Why retire? 10 reasons clients should keep working

At times the entire financial planning field can seem myopically focused on a single goal: helping clients to retire, settling into lives spent leisurely loafing about.

But many planners have found that some clients — often among the very active baby boomer generation — aren't having it.

Consider famous boomer Lorne Michaels, the television producer who co-created the sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” for NBC in 1975. Michaels, who is now 73, is still running the show 43 years later and actively grooming successive generations of new comics, from Kristen Wiig to Kate McKinnon. On a recent episode of Jerry Seinfeld's Netflix show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” Michaels told Seinfeld he has no interest in retiring any time soon.

Aside from defining the arc of American comedy, some clients have far more prosaic reasons for remaining in the saddle. But others feel much as Michaels does about the roles they play in their own fields or firms.

Read on to learn top reasons why some planners go against the grain and advise their clients to never retire.

(Editor's Note: This story originally ran in 2018)

Thomas Duffy 9 2 18
Family needs forbid it.
"Some have painted themselves into a corner regarding family support — retiring would be the inability to financially support others."

— Thomas Duffy, president of Jersey Shore Financial Advisors in Tinton Falls, New Jersey
Colin Overweg 9 4 18
To keep their medical insurance.
“The most practical and frequent hurdle that delays retirement (at least to 65) is health insurance or health benefits.”

– Colin Overweg, CEO of Advize Wealth Management in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Alex Seleznev 9 4 18
Fear of losing a spouse
"They ask themselves what will happen if their spouse dies? Will they be able to afford the same lifestyle?"

– Alex Seleznev, chief operating officer of May Barnhard Investments in Bethesda, Maryland
Nicholas Scheibner 9 4 18
Is that all there is?
"We see many times when people retire, they enjoy their time off for a few months, then they begin to say, 'What do I do now?' "

– Nicholas Scheibner, advisor at Baron Financial Group in Fair Lawn, New Jersey

Read More: Why 'retire early' was the worst advice I ever gave
Miguel Gomez 9 4 18
Why be idle?
"They love feeling productive. They hate the idea of retiring while they can still be productive — regardless of how much they may have saved. They enjoy being around people and don't like the idea of not doing anything."

– Miguel Gomez, wealth advisor at Lauterbach Financial Advisors in El Paso, Texas
Lauren Lindsay 9 4 18
Whoops, forgot to plan for themselves
"Some business owners don't have a succession plan in place for their firms, so they stay on longer — and often those folks like to be in control."

– Lauren Lindsay, director of financial planning for Personal Financial Advisers in Covington, Louisiana
Jean Mote 9 4 18
Eric and Jean Mote with Derek and Heidi business portraits
They need a reason to live
"They keep working for a sense of purpose — the need to be needed and to accomplish significant work in this lifetime."

– Jean Mote, partner at Arnold & Mote Wealth Management in Hiawatha, Iowa
Thomas Duffy 9 2 18
Nothing to retire to
"Some people identify so completely with their work that the thought of losing that identity is terrifying. Perhaps they have not purposely built a life outside of work, so they really have nothing to retire to."

– Thomas Duffy, president of Jersey Shore Financial Advisors in Tinton Falls, New Jersey
Tiffany Ballard 9 4 18
They stay on to stay alive
"Many clients are aware of statistics on people who retire and do nothing, which tends to shorten their life expectancies. In other words, they remember it's important to retire to something and not retire from something. One example would be a client who retires, but continues to enjoy life and stay active working part time at a golf course."

– Tiffany Ballard, lead advisor for Bergland Wealth Management in Ridgeland, Mississippi
Rick Brooks 9 4 18
For the joy of it
"The key is finding something you enjoy doing. One of my favorite clients is a professor at one of our local universities. He glows when he talks about the work his students are doing and 'can’t wait to get to the office in the morning to see what they’ve been up to.' It’s a joy to meet with him and his enthusiasm is infectious."

– Rick Brooks, director of investment management for Blankinship & Foster in Solana Beach, California