People of my parent’s generation definitely retired in the true sense of the word. After 30+ years with the same company most people spent their leisure years playing golf or travelling the country in an RV. As defined, retirement is ‘the action of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work’. The days of quitting work to enjoy one’s Golden Years in idol bliss is simply not happening any more.
Retirement equals ‘Re-engagement’
We are all living longer, healthier lives. People in their 50’s 60’s and 70’s are leading very productive lives; albeit maybe part time, but non-the-less, pursuing more meaningful second and even third careers.
Just look at the statistics. 55+ is the fastest growing demographic for new businesses. The number of self – employed people ages 55 – 64 is soring. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the share of workers 55 and over reached 22.2% in July 2014. That’s the highest since record keeping began in 1948. And 17.7 percent of people 65 and older are still working in some capacity, compared with 11.7 percent in 1995.
The boomers were disruptive in the 50’s and 60’s and now they are strutting their stuff once again in retirement. People in their 50’s and 60’s are going back to school, starting new businesses, starting charter schools, campaigning for candidates, even joining the Peace Corp. They are a much different group than my parents for sure.
More options, like phased retirement
With record numbers of older employees leaving the workforce there is a huge brain drain going on in corporate America. For that reason companies are coming up with creative solutions like phased retirement plans to help older employees transition from full time to part time schedules while mentoring their junior replacements.
The federal government was the first to adopt phased retirement in 2014. While the private sector has been slow to respond, the hope is more corporations will follow suit. Southern California Gas offers employees close to retirement, part time schedules and full benefits which is a win-win for both parties.
Resources for people close to retirement
There are numerous on-line resources for those planning for ‘re-generation’. Check out The Encore Career Handbook, a comprehensive, nuts-and-bolts guide to making a difference and a living in the second half of life. Workforce50’ s core mission is to find and provide job listings from employers truly interested in hiring from the over-50 community. The site also features articles and information related to job searching. AARP is loaded with career information for the 50+ age group including part – time job listings and suggestions for second act careers. Chris Ferrell takes a comprehensive look at phased retirement plans and why they will become mainstream, in his article, ‘Why Phased Retirement May Arrive Where You Work’.