January 18, 2013

thumbs upWe probably should officially retire our 20th century notions of retirement. Most of us will live considerably longer and healthier lives post retirement age (that’s the good news) and with increasing uncertainty about retirement funds, regardless of the source, including the federal government (that’s the not so good news). Our options therefore seem both enhanced and lessened. Welcome to more white water.

First and foremost, recognize that retirement has and is changing. That change suggests a need for more conscious thought about decades of life after age 60, including a longer working life and a different working life.

Many organizations seem slow to adjust to the benefits of retaining the experience, skills, and wisdom that older workers have to offer and slow to adjust to the reality that more retirement workers may wish to continue to work, but perhaps not at the same pace or even in the same jobs that they held when younger. Consequently, you need, once again, to take the lead in constructing and carrying your own PFD (personal flotation device). Consider alternative working arrangements, perhaps arrangements involving more mentoring, fewer hours, and less pay. You may well need to take the lead in educating your organization about alternative working arrangements and in looking for other ‘better educated’ organizations. (For more on retirement, see Chapter 2 in Your Job Survival Guide.)