chapter nine


“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy;

all play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.”

                  Maria Edgeworth

Did you work in order to live or live in order to work?  Retirement usually means that you no longer need to earn money to make living comfortable. The need to feel productive, however, does not go away.   We thrive on applying skills and knowledge to accomplish something worthwhile.

Retirement offers real choice in terms of the kind of work undertaken and the degree to which you choose to stay involved in work-related projects.  A Business Week Survey indicated that 67% of people reaching retirement age are still interested in doing some sort of work, but they are looking for positions which offer:

  • More focus resulting in lower stress
  • Flexibility and greater control over what, how, where and with whom the work is done
  • Enjoyment derived from performing work, and
  • The feeling of making a difference.

“Re-working” is about finding a new context for your skills. The psychological shock of going from a full-time career into full-time retirement can be less traumatic by continuing to work part time, by taking on occasional consulting contracts or by working as a volunteer.

The benefits of work are very similar before and after retirement, but your priorities with respect to work may now be very different.



Before Retirement



$ to earn a living


Time constraints


Match for skills



Related to other interests


Time constraints



$ to spend or save


Returning to Work




When Life Volunteers You




Locate a Web site for volunteering in your community. Use Google and search volunteering + your city or “volunteer opportunities” + your city.  Locate at least three opportunities that you would find appealing – if not right now, at some point in your retirement.  Use the postings to refine your thoughts about what kind of volunteer placement is a good fit for you.


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