Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Working after Retirement Not a Government Conspiracy

Those who observe the recent changes to the Canada Pension Plan rules which punish early retirement and reward later retirement, can be misled into thinking that the idea of working in retirement is somehow a bad thing, that it is a negation of the luxury of complete leisure that we have worked for throughout our lives.

Well, it ain't so. From a purely selfish point of view, working as long as you can is a good thing, even ignoring the money it can provide. We humans are happier and physically and mentally healthier when working.

Within Michael Wolfson's Projecting the Adequacy of Canadians' Retirement Incomes is the following table. Isn't it interesting that when people who are actually over 65 were asked the question what gave them the most satisfaction, work came out on top! That's right - ahead of all those activities people supposedly look forward to doing, like volunteering, dining out, clubs. Now some activities are curiously missing from the questions, such as travel and ahem, intimate activities, but it still confirms what I said before here and here about the merits of working in retirement.

Reading across the table, we can see that over 65s even enjoy work more than any other age group. Perhaps that has a lot to do with the fact that many people in retirement get the freedom and flexibility to do work they like and the hours they like.

It is certainly not all just working for the fun of it though. As Jonathan Chevreau's recent Financial Post article Full retirement a thing of the past noted, a good portion of working retirees need the money too.

Whatever way you slice it, working in retirement is good.


Anonymous said...

It's good for people to stay busy after retirement, but working? There's no way my job leaves me "happier and physically and mentally healthier".

In any case, it's probably not a good or realistic idea for people to plan on working in order to meet their financial needs in retirement. People don't realize how quickly one's health may deteriorate, especially after 65. We all hope we'll be healthy, but we may not be. The range of possible jobs available to a person may be narrowed, depending on individual health circumstances.

I realize a lot of people with a weak financial plan and no pension wave everything off and assume they'll just keep working, but this is probably more fantasy than reality.

CanadianInvestor said...

Anon, is it time to change job/career if yours is miserable? No job is perfect but surely it should at least be a net positive, and not merely financially, n'est-ce pas? re health during retirement - good question! It happens that I am preparing a post on that very subject.

Anonymous said...

You don't live as long though. Those that retire early lived much earlier then those that kept on working.

YourMoney said...

Working into retirement, past the standard 65, is something you may want to consider. This will ensure you receive full payments. As well as keep you mentally fit.

Canada finance said...
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