie-cutter idea of what retirement is. It should be different for everybody.
- “We’ve seen with our clients in unretirement who take on consulting or freelance work, they’re really taking those skills they’ve honed over a lifetime and applying them in ways that are flexible to what they view as living a fulfilling retirement.”
- “I think the days of “you pick a career, you do the same thing for 40 years, collect your pension, and sail off into the sunset” – those days are definitely coming to an end.”
- “I think you’re going to see second, third, and even fourth careers where people have many retirements.”
Resources In Today’s Episode:
Traveling, volunteering, and – yes- working. Welcome to unretirement by Richard Eisenberg, Market Watch.
Ep # 16: Living a Passion-Driven and Authentic Life with Scott Armstrong
Ep # 24: The Curated Retirement, Interview with Retirement Coach Tammy Vigue
The Phenomenon of Unretirement
Unretirement is a term that refers to the phenomenon of people returning to work after retiring from their careers or job.
The trend of unretirement is increasingly common as people are living longer. However, they may not be financially or emotionally prepared for a long retirement. Furthermore, some people may also simply miss the structure, social interaction, and intellectual stimulation that work provides.
Benefits of Unretirement
There are also benefits to unretirement beyond financial stability. For example, working can provide a sense of purpose, social connection, and mental stimulation. All of this contributes to overall well-being and quality of life.
Challenges of Unretirement
However, there are also potential challenges associated with unretirement. For instance, ageism, health issues, or the need to update skills or knowledge. It is important for anyone considering unretirement to carefully consider their motivations, goals, and options.
There are as Many Unretirements as There are Retirees
Unretirement can take many forms. For example, it might look like returning to a former job or starting a new career or business. It might mean working part-time or taking on consulting or freelance work. Many people who unretire find that they can work in fields or pursue opportunities that they are more passionate about, rather than simply working for a paycheque.
We see unretirement with our own clients in a few different ways. For example, we have clients who have been with a company for years. They make good money. They’ve been able to retire with the lifestyle that they want. However, they still do consulting work because it gives them purpose. As well as a little bit of extra finance to help with some bigger costs without feeling like they’re eating into their retirement savings.
Other Options in Unretirement
People don’t necessarily need to change their careers, they can just change their work schedules. This can work for business owners. As an example, Joe’s father recently brought Joe’s sister-in-law into his business. She’s taking on the work that he has been doing. Joe’s father is still super active with clients. However, this addition is allowing him to step back and work shorter days. Moreover, he has more time to spend with the grandkids. On the other hand, he can still go to work and have that sense of purpose.
Working with Employees in Unretirement
In Lindsay’s previous role as a Case Manager with an insurance company, there was a period when senior case managers were offered retirement packages. However, the downside was losing the wealth of wisdom, knowledge, and experience. Companies give retirement packages to long-time employees that allow them to avoid laying off younger ones. But it’s not ideal. It might be more beneficial if companies could work with employees to phase out their retirement. Moreover, give them a chance to adapt to the retirement lifestyle, start to figure out their routines, and maybe pick some new hobbies and activities.
The Retirement of the Future
Long gone are the days when you pick a career and do the same thing for 40 years. Then collect your pension, and sail off into the sunset. To this point, we have been talking about unretirement in the sense of finding hobbies and activities in retirement. However, that’s still a traditional way of thinking about retirement. It’s often around the age of 60,65 that people are looking to make a change and in addition, they’ve got their financial freedom.
Firstly, what we think you’ll start to see, especially with increased longevity, is people with second, third, and even fourth careers where they have many retirements. For instance, maybe they work for 15 years and then take a mini-retirement. This time allows them to travel, learn some new things, go back to school, and then enter the workforce in a different capacity. Secondly, we may see people working 50 to 60 years because they will be living that much longer.
Your Unretirement is Your Own
There’s no cookie-cutter way to retire. It should be different for everybody. Ultimately, you don’t have to retire the way that anyone else retires. Lastly, consider what gives you purpose and fulfillment – especially if you’re already financially free. Take a chance. Try new things. Find something that’s going to help you live your best life.
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