Older workers staying at their desks

While the allure of summers in the sun and winters buried in a good book is still strong for some, the traditional image of retirement is being given a shake-up by those older workers who are remaining in the workforce.

“In years gone by, older workers were almost ushered out the door,” said Kevin Tom, assistant vice-president of wealth management at Valley First credit union. “That’s just not the case anymore. People are living longer, healthier lives that are translating into longer careers. Whether it’s postponing retirement, working part-time or working independently, most baby boomers are rewriting their retirement plans.”

According to Tom, there are a number of reasons people are working into their retirement years. For some it is financially motivated, while others want to stay connected to the business world or they simply feel like it’s not time say goodbye for good.

“Everyone’s circumstances are different,” said Tom. “It’s no secret the economy has derailed many people’s retirement plans. But, for others, saying goodbye to the workforce is not something they’re ready to do. “

Beyond just working past the traditional retirement age, Tom says there are a growing number of more experienced workers who are either turning to contract work or looking at starting their own businesses.

“A survey last year showed more than half of Canadian baby boomers have either launched or are considering a small business venture before they reach retirement,” says Tom. “More experienced workers often have the business knowledge and the professional and personal networks to make a business idea a reality.”

Tom adds the decision to branch out on your own, potentially putting your retirement savings at risk, should not be made lightly.

“Having your own business can be very rewarding, especially later in life when you are thinking about leaving a legacy,” says Tom. “But, as any small business owner will attest, success doesn’t come without a lot of hard work. Before embarking on any business venture or pursuing a potential opportunity, you need to speak with a financial expert to ensure you fully understand the risks and rewards involved.”



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