WASHINGTON -- For many people, dreams of an early retirement are fading if not blacked out.
The reality is that a lot of folks will still be working well into their senior years if they can. A retirement survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 70 percent workers said they plan to work for pay even after they retire. And the age at which workers expect to retire continues to rise.
The vision of people 50-plus spending their retirement years gardening, golfing and lounging on the beach is out, says Kerry Hannon, who writes the Great Jobs for Retirees column for AARP.
But theres a difference in the people who say they will continue working in retirement. Hannon notes that they arent retirees looking for part-time supplemental work or to stave off boredom.
Whats different now is that baby boomers are either continuing to work much longer or approaching work not as an afterthought but as a pillar of their retirement plans, she writes in this months Color of Money Book Club selection, "Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work that Keeps You Happy and Healthy and Pays the Bills (Wiley, $18.95).
Yes, there are financial reasons to stay put in your job if youre 50 or older. You may need to continue building your savings, Hannon says.
However, she writes, studies show that for people over 50, its also important to be engaged and stay engaged.
Work gives us a sense of purpose, feeling connected and needed. It makes us feel relevant. Its hard to pin a precise paycheck on that, but its real.
Hannon has spent her adult lifetime becoming an expert in career transition and retirement issues. She is a contributing editor for Forbes magazine and writes the Second Verse column aimed at boomers for Forbes.com. She used to work as a reporter and personal finance columnist for USA Today.
Now in her early 50s, shes talking from experience. She uses other peoples experiences to also make the case for good and fulfilling retirement jobs that pay the bills. She encourages encore careers where you pursue something different than your current employment. An example she cites is a high school assistant superintendent who became a personal fitness trainer.
Copyright 2012 Washington Post Writers Group