Working after retirement: Why it might be the right option for you

Retired? See how staying busy during retirement can keep you healthy, wealthy and wise.

Retirement is a significant milestone in life. After decades of hard work, you finally have more freedom in how to spend your time. This provides an opportunity to travel, pursue hobbies, enjoy time with family or simply relax.

But retirement can also leave seniors wondering: Now what? After the initial excitement wears off, many retirees struggle with feelings of boredom and a lack of purpose. Without the structure and routine that work or raising a family provides, seniors may need to reevaluate what a rewarding life during retirement means for them.

To revitalize their sense of purpose, many seniors choose to continue working on a volunteer, part-time or full-time basis. Sometimes a happy retirement means finding ways to keep busy and stay connected to our communities.

There’s no shortage of job opportunities for retirees. Depending on your interests, you might find work as a bookkeeper, substitute teacher, office manager, dog walker, security guard or any number of other professions. Volunteer activities for seniors, such as working for non-profit organizations, community centers or religious groups, provide another option to stay engaged in a rewarding way. In the end, the best jobs for retirees are the ones that will make them happiest and most fulfilled.

Here are some of the most significant benefits of working after retirement:

Financial stability

For many older adults, the most obvious benefit of continued employment is earning a steady income. Even seniors who can live comfortably on their savings may find some extra income helpful; for example, they may be able to travel more or treat themselves to experiences that might otherwise be out of their budget.

There’s also the added security of having more money on hand for unexpected expenses, changes in the cost of living and medical emergencies. Building up a larger financial cushion as we age can provide added peace of mind.
A senior bicycle mechanic working out of his shop.

Purpose and fulfillment

It’s common for retirees to struggle with finding a sense of purpose. After decades of work, it can be uncomfortable to have so much free time. Losing the structure of a daily work routine can also be stressful.

Volunteering or starting a new job can help fill that void and provide a sense of fulfillment. Having to show up to a job on a regular basis can be a major motivator for maintaining an active lifestyle, which can help improve the physical and mental health of older adults.

Working after retiring also provides the chance to try something different and pursue jobs that more closely align with interests. Maybe you want to take on work that helps others or gives back to the local community. At this stage in life, you can afford to be more selective with work choices. This can be a great opportunity to embrace a new employment path that fits your interests and passions.

Mental stimulation and personal development

Work gives our brain something to do. As we get older, our cognitive abilities are at risk of declining if we lack mental stimulation. Working after retiring can help keep the mind engaged through problem-solving, communication and using technology.

For many seniors, the mental health benefits are strongest when continuing to work in a field they’re familiar with. Others might be more stimulated to seek a job that requires a different skill set than their pre-retirement career.
A cheerful and supportive mature adult female teacher of Pacific Islander descent sits at her desk in her classroom and provides one on one assistance to a smiling elementary age girl.

Community and connection

Working after retiring offers seniors the opportunity to build new friendships and social connections with their co-workers. Often, these friendships can develop in ways that extend outside of the workplace. Depending on the nature of their job, seniors may also have regular social interactions with clients or customers.

Research shows that older adults can suffer from loneliness, isolation and depression, especially as their social circles start to shrink. Maintaining an active social life can be beneficial to mental health while also being emotionally rewarding.

Health benefits

Fitness is more important than ever as we age, and working after retiring is a way to stay mentally and physically active. Jobs provide older adults with a regular routine that gets them out of the house and moving around. Seniors who continue working in some capacity after they formally retire show lower rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and more.

Depending on your level of fitness and pre-existing health conditions, you may want to consult with your doctor about what kinds of jobs would be most appropriate for you.

Sharing experience

Working or volunteering after retiring offers an excellent opportunity to share knowledge and experience with others, especially younger people. Retirees can often serve as mentors for younger co-workers, and intergenerational friendships can help older adults feel like they’re a valuable part of a larger community.

The right retirement for you

Adjusting to retirement gives you a chance to reassess your priorities and renew your sense of purpose. The decision of whether to work after retiring and what that work should be is a deeply personal one. You’ll want to consider what use of your new-found free time will be most beneficial, engaging and rewarding for you.

However you choose to plan your retirement journey, Holiday is here to help you navigate the challenges, opportunities and possibilities along the way.

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