I’ve posted many times on this blog about redefining retirement. But still, people seem to have a difficult time in understanding retirees. I’ve concluded that there are three kinds of boomers each with their own perspectives towards retirement:
Happy To Retire
These are the privileged few who have planned early and are financially secure to retire at their desired age – whether it be 55 or 65. They are also boomers who have worked all their lives and want to pursue their own passions once they’ve retired. Lifetime savings or defined-benefit pensions might help them attain their ‘freedom’ goals more rapidly than the rest of the aging population. Because they are debt-free and do not have to support elderly parents or younger kids, they are free to enjoy life, pursue their passions in life, pick up a new hobby, spend quality time with friends and family, travel the world, give back to the community and check-off items on their bucket list.
Live To Work Forever
These are the boomers whose sole meaning in life is to work. Their lifestyle, home location and family must conform to the demands of their job. These are the boomers who would totally lose their identity if they are not working – no title or position, no perks or benefits, no friends (because their coworkers are their friends) and no interest in life. When they are working, they would keep saying that they have no time for anything or anybody else; when they are not working, they simply lose their purpose of existence. These people can and will never retire, whether they have the financial security to do so or not, because they are only happy when they get up to go to work everyday. If forced to retire, these are often the people who would wither away or die very soon.
Work To Live As Long As Possible
This probably describes the majority of baby boomers or trailing-edge seniors who do not have the financial means of retiring entirely, but would want to delay their retirement until they have enough savings or to continually work on a part-time basis. This group of people may change their careers in ‘Act II’ of their professional lives and embark on part-time projects that would either utilize their talents in a different way or capitalize on their experiences to mentor younger co-workers with the same employer. They might be motivated by financial reasons to supplement their living or support their stay-at-home kids or parents, or they might just want to kill time.
I’m obviously generalizing a bit by only categorizing would-be retirees into three categories. Maybe you’re a combination of these types or you might even be in a fourth category?
For those of you who are interested in exploring the concept of retirement, please listen to my radio interview with 105.9 Seaside FM sponsored by Boomerswork.com, a website specializing in matching experienced professionals with employers who are looking for talents on a part-time or term basis.