Is Retirement Even Worth It? If You’re One of These Types of Person, Then No.

If you’re one of these types of people, you might find more fulfillment and value in your work than in retirement.

Senior couple at the lake having a picnic

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Do you like the idea of never reporting to work again? Never waking up early, never dreading the Monday blues, never pulling late nights or early (early) mornings? No? Well, then, you might be one of these types of never-retirees:

1. You love to work

Who says you have to retire? If you love your job, then you’re probably not going to find retirement enjoyable.

In fact, research suggests that doing a job you love might give you more fulfillment than retiring from it. Take the islands of Okinawa, for instance. According to an article by Harvard Business Review, the islands of Okinawa enjoy the longest disability-free life expectancy in the world. Interestingly enough, retirement literally does not exist in their language. They don’t even have a word to describe it.

Instead, they have this neat word, ikigai. At best, we can translate ikigai as “your reason for being.” Iki, in Japanese, means “life,” and gai means something like value or worth. Taken together, ikigai is that which gives you joy or bliss. “Your reason for waking up in the morning,” as the Harvard Business Review says.

Find your ikigai, the article suggests, and you may have found something more fulfilling than the Western concept of retirement could ever promise. If you’ve already found it, don’t give it up: retirement isn’t worth it.

2. You’re fine working remotely

Let’s be real: remote work has made it far easier for us to tolerate working. With no commute, no getting ready, no traffic, and no in-office meetings, work has become less stressful, more enjoyable, and, yes, more meaningful.

If you have a remote job now, or you’re capable of getting one, I’d say stick it out as long as you can. Never before in history have people been able to earn a substantial income by sitting on their couch, typing away on a keyboard. Take advantage of remote opportunities, and you’ll get the added benefit of more income.

Even if you’re already retired, you might want to consider doing part-time work remotely. Remote work can give you a sense of purpose, not to mention income, while also allowing you to work wherever you want and, sometimes, when you want. Remote work can feel like retirement, even though you’re not technically retired.

3. You want to reinvent yourself

Finally, retirement might not be worth it if you’re a life-long learner who would like to reinvent your career.

To be clear, I’m not talking about picking up a hobby. I’m talking about learning a new skill—something you’ve always wanted to do, but never had time for—and advancing a career in it.

Who knows—by trying to reinvent yourself, you could find that ikigai that makes you want to wake up in the morning and work.

Is retirement worth it?

Saving money for retirement is a massive undertaking. And if you’re one of the people listed above it might not be worth the effort.

And that’s okay. You can still save and invest money. You can still open a brokerage account and earn off your investments. You can be financially savvy, but if you’re happy working, then keep working. You might be one of the lucky few who finds more fulfillment in their work than retirees do in their free time.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

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