Working in Retirement

While retirement traditionally has been thought of as a time when people leave the workforce for good, the reality is that times have changed. Many retirees will want to supplement their incomes in retirement, and one way is with a part-time job. Some retirees want to work part time in retirement, independent of their income needs.

People sometimes worry that working in retirement will push them into a higher tax bracket and/or impact their Social Security benefits. While that may be true, it’s worth having an expert run the numbers. Here’s the bottom line – if your primary need is having enough income to cover your expenses, it almost always pays to work. Yes, you may have to give some of what you get to Uncle Sam and you may receive less (temporarily) from Social Security, but in most cases you still come out ahead.


The more important question is, what kind of work might you do? If you’ve been in the workforce long enough to retire, you’ve probably acquired knowledge that may be very valuable to an employer, or in a new role as a consultant. You might even find that your current employer is amenable to you working a couple of days a week – never hurts to ask.
One of the wonderful things about retirement is that it opens up all kinds of possibilities, among them an entirely new career. If there’s something you really love to do, perhaps there’s a way to make a little money doing it. A career counselor might be helpful here. Or, you could find people who are doing something that looks attractive to you and talk to them to get a feel for what it’s really like.

There’s also a non-financial aspect to this. For many people, the workplace is a source of friendships, social interaction and a feeling of belonging. A part-time job can help supply all those things, even if you don’t make a lot of money.

Many people over age 65 are working these days. Think of it this way: working in retirement can help make your retirement work.

Material prepared by Raymond James for use by its financial advisors.

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