Returning to work after retirement is not easy. Some seniors do it out of necessity, for instance, because of rising medical costs or an underfunded retirement plans. Others seek out a new job because they simply love to work. According to a survey by CareerBuilder, nearly 60% of retirees 60 years or older plan return to the workforce. Whatever your reason may be, here are five tips for helping you successfully transition out of retirement and back into working life.
Do something you’re passionate about.
This is something all people should strive for but it is even more important for someone coming out of retirement. There’s nothing worse than having to go to a job you dislike after you’ve already retired. Take the time to think about what are some of things you like to do. Consider converting a hobby into a small business or joining a company with a mission you deeply care about.
Leave time for “you”.
Make sure you leave enough time for relaxation and enjoyable activities. Try to avoid getting a job that takes up all of your time. You should also let your manager know in advance your schedule and set boundaries if you work in a salaried position – for example, no calls on Sunday. This is very important because many seniors can get “burned out” quickly if they jump straight into a high-work environment.
Be thoughtful about the industry you’re pursuing.
In general, you should consider looking for a job in an industry you are familiar with. This is better because you will already have some of the skills required and you will not require so much training. Furthermore, many companies will jump at the chance to hire an experienced worker who has worked in their industry. If you want to switch industries, make sure you are truly passionate about the industry you are switching into. Many times, you may need to acquire some additional skills before companies would be willing to hire you.
Don’t worry about explaining employment gaps.
Among the biggest mistakes that a senior will make during this process is going in depth about gaps in their work history. Most of the business owners out there will understand a senior’s retirement situation and will not put too much importance on gaps in their work history. Instead, put your focus on explaining your skills and how you can contribute to the company. Emphasize your strengths and avoid prolonged discussions about the retirement gap.
Understanding the effects on Social Security.
If you’re below the full retirement age, have been collecting social security benefits, and are now returning to work, you will likely see a reduction in your benefits if you return to work as a result of the Retired Earnings Test (RET). If you fall in this category, you should spend time doing more diligence and speaking with a financial planner about your situation prior to accepting the position.
Overall, returning to work after retirement can be a great opportunity to expand your horizons and earn more money. However, make sure you do all the preparation so that you can get the best experience out of the job.