Baby boomers transitioning into retirement are facing very different choices than the preceding generations of retirees. In what is being characterized as “encore careers,” surveys are finding there are many reasons retirees are embarking on second careers rather than leaving the workforce all together.
In a recent Gallup survey of people currently working, 63 percent said they planned to work part-time when they reached retirement age, and nearly two-thirds of those said they would do it because they wanted to. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, the percentage of people who work and people who want to work has increased markedly in both the 65-and-older and 75-and-older groups. For 2011, the participation rate for 65 and older was 17.9% compared with 10.8% in 1985. For 75 and older, the rate jumped from 4.3% in 1990 to 7.5% in 2011.
One of the most important reasons current retirees have cited for continuing to work is economics. The odds of living longer may require greater health insurance expenditures in the future, and those costs continue to escalate well beyond the rate of inflation. For some, the recent financial crisis reduced retirement savings or limited the accumulation of those savings. For others, by continuing to work in what normally would be the retirement years allows seniors to leave more money in their retirement accounts, extending those savings and allowing them to keep growing. An analysis by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that nearly half of retirees who filed for Social Security before their 63rd birthday passed up 25% to 33% in additional inflation-adjusted benefits that would have been available if they had waited until full retirement age.
Another important aspect of the encore career for seniors is the desire to do work that is personally meaningful and to incorporate the skills from their first career. A company that has recently expanded to the East County area, Seniors Helping Seniors, (SHS) provides a unique opportunity for retirees to remain active in the workforce, earn additional income, and make a tremendous difference in the lives of others.
SHS provides in home services to assist seniors who want to liven independently in their own homes. Services provided include companion care, respite for family caregivers, light housekeeping, rides to doctor appointments or shopping, over-night supervision, 24-hour care, and help with house maintenance. In most cases the care is provided in the senior’s own home; however, occasionally the client may reside with a relative or live in an assisted living community or other group living setting and services can be provide there.
For seniors seeking flexible, part-time employment opportunities, SHS provides more than just rewarding work and financial benefits. Numerous studies show that continuing to work beyond the traditional age of retirement improves the physical and mental health of the workers, in some cases making them more vigorous than those who enter full retirement.
Tricia Erskine Izadi, SHS co-owner, explains that their clients find working with other seniors to be more comfortable because they understand and appreciate the challenges of remaining independent. “Our care providers know from their own experiences how best to assist seniors to manage a variety of non-medical tasks. Additionally, our services often are more cost-effective as they are designed to address each client’s individual needs versus charging for a standard minimum amount of time.”
“Joining the Seniors Helping Seniors family is truly a win-win for those who want to provide services as caregivers as well as those who receive the care,” said Izadi “Those who work with us gain so much from the relationship with the seniors they work with — they receive as much as they give.”
For more information, go to www.seniorshelpingseniors.com/sandiego or contact Sue Erskine at 619.346.4335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.