7 hard truths about working beyond retirement age

You can't count on your company to help

In the old days, when defined benefit pensions were common, bosses and employees had a structured relationship when it came to retirement. People knew when it was time to retire, and moving to a company-provided pension was a predictable transition (complete with gold watch). Today the first generation of Americans is entering retirement dependent on a hodgepodge of 401(k) savings, Social Security and maybe something else. A host of them wish their companies would let them stay on part-time or have flexible schedules, but experts say companies haven’t responded in large numbers to these desires. Many companies are as confused about retirement as the workers themselves. “They’re kind of oblivious as to how are they going to terminate this relationship,” says Steven Sass of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. “They don’t have a response to how do you terminate this relationship in a way that’s civilized.”