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Joy of working in retirement

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

This winter, my 65-year-old accountant husband is working at our Florida condo one week and flying back to Detroit to work in the office the next.

We've always made spending the winter in the warmth part of our retirement planning. But now that we are actually implementing the plan, my husband hates it. The weeks he's not in the office, he feels cut off from what's happening -- even though the people he deals with most often are in the company's offices in New Jersey and Canada, and his communication under the best of circumstances is via phone and computer.

I'm a woman who has telecommuted for the last 16 years -- long before telecommuting was cool -- or easy. I keep urging him to relax and enjoy the good parts -- like the ability to get to his home office in about five seconds and work in his tiger T-shirt. But he's not convinced.

The nonprofit MetLife Foundation did a survey a few months ago about working in retirement and found that the appeal of post-retirement careers is as much about lifestyle and staying involved as it is about money. Survey respondents said working in retirement allowed them to:

  • Stay active and productive -- 79 percent.
  • Have greater control over their time, including the ability to take time off when they want to -- 70 percent.
  • Stay challenged, have new experiences and develop new skills -- 67 percent.
  • Provide a sense of meaning and a feeling of accomplishment -- 65 percent.

It all sounds good. Now if I can just persuade my husband.

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