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February 29, 2012


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"Only 4 percent of survey respondents want to work full time in retirement." That's the four percent that doesn't realize that when you continue to work full-time, you're not retired!

In my firm if you want to work part time you can if they feel they need you. Well that is the way it use to be. Prior to 2008 there were several part time people who were semi-retired. When 2009 hit they were the first to go. Then the big waves of layoffs meant a flood of people available so finding part time work for your "semi-retirement' would be next to impossible.

If you are planning to work full time at your current position think twice and look at the history of the company before you go semi-retired. You just might end up on full retirement looking for a new career quicker than you think if the economy sours.

If and when I semi-retire it will be in a totally different field.

Part time retirement.. hmm. I don't know. To be honest, the thought makes me want to throw myself off a bridge, haha! I just can't fathom having to work for 45 years, and then work part time after that. But, it might be necessary by the time I retire.

The other issue I would have faced is that I worked in a field of engineering where technology changes quite rapidly. New computers come in as well as new software, new computer languages & new analytical methods. It's hard enough staying up to speed when you are in your 50's and it gets increasingly harder as you get older. I was ready to retire at 58, and did. The problem you face today is that a company would often prefer to hire a young graduate from a prestigious university that is familiar with the latest tools and techniques and pay him a salary commensurate with his age and experience rather than an old guy that is outdated, as well as being more expensive.

If you are thinking that because you aren't financially well prepared for retirement, all you need to do is to work a few more years, you could easily end up having your plans dashed. I live in Silicon Valley and read many newspaper articles about the young, hot, companies and they don't seem to have many old men on their payroll. It reminds me of the well known 2007 movie "No Country for Old Men" starring Tommy Lee Jones.

Glad I found this post. I'm only 26, so I know I'm planning WAAY ahead..but I've actually been thinking about an early semi-retirement along the same lines. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the idea. A teacher I worked with just retired (fully), and it made me realize how much I do NOT look forward to completely ceasing to work-- I think part-time is the ideal solution, since I love my time off-- but I also love to work! :)

As someone who has opted for early semi-retirement I would have to give it a big A+. My stress levels have decreased, my health has improved and my outlook in general is much more positive. I suppose if I would have enjoyed my prior job more I might miss it more, but I can say that leaving early has been the best move for my family and myself.

Of course people are going to have to work in "retirement." We may soon find that retirement no longer exists as we have known it. But, too, it is a relatively new concept, quitting work and lounging about the pool. Problem, too, is as older people continue to work at part time jobs, that means fewer jobs for people coming up. Always something.

This article resonated with me as one whose parents are nearing the age for retirement. Although my father, a programmer, no longer makes the commute into the office everyday, he still submits pieces of code from home. Though not overwhelmingly lucrative, this allows him to supplement the householed budget, relax a bit after years of dedicated work, and keep from the complete boredom of unproductiveness. A ceritified public accountant for almost thirty years, my mother is looking forward to retirement in the next decade to pursue her real passion in life according to a flexible schedule: elementary education.

I agree with Jonathan, working full time is cleary not retired. I can't even believe someone would say they are working full time in retirement. That's called still working.

My plan is to fully retire in a few years, and hopefully not ever need to go back to work again. If it becomes necessary for me to return to work part time, or if I get so bored not working that I decide to take another job, I would consider myself no longer retired. I don't expect to return after I leave.

We don't anticipate ever being able to completely retire. It may also not be possible to move to a cheaper area, unless the housing market in our area really picks up considerably. We're saving as much as we can right now, but it never seems to be enough.

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