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Forget the gold watch. It’s time to rethink retirement

Like everything else, retirement is experiencing a bit of a transformation these days.

These trends present huge opportunities for employees and employers alike.

For older workers, this new “retirementality” gives them options they didn’t have before. In years past, their only option was to call it quicks, pick up their gold watch, and walk out the door into a uncertain future. Those who want to continue working now have more opportunities than ever to continue doing meaningful work while earning a valuable paycheck in their twilight years.

The benefits for employers might be even more significant.

For years now, we’ve been warning employers that their organizational knowledge is about to walk out the door. The generally accepted data shows that boomers are retiring at a clip of about 10,000 per day — and taking a career’s worth of knowledge and experience with them. Moreover, there aren’t nearly enough Gen Xers to bridge that knowledge gap.

But maybe that’s not as big of a deal as we’re making it out to be.

The research is telling us that boomers want to hang around a little longer. For a lot of organizations, that might be a good thing. We get to hang onto their knowledge and experience for a little longer, and our younger employees get to learn a thing or two from their older, more experienced colleagues. And our boomers? They get to keep collecting a paycheck and making a difference.

Sounds like everybody wins.

It’s time to start rethinking retirement. It doesn’t have to be an end.

It could very well be a new beginning … for everyone involved.

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