In recent years encore careers, or jobs that older individuals work after retirement, have become much more common. In fact, so many baby boomers are working after retirement that an estimated 54% of workers 60 or older plan to continue working in some capacity past retirement. As you enter the later stages of your life, you should be proud of the work you have done thus far! However, people often find themselves drawn back to work for a number of reasons. If you find yourself considering returning to the workforce for your own encore career, there are a few things to keep in mind as you get started with your job search.
Things to Consider Before Working After Retirement
Effect on Social Security and Taxes
While it seems logical that returning to work would lead to increased money in your pocket, this may necessarily not be the case. Depending on your situation, the extra income could bump you into another tax bracket meaning that the amount of money in your pocket might not be as large as you would like. Additionally, if you collect social security benefits, but have not yet reached your normal retirement age (NRA) as defined by the Social Security Administration, you could see a decrease in your social security benefits. For example, if you return to work before reaching your NRA, you could have half of the income you earn beyond the predefined annual limit deducted from your SS benefits. In short, restrictions on working while collecting social security and taxes are both complicated topics. If you have any questions or are concerned about how working after retirement could affect you, consult with a financial advisor before making any decisions.
Why Return to Work?
Although this is a personal question that only you can answer, there are a number of common responses among seniors who choose to reenter the workforce. Of course, one primary concern is financial. Many seniors choose to work after retirement either due to unexpected expenses or simply because they found that their savings are not actually enough to live the lifestyle they would like. If you find yourself in this category, the first consideration discussed above is especially applicable. Be sure to check how added income could change your financial picture. This said many seniors are also returning to work for reasons that are not financially motivated as well. For example, some find that they are bored with retirement and seek an encore career that can both occupy their time and fulfill them. Regardless of your motivations, be sure that you know why you want to return to work before beginning your job search. If you do, it will benefit you when it comes to deciding what job offer you eventually accept.
How to Return to Work
Working after retirement can be daunting. Widespread fear of ageism can prevent seniors from seeking jobs that fit what they are looking for and they are qualified for. However, returning to work does not have to be intimidating. Market your age as a positive rather than a negative by emphasizing your experience and perspective. Especially given that most seniors have more flexibility in their lives due to more secure financial situations and fewer household responsibilities, seniors are actually in a great position to not only find a job but to find a job that they want. If you can afford it, take the time to complete your job search. After all, you’re retired! Why rush into a job that you may soon discover is not what you expected. Complete your research to be sure that the job you are getting is the one you want.
There are plenty of great jobs for seniors out there. While it can be tough to decide when to retire, it can also be tough to decide if and when to return to work. This said the time has never been more opportune for retirees to re-enter the workforce. So, should you decide that working after retirement is for you, good luck with your job search and congratulations on your encore career!