Friday, April 9, 2021

Working After Retirement - Should You Consider It?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about one-third of people between the ages of 65 and 69 are still in the work force and this is expected to rise to about 36 percent over the next five years.  Many of these people will continue to work well into their 70s.  This is a dramatic change from twenty years ago when a much smaller percentage of people continued to work after their full retirement age of 65.

Among the retirees I know, many of them have continued to work, either full or part-time, well into their 70s as financial advisors, doctors, lawyers, accountants, tutors, bloggers, or bagging groceries at our neighborhood store. Our retirement community also hires residents to work at the entrance gates, or help in a variety of offices. 

Seeing this number of senior citizens still in the workforce may cause you to wonder why they are still working so long.  It appears that a lot of people are looking at their financial situation and deciding that going back to work, or keeping their current job as long as possible, may be the best financial decision for them.  Of course, there are other reasons people choose to keep working, too.

Sometimes retirees decide they need or want to keep working, but they would prefer to try a new career. This is often called an Encore Career.  If this is something you think might interest you, you can get a wealth of job ideas by reading "The Encore Career Handbook."(Ad)

Financial Benefits

According to a survey of seniors aged 65 and older, completed by a senior living community called Provision Living, money is the primary reason why 62 percent of those who are still working have made that decision.  They simply cannot afford to retire.  Social Security benefits only cover about 40 to 50 percent of the typical living expenses for most people. If they do not have a substantial retirement savings account, most people cannot cut their expenses drastically enough to live on Social Security alone.

Not All Retirees are Happy About Working so Long

While there are many benefits to working longer, approximately 47 percent of the older workers admit that they wish they were financially capable of retiring. From this, however, we can assume that over half of working senior citizens are happy with their decision to stay employed well past the traditional retirement age. About 20 percent of those surveyed said they do not mind working, but wish they were able to cut back their hours..  

What are some of the benefits of working past the normal retirement age?

You Could Increase Your Social Security Benefits

By postponing your retirement until at least age 70, and not collecting Social Security until then, you could substantially increase the size of the monthly benefit you will receive when you do finally start to collect.  This alone is an excellent reason to stay in the work force until you turn 70, or at least for a few extra years after your full retirement age, especially if Social Security will be your primary or only source of retirement income.  In addition, your Social Security benefits are based on your 35 highest paying years.  If you did not earn very much during your early working years, the extra income in your later years could provide an additional increase in your retirement benefits.

More Time to Improve Your Financial Outlook

Some people use these extra working years as an opportunity to add more money to their retirement savings, so they can give themselves additional financial security when they finally do stop working.  They may also improve their financial situation in other ways, such as paying off their mortgage and/or other debts. 

Health Reasons for Working Longer

Statistically, people who work longer also are healthier and tend to live longer.  Of course, this could also be because people with serious illnesses are simply unable to keep working, even if they want to.  However, if you are physically capable of working past the age of 65 and you want to, you should give it a try.  It could help you stay physically active and maintain your good health.

Mental Health Reasons for Working Longer

Some of the biggest dangers we face after retirement are loneliness and boredom.  If you continue to work, you will see other people regularly, keep up with new technologies and other changes in the outside world, and be intellectually stimulated on a daily basis.  Having a job will also give you a reason to get up in the morning and feel as though other people are depending on you.  All these advantages are bound to help improve your mental health and give you a better outlook on life than you might have if you sat at home every day watching television.

The bottom line is that you may want to consider working past your full retirement age, whether it is for financial reasons, your health or your happiness.

Don't forget that if you are considering changing careers at this time of your life, you may want to consider reading "The Encore Career Handbook."  (Ad) It has some great ideas and very useful information which could help you achieve your retirement goals, while simultaneously providing you with financial help, job satisfaction, and improved mental health.  
 
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