This is the first sunrise of the New Millennium.
of the GoldenWatch is to provide a mutual assistance resource for retirees
and people planning to retire. The GoldenWatch is intended to be a source
of information, ideas and opinions. The subject matter is in the form of
essays of approximately 1000 words created by the participants. Every week
an essay will be featured on the GoldenWatch Home Page. An archive of past
essays will be maintained as a reference. Hyperlinked essay titles are
listed below.† Essays can be
submitted to the email address at the bottom of the page.
Working longer could be better for you and your
wallet. Who wants to be a couch potato or spend all their time on a golf
course. In the 1980s and 1990s it was fashionable to retire early. More
recently this trend has been changing. More and more senior citizens donít
want to retire. Maybe you donít find your current job fulfilling, maybe you
would like to have a shorter commute and maybe you would like to work a
little less. Well more and more people in your situation are deciding that
they donít want to retire. Retirement is becoming passť. In addition there is
plenty of evidence that keeping active, maybe finding a new calling is the
route to a longer, healthier and most importantly a happier life.
A growing number of senior citizens are choosing to
continue to work beyond the point where they are eligible to retire. Many
feel that they are enjoying what they are currently doing and they want to
continue sort of a continuation of momentum.† Others who arenít particularly happy with their current job
would like to take the opportunity to switch jobs to something that they
can identify with and find enjoyable and fulfilling.
Continuing to work of course means more money. It
means preserving resources for use later in retirement. It also provides
the opportunity to save more money for retirement later. Some experts
contend that every additional year of work will extend your retirement nest
egg by two years. Postponement will also result in postponing taxes.
Withdrawals from 401ks and IRAs are taxable and if you continue working
these resources can continue to build your retirement fund. You can also
delay tapping into your Social Security. You can boost your eventual
payments by 50% compared to† taking
Working longer shortens your actual retirement
period. This preserves your retirement funds for when you will really need
to use your resources. You can maintain your healthcare coverage ideally
until you become eligible for Medicare. Working longer gives you greater
flexibility to meet personal and family responsibilities.
The economy may face a ďshortageĒ of qualified
workers. As the general population becomes older attitudes are expected to
change toward senior citizens making the more desirable as employees
because they can identify with an older (average age) customer base.
Many companies like Home Depot, Walgreen and Borders
are making a concerted effort to attract over 60 employees. If you are
looking for work there are now job sites that are geared toward Seniors
Seniors4Hire.org and YourEncore.com
Corporate America is facing a significant wisdom
withdrawal; this could lead to a loss of productivity could in turn have
significant economic impact.
Working can boost you health, keeping you active and
sharp. Complete retirement leads to an 11 percent decline in mental health,
an 8 percent increase in illness, and a 23 percent increase in difficulty
performing daily activities over a six-year period. If you are currently in
a high stress employment situation an alternative to retirement might just
be a change in job. Maybe a part time situation is a viable alternative. On
the other hand if your job is routine and stressful or not intellectually
challenging, then hurt your health. The optimum is engaging in challenging
activities that produce a sense of accomplishment, which actually boosts
the immune system. There also seems to be a benefit from being engaged with
Your marriage may profit from a little less
togetherness. I think my wife sensed this when she told me I could retire
as long as I left the house every morning and didnít come home until after
4 in the afternoon. And if I got home that early could I start working on
preparing dinner. Retirement often creates friction between married
couples, an equilibrium is disrupted and may not be possible to be
reestablished. Eliminating the daily structure of work and childcare often
throws marriages into crisis. Many people look forward to retirement as a
time to have more personal time and this means time to be alone by them
selves. They donít want to have someone looking over their shoulder and
second guessing everything they do. Retirement means not being answerable;
and it is this that is at the essence of the liberation resulting from
Growing numbers of retired people are getting
divorces. In the last five years gray divorce is up from 6.7% to 8%. In
some cases retirees find that taking up a new joint hobby helps them
establish a new relationship. It could be volunteering or enrolling in
Retirement also can represent the loss of social contacts
at work. Once you leave the workplace you may miss those pesky emails. You
may feel disconnected. It is very hard to maintain relationships with your
co-workers after you have retired. Twenty two percent of retirees site a
loss of social connections as a major retirement hurdle. And when you get
together with your old coworkers you will find that you are out of the
loop. You havenít been involved with the new customers or the new computer
system that everyone is talking about.
A possible remedy is to initiate some new
relationships by joining new clubs or activities that throw you into a new
group of people. You may think that you will be happy not to be bothered by
the idiots you work with, but in a very few weeks almost everyone
experiences a sense of loneliness.
Retirement from your lifelong work activities can
represent a whole new beginning. It can be a time to accomplish new things,
perhaps fulfilling life long dreams. You always wanted to write poetry or
do woodcarving or crew on a sailboat. Do it now! You are not on the shelf
you are in transition to something different and something better. Donít
think of it as work. If what you set out to do becomes work then it is time
for another transition.
People need to make meaningful contributions and this
is an important motivating factor for continuing to ďworkĒ.† Continuing to focus your efforts on
something that you love doing can add great meaning to your later life.
Benjamin Franklin invented the bifocal lenses at the age of 78, Giuseppe
Verdi composed ďAve Maria ď at the age of 85 and Frank Lloyd Wright was
working on the design of the Guggenheim Museum when he died at age 91.
essay draws strongly from a feature in U.S. News and World Report; in fact
much of it is plagiarized. I was intrigued by the idea of making a case for
not retiring. I am personally trying to learn to never refer to myself as
retired; instead I consider myself liberated!