Retire – Downsize – Work!

Coffee and work

Aren’t you supposed to stop working when you retire? Nope. Times have changed. More people who are no longer in their full-time job are now working after “retirement”. The reason for this varies. They are still working by necessity, by choice or by invitation. Here’s what I see when surveying the retirement landscape.

This post is part of an on-going series on this blog on the topic of “Retire – Downsize – ….”, covering a variety of possible activities to pursue after retiring and downsizing. Today’s topic is for those who are “back at work” after retiring.

1. Necessity

Savings squeezedThe most common reason for people to skip their retirement date is due to need. Frequently their debt level is too high to stop working altogether. Contributing factors could include bad investments, lack of savings, divorce, job loss and over-spending.

Changing health can be another reason for continuing to work, even part-time since care always comes at a cost. A gradual but debilitating condition may give a person extra time to work and build up their financial resources for future care.

Sometimes other family members require support, especially financial help, with your employment income becoming the family’s primary means of assistance.

2. Choice

Bulb and treeOthers have the option of taking full retiring or not. It’s their choice. For some people, it is an opportunity for a career change. This can be very motivating, bringing a sense of excitement and anticipation. This is especially true for creative careers and new ventures that are completely different from the last one.

Still, others keep working since they realize we have an innate desire for achievement. This leads to satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.

Also, some people just want to keep sharp and live a long life. How often have you heard of someone retiring completely, doing nothing and passing away within a few years? As comedian George Burns used to say – “I’ll show up as long as I’m booked.” George lived to be 100 years old.

3. Invitation

Business bossFinally, there are those people who intended to retire but found themselves back at work due to the influence of others. This past week I met another realtor who told that his dad, who is 70 years old, just retired. However, his employer offered him a one-year contract since he is the most experienced industrial engineer in the company. He accepted it and is back on a full work schedule.

Anyone with a specialized position may also find their employer is very open to continuing to employ them on a contract basis. Typically this involves an increased level of compensation compared to their regular salary. One of my past clients is a good example of this in action. He is a nuclear engineer who is now enjoying this form of “retirement”.

Creativity is another unique skill that can lead to unsolicited offers from a past employer. Someone who has reached the traditional retirement age but is still highly creative can often be invited to generate new ideas for their employer and their field.

Lemon-lime-waterRegardless of whether the motivation is necessity, choice or invitation, anyone who is involved in some form flexible retirement is in a better position to consider the downsizing phase of their retirement years. Those who are still working by choice or by invitation are in the best position to take a more leisurely approach to their downsizing years.

Excited to Retire, Downsize and Work?

* You may notice some Canadian spelling in these posts. The words may look odd but that’s how we spell them. We’re used to it.

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Quill pen

Unless otherwise credited, all posts are happily authored with a quill pen …
Paul Ferri, Broker, ASA (Accredited Senior Agent)
RE/MAX Unique Inc. Brokerage*, Toronto, Canada
*Each office independently owned and operated.

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