Want to Avoid Un-Retirement?

Key takeaways

  • A recent survey showed almost 40 percent of Americans previously retired have gone back to work.
  • Un-retirement has become much more common today than even one generation ago.
  • If you want to retire in a more permanent way, you might consider what it’s going to take to make that happen.

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” That’s a famous line from Michael Corleone played by Al Pacino in Godfather III. I know you remember that line and, believe it or not, it has a lot to do with un-retirement.

We talk about retirement a lot, but there’s probably more un-retirement going on than you realize. In fact, the American Working Conditions Survey, conducted by RAND Corporation, shows that 39 percent of those who are working over the age of 65 had previously retired. I thought that was interesting because it provides a sense of just how much of what we call un-retirement is going on.

This means four out of every 10 retirees go back to work. But, more importantly, over half of those over 50 years of age would gladly work again, given the right opportunity. This is no small thing, this un-retirement. You might even call it a movement and I’m certain there are a lot of reasons around it, including:

  • Fewer people have traditional pensions
  • More people are relying on Social Security
  • People find it necessary to put more money away in things like 401(k) plans
  • We’re living longer due to medical advances

All of those things don’t necessarily give us enough money to make it all the way through the retirement years without working to supplement the funds.

The point is that if you really want to retire in a more permanent way and only go back to work because you choose to do it, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared. You need to ensure that you understand the whole picture regarding how much you’ll need to live so you can do something else other than actively working.

Without keeping this in mind, you may be forced to un-retire to augment your income for a period of time. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something you want to keep on your radar, so you aren’t surprised if it happens. It can happen for a number of reasons and can be due to circumstances beyond your control. Maybe it’s due to poor planning or any variety of other things.

It’s important to be aware that the status of un-retirement has become much bigger than it was even one generation ago and that’s the main message pointed out by this survey. Consider this if you’re in pre-retirement mode or actively in retirement and you’re looking at your options. A lot of folks are doing this. Until next time, enjoy.


Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country.  He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, Wealth of Everything and co-author of The Business BattlefieldWhether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.

Learn more about TransformingWealth™ , our proprietary approach, designed to get your arms around the big picture so you can make informed financial decisions. Ask Gary about Coyle’s TransformingWealth Preview Meeting, and schedule a complimentary consultation and start living the Good Life Managed Well™.
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All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness.   This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client.  The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment.  Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional.  Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material.  The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting, but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions.

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