Retirement Pros & Cons

Retired couple embracing by the ocean
Image Credit: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Many workers spend their lives dreaming about the retirement, but the reality does not always meet the fantasy. There are pros and cons to retirement, both in terms of finances and in terms of lifestyle. Understanding the possible negative consequences of calling it a career can help you make a better transition from the role of worker to the role of new retiree.


More Time

Time is a precious commodity, and one that retirees have in abundance. Without the responsibilities and stresses of a job, retirees are free to visit their children and grandchildren whenever they want. Retirees can also travel as much as their budgets allow, or use their new-found freedom to take up a new hobby or explore new interests. Some retirees find great satisfaction in doing charity work or serving as a volunteer in the community, and their new lifestyle gives them ample time to pursue those passions.


Video of the Day

Greater Flexibility

Retirement provides a greater level of flexibility and freedom, allowing former workers to do what they want to do when they want to do it. Retirees who love to travel are free to take advantage of last minute deals, since they can take off at a moment's notice without having a boss or the responsibilities of a job to worry about. Those who want to pursue a beloved hobby can do so full time, without having to worry about time off or interruptions from the office.


Less Financial Security

Retirees may find that their new lifestyle provides more freedom, but less financial security. The lack of a steady paycheck can be a big shock, even for retirees with substantial retirement savings. It can take some time to make the transition between diligently saving for retirement and spending down that nest egg, and even well off retirees may worry that their money will run out too soon. This lack of financial security is even worse for retirees who lack a substantial nest egg and must rely on Social Security checks and perhaps a small monthly pension.



Many retirees find that they are simply bored after the first few years. After 30 or 40 years of getting up and going to work each day, some retirees simply feel adrift without the structure of a job. Retirees may also miss the personal and social aspects of employment, including day to day interactions with coworkers, shared stories and lunches out. Retirees can combat this boredom by taking on a part-time job, or by doing some consulting or charity work.