Should You Plan on Working Past Retirement?

Working past retirement may sound contradictory. I mean, it isn’t really retirement if you have to work, is it?

But there are actually some pretty solid reasons to work during your retirement years– at least on a part-time basis.


On one hand, you may simply enjoy your work. But on the other hand, you might have to work. This article will discuss the latter.

We’ve all heard the saying, “The best laid plans of men and mice often go awry,” and that can apply to long term financial planning as well. Planning a retirement career isn’t about giving up on a more traditional retirement. It’s about being ready for what ever happens.

Why you might need to continue working past retirement

Retirement isn’t a magical time when all the cares of life disappear. The unexpected can happen any time in life. There is no shortage of reasons why we may have to work past retirement age. Consider these:

1. Statistics and surveys are indicating that most people don’t have enough money saved up to retire. And the future of Social Security is highly uncertain, but we can be pretty sure that benefits will be less than what they are now.

Traditional pension plans are hard to come by these days, and even if you do have one, few people stay on jobs long enough to make them work the way they’re supposed to.

2. The financial markets don’t always cooperate with our long term plans. There may be a stock market crash just before or during retirement. If your finances are tight, this could derail your retirement.

3. A job loss may force you to make early withdrawals from your retirement savings. If you have to tap your saving for an unexpected reason, then obviously you’ll have less to sustain you down the road.

4. An adult child or family member may fall ill or need help. With technology keeping us alive longer, your parents may live much loiger than you expect.

The problem is that the quality of life we experience in our 90s and even 100’s is not that great. Very old parents may need a lot of expensive medical and of course supervision.

5. A series of bad investments can easily derail your traditional retirement plans. Thats why as you get older, you need to adjust your asset allocation to be less risky.

>>Related Post: The Financial Planning Process: How to Mastermind Your Retirement

Types of post-retirement careers

Planning some sort of post-retirement career is one way to develop a back up plan in case any of the above become a negative factor in your overall retirement plans. Increasingly, we have to think of retirement planning as having multiple components and income sources.

You can be either employed or self-employed in retirement, and which one you choose will be affected by how you want to live in retirement. Especially nowadays. Self-invested personal pensions and traditional pension plans are hard to come by!

If you will be working past retirement age, you probably will want to consider a part-time job since it will permit at least semi-retirement.

Some of the questions you’ll need answered include:

  • Does the field you want to go into employ senior citizens?
  • Are there part-time opportunities in the field?
  • What is the pay level for part-time work?
  • What are the geographic restrictions (is there work where you want to retire?)
  • Is it a field that matches your skill set?
  • Is it the kind of work you’d like to do?

For many people, the best employment opportunities will be to continue to work in the same field they’re in now, but in a reduced capacity. But again, you’ll need to ask the same question because the job you have now may not suit your future aspirations. Or you may just be tired of it and ready to move on to something completely different.

Self-employment is another route. The advantage here is that you don’t need anyone to hire you! Also, it’s easier to work a personal business around retirement.

Still you have to ask a few questions:

  • Is it a business that you will like working in?
  • Can you make enough money doing it?
  • Will there be any geographic limitations?
  • How much capital will it require to start?
  • Do you have the skills to make it a success?

Self-employment can be attractive since most people dream of doing it at some point, and retirement often provides the drive and the opportunity. Furthermore, if you’ve never been self-employed, it can be a new adventure that keeps you going for many years!

You might consider a few of these ideas for self-employment:

>>Related Post: Evening Part Time Jobs Online (That Pay Pretty Well!)

Why you may need to plan your post-retirement career now

The job market looks a lot different when you’re in your 60s or 70s. When you’re younger you can consider a job almost anywhere, but as you get older a lot of employers won’t want you. For this reason, you can appreciate why planning a retirement career is something that should be done well in advance.

As you see from the questions in the last section, there are fine points to consider in a retirement career. It will be, most likely, a career change, whether you go into a different field of employment or start your own business. Either way, you will have to start planning for it now.

This is especially true with self-employment, since you will probably need to start the business well before retirement. That way it will be a ready income stream when you need it.

Additionally, consider that if you’re making a wholesale change, doing work you’ve never done, you will need to do some research, get training or even work a few apprenticeships. That last one is especially good since you could work in the field for a short time and find that you don’t like it. Then, you’ll have to look into something else.

Another factor is personal. Many people work in jobs and careers that they don’t really like. For them it can be a stretch after doing that for an entire career to let yourself go and think seriously about working in something you really would like to do. Some people know what that is right now, but for others it could take years to figure out.

What ever you decide on, you’ll want it to be something you like a lot better than what you’re doing now. After all, even if you can’t fully retire, you still want to enjoy your golden years.

In Conclusion

Even if we can’t know what retirement will look like right now, we can still prepare ourselves to be ready for what ever it might be. And that may entail working past retirement.

Not only should you start thinking about the possibility of a retirement career, you should also have a more in depth financial plan in place for retirement. If you need help getting started, read this: The Financial Planning Process: How to Mastermind Your Retirement.

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