3 Alternatives to Retirement

If you you are getting at that age and are looking for retirement, be aware that there are alternatives. Keeping active promotes happiness, health and longetivity.

For many 9-to-5 workers, retirement is what you look forward to, but others, want to keep busy and therefore want to find alternatives. You save up and set up a nest egg so that you can travel, start the vineyard you’ve always wanted, or relax and let the good times roll. However, a recent article on Bloomberg’s View column shows that the retirement options are not as great as you might thin. Employment, particularly in old age,can provide numerous health benefits that improve life expectancy.

travelers deplaning from commuter plane
Traveling can be great in retirement, but career breaks and going back to employment can prolong life.


You may have spent much of your career working for a paycheck. Why not shift your focus to work for the benefit of others? Volunteer work gets you up off the couch and into the world, putting your skills at work to help those in need. The Peace Corps is one of the most popular volunteer programs and gives you a chance to make a difference all over the world. While you must be at least 18 years old to join, there is no upper age limit.

The Senior Corps remains the largest volunteer group for adults age 55 and up, catering to the growing senior population. The organization offers a host of volunteer opportunities that specifically draw on all the experience you’ve gained over the years to fix homes, teach English, mentor disadvantaged youths, and more.

Focused Career Break

Instead of taking one long retirement, consider several career breaks throughout the course of your life. These focused career breaks, lasting three to six months, give you the opportunity to explore new interests or accomplish specific projects. You have plenty of time to start a draft of the novel you’ve always wanted to write or see the sights while backpacking through Europe.

Many worry that the gaps in employment will put off future employers, but focused career breaks are actually quite impressive, showing initiative and an ability to work independently.


Becoming an entrepreneur allows you to work on something that is relevant to you personally and to your greater society. With the growth of social media and technology, starting your own business is easier than before. You have tools at your fingertips and a wide community of entrepreneurs ready to lend a helping hand. In terms of retirement, entrepreneurship doesn’t give you much of a break, but it does give you plenty of control and freedom to do essentially whatever you want.

Peter Orszag, the author of the article says, your job may be keeping you alive, even if it is stressful. If you do choose to retire, remember to stay busy and enjoy all that free time!


retirees image by AFSB

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