What’s the first thing you plan to do when you retire? Travel? Spend more time with family? Play BINGO? Well, for about half of today’s retirees, they plan on going back to work. And according to a joint study by Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Age Wave, that number is set to increase in the coming years. “This study shows that 72 percent of pre-retirees over the age of 50 say their ideal retirement includes work in some capacity,” says Greg Iacurci. In fact, it’s not uncommon for retirees to proactively figure part-time work into their retirement plan.
If you are on the threshold of retirement, and you are considering throwing your seasoned hat back into the workforce ring, first, ask yourself what motivates you to find part-time work? Do you need supplemental income to make ends meet, or is the desire to work rest on boredom? Based on your answer, gaining a full understanding of how you can earn supplemental income without jeopardizing your SSI benefits is an important step.
First, let’s talk moneyMany retirees work at part-time jobs, but your age and income could reduce your social security benefits in the short-term. “If you retire and begin to receive benefits before you reach what the government considers your 'full retirement age,' then your Social Security benefits will be reduced by as much as 30 percent, depending on the year you were born,” says Cheryl Winokur Munk, of CNBC. “The magic age is 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954.” Delaying your full social security benefits can be a good thing because it extends those benefits to cover you for a longer period of time. Then, when you reach full retirement age, your benefits could actually increase.
But, be careful. “If you're receiving Social Security, keep in mind that your benefits are taxable based on your provisional income, which includes your wages, dividends, capital gains, retirement account distributions, and 50 percent of your Social Security benefits (among other items),” financial expert Brian Vnak writes in MarketWatch. “Having a job may mean you'll make more money, but that extra inflow may adversely affect your Social Security benefit.” It's critical to take a long-term view of your comprehensive financial plan for retirement before taking on any part-time position, but should you decide it’s time to get to work, here are some helpful and engaging ideas for possible employment opportunities.
1. Being a museum, zoo, or art gallery docentAlthough Barbara, an 80-year-old retired school teacher, never mastered the brush, she has spent a lifetime admiring oil paintings. Now retired, she spends two to three hours every day preparing artwork for shows and talking with customers who visit the gallery.
Converting a hobby into a part-time job is an ideal transition for new retirees. Like Barbara, who followed through with her love of art, others can convert a love of animals into a job walking dogs at the humane society or the zoo, volunteering at the hospital can evolve into a job in the gift shop or guest services, or a love of local history can turn into a job at the local city museum or library.
2. Helping out at your local golf courseWhat’s better than spending the day golfing? Spending the day getting paid while golfing. It takes many hands to keep a public golf course running, and that means there are a variety of positions available. Best of all, when the last power cart has been collected, many courses allow the staff to play a round before the sun sets.
3. Sharing your knowledge at a hardware storeMany retirees enjoy the satisfaction of sharing their home building and lawn care knowledge with others, and the hardware or building supply store is the ideal place to offer that help to customers. Retailers like Home Depot and Lowes welcome experienced retirees to fill their part-time positions, especially in the spring when home improvement projects are popular.
4. Working on a cruise shipIf you fear a sedentary life will settle in upon retiring, a position on a cruise ship may be the solution. Many cruise lines offer positions ranging from hosts, childcare workers, and cashiers to photographers, tour guides, entertainment, and food service workers. And many cruise lines encourage retirees to apply because they are a great fit for the demographics of that cruise line.
5. Being a caregiverCompanies like Seniors helping Seniors, Visiting Angels, and Senior Helpers are always seeking retirees to help with residents of skilled nursing facilities. And with good reason. “Plenty of employers appreciate older workers for caregiving and companion positions because many of the clients are often more comfortable with someone who resembles a peer,” says Tory Johnson in a report for ABC News. “On the flip side, retirees have more in common with elderly clients, such as life experiences and frames of reference, which can make companionship an easier fit.” Although the duties may vary, most positions include playing games, reading to patients, taking walks, and offering friendly and caring medication reminders.
6. ConsultingAfter 35 years in the structural engineering business, Andre retired. But when projects come into the office that requires expertise in suspending concrete, Andre’s former employer hires him as a consultant. This arrangement is a win-win for both parties. Andre still enjoys the flexibility of retirement yet stays close to an industry that remains a big part of his identity, and his employer maintains easy access to an expert who contributes to current projects.
If you plan on finding part-time work following retirement, you are not alone. But how you move forward with those plans will make a big difference in fulfilling your long-term goals. “Whether it's the financial cushion or because you truly love working, it's in your best interest to understand how this decision will change your plans for the future,” Vnak writes in MarketWatch. By making informed decisions about your present situation and how it will affect your future, you can be sure your quality of life and financial security today will continue for many years to come.