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  • Diane L. Young

To work or not to work in retirement. That is a question

Lately, I tend to have two types of people coming in. Those who want to storm out of their job and never darken the door of that business again, and those who want to work for ever. As with all financial planning decisions, you should carefully understand the ramifications of your choices and do what is best for you and your family.

Work for many of us is part of our identity. In fact, studies show that retiring from work is the second most stressful thing to happen to us. Right behind the death of a spouse. Work provides connections, meaning, and money. Before completely giving it up, decide if you are working because you must, or because you want to. Do you have enough outside activities to occupy the new found time you have? Will you be getting enough socialization without working? Will you feel obsolete and unconnected without a job?

Next, look at the revenue coming into the household when you retire. Social security, pension, IRA distributions. Will they cover your needs? If not, you may want to continue in your current job. Perhaps you don’t need to make that much money and you would like to “change lanes”, moving from the fast-paced world of your current work, to something part time or that meets your soul needs. For some, a part time job doing something they love generates enough income to offset their short fall.

One of the assumptions people forget to consider when examining retiring is how their expenses may change. Perhaps they won’t have to spend money on expensive business clothes, dry cleaning, or mileage on their car. Their tax bracket may even drop in retirement.

At our firm, we test our client’s assumptions against a back drop of negative possible events; pre-mature death, an illness, or disability. Can they still successfully retire comfortably? Once we figure that out, they can move forward through the process of working or not. If they like their job and they have time to enjoy themselves and not too stressed out- then keep working. But if you can retire and you hate your job, RETIRE!

Use your new found time to give back to your community. That is my favorite thing for people to do. Volunteer at Neighborhood House, or Leader Dogs! Use your special skills and help the world be a better place. Or expand your personal horizons, go to Paint Creek Center for the Arts and take an art class. Play pickle ball at the OPC. There is so much to do in our wonderful community. Enjoy!

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