I recently encountered a number of men and women who decided to give up the halcyon days of retirement and go back to work. While they initially enjoyed having time off and pursuing various leisure activities, they eventually hungered for more.

One gentleman I met recently while staying at an inn in Auburn, NY only stayed retired a few months. He played endless rounds of golf initially only to find that he missed working. He also wanted to find a way to use and share his more than 30 years of knowledge and experience in the construction industry. When approached by a local college to teach a course on construction, he jumped at the chance.

The semester schedule gives him time to travel and pursue other interests. While he has no advanced education, his students call him “professor” which delights him. The pay is great, too, a little more than $100 an hour. When talking about what he is doing, he is highly animated and his joy is evident. Ironically, for him a successful retirement meant finding meaningful work.

My husband, Chris, has long talked about writing a book. He recently decided to take action and is busily writing his first non-fiction book. While he is not being paid to write and he recognizes he may not make money once he publishes his book, writing gives him a sense of purpose. It also provides him an opportunity to use his brain in ways that are different than in normal everyday activities.

I have started more than one business during Chris’s retirement. We have a vacation rental in Rockland that occupies our time and earns a small profit. I have started a retirement coaching business, and I am about to embark on something much larger. Stay tuned!

What is important is to realize what is right for you when you stop working. You may be blissfully happy pursuing leisure activities, traveling or spending time with your grandchildren. Or, like many boomers, you may find you want to go back to work, either in the same field or in one that is different. Don’t let others make you feel guilty for your choice. All that matters is what makes you happy.

Kathryn Avery

About Kathryn Avery

When Kathryn Severns Avery’s husband, Chris, began contemplating retirement in 2014, she knew they had to quickly come up with a multi-faceted plan. They spent the next year discussing, sometimes heatedly, what they would do once he stopped working. On paper their plan looked exciting. They would head from Colorado to the 1891 sea captain’s house they bought and renovated in Rockland on Maine’s midcoast. But the reality of planning and implementing retirement was much different than expected. Kathryn has worked in radio, television, marketing, and public relations. She is the author of five books and has written articles on interior design and crafts for national and regional publications including Romantic Homes, Log Homes Illustrated, The Rocky Mountain News and Colorado Homes and Lifestyles.