How to find your calling and create an ideal retirement -Dlight News

How to find your calling and create an ideal retirement

Treading lightly in retirement — reducing hours, mentoring and generally making sure organizational knowledge is shared before you go — can benefit both workers and employers. That sounds like an easy sell. Everyone wins. Many older workers want to increase retirement, but few US employers have policies that expressly allow it. The federal government does, and so do many universities. Oddly enough, the federal government is responsible for the notion that 65 is the retirement age; It was chosen as the age when American workers became eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits. Many companies encouraged it with pension. For many of us, the pension has disappeared, but the idea that 65 is retirement time has not.What is retirement today? Not only is there little agreement on when retirement should begin, there is little agreement on what retirement is. More than two-thirds of U.S. citizens surveyed last fall by the market research company OnePoll for Human Interest. Adults said they believed retirement was a gradual transition away from full-time work; 11% believe you can work up to 11 hours a week and still retire. Eric Phillips, senior director of partnerships and strategic insights at Human Interest, calls this slow withdrawal from the workforce “preretirement.” Maybe that was me when I asked my employer about transitioning to part-time. When I started thinking about working fewer hours, I was working full time as a writer and occasional editor. I wasn’t tired of my job or career, and I didn’t want to retire—I just wanted to work less. to read: Many retirees can’t wait until 70 to collect Social Security benefits, but they can if they use this strategy.Pick and choose assignments Now, I work when I want — usually between 12 and 25 hours a week — and politely decline assignments I know I won’t enjoy. In the last few weeks of full-time work, I noted the tasks I looked forward to and the ones I would gladly give up. It is useful in evaluating potential assignments. Sort of retiring — but not really — is the ever-predictable workflow that expands the topics I write and think about. Now I rarely miss fitness class, I’m not hopelessly busy, and I have the bandwidth to be a better friend. I took up weaving. And I didn’t panic when the markets fell when I quit my job, because I was confident I could earn enough to avoid tapping my dwindling 401(k). Admittedly this comes from a place of privilege. I am educated, I own the tools I need and I can afford to fail. I had my financial planner’s blessing – I had reached full retirement age and could rely on Social Security income as a backstop. It is a luxury. Another benefit of DIY phased retirement: I’m not locked into a program where I have to agree to fully retire in a certain number of years or work certain hours. The downside is that I no longer have access to benefits or a 401(k). Also Read: So long, senior centers and nursing homes. Older adults do not want to spend their time in places where they are seen as victims.Questions to ask yourself If you’re thinking about designing your own “preretirement,” here are some things you might want to consider, according to Jordan Grumet of Evanston, Illinois, author of “Taking Stock: A Hospice Doctor’s Advice on Financial Independence, Building Wealth, and Planning.” Live a free life.” How much income do you need to generate? If you don’t qualify for Medicare, how will you get health insurance (and at what cost)? What activities excite you? What do you find most fulfilling? How comfortable are you with uncertainty? (If a steady job and regular paycheck are important, a part-time job, or recurring gig may suit you better than freelancing.) Do you want to keep doing what you’re doing, or do you want to try something different? Want to do? Completely different? What other roles might you have that need to be considered? Do you have caring or other responsibilities? How will you keep busy? This might involve finding groups of people to do some of your work or learning similar work, or at home. That can take the form of going out and going to a coffee shop. Grumet, 49, advises eliminating the elements of your job that cause the most stress. For that, he used to see patients as a physician in private practice. Now, he’s a podcaster and author. When he identifies himself as Continues his hospice work – the part of his work he finds most fulfilling. Once you strip away the parts of your job or your life that you don’t enjoy (or need to survive), you can add things that bring you joy or a sense of purpose and fulfillment. As you do this, keep a calendar handy and make a schedule, Grumet advises. When you’re building your own job, anchoring some predictable meetings or tasks helps. Don’t miss: Three things to keep in mind when you retire – your future self will thank you for itHow to find your calling Paul Dillon, 77, now an adjunct instructor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, retired as a consultant for a Chicago accounting firm in 2006, just shy of his 61st birthday. He initially offered project management and business development services. Dillon found his calling five years later, when a client asked him to research Chicago companies that were hiring veterans. He asked that much more research than expected. Eventually he created the concept of a business incubator for veterans. That led to the development of a non-credit college course about veterans, and eventually to a for-credit course at Duke, where he moved to be near grandchildren. His advice? Be flexible. At a conventional retirement age, he found a passion and pursued it. Now this Army Reserve veteran, who also served as a 1st lieutenant in Vietnam, occasionally teaches the course he created and is sought after as a subject matter expert. Don’t miss: Tax hikes to save Medicare are Biden and Democrats’ best hope for 2024Part-time retirement Is Dylan retired? He says he works 10 to 15 hours a week while teaching, otherwise about two a week. Finding a DIY retirement runway guide isn’t as difficult as you might think, although it may not match the guidance you’d get if you were employed. Mine is mostly helping other writers and editors figure out how to handle the financial part of being a freelancer, something I started learning about when I moderated a panel on the topic. Dillon believes that opportunities to help can only come from keeping your eyes and ears open and being willing to explore new ideas and take small risks. Not all rewards are monetary, he adds. Dillon believes there is a responsibility to continue doing good things, citing St. Luke’s advice that to whom much is given, much is expected, and Tikkun Olam, the Jewish concept of improving the world. “You have many talents,” he says, “…go use them for the benefit of others.” Bev O’Shea is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance topics. She is the mother of two grown children and lives in Georgia with her husband, cockapoo, and calico. Read more about his work at This article is part of Lessons from Leaders, by Richard M. A Next Avenue initiative made possible by the Schulze Family Foundation and EIX, the Entrepreneur Innovation Exchange. This article is from, ©2023 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. Reprinted by permission of All rights reserved. More from Next Avenue:

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