Sep 4, 2023

Embracing the #NeverRetire Movement: A New Approach to Golden Years | Yahoo! Finance

As the concept of retirement continues to evolve, some Americans are rejecting the traditional notion of leaving the workforce for a life of leisure during their golden years. This movement, known as #NeverRetire, is gaining traction and challenging the idea that retirement is the ultimate goal. As a business transition expert and adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, I’ve been closely observing this trend and its potential implications.

My thanks to Nicole Specter and Yahoo! Finance for including my perspective in the article, “Why Do Some Americans Over 60 Say ‘Never’ to Retiring?” The article explores the reasons behind the emergence of the #NeverRetire movement and how it is reshaping the way people think about their later years.

Baby boomer business owners, in particular, are leading the charge when it comes to resisting retirement. Many of them are choosing to continue working well past the traditional retirement age. While predictions of a surge in business sales from this demographic have not materialized as expected, there is a growing desire among boomers to maintain their involvement in their companies.

The movement has even inspired new terms like FILE (Financial Independence, Live Early), which represents a shift from the traditional FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) approach. This new perspective suggests that work doesn’t necessarily have to come to an abrupt halt at retirement. Instead, individuals can find a balance that allows them to derive personal fulfillment from their work while maintaining financial independence.

There are several compelling reasons why the #NeverRetire movement is gaining momentum:

1. Prolonged Income: Continuing to work into later years provides a steady stream of income that can help offset the need to tap into savings and investments, thereby mitigating longevity risk.

2. Ongoing Benefits: Many employers offer benefits such as health insurance that can help cover costs not covered by traditional Medicare, contributing to overall financial well-being.

3. Longer Value of Retirement Fund: By delaying retirement, individuals can continue to contribute to their retirement funds, potentially leading to a more comfortable financial future.

4. Caring for Dependents: Responsibilities for supporting family members or dependents can impact retirement plans, leading some individuals to extend their careers to ensure adequate support.

5. Personal Fulfillment: Work can provide a sense of purpose and identity, making a positive impact on one’s community, industry, and family.

6. Protection Against the Unknown: The fear of the unknown that comes with retirement can be daunting, and many individuals prefer the structure and purpose that work provides.

However, it’s important to note that the decision to never retire does come with its own set of challenges. For business owners, delaying the sale of a business can have financial implications and potentially impact the legacy they leave behind. Succession planning becomes critical in such cases to ensure a smooth transition and continuity.

The #NeverRetire movement is reshaping the traditional concept of retirement. As individuals continue to live longer and healthier lives, it’s becoming increasingly common to seek fulfillment and purpose through work, even in later years. While this approach offers numerous benefits, careful consideration and planning are essential to ensure a secure and fulfilling future.

Note: This blog post is based on insights included in the article “Why Do Some Americans Over 60 Say ‘Never’ to Retiring?” by Nicole Specter on Yahoo! Finance.

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