To work or not to work

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You’d like to retire so you can pursue your other interests or spend more time with family, but then again, you’re not ready to give up your job because you enjoy the camaraderie of the office and the challenge and satisfaction your work provides. In other words, you want both. And you can have both. In these times of workers shortages, smart employees are eager to retain their capable, long-term employees and many offer many alternative work arrangements that include:

  • Job sharing
    Two people sharing one job can be appealing when a full-time employee wants to reduce his or her hours but the employer needs someone in that position on a full-time basis.
  • Compressed work seek
    Compressed workweeks are becoming increasingly popular with employees or all ages. Employees work 12-hour shifts for 10 days or two weeks, then enjoy several days off in a row, or add an hour or two to their day in order to take Friday off. The former is already routine for many police officers and fire fighters.
  • Telework
    Working from home is ideal for workers who may not want to commute or wish to be closer to home. Working “virtual” is becoming increasingly popular and increasingly commonplace.
  • Weekend only work
    Some people may be interested in only working on weekends because of commitments to family, friends, their own businesses or other jobs.
  • Seasonal work
    Seasonal work gives employees the opportunity to go on leave for extended periods of time while maintaining benefit eligibility. It’s an ideal option for Snowbirds. Toronto Auto Auctions of Milton, Ontario, RBC Global Banking Service Centre and the City of Calgary offers this type of flexibility to its employees.
  • Part-time work
    A recent study by AARP found that 53 percent of workers over 50 said that they would like to reduce their work schedule by 12 hours or more a week. Many added that working fewer hours would encourage them to keep working past the age at which they would normally retire. Some people work part-time daily (they work five days a week for fewer hours each day) and some work part-time weekly (they work fewer days per week). This might be a good choice if you will have responsibilities in your personal life or want to engage in activities such as classes, volunteer work, etc.
  • Phased retirement
    For many people retirement is a process – not an event. About one-third of older men and one-half of older women now retire gradually instead of making a sudden transition from fully employed to fully retired. This process can work in different ways. Depending on the policies of your organization, you might work four days a week for one year and three days a week for the next two years until you reach retirement age. Or you might be able to choose from several phased retirement options or propose your own plan for cutting back in stages.
  • “Bridge” jobs
    A bridge job acts as a bridge between full-time work and retirement. For many people, this can mean moving to a less demanding job or one that requires less traveling. A bridge job can also provide tremendous opportunities for those workers who have a fixed retirement date in mind, allowing them to take on new challenges in a way you can slow down a little and prepare for life after your actual retirement.

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