Closing the gap between plan and action; why so few do it
Work gives us purpose, social connectedness and a reason to get out of bed each day. Plus the pay is also nice. So it’s no surprise that 45% of working Australians within 5 years of retirement plan to work part-time for money after retirement. But strangely, only 4% actually do, according to State Street¹.
Why is there such a big disconnect between intent and reality?
According to insights from our clients, this is what happens. We’d love to also know about your experiences; so please write us a comment.
Firstly, it’s common knowledge that age discrimination makes it pretty hard to get a new job after age 65, whether that is part time, casual or full time. So the plan of ‘I’ll pick up a part-time job when I leave my full-time job’ is much harder to realise than anticipated. People try, get a lot of knock backs and give up.
Secondly, the other options, such as starting a business or working in the on-demand sharing economy is too much of a head-shift for many. Barry LaValley in his excellent book So You Think You Are Ready to Retire uses ‘Continuity Theory’ to explain this. It’s the theory that it is difficult to do something new in retirement because our brain finds ways to restore us to normalcy. Even though we have more time to make changes and try something new, we don’t because we can be fixed in our thinking.
But Continuity Theory is also the reason why 45% of people want that continuity of work in retirement; their habits, behaviors, beliefs and attitudes about work are the same and they want to keep those good things about work.
Perhaps there would be less loneliness and boredom if we could find ways for retirees to work.
So how can we help people bridge that gap between plan and action?
What we are doing at IncomeConnection is encouraging people, before they retire, to think through their work goals, their options and their plan for doing the work they want when they retire.
As specialists in the on-demand sharing economy, we ask people to consider this space. It’s a very exciting, growing part of the Australian economy where our hobbies, interests, skills, assets and work experience can open up amazing opportunities for purposeful, flexible work. Some sharing economy providers even specifically target older people. If you’d like a chat, arrange a phone call with me here.
Melinda Livingstone is the founder of IncomeConnection: matching people seeking an income with opportunities to earn an income from the growing on-demand sharing economy and setting them up for success. She writes and speaks on the on-demand sharing economy and the opportunities it provides.
¹ State Street Global Advisers Global Retirement Reality Report 2018.