Retire...Now get back to work!

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With the turmoil in today's markets, more and more retirees are returning to the workforce for extra money. Worried about outliving their shrinking portfolios, many folks are leaving the fishing and golfing to get a job. Some are resentful, feeling that they paid their dues and shouldn't have to work. Others welcome the chance to get out of the house and do something they enjoy.

Regardless of the mindset, work is good for the soul. The word retirement is used only twice in the Bible and both times as a punishment. The idea of retirement really wasn't in people's minds until the advent of social security in 1935. While there were other entitlement programs before this time; benefits to Civil War widows and children being one of them, no program addressed every American until the Social Security Act.

When this legislation was initiated, retirement age was arbitrarily established at 65. While there have been adjustments in recent years, people still view retirement in their 60's as a right that they have earned. This is too bad because physical and mental health are based on exercise and stimulation. Too many older folks find that exiting the workforce alienates them from people, activity, and personal reward.

Personally, I never plan on retiring. I like the work I do. Speaking across the country, writing columns and books, and consulting gives me lots of flexibility and variety. That is, of course the key. Finding something you really love to do and then figure out a way to get paid for it.

Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. For her FREE e-mail newsletter, please visit: The People Pro.

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