Retirement Alternatives

Most people leave work and do not return – but there are alternatives.  Here are some of the more unusual ways to exit the workforce.

  1. Don’t retire.  Mostly, people who never retire are those at the extremes of the workforce. At one end, we find academics and other highly educated professionals who remain motivated, dedicated and stick around into their 70’s and 80’s. At the other end, we see people with little education who simply cannot afford to retire.
  2. Re-entry into the workforce at a different job, usually because these folks need income, feel lonely, need to feel useful or are too restless to be happy not working.
  3. Gradual retirement means taking a bridge job which is less stressful or part-time. People may gravitate to work that was similar to their careers, for example when a police officer becomes a security guard. Other people find jobs that they always wanted but considered unfeasible at an earlier time, i.e. gardening.
  4. Volunteer work occupies many people after they leave their paying jobs.
  5. Phased retirement is a plan where people slowly leave their work, going part-time, training newcomers or participating in other work that the company needs.

 All these ideas are interesting – it just depends on who you are and what you want.

Most of this material came from Barbara Bjorklund’s book “The Journey of Adulthood.”

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