By Ylenia

Reshaping the idea of retirement: does “retirement” even mean anything nowadays?

Retirement: “the action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work.”


For many decades, this has been the definition of retirement, the “end of something”, the abrupt termination of a person’s working life and the beginning of an “unknown phase” that will most likely lead us to “the end” chapter of our life. Nowadays, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Economy, globalization, demographic changes in the workforce, life expectancy, educational and professional requirements: these are only few of the factors that impacted the change of the “retirement experience” and that push the entire workforce population to a mindset shift that’s especially impacting professionals 50+ approaching their “third age” chapter and secondary career.


The truth is, people barely retire anymore. What used to be “the end of something” is now “the beginning of something else”. I previously mentioned in one of my other blog posts (insert link to it here) how needed this mindset shift is, and the impact it could have on individual’s transition success. Simply think about this: let’s assume you reach the retirement age with little or no money saved, would Social Security be enough to cover your basic needs? We all know the answer to this question. You have worked your entire life, you have little to no money saved, and now you are most likely pushed to work longer and even more. This seems to be a huge risk, and the answer could be as simple as saving more “for retirement”. The problem is, according to a Gallup Poll, that around 20% of people near 65 have not saved anything for retirement at all, and the majority of people – 59% – worry that they don’t have enough money saved for retirement. While there are those people that simply neglect retirement saving because they are procrastinating, there are also many third age walkers who cannot afford to set this money aside. Nearly half of those who don’t save for retirement say it’s because they simply don’t have the money.


Now, let’s stop for a second and think about the demographic changes happening in the workforce. By 2024, BLS projects that the labor force will grow to about 164 million people – 41 million ages 55 and older – of whom about 13 million are expected to be ages 65 and older. Third age (50-75) individuals are also projected to grow within the workforce exponentially. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2014–24 decade, “the labor force growth rate of the 65- to 74-year-old age group is expected to be about 55, and the labor force growth rate of the 75-and-older age group is expected to be about 86 percent, compared with a 5-percent increase for the labor force as a whole.”

Overall, people are remaining in the workforce, whether maintaining the first career or approaching secondary opportunities. When approaching third age, individuals have the perfect opportunity to revisit their career and passions and take their lives under control. Is there anything you have always wanted to do, but haven’t been able to do it? This is the time to make that jump. My published research on retirement and transition into third age career helped me understand that people are working later in life for different reasons: baby boomers are healthier, have better life expectancy, are better educated, and are promptly responding to the Social Security changes that led to incentives to keep working. The question is: how can you prepare for your next chapter? How do you approach your third-age life and career path in a way that can fulfill your deepest needs and wishes? What is your short and long term goal for your next phase?


I believe in the need to opening the door to a tailor-made life in the third age (50 plus age), with a plan that allows you to make smart choices today for your tomorrow. My transition program has been designed to empower people like you navigate their next chapter, break the stereotype of retirement and the mental barriers that impede the discovery of true passions. Helping people transitioning and enabling individuals to find their best path after exiting their primary career has been my passion for years now, and if it is something that’s relevant to you, I invite you to contact me. Let’s explore your next stage together.


Dr. Ylenia Ossola




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