When you picture yourself in your golden years, are you sitting on a beach, hitting the golf course, or working behind a desk? For many people of retirement age, continuing to work makes perfect sense.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t balance your work life with enjoyable activities, such as vacation and family visits. Instead, going back to work can be a complementary activity to a fulfilling life. And whether it’s done voluntarily or out of necessity, working after retirement can offer many benefits. In fact, check out some of the best job ideas for retirees.
Why Work After Retirement?
Lifestyle-Related Reasons to Work
For many, working provides more than a paycheck. It provides happiness and purpose, and staying in the working world can provide many lifestyle benefits, in addition to financial gains:
1. Working Helps You Stay Physically and Mentally Healthy
Not only can working delay the onset of age-related diseases like dementia, but keeping mentally and physically active helps you feel younger longer. Working also keep you socially active and prevents isolation, and can provide a sense of purpose.
2. You Enjoy Your Work or Want to Take on a Different Role
Like many people, you may continue to work simply because you truly love your job. You may even be able to remain in the same field, but take on different jobs that are more fulfilling or require fewer hours.
3. You May Simply Want to Work Part-Time Instead of Full-Time
Working full-time usually means structuring your whole life around your job, and this can become physically and emotionally draining. However, switching to a job with fewer hours and more flexibility offers similar rewards to working full-time, but provides flexibility and more free time.
For example, my mother, as a retired middle school teacher, is leveraging her classroom experience and professional training into gigs with film festivals and theater companies to introduce children to the arts. Fortunately, this doesn’t require the 5am wake-up time of teaching.
4. You Want to Try a New Line of Work
Once you begin receiving Social Security or a pension, you may be more concerned with doing something you love rather than bringing home a large income. Many retired folk train for new careers or begin new jobs doing something they enjoy, even though it may not be as remunerative as their previous career.
For example, my father, who, among other things, was OSHA’s expert on vanadium exposure, now spends a few hours a day at a local woodworking company, updating their computer system and creating how-to videos. It doesn’t earn him a massive salary, but it’s a job he loves, allowing him to continue applying his business and computer skills.