Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.

Work for Seniors?

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Mar 15, 2013 9:06 PM

Like one of my former posts, I'm thinking about the choices potentially retired people make. Most people of a certain age retire gracefully and manage to live on whatever income they have. However, there are so many people who can't afford to retire that older folks are working longer if they have a job. Many are looking for a job, as well, and it's as hard for them, despite a lifetime of experience, to land one as it is for recent grads, which is darn hard.

Now, how about the older people who like to work and keep at it, even if there needs are well-provided for and money isn't so essential? One example is the CEO who loves the control and respect and sticks with his full-time, workaholic schedule, instead of spending lots of time with grandchildren. When he does share time with the family, he can afford do it bigtime, like taking a cruise together. Then, there's the former manager unemployed since downsizing of his company whose wife works and pays most of the bills, but he wants to do something, even if menial, part-time or seasonal to earn extra spending money, so he can feel self-sufficient and empowered. The compulsive scientist who runs a lab at age 80 can't imagine life without discovery and purpose and finds it hard to come up with hobbies as fulfilling as her work. The professor or doctor fears loss of status, intellectual comraderie and university benefits, like travel to conferences. The lawyer is wary of how his investments will hold up through another recession and trusts the steady income of his secure practice.

You get the picture. A lot of people seek work and appreciate it because it adds meaning to their lives. Aren't they so lucky if it's a choice, rather than an urgent need?

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