Navigating the Uncertain Waters of Modern Retirement in 2023

modern retirement

The modern retirement landscape has been marked by hesitations and second guesses, with numerous individuals in their prime retirement age showing reservations about leaving the workforce for good.

The Rise of the “Unretirees”

Recent data points towards a surge in delaying or reconsidering modern retirement. Investment News, a reputable trade publication, revealed a startling statistic: two-thirds of individuals in their 50s and early 60s have either considered pushing back their retirement plans or have already done so. This isn’t just a matter of cold feet; 44% of retirees have considered reentering the workforce, and some have even taken the leap.

Financial Insecurity: The Leading Concern

Financial instability emerged as the predominant reason for this modern retirement trend. With the looming presence of consistent inflation and the erratic nature of financial markets in recent years, there’s a growing sense of unease. Individuals are wondering whether their savings and financial plans are robust enough to sustain them through the golden years of retirement. Many within this age bracket might have vivid memories of the tumultuous economic period of the late 1970s when inflation was a formidable adversary.

More Than Just Money: The Emotional Dimensions

While financial stability is a significant driving force, it’s not the only reason people are clinging to their jobs. For some, their profession isn’t just a paycheck but a passion. The idea of walking away from decades of work, camaraderie, and purpose can be daunting. The workplace provides mental stimulation and challenges that some retirees find hard to replicate in their post-retirement lives.

Paychex Findings: A Deeper Dive into Retirement Trends

Paychex, a payroll company, conducted a study that echoed similar sentiments. One in six retirees pondered a return to the workforce after basking in modern retirement for an average span of four years. The reasons were multifaceted:

  • 55% felt the financial strain and needed additional income.
  • A close 47% admitted to feeling the weight of boredom post-retirement.
  • 45% had personal reasons compelling them back.
  • 41% expressed anxieties linked to the ever-present inflation.
  • 33% cited the need for health insurance coverage as a pivotal factor.

Interestingly, many of these “unretirees” weren’t just seeking any job; their previous employers specifically approached them due to a labor shortage. An impressive 59% adapted to the digital age by working remotely.

Embracing the New Chapter of Modern Retirement

Returning to the workforce post-retirement might seem daunting, but the experience has proven positive for many. A substantial 60% of those who made the transition reported contentment with their decision. Half of them felt a newfound vigor, with 48% expressing excitement about their professional re-entry. That said, not everything was smooth sailing. 27% felt initial jitters, and 71% felt that younger colleagues sometimes doubted their capabilities.

The Bigger Picture: Labor Force Participation Rate

However, it’s essential to view these trends in the broader context. The Wall Street Journal highlighted that even with these patterns, the labor force participation rate for those aged 65 and above remains significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels. A high of 26% in February 2020 dipped to 22.7% by July 2021, only to marginally rise to 23.7% by August 2023.

Guiding You Through Retirement Planning

If these trends resonate with you and modern retirement planning feels like a maze, Legacy Private Trust Company is here to help. We bring our expertise and insights to the table, ensuring that your decisions today set the foundation for a secure and fulfilling retirement.

If you are a Legacy client and have questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Legacy advisor. If you are not a Legacy client and are interested in learning more about our approach to personalized wealth management, please contact us at 920.967.5020 or

This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only.
It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice.

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