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Community Manager
Community Manager

Is phased retirement right for you?

The shift to retirement can feel rather abrupt. One day you’re working; the next, you’re not. What can we learn from phased retirement plans that are popular in other countries?

 

Have you considered phased retirement?

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Contributor

No, because my job is my only source of income.

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I have worked for a small, family owned business for nearly 10 years. Five weeks ago I asked to restructure my work week to 4 days per week as a transition to retirement. My boss went ballistic!!!  He saw it as a greedy request for more vacation days rather than a way for both of us to get ready for my exit.  Very sad,,, it could have been a win/win for both of us, instead it is a lose/lose. The next week I submitted my resignation and intention to retire,,, Tuesday is my last day. 

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Periodic Contributor

What an unfortunate situation for your soon to be former employer.  Besides losing your experience they have also deprived you of the ability to retire with dignity and respect.  Wishing you all the best in your next chapter of life.

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Periodic Contributor

I have coached many people as they prepare for retirement and have found those who have something to "retire to" are much happier and satisfied than those that do not know what they are retiring to.  A phased retirement provides an opportunity to find what you are retiring to and maybe even test it out.  A phased retirement also provides an opportunity to gradually build a new social network as you ease out of the social network you developed and lived in while working.

 

In my personal experience, I found the first three months of my phased retirement to be the most difficult as I still craved the daly interaction and problem solving I had been accustomed to doing for the past 35 years.  Now that I am adjusted to the new pace and have formed a new social network I could not imagine retirement happening any other way. 

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In a few weeks I’ll be starting in to what I call phase 2 of retirement. Six months ago I left direct patient care, wearing lead for fluoroscopy cases and taking call. I remained full time but my job then was to call the patients on the phone, do their history and make sure they understood how to prepare for their procedures. Now I’m cutting back on my hours. I’m fortunate that I can still keep my medical benefits even though I have to pay more. Nursing has definitely allowed me a good work / life balance whether it was with a young family and now “phasing into retirement”.  

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Maybe it would have been. I'll never know. My health conspired against me to force me into sudden early retirement at sixty-one. 

I hadn't put much thought into it as I thought I'd be working until at least seventy. Now I'm trying to figure out what to do given my reduced abilities. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't depressed over this outcome. 

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Periodic Contributor

Gregg,

 

I have found there are many opportunites for those that may have limitations due to medical conditions.  One interesting web site to look at is called SideHusl.  It was created by Kathy Kristof, a former columnist for Kiplinger's.  Kathy look at various "gigs" available to those who either cannot or do not want to work in a traditional work environment.  It might be worth looking at if you have a few spare minutes.

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Newbie

Spoiler
 

I think this is an excellent idea, especially for certain groups. Many men who are retirement age subconsciously tie their identity to their job. Some, because "they are the "breadwinner", some who have worked more then 40 hrs/wk to be successful, and others who have not developed interests outside if family/career. 

For this group, staving off depression and lack of a social group outside of coworkers is a problem. 

In addition, there may be financial considerations such as continued medical insurance, discrepancy in pay vs retirement, etc. 

I certainly will be working a PT job after retirement for all of these reasons. 

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I’ll probably be criticized for this response but the problem I see with a number of the comments here is that everyone is only thinking about themselves with little regard to their current employer. That said, it is absolutely true that most companies do not have any plan or program in place to transition their older workers into retirement or to offer some kind of phased retirement process. What that means is that it falls upon the employee to propose a phased retirement plan to their employers. One of the most important reasons to justify a phased retirement plan is probably the need for knowledge transfer. A phased retirement proposal to management should highlight all the institutional knowledge someone possesses and some way to transfer that knowledge to younger coworkers. Another option is to take a traditional retirement, but to negotiate a part-time contract to return in a consulting capacity to mentor younger coworkers and to document processes/procedures for others. Just a couple obvious suggestions of many that came to mind when I read this question.

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Interesting the post above is correct, and I failed to state that I was in a phased retirement for just about a year. I taught art for our local school district on a campus with special needs adults. In that year I had a fellow collegue who joined me in my class for one day a week. In that process I taught her just about everything I knew about my particular art, which was ceramics, water color, scuplturing. However, in ceramics there are many layers to the art: Understanding the medium of clay, understanding the enormous number of glazes and affects, use of the Kiln and techniques that can be used in firing at different temperatures etc.

So I'm in my final month and our employer has moved my collegue into my position, and now the last month is merely fine tuning the process, oversight of her progress, and letting her have the while department.

This phasing was in consideration of the employed, students and staff it will soon affect. The hours were not less, but my responsibility changed from teaching students to teaching a collegue to supervising. 

Hope this clarifies some about my phasiing out experience, and it was a joyful, and rewarding experience for all involved.

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I enjoyed reading all of the entries of how retirement, or the prospectus of retiring is coming. My life is probably no different than most, but I've been privileged to have done many jobs in my life.

I've been a school teacher, pastor, minister, college professor, church musician, composer. At 70 I'm now call it quits as a teacher for special needs adults. I've loved my career and experiences, but phased retirment may not be exactly what will be my goal.

I will continue to teach college music as an adjunct professor, and be a church musician conducting a choir, playing the organ for heritage services and composing music. So while I end one part of my life I will continue to do what I love to do.

So I'll always be working, it's just a matter of focus. Oh, and I love to paint in oils, so I have many oil painting experiences ahead of me. I never planned for retirement until I got into my 50's and said, "Oops, I may make to retirement I'd better do something more proactive, and plan, which I did." Now I'm encouraging my children to not wait till your 50 but do it now while in your 30's. 

I've been blessed, and I've been so grateful for my life. A faithful, loving wife, seven children, and fifteen grandchildren, truly I'm blessed.

So, for me, retirement is just doing more of what I love to do, teach, write, read, compose, perform and give back to my community through loving abandonded animals, and finding them a home.

Blessings to ALL of you and I truly hope your life finds that place of gratefulness.

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Retirement is a part of life for many.  I have looked forward to retirement since I started working at 18 years old.  I don't want to think of easing into retirement.  It feels like a priviledge, therefore I love to think of the time I can retire.  For me it is now.  After working over 40 years, retirement is deserved and I love it.  If I get bored, there are plenty of places I can volunteer.

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Contributor

Why bother phasing retirement. Just retire and enjoy your new adventure.

 

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Gold Conversationalist

In other countries, is there also phased termination?

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Contributor

Would be open to it but my employer does not offer it. Work full time or quit. If i came back after retireing they would stop my pension benefit.

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Periodic Contributor

Joseph,

 

I am not sure how progressive your employer is.  With pension benefits there needs to be a legitimate separation from service, rather than a change in employment status, in order for you to begin collecting your pension benefit.  Typically this means you originally left with the intention of not returning to employment.  However, if circumstances change and your employer has a need for you to return on a project oriented basis you are able to continue receiving your pension while working.

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Periodic Contributor

424 views as of today - and no replies yet. 

I've read about phased retirement, but do not know of anybody who has been offered it. I'm guessing it's not that common here - perhaps for executives and people who have institutional memory so they can train their replacements. 

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