GoldenWatch ††††††††††††††

RETIREMENT

Discovering the Golden Years

This is the first sunrise of the New Millennium.

Objective

The objective 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.

Featured Essay

Why Not Retire

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 totaking early benefits.

 

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 such as:

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 other people.

 

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 retirement.

 

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 continuing education.

 

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.

 

This 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!

Essay Index

 

Ready to Retire

 

Retirement Decisions

 

Budget and Expectations

 

Retirement in History and Literature

 

Fear Retirement

 

Retirement Goals

 

Planning of Retirement

 

Gathering Other Views

 

Why Not Retire

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Accelerate into Retirement

 

Gulliver and the Lilliputians

 

Dress for Retirement

 

Take Note!

 

 

Medicare and Social Security

 

Doctorís Attitude and Art

 

Retirement the Penultimate Transition

 

 

Donít Spook the Spouse

 

168

 

The First Secret of Retirement

 

Skydiving Alternative

 

Hug Your Computer

 

Sudoku and You

 

 

Autobiography

 

 

Shake Hands with Creation

 

 

Old Age is not for Sissies

 

Hug Your Computer II

 

By any other name Ė Change Your Name

Retireeís Best Friend

Blog It

 

 

Submit essays to: Wayne R. Hudson at wrhudson@yahoo.com

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