It seems that many of our friends and former work colleagues who have apparently ‘retired’ are not so sure about not working any more. And who can blame them? We both still work; one of us for going on 11 years since his formal retirement date and the other 3 years since hers. And we’re still going strong with no plans to stop!
It’s not just about the added income, but also about the desire to continue to be mentally active, partake of a social/work community and remain vibrant. As long as possible!
We’re finding that more people in their sixties and seventies are looking to create new careers or choosing to become self-employed once their full-time jobs have made them redundant. And that’s a dreadful word to describe a huge portion of the population here in Canada and elsewhere. Seniors and retirees are anything but redundant. We’re quite vital to the economy nowadays, no matter where we live. Domestically and globally.
Retirement Isn’t Always All It’s Cracked Up To Be
It may be that for some of you yet to retire, you’re thinking to yourself, “Ah, retirement. I can’t wait for the day. No more alarm clock, no commute, no deadlines, no commitments, no pressure. I’m gonna just kick back and relax and enjoy the fruits of all those years of labour. It’ll be one big holiday.” Ya, right.
It’s awfully compelling to dream of your retirement years and how you’ll spend them in the pursuit of a life of leisure. But will it really actually end up being the blissful world you think it’ll be?
We mustn’t forget that for many people their jobs/work not only provide them with a sense of purpose but often helps fulfil their social needs too. Without work and work colleagues to interact with daily, they often find themselves adrift, unmotivated, not mentally challenged and lonely once they retire.
And that’s why more and more retirees are taking a second look at their past experience and skills and deciding to repurpose them and put those personal resources to work in a second or even third career, whether it’s part-time, full time, or even on occasion.
It’s Not Just Us
Of the people we know who’re retired, the idea of a purely leisure-focused retirement isn’t in the cards for them either. Most of us say we will always embrace the need to learn new things and meet and interact with new people. Before retirement, the workplace was usually where those needs were met. And people miss that aspect immensely.
In response, many of our retired friends, just like ourselves, have subsequently become self-employed and embraced entrepreneurship. Some have even gone back to full time work once the initial bloom of retirement life faded. What retirement did in a number of cases was to open the door to new challenges and opportunities. In my own case, I got to finally pursue the fine art side of my talent that I had set aside while I was super busy on the commercial side of the advertising and art business for 45 years.
These are people for whom learning, social interaction, and staying active mentally and physically is of paramount importance to them – daily. If they haven’t got something constructive to do, most of them say they’d go crazy.
One other fact which none of us can afford to ignore is that we can now expect retirements that will possibly last 30 years or more. That’s a lot of time to fill and a lot of years to finance.
So, now you’re a retiree or about to become one, what’re you going to do about all that?