The changing face of retirement

This week, as I had dinner with two professional women who also work in the field of accounting, we discussed the concept of retirement. How many people do you know who talk about their dream of retiring early? They're planning on retiring in their 50s and living a life of leisure for the rest of their years.

The concept doesn't sound horrible if you've saved enough money to do so. But is it really all it's cracked up to be? I mean, Americans are living longer. It's not out of the question to think that we might live to be 90 or 100 or more. I just can't imagine not working for the last 40 or 50 years of my life.

You see, we professional ladies all said that we like our work. It's fulfilling. We make good money doing it. We actually enjoy it. So what will retirement look like for us? Certainly not sitting around counting our piles of money.
We all agreed that retirement will mean a reduced workload and a different way of doing our jobs, whatever they may be. Technology has made it possible for people to work anywhere in the world, earning money in ways they never thought possible. Consulting has changed. There are new opportunities to get paid for writing, blogging, and researching. And it's likely that unique opportunities will only increase.

We're not going to be content to sit around and grow old. We're going to take advantage of new opportunities and the expansion of technology. We're still going to work and use our skills and expertise. Why? Because we like to and we want to. A low-stress work environment that takes advantage of technology and new media... now that's my idea of a great retirement.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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