According to statista.com, the average NFL career is 3.3 years. The average quarterback career is 4.4 years. Tom Brady certainly beat all the odds in every way with his 22 year NFL career and had one of the shortest retirement's ever (less than 2 months). But as this Wall Street Journal article headline reads – It isn’t Just Tom Brady – More People Are Coming Out of Retirement.
The author reports that during the pandemic approximately 2.6 Million Americans retired early and many of those have decided retirement is not for them. Boredom, isolation, realizing you’re not as financially prepared to live without a regular paycheck, were part of the reasons for going back to work. Others returned because they had in-demand skills and experience and were able to find jobs with more flexibility than they had before the pandemic. Some turned a passion into a business opportunity and were doing something more fulfilling. Some wanted to be part of a team again.
When you couple retirement earlier than originally planned followed by an unexpected highly inflated cost of living, it is no wonder there is an increase in the number of retirees returning to work. Mix in boredom and isolation. It brings me to discussions I have when helping my clients prepare for life in retirement. Retirement isn’t just about leaving your job behind. It is also about what you are going to do with all the time that is freed up. For some of us, you can only play so much golf or bridge (especially when you aren’t great at either).
A successful retirement isn’t just about being financially independent without a paycheck. It’s more about going from a job with a paycheck to a job without a paycheck. It is an opportunity to do something you are enthusiastic about – volunteer or turn a passion into a second career. It is about living life with purpose and vision, feeling connected, useful, and making a difference. You will be more fulfilled. Fulfilled people are generally happier and healthier. If your health is good and you have a satisfying job that fills you up, retirement may never be on your radar.
If your job doesn’t give you that kind of satisfaction, planning well for financial independence without a paycheck is probably more critical for you. It will give you the freedom to pursue opportunities that will leave you feeling fulfilled. Helping my clients prepare for financial independence without a paycheck is part of what I love to do.