Before Bourke Accounting, I worked with a 70-year old, Vietnam vet, ex-firefighter from Texas. He had tried retirement and found that he hated it. I asked, “Why are you working when you don’t have to?” He gave me a sardonic – oh, you silly, little thing – stare and responded, “What? Ah’m supposed ta sit around the house with Her for the rest of my life?” Her was his wife. I never found out her proper name.
I have to admit, this sort of mentality is lost on me. As a Gen Xer, I won’t get my full Social Security benefits until I hit 67 (Money.USNews.com). When I drag myself from the cocoon of sleep to shut off my highly annoying alarm, the idea of decades filled with more work makes me cringe. When I hit retirement age, and if I don’t have to work, I promise you, I won’t.
Not counting those of retirement age who must work, why are more and more older people choosing to stay in the workforce? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, “between 1977 and 2007, the employment of workers age 65 and older rose by 101 percent” (Money.USNews.com). While this percentage doesn’t differentiate between people who work out of necessity and those who work for “fun,” I tend to think that 101 percent includes a high number of the latter. As with most things, there are reasons for this.
When considering jobs such as lawyers, accountants and doctors (pretty much all of our “white collar” occupations), it seems that older people might fear the loss of the “greater social prestige” (AARP.org) they enjoy while working in these arenas. When you think of the high levels of education and experience that went into achieving their particular status, this is understandable. Also, since these jobs aren’t, generally, physically taxing, people can work these jobs much longer than someone who relies on bodily strength.
Another reason to work after retirement seems to be avoidance of boredom. I read a couple of different interviews with retired people that seem to travel along the same trajectory: I loved retirement for the first month, then I got bored, then I got depressed, then I went back to work. Obviously, older people want to contribute to, and engage with, the world around them. Sitting on the porch with a Mint Julep and a good book doesn’t appeal to everyone.
Finally, working past 65 can actually increase your lifespan. Oh, come on, that can’t be true. If it isn’t, the University of Oregon is lying to us. While conducting a study, they found that, “working just one year past 65 can lower your risk of death by 11%” (Statefarm.com). The study concluded that early retirement “may be a risk factor for mortality and a prolonged working life may provide survival benefits” (Jechc.bmj.com). Again, this is probably related to a person’s mental wellbeing. Feeling needed, feeling viable and having a set schedule might very well make for a happy and healthier individual.
Don’t care, don’t care. Just give me my Mint Julep and my Stephen King already! You know, although I say that now, I’m not sure how I’ll feel when I get to retirement age. Daytime is worktime, after all.
Your Bourke Accounting professionals aren’t going to retire any time soon. Chances are that your Bourke Accounting professionals won’t retire ever. But, if you’re not a crazy Bourke Accounting tax preparer or bookkeeper and The Call of Porch is upon you, why don’t you come and discuss your retirement future with one of our experts. Your Bourke Accounting specialist can help to make this the best time of your life.
Written by Sue H.