5 Things to Consider if You Want to Return to Work After Retirement

Retirement can mean long vacations, more time with grandchildren, and pursuing new hobbies and passions. But in some cases, it can also mean going back to work.

Research shows that nearly 40% of previously-retired employees rejoin the workforce at some point. Furthermore, roughly half of retirees indicate that they would return to work if the right opportunity arose.

That said, the adjustment can be challenging. It may also present with some unforeseen risks and obstacles. Therefore, if you want or need to return to work after retirement, it’s important to keep the following considerations in mind.

Clarifying Why You Want to Return to Work

What is motivating you to get back into the workforce? Are you facing financial concerns? Are you finding your retirement boring, stifling, or otherwise unfulfilling?

It’s important to hone in on your intentions. You may have several variables motivating you to return to work. None of them are particularly good or bad, but having this insight will help you develop an optimal plan to prepare yourself.

Remember that it’s normal for early retirees to face some remorse or regret after stopping work. However, those feelings alone don’t necessarily mean you made the wrong decision. It may be beneficial to wait at least six months to a year before deciding your next move.

Evaluating Your Financial Needs

Unfortunately, people can and do face monetary problems in retirement. Added expenses, poor investments, and global problems like recessions or inflation can all affect your sense of stability. If money is the primary motive encouraging you to return to the workforce, it’s helpful to get a clear understanding of your financial health.

First, it’s important to consider how your income could be adversely affected by returning to work. For example, your Social Security income may be reduced depending on your age. In addition, earning income again could impact your pension.

That said, work can provide a more stable income if needed. Even part-time work may “smooth the gaps” if money feels tight or contributes to added stress in your household.

Finally, you may be eligible to receive health coverage depending on your work status. This benefit is often desirable for employees under age 65 who must insure themselves privately. In many cases, receiving or paying into employer-based insurance is significantly cheaper.

Deciding How and When You Want to Work

You may have more flexibility in how you return to the workforce in retirement. For example, even if you worked full-time in the past, you might now consider a part-time position. Or, you might want to dabble in freelancing, independent contracting, or other forms of gig jobs.

Cobbling various jobs together is becoming more mainstream among retirees. One study found that 20% of retired Americans are not technically retired. Instead, they earn money through various gigs like delivering groceries, pet-sitting, tutoring, or renting out their homes to tourists.

You might also be able to return to your previous employer if you’re interested. You can consult with your previous HR representative or boss to inquire about this option. There might be full-time, part-time, or even flexible work options available.

Considering What You Need to Do to Return to the Workforce

Going back to work will entail some adjustments. That said, the severity of these adjustments is significantly different for someone who retired a few months ago compared to someone who retired a decade ago.

Before you start applying for jobs, it’s important to consider the following:

  • your resume (is it polished, up-to-date, and professional).
  • your interview skills.
  • your desired salary and your abilities to negotiate as needed.
  • your intended benefits.
  • the hours and accommodations you may need to work successfully.
  • how your work schedule will impact other obligations or family members.

Remember that all jobs may entail some level of trial and error. For instance, you might not know if you like a position until you actually start. That said, preparing yourself in advance can help you avoid wasting time.

How to Return to Work After Retirement: Adjusting to Your New Job

Deciding to return to work after retirement can be nerve-wracking. But, no matter how you return to the workforce, you will need to give yourself compassion during this transition. All change can be hard- even when the change is positive and exciting!

It’s okay if you aren’t sure how you want to proceed just yet. You don’t need to make a permanent decision based on a temporary feeling. Likewise, it’s perfectly reasonable to take some time to explore your options.

Therapy can provide you with support and encouragement during this time. We can discuss healthy coping skills to manage this distress if you feel anxious. Likewise, if you’re on the fence about returning to work, we can evaluate the pros and cons of this important decision.

I am here for you as you navigate this next phase in your life. Contact me today to get started.

4601 Spicewood Springs Road Building 3, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759

(512) 988-3363

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