Retirees who once reached for the rocker are now reflecting, retooling, and returning to the workforce. Whether it's the challenge of starting a business, working part-time to socialize, or reinventing themselves by beginning new careers, nearly four out of five Baby Boomers (79 percent) say they plan to work during their retirements, according to a report ("Baby Boomers Envision Retirement") from AARP. There are so many, in fact, that a growing number of gerontologists and sociologists are beginning to refer to this life stage not as retirement but as "rehirement."

Actually, this is a win-win situation for "rehirements" may also be good for employers inasmuch as older workers are flexible about their work schedules and they tend to have strong work ethics. And, according to the Society for Human Resources Management in a report entitled "Older Workers Survey," they can be more loyal than younger workers who are prone to job-hop to get ahead.

So, just as they helped reshape traditional notions of middle age, Baby Boomers may now be reshaping how we think about retirement. This new vision will continue to include the need for adequate assets and savvy financial planning. But, retirement planning is already about more than money. It's also about freedom, the freedom to make the next phase of one's life the best yet.

According to an AARP survey ("Staying Ahead of the Curve"), here are the major reasons for working in retirement:

  • To Stay Mentally Active - 87%
  • To Stay Physically Active - 85%
  • To remain Productive/Useful - 77%
  • Need Health Benefits - 66%
  • To Help Other People - 59%
  • To Be Around People - 58%
  • Need the Money - 54%
  • To Learn New Things - 50%
  • To Pursue a Dream - 32%

Consider Michelangelo who completed his last frescoes at age 75 or Ben Franklin who at age 78 invented bifocals or Martha Graham who kept choreographing until age 96. And we don't forget Winston Churchill who became Prime Minister at age 66 and then again at age 77.

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