Working in retirement

Reaching State Pension age doesn't mean you have to give up work - paid or voluntary. Part time work is a great way to stay active physically and mentally. Employment provides retirees with a sense of community belonging. Working in retirement also gives elder people something to do. Many people, if not working, become bored, and lose their passion for life. Working provides social contact, and provides a purpose. Also, realistically, retirement savings, and pensions often fall short of meeting one’s financial needs. For those who do not begin saving early enough, or in some other way fail to prepare enough for retirement, part time work is beneficial for providing the extra funds. Many people choose to maintain their full time jobs right past the retirement age. This can be helpful in storing up extra savings for retirement. Employers often provide health insurance, which is also a welcome benefit to those of retirement age.

Unfortunately, older workers must still deal with age discrimination. There is a stereotype that all older people are mentally incapacitated and less qualified than younger employees. Employers may sometimes cling to this incorrect notion, ignoring an older candidate’s experience level and abilities. If you are planning on working in retirement there may also be implications that arise in claiming your pension. Be sure to address this before accepting a position. Also, what may be a pitfall for some may not be for others. For example, it will obviously limit one’s leisure time. Many workers look forward to retirement as a time to kick back and relax. However some workers find leisure boring, and thrive upon a busy schedule. Work post-retirement age would probably be enjoyable for these people.

The decision of whether or not to work during your retirement is a personal one. The factors obviously include finances. If you cannot afford to retire, there is not really an alternative. Perhaps you desire a more lavish lifestyle than for which you had planned. For some, retirement is looked forward to as a quiet time to be spent enjoying a life of leisure with family and friends. For others, retirement is dreaded as the end of their lives of excitement and purpose. For the latter group of people, retirement void of employment will probably be an unsatisfying experience. Part time work would be beneficial to their happiness and sanity. There is no “one size fits all” approach to dealing with retirement. The bottom line is to do what is necessary and affordable. Beyond that, do what makes you happy and keeps the excitement in your life. If quiet afternoons on the golf course make you happy, then retire and do that. If rushing to meet a deadline, or dealing with customer service makes you happy, working in retirement is definitely for you for as long as you want. Enjoy these years doing what activities are good for you, not what is socially acceptable or not.

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