What motivates people to work in retirement - a case study

by Larry Steward, Work In Retirement Coach

Nancy Collamer is a career coach, an author and a friend of mine. She wrote a well-received book entitled, Second-Act Careers that was based on conversations she had with clients and people she interviewed that reveals what drove them to pursue second-act careers.

She wanted to uncover, beyond financial rewards, what they hoped to gain by working in retirement?
Here’s a list of 20 factors that came from those discussions.

Take a look and make note of the motivators that most resonate with you and share your comments.

I want to continue to work in order to …

- Socialize with people who share my interests
- Have a regular routine and a structure to my day
- Feel more a part of my local community
- Work outside in nature or in a beautiful setting
- Remain active and healthy
- Keep intellectually challenged
- Remain a contributor in my field of expertise
- Teach, coach, mentor, and inspires others
- Continually learn new skills
- Feel productive and needed
- Give back to a cause that inspires me
- Leave a legacy
- Serve as a leader
- Be a role model of living a retirement that matters
- Earn income to provide special experiences for my family
- Monetize a hobby
- Pursue a childhood dream
- Start my own business
- Develop my creative and/or artistic skills
- Have fun

Comments for What motivates people to work in retirement - a case study

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Staying relevant
by: Alison NY

Working part time keeps me on top of what is happening in the world.

I use a computer at work, so new technology isn't a total mystery to me like it is to some of my friends no longer working. I work with young people and so I get to experience their lives, worries, gossip and I feel more connected to their world.

Pushing myself to move, stand on my feet, ignoring aching joints keeps me feeling younger. I compete physically with younger people, happy when I can keep up with them.

My retired friends who do not work have slowed a lot quicker than I have. I do believe it is a "use it or lose it" reality in aging. So working keeps my mind and body active in ways that I can't duplicate just doing errands or working in my yard.

Even volunteering does not have the standards for performance that a job does. I am glad I continue to work.

Connections and Friendships
by: Pam/Las Vegas

I am in my 4th year of working part time since my retirement and have absolutely no regrets about it! I have always worked and the transition from working full time all my life to not working at all terrified me!

So, before I retired I secured my part time job and it really has been the best decision for me!

I have met great people who have now become my lifetime friends and it has also given me an opportunity to contribute to the success of my company by utilizing my years of experience and expertise.

I feel I have the best of both worlds / time for work and time for play!

Work! The curse of the retirement years.
by: Gordon G Kinghorn

I've just scanned Larry Steward’s twenty principle reasons for retirees to remain in work at the 'other' end of the age spectrum, as listed below. As much as these tabulated 'goals' or [flimsy] incentives initially appear as a foolproof method in which to stay actively engaged in life, largely through continued and elongated employment, his rationale to my mind is deeply flawed and grossly lacking in mature imagination. Larry's inherent failure in not adopting a more positive and purposeful outlook during one's antiquity, inanely suggests that we should reclaim the past by returning to a regimented and painfully bland lifestyle, notwithstanding the reality that we have already served the best part of our existence on the professional coalface, the supposed analysis in question is as scatty as it unachievable. Much more lies beyond if we choose to pursue the quest of unearthing ubiquitous harmony and prolonged satisfaction across the twilight years of our actuality, as depicted from a personal perspective below.

I’ve completed my work years, these days I work at ensuring a healthy longevity by being well-divorced from the workplace – and I absolutely adore the status quo as it presently stands, as must you all.

1. Socialize with people who share my interests. (Already achieved in retirement)
2. Have a regular routine and a structure to my day. (Already achieved in retirement)
3. Feel more a part of my local community. (Already achieved in retirement)
4. Work outside in nature or in a beautiful setting. (Already achieved in retirement)
5. Remain active and healthy. (Already achieved in retirement)
6. Keep intellectually challenged. (Already achieved in retirement)
7. Remain a contributor in my field of expertise.(Already achieved in retirement)
8. Teach, coach, mentor, and inspires others. (Already achieved in retirement)
9. Continually learn new skills. (Already achieved in retirement)
10. Feel productive and needed. (Already achieved in retirement)
11. Give back to a cause that inspires me. (Already achieved in retirement)
12. Leave a legacy. (Already achieved in retirement)
13. Serve as a leader. (Already achieved in retirement)
14. Be a role model of living a retirement that matters. (Already achieved in retirement)
15. Earn income to provide special experiences for my family. (No requirement to do so)
16. Monetize a hobby. (Already achieved in retirement)
17. Pursue a childhood dream. (Already achieved in retirement)
18. Start my own business. (No requirement to do so)
19. Develop my creative and/or artistic skills. (No requirement to do so)
20. Have fun. (I do so, each and every day of my much-prized retirement years)

Best wishes. GK


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