Seven Reasons to Work

Dan Haylett

ARE YOU READY TO swap your office chair for a rocking chair? Hold that thought.

Before you dive into the world of endless vacations and gardening, consider that keeping a toe—and perhaps your whole foot—in the workforce might be the secret ingredient to a fulfilling retirement. Don’t believe me? Here are seven compelling reasons to keep working at least part-time.

1. Stay young at heart. Remember the excitement of landing your first job? That thrill doesn’t have to end. Continuing to work, even part-time, keeps your brain active and challenged. It’s like a gym membership for your mind, warding off the cobwebs and keeping you mentally sharp. Learning new skills and adapting to new environments can be the fountain of youth for your brain.

2. Social butterflies keep fluttering. One often-forgotten benefit of work is the social connections. Picture this: engaging conversations by the water cooler, team lunches, and the camaraderie of working toward a common goal. These interactions are invaluable and keep you connected to diverse groups of people, ensuring that your social life remains vibrant and dynamic.

3. Even more financial freedom. Who doesn’t love an extra bit of cash? Continuing to work means more financial breathing room. You can fund those dream vacations, spoil the grandkids or simply enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a steady income. It’s not just about the money. It’s about the freedom and choices that money can provide.

4. Purpose, passion and pride. Work can be a significant source of all three. Whether you’re mentoring younger colleagues, contributing to meaningful projects or just being part of a team, these experiences validate your skills and experience. It’s about feeling valued and knowing you’re making a difference.

5. Keep the doctors at bay. Believe it or not, working can be good for your health. Studies suggest that those who continue working tend to enjoy better mental and physical health. The combination of mental stimulation, social interaction and a sense of purpose creates a powerful health cocktail.

6. Flexibility is the new black. Retirement doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Many retirees find joy in flexible work arrangements like part-time jobs, consulting or freelance gigs. This flexibility allows you to balance work with leisure, family time and hobbies. With the right job, you get to design your golden years exactly how you want them.

7. The joy of lifelong learning. Ever wanted to try a completely different career or learn a new skill? Now’s your chance. Retirement can be the perfect time to explore new interests or passions in a low-pressure environment. Who says you can’t be an intern at age 60 or start a new venture at 70?

Bottom line: It’s your adventure. Retirement is a journey, not a destination. By incorporating work into your retirement plan, you’re not just adding years to your life—you’re adding life to your years. It’s about finding the right balance that makes you jump out of bed each morning, excited for the day ahead. So, what will your retirement adventure look like?

Dan Haylett is a financial planner and head of growth at TFP Financial Planning, a U.K. firm that specializes in modern-day retirement planning. Dan’s “pull back the duvet every morning” purpose is helping clients spend their time and money on what’s truly important to them. A version of the above article first appeared on Dan’s website, where you can also learn about his Humans vs. Retirement podcast. Follow him on X (Twitter) @DanHaylett. Dan’s previous article was The Changes Ahead.

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