Why Are So Many Now Working in Retirement?
by Larry Steward, Work In Retirement Coach
There are two main reasons:
There are numerous advantages of continuing to work – the main one being that you can continue to build retirement assets while delaying your need to draw on those assets. Also, rising healthcare costs, lack of adequate retirement assets, reduction of pension and retiree health benefits, increasing longevity and rising living expenses mean that many people need to work in retirement.
Even retirees with solid financial plans often want to continue working because they have a lifetime of experience they want to pay that back to others. Other people will work for their favorite charity because the involvement is so stimulating. They are motivated to contribute to and engage with society through work.
No matter the reason, working in retirement can be an enriching experience. There are so many creative options that can be considered. An important part of finding what you want to do next, is assessing what you have to offer and developing a plan to make it happen.
As a “Work in Retirement” coach, I have followed the growing trend of people finding a way to work in retirement and some deciding to stay at it and never retire. Surveys claim anywhere from 60% to 70% of retirees will work at some point in their retirement years.
It is unfortunate that those of us making the transition to retirement are not provided with more information about what to expect and how to prepare for all the required lifestyle changes that take place. What makes preparing to have a successful and financially sound retirement is the fact that we don’t know how long our life in retirement will be.
It is a fact that we are living longer than generations before us. Some could experience a life of 30 years or more in retirement! It’s understandable why we’re concerned about outliving our savings or if we will remain healthy. Therefore, finding a way to enhance your life in retirement by earning money doing something you love to do while you are still healthy, becomes more a more meaningful - if not a more necessary consideration.
I feel most retirees and those moving towards retirement, should learn the principles and techniques of how to make money in retirement. This isn’t doom and gloom we’re talking about. If done right, you will find yourself doing something you absolutely enjoy and that someone is paying you to do it! Now what can be better than that?
It is also interesting that some people have the means to enjoy a life of leisure in retirement, yet they seek meaningful work that engages them to happily devote their time and energy. They benefit from the structure, the stimulation to contribute and the chance to connect with other like-minded people.
I respect those who have decided not to work any more. That is what retirement is suppose to represent. Times have changed however, and I just hope this group has prepared for the long haul. Trying to put a backup plan into place after you have health problems or run into financial issues is not an easy problem to solve. Why not plan now at least and if necessary later on, take action as required.
Another factor to consider for those not making backup plans, is how realistic is their expectation of retirement. There are so many stories you read about people becoming bored and even depressed because their expectations of living a life of leisure is just not happening. You can reach a point where putting everything into your hobbies day after day can lose its appeal.
Still not sure if you may need a way to make money in retirement?
Find a New Purpose and Stay Socially Connected
A common experience many retirees miss is the routine of working closely with colleagues in their previous careers. That social interaction added structure to their days and provided some acknowledgment of their contribution to the team. In retirement, you are no longer identified by your title and position. Losing that identity throws many off balance as they search for a way to reposition themselves. They enjoyment and challenge of completing projects and receiving thanks for a job well done are gone. This group finds they get bored without having a place to go, meeting with other people and being part of a growing company that’s bigger than themselves.
Earning money still ranks highest on the list for why retirees are continuing to work. A retirement job can pad the budget and provide extra funds for allowing you to live the lifestyle you want in your retirement years.
Learn Something New and Profit from it
This is the time to embrace those hobbies or special interests you’ve always wanted to pursue but never had enough time to do it. A potential benefit of which is the chance to make money by selling a service or a product you could develop related to these interests. And, you could be doing this from the comfort of your home. If you’re serious about finding a new direction for yourself that paves the way to make money, all ideas should be considered no matter how far reaching they may seem. What could be more satisfying than to offer a service or product you created from a hobby you love!
Be Your Own Boss and Work from Home
You can be self-employed as an individual without even establishing a formal business. This is the simplest and fastest way to do something on your own - no outside office, no employees, and no big investments. Just decide what service or activity you will perform.
So you want a short commute? Stay home and have the work come to you. Some examples are child-care, pet sitting and telephone service agents. Yes, employers will set up a small home office for you where you work by phone and computer with their customers. You can do this as an independent contractor, although this could be a job with regular pay and benefits. Some companies will have you do sewing or light assembly of products in your home.
Working for yourself can be enjoyable and rewarding. You can work as many, or as few hours as you like. You may not earn a lot of money, but it could fit well with your lifestyle. You may have more ambition, energy and time. If so, consider starting a business.
Here are more possibilities:
Convert Your Career
If you were a teacher, you can become a tutor.
➔ Parents pay tutors between $15 and $75 per hour to help their high school, middle school and sometimes, an elementary school student.
If you were a truck, bus or cab driver, you can become a courier.
➔ Law firms, retail stores, and doctors often hire local couriers to transport urgent and valuable shipments.
If you were an accountant, you can become a personal home finance assistant.
➔ Pay bills and keep personal financial records for people — young and very busy professionals or your retired neighbors who just can’t keep up with paying bills and filing receipts.
Convert your hobby
Do you enjoy gardening?
➔ Provide light home landscaping services in your neighborhood.
Do you have a flair with fabrics?
➔ Offer your services as an interior designer.
Often, all you have to do is print a business card, circulate a brochure and you can be up and running. Your home is your office and usually, you do not even need to create a legal business. Congratulations, you’re self- employed!
Keep in mind however, it also means you have full responsibility for finding customers, getting the work done, collecting payment and doing all the record-keeping.
It’s not for everyone but more than 15% of active retirees and workers over 50 indicate they want to be self-employed or start their own business.
If you were most any sort of professional, you can offer your expertise to organizations large and small. And you’ll often earn more per hour than you used to. Start by approaching former employers, other businesses in your industry or nonprofits and even government agencies that might need your specialized skills. You will usually get paid for the “hours” you work — so keep track of your time! Or you may get paid a “retainer” — or lump sum - each month so that a company can have regular access to your expertise.
Independent Service Contractor
This is essentially being self-employed. Increasingly, employers do not want to hire employees so they contract with individuals to perform specific tasks for specific periods of time. You are basically self-employed but you commit the bulk of your time to one client. A good example is a cab driver. You are paid a percent of your fares and you are on your own for all expenses including leasing the cab from the cab company on a daily basis.
What do YOU think?