A Working Retirement


by Kathy Kirchoff

The new “retirement” for many includes continuing to work. The downturn in the economy has affected retirement plans and savings. According to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Center, over half (54 percent) of workers plan to work in retirement (.pdf) largely due to financial concerns.

 

Besides financial concerns, there are many other reasons you might continue to work during retirement. Perhaps you just want to stay active, help others, or start your own business. Whatever your reasons, you have options.

 

  • If you want to phase into your retirement, see if you can cut back to part-time hours in your current job.
     
  • If staying with your current employer isn't an option, then there are things you need to know to prepared for a new job hunt.

 

Finding Senior-friendly Work

Retirees can find work in any field or industry, but some may be better suited to seniors than others. Research senior-friendly employers. AARP lists employers recognized for exceptional practices regarding older workers and national employers that abide by age-neutral policies. Its foundation also sponsors a worker information network to help older workers manage their job search.

 

Explore Job and Career Resources for Mature and Older Job-Seekersfor more career advice. The sites below can also help you explore career opportunities during your retirement:

 

 

Volunteering can sometimes lead to a paid position, too. Don't forget to take a look at your hobbies. A hobby can sometimes become a moneymaker, especially when combined with your existing skills. This may lead to self-employment opportunities, which give you the option to work as little or as much as you want.

 

Whatever options you pursue, remember: job search methods have changed a lot in the last few years. Make sure you use social media and online networking sites. They are the latest, most productive ways to find work. Who you know has become just as important as what you know.

 

Stress Your Skills & Experience

An updated, functional resume that stresses accomplishments often works the best for those with years of experience. Focus on matching your skills and accomplishments with the open position, not recapping your entire career. Limit your experience depending on what you are applying for today.

 

When interviewing, focus on what you can do, not on your limitations or age:

 

  • Tell a story. Explain how you quickly learned a new skill to solve a problem or fill a need. This is better than simply relaying a laundry list of skills from a long career.
     
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude about learning new things and interacting with younger workers.  Depending on the work you’re applying for, having a positive attitude can be just as important as the skills you bring.

 

And be realistic. To increase your options, you may need to consider working for less than you made before retirement or in a less desirable shift.

 

Financial Implications of Returning to Work

Before you decide to rejoin the workforce, make sure you consider how earning money in retirement may affect pensions and social security benefits. Retirees have to be cautious about how much additional income they make to avoid penalties. Make sure you talk with human resources, a social security representative, and/or your investment advisor before taking a new job.

 

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