FEATURE —Many retirees choose to take up a side gig or start a new full-time career after retiring. While economic necessity is not an insignificant driver in the trend of seniors working in retirement, there are other reasons for doing so, which may not be as apparent.
Whether you are someone who is already in retirement or about to retire, why should you consider starting a business, new career or taking up a side hustle? What are some of the benefits of working even though you may no longer have to?
Are there intangible emotional and psychological benefits of work that you can’t get any other way?
Here are a few economic and non-economic reasons that pre-retirees and retirees decide to return to the workplace. Some of them may surprise you.
To delay Social Security payouts
Most people are aware that delaying Social Security benefits will generally result in larger monthly distributions. Starting payments before your full retirement age could potentially reduce benefits by up to 30%. Having extra money available through a job or side gig can help you delay Social Security payouts for as long as you can.
Getting more out of Social Security is one reason that seniors choose to work full or part-time during their retirement years.
To keep the bloom on the rose
When you are still slogging to the office every day, irritating your ulcers with lousy coffee, annoying bosses and mundane, sometimes pointless tasks, it’s easy to fantasize about what life will look like once you no longer punch the clock. Those fantasies tend to fade pretty quickly once work stops.
The reality is that 1 out of 4 Americans will live past age 90. There’s a chance you’ll run out of meaningful things to do at some point. Working, especially at a job that is unlike your previous career, can give you a renewed sense of purpose and motivation.
To reduce anxiety through financial stability
Even if you managed to save and invest enough to cover your necessary expenses in retirement, unexpected costs are always lurking in the background, ready to sucker punch at your most vulnerable.
Some seniors continue to work to shore up their retirement plans or pursue alternative investments and cash-producing assets.
To enhance medical benefits
If you retire before you are eligible for Medicare, you might be in for a shock when it comes to healthcare costs. Even if you qualify for Medicare, you might discover that out-of-pocket expenses are more significant than you ever anticipated. Working a job that provides health benefits or supplemental insurance can help you fill in some of the gaps in your Medicare coverage.
To help loved ones
Some people of or above retirement age return to the workforce to assist struggling family members, help with grandkids’ college expenses or inject cash into family businesses. In some cases, people may return to work because they gain custody of a grandchild or have an adult child with disabilities.
To invest in emotional well-being
Those who continue to work are investing in their emotional and physical well-being. Many people define themselves in terms of their professions. Losing the sense of identity tied to one’s career is a reason that people can find themselves moody, depressed and unmotivated after retiring. They may become disengaged from life to the extent that they suffer a more rapid cognitive and physical decline.
Starting a post-retirement career has demonstrated emotional, physical and mental health benefits. Some experts have suggested that working even one year after retirement can lower the risk of dying.
Putting it into perspective
Working into retirement, starting a new business or developing a successful side hustle benefits seniors in several tangible and intangible ways. Not only does the extra money earned increase financial stability, but working can also improve physical and emotional well-being and provide a sense of purpose and usefulness.
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