Career Center Blog

May 20, 2009

The upside of retiring later


So you've checked your investment portfolio, spoken with a couple of financial gurus, and decided that you can no longer afford to retire this year (or this decade).

That's not necessarily bad news. As the Associated Press reported Monday, a new British study found that postponing retirement could help stave off Alzheimer's disease.

"Each extra year of work was associated with approximately a six-week delay in the onset of dementia," the AP reported.

Researchers will likely be duking out the validity of this King's College London study for a while. But you've probably heard similar arguments made before: An active body can make for an active mind. An active mind stays sharp. And so on.

Keeping Alzheimer's at bay is only one potential perk of continuing to work into your sixties, seventies, and beyond, even if you only work a few hours a week. There are of course the added benefits of interacting with those other than your cat, building structure into your weekly schedule, contributing to your greater community, and continuing to line the ole savings account.

Besides, now that we're living decades longer than our parents and grandparents did, we need something to keep us occupied well into our golden years. And for some, keeping that dream business, vocation, or volunteer gig going is a much-needed lifeline.

Personally, I plan to keep writing until they pry the keyboard out of my cold, dead claws. I love the act of creating and the thrill of publishing far too much. If I can afford not to, I won't necessarily work full time in my golden years. But you won't find me sitting on the proverbial porch sipping lemonade 40 hours a week. Not without my laptop handy anyway.

How about you? What are your plans for your sixties and beyond? Does some form of work factor into it, either out of financial necessity or a love of your vocation?

Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide." E-mail Michelle at

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Hi Michelle

I have been wworking in Bangkok Thailand for tyhe past 5 years as a ESL teacher. Before that lived in Seattle for 15 years and was doing totally different career.
I just turned 60 years old and would like to come back home to Seatle but a little afraid due to the economy. I'm not a teacher by trade, just started doing here in Bangkok to try living in another coutry, but I do miss home and someday need to go back,
My question is, are there any organizations that are for people my age to help them find jobs! I remember how some employers can discriminate older folks!

Tony, the site lists more than 30,000 full-time and part-time jobs nationwide with "age-friendly employers."

Other job sites that cater to older workers:

In addition, AARP offers this list of the best employers for workers over 50:

Finally, here's an article of mine on job hunting over 50:

Hope this helps!

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Karen Burns Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.

Kristen Fife Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.

Lisa Quast Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.

Randy Woods Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.

Former contributors

Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.

Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.

Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."


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