What is the most common reason for retirees to start working again after retirement?
Increasing numbers of retirees are returning to work for several reasons. There may be financial reasons, staying active, being involved, and enjoying what they do, or it can be a chance for an encore career or trying something completely different. 61-year-old Conni Eckstein worked as a manufacturing engineer for Boeing for decades before retiring in 2016, and she talks about a need to do something. Eckstein says her job required too many hours and too much travel. Sadly, she lost her son, Damien, a U.S. Army veteran, who committed suicide in 2013, further influencing her decision.
Though my father retired last year, he is still in the workforce. He didn’t give up work for mainly three reasons:
• We could use the extra cash. Since my dad retired early, the money we saved was not enough for our monthly expenses.
• He does not have much to do at home. So, he uses work to avoid boredom.
• Most of my dad’s friends are his colleagues. Leaving work would mean shrinking his friend circle and damaging his social life.
Believe it or not, many people return to work because they are bored. Following a euphoric first six months of no longer having to work, the following six months are excruciatingly dull.
Some people are entirely dissatisfied after spending 40+ years having two-thirds of their lives regimented by work. It is especially true for men.
In the United States, men get defined by their occupations. Retiring for most people is just another shitty day in paradise if they don’t have any meaningful hobbies or interests.
So, that’s either boredom or financial problems.
Retirees start working again after retirement, either because of boredom or money; or just to escape the house. Money is a prevalent reason. What seemed like a huge nest egg does not generate as much income as expected, investments lose value, a promised pension defaults, expenses are higher than expected, or various other reasons.
Sadly, many people seem to have no interests outside of their careers. What socializing they do is based on professional networking or development. They don’t have time for non-work friendships or other interests. So when they retire, they not only don’t have a job for 40+ hours a week, they also don’t have the same “social” activities, and their work friends aren’t there anymore. They haven’t developed hobbies.
They don’t have a habit of volunteering and may not even know where to look for opportunities to help. They enjoy the freedom for a while and then realize that they have nothing to do and nothing to look forward to doing. That is how they develop new interests or go back to work. Also, some marriages seem to work better without 24-hour togetherness.