The Buzz on Refiring and Retiring
What does retirement really mean anymore? According to the Congressional Research Service, the factors that influence retirement nowadays have changed – eligibility for Social Security, parameters for pension plans, health insurance – and, of course, the general economy. But this is all economic stuff. Are they the only factors?
Definitely not. Further studies confirm the trend to postpone retirement, not just because we have to, but because we want to. Why would anyone want to keep working, you may ask, if they don’t have to? Let’s see what retirement actually means. Getting out of long hours in an unfulfilling job? Simply put, it’s being out of the paid labor force, and at the same time, drawing Social Security or pension income. If you do both, you are technically retired.
But many are bucking the system. Because they want to. They’re finding that working is not just a lot of work, but is, well, interesting. It adds satisfaction and sometimes a bit of pizzazz. And yeah, money. Statistics show that the former days of early retirement, even at age 65, are over. The new trend is gradual retirement. Using so-called bridge jobs to bridge the years between full-time work, and full retirement. And bridge jobs are proving to last much longer than projected.
What are bridge jobs, exactly? Usually, work a person really wants to do. Re-firing, not retiring. Studies from Boston College have indicated the end of a retirement era as we knew it. So what are we doing instead? Often working in an entirely different field – that is enjoyable. A former attorney becomes a gourmet cook in a relative’s restaurant. An I.T. specialist goes into motivational speaking. A corporate V.P becomes a cake decorator. Some turn a hobby into a business, launch a business on the internet, consult on the side. Or teach at a local school, college, or community center. Even go back to school and learn a new career – there are many short courses in community colleges.
So fire up! Re-firing is the new trend. As my 94-year-old dad always says, people want to retire so they can go fishing. But you can only fish so many hours a day for so long. Then you look for ways to fill up your days and wish you hadn’t retired so early.
Have you re-fired or intend to? Or know someone who has? We’d love to hear all about it and share it with our readers! Send us your story. Just visit us at
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Mary at ElderOneStop