Will you be a “working retiree”? by Barbara Babkirk, co-host, YSA Conference and owner of Heart At Work Associates
A recent study from Merrill Lynch determined that nearly three out of five retirees will launch a new work chapter after they retire from primary careers.
The term “working retiree” may seem like an oxymoron, but it’s a new reality that is here to stay. It’s predicted to have a significant impact on the marketplace due to low population growth and high talent needs.
If you’re wondering why this shift in retirement mindset is coming about after just one generation, think about the characteristics of this baby boomer demographic:
- best educated in history
- commitment to lifelong learning
- healthy lifestyles and
- desire to make a difference (think sit-ins and demonstrations of the 70’s)
But, not all boomers who want to work after retirement share the same reasons or priorities around work. Ken Dychtwald, gerontologist, author and expert on aging issues, has identified four “core profiles” of today’s working retirees:
- Driven Achievers (15%) who have consistent derived their identity from work and continue to be driven to achieve
- Caring Contributors (33%) who are motivated to give back and make a difference in the latter part of their lives
- Life Balancers (25%) who see work at this time of their lives as fitting into larger priorities and want work to be fairly stress-free and fun
- Earnest Earners (28%) who need to work to meet financial obligations, whether or not they want to continue working. Since a significant number of boomers have not adequately saved for retirement, this group is predicted to grow.
If you’re among the significant number of retirees who leave work and after 6 to 18 months, miss the structure, camaraderie, or sense of purpose, then you may be joining the emerging group of working retirees.
Identifying your “core profile” from Dychtwald’s list as well as knowing what is motivating you in this next life phase, is essential to forging a successful path.