Think You'll Work in Retirement? You're in Good Company.

It's easy to think of retirement as a period of not working. But a recent TD Ameritrade survey reveals that most Americans plan to continue working in some capacity during their golden years. This sentiment is particular prevalent among 40- and 50-somethings, among which 92% and 86%, respectively, intend to continue earning money once their primary career comes to a close.

Whether you choose to consult in your former field upon retiring, join the gig economy, or start your own business, it pays to consider the merits of working during the latter stage of your life. You may, in fact, find that part-time work is actually the perfect setup for your retirement.

An older man in an industrial setting wears a yellow hard hat while cradling a tablet.


The perks of working in retirement

Many workers are approaching their golden years with an inadequate level of retirement savings. As such, they risk falling behind on their bills and struggling to keep up with the ever-rising costs associated with healthcare. If you're in a similar boat, working during retirement is a good solution to the financial woes you might otherwise encounter. Even if you have saved nicely for retirement, having that extra income could make it possible to do the things you've always wanted to do, like travel or live someplace that's more expensive than your savings and Social Security income allow for.

Furthermore, depression is a major issue for retirees, and it often stems from an overwhelming degree of boredom -- the boredom that comes with not having a place to go during the week, or a schedule to stick to. According to TD Ameritrade's respondents, the motivation behind working in retirement stems from factors that include boredom prevention, the desire to be challenged intellectually, and the need for social interaction.

Finally, working in retirement could enable you to land the dream job you've always wanted. In fact, that's what drives roughly a quarter of Americans who are seeking to work, or are already working, during their golden years. Many people spend their careers forgoing their passion to earn a higher paycheck. For creative types whose desired fields are far from lucrative, there's often no choice. The beauty of working in retirement is that you'll finally get a chance to do what you've always wanted to do, whether it's getting paid to sing, write, craft, or cook.

What's the right retirement work setup for you?

There are several factors you'll need to consider with regard to working in retirement, including:

  • Your need for money. If money is your primary motivator, then you'll need a job that allows you to generate enough of it to cover your bills. That could mean opting to consult in your former field at $40 an hour rather than starting a crafting business that might earn you less than $40 a day.
  • Your desire for flexibility. You'll need to contemplate your willingness to stick to a preset schedule. If you take a part-time job at a retailer or local business, you'll likely have to report to work at specific hours every week. That could prove problematic if you don't want to be locked into such a rigid schedule, or if you're hoping to travel a lot and therefore need a job you can do remotely.
  • Your appetite for risk. Starting a business could require you to put up some of your own capital, or even take out a small business loan. It could then take some time to recoup your investment and start making money, so make sure you're ready for that challenge.
  • Your need for social interaction. If you don't have a retired spouse or friends to spend time with, a job that allows you to interact with others may be preferable to one that has you working solo from home. In that case, an hourly position someplace local may be ideal.

Remember, too, that you don't have to commit to working part-time your entire retirement. You might, for example, decide to pick up a side gig during the winter, when the weather's cold and you're less motivated to go out and do things. But if you'd rather have your days to yourself once the warmer season rolls around, that's fine. There are so many choices when it comes to working during retirement, so find the arrangement that suits you best and use it to your advantage.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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