For some Americans, the term “golden years” no longer means taking a break from work, often by choice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the grey workforce is on the rise and has been since 1996. The most recent statistics show that over 20% of people age 65 or older work or are looking for work, an increase of 10% since 1985. And 78% of these workers report feeling “no limitations in the kind of work they can do.” If you, too, are thinking of working past retirement age, consider the following helpful tips.
Be Open to New Opportunities
Working past retirement age might open you to new opportunities. Instead of continuing in your old career, consider starting an encore career. This might be the right time to follow your passion or start a new business.
In fact, “entrepreneurial activity among the over 50s has increased by more than 50% since 2008.” And an MIT study revealed “that a 60-year-old startup founder is 3 times as likely as a 30-year-old found to launch a successful startup.”
Take Pleasure in the Challenges
People who enjoy working past retirement age know there will be challenges but meet them head-on. They often build successful careers that continue to bring satisfaction.
For example, an article in The Washington Post tells the story of Eric Kandel. Although he won a Nobel Prize at age 71, he chose to continue working well past retirement age. At age 91, he still runs a lab at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute. Kandel continues his research and writing because “…they give me great pleasure.”
Eat Right and Stay Physically Fit
In the Washington Post articles, several of the people interviewed followed healthy diets to improve their ability to work. Another common link was exercise or physical activity to remain fit. In fact, physical fitness has been shown to provide many benefits, including increased energy overall and potentially reducing depression and anxiety.
Manage Your Stress
Find ways to relax and de-stress if you are working past retirement age. Taking walks, reading, socializing, and enjoying hobbies are just a few of the ways you can improve satisfaction and reduce the chance of burnout.
Share Your Wisdom with Younger Generations
Retirees who continue working are sometimes called “wisdom workers.” Older workers often use the skills and knowledge gained over decades of working to influence and inform younger workers. For some, mentoring proves to be mutually beneficial. Younger, less experienced people benefit from the more mature workers’ experiences. The more experienced workers gain the satisfaction of making a difference in the world.
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Attorney Robert Slutsky was one of the first lawyers in Pennsylvania to focus on elder law issues. Since 1992, he has helped countless people plan for their future, set up proper estate plans, plan to protect assets and care for loved ones, and successfully apply for Medicaid.
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