Submitted by Sara Worley & Brendan Donahue
Investment Advisors, Manulife Securities Incorporated
The face of retirement is changing. Canada’s new retirees are younger, more active and enjoy greater longevity than those before them. Due to these factors, an increasing number of people are planning to work in retirement.
Unlike their parent’s generation, many baby boomers feel that retirement is about more than simply not working. In fact, a recent poll by Harris Research & Analytics found that 76 per cent of working baby boomers said they’d like to semi-retire by having a more flexible work schedule, with 60 per cent saying they would prefer reduced work hours and reduced benefits. Further, some people choose to retire because they no longer want to do the job they have done for their entire lives and would like to try something new.
For many people, earning additional income is necessary in retirement. For others, it can be a way to continue building their investment portfolios rather than drawing from them. This can be particularly important to young retirees who expect to have a long, healthy retirement.
Some retirees consider the improvements that working can make in their lifestyle. If picking up part-time work allows them to enjoy extras such as travel, many people are happy to do so. In most cases when people are generating more income, they can spend more freely.
Many retires don’t realize how much of their time is spent working a regular 9 to 5 job. As a result, they are often surprised at the amount of free time they have when retired. For people with limited hobbies or personal interests, it can sometimes be difficult to find enough things to fill their days with. Additionally, people who like to keep busy can sometimes feel that their skills are underutilized out of the workforce.
Keeping busy is an important component of remaining sharp and healthy at any age and can be especially meaningful in retirement. Taking a part-time job is a good way for people to keep themselves active both physically and mentally. For those who don’t want to work, participating in hobbies, volunteerism and social activities are essential.
Most people find that their greatest satisfaction in life comes from their families, personal achievements and work accomplishments. In retirement, it can sometimes be difficult to duplicate the fulfillment a career can provide. This can be especially true for those who feel their identity is closely tied to their work. These people might consider continuing to work in their career field but in a part-time capacity or as a consultant.
Self-employment offers unique benefits to retirees. With the right employees in place, they can continue to work as much or as little as they choose during retirement and keep the satisfaction of vocational achievement if they own their business. They also enjoy the advantage of earning income and perhaps even growing their business as they phase out of work.
Sometimes people start a small business as a retirement project. This can be a nice way to keep busy, provide extra income and have fun. Those who have friends or family with similar interests might consider starting a business together to pool ideas and strengths and enjoy each other’s company.
With or without work, retirement should be the best years of one’s life. Careful and realistic planning should be done to ensure that retirement is all one wants it to be. Whatever a person decides to do, they should feel that they have a sense of purpose, which will help them to enjoy a long and healthy retirement.