Business World

Retirement or retrenchment and the options available in the world of work.

Each person will need to decide for themselves whether or not they want to continue working in some form after their official retirement age. One key thing to note is that research has shown that those who continue to live active working lives after retirement age stay healthier for longer. Working longer in life will also positively affect you financially as you are able to delay the time at which you need to depend on your pension and retirement benefits – enabling them to last longer down the line.

What are the options?

Before deciding which option is best for you, you will need to decide:

  • Whether you want to use your existing skills or try something totally new in the second half of your life?
  • Do you want to pursue a long-held dream or passion, or fill an immediate need?
  • Do you want to stay close to your home and family or travel the world?
  • How much time and involvement do you want in your family’s life?
  • And of course, how much money do you need?

The answers to these questions will help you decide what is important to you in this next stage of life and armed with these guidelines you will better be able to sort through the options available to you for this next season.

You will also need to consider:

  1. The amount of time you would like to devote to work in this next season. There will probably be a number of activities that make up your life and time over the next years, including work, learning, volunteer work, family, and leisure time. You will need to decide how much time you want to allocate to work at this time.
  2. The structure and variety of your ideal work arrangement including whether you prefer working in a highly predictable arrangement, or variable episodic bursts. For example, would you like to work a structured 3 mornings a week, or work full-time for 3 months and then be off for 3 months?
  3. Your economic reality and the role that finances needs to play in your life, bearing in mind that the longer you are able to engage in some form of paid work life the later you will need to tap into your retirement savings and the less you will need to have saved up for that last stage of life.
  4. The degree of challenge and difficulty you are willing to take on in your career in your next season of life. Your decision to take on difficult and challenging tasks will probably need to have an accompanied commitment to learning new skills in the years ahead.
  5. The level of responsibility you are willing to take on in this season of life.

Once armed with the answers to these questions, you will be in a better position to decide which work option is best for you going forward. The options are as unique as you are and can each be tailored to suit your needs and desires for work 2.0.

Here are some of the options for working past your retirement years.

  • Continue working in your field of experience for extended period of time, possibly negotiating more preferable terms of employment such as flexi-time, part-time, contract options.
  • Branch out into a whole new field that you have always wanted to pursue, which might require additional studying or learning in order to qualify for these new positions.
  • Boldly start your own business doing what you have always wanted to do, which could be risky, but very rewarding.
  • Leave the corporate world to use your skills to add value to a non-profit or non-governmental organisation working for a cause that is close to your heart.
  • Volunteering and giving of your time, skills and experience freely in order to make a difference and leave a legacy be it in volunteering, coaching, mentoring etc.

Lynda Smith is a Retirement Transition Coach and can be contacted at


Colleen Larsen



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