Working in Retirement is Not an Oxymoron
Working in retirement may sound like the dreaded “working vacation,” but how Americans define retirement has evolved radically from how prior generations have viewed it.
Four Good Reasons to Work in Retirement
Its Psychological Benefits
Work is about more than just a paycheck. It is often a way we define ourselves, a source of community and social interaction, and a rewarding intellectual challenge. For many individuals, work can be a meaningful part of retirement, with the additional advantage of potentially delaying the onset of certain age-related diseases, like dementia.
An Opportunity to Do Something Different
With compensation no longer a top priority, individuals can follow their passions, or experiment with new roles, whether it’s applying their accounting background to a charitable organization or becoming a career counselor to at-risk adults.
Income from working may help retirees’ manage assets and provide access to health insurance coverage. The income also may allow them to delay taking Social Security retirement benefits until age 70, which qualifies them for the up-to-8 percent annual increase in monthly income payments.1
An Ingrained Nature
Some find the thought of not working to be incomprehensible. It could be a deep seated work ethic, or simply the “muscle memory” after a 40-year career. Working in retirement may help reduce the internal conflict between 24/7 leisure and the impulse to feel productive that some retirees may feel.
Remember, work in retirement doesn’t need to be conducted at the pace you worked before retirement. You may find that the right balance between work and retirement to be part-time employment.
1. Social Security Administration, 2017