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The Gradual Retirement Thumbnail

The Gradual Retirement

I have come across some recent articles talking about everything from moving to a gradual retirement to shifting away from the hustle lifestyle. I figured the easiest way to share some highlights is via a bullet-point format. Get ready for a two-minute highlight fest! 

Gradual Retirement:

  • I wanted to start here as I see this more frequently with my physician clients.
  • Just over half of Americans said their preferred way to retire is to gradually reduce working hours. The exact percentage is 52%.
  • 67% of GenX said this was their preferred way. Millennials came in at 56%
  • On the flip side, nearly half of Gen Z (47%) and Boomers (46%) would rather go cold turkey and do an instant transition from working to retirement.
  • 1 in 10 would like to transition to a new profession as part of their winding down toward retirement.
  • When it comes to actual retirement ages, the younger the respondent the younger they want to retire. Gen Z retirement comes in at 55, 59 for Millennials, and 65 for GenX and Boomers.
  • Here is an interesting one, at least to me. When they surveyed current retirees the majority (over 70%) transitioned to retirement immediately. Just under 1 in 5 did the gradual retirement. So, while people find it a popular concept most people do not go the gradual route.
  • Now, when they asked retirees if retirement was what they envisioned, the responses for agreement were higher for those who retired immediately versus those who went the gradual route or the career transition.
  • BUT, 75% of those who did gradual retirement said they were happy with their job.
  • The final two points here are from the employer’s perspective.
  • First, just over half of employers have offered gradual retirement for employees in the sense of allowing them to continue to work in a part-time position.
  • However, only 1 out of 10 employers regularly offer this gradual retirement as an option.
  • So, most employers do not offer it as a normal practice, but the majority have at least offered it sporadically. 

Goodbye Hustle Economy? Hello Soft-Life!

  • A few notes on a survey by Key Bank and their findings on the status of the Hustle Culture.
  • 2/3 of Americans would rather have a job they love with a lower salary than one they hate with more pay.
  • 72% would rather define success with a soft-life. This means a focus on happiness, contentment and fulfillment.
  • More than half feel the Hustle approach will lead to burnout.
  • Final two points.
  • First, the percentage of respondents who want a better life-balance increased from 57% last year to 63% this year.
  • Finally, just 27% value a high-paying job. This is down from 33% last year.  

 My Experience:

  • I will share what I see with many of my physician clients.
  • The short version is most want to continue to work in some manner until they are 70.
  • They stress staying mentally engaged.
  • However, we often plan for them to do a quasi-career transition.
  • Basically, stay a practicing physician but move into a role that is either fewer hours, lesser demands, or maybe more rewarding/interesting procedures.

 Personally, when people ask me how much longer I am going to work it is another 20ish years. I have a great work-life balance and my job is not physically demanding. My boss is pretty cool (sarcasm font as I work for myself). Now I just need some new hobbies that involve warmer weather! It’s like 15 degrees as I write this.