Today’s seniors are different from those in previous generations. Thanks to developments in medicine, health science, and culture, people ages 65 and older today are living more vibrant, long, and healthy lives than ever before in our history.

Not surprisingly, this means that retirement today often looks very different from what it was 30, 40, of 50 years ago.

For one thing, seniors today are more used to changing jobs or careers than their predecessors. It used to be that many of us stayed with a single company for the majority of our adult lives; today, that’s rarely the case. Likewise, changing careers in your middle age or later used to be seen as something radical and risky. Today, however, it’s seen as a natural, even admirable exploration of one’s options.

Put all of these cultural and physical changes together, and you’ve got a retired population that is socially engaged, physically active, and, often, at work.

No longer does retiring mean you have to hang up your hat and embark on a life of golf and reading the newspaper. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, of course, if that’s what you want. But now, more people in their 60s and upward have more options. And that’s always a good thing.

Some have to work, but many want to

It’s true that for many Baby Boomers, the financial crisis of 2008 took a major toll on their retirement savings, forcing them to change their idea of a perfect retirement. There are many people who need to earn some extra income after retiring from their jobs, so they take part-time or full-time work, or even start their own business.

Others sell their unneeded life insurance policies in a life settlement transaction. This allows them to liquidate those policies, which they sell through a life settlement broker for a much higher value than they would receive by simply surrendering the policy.

However, in a 2015 AARP survey of 5,000 workers between the ages of 50 and 64, almost a third of those surveyed said that they expected to work for pay after retirement, and 44 percent of those said that they’d like to work in a field different from the one they’re currently in.

When asked what type of field they’d like to enter, education, hospitality, sports, and creative fields topped the list.

Many people are seeing their retirement as a chance not just to reconnect with family, but to reconnect with themselves, too. Embarking on a new career can give retirees the chance to explore a passion they’ve always had, but have never been able to dive into before. Plus, working in a field like training or education presents a wonderful opportunity to share one’s life experience with younger people, which many find deeply rewarding.

The benefits of working longer are more than financial

While bringing in an income after retirement has obvious financial benefits, there are many other benefits of working, as well - and they have nothing to do with your retirement savings.

As anyone knows who’s worked in an office or group environment, going to work isn’t just about showing up and doing your job. There’s a strong social component as well.

Starting a new job can put you in contact with people from a wide variety of backgrounds whom you’d never have met otherwise. It’s exciting to hear differing opinions and learn new things from your co-workers.

In addition, continuing to work can provide you with an intellectual challenge that many retirees miss when they leave the working world.

There’s lots of evidence that these mental, social, and emotional benefits translate into physical benefits: Many people who continue working past retirement report better overall health and happiness than those who don’t.

And finally, there are those more obvious financial factors to take into account. Continuing to work will allow you more time to add to your retirement accounts like an IRA, as well as delay taking Social Security benefits. You may also be eligible for employer-based health insurance, which could reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

Working after retirement is no longer something people do out of pure necessity. Many retirees are finding a challenging, rewarding new work life in their later years that can offer them a wide range of mental, physical, and financial benefits.

If you think a life settlement might be part of your “new and improved” retirement plan, ask your financial advisor to contact Ashar today!