Retirement Planning: Post-Career Management

Career Management
Knowledge Center

Chloe Xu
Director, Australia

Retirement Planning: Post-Career Management

Post-career life has changed as for most developed economics, the era of corporate and government pension plans that secured lifetime financial well-being is gone. Many business executives therefore are now thinking about new approaches to manage retirement.
Some interesting findings on post-career management and their implications for executives include:
  • GET PREPARED. For most people, there is no clear-cut or irrevocable shift from full-time work to retirement when they reach a certain age or eligibility. But more importantly, most will have no complete control over when and how their careers end. We should therefore all get ready to improvise and adapt.
  • FIND YOUR OWN WAY. Individuals’ opinions and experiences vary considerably, business executives use a variety of metaphors to describe their post-career life. Some think of it as detox from work stress, liberation from the daily grind, or downshifting from a demanding career. Others look forward to a renaissance in their lives or an opportunity of transformation. Still others view retirement as a milestone in their career, worry about the loss of professional identity, or plan to stay on course and continue to put their knowledge and skills to use. Often, individuals who take a flexible approach and are willing to shift from one metaphor to another are able to craft a post-career plan that suits them better.
  • CREATE OPPORTUNITIES. Rather than completely retiring, many executives are looking for opportunities to stay on at their organizations by redesigning work schedules or job responsibilities. They take a phased retirement approach, gradually reducing their hours while helping to transfer knowledge and responsibility to their successors. Another alternative is to work with a former employer on contract.
  • MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Many of today’s retirees are making more than financial contributions to society. When people are expected to live much longer in better mental and physical health, the idea of shelving their expertise after retiring makes no sense at all. Retirees are able to leverage their knowledge, skill, and experience to make a difference for their communities or the world.
⇒ Please share your ideas and actual experiences on retirement planning. Thank you!

Source: Vough, H. C., Bataille, C. D., Sargent, L., & Lee, M. D. June 2016. Managing Yourself Next-Gen Retirement. Harvard Business Review, 104-107.

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