WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WORKING WHEN YOU DON’T NEED THE MONEY?
It’s been so ingrained in us all from a very young age that we have to work in order to have money and, unless you are born into a very wealthy family, that’s absolutely true. What this does however, is instantly classify work as a ‘need to’ rather than a ‘want to.’ For many, sadly this is true – there are plenty of people who hate their jobs and would love to leave, but for those who actually really enjoy work, what are you meant to do with yourselves once you stop. Or should you even stop at all?
RETIREMENT DOESN’T HAVE TO MEAN STOPPING
Many view retirement as that moment where you hang up your coat and simply don’t work anymore, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of retirees who have taken up voluntary positions when they stop working, or who have set up whole new businesses in their free time. The benefit of this type of work is that doing it is a choice. You don’t have to work as many hours, and you don’t have to work in a role you don’t enjoy. It’s entirely up to you how much time you dedicate to this type of work, so you are in a better situation to achieve a good work-life balance, spending time with family and friends, travelling, but still working and keeping yourself mentally stimulated.
Here are three important benefits of working in retirement that might persuade you to clock back in occasionally.
WORKING CAN ACTUALLY BE GOOD FOR YOU
Retiring early is a popular goal for many people and, if you are able to, then there’s nothing at all wrong with enjoying your assets while you are younger and in good health. The problem with retiring young though, is that it’s easy to simply end up doing nothing, or very little, to fill your newly found time. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research into the effects of retirement on physical and mental health outcomes even concluded that retirement is strongly linked with decreased mental and physical activity and higher levels of illness. It’s a case of ‘use it or lose it.’ Working keeps your mind and body active, forcing you to engage in problem solving and communication skills as well as creative thinking. It gives you a reason to get out bed, get dressed and take care of your health and appearance.
WORK CAN GIVE YOU A SENSE OF PURPOSE
We spend so much of our waking life working, so it’s no wonder that this is where many of us get our sense of purpose and identity from. Stopping work can, therefore, feel like we are losing a part of ourselves. This can make the transition to retirement tricky as without our familiar job, with its familiar schedule and familiar responsibilities, it can seem like there isn’t a reason to get out of bed anymore. Of course you may relish the extra time and the ability to have a lie in, but if this isn’t the case, then a part-time or volunteer job can give you back the sense of identity that you might feel has been lost.
OUR PLACE OF WORK CAN BE MORE SOCIAL THAN WE REALISE
As much of an active social life as you have, if you have been working then much of it will have been in the evenings and at weekends, so retirement can make you feel all-of-a sudden lonely. This is especially true if you are one of the first to retire among your friendship group, as while they are all still at work, you may be home alone.
It can be a shock to discover that work actually used to double up as a part of your social life; the time when you would see friends and have a chat about what you had watched on tv the night before and what your plans were for your next holiday. By stopping work, you might actually stop seeing some of your friends too and, even if you and your spouse share some common interests, it’s not healthy or practical to spend every single moment together.
Deciding when to retire, and what this might look like is a highly personal decision and it’s one that only you can make. We are here to help you on the journey though and we are always here to talk. Please get in touch to speak to one of our advisers.
This article does not constitute financial advice and should not be construed as such.