Thursday, July 10, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Is this the new way to retire?

Baby Boomers are at it again. This time, they’re forging a new route to retirement – by building bridges to take them there.

While Boomers’ parents and grandparents typically worked full-time jobs before retiring, many workers 60 and over are now keeping one foot in the work world and gradually stepping into retirement.

A recent University of Michigan Retirement Research Center study found that 20 percent of workers aged 65 to 67 are “partially retired.”

The study defined partial retirement “as a job in which income doesn’t exceed 50 percent of the maximum annual earnings a person made in his lifetime.”

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  • However, the study is inconclusive as to whether Boomers are choosing to take a half step out of the workplace, or have been kicked out of full-time jobs.

    “It turns out that, comparatively speaking, the 63 to 67 age group leaves full-time employment in much larger than normal numbers during recessions,” notes Dmitriy Stolyarov, UMRCC associate director.

    Indeed, other research finds that in partial retirement, “people often move into less desirable jobs from a financial perspective,” notes Tay McNamara, research associate at the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College.

    Still, it can be beneficial to tap the brakes on work and ease into retirement, notes Ithaca College professor Joel Savishinsky, author of “Breaking The Watch: The Meaning of Retirement In America.” (Cornell University Press, 2000)

    “For some people, knowing that they don’t have to go from one extreme to the opposite extreme is a reassuring and comforting – and financially helpful – way to negotiate this major transition in life.”

    © CTW Features

    Marilyn Kennedy Melia CTW Features