Instead of moving to a life of Floridian leisure the day after their 65th birthdays, a growing number of retirees are choosing to retire gradually — some with the help of their employers.
Baby boomers are opting to retire in phases. They are downsizing their family home, but remaining local, and choosing to cut back from full-time work, “but not abandoning work altogether,” reported the New York Times.
Some companies even provide programs to help older workers ease into retirement by gradually reducing hours.
“The program lets workers gradually start clocking shorter work weeks, allowing them to test out retirement to see if they like it or can afford it. They also get to maintain social ties in the workplace. Ideally, this option keeps them in the workforce longer and prevents them from tapping savings and Social Security early, bettering their chances of not outliving their money,” wrote AARP.
“The program will be open to retirement-eligible employees — in some cases as early as age 55 — who will work half-time while receiving half their pension and full health benefits," the AARP article stated. "The key to the program: Phased retirees must spend 20 percent of their time mentoring the next generation of workers.”
The Office of Personnel Management instituted phased retirement programs for federal employees in November 2014. Right now, federal employees nearing retirement have to apply and then be accepted for the program.
“Phased retirement potentially benefits employees who want to stay sharp and maintain their sense of purpose into retirement, while their employers can retain experienced workers who might otherwise leave the company,” U.S. News & World Report reported.
Researchers are finding that some retirees are even “retiring” multiple times.
“As people live longer — and are healthier and more productive as they age — the opportunity to retire and downsize multiple times increases, said Rodney Harrell, director of livable communities for the AARP institute,” according to the New York Times article.
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