worker sign

Working During Retirement
Why Would You Want To?

Are you considering working during retirement? If so, you're in good company.

Many countries have legislation that allows workers to keep working beyond what was typically considered retirement age. Many seniors work beyond the time they could collect a pension.

Although some think this is a change, it's actually a change back to what used to be. Older folk used to work as long as they could because they had to. What's changing is that so many choose to work regardless of what others think.

Besides Joe and Mary who own the deli down the street, here are a few others who are working while their peers have chosen to take it easy. . .
  • Queen Elizabeth II
  • Fidel Castro
  • Mick Jagger
  • Rolf Harris
  • Rupert Murdoch
  • Woody Allen. . .
. . .I'm sure you could come up with lots of others.

These people just haven't bothered to retire.

But this site is about retirement,
so what about those who are working during retirement?


It's about money.

Well, often, these people have taken early retirement for one reason or another. If you retire early, you will be retired longer than you would be if you continued to work. That makes for extra financial need. . . unless you've figured out the way to live without money, in which case you really need to tell the rest of us about it!

So just needing more money for more years of life would be one reason for working after retirement. But even people who have not retired early opt to work after they hand in the key, or hang up the wrench, or put the stethoscope back in the case for good. Money still matters for many retirees. . .

Financial planners do their best, but no one knows what will happen to inflation. Once retirement sets in, cost of living increases are a thing of the past -- unless you have an excellent pension plan. But even if you have a great plan, there are other financial concerns.

Just as we can't predict inflation, we also can't predict other future expenses. What if you find yourself in a wheelchair and need to renovate your home to make it convenient for you? What if you need to relocate because a child becomes ill and needs your help? What if you require medical attention not covered by your plan? What if the taxes in your area go through the roof? What if. . .

You get the idea.

Supplementing a pension is a great motivator to go back to work.

But it can't be the whole reason. Look at the list at the top of this page. Those people aren't working during retirement because they are hovering around the poverty line.

It's about the brain.

It's pretty well documented that an active mind stays sharp longer than one that isn't engaged. Popular magazines tell seniors to do crossword or Sudoku puzzles. Some of us want to give our brains a bigger stretch than that. If you've had a challenging job that you've loved, like I have, then walking away from your job entirely may not be appealing.

Some people who are working during retirement are doing so to keep the neurons firing.

It's about the heart.

Other people recognize the softer side of employment -- the interaction with others.

If interaction with colleagues is important in your life, you may be drawn back to work just to be with friends doing meaningful tasks together.

Or maybe, like Karen, your work was fulfilling in a deeply personal way that you are not ready to give up in spite of circumstances. If your job was a vocation, what does it mean about you as a person when you stop working?

The money may be irrelevant if you fall into this category.

Who cares what it's about?

Although I like to be aware of my motivations, sometimes I don't discover them until I'm well into a behavior -- and sometimes I never figure out why I'm doing what I'm doing.

There are as many reasons for working during retirement as their are people who are both working and collecting a pension. It could help to recognize that you may be part of a trend. If so, you'll want to do some investigating about what you can do as well as what you'd like to do.

I'll be collecting information on the options and sharing the information here. I'd love to hear your experiences about working during retirement, too. With your permission, I'll publish them here so others have more information when making decisions.

If you check out the white box under the navigation bar above on the left, you can learn how to be alerted as soon as I find new information.

If you are facing a decision about working during retirement,
try Choose It!

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.