Thinking About Working in Retirement? Here’s Your Must-Read Guide

If you’re contemplating the idea of working after your retirement, you’re part of the majority. In 2024, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies conducted a survey; they found that 55% of workers expressed their intention to continue working after what is conventionally considered “retirement,” with nearly 20% planning to work full-time.

Some retirees opt to keep working for financial reasons, while others see potential health benefits. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health indicated a 9% to 11% lower risk of mortality among those who worked even a single year after reaching retirement age. This study built upon a 2015 report by the CDC, which revealed that individuals working beyond the age of 65 were approximately three times more likely to report being in good health and only half as likely to have serious health issues.

Research like this underscores the potential advantages of working beyond retirement age, both financially and physically, even though it challenges traditional notions of “retirement.” But how do you go about finding the right post-retirement career?

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind.

1. Determine Your Objectives:

  • Ask yourself why you want to work after retirement. Is it primarily for financial security, personal fulfillment, or a mix of both? Identifying your goals is the first step in finding the ideal post-retirement job.
  • If your primary motivation is financial, prioritize job opportunities based on your income potential. If you aim to keep your mind active and enjoy the experience, focus on roles that align with your interests, with income as a secondary consideration.

2. Assess Physical Requirements:

  • Consider the physical demands of potential post-retirement careers. If you are physically fit and prioritize staying healthy, jobs involving more physical activity, such as delivery driving or warehouse work, might be suitable.
  • If mobility is limited or you prefer mental stimulation over physical exertion, office jobs or work-from-home opportunities may be a better fit.

3. Be Realistic:

  • While it’s natural to aspire to a part-time job that pays well and aligns perfectly with your interests and skills, it’s important to be realistic. Many employers may seek younger workers willing to accept lower wages and commit to longer-term roles.
  • As a senior, you may not possess the latest skills, and employer-provided benefits could come with higher costs, particularly for health insurance. Acknowledging these challenges is essential.

4. Leverage Your Experience:

  • Seniors often possess a wealth of life experience and expertise that can make them exceptionally qualified for specific roles, such as tutoring or consulting.
  • Some businesses actively seek to hire seniors, recognizing the value they bring to the workforce. Explore these opportunities, which may align well with your skills and experience.

5. Take Practical Steps:

  • Update Your Resume: If you’ve been with the same employer for an extended period, your resume might need a modern overhaul. Emphasize your recent skills and achievements while downplaying older information like college attendance or jobs from decades ago.
  • Enhance Your Online Presence: Social media platforms like LinkedIn have become crucial for networking and job hunting. Build a strong online profile that highlights your skills and availability.
  • Consider Local Opportunities: Not all jobs are advertised on major job search websites. Local part-time positions, such as those at grocery stores or hobby shops, may be found by checking local listings or visiting the establishment in person.

While the decision to work after retirement can offer financial security and potential health benefits, by clarifying your goals, staying realistic, and leveraging your experience, you can embark on a post-retirement career that aligns with your aspirations and circumstances. Practical steps like updating your resume, enhancing your online presence, and exploring local opportunities can further improve your chances of finding the perfect post-retirement job.