Why Retirement Brings Older Workers Back to Work – Orange County Register

Q I happily retired two years ago as a senior manager of a manufacturing company. Given my work ethic and dedication, several friends asked if I planned to return to work. My answer was, “Definitely no. There is much more to life than news, weather and sports.” My friends were surprised by my answer. Was your question unusual? And am I atypical? BJ

You are not atypical. Millions of retirees in the US are happy with their decision to retire and leave the workforce.

Your friends’ question isn’t uncommon, however, considering the relatively new term “restraint” is gaining popularity. It simply refers to people who have retired and decide to return to work in a field that is familiar or unfamiliar to them.

Retirement was recently popularized by soccer player Tom Brady. On February 1, 2022, Brady retired at the age of 44 and retired again on March 13 of the same year. A year later, Brady retired again, and as of March 7, he’s stayed. Granted, Brady is no ordinary retiree. However, he is a good example of the growing trend towards pensionlessness.

According to NBC show on May 5, 2023: “Retirement is emerging as a hot new trend in the sizzling US job market.” Several factors are contributing to this trend: a thriving market where retirees have choices, inflation, uncertainty about that can create financial security, and a volatile stock market. Then there are always the uncertainties of COVID-19 and its impact.

For many, work is not just about money. It can give structure to everyday life, make social contacts and give meaning. Note that determination is one of the traits of the longest-lived Okinawa people. They call it “ikigai”, a reason to get up in the morning.

For many, retirement is a time for decisions and options. It’s personal. Yet retirement was labeled as a rollless roll, a position where nobody expects anything from you. Work can fill that vacuum. It can provide opportunities to create, come together, produce, help, support, grow and just have a place to show yourself.

Award-winning journalist and author Chris Farrell dedicates his entire book to this subject with this title: “Retirement: How baby boomers are changing the way we think about work, community and the good life” (Bloomsbury Press, 2014). Farrell writes, “Welcome to retirement, a revolution in the making. He writes, “We are reshaping the last third of life, building on a better educated, healthier workforce that can earn well into the traditional retirement years.” As a qualifier, he acknowledges that not all retirees are healthy enough to be part of this unrest movement.

Currently, 3.2 percent of retirees not retired, that’s pretty much how it was before the pandemic. One in six retirees is consider a return work. About half did not retire due to financial hardship, almost half due to boredom; slightly less than half cite loneliness as a motivation.

The US is not the only industrial nation to experience this unrest phenomenon. It has popped up in New Zealand and Japan as well as Poland, Italy and Ireland.

In general, America is a labor-oriented society where blue-collar workers work more hours than their peers in many other industrialized countries. The Protestant work ethic remains strong.

https://www.ocregister.com/2023/03/19/why-unretirement-is-bringing-older-workers-back-into-the-workplace/ Why Retirement Brings Older Workers Back to Work – Orange County Register

Caroline Bleakley

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