July 21, 2024

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I’m a CEO and 12 of my employees are in ‘flextirement.’ With boomers opting not to retire, the arrangement will become more common

2 min read

For as long as I’ve been a business owner, the narrative surrounding the baby-boomer generation was all about the coming retirement wave. We were promised a mass exodus from the workforce, a seismic shift that would leave companies scrambling to fill the void. At Optima Office, an outsourced accounting and HR company I founded almost six years ago, we began preparing for the shift in the workforce by focusing on high retention. We felt that listening to the needs of our employees was one way to do that.

After speaking with some of our baby-boomer employees, I realized that many of them loved their work—and mentoring the younger team members—so much that they didn’t want to hang up their hat when they turned 65. That generation was led to believe that retirement was the dream that they had worked so hard to achieve, but upon reflection, the stark transition from full-time work to full-time retirement felt more like a demotion than a reward. 

While at many companies the path to retirement is a rigid ladder—climb to the top of your career, hit a designated age, and then retire—this one-size-fits-all approach often leaves retirees grappling with financial anxieties, identity shifts, and a sudden loss of purpose. Some forward-thinking companies are reimagining retirement with a new approach, and I decided we would create an alternative option at Optima Office: flextirement. 

Easing into retirement

Flextirement is a flexible work arrangement designed to ease the transition between full-time employment and retirement with flexible hours, reduced workloads, and phased approaches to leaving the workforce. This bridge offers a lower-stress transition by easing into retirement by working 10, 20, or 30 hours instead of 40, allows flextirees to adjust to an income shift, explore hobbies, and spend more time with loved ones, all while gradually letting go of work. For most of our flextirees, working part-time is a privilege. For others, it may be…

Jennifer Barnes

2024-06-13 09:02:27

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