How will you manage nevertirees?

Paul McEwan | October 8th, 2010

The economy impacted a lot of Americans, and many of them are staying on the job longer as a result. Some love what they do too much to walk away, others want to stay mentally active and the rest simply can’t afford to stop working.

In a recent series of reports by Barclays Wealth, more than half of Americans surveyed said they want to continue working in retirement. These “Nevertirees” often spend their retirement years starting a business, embarking on a new career or working as a consultant in the field they know well.

Granted, Barclays’s study focuses on wealthy individuals (those with more than $1.5 million in investable assets), but we see the same trend across all income levels. And if someone with that amount of wealth wants to keep earning into retirement, what does that say for The Average Joe?

Here’s what this new trend could mean for you as a business owner – as well as what it could mean for you if you find yourself working in retirement.

Your Business

With so many workers staying on the job longer, this country could experience a lost generation of younger people. New individuals to the workforce can’t get jobs because the older generation is holding on to them. When workers reach the age where they should be mature in their careers, they will lack the experience of those people who filled the role before them. This will create a problem for employers down the road.

Business owners also report that some should-be-retirees aren’t as motivated as they were before they reached retirement age. These employees are motivated by different things; find out what their hot buttons are. Be sure to provide them with the same training you offer other employees, as well.

Find creative ways to your utilize your older workers. Consider having them mentor younger staff members. Or have them fill a part-time or contract role, where they retire and collect their retirement, but continue to work for you on a reduced basis.

If your business has multiple owners who might work longer than they planned, you may also need to revisit your succession plan.

Your Life

But let’s say that you’re the one who has decided to keep working past your retirement age. You don’t necessarily have to continue in the role you have now to still be active in your business. Perhaps you can serve as an advisor or work part-time.

We’ve seen clients transition their business to a family member. However, when they realize they’re not cut out for the life of leisure they always dreamed of, they come back to the business as a consultant. They find that this helps keep their mind sharp and fill their hours with something they love, without the pressure of the daily grind.

Working in retirement, or putting off retirement altogether, can help preserve or even grow your nest egg. Since you won’t have to live off of your retirement as long, a few extra years on the job can certainly make a difference.

The beauty of retirement is that it gives you time to do what you’ve always wanted to do. For some, that’s throwing away the alarm clock hopping in an RV to see the country, or reading a novel a week. But for others who still want to earn a paycheck, there are plenty of options. What’s to stop you from pursuing you passion – whether old or new?


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