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Working Beyond Retirement

The Government of Canada
website explains employees are able to receive their retirement pension plan at
the age of 65, suggesting this is the age of retirement for Canadians (2016). A
societies expectation of older adults retiring around the age of 65 is a preconceived
idea worth demystifying. This belief has developed as my grandfather continues
to work past the acceptable retirement age. As he continues to work well into
his 70’s, my family members and I have often worried and considered if
employment is still the best option with his increasing age. Despite listening
to his reasons, we continue to have this biased assumption because of the
influences involving the expected retirement age among older adults. Through review
of the literature, evidence will demonstrate and demystify this stereotype of
retirement.

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Demystifying

The myth of older adults
having to retire at the age of 65 is unfortunately something many employers and
younger people believe. Through a review of the literature, demystifying this
myth will greatly impact the view of older adults still employed in the work
force. Brusch, & Busch (2013) explain that stereotypes towards older adults
working past retirement age have been believed for quite some time. They also
explain that these stereotypes perceive older adults to be less productive
compared to the younger employees. This ageist attitude towards employed older
adults contributes to the myth that one must leave their workplace at the
appropriate retirement age. McNamara et al. (2013) explains that there are a
growing number of older adults working beyond retirement age for benefits
associated with mind and body. More specifically, they found that 26.4% of
older adults return to work after retirement.

To contrast these negative
beliefs, Sewdas et al. (2017) examines the underlying reasons and benefits to
working after retirement. These benefits include financial safety, optimizing
health, and advancing growth. Furthermore, Sewdas et al. (2017) discusses how
continuing to work maintains ones ability to keep active. Staying active is
essential for older adults’ health because after retirement it may be hard for
them to find new ways to exercise. Fasbender, Deller, Wang, & Wiernik
(2013) states that a major way to keep active is by continuing to work as an
older adult. Throughout life after retirement, extending and maintaining health
is essential for a long life, and employment for retirees is a great way to
help age gracefully (Fasbender et al. 2013).

Older adults require
socializing and their work place is a great way to maintain these social
interactions (Sewdas et al. 2017). Tang (2016) states by continuing to work,
social interactions are continued and this influences work after retirement.
This social interaction can also be found through volunteer work that many
retirees seek out to replace the loss of paid employment (Tang 2016). Sewdas et
al. (2017) also talks about older adults staying in the work force because it
gives them opportunities to use their skills and demonstrate them for new employees,
furthering social interactions.

Another reason older adults
work after retirement is because it gives meaning and purpose to their lives.
Sewdas et al. (2017) discusses three benefits to working after retirement that
is associated with giving purpose to one’s life; contributing to society,
giving you something to think about other than where your health is at, and
allowing you to maintain a routine in your life are all ways that working gives
meaning to a life (Sewdas et al. 2017).

Houlfort et al. (2014) expresses
that the many changes retirement has on older adults also affects their
happiness and welfare. When an older adult has fulfillment and pleasure from their
job, it can lead to a difficult retirement process (Houlfort et al. 2014). For
these individuals, it is important to find other ways to fill this void of lost
work. Houlfort et al. explains that by finding a new identity, new ways to be
valued, and feelings of accomplishment will help find the satisfaction they
once received from work (2014). Perhaps with these troubles that retirement
entails, working after retirement can help alleviate worries, and
uncertainties.

The mental health of retired
older adults is also discussed throughout the literature. Houlfort et al.
(2014) explains that the change in older adults’ lives from retirement also
impacts their emotions. Maimaris, Bchir, Hogan, & Lock (2010) explains that
unhealthy psychological well being in older adults can contribute from
retirement. Fasbender et al. (2014) states that employment beyond retirement helps
with mental wellness from the advantages it gives during the retirement
process. These advantages such as financial support, and daily habits improve
psychological health (Fasbender et al. 2014). They also consider that depression
in older adults is related to the loss of their job title, social
relationships, and authority and control (Maimaris et al. 2010). These losses
contribute to the decreased mental health of retirees, making it incredibly
important to demystify this belief. The significance that mental health has on
one’s life can also relate to age related factors.

Age Related
Factors

Changes
associated to age and retirement varies among each individual. Examining the
risk factors and age related changes allow for better understanding of why
stereotyping towards employed older adults continues to exist. Hirst, Lane,
& Miller (2015) states that an age related change includes level of
cognition among older adults. This age related change associated with cognitive
functioning includes a progressive irreversible change in the brain (Hirst,
Lane, & Miller, 2015). Until around the ages of 40-50, this level of
cognition remains constant. After these ages, a decrease in cognition begins to
increase. (Mazzonna, & Peracchi, 2012). In regards to retirement, Mazzonna,
& Peracchi discover that this level of cognition continues to further
decreases after retirement (2012). Maintaining good cognitive health through
work beyond 

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