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A little labor may not be so bad

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Monday, September 3, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

I hope you're having a relaxing Labor Day -- and if you're still working, that you have the day off.

What does living in retirement mean for those who have left the workforce?

Free time in retirement

Bankers Life and Casualty Company asked 300 retirees ages 55 to 75 what they missed the most about their jobs. Some 65 percent said they missed interaction with co-workers and other friends. "I miss my co-workers. They became a family away from home," one of those surveyed said.

Surprisingly, only 15 percent said they missed the money. That's less than a quarter of the number who said they missed friends. "More money means more choices and more experiences. I've had to cut back on nonessentials," was one of the eloquent comments offered by someone who chose this response.

Stress and getting up early were the two things that most of the retirees said they didn't miss about work.

The survey also asked retirees what surprised them the most about retirement. The amount of free time was the most frequent answer -- about 10 percent of those asked gave that response. It wasn't always couched in a positive light. For instance, here are two typical comments:

  • "I have more time to relax than I really need."
  • "I have lots of time with little to do."

Below is a graph of how retired people spend their free time. Many of the activities don't look exceedingly exciting. Before you hang up your work boots, consider whether you really want to be jobless. Life might be better if your retirement planning includes a little bit of labor.

An earlier version of this blog post incorrectly referred to Bankers Life and Casualty Company as Bankers Casualty.

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