Instant replay: Unretirement and the new retirement

Published June 9, 2022
 Middle age man waving

In February 2022, the greatest quarterback of all time announced his retirement from professional sports at the age of 44. After more than 20 years in the National Football League he said on his podcast that he was going to do things that he enjoyed and spend time with people with which he enjoyed spending time.

However, only forty days later, he tweeted his return: “These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now.”

Although 44 is far from the average retirement age, this “unretirement” represents a growing trend among Canadians living in and approaching retirement.

Why do Canadians unretire?

According to The Four Pillars of the New Retirement, a study conducted by Edward Jones and Age Wave, thirty-three percent of recent retirees struggle to find a sense of purpose in retirement with new-found free time. Most Baby Boomers want to be more active, engaged, exploratory and purposeful in retirement than their parents and grandparents. They enjoy more opportunities and more choices than any previous generation for shaping retirement to suit their needs and expectations.

One in three non-retirees say they are interested in working in some capacity after retirement and nine percent say that they plan to never stop working. Individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 currently represent the highest proportion of the workforce – more than one in five working individuals (21.8%).1 This highlights the importance of — and employer demand for — experienced workers in the workforce and may contribute to the gradual increase in average retirement age among Canadians in recent years.2

Going back to work

When retirees stop working, it can create a void, often more social than financial. When asked what they miss most about their work life, 39% of retirees say it’s the people and social stimulation, with only 22% saying it’s the pay. The loss of social connection can lead to harmful isolation.

More and more retirees are filling part of the void by continuing to work, typically part-time, in retirement. Work, and the social connections it brings, can remain an important source of purpose.

Planning for the retirement you envision

Your needs and expectations for retirement are as unique as you are. Whether you're planning to continue to work in retirement, spend more time with loved ones or enjoying your hobbies, your Edward Jones advisor can help you plan for the retirement you envision.

Even as life changes and your expectations change, your advisor can work with you to adjust your strategy to meet your needs. Talk to your advisor today about strategies designed to help achieve the retirement that you envision.