60 seems to be the new 40 in our current society when it comes to hours of work per week. In order to keep up with the expected level of productivity, Americans are putting in more and more hours in hopes of continuing to juggle as many balls in the air as possible.

If it is thought that fewer hours of work per week could lead to less stress, higher productivity, and overall higher satisfaction in life, then why do we continue to put in so many hours? Research from a Salon article answers, “…everybody knows that working crazy hours is what it takes to prove that you’re “passionate” and “productive” and “a team player”- the kind of person who might just have a chance to survive the next round of layoffs.” However, the cost of this mentality is steep.

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth wrote a thought-provoking article titled “Overworked America: The Economic Causes and Consequences of Long Work Hours”. Their research concluded that long work hours are not only detrimental to a human workforce, but it is also detrimental to a company’s bottom line. “Research shows that accidents and mistakes become more common after nine hours of work. After 12 hours, the accident rate doubles.” Research also shows that long hours are associated with declining gains in productivity. When companies choose to employ less people with longer hours, they are likely taking on more risk than they realize.

Sharkey, Howes & Javer has actively helped clients create the necessary strategy to craft their own 6-12 month “sabbatical” between jobs. Each of these clients were so burned out from high stress that they needed a break from running on the hamster wheel.

We focus on helping our clients create a financial plan where their retirement goals are consistent with their work/life balance. If you are interested in planning your retirement, call Sharkey, Howes & Javer at 303-639-5100 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

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