Picture of a woman sitting at a desk with a computer, writing on paper.

To Retire or Not to Retire? The Great Question.

To be, or not to be, that is the question,

This line begins a soliloquy that comes from William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. It talks about the end of suffering and leaving behind the pain and agony tied to the act of living. Now, before your mind jumps to a conclusion about post-career life, hang with me, I have a very different take.

To retire, to not to retire, that is the question. Well, maybe not.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research did a poll which about 23% of respondents don’t expect to stop working.  I can affirm that because I hear from prospects and clients alike, “Well, I am never going to retire!”

In my work as a Retirement Lifestyle Coach, I call these people Retirement Militants. There is some level of hostility to retirement, and they have no desire to stop working. Guess what? There is nothing wrong with that. If you have evaluated what brings you fulfillment, and your spouse/partner is on board with this approach, then a post-career life that includes work might just be the right plan.

So, maybe the question needs to change. To work, or not to work, that is the question.

Three main factors can determine your timing: physical health, mental health, and the preferred use of your time. As you balance how important each of those is to you, consider some pros and cons about continuing to work and not retiring.

To work?

  • Will you miss the social interaction of work? Retirement can be isolating, especially if you don’t have a lot of hobbies or interests outside of work.
  • Will you feel bored or restless? If you’re not used to having a lot of free time, retirement can be a challenge.
  • Are you financially secure? If you haven’t saved enough money for retirement, you may have to worry about making ends meet.
  • Are you ready for a change? If you’re happy with your job and your life, there’s no need to retire just because you’re a certain age.
  • Will you miss the structure of work? Retirement can be unstructured and chaotic, especially if you’re not used to having a lot of free time. You may find it difficult to fill your days and may even feel bored or restless.

Or not to work?

  • Are you ready for a change? If you’re feeling burned out or bored with your job, retirement can be a chance to start fresh and pursue new interests.
  • Are you financially secure? If you’ve saved enough money for retirement, you won’t have to worry about making ends meet.
  • Do you have health concerns? If you’re dealing with health problems, retirement can give you the time and energy to focus on your health.
  • Do you want to spend more time with family and friends? Retirement can be a great opportunity to travel, volunteer, or simply relax and enjoy your loved ones.
  • Do you want more time to give back to your community? Retirement can be a great time to volunteer your time and talents to help others. You could work with a nonprofit organization, tutor children, or serve on a local board.

Some lines later in Hamlet we find:

Must give us pause: there’s the respect

That makes calamity of so long life;

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

Before you make the decision not to retire, pause and reflect on what you have, but also allow yourself to explore the future. Ponder what will give you a meaningful long life. Time will march forward, whether working or not. Figure out labor, and for how long, so that you can have the most flexibility to enjoy the time that is left.

The Post-Career Lifestyle Planning Audio Series

Join my special guest Productivity Expert and Trainer, and good friend Mark Struczewski . We will be discussing and debating the question, “To Retire or Not to Retire?” Thursday June 15, 2023, at 12:00pm EDT on LinkedIn.

Sign up to attend

Beyond Work Workshop

I will also be having my monthly BEYOND WORK Workshop on June 15, 2023 at 7:00 pm EDT.

Register here. This month’s topic, “The 7 Keys of Retirement Life.

Let a Healthier You Plan an Amazing Post-Career Lifestyle

Book a virtual office to discuss the Infinity Lifestyle Design process that lets you rethink you.

One Hour Consultation

Let’s Get Your Post-Career Life Defined

Working together to help you craft a lifestyle strategy requires trust. That is why I want to get you started on post-career planning that provides value to you at a great value. Our goal for this session is to lay a foundation for you to build an amazing retirement life that aligns with your values and desires. Learn More

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *